How to fix sound issues on HBO Max

One of the most frustrating things that can happen when watching a movie or TV show on HBO Max is when the audio stops working.

Sometimes, the sound cuts out, or you get no audio, but the video plays. So, what causes these problems, and how do you fix them?

There are many possible reasons why you are experiencing issues with sound on HBO Max. It could either be a hardware or software problem.

Therefore, you cannot jump to a conclusion without performing more troubleshooting steps. The fix could be a quick and straightforward remedy or a complete overhaul of your hardware, or HBO Max could have a system-wide issue affecting its services.

Why HBO Max has sound issues

The HBO Max sound quality is poor because of the following reasons:

  • You have muted the volume control in HBO Max.
  • Your HBO Max app could be outdated.
  • The HDMI cable you are using may be non-compliant.

Your device could also have an audio issue preventing you from hearing sound when playing an HBO Max video.

How to fix sound issues on HBO Max

You can fix the sound issue on HBO Max by troubleshooting the problem. Here are a few ways of doing it.

1. Restart your device

The first step in fixing any issues with HBO Max is to restart your device. That helps to clear memory and allow the HBO Max app or website to start afresh.

SEE ALSO:  How to activate HBO Max on Roku, AT&T, Amazon Prime

Therefore, unplug your streaming device from the power source, wait for at least 30 seconds, and plug it back. Then, open HBO Max and see whether it fixes the issue.

2. Check your device’s volume settings

The volume settings on your device may seem obvious. But it is something that you can easily overlook.

Therefore, adjust your volume and see whether you can hear sound from an HBO Max video.

3. Update your HBO Max app

An outdated HBO Max app can cause many issues, and sound problems are no exception. Therefore, open the app’s application store on your device and search for the HBO Max app.

If an update is available, choose update or download.

HBO Max app
Image by: Flickr/Focal Project

4. Change your audio format on Apple TV

Consider changing your audio format if you experience sound issues while using Apple TV.

Apple TV has various audio formats. However, the device automatically plays sounds of the highest quality supported by your home entertainment system setup.

But if your entertainment system does not automatically support the audio format detected, consider changing it.

For example, you can play Audio in Dolby Atmos if the surround sound is not working.

However, this is how to change it:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Video and Audio.
  • Select Audio Format.
  • Turn on Change Format.
  • Select Dolby Digital 5.1.

After selecting an option, try opening HBO Max and see whether it has fixed the issue.

5. How to fix HBO Max sound issues on Roku

You may experience poor sound quality when using your Roku device. In that case, you can troubleshoot the issue as follows:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll to Settings.
  • Select Audio.
  • Select Digital Audio Format.
  • Instead of Auto, choose Custom.

Ensure to select an option matching your device’s capabilities. If that does not work, continue as follows:

  • Check the volume level and mute settings on your television.
  • Set volume modes to OFF to get the surround sound format.
  • Connect the Roku player to a different input and see whether you can hear sound.
SEE ALSO:  How to cancel HBO subscription on Amazon Prime

You can also change the cable on your Roku device and see whether it works.

Earlier on, we explained how you can diagnose and fix sound issues on TCL Roku TVs. If you own one of these, it would be better if you went through the guide.

Roku logo

6. How to fix HBO Max sound issues on Xbox One

You can fix sound issues on Xbox One by changing the audio settings to Dolby Digital. Do the following:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Display & Sound.
  • Scrolls to the right and select HDMI audio.
  • Set HDMI audio to 5.1 uncompressed.
  • Select Bitstream Format.

At this point, you can set the format to Dolby Digital.

7. How to fix HBO Max sound issues on PS4

If you play HBO Max films or TV shows on PS4 and experience sound issues, consider the following:

  • Update PS4 to the current system software.
  • Connect your console directly to the TV HDMI port.
  • Remove all other audio devices to try and resolve sound issues.
  • Confirm that your TV is on the correct input.
  • Use a different HDMI cable.

You can also try using a different TV input and HDMI port and try again.

8. How to fix HBO Max sound issues on Fire Stick

If you experience sound issues on HBO Max while using your Fire Stick, try the following:

  • Restart your Fire Stick and try again.
  • Turn on your speakers.
  • Press the MUTE button and ensure it is OFF.
  • Switch the HDMI inputs to a different source.
  • Update your Fire Stick and try again.

You can also turn off Dolby sound on HBO Max on your Fire Stick by doing the following.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Display and Sounds.
  • Choose Audio.
  • Select Dolby Digital Output.
  • Turn Dolby Digital Plus OFF.
SEE ALSO:  How to fix connection issues on HBO Max

If that does not work, change the audio format to Stereo.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select Display and Sounds.
  • Choose Audio.
  • Select Surround Sound.
  • Choose Stereo.

The option will allow you to choose the stereo sound option, which is compatible with many devices, unlike Dolby Digital Plus.

Amazon Fire TV stick with remote

9. Turn off Bluetooth

If you turn Bluetooth on, the device might send Audio to a different Bluetooth device.

Therefore, turn off Bluetooth to see whether you will get audio.

10. How to fix HDCP error

Sometimes, you will see an HDCP error when playing HBO Max videos. You will have to bypass your stereo or receiver equipment when that happens by connecting your streaming device directly to your TV.

Generally, HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. It is a system that protects digital content from duplication.

Your devices must be HDCP 2.1+ compliant to stream HBO Max. But if it is not compliant, the HDCP error occurs. To fix it:

  • Unplug your streaming media player from the power source.
  • Wait for 30 seconds and plug it back in.
  • Open HBO Max and try playing a video.

If that does not work, try the following:

  • Disconnect and reconnect the two ends of the HDMI cable.
  • Use a different HDMI 2.0+ cable and try again.
  • Reverse the two ends of the HDMI cable.

You can also use another HDMI port on your TV.

Learn how to fix the HDCP issue on Roku devices. These solutions will not only restore audio but also problems with videos.

11. Switch audio tracks on HBO Max

Some TV shows and movies on HBO Max have many audio tracks. If the sound quality is poor, go to the HBO Max audio settings and switch audio tracks.

  • Play a video on HBO Max.
  • As the video plays, tap the screen.
  • Tap on the Audio and Subtitles icon in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  • Under Audio, select your preferred language.
  • Select Audio Description.
  • Tap on X to close.


When you have sound issues on HBO Max, the cause could be a software glitch or hardware problem. Therefore, you must follow the proper troubleshooting steps to find a solution.

You can also try different things by restarting your device, checking your volume settings, and updating your HBO Max app.

If that does not work, change your audio format, switch audio tracks in HBO Max, or use a different HDMI cable.

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About the Author
Walter Allen
Streaming Media expert and technology writer. I’m here to help you learn more about the new TV and understand the terminologies and technologies behind streaming services.

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