If you’ve bought a soundbar lately and are facing trouble connecting it to your TV, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll discuss how to connect a soundbar to a TV.
Soundbars are great for enhancing the overall audio of your TV; however, it can be a daunting task to connect them to the TV, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. After all, there are so many cables and connectors that need to be checked now and then. Nevertheless, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re finding it challenging to connect your new soundbar to your TV or vice-versa, we’re here to help. Read further to know everything about connecting a soundbar to a TV.
How Do Soundbars Work?
You will be surprised to know how a device that can boost your experience of watching TV functions so easily. Whenever we discuss speakers, you may imagine a lot of wiring but such is not the case with soundbars. They are designed to achieve “surround sound” but there’s no compromise on the sound quality.
Soundbars have simplified the process of surround sound by using single amplified speaker technology and are especially great for smaller setups.
Some of the added benefits of having a soundbar are:
- Easy to install and use
- Sleek unit
- Aesthetic look
- Easy to hang on the wall
There are three types of soundbar systems available on the market – 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1. Let’s discuss them in detail.
What Are 2.1 Soundbars and How Do They Work?
These soundbars generally have two speakers (can have extra), on the left and right channel, and a separate subwoofer. The catch here is that the extra speakers are not only for extra volume but also to provide you with a better surround sound experience. The only con that a 2.1 soundbar has is that the “stereo” and “surround sound” settings won’t make much difference but it is a standard music system.
What Are 5.1 Soundbars and How Do They Work?
If you want to experience the actual depth of a sound, the 5.1 soundbars are all you need. These soundbars have three extra speakers or channels for a richer experience. They also come with a separate subwoofer and includes a front left, front right, front center, surround (back) right, and surround (back) left. This is the structure of a traditional 5.1 soundbar and sometimes there can be five channels built inside it as well.
But more generally, the three speakers are built into the soundbar itself whereas the other two are separate surround speakers.
How to Turn On a Soundbar?
There are a couple of easy ways to turn on your soundbar.
Using Auto Power Link
This is only possible if you have an optical connection and it is turned on by default.
- Connect your soundbar to your TV using an optical cable.
- Set the soundbar to D.in mode by pressing the “Source” button on the TV remote or the soundbar.
- Press the left direction button until Auto Power Link appears on the soundbar display to either activate or deactivate Auto Power Link.
Using Anynet+ and ARC
- Connect an HDMI cable from the HDMI OUT port on your soundbar to your TV’s HDMI port.
- Set the soundbar to D.in mode by pressing the “Source” button on the TV remote or the soundbar. After a few seconds, the source will automatically change to ARC.
- Press the left direction button until Anynet+ appears on the soundbar display to either activate or deactivate Anynet+.
HDMI Cable or Optical Cable: Which Is Better for Connecting a Soundbar to TV?
As you can connect a soundbar to a TV using both an HDMI cable or an optical cable, you may wonder which one is better. Here are some quick parameter to help you make the right choice.
- Construction – Optical cables have quite different and better built than HDMI cables. Fiber optics is the main component here whereas HDMI cables are made of copper, which is cheaper and might cause interference. However, fiber optics are tiny glass strands that are much less prone to cause interference and are less prone to cause any interference.
- Length – The length of the cable is not a major concern for many but we recommend you to stay away from long cables as you might lose signal quality. The ideal length for optical cables is 10 meters and 5 meters or less for HDMI cables. Remember to always choose the shortest one for the best audio quality.
- Audio – You might get into a dilemma while choosing a cable for leveraging the audio quality. So, here’s the deal. To enjoy surround sound effects then fiber optical cables are good as they support up to 5.1 channels. Whereas, an HDMI cable supports Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD formats, and DTS HD. Also, if you want to watch in Blu-ray, you should go for an HDMI cable.
- Video – Great audio will mean nothing without a good video. Both HDMI and optical cables will provide you with good quality video but the pricing might differ. You won’t need any extra cable if you choose HDMI, as it supports both audio and video. However, you will need an extra cable to transmit the video signal if you choose an optical cable. The cost of two optical cables might be more than one HDMI cable.
Mostly all TVs have ports that will work with a soundbar but you will have to find out the type of port before choosing a cable.
An HDMI connection is more preferred these days as it can support advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos. Most of the best surround sound systems comprise soundbars with HDMI ports.
Do You Connect Soundbar to TV or Cable Box?
The good news is you can connect your soundbar to both the TV and cable box. But they have different benefits.
If you connect your soundbar to your cable or satellite, you can listen to music without turning on your TV. However, if you connect the soundbar to your TV it will take up and follow whatever input is selected.
HDMI Cables Explained
You have already gained some knowledge about HDMI cables above. So, let’s get into the specifications now, without any delay.
