The left or right channel of the speaker does not work? Follow these steps!

There is a practical strategy to stick to when dealing with stereo or multi-channel systems. The following steps can help you quickly isolate operational problems and pinpoint the specific component and/or area where the problem starts.

Troubleshooting speaker channel

  1. Check if the speaker channel does not work with all sources.
    • If a speaker channel does not play regardless of input, you can narrow down the source of the problem to a speaker problem (you can skip to step three, but return here if no solution found).
    • For example, if the problem exists only with DVDs and not with any other source, such as a radio or CD player, then it’s possible that the DVD player or the cable connecting it to the receiver or amplifier is bad. Replace that cable with a new one (or one that you have confirmed to be working before testing it to see if it solves the problem)
    • Remember to check that the balance control is centered and that the volume is loud enough to be heard. If the problem persists, continue with step two.
  2. Make sure the hardware is not defective.
    • Electronics can malfunction or die at any time, often with little or no warning. If replacing the cable in the previous step didn’t fix things, then the problem could be the source itself.
    • Replace the source product with one of the same type, connecting it to the original receiver or amplifier and speakers. Make sure the temporary replacement is functional and problem free. If the retest shows that all speaker channels are now playing as they should, then you know it’s not the speaker, but time to look for a new device.
    • Otherwise, if a channel still doesn’t work, continue with step three.
  3. Switch left and right channel speakers.
    • This is a quick and easy way to check if a speaker is really bad or not.
    • For example, let’s say the right channel doesn’t work when connected to the right speaker, but the left channel works fine when connected to the left speaker. After swapping them, putting the left speaker on the right channel and vice versa, if the left channel suddenly doesn’t work when connected to the right speaker, then you know the problem is with the right speaker itself.
    • If, after swapping, the left channel works with the right channel speaker, then the problem is not with the speaker. It has to do with something else in the stereo system, be it the speaker cables and/or the receiver or amplifier.
    • Continue with step four.
    • Note: Always turn off all units before removing or replacing speaker wires or cables.
  4. Work backwards to check for breaks or broken connections.
  • Starting at the speaker and moving to the receiver or amplifier, thoroughly check the entire length of the cable for breaks or broken connections. It doesn’t take much force to cause permanent damage to most cables.
  • If there are splices, make sure the splice maintains a proper and secure connection. If anything seems questionable or you’re not sure, replace the speaker cable and recheck the entire system. Make sure all cables are securely connected to the terminals on the back of the receiver/amplifier and the speaker. Check that there are no frayed ends touching any metal parts; even a single loose thread can cause problems.
  • If the speaker cable is OK, but the channel in question still doesn’t work, then the problem probably exists within the receiver or amplifier. It may be defective, so check with the product manufacturer for warranty and/or repair options.