Roku 3 — Easily Fixing The No Sound Problem With HDMI Connection.

by Anura Guruge

IF you run into a ‘No Sound‘ problem with the Roku, when it is HDMI attached, do not panic.

Known problem. Fairly easy to fix — but, yes, still kind of annoying. There is NO one time fix per se. You will have to always, or at least most of the time, go through the bypass problem.

It is not really a Roku problem!

It is an HDMI problem.

The same problem exists on other HDMI attached TV boxes, whether it be DISH, DirecTV or most IPTV boxes.

It has to do with the audio signals on the HDMI ‘ports’ getting their knickers in a twist when that HDMI port is selected. This, alas, happens when you switch from one HDMI port to another — in this case when you switch to the Roku HDMI port.

The fix is actually a work around.

Don’t switch directly from another HDMI port to the Roku port. First switch to a non-HDMI port. Wait for 3 seconds. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi.

Now switch to the Roku HDMI port. Bob will be your uncle.

On my 47″ Philips TV the Roku is on HDMI port 3. The DirecTV Genie box is on HDMI I and I have a DVD player on HDMI 2.

I no longer go straight from HDMI 1 (DirecTV) to HDMI 3 (Roku).

I first go to the ‘TV’ (RCA jack) port on my TV. Wait 3 seconds and switch to HDMI. Sound works first time.

I have known about this HDMI problem since 2011. Had it with DISH and then with DirecTV. See below.


Click image to access this DirecTV Genie related post.

Here is the funny thing. DirecTV denies that this is a problem. But I get around 20 hits a day, every day, on this post! See stats below. So, of course people are running into this problem with DirecTV. Cracks me up that DirecTV plays dumb. Hence this Roku ‘no sound’ post. Lets not beat around the bush. Lets just deal with.


Did you know that the Roku 4 is due to be available THIS month — i.e., March 2015? I just found out. I love my Roku 3. I love it so much that I am going to get a Roku 4 as soon as it is available! I want the latest and greatest. It will probably still have the ‘no sound’ problem because it is really an HDMI issue — though they could fix it with some software. If the Roku 3 is good the Roku 4 has to be better. The Roku 3 will not go a waste. I will use it on another TV.

For Roku network/Wi-Fi Speed Test — A MUST Have.
Check this post.

Related Roku Posts:
>> Search on ‘Roku’ >>>>

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnailby Anura Guruge

58 thoughts on “Roku 3 — Easily Fixing The No Sound Problem With HDMI Connection.

  1. Rob McEntegart

    Bummer. Tried this to fix my Roku 2 issue – no sound – switching my receiver source to cable (which is connected by component jacks) and it didn’t work. Also tried another fix I found on the web, changing video output to 720p, that didn’t work either. Weird. Even more strange is that I had fine picture and sound initially, then the next day… silence!

    1. aguruge Post author

      ‘My’ fix relies on changing video source to a non-HD channel. So selecting component video will NOT work. Select a straight, Philips input TV source. Typically the first input on the list. Try that. Very annoying. BUT I haven’t had an issue with the Roku for months.

      1. Mike Krysak

        Taking your suggestion of switching source from non-HDMI to HDMI does not solve the audio problem on my Roku 2 (4210). +Roku needs to fix their software to take care of this, of that I’m convinced.

    2. Donna Fulton

      I could not make your fix work, but when I plugged in an HDMI splitter (changer) cable and Apple TV and Roku each had their own plug, the sound works perfectly. Added benefit is I don’t disconnect the HDMI plug from the back of TV each time I need to switch, I just press a button.

      1. aguruge Post author

        OK. Basically any physical mechanism, whether switching inputs on the TV or doing so using a splitter, will RESET the HDMI signal. Glad the splitter worked. Cheers, Anura

      1. Anura Guruge Post author

        Switching inputs is a less ‘taxing’ way. Switching off and on your TV does a ‘job’ on the electronics and power-supply, BUT with today’s TV it probably will not shorten life by any appreciable amount.

  2. Sonya Appel

    We have a roku for more than a year or so and it NEVER did this. The past few months it has been freezing on the cue and having issues loading and then not working. Always had to unplug the power and reboot it. Now it is the sound. The picture will flicker and then no sound. It started as an every once in a while thing, now it is several times a day and the only “fix” is to unplug and reboot. If as you are saying it is a HDMI cable thing, then why doesn’t the roku which is MADE TO WORK ON IT fix the issue? And why is it just starting now?

      1. Anura Guruge Post author

        Thank you! This post has been read by over 90,000 people, yes 90,000, and you are, I think, but the 3rd or 4th person who has said “Thank YOU”. So, I thank you. Glad it worked. Happy New Year. The Roku is fun. I use it every day to watch cricket. Anura

    1. Writer At Large Post author

      Glad it worked. Funnily enough, for the first time in many, many, many months I had to use it on my Roku. Worked first time. THANK YOU FOR SAYING THANK YOU. I just checked the stats. This Roku post has been read by at least 15,000 people and YOU are the FIRST to thank me! SMILE. Anura

    1. Anura Guruge Post author

      This post has been read by over 18,000 people and YOU are but the 3rd person to say something good about it. Only 2 people, of the 18,000, said “Thank you”. New World we live in. Smile. You comment did make me smile — but that is not hard to do. Cheers. I will have to check your blog.

