How To Connect Soundbar To TV With HDMI

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: February 3, 2023

a home theater soundbar set up with television
a home theater soundbar set up with television

Soundbars are usually billed as one of the easiest plug-and-play ways to get better sound for your tv or turn your room into a small home theatre. Yet, getting them connected to your TVs or computer can be tricky.

Want the best sound for your TV but are unsure of how to set it up correctly? Let us explore all the different ways to connect your TV and soundbar along with some of the quick settings you might need to adjust so that you are getting the best audio possible with your TV. Whether you are dealing with HDMI, ARC, Optical, Coaxial, Bluetooth, or RCA cables, we’ve got you covered.

  1. The first step we want you to follow is to look at the back of your tv and find the HDMI ports.
  2. Using an HDMI port, you can connect almost every device with your TV model from cable boxes, to gaming consoles, and whatnot.
  3. Find the HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) port marked arc or E-arc and connect your soundbar to your TV.
  4. With the HDMI ARC port, you get the best HDMI connection for audio output. You can just use the TV remote to control the volume of the sound system. You do not need to use the soundbar’s remote control to control the volume of external speakers.
  5. Look for settings inside your TV named HDMI CEC. CEC stands for “Consumer Electronics Control”. This allows your TV and the audio system to communicate with each other. Make sure that it’s turned on. Find the audio settings for your tv and look out for an option to send audio via ARC or E-ARC port. Most TVs will do this automatically but again be sure to turn it on if you have an option. If there’s a selection for the Digital Audio Signal Type, leave it on Audio.

1How to connect your soundbar with a digital optical cable

connecting soundbar to tv with a digital optical cable
connecting soundbar to TV with a digital optical cable.

If your TV doesn’t have an ARC or E-ARC label on the HDMI port then you get an alternate way to connect your audio source devices using an optical cable also known as TOSLINK.

The TOSLINK cable converts audio signals into pulses of light using a fiber optic cable as the transmission medium.

  1. A digital optical connection is available on almost all TVs whether the TV has a second HDMI cable or not. The TOSLINK cable is a great option to get digital audio. Even if you don’t get to listen best quality audio with digital audio, you can still get a decent audio output.
  2. Getting the optical cable to connect to your TV is really simple. Just plug one end into the soundbar and the other end into the TV.
  3. After you have successfully connected the TOSLINK cable to your TV, make sure that your TV audio settings are set correctly.
  4. Browse the audio settings of your TV and search for the option Digital Audio. If you find a Digital Audio output signal option in your tv’s audio menu, leave it on Auto.
  5. If you are having trouble getting the desired audio, you can toggle and select settings to see whether the audio is transmitted properly.
  6. Keep in mind that you may need to cycle through your soundbar’s input options to select Digital Optical. The soundbars are set to HDMI by default. So look for an input source button on the remote of your soundbar and just press it repeatedly until you get to the digital optical input.

Note: Optical connection is a simple method to get your soundbar and TV connected. The cable is tiny so it’s pretty convenient but it won’t allow you to adjust your soundbar’s volume with your TV’s remote control so make sure to keep your soundbar remote handy to change the volume. You can perhaps look to program the TV’s remote so that when you press the volume buttons on your TV remote, it acts like a universal remote to change the volume of the soundbar.

2Connecting your soundbar with an AUX cable

connecting soundbar with tv using aux cables
connecting soundbar with TV using AUX cables.

An auxiliary cable is the best way to connect a soundbar to your TV or other devices if you want to stick with the old school. As long as your soundbar uses analog connection services, you’ll still experience first-rate sound quality, but the sound won’t be as crispy as it would be with an HDMI port or optical connection.

Nowadays, very few soundbars come with a digital AUX connection which is a single RCA-type connector that is usually orange-colored.

