Onkyo Center Speaker is Not Working [Troubleshoot Steps]

Onkyo receivers have started to grow into an infamous name over the year. Whether it’s the speakers or the receivers, you’ll somehow fall into an issue that will hamper your listening experience to the point that you need to proceed to a fix. Like when your center speaker starts to stop working or gives off an extremely low volume. This is more often than the issue from the receiver’s end, where there could be lousy cable management, wrong settings, voltage drops, relay issues, and many other problems that we will be discussing today. 

Who knows, you could even own a center speaker, which is dead. 

Why is the Onkyo Center speaker not working? 

Why is the Onkyo Center speaker not working

Onkyo, over the years, has had many complaints regarding their poor build quality and products starting to expire before their required usage. If your center speaker is not working, then it is more often than not that something is wrong with your Onkyo Reciever. Maybe it could require something as simple as a reset, or it could require something as complicated as disassembling your receiver. 

And, for other instances, it could be because your wire has become faulty or you need to change the speaker relays. Let us now go through all the troubleshooting measures to find out the reasons and how to solve them. 

Tool Required: 

  1. Halogen Bulb
  2. Soldering Iron Kit
  3. Solder Wire
  4. Screwdriver 
  5. RCA Cables
  6. Liquid Solder Fix

Troubleshooting Ways to Solve Onkyo Center Speaker Is Not Working:

Onkyo center speaker is not working

I’ll now discuss a few techniques to identify and solve the reasons behind your center speaker not working. The reasons are based on what I have done practically, and the others are based on what I have researched. 

1. Settings Issue

Your settings can easily get changed mistakenly or automatically based on the output you desire. So, before jumping into complex solutions, it is better if you go through the settings. Who knows, even something as simple as a reset can fix your problem.

Troubleshooting steps: 

  1. Go to the advanced settings of your receiver and make sure in the speaker configuration, the central channel setting is not set to any. Set it in accordance with your required Hertz. 
  2. Make sure you have stereo surround sound enabled in your speakers. There’s a chance it could only be Mono enabled. If it’s mono, then obviously, you won’t be getting any surround sound. Set up Dolby Sound or other sound modes based on your device. 
  3. To reset your receiver, hold the VCR and DVR buttons together along with the power button. After the screen in the receiver show clear release, then turn it on again. 

2. Use of right cables to identify

It could come down to something as simple as using faulty cables. Use the cable of the Right or Left channel speakers for the central one and the central one for the right or left channels. If you see that the Central speaker is working after using the cable of the other channel speakers, then that is the cue that the cables are faulty, and you may require new ones. 

3. Sound settings in Windows PC

Often your Operating System can be the culprit behind your bad listening experience. You could have a different sound setup, and your pc could recognize that your setup is 2.1 whereas your setup actually is 5.1, or your center speaker is disabled. 

Troubleshooting Measures: 

  1. First and foremost, open up your audio manager from the control panel. If you can’t find the audio manager, then just plug it out and then plug in the 3.5mm jack of the speakers. Then the audio manager (Most likely RealTek Audio manager) will pop up. 
  2. After the audio manager pops then, it will show you the setup. If your setup is 5.1, then put it in the speaker configuration.
  3. Tick the things that are related to your setup and the central speaker. I.e., speaker fills and surround speakers.
  4. Go to the control panel and click on the sounds. In playback, make sure that your desired speaker is enabled. If it’s disabled and not showing, then right-click on a blank portion and click on disabled devices. You may see that your speaker is disabled, enable your central and you are good to go. 

4. DSP Chip Issue

This issue can come if your receiver is showing that it cannot detect any speakers. This is most likely a DSP chip issue where the solder connections are broken. For this procedure, you will need liquid rosin, solder wires, and a light bulb (halogen)

Troubleshooting Steps: 

  1. Get the liquid solder flux and rub it around the chip so that it goes underneath the board, which would it have proper flowing.
  2. Then put some solder wire after the chip gets heated up. 
  3. Take your halogen light and place it above the chip so that the soldering iron gets molten.
  4. Leave it for around an hour so that it gets perfectly heated and then it should show all of your speaker channels. 

Note: Doing this step will most likely kill your warranty. So, be aware before proceeding. 

5. Voltage issue

Often when receivers detect bad voltages, its simply shuts down that particular sound channel. It is most likely because the output transistors can get the exact readings of the voltages since it has become broken.

Your receiver’s receivers circuit board has detected this problem and has gone into protect mode so that no harm happens to the speaker or the receiver. 

6. Speaker relays swapping

This is another complicated one to identify. You may also require to disassemble your receiver and speakers for this as you need to locate the speaker relays.

Troubleshooting measures: 

Carefully take apart using proper utilities, then locate the relays. To test if the relays are working or not, take any of the right or left speaker relays and use them on the center speaker section. And, for the center speaker’s relay, place it on another channel.

If you see that the channel speaker relay is not working on the left speaker whereas the left/right speaker relax whichever you have used is working, then a change in the speaker relays will surely get your issue solved. 

In this phase, try to get the capacitors replaced if you find any that look faulty or rusty. It will eventually affect your sound experience. 

7. HDMI Passthrough Issue

Lastly, the issue can also come through your HDMI passthrough. The signal is not going to the central speakers. It could be because HDMI cables are not modern enough to sustain the new technology, or it is just faulty, or because of old age, the receiver DTS chip requires some personal maintenance. If you would like to know more about your HDMI Passthrough audio issue

Do You Need Technician or Expert helps?

Important: Key things to remember before proceeding with this issue. 

Troubleshooting Steps What can you do to identify and solve why your Onkyo Center speaker is not working
  • Some of these issues may be exclusive to Onkyo, but if you have a receiver that is a different brand, then you may still apply these solutions. But, try to do things having a conscious mind as components and settings will obviously differ. 
  • For the DSP chip, if it isn’t BGA, then you can use a soldering iron. If it is a BGA chip, then just adding heat will fix things for you. 
  • If you have a warranty on your product, then it is better if you place it for fix other than doing it all by yourself. Who knows if your product gets discontinued and if it is actually busted, then you can get a brand new one as a replacement. Also, bear in mind some of the things will actually make your warranty void. 
  • If you have gotten a receiver from 2009 to 2012, then those Onkyo receivers have bad chips. Onkyo itself has recognized this issue and has created a customer care program just for this specific issue. You require to verify your product through their customer care program. For further info, click here.
  • Some of these issues are related to not just your center speaker problem but will also fix other departments of your speakers and receivers. Your rear speakers may not work or your cables are faulty, or your HDMI passthrough is not letting you watch videos. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a DSP chip do? 

DSP is a chip that prioritizes on the numbers for the audio device. It does all the addition and subtraction for the speaker to produce the best possible sound. A good DSP has the ability to improve your sound quality by adjusting the frequencies. 

To Summarize! 

Thus, I hope the explanations I have done for you have been worth your time. If you are someone who honestly is not that handsy with your devices, then I recommend letting the DSP chip issue be done through a professional. Also, before you deep dive into all the complex solutions. Going through the basics should be a must. Like, such as factory resetting your receiver, setting the digital input signal into Auto, or interchanging the cables. You may also require a change as Onkyo products have deteriorated lately. Just make a conscious effort when going through all these steps.

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