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How to Fix Bluetooth Sound Cuts Out on Home Theater

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
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Introduction

Sometimes, problems can occur with the Bluetooth connection to your surround sound system. Your sound might appear to be cutting out or skipping. You might even hear dead spots where there's no sound at all.

This guide will walk you through checking range, restarts, closing applications, and re-pairing your devices to get everything working properly again.

Bluetooth connection between phone and speakers

1 Check Bluetooth Range Between Home Theater

The device needs to be within a reasonable range in order to connect.

  • In general, to pair and use a Bluetooth device, the device needs to be within 10 feet of your home theater.
  • Some medium and higher-power devices can be farther, up to about 30 feet, but this tends to be for larger devices that plug in or have very large batteries, such as a computer, media streaming device, or a plug-in speaker system.
    30 feet in between a home theater and bluetooth icon

Try moving the Bluetooth device closer if you have trouble.

If Not In Range

If possible, move the device you wish to stream from closer to your home theater.

If this is not possible, Bluetooth streaming may not be the technology you wish to use. Check to see if your home theater or surround sound system provides support for DLNA or Miracast streaming, possibly through your Smart TV, instead.

2 Close Unused Applications

Bluetooth transmission can be affected by too many applications are running at the same time on the connected device. Closing applications that you are not using will prevent a slowing down of the Bluetooth transmission.
Google AndroidAndroid
  1. Tap Recent Apps at the bottom of the screen.
    Home screen with the Recent Apps button highlighted.

    The Recent Apps button may be located on either the bottom left or bottom right as either an onscreen button or a physical button. If you're unsure which button it is, please refer to the user manual of your android device.

  2. Either tap the X or swipe to the side to close an app.
    Recent Apps screen with arrows indicating to swipe to the right on an app to close it.
AppleiPhone or iPad

The way to show all running apps on an iOS device varies with the model you have:

  • Older iOS devices, up to the iPhone X, still come equipped with a circular home button beneath the screen.
  • Newer iOS devices, beginning with the iPhone X, no longer come equipped with the circular home button beneath the screen.

On iOS Devices with a Home Button

  1. Double-press the Home button quickly.
    Home button highlighted on iOS device.

On iOS Devices Without a Home Button

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
    Arrow showing slide direction on iOS screen.
  1. You will now see a list of apps that are currently open. Swipe up on any of the apps to close them.
    Recent programs screen with arrows indicating to swipe up on an app
The Windows logoA Windows PCClosing Unused programs will give your computer more resources to use elsewhere.
  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time.
    keyboard with control, alternate, and delete keys highlighted
  2. Choose Task Manager from the screen that comes up.
    Lock screen showing task manager highlighted
  3. You will see a list of programs that are open. Choose a program you are not using, and click on End Task. Repeat as needed.
    Task manager with a program and end task highlighted. Screenshot
ApplemacOSWhen you hit the red circle to close a window, the program may still run in the background. If you run too many applications at the same time you can have issues where you run out of memory, or an open program is using a good chunk of your CPU, and decrease battery life.

There are 2 ways to close a program on your Mac. The first way is preferred.

Quit A Program Normally

  1. Look at the Dock, the bar with the icons, usually at the bottom of your screen.
    Mac Dock with running items highlighted.
    • Items that are running have a small black dot below them. Select that item to bring that App to the forefront.

Finder, the first icon on the bar, will always be running, and can be ignored.

  1. Select the name of the program from the menu bar at the top, then choose Quit.
    App menu with Quit highlighted.

Force Quit a Program

  1. Select the Apple menu, then select Force Quit.
    Apple menu with Force Quit highlighted.
  2. Select the program you are having problems closing, then select Force Quit.
    Force Quit window with app and Force Quit button highlighted.
  3. You will be prompted to confirm, select Force Quit.
    Force Quit dialog with Force Quit button highlighted.
  • Any unsaved work will be lost from a program that you Force Quit.
  • You can not close the Finder application.

3 Restart Home Theater and Bluetooth Connected Devices

  1. Let's restart your Home Theater Receiver and TV.

    On Your Home Theater

    1. Select the Power Button on your receiver's remote to turn it off.
      Closeup of remote control with power button
    2. Wait 15 seconds.
    3. Select the Power Button again to turn it back on.