The HDMI interface uses a single cable to send high-resolution digital video, theater-quality sound, and device commands through a connector.
While talking about connectors, HDMI connectors are of three types – standard, mini, and micro.
HDMI Ports and Connectors
The most used HDMI connectors are Type A (Standard), Type C (Mini), and Type D (Micro). Type B (Dual-Link) which was developed for high-resolution displays is never used and the Type E is generally used for automotive and industrial applications.
The Type A or the Standard HDMI connector is often used in almost every brand of TV and is a 19-pin connector and the Type B or the Mini HDMI connector is a more compact form of Type A with the same features. But as it is smaller in size, they are generally used in DSLR cameras and tablets.
Surprisingly, the smallest connector, i.e., the micro or type C connector also bears the same features as the last two despite its small size. It is common in portable devices like phones.
Talking about the cables, the HDMI cables are considered low voltage, so that they can be installed inside a wall. They are available in male and female versions. The HDMI faceplates have a female connection to make termination easy and give you a clean, sleek look.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the features of HDMI:
- TMDS or Transition-Minimized Differential Signaling – It is a type of encoding to protect the HDMI signal from interference. TMDS is more useful when digital data is transmitted over long distances.
- HDMI CEC or Consumer Electronic Control – One of the most useful features as it allows you to control up to 15 connected devices using one remote controller.
- HDCP or High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection – This feature is to protect unauthorized devices from intercepting the data while it is being transferred between two devices. This process is called “handshake” and is used to verify the credentials of the connected devices.
- DDC or Display Data Channel – This channel is required when there is an exchange of information between a source device and a display called Extended Display Information Data.
- Chroma Subsampling – Another very important feature that protects the image quality by reducing the amount of color data in a video signal. It is a form of video data compression.
- ARC or Audio return channel – The ARC connection helps connect your TV and the audio system using a single HDMI cable. Generally, most Tv uses an optical cable to send the audio back to a soundbar or AV receiver. But the benefits of using an HDMI ARC connection are that it includes fewer cables and can transmit higher resolution audio.
- eARC or Enhanced Audio Return Channel – It is used to support higher quality audio bandwidth and speed. It requires a high-resolution HDMI cable with Ethernet or an Ultra High-Speed cable. There are certain devices that support both ARC and eARC.
Optical Cables Explained
Optical cables function using fiber optics technology. Fiber optics are carefully drawn glass that is about the diameter of human hair. They are bundled up together in optical cables. There are two types of optical cables available:
- Single-mode fiber – It has the simplest structure amongst them all and is used for CATV, Internet, and telephone applications. The signal while passing through this doesn’t bounce off the edges and travel straight through the middle.
- Multimode fiber – Though they are 10 times larger than single-mode they can only send data over short distances. The signal travels through it following multiple different modes and they are used for interconnecting computer networks.
RCA Cables Explained
It is safe to say that you are familiar with this type of cable since your childhood as they are widely used to connect a CD or DVD player to your tv. These cables have three color-coded plugs extending from one plug and these are connected to the colored jacks on the back of the TV. The two types of RCA cables are:
Composite Video RCA Cables
They are analog cables and carry all video data in one signal. Composite cables are usually red and black or white for left and right audio signals and yellow for composite video. If you use this cable, the quality might be compromised as three separate signals are squeezed into one.
These are better than composite video cables as they are capable of higher resolutions. They are generally used on HD TVs and have three video lines.
Now, there’s a way to choose a good quality RCA cable :
- Materials – These connectors are often made of gold, silver, or copper. The gold connectors are more expensive and better than the others as they prevent oxidation. But the silver connector is better for electric conduction.
- Cable Length – Buy the shortest cable, only as much as you need as it has a negative effect on signal quality.
- Shield – Always go for a cable that has robust shielding as it will prevent accidents.
- The other end of the cable – Try to get a cable of the same material as that used in connectors. Matching opposite materials might cause an electrolytic reaction.
How to Connect Soundbar to a TV via Wi-Fi?
Note: If you are using a Samsung TV, check if the model is released after 2013 as this feature will only be available then.
- Click the “Source” button on the back of the soundbar or on the remote control to select Wi-fi mode.
- Connect your mobile to the same Wi-fi, your Tv is connected to.
- Open the Samsung SmartThings app and tap on the “+” icon.
- Tap on the AV receiver and select the brand of your soundbar.
- Tap on the soundbar, and then select the room and the location. The device will get automatically connected.
What is the Best Way to Connect a Soundbar to TV?
The best way to connect a soundbar to a TV is through an HDMI input. It will provide you with a couple of benefits like Dolby Digital technology, cheap cables, and with clearest audio quality. Also, digital or analog will be unable to deliver clear sound if you use Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos, or DTS:X. In these cases, HDMI ARC will be a perfect choice.
