How to connect the soundbar?

Connecting a soundbar to your TV should be effortless. You can do it yourself without the need for a professional. However, the process may vary depending upon the connectivity options available. Let’s quickly see how to ace it by using an HDMI cable.

Check the back of your soundbar for the HDMI ARC (audio return channel) port. It is usually labeled in most soundbars. Now, you need to connect one side of an HDMI audio return channel cable to the HDMI port of your soundbar. Connect the other side of the HDMI cable to the HDMI IN port of your TV.

You can easily connect your soundbar to your TV by following the above method. It should take less than two minutes. This method is only applicable for soundbars or TVs that have HDMI ports. You may need to apply different methods to connect your soundbar to your TV through optical digital audio cable or analog audio cable.

Do soundbars need to be connected to TV? 

It depends upon the connectivity option your soundbar has. The purpose of a soundbar is to amplify sound from other devices. Most people buy a soundbar only to enjoy TV sounds better. An HDMI connection to TV suffices their needs.

If your soundbar has multiple connectivity options including HDMI, you can connect it to other devices as well. It means that you can use it absolutely without a TV. 

Today, most soundbars are designed with multiple connectivity options such as Bluetooth, USB etc. These advanced soundbars provide connectivity to a lot of other devices.

You can connect your soundbar to your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, music system and other devices with the help of multiple connectivity options. The digital encoding standards of your soundbar and other devices should match. There are various methods of connecting your soundbar to these devices. 

I mainly use below mentioned  ways to connect my soundbar to TV

Via Bluetooth: This connectivity option is becoming more common on almost all devices today. It is apt for connecting your soundbar to smartphones, laptops, and other smaller devices. The best advantage of using Bluetooth connectivity is that you can establish a hassle-free wireless connection. To ensure proper pairing via Bluetooth, you can take the help of your user manual.

Via Aux: The AUX port or 3.5mm jack cable is also common among sound devices. It is apt for PCs, laptops, smartphones, and gaming consoles. The cord consists of two small pins on each end. The main advantage of using an Aux cable is that it is cheap, widely available and quite hassle-free.

Do soundbars work with any TV? 

Ideally, a soundbar should work with any TV you have. Today, the manufacturers focus on making their soundbars compatible with almost all models of television, whether old or new. For this reason, most soundbars offer more than one connectivity option. 

However, you still need to make sure that your soundbar is compatible with your TV.

Tip: If your TV is old and only offers an HDMI connectivity option, you need to find a soundbar that at least has an HDMI ARC port. 

However, If your latest smart TV provides wireless connectivity options such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you can go for the latest soundbar with the same connectivity.

As we’ve mentioned above, optical cables, HDMI cables, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth are the most common connectivity options. The HDMI and optical cables usually come in the box of your new soundbar. Also, some soundbars may have more than one HDMI port. You need to find the one that’s labelled as HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC.

Just like your soundbar, your TV needs to have an HDMI port labelled as Audio Return Channel or ARC. If your TV is an older version, you can make use of optical audio output. 

Usually, the latest models of Smart TV provide you options for Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. By following the instructions of the user manual, you can establish a secured wireless connection.

Can you connect a soundbar to a TV wirelessly? 

Yes, provided your TV offers wireless connectivity options. Usually, a smart TV or an Android TV offers wireless connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. 

Renowned brands like Samsung, Sony, LG and Toshiba manufacture televisions that have built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You can check this feature by accessing your TV settings.

There are two ways to connect wirelessly

Wi-Fi: Different soundbars may follow different methods of connecting to Wi-Fi. The various soundbar brands usually customize these methods. Also, the Wi-Fi connection apps differ depending upon the manufacturing brands. Here is the most probable way of establishing a hassle-free Wi-Fi connection.

At first, you need to find the Source button on your soundbar’s remote. Then, press the button and switch the Wi-Fi mode on. Now, connect your TV and smartphone to the soundbar’s Wi-Fi. Download the dedicated app and use it to connect the soundbar.

Bluetooth: It is a wireless protocol that works by pairing devices together. First, you need to check that both your TV and your soundbar have a Bluetooth connectivity option. If they provide this option, here is how to connect them.

Before you connect your soundbar to your TV, make sure it’s in a discoverable mode. Most soundbars come with Bluetooth buttons and light indicators. You need to simply press and hold the Bluetooth button until the light turns on. You can use the remote as well.

Once the soundbar goes to discoverable mode, you need to search for Bluetooth devices available from your TV Bluetooth settings. Simply select your soundbar from the list. The process is quite simple and doesn’t take more than two minutes.

Do I connect my soundbar to the TV or cable box? 

Depending upon the connectivity options, you can do either or both. Most soundbars are designed to connect directly to a TV. 

However, a few models need to connect through the external source components such as a cable box. If your TV is not compatible with your soundbar, you may need to use the TV’s cable box.

Your soundbar may provide multiple connectivity options that are compatible with both your TV and cable box. The choice is absolutely yours in this case. You can connect your soundbar to your cable box and listen to music without having the TV on. 

The advantage of connecting it to your TV is that you can enhance the sound of a DVD player and other devices that are connected to your TV.

So, the answer finally will depend upon the brand and model number of both your TV and the soundbar. Connecting your soundbar to your TV makes the most sense. For smart TV users, it is the easiest way as well.

Brands such as Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and others usually manufacture TV models that are compatible with soundbars. So, before buying a new TV, you can look for these specifications. While buying a new soundbar, mention the model number of your TV.

Is it better to connect the soundbar with HDMI or Optical? 

The function of both HDMI and optical cables is to deliver digital audio from one device to another. Hence, you can use any of these two methods. But, do you know which one is better? It is an HDMI cable.

PRO TIP: HDMI cables are designed with better configuration to pass higher resolution audio. HDMIs are compatible with Blu-ray formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master audio. 

As a result, they can deliver sound much better than optical cables. Fibre optic cables may not transmit such high-res sound formats.

Secondly, HDMI cables can deliver video signals as well. So, they can save from the hassle of using multiple wires to establish a connection from your soundbar to your TV. There are many more aspects, which are mentioned below.

HDMI cables are usually made of copper. There are more chances of interference due to the material. On the other hand, fibre made optical cables are less prone to interference. They come with a strong sheath that prevents light sources from entering the cable.

You need to also see the length of the two cables. Choose the shortest one between the HDMI and optical cable. The reason is that longer cables often have a chance of losing signal quality than the shorter ones.

How do I connect my soundbar to my TV without ARC? 

There are multiple methods of connecting your soundbar to your TV without ARC. The method you choose depends upon the connectivity options your soundbar and your TV have. Here are some simple methods explained.

Once I faced this problem and then I used the headphone jack to connect the soundbar, but now there are many ways to connect soundbar to TV without ARC.

Via Optical Cable: It is a very easy method. First, find out the input and output jacks of your optical cable. Then, plug in the input side of your TV and the output side of your soundbar.

Via Bluetooth: You can easily pair your soundbar with your TV using Bluetooth. First, turn your soundbar’s visibility on. Then, find it from your TV’s Bluetooth settings. Finally, select the soundbar as a pairing device.

Via Wi-Fi: If your smart TV provides Wi-Fi connectivity, you can connect your soundbar easily. First, you need to switch the Wi-Fi mode on your soundbar. Then, connect your TV and smartphone to the soundbar’s Wi-Fi. Finally, download the dedicated app and use it to connect the soundbar.

Via RCA or 3.5mm Line: This method is pretty straightforward. The RCA red and white (output and input) sockets are easy to locate. To start with, you need to check that the 3.5mm port of your TV to be connected is labelled as the Line Out. Then, you can plug the other end into the soundbar.

Via Headphone Jack: First, decrease the volume of the TV. Then, plug in the headphone jack with your soundbar. While unplugging the soundbar to the headphone jack of your TV, you need to decrease the volume again.

Where should I place my soundbar? 

The best location to place your soundbar is below or above your TV. It should be in front of you and at ear level. You can either choose to mount the soundbar or place it at a rack. Here are some more factors to consider.

Before placing the soundbar, analyse where your TV is and where you plan to sit. According to your preferred sitting position, you need to take into consideration your setup. 

PRO TIP: If you sit too close to your TV, you can place it right above the TV. If you sit too far, it can be just below your TV.

While mounting the soundbar, make sure it is completely unobstructed. For the best audio quality, there should be no obstruction. 

Sometimes, soundbars come with subwoofers and speakers to provide a surround sound system. You can place the speakers and subwoofers at different corners of the room.

Another important factor is the remote-control system. Most soundbars today come with a remote controller. If your soundbar has a remote, you need to be careful in placing it at the right level. 

After all, you should be able to point it at the receiver and have an instant response. Hence, avoid placing it too high from your eye level.

How do I get the best sound from my soundbar? 

There could be several parameters that can enhance the sound quality of your soundbar. If you are buying a new soundbar, make sure it supports modern technologies. 

For example, soundbars that come with HDMI cable usually deliver better sound than those with optical cable. Modern technology also means sound technology such as Dolby digital. 

If your soundbar provides multiple wired connectivity options, choose HDMI. These are designed to deliver a higher resolution of audio than optical cables. These are also compatible with high-end sound formats such as Blu-ray: Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio.

You can also consider adding subwoofers and additional speakers for a surround sound effect. If your TV and cable box both provide connectivity to your soundbar, choose a direct connection to the TV. In most cases, cable boxes and set-top boxes establish a poor connection leading to awful sound.

Make sure you’ve placed your soundbar in a perfect position. Then, you need to see other specifications of the subwoofers. Even if the subwoofer is wireless, try connecting the sub to a socket and see the difference. You can check the sound quality and see if there’s any difference.

If you use a smart TV and the latest soundbar, choose a wireless connection over an HDMI. A wireless connection is supposed to be seamless and flawless. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are some great options for smart TV users.


A soundbar is an excellent investment for those who want to enjoy the dynamic sound. However, you need to choose a soundbar that’s compatible with your TV. If you have an old TV that provides HDMI and wired connectivity options, you should look for the same in your soundbar.

For smart TV users, there are a host of connectivity options available. You have options to go for the latest soundbar with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other configurations. While connecting your soundbar to your TV, make sure you use the safest and easiest method.

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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.

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