How to Fix Roku 5.1 Surround Not Working?

Roku brings the smart streaming world to your house with its various devices. It promises easy to use interface, remotes, average designs, and reasonable price in all its models.

Since 2018, Roku has introduced different streaming models in the market.

From Roku Premiere, Express like amazing set-top boxes to Roku Streaming Stick, there are so many digital media players.

However, while some Roku players offer stereo sound, other streaming players support surround sound. And sometimes the Roku 5.1 surround sound does not work.

This can be because your streaming player could not decode the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound format.

In addition, there are various other issues like no audio, audio dropouts, distorted audio, or 5.1 surround not working.

If you are also unable to get the 5.1 content working on your Roku device, then here are a few ways to fix it.

How to Fix Roku 5.1 Surround Sound not Working?

To decode the surround sound, you need to make a lot of settings. Sometimes you are unaware of the settings that are necessary as a result of which the sound doesn’t work.

It is important to connect a soundbar or audio-video receiver to pass through the signal from your device that can further decode surround sound.

So let us begin.

Method 1- Connect to a Sound Bar or AVR

One of the reasons behind the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound not working can be your hardware. It is possible that you are not using the AVR or Soundbar that can decode this format of sound.

So one way to fix the issue is by connecting your Roku TV to an AVR or Sound Bar via HDMI cable.

Some soundbars and AVRs are designed such that you can switch the video and audio between different devices from a single point through HDMI.

Follow the steps given below.

Step 1- Connect the free end of the HDMI cable to the soundbar or AVR. Or if you are using a streaming stick then connect it directly to the available HDMI port on the AVR or soundbar that you are using.

Step 2- Now use a High-Speed Premium HDMI cable and connect it to the output of the soundbar or AVR. Connect the cable end to the HDMI input port of your Roku TV.

Method 2- Connect it Directly to the Compatible TV

Another reason behind the surround sound not working issue may be because your device may not be compatible with it.

So make sure your TV is surround sound compatible.

You can either plug in your streaming stick directly to the TV. Or use an HDMI cable to connect directly to your TV.

Method 3- Use Audio Return Channel for Connection

Another simpler way to configure audio sound is via the ARC.

So if your soundbar or AVR and TV supports Audio Return Channel then you can easily connect it to receive audio from the tuner or any other device connected to your TV.

And so not just any Roku streaming player, you can get audio from any streaming platform connected to your TV.

And with this configuration, you can even switch audio and video options between other devices.

Make similar arrangements as we did in the first method.

Step 1- Connect your HDMI cable’s free end to the input of your TV device.

Step 2- Next connect your ARC-supported TV with an HDMI cable.

Step 3- Then connect the free end of the High-Speed Premium cable to the AVR that is compatible with ARC.

Note- Both your TV and soundbar should support ARC.

Method 4- Check the Audio Source

If you cannot hear the sound, then check the audio source that is set in your TV. It is possible that you might not have the correct feature assigned in the audio output settings.

Follow the steps given below to check your audio source.

Step 1- Press the home button. And go to the Settings of your device.

Go to Roku settings

Step 2- Choose Audio and then HDMI. If you are using a Roku streaming player that comes with an optical connector then you will see the HDMI and S/PDIF option. Click on it.

Step 3- Now instead of selecting Auto detect, choose an option that is compatible with your TV set or the soundbar you are using, say Optical or Dolby D.

Roku surround sound audio feature

Step 4- If you have set the audio to optical, make sure that the soundbar or AVR that you are using also has “Optical” set as the audio source.

In some cases, it might be labeled as S/PDIF. So you can set the audio source file to that option.

Method 5- Change Channel’s Audio Setting

Some of the users have been facing the Roku 5.1 surround sound not working issue on some specific channels.

Netflix-like platforms support 5.1 content, but sometimes you cannot hear the stereo sound.

The Dolby Atmos 5.1 sound is not at all audible. And so in such a case, you can make the following changes.

Step 1- Go to the home screen of your device by pressing the Home button. Scroll down and open Settings.

Step 2- Then go to Audio> HDMI. You can then select the audio option according to your device.

Step 3- also if you are streaming an app like Netflix, then go to the Audio and Subtitles section. And choose English (5.1).

English (5.1) audio

This will set the audio of your device right and get it back to work.

Method 6- Change the Audio settings to Stereo

If one of the methods mentioned above does not work then you can try this method.

Step 1- Firstly disconnect all the cables. Wait for a few seconds, and then reconnect them.

Step 2- Then hit the home button to open the home screen on your Roku device.

Step 3- Open Settings by scrolling down on the screen.

Roku settings

Step 4- Choose Audio. And set the Audio mode option to Stereo.

Step 5- Similarly set the HDMI option to PCM- Stereo.

Roku PCM-Stereo setting

Now select any video and start streaming. Check the sound.


When you face any issue with surround sound audio output, the best way is to check the hardware.

So firstly check all the cables, soundbar, AVR, and your sound output device. Once you are sure that your device is powered on and connected properly, move to the settings section.

Make sure you have selected the correct sound input options.

Try all these methods and check which one works for you.

How is your experience with Roku till now? Are you facing other problems with the platform? Do let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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