      1. Vic

        I sometimes research a topic for someone who has asked me a question on my blog. My search might take a few minutes or several hours. Usually, I never hear back from that person after directing them to the correct source, not even a thank you. This world has become a harsh place. I should have written “thank you”, but I was too busy smiling.

      2. Anura Guruge Post author

        Smiling is good. As good as a THANK YOU. So that is fine. I checked your blog. 10 Million hits. Wow, that is IMPRESSIVE. Are you in the UK?
        Cheers, Anura

      3. Vic

        No. U.S. I had the good luck to start my blog just when Jane Austen fandom spread world wide. Frankly, I’ve never had a single post receive 14,000 hits. 12,000, but that was with the aid of t.v. coverage. Kudos to you.

      4. Anura Guruge Post author

        12,000 is still good. Bravo. Your numbers are awesome. I am humbled. Well done. I trust you monetize your blog with WordAds. You must make a fair amount. Good for you. I used to do a HUGE amount of blogging about popes, in particular “The Next Pope After Benedict XVI”. The day he announced his resignation, in 2013, I had over 40,000 hits. GoDaddy, with who I was hosted, was calling me up. I also have a WordPress blog whose name or topic I will not mention in case I offend your sense and sensibilities. Last Nov. 9, 2015 when Google did a Doodle for Hedy Lamarr I got 18,552 hits on the day! It was a riot. I had found the ONE THING that Hedy should have been mots famous for. That post, and I just checked, has had 26,412 hits — and it is only about 9 months old. Strange world. You are in the U.S. I am intrigued. I did find you on Facebook (SMILE). Stay in touch. I could learn so much from YOU. Thanks. Anura

  3. Ginger Ruiz

    Perfect! Just happened on my Roku 3….plumbers were drilling in the next room, not sure if they had anything to do with it. I checked all the connections, but when I tried the solution, it worked perfectly – and I’m not even on DirectTV (thank goodness). Thank You!!

  4. Aimee Mendoza

    Hi Anura, I need help 🙂
    I connected my Roku stick to my Pioneer receiver via HDMI cable. I have my cable box connected to the receiver as well via HDMI. I get sound from my cable box through my receiver but there is no sound from the Roku stick. I can’t seem to work around the solution you suggested. What should I do? I get sound from my Roku through my TV only but not through my receiver.:( Thanks!!

    1. Anura Guruge Post author

      This is the classic HDMI ‘no sound’ problem. You JUST need to find a way to RESET the HDMI input. For most of us we can do that by going to the TV — and selecting a non-HDMI input channel. Then going back to the Roku HDMI input. Does that make sense? Anura

      1. Tanveer B

        I’m not quite sure what this means. I’m having the same problem. So should I select an Analogue source on my TV and then switch back to digital HDMI?

      2. Rob Chadwick

        Switching inputs, switching ports, etc. didn’t work for me – turning the TV off and on didn’t work, rebooting the roku several times didn’t work – but unplugging the TV (power) and plugging it back in worked – might work for other people.

  5. Chester Porter (@chesterporter15)

    The Roku 3 remote control headphone input was causing the sound problem. It acted like the headphones were still plugged in. Removed batteries from remote and sound came back after about 10 seconds. Batteries back in – no sound. Bad headphone input suspected. Roku support was no help.

    1. Ineeda Mann

      Thanks Anura for this offering! BUT I must mention that for me, Chester Porter had the answer. My Roku 3 remote had audio through the headphone jack, so I suspected there might be some sort of issue there. Had no time to check right away, as I was off to work. Thanks, Chester for confirming my suspicions. Thanks Anura, for paying attention to this issue!

  6. Roseann Pfander

    Hi I read your post for the Roku 3 sound issue but don’t completely understand what you mean by connect to a non HDMI port first. How can you connect an HDMI cable to something non HDMI? I’d like to try this but need a bit of clarification please. Thanks.

  7. Linda Craker

    WOW, it took twice, but the HDMI switch-a-rooni worked…. Roku TV worked for 16 months without the “no sound” problem, then BAM. Had sound about 5hrs and then, nothing. Not a dang sound coming from the TV. Other two TVs in the house were fine, but not the Roku.

    Thanks so much !

    1. Anura Guruge Post author

      Glad it worked. Yes, the Roku could go for months without the problem and then you could get it 3 days in a row … and it will go away again. I do this ‘switch-a-rooni’ automatically without thinking. Thanks.

      1. Kimberly Limbaugh

        Anura —

        I, too, am one who doesn’t understand what you mean by:

        “Don’t switch directly from another HDMI port to the Roku port. First switch to a non-HDMI port. Wait for 3 seconds. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi.”

