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Apple TV 4: Fix Distorted Audio

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You can try using a hybrid approach — stereo and TV speakers. This involves turning down your stereo and filling in the sound with your TV speakers. This isn’t always an ideal solution. The sound effects will be distorted on your stereo no matter how much you reduce the volume. This is because the line level is too high. Furthermore, stereo cancellation can cause the overall sound to thin. Stereo cancellation occurs when two identical stereo speakers are in close proximity. The overlapping audio frequencies can cancel each other out at certain frequencies, resulting in a thin sound. I would only recommend the hybrid approach if your stereo speakers are several feet away from your TV speakers. Even if your speakers are in a good position for this, at best you can only reduce the distortion.

All Apple TV Audio Distorted?

We covered how to handle distorted Apple TV 4 sound effects when using a connected stereo. The problem is annoying, but not severe. Some users may face a much more serious issue — all audio is distorted. This would result in distorted audio when playing movies and TV shows. Fortunately, this is usually due to a wiring problem.

There are many ways to connect Apple TV to a stereo, but most of them involve going through your TV. This is because Apple TV only has one HDMI port. Unless you are using some kind of splitter, you have to connect your stereo to your TV. This usually involves using an RCA stereo pair or optical audio. RCA stereo pair connections are best suited for older stereos. Newer home theater systems use optical audio. With just one optical audio cable, your TV can transmit multi-channel surround sound to an AV receiver, which is connected to multiple speakers. In either of these setups, audio is transmitted at a fixed level. Most TVs don’t have controls to adjust these output levels. Optical audio connections don’t even transmit audio at a “level”. It’s a digital connection that simply passes pure digital sound data to the amplifier or receiver. With either of these methods, audio (other than Apple TV sound effects) should not sound distorted.

The problem arises when people use the headphone jack on their TV to connect to speakers. This is a common mistake when people use computer speakers connected over a single 1/8″ cable. This is the kind of cable that most headphones use. If your TV is connected to speakers in this manner, reducing distortion is easy. Simply turn down the volume on your TV until you don’t hear distortion. The headphone jack on TVs does not operate at a fixed level. It is controlled by your TVs volume. If you have speakers connected to the headphone jack, turn down the volume on your TV to reduce distortion. You can turn up the volume on the connected speakers to compensate for the reduction in overall volume. (continue…)

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