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Problems With ARC on Your Sony TV? Here’s How to Fix It

If you’re having sound issues using the HDMI ARC port on your Sony TV, you aren’t the only one. Fortunately, in most cases, it’s a simple fix.

First, you need to know what an HDMI ARC port does before we begin discussing how to fix yours.


What is the HDMI ARC Port?

An HDMI ARC is a port on the back of your TV where HDMI cords connect.

Because HDMI cords transfer display images, everyone with gaming consoles, FireTVs, or anything else displayed on your TV screen uses HDMI cords. 

An HDMI ARC, which means Audio Return Channel, is essentially an HDMI cord with communication going both ways. Sound passes through the cord from the receiver to the TV and vice versa, allowing audio to play through soundbars.

Instead of solely displaying images, HDMI ARCs transfer audio.


Is Your Sony HDMI ARC Not Working?

The main issue at stake is the sound, which is one of the main functions of the ARC port in the HDMI cord. The ARC input is explicitly designed so sound can travel both ways. 

Many people report that their HDMI ARC is plugged in, but there’s no sound coming from their soundbar. If you’re experiencing the same issue, there are several ways to troubleshoot a Sony TV ARC before spending more money to fix it.

HDMI ARC port on the back of a TV

How to Troubleshoot Your Sony TV ARC

If your audio isn’t working for your Sony TV through your HDMI ARC, there are easy ways to fix it and, although unlikely, more complex ways to correct the sound. The last thing anyone wants is to spend money to replace something that should be working.

Double Check Plugs and CEC

Sometimes the most seemingly complex problems have the quickest solutions. Before running all kinds of tests for different solutions, ensure that your HDMI cord is connected. It’s easy for a cable to become loose from its plug over time, so ensure your cable is fully connected to the port.

Also, be sure the HDMI is in the ARC port. There are several different HDMI ports on the back of a TV, so it’s possible you accidentally plugged the cord into the wrong spot.

Another check to perform before resorting to other ways is the CEC Setting, which is the Consumer Electronics Control. For your Sony TV, it’s called the BRAVIA Link and BRAVIA Sync.

This setting allows one remote control to access the user’s HDMI. Without this setting turned on, your remote won’t be able to control the audio, leaving your sound off or very low. 

These quick checks save you the trouble of doing extra work. If the cord is connected and the CEC setting is on, move on to the next possible solution.

Restart Your Devices

Another easy fix to this issue may be to restart your devices.

Start by unplugging and replugging your HDMI cord. It may need to be more secure to complete the connection, and checking it will allow you to rule it out as an issue.

You can also check the audio system settings to ensure they aren’t the problem. If they are set to the proper inputs, continue restarting your device.

Unplug every cord attached to your TV and soundbar before you begin shutting everything down. Once complete, power off your Sony TV and soundbar by pulling them out of the outlet. 

After you’ve disconnected the cords on both ends and turned everything off, wait a short time. It doesn’t have to be exceedingly long, but a few minutes will let everything rest. 

When enough time has passed, reconnect your TV and soundbar by plugging them back in. Wait a bit longer, then reconnect the HDMI ARC. Most of the time, troubleshooting fixes the issue. 

Suppose you turn your devices back on, and the audio remains poor or nonexistent. In that case, you need to keep testing your HDMI ARC connection. 

Third-party Device Incompatibility

Sometimes third-party devices may cause the sync function between your TV and sound bar to stop working. Troubleshooting this possible cause involves disconnecting each device and reconnecting them one at a time to see which device is causing the problem. 

If one of the external devices connected to your TV is the problem, you can use a CEC-Less HDMI adapter or cable. However, you should contact that device’s manufacturer for more information about how to improve its connectivity to your TV.

HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC

An HDMI eARC is the Enhanced Audio Return Channel, and while it isn’t too far off from ARC, it can still be an issue. 

If your Sony TV is eARC compatible, but your receiver or soundbar has ARC, this could affect your sound. Generally, it would still work, just not productively or correctly. 

If your audio is working, but the sound is off, this incompatibility could be why. If your audio is nonexistent, your issues lie somewhere else. 

It never hurts to double-check all of the connections, no matter how time-consuming it can be to go through each potential issue.

Full Reset

Sometimes a complete reset is necessary. 

You can clear the cache on your television and do a complete restart.

Start by going to the settings on your Sony TV, click on system apps, and choose “clear cache and data.” It can take some time to redownload your favorite apps on your FireTV or gaming console, but if your sound problem is corrected, it will be worth it.

New Cables

If nothing you’ve done so far fixes the sound issue on your Sony television, your HDMI cords may be the problem. 

Some issues could be if your cables are very old or damaged. Either way, overuse or damage to your wires may be why your television isn’t transferring sound to your soundbar or receiver. 

Buying a new cord may solve the problem, and they won’t break your bank. 

If you purchase new cords and the issues continue, check the connection of your TV. With brand-new HDMI cords, the malfunction may lie within your television.

New ARC Port

If you’ve tried everything, from restarting your TV to buying new cables, there may be something wrong with the HDMI ARC port itself.

This is close to the worst-case scenario because the ARC port is attached to your television or soundbar. If either plug-in area is malfunctioning, there are few options left other than fixing the plug-in.

A broken ARC port means you need a replacement, which you may be able to do yourself, or you can hire someone to do it. Luckily, the port can be substituted by a new one or fixed if you have someone who knows to manufacture the area. 

If the issues lie farther inside the television, then you may need repairs on the TV itself.

Something May Be Wrong With Your Sony TV

If you have gone through these lists and tried every possible fix to correct the sound issue of HDMI ARCs, there could be something wrong with the TV. 

These things happen if you’ve had your television for a long time.

You can always buy a new TV if you don’t want to spend the money on repairs. It is rarely ever the actual wires within the television that causes issues, and a new TV should not have this problem.

When you’ve tried everything, and the last resort comes down to buying a new TV, at least you will know what to do if your audio malfunctions again. Of course, you will also have the peace of mind that it isn’t your TV, but if it is, you’ll have a warranty.


Conclusion

If you have sound issues with your HDMI ARC while it’s plugged into your Sony TV, the most important thing to remember is that it can be fixed. Whether it is as simple as resetting, clearing the cache, or buying new cables, you can fix your Sony TV’s sound. 

HDMI ARCs are a somewhat new and extraordinary technological advancement. While we still try to figure out how to make them work soundly, these issues will happen. Still, the good news is that, in most cases, it’s easy to troubleshoot and fix any problems that crop up during setup.

This is only a brief overview of some possible issues and solutions. For more in-depth details of different problems or general information on HDMI ARC, check Sony Support.