Can you connect a Soundbar to a Non-Smart TV?

So, you have bought a new soundbar for your TV, but you have a non-smart TV. It also means you have a TV without an HDMI port. Well, a soundbar requires HDMI and optical cable to connect to a TV. But if these two options are not available on your TV unit, you can try different methods to connect a soundbar to a non-smart TV. 

Can you connect a Soundbar to a Non-Smart TV? For connecting a soundbar to non-smart TV, there exist 2 to 3 methods. You can go for a Bluetooth wireless connection or by using an aux or an RCA cable that is 3.5 mm. In another way, you can also try using an auxiliary device that can be changed into coaxial cables to build a different type of connection. 

Moreover, a soundbar without a TV or with any other devices can work efficiently.

How do I Connect a Bluetooth Soundbar to a Non-Smart TV?

The process involved in connecting a Bluetooth soundbar to a non-smart TV is easy and simple. Moreover, there are several ways to opt for connecting your Bluetooth soundbar to a non-smart TV. 

However, one of the many methods that can be utilized to establish a connection between the two is by using a Bluetooth transmitter. Bluetooth transmitter is widely available both offline and online. You can easily get it on Amazon online portal. 

Also, you can connect a Bluetooth transmitter by using a 3.5 mm jack. By using this method, it makes the TV Bluetooth compatible. Therefore, it becomes easy to plug and play both the TV and the soundbar together. Hence, the connectivity involved is extremely easy to use. 

Here, the Bluetooth transmitter works effectively by transferring audio signals wirelessly for connecting Bluetooth speakers or headphones. Moreover, Bluetooth transmitters are not only handy but also affordable at the same time. 

Can you hook up a Soundbar to an Older TV?

If you want to connect a soundbar to an older TV, you can do it by using a little creativity. Yes! Connecting a soundbar to a TV requires a bit of modification, adjustment, and a bit of mix and match. 

Therefore, today, we will talk and guide you on ‘how to connect a soundbar to an older TV’. There are a few simple steps that can be followed easily in a hassle-free way. 

So, hang on with us to figure out everything in detail:

Using a Aux or 3.5 mm Cable to Build a Connection

The reason for connecting the soundbar with aux or 3.5 cables is that the TV doesn’t support HDMI or digital optical. Also, one of the major reasons could be you have a non-smart TV unit at home. This generally happens with an older TV. 

But don’t worry; you can receive sound signals by using a 3.5 mm cable or an aux cable. In this way, it allows or helps to pass on the audio signal efficiently. However, if your TV does not support wireless connectivity, you can work with a 3.5 mm output jack.

This process looks more or less similar when applied to headphones. The process involved here is easy and simple. Just put one end of the jack to your TV and the other end of the jack to the soundbar. 

On the other hand, if your TV doesn’t support a 3.5 mm output jack, you can also try with aux to RCA cable. It is affordable but also breaks the audio signals by linking two RCA cables.

Pros of Auxiliary Cables

  • 3.5 mm Auxiliary cables help to produce improved sound quality by transmitting audio.
  • They are reliable and are commonly used by users. 
  • Inexpensive
  • Reliable

Cons of Auxiliary Cables

  • It only works for stereo output.
  • If you own a 3.0 soundbar, you will not receive the desired sound. As it is only capable to produce left and right sounds. 
  • It won’t give surround sound effects.
  • Using RCA Cables

Most advanced or smart TV comprises HDMI, 3.5 mm connection, or an optical port. However, if you have an older TV or a non-smart TV, you are left with only a few options. Therefore, RCA or coaxial cables are the only two audio options left with non-smart or older TV. 

Also, the cables come in three different color forms that are white, yellow, and red. Moreover, RCA or coaxial cables help to pass on audio signals into the soundbar successfully. Also, these cables are widely available in various electronic outlets. 

However, before you proceed with the process, you need to ensure that your TV has an output port and not an input port. By any chance you have an input port on your TV; you need to break the signal first before connecting it to the TV. You can do so by using the yellow cable on your TV and white and red cables to the soundbar. 

By following these processes, you can build a healthy connection between the TV and the soundbar. However, older TVs are restricted to receivers only. They don’t operate like modern smart TV. Therefore, using an additional speaker to your TV requires breaking down the audio signals before connecting it to the TV.

Also, RCA cables work similarly to 3.5 mm cables. This is because both have only left and right output. Therefore, it will be challenging while working with a 3.0 or 3.1 soundbar.

Pros of RCA Cables

  • Inexpensive
  • High-definition audio signal

Cons of RCA Cables

  • It does not produce surround sound
  • Only produce left and right audio signal
  • Using Coaxial Cable

The coaxial cable works efficiently with older TV or non-smart TV. This is the only method that works for older TVs when connecting to the soundbar. Previously, TV only functions with cable programs. Therefore, with the help of coaxial cable, you can directly connect to the TV from a cable service provider. In this way, you receive both audio and video from the TV.

