My Denon Receiver is Making My Speakers Hiss – How Do I Fix It?
It doesn’t happen often, but you’ve noticed an issue with your Denon receiver. When you turn it up, you’re noticing a hiss. Maybe you’ve done some more investigations. It’s only when you have it near reference volume and seems to be coming from the tweeters. The upside is that it is not very loud. You can only hear it when there is really nothing else coming through the speakers. The downside is that it is happening and it is driving you crazy! How do you fix a hiss coming from your speakers connected to your Denon receiver? Read on!
We’re Going to Make Some Guesses First
Chances are, you’ve got a slightly older Denon receiver. Not super old, but maybe a year or two (depending on when you are reading this article). Second, your receiver has nine channels (or more) of amplification. Lastly, you are using all of those channels to power speakers in your home theater. Does this sound like you? Then we are sure we know the cause and the solution. If it doesn’t, read on as we might also have the solution (but not the cause).
Most Common Cause
For a year or two, it was common for people to look for a fix for their Denon receiver causing their speakers hiss. People tried everything from finding more efficient speakers to swapping out speaker cables. Nothing seemed to help.
Turned out, there was a unifying factor. People that were using just some of their Denon receiver’s amplifier channels didn’t have the hiss. This usually meant they were using five or seven channels instead of all nine. With only seven speakers connected, no hiss. As soon as they connected that last pair, they got a hiss.
The root of the problem is the noise floor of the amplification section of the receiver. Every amp has some amount of hiss. This hiss is usually inaudible from a normal seated position in your home theater. If you aren’t experiencing any hiss, you can “hear” your amp’s noise floor by turning on your receiver, turning the volume up to reference level, and putting your ear very, very close to the tweeter in one of your speakers. Obviously, you do this with no content playing. Chances are, you’ll still hear something. Something that might be described as a hiss. If that were louder, you could hear it at your seat. This is the hiss the people looking for a fix for their Denon receiver and speakers are hearing. And yes, it would be annoying even if you could only hear it sometimes.
As you might expect, the solution is to disconnect two of the speakers from the Denon receiver. This will lower the noise floor back down to inaudible levels and solve the problem. But people don’t want to give up their speakers, so what should they do?
Add an inexpensive two-channel amplifier.
The AV receivers that had this problem almost always had pre-outs. With these, you can add an external amplifier to power any speaker you like. The least expensive fix to the hiss problem is to add a cheap amp to your Denon receiver to power a pair of surround or overhead speakers. Depending on your model, you might have few choices as to which speakers you can power. usually, the rear-most overhead speakers or your front left and right speakers. We suggest the overhead speakers because you can get away with a small amp and not have to worry about any loss of fidelity.
Have you experienced this problem? Did you add an amp? What fixed it for you? Let us know in the comments!