Why is MKV not playing sound on my Android phone?

The Matroska Multimedia Container (MKV) is a popular open standard video file format. MKV supports unlimited duration, file size, subtitle tracks, and high-quality audio and video content. The flexible container format allows bundling of various multimedia streams into a single file. With growing support across media players and devices, MKV has become a preferred choice for high definition videos.

However, Android users often face issues playing MKV files, especially problems with no audio or sound. Even though Android natively supports MKV playback through its Video app, missing codecs can prevent sound from working properly. This article will examine the various reasons and solutions for MKV files not playing sound on Android phones.

Reasons for No Sound

There are a few common reasons why MKV videos may not play sound properly on Android devices:

One of the most frequent causes is incompatible or missing codecs. MKV is a container format that can contain various video and audio codecs. If your Android device lacks the proper codecs to decode the audio in the MKV file, you will not hear any sound [1]. For example, some MKV files use advanced audio codecs like DTS that are not supported on all Android devices.

Another possibility is a corrupt video file. If the MKV file is damaged or incomplete, it may fail to play audio properly. Issues like bad downloads or interrupted file transfers can introduce errors that break the audio [2]. Trying to play a partially downloaded or corrupted MKV file could result in no audio.

Problems with the audio encoding inside the MKV can also lead to no sound. If the audio track was encoded incorrectly or at an incompatible sample rate, the Android device will not be able to properly decode and play the audio portion of the video.

Codec Compatibility

One of the most common reasons MKV files may not play sound on Android devices is codec incompatibility. MKV is a container format that can contain different video and audio codecs. Common video codecs used in MKV files include H.264, H.265, VP8/VP9, and MPEG-4. For audio, MKV files often use advanced codecs like DTS, Dolby TrueHD, FLAC, and Ogg Vorbis.

The problem is that Android devices don’t natively support all of these codecs, especially some of the more advanced audio ones. Android only supports baseline H.264 video and basic audio codecs like AAC, MP3, and PCM by default. Without the proper codecs installed, an Android device won’t be able to properly decode the audio tracks in an MKV file, resulting in no sound.

Codec support can also vary across different Android manufacturers and models. For example, many Samsung Galaxy and LG devices have better out-of-the-box codec support compared to stock Android. So an MKV file may play fine on one Android phone but not another due to codec compatibility issues.

Installing New Codecs

One potential reason your MKV files may not be playing audio on Android is that your device lacks the proper codecs to decode the audio streams. MKV files support advanced codecs like DTS, Dolby Digital, FLAC, etc. that may not come pre-installed on all Android devices.

You can install new codec packs on your Android device to add support for more audio and video formats. There are a few codec packs available on the Google Play Store such as MX Player Codec, K-Lite Codec Pack, and AC3 Codec. These apps will install the necessary codecs to play MKV and other media files.

To install a codec pack:

  1. Open the Play Store app on your Android device
  2. Search for “codec pack” or a specific pack like “MX Player Codec”
  3. Select the codec pack app and tap Install
  4. Open the installed codec app and follow prompts to download codecs
  5. Restart your device once the codecs are installed

With the proper codecs installed, apps like MX Player, VLC, Kodi, etc. should now be able to play MKV files with full audio and video support. If you are still having issues, try re-encoding the audio streams in the MKV to a more compatible format like AAC.

Checking for File Corruption

One possible reason your MKV files are not playing audio is because the files themselves are corrupted. This can happen if there was an issue when downloading or transferring the files. Here are some ways to check for and fix corrupt MKV files:

Scan the file – Use a free tool like MediaInfo to scan your MKV files. This will analyze the file structure and metadata and can detect if any parts of the file are corrupted.

Play in VLC – Try opening the MKV file in the VLC media player. VLC is highly robust at playing back corrupt media files. If VLC can play it, the file itself is likely not corrupted.

Re-download the file – If possible, downloading the MKV file again may provide you with an uncorrupted version. Ensure you download from a reputable source.

Use repair software – Tools like DivFix++ can scan MKV files and repair issues by reconstructing parts of the file. This may fix audio issues caused by corruption.