If you have an AUX cable connection on your TV and your soundbar, follow the instructions below:

  1. Turn on your TV and soundbar.
  2. You will find a jack for AUX IN below your soundbar. Connect one end of your auxiliary cable to the AUX IN port.
  3. The other end of your AUX cable needs to be connected to the AUDIO OUT jack on your TV.
  4. You also have the option to set the soundbar from a remote or from the soundbar with the Source button. Set your soundbar on AUX mode and you are ready to go.

3Connecting your soundbar with Bluetooth

Let us look at some of the more advanced tips. Many people might be wondering if they can go wireless instead of using a cable and the answer is yes you can. But we do not recommend it. While many TVs offer Bluetooth audio output so you can connect your TV speakers to Bluetooth headphones or speakers, the sound quality is degraded a bit it’s fine for headphones but you aren’t going to get anything close to what your soundbar is really capable of.

Also, you’ll notice that the sound is lagging and the sync between the TV and the soundbar will go off. Although BT pairing doesn’t provide you with the same sound quality as HDMI, everyone loves it due to its convenience and the fact that it doesn’t require cables to connect your TV and sound system.

Different TV models differ in terms of menus and the steps required to set up Bluetooth devices, but you can follow this general outline:

  1. You can find an option to select Bluetooth pair on your soundbar’s control to change and select sound output to Bluetooth.
  2. When your TV will be ready to connect with the audio device, you will see a BT-ready pop-up and a list of available Bluetooth devices.
  3. Select Bluetooth audio device and select pair with your soundbar.
  4. In the event that your soundbar does not support remote control, you can try pressing the Source button on the soundbar until you get the option of a Bluetooth connection.
  5. Alternatively, you can also select Sound from Settings. You can now enjoy the TV sound from your soundbar.

Tip: Some brands like SAMSUNG TVs offer custom wireless connections that sound and work really well if you have a SAMSUNG TV and SAMSUNG soundbar.

4Connecting your soundbar with RCA cables

connecting soundbar with tv using rca cables
connecting soundbar with TV using RCA cables.

One of the easiest ways for connecting your TV to your speaker system is with RCA cables. if you have a much older TV model, you may need to use the analog left and right which is usually red and white colored RCA connectors on the TV, and the soundbar.

Your soundbar might have come with these cables. If not, there are chances that you may find some lying around your house.

  1. Connecting the TV and soundbar is pretty straightforward. Match and connect the white cable with the white input port and the red cable with the red input port.
  2. Now that you have connected the cables perfectly, you may need to select analog as the audio output type inside the TV’s audio setting.
  3. You can now change the audio of the soundbar speakers with your TV remote control.
  4. We would suggest turning the TV audio to half or three-quarters volume and the soundbar’s remote to adjust the volume of the soundbar.

5Wrapping Up

The above were a few of the easiest ways to connect your speakers to your TV. Hopefully, you will now be able to enjoy the premium sound quality of our soundbars or home theater along with the high-definition movies on your TV. By providing awesome sound quality, a soundbar amplifies the audio quality you hear with your TV enhancing the frequency of the audio output.

FAQ's about connecting soundbar to TV

What is the best way to connect a soundbar to a TV?

The best way to enjoy the crisp and loudness of your soundbars is to connect your soundbar to a TV using HDMI ARC port.
1. Look at the back of your tv and find the HDMI ports.
2. Find the HDMI ARC port marked arc or E-arc and connect your soundbar to your television.
3. Look for settings inside your TV named HDMI CEC. Make sure that it’s turned on.
4. Find the audio settings for your tv and look out for an option to send audio via ARC or E-ARC port.
5. If there’s a selection for the Digital Audio Signal Type, leave it on Audio.

Nowadays, every latest TV has a HDMI port on its back. You can easily connect every soundbar to your TV with an HDMI port. In order to find out whether your television supports HDMI ARC, look at the labels next to the ports on the back or side. If you have an older version of television, you can connect your soundbar with the RCA cables.

While connecting your soundbar with TV with an HDMI ARC connection, make sure you connect the audio cable properly. The AUDIO IN end of the cable must be connected with the television and the AUDIO OUT cable should be connected with the soundbar.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: February 3, 2023
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