Fix: Channel Surround Sound Not Working in Windows 11/10

The surround sound feature on windows 11 might not function properly for many reasons; it might be due to a faulty configuration of settings or a false driver installation. It might as well be a hardware issue. 

Channel Surround Sound is not working in Windows 11

Before jumping right into the solutions bit, we’ll look at the causes of this issue.

  • False Configuration- False configuration can be one of the reasons why you are facing issues using channel surround sound on your windows machine. It is pretty straightforward to fix if this is the problem.
  • Faulty Audio Codecs- Faulty audio codecs might also be the reason for facing this issue. A codec encodes or decodes audio; if the one installed on your computer is faulty, you could face such issues.
  • Outdated or corrupt audio driver-  This issue might be due to faulty drivers installed on your computer. It can be easily dealt with by installing updated audio drivers.
  • Disabled Audio Services- Several services work in the background for smooth end-to-end encryption and decryption of the audio. If any one of them is disabled, there is a possibility your experience might not be perfect.
  • Disabled Speaker Fill- Speaker fill is a sound enhancement feature enhancing spatial sensation. If disabled, it may lead to a quirky surround sound experience.
  • Incorrect Audio Format- Windows provides user’s with the feature to select audio formats and has various options covering a wide range of speakers. It is a good practice to configure the audio format to the correct format in correspondence with your speaker’s compatibility.

1. Verify Surround Sound Configurations

Before applying any solutions to fix the issue at hand. We’ll reconfigure and verify if your surround sound configurations are correct. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R key simultaneously to open the run dialog box, and in the search box, type mmsys.cpl

    Verifying surround sound configuration
  2. Inside the Playback menu, Select your speakers and click on Configure.

    Verifying surround sound confgurations
  3. In the speaker configuration window, Select 5.1 or 7.1 in conformity with your speaker’s capability.
    Verifying surround sound configurations
  4. Click Next, and after that, click on Finish.

Once the configurations are done, Try testing your speakers. If the error persists, continue to the next step

2. Use Windows Audio Troubleshooter

Windows come with an audio troubleshooter out of the box. This tool can help us identify common and known issues. These steps are valid for both windows 11 and 10, so Follow these straightforward steps :

  1. Tap on the Windows key on your keyboard to open the start menu.
  2. In the start menu, search box type Troubleshoot settings and open it.

    Run windows audio troubleshooter
  3. Click on Additional Troubleshooter.

    Run windows audio troubleshooter
  4. Click on the box with content Playing Audio and click on Run Troubleshooter

    Run windows audio troubleshooter
  5. A new windows popup will open, wait for a while until it finishes processing.
  6. Once done. Click on Close.

    Run windows audio troubleshooter

As shown in the image, it could not identify the problem; move on to the next step if the windows audio troubleshooter could not solve the issue.

3. Download HD audio codecs 

An audio codec can be a piece of software that encodes and decodes digital stream data in audio vocal form. It could possibly be the reason for us facing this error if it is faulty. Follow these steps to Download the HD audio codec :

  1. Open your sound card manufacturer’s website and hover to where you can download codecs; we have listed links to a couple of widely used sound card manufacturers.
    If you’re a Realtek sound card user, click here.
    If you’re an Asus user, click here
  2. Click on the highlighted download icon as shown in the image.
    Downloading HD audio codecs for Realtek
  3. Once Downloaded, Continue with the straightforward installation. 

Once installed, check if the problem has been solved. If it remains, continue to the next step.

4. Enable Speaker Fill

Users have reported enabling speaker fill to solve their problem with channel surround sound. It is quite straightforward and reportedly an effective fix to this problem. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run dialog box. In the search box type mmsys.cpl and hit the Enter key to open the sound dialog box.
    Enable speaker fill in speaker properties
  2. In the Playback tab click on Speakers and Properties or alternatively right-click on speakers and click on properties.
    Enable speaker fill in speaker properties
  3. In the speaker properties dialog box, Click on the Enhancements tab and uncheck the Disable all sound effects check box.
    Enable speaker fill in speaker properties
  4. Click Ok to apply settings.
  5. Reboot your computer so that the changes can take effect.

Retry using your speakers; if the problem exists, continue to the next step.

5. Change Audio Format

Windows allows users with authority to change the audio format, and reportedly changing the audio format to 24 Bit and 96000 Hz sound quality has helped users rectify the issue. Follow these straightforward steps to change the audio format: 

  1. Press the Windows + R key simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.
  2. In the Run dialog box search box, type mmsys.cpl. 
    Changing audio format
  3. Now, Click on Properties to open the sound properties dialog box.
    Changing audio format
  4. In the navigation menu located on top of the dialog box, click on Advanced.
    Changing audio format
  5. Inside of the dotted box with the heading Default format, click on the drop-down menu as shown in the image below.
    Changing audio format
  6. Select the 24 Bit, 96000 Hz (Studio Quality) option.
  7. Click on Ok to apply the settings.

Reboot your computer; if this configuration, unfortunately, did not do any good, continue to the next step.

6. Restart Audio Services

Restarting audio services might help us take care of this issue; follow these steps to restart audio services easily:

  1. Press the Windows key to open the start menu.
  2. In the Start menu search box type CMD and open it as an administrator.
    Restart audio services 
  3. Paste the following commands to restart audio services
    net stop Audiosrv
    net start Audiosrv
    net stop AudioEndpointBuilder
    net start AudioEndpointBuilder
    net stop RpcSs
    net start RpcSs
  4. Once all of the services have been restarted, Reboot your computer.

Try now; if the problem still continues, continue to the next step.

7. Enable the Mono audio feature

Enabling mono audio has been helpful to several users and is widely considered a fix to this issue. Follow these steps to enable mono audio:

  1. Press the Windows key to open the start menu.
  2. In the start menu, search bar type Settings and open it or alternatively press the Windows + I to open the settings.
  3. Click on Ease of access, and on the left side of your screen, select Audio.

    Enabling the mono audio feature on windows
  4. Toggle the Mono audio switch to on.
    Enabling the mono audio feature on windows

Try now; if the issue is yet to be rectified, continue to the next step.

8. Update Windows

There might be an issue with your current windows version; It is a good practice to keep your windows up-to-date. Follow these straightforward steps to install the latest windows update.

  1. Press the Windows key to open the start menu.
  2. In the start menu search bar, Type Check For Updates.
    Updating windows
  3. Click on Check for Updates.
    Updating windows
  4. Install any available recommended updates.

Once updated, Restart your computer and Retry using your speakers.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Channel Surround Sound Not Working in Windows 11/10

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