If you’ve determined your file is corrupt, re-downloading or using repair software are the best ways to fix it. This should resolve any audio issues stemming from file corruption.

Audio Encoding Issues

One reason MKV files may not play audio on Android devices is due to incompatible audio encodings. MKV is a video container that can support various audio codecs, including AAC, AC3, and DTS [1]. However, Android’s native media player may lack the proper decoders for certain audio formats present in the MKV file.

For example, some MKV files use the AC3 audio codec, which is not natively supported on Android [2]. To play AC3 audio, the phone would need to have an AC3 decoder app installed. Similarly, an MKV file with DTS audio would require a separate DTS decoder to work.

If incompatible audio encoding is the issue, the solution is to re-encode the MKV audio into a format natively supported on Android, like AAC. This can be done using free software tools like Handbrake [1] or XMedia Recode [3]. By re-encoding only the audio track, the video can be left untouched for quicker processing. The resulting MKV with AAC audio should then play properly on Android.

Software Solutions

There are several good video player apps for Android that support various codecs and can play MKV files with sound.

Apps like MX Player, VLC for Android, KMPlayer, and BSPlayer are popular options that support many different video formats and codecs, including those used in MKV files.

MX Player is one of the most widely used and recommended Android video players and has support for H/W, software decoding for seamlessly playing almost all kinds of video files. It supports advanced HDR and color control, multi-core decoding, kids lock, subtitle gestures as well as various streaming protocols.

VLC is another excellent open source, cross-platform media player that can play MKV files due to its libavcodec library. It supports most codecs out-of-the-box and offers network streaming, subtitle support, equalizer and filters, chromecast support and more.

Trying one of these highly-rated Android video players should allow proper playback of MKV files with sound and can be a software solution before exploring other troubleshooting fixes.

Converting MKV Files

One of the easiest ways to get MKV files playing properly on your Android device is to convert them to a more compatible format like MP4. There are a few different options for converting MKV files:

Use an online video converter – Services like Wondershare’s video converter allow you to quickly convert MKV to MP4 or other formats directly in your web browser. This can be a fast and convenient option.

Download a desktop video converter – Programs like Video Converter Factory can be installed on your computer to batch convert MKV files to MP4 or other Android-friendly formats. This gives you more control and customization.

Use mobile apps – Some apps like VidCompact allow you to convert video formats like MKV directly on your Android device. This avoids needing a computer for the conversion process.

The major benefit of converting MKV to MP4 or another common Android video format is that it resolves compatibility issues. The converted files will play correctly with Android’s built-in video player and other apps. Just be sure to back up your original MKV files in case you ever need them again.

Other Troubleshooting Tips

If you are still experiencing issues playing MKV files with sound after trying the other solutions, here are some additional troubleshooting tips to try:

Clear App Cache/Data

Clearing the cache and app data for your media players can help resolve conflicts that may be preventing sound from working properly. Go into your Android device’s Settings, select Apps (or Application Manager), choose the video player app, and tap Clear Cache and Clear Data.

Update Android OS, Drivers

Ensuring your Android operating system and drivers are up-to-date can help with media compatibility issues. Go to Settings > System > Advanced > System Update to check for any available OS updates. Also check for updates to codecs or drivers related to audio/video playback.

Try Different Players

If one player is not working, try using a different media player app to play your MKV files. Popular Android video player apps include VLC, MX Player, KMPlayer, BSPlayer, and more. See if another app can play the MKV video with sound properly.


If you are unable to play MKV files with sound on your Android device, there are several solutions to try. The main solutions covered are:

  • Installing new codecs – Installing third party codec packs like K-Lite Codec Pack can help if your device lacks the right codecs to play MKV files.
  • Using software media players – Apps like MX Player, VLC Player, and KMPlayer have their own built-in codecs and may be able to play MKV files with sound.
  • Converting MKV files – Using a video converter tool to convert MKV files to more compatible formats like MP4 can allow you to play them with sound.

Of these solutions, installing new codecs and using software media players are likely the easiest fixes. Converting MKV files can ensure compatibility but takes more time and effort. With one of these solutions, you should be able to successfully play MKV video files complete with sound on your Android device.

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