How To Reduce Rattles In Your Home Theater

This article is part of our Home Theater Design Series that covers virtually everything about designing a home theater.

We have a full series on the top five tips to improve your home theater audio. This tip breaks down how to find and eliminate noises your room might be making due to vents, furniture, lighting, and other fixtures in your home.

Imagine you are really getting into a great action movie, the spaceship lands, and all of a sudden, you hear this terrible buzzing or rattling sound coming from somewhere in your room. The effect of the movie has just been totally ruined. 

Finding the source of the noise or rattle in your room can be much more difficult than you think. It is usually a light fixture, cabinet door, or HVAC vent that only makes a noise at a very specific frequency. 

If you can locate where the noise is coming from, a material called “Blue Tack” is great for fixing the problem. For HVAC vents or recessed can lighting fixtures, you can normally just apply it to the backside where it touches the ceiling. This will hold the piece solid and usually eliminate the buzz. A cabinet door making noise might require a similar tactic, but using a rubber cabinet bumper.

The catch is finding where the rattles are coming from! To help you out, we created a video with a frequency sweep in the area that normally causes things to rattle

Before you start, set your volume at a low level, then turn it up slowly as playing steady test tones like this loudly could be damaging to your speakers. This test will work the best if you put your home theater receiver or processor in “all channel stereo”. This is a mode that sends the same signal to every speaker in your system. Some systems call it all-channel music or party mode. 

If you have heard rattles before, at some point in the sweep, you will hear them again. Make a note of the frequency on the screen, then go to the end of the video where we have longer sequences of most of the frequencies. You might have to get on a ladder to find a buzzing ceiling fixture, and for some of us, it is just quicker to put the Blue Tack cure on all the vents in the ceiling than trying to figure out the culprit. 

After you are done, make sure you put your home theater receiver or processor back in your normal surround sound mode and give yourself a pat on the back as you can now watch that spaceship land and not jump up thinking you have a blown speaker!


We hope this tip has made it easy to resolve rattles in your home theater. If you have any questions, call 888.899.8776, chat with us, or stop by our award-winning showrooms. At Audio Advice, we've been designing and installing high-performance home theaters & smart home systems for our customers in North Carolina and the surrounding areas for decades. In fact, we've delivered more custom theaters than anyone in the Southeast! We are now offering Home Theater Design no matter where you live in the United States! If you are interested in a custom home theater or upgrading your current system, give us a call at 888.899.8776, chat with us, or stop by our award-winning showrooms. We can't wait to help you build your ultimate home theater!

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