Hence, older TVs lack RCA connections.  However, the point of the coaxial cable looks similar to an elevated cylinder with a hole in it. On the other hand, the cable jack looks similar to a nut with a wire coming out of the middle. 

However, building a connection requires a VCR or a DVD player to break the signal. Moreover, both pieces of equipment are considered outdated compared to modern equipment. 

To build a connection to the soundbar, put the coaxial cable both to the VCR or DVD’s output and TV’s input. After that, use the RCA jack to the soundbar to create a healthy audio connection. Furthermore, the TV remote has no use over the VCR or DVD player’s remote as it functions to switch between input sources. 

Pros of Coaxial Cable

  • There is no benefit of using a coaxial cable

Cons of Coaxial Cable

  • Require complicated process
  • No high-definition audio signal
  • Involve outdated technology or equipment
  • Require VCR or DVD player to establish a connection
  • Using an Adapter

An adapter is a good alternative option for connecting the soundbar to a TV. However, an adapter is used when a soundbar and a TV don’t have the same connectivity option. Therefore, to connect them, an adapter is required to do the job effectively. 

However, the advanced soundbar comprises HDMI, but older TV units only have the RCA option. Therefore, to establish a connection, you are required to output an RCA to an HDMI converter. Moreover, you can get over several RCA to HDMI converters in the market. 

In addition to this, before getting an adapter for your TV unit, look that it is compatible with RCA to HDMI.

RCA to HDMI Converters:

The method of RCA to HDMI is designed for an older TV unit. With this method, you can effectively establish a sound between a soundbar and a TV unit. However, this can only happen if the TV supports RCA.

Also, RCA to HDMI converter helps to connect with older devices like VCRs, DVD players, and consoles to advanced devices. It is also used in various audio devices as well. 

In addition to this, you might require an external power outlet to convert analog to digital through these adapters. Therefore, make sure you have plenty of space in front of your TV to fit an external power outlet. 

 How to Connect an RCA to HDMI Converter:

You need to have one HDMI cable and an RCA cable to establish an RCA to HDMI adapter. Since we are working to establish audio; only white and red is required for the process. Moreover, it is also considered as left and right channels. 

Next, open the adapter and turn the power on. After that, put the power cable in the adapter. However, every time you do so, make sure you first connect the power. Now use the TV port by inserting the red and white cables. Following the same process, now connect it with the converter.

Lastly, from the converter output run an HDMI cable to the soundbar HDMI port. In this way, a secure connection has been established from your older TV. As a result, audio will come out through the soundbar. In addition to this, you might need to modify the audio output setting from your TV to RCA.

Using Optical Digital Cable 

You can easily hook up a Soundbar to an Older TV by using an optical digital cable.  It is one of the best alternative methods to run a soundbar on an older TV. An optical digital cable can be found at the back of your TV unit. It is also sometimes mentioned by audio output or Toslink. 

However, by using the TV port, you can run the optical cable to the same port on the soundbar. In addition to this, you might need to modify the audio output setting on your TV unit to establish a healthy sound connection on the soundbar.


Well, the article has talked about several ways to make your non-smart TV Bluetooth compatible effectively. Now, you can establish a successful and secure connection between the two devices in a hassle-free way.  

Also, we have given elaborate ideas on how you can hook up a Soundbar to an Older TV. Therefore, the procedure involved in both processes is extremely easy and simple to utilize.


1. Can you use a Soundbar with an Older TV?

Yes! You can use a soundbar with an older TV in an effective way. However, there are several soundbars available in the market where it comes with legacy audio input making it compatible to work with older TV unit. 

2. How do you hook up a new Soundbar to an old TV?

This involves an easy and simple process. At the back of your TV, you will find a port for optical cable. Sometimes it is marked as audio out or Toslink. However, to bring the sound from the soundbar, you have to connect both the optical cable on the TV port and the soundbar port. Therefore, by doing this you will be able to establish a successful audio connection between the soundbar and the older TV unit. 

3. Does my sound bar have to match my TV?

Well, it is not a compulsion that the soundbar has to be matched with the TV. What has to be checked is whether the soundbar is compatible with the TV unit. If the compatibility of both the devices matched with each other, the rest does not matter much.  

Share on:

Yo, I'm Sreekanth Devireddy, a technologist, designer and a passionate writer. Previously worked under tech giants as a Head Of Product Reviews. I love to review products and write buyers guide, that helps people to make the right decision at the right time.

Leave a Comment