If it hasn’t been too long since you purchased a TV, chances are, you probably were offered to pair it up with a soundbar, or are aware of what they are at least.
These sleek rectangular bars are all loaded up with powerful speakers to boost the sound quality of your TV like a boss. That too, taking up bare minimum space and with a single connection, unlike home theaters.
Since TVs these days are super-slim, it is no longer as easy to install powerful audio drivers.These speaker devices are a thus great choice for any budget, which superbly compensate for the unimpressive audio quality of the TV.
So let’s move on to how to connect a soundbar to TV properly for enjoying the ultimate immersive audio experience!
How To Connect A Soundbar To TV
1. How To Connect Soundbar To TV With HDMI
a. Advantages Of HDMI Connectivity
If you’re thinking about how to connect Samsung soundbar to TV for example, using an HDMI connection is one of the best ways to do so.
This is because this interface is not easy to connect requiring a single cable, but also supports Dolby & DTS-8 channels audios as well for top-notch quality sound. Surround sound of 5.1 -7.1 or higher is supported for premium-grade audio.
It also adopts an authentication system to ensure that the devices connected are authorized for exchanging data between them while offering encryption.
b. Connecting The Cable
Most HDMI interfaces on your TV are HDMI-input ports, meaning they can only receive data, not send any.
Hence, on your soundbar, you should use the HDMI-output port for making the connection. Your soundbar’s HDMI-input interface is for connecting devices that are capable of sending data, such as gaming consoles.
In order for your TV to connect to the soundbar, it must have an HDMI-ARC/eARC interface or must support this connection.
The term ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, implying that sound is capable of being transmitted in both the cable’s directions. eARC means EnhancedAudio Return Channel. Either way, all that you need now is an HDMI-ARC/eARC cable.
- Connect the HDMI-ARC cable’s input end to the TV.
- Connect the output end to your soundbar.
- Turn on the TV and soundbar to check connectivity success.
- If your soundbar model comes with a wireless subwoofer, it will get automatically paired as well.
- If the TV fails to automatically connect to the soundbar, using your remote, go to the settings, select your source and make other adjustments as necessary.
2. How To Connect Soundbar To TV With Optical Cable
a. Understanding How Optical Cables Work
When it comes to HDMI, USB, etc., or any other cables, they all have wires inside them. They also transmit data in the form of analog or digital electrical signals.
But, an optical cable works entirely differently. This is because, instead of electrical signals, laser light is used for the transmission of sound signals between the TV and the soundbar.
These cables are also capable of transmitting high-quality audio but in comparison to HDMI connectivity, HDMI obviously wins. But for when your TV does not have any HDMI-ARC interface, optical cables are your next best option after HDMI given that your TV as well as the soundbar have optical interfaces.
b. Optical Cable Connection Process
- Purchase an optical cable to connect the two devices.
- Take off the plastic caps covering the two ends of the cable.
- Ensure both your V and the soundbar are turned off
- On your TV, locate the Digital Audio Out interface.
- Plug in the optical cable here. It will transmit the optical signals to the soundbar upon successful connectivity.
- At the back of your soundbar, locate the Digital Audio In interface and plug in the other end of your optical cable.
- Turn on both the TV and the soundbar
- On the TV, change the sound output setting from the TV into the connected audio device
3. How To Connect Soundbar To TV Without Optical Cable Or HDMI
As surprising as it may seem to some, connecting your soundbar to the TV by HDMI or optical cables aren’t the only two options you have to choose from.
There are four more ways to easily connect them as described below.
a. Via The Headphone Jack/3.5mm Line Out
If neither the TV nor the soundbar is equipped with HDMI or Optical interfaces, you can try using the headphone jack of the devices by using an auxiliary cable.
For this method to work, you’d need to make some initial adjustments before you get to enjoy the great sound quality. This is because headphone jacks are designed to provide sound outputs at a lower volume for protecting your hearing.
Using this method without making adjustments would result in awful audio quality.
- From your TV’s settings, you first need to switch the function of its headphone port into a connection called “line-out”.
- If you cannot find this option, manually adjust all sound settings such as the volume, treble, bass, etc. into levels that you find is perfect for you.
- Connect the aux cable into their corresponding interfaces of the TV and soundbar and allow them to pair up. Manually intervene if necessary.
- Since safety reasons cause headphone jacks to provide lower volume sounds, amp up your TV volume higher than normal for optimum sound volume from your soundbar
b. Via RCA Cables
If you’re the owner of one of those older TVs that doesn’t have HDMI, optical, or even auxiliary/headphone ports, chances are, you’re stuck with RCA and coaxial cables.
While the TV is equipped with an RCA interface, you can convert one of the interfaces of your soundbar with an RCA adapter such as an aux-to-RCA adapter.
The RCA connection is probably another effortless method of connectivity as both the RCA cables and the ports come color-coded in red, white, and yellow.