    On Your TV

    1. Select the Power Button on your TV's remote to turn it off.
      Closeup of remote control with power button
    2. Wait 15 seconds.
    3. Select the Power Button again to turn it back on.
  2. Now let's restart the device you're using to send the Bluetooth audio.
    The Windows logoA Windows PC
    Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
    1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
      Windows 10 Start Menu
      Windows 10 Power Button
    2. Select Restart.
      Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
    AppleA Mac
    1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
      macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
    Google AndroidAndroid
    1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

      Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

    2. A prompt will appear on screen. Select Restart.
      Power prompt with Restart highlighted.
    If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
    • If you had to shut down your Android device, wait 30 seconds before turning your device back on.
    AppleiPhone or iPad

    To restart your device:

    iOS devices with side buttons pointed out

    Restart your iPhone X

    1. Press and hold the Side button and either volume button until the slider appears.
    2. Drag the slider to turn your iPhone X completely off.
    3. After your iPhone X turns off, press and hold the Side button again until you see the Apple logo.

    Restart your iPhone 8 or earlier, iPad, or iPod touch

    1. Press and hold the Top (or Side) button until the slider appears.
    2. Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.
    3. After the device turns off, press and hold the Top (or Side) button again until you see the Apple logo.

    With iOS 11 or later, you can also turn off your device by going to Settings, then General, then Shut Down.

4 Test Bluetooth Audio on Home Theater

Now that you've restarted your devices, let's test them and see if your problem is solved.
  1. Make sure Bluetooth is selected on your receiver.
    Onkyo remote showing the bluetooth button
  2. Open the app or program you want to play sound from on your computer or mobile device.
  3. Select some media you want to play, then select Play.
    screenshot of android music player
  4. If you're still not getting proper audio, let's try re-pairing the devices.

5 Forget and Re-pair the Bluetooth Device

If you're still having issues with your Bluetooth audio even after restarting the devices, let's go ahead and "forget" them and re-pair them to your Home Theater. Forgetting the devices will erase any settings you have saved and may fix any issues you're experiencing.

Forget or Remove the Bluetooth Device

There are many home theaters and related devices. Depending on the manufacturer and model receiver your have within your setup, your home theater may have different steps.

  1. Access Settings.
    Fire TV menu with Settings selected. Screenshot.
  2. Then select Controllers & Bluetooth Devices.
    Controllers and Bluetooth Devices selected. Screenshot.
  3. Select Other Bluetooth Devices.
    Controllers and Bluetooth Devices menu with Other Bluetooth Devices selected. Screenshot.
  4. Select the device that's having the connection issue.
    Add Bluetooth Devices menu with example device selected. Screenshot.
  5. Press the Menu button on your remote to unpair it.
    Fire TV remote control with Menu button highlighted. Screenshot.

6 If It Still Doesn't Work

Please contact the product manufacturer for further assistance.

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Sometimes, problems can occur with the Bluetooth connection to your surround sound system. Your sound might appear to be cutting out or skipping. You might even hear dead spots where there's no sound at all.

This guide will walk you through checking range, restarts, closing applications, and re-pairing your devices to get everything working properly again.

Bluetooth connection between phone and speakers

The device needs to be within a reasonable range in order to connect.

  • In general, to pair and use a Bluetooth device, the device needs to be within 10 feet of your home theater.
  • Some medium and higher-power devices can be farther, up to about 30 feet, but this tends to be for larger devices that plug in or have very large batteries, such as a computer, media streaming device, or a plug-in speaker system.
    30 feet in between a home theater and bluetooth icon

Try moving the Bluetooth device closer if you have trouble.

If Not In Range

If possible, move the device you wish to stream from closer to your home theater.

If this is not possible, Bluetooth streaming may not be the technology you wish to use. Check to see if your home theater or surround sound system provides support for DLNA or Miracast streaming, possibly through your Smart TV, instead.

Bluetooth transmission can be affected by too many applications are running at the same time on the connected device. Closing applications that you are not using will prevent a slowing down of the Bluetooth transmission.
Google AndroidAndroid
  1. Tap Recent Apps at the bottom of the screen.
    Home screen with the Recent Apps button highlighted.

    The Recent Apps button may be located on either the bottom left or bottom right as either an onscreen button or a physical button. If you're unsure which button it is, please refer to the user manual of your android device.

  2. Either tap the X or swipe to the side to close an app.
    Recent Apps screen with arrows indicating to swipe to the right on an app to close it.
AppleiPhone or iPad

The way to show all running apps on an iOS device varies with the model you have:

  • Older iOS devices, up to the iPhone X, still come equipped with a circular home button beneath the screen.
  • Newer iOS devices, beginning with the iPhone X, no longer come equipped with the circular home button beneath the screen.

