If you can't hear sounds clearly, try this quick fix

Netflix is ​​still the most popular streaming service on the planet, but despite its ubiquity, the service still suffers from its fair share of technical issues. One notable issue relates to the sound quality of movies and TV shows on the Netflix app. If you ever feel like you can't hear actors' voices clearly, it may be due to a problem with Netflix and not your TV.

In 2023, Tech Radar I've published a helpful guide for Netflix subscribers who are experiencing sound quality issues on their TVs. As the post pointed out at the time, Netflix strangely defaults to 5.1 surround sound for some users even if they're not using a surround sound system.

If you're having any trouble hearing content on Netflix while watching on a TV without a speaker or fancy surround sound system, this could be the problem.

It's unclear how common this issue is or exactly why it occurs, but there have been numerous social media posts, Reddit threads, and news articles about this topic over the years. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution, but the bad news is that it is not permanent.

Here's what you can do to turn off surround sound when streaming on Netflix:

  1. Open the Netflix app on your TV.
  2. Start playing any movie or show.
  3. Immediately pause the content and use the remote to navigate to the “Other…” button at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Scroll down to the 'Audio' options and choose 'English'. [Original]”
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When I opened Netflix on my Hisense TV while writing this article, I was surprised to see that my app was defaulted to “English.” [Original] (5.1)” sound setting when I load a movie. My TV has built-in speakers for a flat screen TV, but I don't have anything else connected to the TV to get the sound. However, 5.1 was the default.

We can't guarantee that this will make a difference, but it's definitely worth a try.

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