Solve VLC MKV File Playback Issues

By far the easiest way to play MKV files is using VLC Media Player, however, a lot of people may have trouble when playing certain MKV files with VLC Media Player such as no sound in MKV file when played in VLC or MKV files stutter, lag or choppy when viewed with VLC media player.

No sound in mkv file

“Every time I play a mkv file I get no sound, only video. I have to right click on the screen and go to audio > audio channels > select something other than stereo then the sound works. This is does not happen for all mkv files, I have noticed that it only happens to mkv files with the a52 audio codec. ”

MKV files stutter/lag/choppy

“I have several 1080p .mkv files. All are avc1 encoded. With VLC they all open, and audio is crystal clear, but the video is very choppy.  So, is there anyway to force VLC to use a different codec, or are there recommended tweaks for vlc to increase avc1 performance”

Part 1: Fix no sound in MKV file when playing in VLC
Part 2: Solve VLC MKV playback stutter, lag or choppy problems

People often encounter VLC no sound issues not only when playing MKV files but also other file formats. When in that condition, the first thing that you can do is to check whether the player is set mute. If you’re too careless to mute your VLC player at the last playing, then definitely you’ll get no sound. What you need to do is set your VLC player to unmute state with the steps with the steps below:
Step 1. Click the speaker icon bottom right of your computer.
Step 2. Click “Mixer.”
Step 3. Unmute your VLC player, and check whether the VLC plays sound or not.

If above solution doesn’t work, then you can try to adjust VLC audio settings:

Step 1. Run VLC

Launch VLC player on PC, and click “Tools” “Preferences” to get to “Simple Preferences” interface.

VLC tools preference

Step 2. Adjust audio settings

On “Simple Preferences” interface, click “Audio” tab on the left side bar to navigate to “Audio Settings.” Make sure the “Enable audio” box is checked and then choose “Automatic” at “Output” dropdown list.

 Adjust audio settings

Convert audio in MKV to another format

If above listed 2 ways still can’t fix this issue, then the problems can be caused due to the incompatible audio codec such as like DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD, PCM or LPCM that are not recognized by VLC. The good news is that you can easily fix this issue with our powerful MKV to VLC Converter – Pavtube Video Converter to batch convert MKV files encoded with all the incompatible audio codec listed above to VLC Media Player playable AAC, MP3, AC3, WMA or other audio codec.

Related article: Play H.265 with VLC | Fix VLC 4K Video Playback Choppy | Play MOV on VLC

Part 2: Solve VLC MKV playback stutter, lag or choppy problems

If you are experiencing choppy or jumpy video playback, it could be down to a couple of factors. The first is that the video could be H.265 / HEVC, which is a relatively new standard still under development and VLC’s support of it is experimental (as of May 2015).

The more likely cause of the problem however is down to hardware. Most content that is online in MKV is high-definition in H.264 / AVC, and if you CPU / GPU is inadequate to decode it, you will get jumpy or shaky playback. There are some solutions to this, the most obvious of which is to try other decoders.


1. Play MKV files with VLC alternative player such as Windows Media Player, KMPlayer, 5KPlayer, Divx Plus Player, SMPlayer, etc

2. Enable GPU hardware acceleration in VLC when playing MKV files encoded with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264.

3. Transcode and compress MKV to VLC 1080p or 720p

When playing 4K H.265 MKV files on VLC, you may be disappointed to find that neither above 2 solutions can fix your problem. Then it would be much ideal for you to compress 4K H.265 MKV to VLC smoothly playback H.264 HD MP4, H.264 HD MOV or other compatible HD file formats. Here, you can still use Pavtube Video Converter, which also enables you to flexibly adjust output profile parameters such as video codec, resolution, bit rate, frame rate, audio codec, bit rate, sample rate, channels, etc as you like.

For Mac users, please switch to download the Mac version – Pavtube Video Converter for Mac to perform the conversion on macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, Mac OS X El Capitan, Mac OS X Yosemite, Mac OS X Mavericks, etc.

How to Fix VLC MKV Playback No Sound or Video Playback Choppy, Lag Issues?

Step 1: Load MKV video into the program.

Download the free trial version of the program. Launch it on your computer. Click “File” menu and select “Add Video/Audio” or click the “Add Video” button on the top tool bar to import source 4K video files into the program.

Load MKV files into the program

Tips: The program supports batch conversion mode, so that you can load multiple MKV files into the program for conversion at one time.

Step 2: Define the output format.

Clicking the Format bar, from its drop-down list, here, it would be much ideal for you to choose one of VLC compatible HD file format to output such as “H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)” under “HD Video” main category.

Ouptut VLC best compatible HD file format

Step 3: Adjust output audio codec and other settings.

Click “Settings” on the main interface to open “Profile Settings” window, to fix VLC MKV playing no sound problems, it would be much ideal for you to output VLC compatible audio codec such as AAC, AC3, MP3, WMA. under “Size(pix)” drop-down list, choose “1980*1020” or “1080*720” to compress 4K MKV to 1080p or 720p to get smooth video playback experience, you can also change other settings according to your own needs.

Adjust output audio codec and other settings

Step 4: Start the video compression process.

After all setting is completed, hit the “Convert” button at the right bottom of the main interface to begin 4K MKV to VLC best compatible H.264 MP4 HD video format and AAC audio format conversion and compression process.

When the conversion is finished, click “Open Output Folder” icon on the main interface to open the folder with generated files. Now, you can smoothly watch compressed files on VLC with no sound and choppy issues.

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