        Switch where? And/or with what? Do you mean pull the physical HDMI cord out from one connection and into another, or something you do with a remote? And, which remote, TV or Roku?

        The only other 2 settings I have on my TV are for “PC” (never used), or “TV”, which receives over-the-air-broadcast via antennae.

        Sorry for my thick-headedness in this issue, I fear it is the major component in my problems . . . !!

        Thanks for any help you can give!

        Bo Limbaugh

  8. Frank Dachille

    First: THANK YOU! Thank you for helping folks with a frustrating problem.
    I will continue to fight till I hear the sound. I have tried various fixes here. But, so far no luck. Maybe clarify what to switch to non HDMI source, the tv I think?

    1. Anura Guruge Post author

      Thank you for your GOOD MANNERS. You are a rarity these days.

      On your TV remote there will be a button that says ‘INPUT’ (or something close to that). Modern TVs have all those plugs in the back. Multiple HDMI inputs and your Roku is plugged into one of those. What you need to do, using your remote is HIT INPUT … then scroll down/up the list of input shown to one input that is NOT HDMI. All TVs have an input called ‘TV’. This is for on air reception. That is NOT HDMI. So, select that. Stay on it for a few seconds … then go back to the HDMI channel that has the Roku attached. It might take a second for the sound to kick in.

    1. Anura Guruge Post author

      I am GLAD. Plus THANK YOU for taking the time to say THANKS. Over 80,000 people have accessed that post and you are BUT the 4th person, I think, to say ‘Thanks’! Thank YOU.

  9. Anonymous

    The only thing that worked for me was to unplug the tv and plug back in. Hard to do when it is behind the tv. Glad to know there was a fix. What a strange problem. Thanks for the forum and the info.

    1. Rick Welch

      I have the same problem with the Roku 2 and when it happens I just turn off the TV and then turn it right back on,fixes the problem.

  10. gary

    When we have no sound on our Roku we have to disconnect the sky qbox, sound comes back straight away, we just borrow 600quid for new telly as we thought it was the telly, old telly good now, if not used with sky box, a nuisance, but this solution works for us when it happens. Gazz

  11. Caitlin

    I appreciate everyone’s feedback and suggestions. I found a different solution for my device (model 3810X Roku Streaming Stick+)….go to Roku main menu, then Settings, then System, then System Restart. After 30 minutes of trying the suggestions provided in this post, I decided to try the System Restart and now I have sound back!

    1. Anura Guruge Post author

      Caitlin, glad that worked for you. Don’t think that will work in every case. But, certainly worth trying. The issue is with the HDMI connection with the TV or soundbar. But, THANKS.

  12. Judy

    I have the same problem – the sound goes off while the news person is speaking. It comes back on in a few minutes but is terribly distracting. I DON’T HAVE ROKU – I just have DirecTV. It only happens on NewsMax station – not other stations! Anyone else having this issue?

  13. LYNND

    Without warning I lost audio in conjunction with a ROKU, which on my setup outputs to a soundbar and an AVR via optical. The sound drops out about five seconds after startup and has persisted on not one but two Sony TVs I own for a month.

    What alarmed me is the impression that the audio loss problem was “imposed” somehow by the ROKU stick. What happened is that I took the ROKU Stick+ (2019), which was suffering the audio loss problem, and put it on another TV as a troubleshooting measure, at which point the same problem occurred causing me to conclude the ROKU must be the culprit. I then put the ROKU that had been operating correctly back on the TV where I had tested the “bad” ROKU stick — at which point I was dismayed that the sound began to drop on that ROKU immediately thereafter (even as sound output from the TV and other connected HDMI devices remained unaffected).

    After unplugging the TVs failed to help and buying not one but two new ROKUs also failed to resolve the issue, and after system restarts of the ROKUs failed — and after making sure “audio leveling” was set to OFF failed — and after factory-resetting one of the TVs also failed, my only “solution” prior to visiting this blog post was to toggle the TV power on/off, a very risky workaround. (The final straw was when I toggled the power on my Sony TV too rapidly, after which the TV briefly stopped responding to the remote and presented me with a black screen instead of powering up properly.)

    Weeks ago, I attempted to find help on the ROKU website but found none — until I came to this blog. The workaround suggested here, thankfully, works! I do have one small suggestion to make this workaround easier. When it is time to turn off your TV after using ROKU, set the TV input to analog (i.e. the input for off-air TV channels) and wait a couple of seconds. Turn the TV off and the next time you wish to use ROKU, powering on your TV with the remote will automatically switch it back to the ROKU input at which point you can make use of ROKU with minimal hassle.

    The question I still ask myself is whether or not a ROKU can, in fact, “impose” faulty HDMI audio behavior on a TV — and if there is really ever a permanent fix? Put another way, are those of us who have this audio loss problem risking damage to our TVs — such as HDMI port failure — if we continue to use a ROKU device for which audio loss has become a daily problem?


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