One of the most common things that people notice with their soundbars is echoing. There are a few possible reasons why is my soundbar echoing, and we will go over them in this article.
Soundbars are great because they provide a powerful audio experience without the large size. Unfortunately, many people seem to have issues with echoing in their soundbars. This can pose a big problem when watching movies or listening to music.
Below are some of the most common causes for your soundbar to be echoing. If you are sure that you have all of these checked, but your problem is still present, try this guide for solutions.
- Understanding What Is An Echo
- Differentiating Echo vs. Reverberation
- How Does Surround Sound Work?
- Analyze the Situation: When Does the Echo Happen?
- The Most Common Issue: TV Speaker Interference
- Soundbar Echo: Other Causes and Solutions
Understanding What Is An Echo
We need first to understand what causes echo before we can fix it. How does an echo occur in surround sound speakers? What exactly is an echo?
Echoes are a result of sound’s mechanical nature. When sound reflects at you, it is called an echo. As we all know, the sound is a mechanical wave that travels through a medium and moves as a vector. When particles interact with one another, the sound wave produces vibration. When they collide, energy flows through the particles creating sound.
A sound can create different behaviors depending on how it reaches the medium. You will likely see reflections and refraction regardless of whether you have a smooth or rough surface. The echo is a sound reflection from surfaces.
An echo can be seen when you shout at a canyon. We all know that shouting at a canyon will result in the reflection of the same sound. Echoes are created when sound reflections off canyon walls.
This can also happen in a home theater room. Many things can cause echoes. An echo can be irritating, regardless of whether you are listening to music or watching movies. It can be more annoying reverberations if you have surround sound systems.
Echo reduces the immersive effect of high-quality sound and video. Surround sound is intended to enhance audio’s authenticity.
The goal of surround sound designers working on video games and movies is to create complete immersion. Echo creates an illusion of immersion by reflecting what you have heard.
Differentiating Echo vs. Reverberation
There is a lot of confusion around the distinct echo and reflection. You might be surprised at the distinction between echo and reverberation.
Echo is the singular reflection of sound from a surface. Echoes are created when sound waves reflect off a surface. Echoes shouldn’t take longer than 0.1 seconds to reach you. If this is the case, it can cause problems.
Sound travels at 343 meters per second. To ensure that an echo takes less than 0.1 second to reflect, a wall must be at least 17m (33 m/s * 0.01 seconds = 34.3m/s/s/s/s/2 = 17.15m/s). An enclosed room is not capable of producing a natural echo.
Here is where the reverb kicks in.
Reverberation refers to the reflection of multiple echoes on different media. When the echoes begin to overlap, they are stored in memory, and there is no late. Reverb is a collection of echoes that takes less than a tenth second to hear.
What does this all mean? This means that all echoes are echoes. However, not all echos are reverberations. Reverbs are most likely the source of the echoes you hear in your home theater. A single, legitimate echo is an audio delay.
It doesn’t matter if it’s an echo, reverb, or both; it is essential to address them. It doesn’t matter if your surround sound is 5.1, 7.1, or both. If you hear echoes, no audio quality will immerse your senses.
Flutter echoes are a type of echo. Flutter echos are when two surfaces trap sound waves, typically between speakers and walls. These can create a series of short sound signatures that translate into energy. This creates an audio disturbance that is audible over time.
Flutter echo can cause a delay in audio and video output. This can take a few milliseconds, but it’s noticeable enough to make a difference.
How Does Surround Sound Work?
Let’s now look at surround sound.
Surround sound is, in its simplest form, the use of multiple sound channels. Each channel is routed through a different speaker, positioned at different points within the room. The source file is the essential part of this audio. It is programmed and decoded when it’s played.
Although it may sound simple, surround sound provides a richer experience. Surround audio is richer than mono or stereo speakers. Mono works only on one channel, stereo on two, and surround on five or seven channels. Surround works on both mono and surround.
Dolby surrounds 5.1, for example, uses five speakers in a multichannel system. It uses:
- Channel center
- Left channel
- Right channel
- Left surround channel
- Right surround channel
The typical formation has the left, right, and center channels working in the front. The right and left surround channels are located to the side or behind the seating. The 7.1 surround sound system uses seven channels rather than five. These channels include:
- Center channel
- Left channel
- Right channel
- Left surround channel x 2.
- Right surround channel x2
The left and proper surround channels are expanded to provide a richer surround sound experience. The left and right channels covering the east and west sides of the seating position are divided into two channels. The backside is covered by the two other surrounding channels, left and right.