On iOS Devices with a Home Button

  1. Double-press the Home button quickly.
    Home button highlighted on iOS device.

On iOS Devices Without a Home Button

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
    Arrow showing slide direction on iOS screen.
  1. You will now see a list of apps that are currently open. Swipe up on any of the apps to close them.
    Recent programs screen with arrows indicating to swipe up on an app
The Windows logoA Windows PCClosing Unused programs will give your computer more resources to use elsewhere.
  1. Press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys on your keyboard at the same time.
    keyboard with control, alternate, and delete keys highlighted
  2. Choose Task Manager from the screen that comes up.
    Lock screen showing task manager highlighted
  3. You will see a list of programs that are open. Choose a program you are not using, and click on End Task. Repeat as needed.
    Task manager with a program and end task highlighted. Screenshot
ApplemacOSWhen you hit the red circle to close a window, the program may still run in the background. If you run too many applications at the same time you can have issues where you run out of memory, or an open program is using a good chunk of your CPU, and decrease battery life.

There are 2 ways to close a program on your Mac. The first way is preferred.

Quit A Program Normally

  1. Look at the Dock, the bar with the icons, usually at the bottom of your screen.
    Mac Dock with running items highlighted.
    • Items that are running have a small black dot below them. Select that item to bring that App to the forefront.

Finder, the first icon on the bar, will always be running, and can be ignored.

  1. Select the name of the program from the menu bar at the top, then choose Quit.
    App menu with Quit highlighted.

Force Quit a Program

  1. Select the Apple menu, then select Force Quit.
    Apple menu with Force Quit highlighted.
  2. Select the program you are having problems closing, then select Force Quit.
    Force Quit window with app and Force Quit button highlighted.
  3. You will be prompted to confirm, select Force Quit.
    Force Quit dialog with Force Quit button highlighted.
  • Any unsaved work will be lost from a program that you Force Quit.
  • You can not close the Finder application.
  1. Let's restart your Home Theater Receiver and TV.

    On Your Home Theater

    1. Select the Power Button on your receiver's remote to turn it off.
      Closeup of remote control with power button
    2. Wait 15 seconds.
    3. Select the Power Button again to turn it back on.

    On Your TV

    1. Select the Power Button on your TV's remote to turn it off.
      Closeup of remote control with power button
    2. Wait 15 seconds.
    3. Select the Power Button again to turn it back on.
  2. Now let's restart the device you're using to send the Bluetooth audio.
    The Windows logoA Windows PC
    Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
    1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
      Windows 10 Start Menu
      Windows 10 Power Button
    2. Select Restart.
      Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
    AppleA Mac
    1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
      macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
    Google AndroidAndroid
    1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

      Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

    2. A prompt will appear on screen. Select Restart.
      Power prompt with Restart highlighted.
    If the menu does not pop up, continue to hold the power button, and your Android device will shut off.
    • If you had to shut down your Android device, wait 30 seconds before turning your device back on.
    AppleiPhone or iPad

    To restart your device:

    iOS devices with side buttons pointed out

    Restart your iPhone X

    1. Press and hold the Side button and either volume button until the slider appears.
    2. Drag the slider to turn your iPhone X completely off.
    3. After your iPhone X turns off, press and hold the Side button again until you see the Apple logo.

    Restart your iPhone 8 or earlier, iPad, or iPod touch

    1. Press and hold the Top (or Side) button until the slider appears.
    2. Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.
    3. After the device turns off, press and hold the Top (or Side) button again until you see the Apple logo.

    With iOS 11 or later, you can also turn off your device by going to Settings, then General, then Shut Down.

Now that you've restarted your devices, let's test them and see if your problem is solved.
  1. Make sure Bluetooth is selected on your receiver.
    Onkyo remote showing the bluetooth button
  2. Open the app or program you want to play sound from on your computer or mobile device.
  3. Select some media you want to play, then select Play.
    screenshot of android music player
  4. If you're still not getting proper audio, let's try re-pairing the devices.
If you're still having issues with your Bluetooth audio even after restarting the devices, let's go ahead and "forget" them and re-pair them to your Home Theater. Forgetting the devices will erase any settings you have saved and may fix any issues you're experiencing.

Forget or Remove the Bluetooth Device

There are many home theaters and related devices. Depending on the manufacturer and model receiver your have within your setup, your home theater may have different steps.

  1. Access Settings.
    Fire TV menu with Settings selected. Screenshot.
  2. Then select Controllers & Bluetooth Devices.
    Controllers and Bluetooth Devices selected. Screenshot.
  3. Select Other Bluetooth Devices.
    Controllers and Bluetooth Devices menu with Other Bluetooth Devices selected. Screenshot.
  4. Select the device that's having the connection issue.
    Add Bluetooth Devices menu with example device selected. Screenshot.
  5. Press the Menu button on your remote to unpair it.
    Fire TV remote control with Menu button highlighted. Screenshot.