How to Connect Soundbar to TV With HDMI Cable?
Connecting your soundbar to a TV with an HDMI cable is the best option to make it work seamlessly. So, if any soundbar supports HDMI ARC then you should go for it without a thought. Mostly the ARC port at the back of the soundbar is called the “in port” but the HDMI ARC port on some top Dolby Atmos soundbars is at the top. As they are generally labeled, you won’t have a hard time finding them.
- Connect the soundbar to the “outport” or HDMI ARC port of your TV using the HDMI cable and ensure that it is a tight fit to avoid technical issues. In simpler words, the connect the HDMI ARC ports of your TV and soundbar using an HDMI cable. Once you’ve connected your TV and soundbar using the HDMI ARC ports, you can connect all other devices, such as the PS4, Xbox, and so on, to the soundbar directly.
- Turn on your TV and soundbar. Using the TV remote, press the source button and then select the D.in. This will help establish the connection successfully.
How to Connect Soundbar to TV Without HDMI Cable?
There are 4 alternative ways to connect a soundbar to a TV without HDMC ARC. These include an optical cable, Bluetooth, auxiliary cable, or RCA connector. So, let’s check out these hassle-free ways.
How to Connect Soundbar to TV With Optical Cable?
Generally, you will get an optical cable with your soundbar.
- Find the labeled plug on the back of the TV and then plug one end to in the digital audio marked “out.”
- Plug the other end to the soundbar’s digital audio “in”. Double-check the cable connection, so as not to lose any sound, and then switch on both the devices.
- Select the source button on the remote or on the side of the soundbar and then press D.in. This way your connection will be established.
Note: You can connect any external device to your TV using this method.
How to Connect Soundbar to TV With Bluetooth?
To avoid all the mess, you can wirelessly establish a soundbar connection to a TV using Bluetooth. It will be great for your interior setup as there will be no clutter. Here’s how you can do it:
- Make your TV “discoverable” by enabling other devices to find it.
- Search for the device name to which you will be connecting on your TV.
- Once your device is discovered, then just select the device name on the audio source and wait for audio pairing.
How to Connect Soundbar to TV With Auxillary Cable?
This a conventional way, which you can only use if a wireless connection cannot be established. We do not recommend this method as auxiliary cable uses analog connection instead of digital. So, the audio quality is not that great.
- Connect the cables to the “in” and “out” ports of the TV and soundbar.
- To sync the Tv and the soundbar, change the mode settings.
- Select “source” on your remote control and change it to AUX mode.
How to Connect Soundbar to TV With RCA connector?
In case you don’t have an HDMI ARC or an optical audio cable, this is a great alternative to establish a wireless connection.
- Ensure both your TV and soundbar are turned off and check both the audio ports.
- Start inserting the corresponding color cables to the outports.
- Turn on both devices and start to stream audio without changing the audio settings.
How to Connect Bose Soundbar to TV With Optical Cable?
You can connect your Bose soundbar to TV using HDMI, optical, or Bluetooth connections. However, HDMI ARC is the best way to connect as it provides very high-quality audio, whereas Bluetooth is rarely used.
Using HDMI ARC
- Turn off your TV and soundbar.
- Use an HDMI cable to connect one end to the TV and the other to the soundbar.
- Turn on the TV and soundbar now and change the audio output settings from the TV.
- Change the audio input to HDMI from your soundbar and you are all set.
Using Optical Cable
- Get an optical cable and connect one end to the Bose soundbar and the other end to the Tv.
- Next, go to the audio settings of your Tv and select the optical cable.
- Finally, go to the audio source and select Digital in.
- Press the Bluetooth button on your soundbar or on the remote to enter it to pairing mode.
- Ppen the Bluetooth menu on your TV and search for the Bose device from the list.
- Pair it with the soundbar and play audio to enjoy.
How to Connect LG Soundbar to TV?
You can connect establish a soundbar connection to your LG soundbar in 4 ways – HDMI ARC, Optical, RCA, Bluetooth.
Using HDMI ARC
Note: You will have to enable Simulink for ARC to function.
- Ensure the soundbar is powered on.
- Connect an HDMI cable from the HDMI output of the TV to the HDMI input on your soundbar.
- Select the sound from your TV’s audio menu, and select Audio Out from the sound menu.
- Your soundbar will now automatically switch to the ARC mode.
Using Optical Cable
- Ensure the soundbar is powered on.
- Connect an optical cable from the optical output of the TV to the optical input on your soundbar.
- Select the sound from your TV’s audio menu, and select Audio Out from the sound menu.