A subwoofer is also available in both systems. It’s represented by the. one at 5.1 and 7.1.
Analyze the Situation: When Does the Echo Happen?
It would be best if you first tried your new soundbar. You are likely getting the best value for your money if you use it to enhance your favorite movie or concert. It is possible to hear an echo if your audio equipment has been connected to the TV.
Expert musicians and sound technicians will know the exact definition of echo to distinguish it from delay or reverberation. An echo can be used to describe the sound problem you are having.
This happens when more than one speaker is not connected. This can occur between speakers from the same device or between surround speakers from two different devices.
You may have noticed that the soundbar doesn’t produce a clear, powerful sound. Instead, it creates a surround sound echo. This is especially true if your TV is on. Let’s find out what we can do.
The Most Common Issue: TV Speaker Interference
Echo and delay in sound are the main issues soundbar owners have to address, as we’ve seen. This issue could be very counterproductive, as soundbars are designed to improve the quality of any home theater system.
An echo can ruin your movie night and make you question the quality of your soundbar.
A simple fact can often cause the echo: Your TV and soundbar speakers are both on.
Soundbars are a great addition to any home theater and can help you get better when listening to music or watching TV. The audio setup correctly is the key! Below is the best way to solve poor audio dampening.
Solution: Turn Your TV Speakers Off
Your TV speakers should not be turned on when the soundbar is active. Your TV speakers may be located at the back of your soundbar or further away.
This difference in sound projection and how it is projected can lead to echo and late.
You don’t have to worry about the TV speakers cutting off your hearing or reducing your audio quality.
These are the speakers that come with your device. They allow you to watch TV and movies without the need to purchase another product. However, they are not as good as high-tech soundbars!
Once you’re ready to set up the perfect movie night, turn off the TV speakers and let the soundbar take care of the rest.
The video below provides a quick guide!
How to Turn Off Your TV Speakers
As you can see, your TV speakers should not be louder than the volume of your soundbar. It is best to turn them off completely when you are using other home theater and listening devices.
It would help if you regulated their volume, as well as their functioning:
- Start by opening the menu on your smart television.
- For more options, select the audio menu.
- You can adjust the volume of your speakers using the remote control or TV buttons.
- Switch them off entirely if you can (if not, it should be an option) or alter the output.
The video below provides a quick guide!
Extra Tip: Set the Audio Output to Variable
After the TV speakers have been appropriately set up, the soundbar will be silent. It can be frustrating to reach for the soundbar every time you want to change its volume. This is why I added a tip you might find helpful. It can help you have the seamless viewing and listening experience that you desire.
You can find the trick by heading to the audio menu section on your smart TV or TV. Click on analog audio to change the settings. You can change the output setting from standard to a variable by clicking on the menu on your TV.
Once you’ve done this, your TV will be connected to the soundbar. You can now control the audio on your TV using the Tv remote controller. This will allow you to have complete control over your viewing experience.
Soundbar Echo: Other Causes and Solutions
A soundbar that emits an echo is most commonly affected because the TV speakers also have to be on. There may be milder issues that can be fixed that could affect the sound quality.
This includes speakers with damaged wiring or out-of-phase. Let’s take a look at these issues and their possible solutions.
Speakers That Are Out of Phase
The different integrated speakers are the key to creating surround sound in your soundbar. Soundbars have a center, left, and right channel, just like other audio systems.
These three systems are linked and synced together, so you may hear the sound you love. You might also experience delays between speakers if some are out of phase or not tuned in.
Perform a left and proper speaker test to determine if the problem is related to speakers’ wiring. A center balance test can be done to verify that everything is in order.
This video of the phase speakers test (polarity check):
Modern soundbars can be connected to your TV in five different ways. HDMI cables are the most common, but you can also use analog audio cables or optical digital audio cables.
No matter what method you use to connect your soundbar to the TV, it is essential to ensure that the wiring works well and is reliable. You might also consider buying a new cable to enjoy the full sound quality of your soundbar.
This article went over many of the most common causes of soundbar echoing and ways to eliminate them.
With this knowledge, you should have no problems eliminating any issues with your soundbar’s audio output.
One last thing to remember is that many of these problems with soundbars are difficult to notice during everyday use.
Even when your audio is not as good as it could be, you may never know there is an issue until something significant happens, like having trouble hearing certain songs or channels on cable TV.
So if you are noticing surround sound echo in your soundbar’s audio, it may just need some time to adjust before everything works right.
Hooke Audio will review how to troubleshoot soundbar echo issues in a future article. If you have any questions or comments about this article, please use the form below.