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Surround Sound... Muffled Center Channel

Frequent Visitor

Surround Sound... Muffled Center Channel

I have an X1 DVR in which everything seems to be working except for one minor detail.

The audio connection from the X1 box to my Sony surround sound system is via an optical cable.  When listening to programming in surround sound, all the channels seem to be there (I can definitely hear the back speakers have different audio going to them, indicating the X1 box is not set to "stereo")- but the center channel sounds muffled.  It sent me looking for loose wires to the center speaker- but all was OK.  Additionally, it sounds like the center channel is "cutting in and out" - suddenly it gets clear again, then gets muffled later.

When I pop a blue-ray disk into the surround system, the center channel is fine.  When I do a system diagnostic with it's built in microphone, the center speaker is fine.

The X1 box is set to surround sound.

This also happens when I watch a movie on Netflix through the X1 box... same problem.

The surround sound system indicates the signal is 5.1 Dolby the whole time.

Thoughts?

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Surround Sound... Muffled Center Channel

It's highly unlikely the problem is the X1 box. But not impossible.

Swap the optical cable. If that doesn't help swap the box.

 


Anon19914 wrote:

I have an X1 DVR in which everything seems to be working except for one minor detail.

The audio connection from the X1 box to my Sony surround sound system is via an optical cable.  When listening to programming in surround sound, all the channels seem to be there (I can definitely hear the back speakers have different audio going to them, indicating the X1 box is not set to "stereo")- but the center channel sounds muffled.  It sent me looking for loose wires to the center speaker- but all was OK.  Additionally, it sounds like the center channel is "cutting in and out" - suddenly it gets clear again, then gets muffled later.

When I pop a blue-ray disk into the surround system, the center channel is fine.  When I do a system diagnostic with it's built in microphone, the center speaker is fine.

The X1 box is set to surround sound.

This also happens when I watch a movie on Netflix through the X1 box... same problem.

The surround sound system indicates the signal is 5.1 Dolby the whole time.

Thoughts?


 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Surround Sound... Muffled Center Channel

Is there such thing as an updated Dolby 5.1 version?  That's almost what it sounds like to me- like the surround sound system is having trouble with the encoding.  Has the standard changed in the last, I dunno, ten years?  I believe this surround sound system is from 2009.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: Surround Sound... Muffled Center Channel

Dolby Digital 5.1 is pretty much the same thing it always has been... I am 98% sure it is still the AC-3 code that it has always been.

 

That being said, any receiver from 2009 is really out of date (especially if you have any interest in 4K). You might want to consider a new receiver with HDMI connectivity. They start at under $300.

 


Anon19914 wrote:

Is there such thing as an updated Dolby 5.1 version?  That's almost what it sounds like to me- like the surround sound system is having trouble with the encoding.  Has the standard changed in the last, I dunno, ten years?  I believe this surround sound system is from 2009.


 

Frequent Visitor

Re: Surround Sound... Muffled Center Channel

I hear ya... not in the cards right now.  I have no interest in 4K TV at the moment, the system I have does have HDMI connectivity, and also has wireless back speakers which was important at the time... No, still gonna stay with this system for awhile longer.  I will upgrade in the future... next condo.  It sounds great, does everything I need it to do, minus this one minor issue.  Blue-Ray movies are spectacular and serving as my stereo for music is equally great.

Frequent Visitor

Re: Surround Sound... Muffled Center Channel

HA!  I hate myself.  Swapped the optical cable- solved the problem... except it didn't!!!!  Moved the equipment rack so I could get really good access to the wiring... found the loose connector to the center channel speaker.... MYSTERY SOLVED.  Evidently, while I was messing with the optical cable, I was stressing the center channel wire.  I reassembled the connector and all is working.  Drove me nuts.

Oh well, live and learn.