- Your Soundbar will now automatically switch to ARC mode and you will be connected using an optical connection.
- Ensure the soundbar is powered on.
- Switch your soundbar function to Bluetooth and use your mobile device to scan for all the available Bluetooth devices.
The name of your Soundbar should be similar to LG-HTS. Once you pair the device, any audio from your mobile device will be redirected to the Soundbar.
How to Connect Vizio Soundbar to TV?
Follow these quick steps to connect your Vizio soundbar to TV:
- Locate the HDMI ARC port marked ARC on the back of your Tv.
- Connect one end of the included HDMI cable to the HDMI 1(ARC) port.
- Locate the HDMI ARC port marked ARC on the back of your soundbar.
- Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to this port.
- Set the input on the soundbar to HDMI ARC using the included remote.
- From the TV menu, select Audio.
- Change the Digital Audio Out option to Digital or Bitstream.
- Return to the Main Menu on the TV and select system.
- Select HDMI CEC and make sure that it is enabled.
- Select device discovery and now your Tv and soundbar should be connected.
How to Get Rid of Echo Between Soundbar and TV?
It is irritating if your music listening experience is interrupted, and echo ruins the audio quality and so you will need an urgent fix.
Mostly, you get to hear an echo if both your soundbar audio and TV audio are turned on simultaneously. In the worst case, if they are out of sync, you will hear the sound with a little delay. So, switching off the TvV speakers might be a solution. Let’s see how you can do it.
- Open the menu on your smart TV and select “audio menu” for more settings.
- Regulate the volume of the speakers using a remote control.
- Switch them off or change the output.
You might also experience echo if your speakers are out of phase or due to poor wiring.
How to Connect Soundbar to Computer?
It is a lot better to connect your soundbar to a computer than any other device as they have a lot more options than other devices. You can connect a soundbar to your computer using an auxiliary cable, Bluetooth, HDMI, or optical cables:
- If your system has 3.5 mm, HDMI, or optical ports, then connect the applicable cable to the soundbar.
- If your computer has Bluetooth, then you will need to pair it.
- Set the computer’s audio-out option to the soundbar.
How to Connect Soundbar to Projector?
It is always a good idea to choose a soundbar as your audio output for any device to enhance the sound quality.
HDMI/HDMI ARC – This the best amongst all digital connections and is the same that is used for a Blu-ray player or gaming consoles. You can connect your soundbar to a projector using this for better sound quality and less hassle.
SPDIF – This is a type of digital audio cable that uses RCA or TOSLINK style of connection and provides high quality of sound. If your projector does not support HDMI ARC, then it will most likely have this.
Optical/TOSLINK – It is a conventional method and is another great option for a digital connection.
RCA – An analog connection that we are familiar with and should be used only if the above three options are not available.
Stereo 3.5mm – Another type of analog option that works only with stereos and does not provide good quality audio.
Bluetooth – For, hassle-free wireless connection, this is a good option. However, sound quality might suffer due to interference.
How to Hook Up a Soundbar With Multiple Devices?
Even if you are not a tech expert, you can do this easily. You will obviously want to pair your devices to your soundbar like with external speakers or another sound system, so here are a few simple steps to do so.
- Check your TV connectivity specifications as different models require different connections.
- Find the appropriate connection requirements for your device.
- Pair each device you want to connect with your TV.
- Connect your soundbar to the TV using an HDMI ARC cable.
- Adjust the TV settings and choose your soundbar as your preferred speaker option.
How to Connect Two Soundbars Together?
You must be wondering why connect two soundbars if a single soundbar is providing good quality sound. Well, to enhance the quality, even more, you can connect two soundbars together.
To plug two soundbars together all you will have to do is plug one end of the cable in the first soundbar’s output and the other end into the second bar’s input jack. Then all you will have to do is adjust the settings.
Can You Use Soundbar and Surround Sound Together?
It is possible to use your soundbar and surround sound together. All you will have to do is connect the surround sound system’s receiver to the soundbar. Then by using a digital optical cable, you will have to connect one end to the end of the receiver and the other to the soundbar’s optical port. However, remember that a soundbar cannot replace surround sound. The audio quality of surround sound systems with a dedicated subwoofer and rear speakers is a lot different than the audio quality of a soundbar.
If you want to enhance your TV-watching experience, you should get your hands on a soundbar. If you feel your smart TV doesn’t need a soundbar, you are wrong.. Soundbars not only increase the overall volume but also provide better quality TV sound. To get the best out of any soundbar, we recommend using an HDMI cable.
In this article, we have shared with you all the details about how to connect a soundbar to a tv. Hope you have found this article helpful. We will love to hear what you think and also let us know in the comments, what you want to hear next from us.