Sony HTBE1 cooling fan query



Can anyone with a Sony HTBE1 system please have a look to see if the cooling fan turns slowly all the time the unit is on?

On our unit the fan used to turn quietly when the unit was on - we were a bit concerned when we first turned it on that the noise would be conspicuous, but it wasn't. However, after a few months of use we noticed the unit was getting very hot and at times locked up requiring power cycling to get any operation. Suspecting overheating, we noticed the fan was no longer turning.

The unit has been in for repair, but the repair centre says the fan only comes on when necessary and depends on the current flowing (so proportional to volume). Sony firstly said the fan should always be on, but now they say it only comes on at an optimum temperature. They won't say what this temperature is though.

Given that a) the fan used to be on all the time and now isn't, b) the unit gets quite hot and c) it sometimes locks up after it's been on for a while, we are still inclined to think something is wrong, but if someone could confirm how their fan runs it would be appreciated!




Sony say a similar thing about the playstation 2 - the fan only comes on when required (but we all know that's not true!).

Given the scenario you've described, I'd most certainately expect there to be something wrong with the fan operation.

Do you have it in a ventilated area? Tucking it into a corner will only compound any problems you're having.


Standard Member
This is why fans are a bad idea. They are a poor solution to what manifacturers should be doing which is providing bigger heat sinks (look at the Denon 3805 or Marantz 8300 - no fan).


Active Member
Hi Mark
My son has a similar sony amp in his bedroom the fan is on nearly all the time it isnt noisy though,It never gets problems with overheating always cool no matter how loud he plays it.Ishould give sony another call.
Cheers Gonzo.


Thanks for that Gonzo. I'll have another word with the people in the repair shop...


Our unit has now been collected from the repair shop unchanged. When tested, the fan was found to come on during loud music, so it wasn't thought to be faulty. This doesn't explain why the fan did originally come on all the time when the unit was new though.

According to the repair shop, the fan is triggered by current levels, and this indeed seems to be the case, as turning the sound up loud makes the fan start and stop in time to the music (Sony said the fan was triggered by temperature, which doesn't seem to be the case). Using our DVD as an input, if pause is pressed during a loud part (thus silencing the amp), the fan stops instantly. If pause is pressed again, as soon as the (loud) sound starts again, the fan starts. It does mean for certain volumes the fan will be starting and stopping all the time as the music rises and falls in volume. As soon as I see another HTBE1 I'll check how that fan behaves, as I'm not convinced this is normal behaviour. I would have though it might be better to have the fan on slowly, and perhaps boost its speed when required, rather than only on during loud parts. As it stands, the fan has actually stopped before the heat makes it from the components to the heat sink! When the fan is off, the natural convective flow is in the rear hole and up out through the top vents. When the fan kicks in, this flow reverses, and air is sucked down in through the top vents and pumped out the rear hole.


Hello folks,

I have the same problem with my HTBE1, namely heating up (only while playing dvd´s) and the locking up of the system.

When the system is on standby, it heats up and when playing dvd´s it locks up.
Anyone out there who still has a problem with that system ?

Unfortunately, I am not a regular hifi or dvd enthusiast, so I witnessed this phenomenon just after the guaranty ran out :\

Any problem solutions that can be done by a layman ?



Our unit went in for repair but they said there was nothing wrong with it. It turns out that the fan only comes on when the volume of the sound being produced is at a certain level and the repair shop said this was normal (even though it didn't do this when new). If the unit is only on a reasonable volume, the cooling fan doesn't turn on. I'm sure this is a fault as the fan used to be on constantly.

When the fan is off, there is no air inlet for convection cooling except around the fan blades and I'm sure they are not designed to allow much air past (as they are fan blades and are supposed to offer some resistance!). When the fan is not turning the warm air drifts out of the top vents and in through the fan hole at the back. When the volume gets loud, the fan does come on, and then draws air IN through the top vents and pumps it out the back. I can't see anyone designing a system with a fan that comes on only on loud bits, but then REVERSES the natural air flow through the unit.

I'd give Sony a ring and see what they say. I had two advisors giving contradictory information. One said the fan was on all the time (hence we had a fault) the other said the fan only came on when the unit got hot. (nb, hot, not at loud volume like the repair shop said).


Distinguished Member
bluesfan said:
This is why fans are a bad idea. They are a poor solution to what manifacturers should be doing which is providing bigger heat sinks

Imagine if they thought this when building pc's :eek:

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