All you have to do is connect the wires according to their corresponding color codes into the TV and soundbar. Then turn on both devices to confirm that the connection has been established successfully.
c. Via Coaxial Cables
This is no doubt one of the most outdated ways of connecting a soundbar to your TV and quite complex. But it does get the job done of setting up a connection between the two devices when your TV doesn’t have the other easier ports.
Coaxial cables are not difficult to identify as their ends look like screw nuts and they have a stick poking out from the center. In order to connect your soundbar to your old-fashioned TV, you need the following tools.
- A coaxial cable
- A DVD or VCR player
- RCA cables
Once you have managed to procure all these, proceed to make the connection.
- Ensure that your DVD/VCR player has coaxial and RCA interfaces along with your TV.
- Turn off all the devices.
- Connect one end of the coaxial cable to the TV’s coaxial input port
- Connect the other end of the cable to the output of the DVD or VCR player.
- Next, connect the sound output to your soundbar via the RCA cables. At this stage, your TV only functions as a monitor.
- Use the VCR/DVD player’s remote controller to switch among the sources of the input, not the TV remote. The TV remote won’t work in this method of connection.
You can of course use various adapters or splitters to avoid the hassle of a DVD/VCR player. But it will only end up making the process more complicated and a larger mess of tangled cables than it already is.
You’d find that some of these adapters even require an extra power source to function, making the whole procedure a huge pain which is not worth it at all.
It is thus better to stick to the initial method of connecting via coaxial cables. If you do decide on using adapters, use them to convert the port into a less-complex interface instead.
d. Via Wireless Options
This is the most lucrative alternative method of connecting your soundbar to the TV without HDMI or optical cables. This is because, not only do you get to enjoy superb audio quality effortlessly, but the connection also involves no heaping mess of cables!
Some wireless conversion kits come included with RCA or aux wires, thus avoiding the need of buying adapters. It also means that even your old TVs can go wireless to provide you superb audio quality.
There are no hassles of making complex connections and tools as almost all wireless connection methods follow the same basic footsteps. The receiver goes to your soundbar while the transmitter goes to connect with your TV.
You thus get to enjoy top-notch sounds while keeping your entertainment area clean and tidy, free from those annoying bundles of cables.
Some of the most common forms of wireless connections that you can use to connect your soundbar to the TV are as follows:
1) Bluetooth:This is the most common form of wireless connection that we all are familiar with. It involves one receiver and one transmitter, both of which can connect to numerous devices via RCA, aux, optical, and HDMI interfaces.
Hence, this method transforms any TV into having Bluetooth capacities, even the older model TVs, thus making everything a ton easier.
2) Radio Frequency:This is yet another method of wireless connectivity used by wireless conversion kits for making the connection.
Such devices use a band of 2.4GHz typically for providing you with enhanced coverage. Highly advanced kits even adopt a frequency hopping mechanism that brings down interferences from other devices using the same level of frequency down to a minimum.
3) Qualcomm® aptX™:Even Though this uses Bluetooth as well, the connection was refined by Qualcomm entirely for the transmission of high-resolution sound signals only.
Hence, regardless of the fact that your old TV can connect to the soundbar only with RCA cables, you get to enjoy the ultimate high-resolution audio experience. This is because high-definition audio signals are ensured without the audio quality being degraded.
4) Wi-Fi:This is by far the least common wireless method for connecting your soundbar to the TV where audio signals are transferred via the internet by the transmitter.
The receiver device then proceeds to download those signals for the output of your speakers. Audio quality can be superb via this method but is highly dependent on the speed of your internet; which can be an inconvenience if you ask me. But hey! It gets the job done!
4. How To Connect Soundbar To TVWith Bluetooth
- Using the remote of your soundbar, go to the settings, find Bluetooth and enable the option for pairing.
- For soundbars that don’t come with remotes, keep pressing the “Source Button” until you see the display showing “BT).
- The display will change after a matter of seconds showing “BT Ready).
- Now, press the “Source Button” again and keep holding it until you see “BT pairing” shown on the screen/display.
- Now that your soundbar is in the mode for pairing with a device, go to your TV.
- Locate “Sources” by navigating with the TV remote and click “Connection Guide”.
- Choose the device you intend to pair up with your TV, which is the soundbar.
- Follow the set of instructions that follow to complete the connection.
- For a different TV model, you can select the Sound option from the settings and navigate to Sound Output.
- Next, click “Bluetooth Audio Device” or “Bluetooth Speaker List” according to the model of your TV.
- Find your soundbar in that list and select it to complete the connection.
So you see, it doesn’t matter whether you have the latest model of the TV or an older one. Regardless of the types of ports your TV comes equipped with, there is always a way to perfectly connect your soundbar. If you were struggling with how to connect a soundbar to TV, after going through our step-by-step guide, making any sort of connection will certainly be a piece of cake.