Denon Surround Sound Speakers Not Working (Fixes)

Norvan Martin
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If your surround sound speakers are not working while using a Denon receiver, this can be due to a wide variety of problems. However, you can easily find the issue if you take a systematic approach. In this guide, we will show you how to find precisely where the problem is coming from and how to fix it.

The best way to find the source of a problem is to break things down into small portions and take one step at a time. This can be tricky because there are several reasons why your surround sound system is not working properly. However, with this guide, we will be approaching the problem step by step. 

First, choose the relevant section in the article depending on if:

  • Your Denon Surround Sound Is Not Working at All
  • Your Denon Surround Back Speakers are Not Working
  • Your Denon Center Speakers are Not Working

Choose the relevant section and then read on to find the source of your issue.

Denon Surround Sound Not Working at All

There are many possible reasons for no sound coming from your surround speakers. Although this is a very significant problem, the solution might be something pretty simple. Here are some steps you can take to fix the problem.

  • Check That the Amp is Working

Sometimes the problem can be from your amp. Check that the amp is connected properly. Ensure none of the cables are cut or inserted in the wrong ports. Also, check that the fuse is not blown. 

  • Perform a Sound Test on each Speaker

Denon AV receivers let you play a test tone signal to each speaker. You can find this option in the audio setup menu. With this test, you can easily check if there is a fundamental issue. If there are no faulty speakers in your setup, try the next step to check if the problem is with the audio source.

  • Try Different Audio Sources

The audio source can also cause issues with playback. Try other sources like DVD players or game consoles. You can also connect the device to a new input. If the problem is with a single source, you can troubleshoot that device alone.

  • Ensure That the Correct Input Source is Selected on the Amp

If you’re playing audio from your TV, check that it’s the one hooked to your amp and not your DVD player. Also, ensure that the correct audio input source is chosen on your amplifier.

Denon Surround Back Speakers Not Working

If the problem only affects the back speakers, your job will be much easier. The problem will most likely be caused by codec incompatibility. First, you should check that the rear speakers are not faulty.

Hook them up using the connection ports and cables for the front speakers. If they work correctly, you can proceed to find other problem sources. If they don’t, you might need to get a new speaker or visit a repair shop.

Here are other things you can do to get the rear speakers up and running.

  • Ensure That You’re Playing a 5.1 Soundtrack

If your stereo audio is not a proper 5.1 soundtrack, you may only get stereo audio from the front speakers. You need to test the speakers with a proper 5.1 soundtrack.

  • Run Auto-Setup on the AV Receiver

Your AV receiver can set up the speaker automatically so that the proper signal channel is sent to each speaker. Indicate on the AV receiver that you have all your surround speakers connected.

Without this step, the surround sound system won’t work properly. This is also useful if you just installed your rear speakers.

  • Increase the Rear Speakers’ Output Volume

If the volumes on the rear speakers are lower than the other speakers, their output will be masked by the louder speakers. So, check that they are at the correct volume.

  • Check the Wiring

This is a major reason your rear speakers might be left out of the action. Faulty cables will not supply the correct signals and power to the speakers. The result? They won’t work correctly, or they won’t work at all.

Denon Center Speakers Not Working?

The tips here are similar to those for the rear speakers. However, there are some key differences between them because the center speakers play audio from a different channel. As before, ensure that your speakers are properly connected and not faulty. Here are some troubleshooting tips to get your center speakers working again.

  • Ensure that the Audio is Surround

Your Denon surround sound system will usually play a stereo soundtrack on the front left and right speakers by default. Play a 5.1 Surround content and check if your center speakers now work.

  • Upmix the Audio

Should you wish to listen to stereo content in surround mode, you need to upmix the audio. Modern AV receivers usually have DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround Sound modes which will do this.

Older models may have DTS Neo:6 or an iteration of Dolby Pro Logic that serves the same purpose. Enable these settings on your AVR to upmix the stereo content.

  • Run Automatic Setup on the AVR

Most AVRs have an auto-test mode to check if each speaker is connected correctly. The AVR will usually send a test tone to each speaker. If you get sound from the center speakers, then the configuration and wiring are not the issue; you need to look elsewhere. 

  • Try Increasing the Volume

In the audio menu for your amp, you can control the sound level for each Denon speaker. Increase the volume level by a few decibels until you’re satisfied.

General Fixes for Your Denon Surround Sound

The following are steps to fix major issues with your Denon Surround Sound system.

  • Connect the Speakers Correctly

First, ensure that your Denon AVR is connected to the speakers. Depending on the Denon model you have, there are two types of connections:

  • Banana Plug or Spring Clips: This is found in low-end Denon speakers. To connect, peel the 10mm wire and press the clips. Insert the bare wire into the correct ports and release the clips—black clips are negative and colored are positive.
  • 5-Way Binding Posts: This is found in higher-end devices and is harder to install. Press the exposed spring clip and insert the wires into the ports. There are positive and negative symbols on the wires to guide you to the correct ports.
  • Enable Surround Sound on Your AVR

If your AVR is compatible with HEOS, you can easily configure Surround Sound. Open the HEOS app and go to Settings. Select your AVR under My Devices. Now, click on Speakers, select the Surround Sound menu, and click Enable.

You can select Multi-Channel Stereo under Music Playback if your device is incompatible with HEOS.

  • Change the Sound Mode

You can also change sound modes directly through your receiver. Click the home button and navigate to Auto. This will adjust the sound mode automatically.


Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to get your surround sound setup working perfectly again. The fixes in this guide require no technical knowledge or experience. Some of the fixes can even be found in your devices’ settings. If you still can’t fix the components of your audio setup, you might need to contact Denon support.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin