So you’ve just bought a brand new Soundbar for your home theater and you’re trying to figure out which cable to use to connect it to your TV? Well, we recommend you pick the HDMI cable – it’s the best and easiest way to connect your TV to your Soundbar.
To connect your Soundbar to your TV using an HDMI cable, find the HDMI (ARC) input on your TV and the HDMI(ARC) output on your Soundbar. Plug the cable into the two devices, then power them on to test the audio. Finally, adjust your TV settings to select the Soundbar as the speaker output.
As you can see, it’s pretty straightforward to connect your Soundbar to your TV using an HDMI cable.
However, if either device does not have an HDMI port, you’ll need to connect them using a different cable.
Also read: Can You Connect a Soundbar to Your TV Wirelessly?
How do I know if my TV supports HDMI ARC?
Most modern TV sets produced after 2009 should have at least one HDMI ARC port. Look at the panel on the side or back of your TV to check whether it has an HDMI (ARC) port.
You’re probably familiar with the HDMI port. This trapezium-shaped plug with opposing sides of unequal length is easy to identify.
If your TV has HDMI ARC capability, there will be an ‘ARC’ label just next to the HDMI port. If you’re not sure, check your TV user manual- it will mention these details.
For TVs and Soundbars that support HDMI eARC, it is recommended you use this option. HDMI eARC stands for Enhanced Audio Return Channel and is an advanced form of HDMI ARC. It has a higher bit rate and improves the bandwidth and speed of the cable. Thus the audio will be of superior quality.
Why use HDMI ARC?
HDMI ARC is known for its superior sound quality.
This is because this connection can carry large amounts of uncompressed digital audio data. What’s more, it is capable of supporting 5.1 to 7.1 surround sound and can even help you enjoy the Dolby experience.
Streamlines multiple channels of audio into one piece of sound equipment.
Whatever the source of your sound-whether it is the TV, DVD player, a streaming dongle, or a built-in video app like Netflix- if your TV is connected to the Soundbar via HDMI ARC, you can get the audio of these devices to play through the Soundbar.
How to Connect a Soundbar to TV with HDMI in 6 easy steps
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up this connection-
Step 1: Power off the TV and your Soundbar while you are connecting the cables.
Step 2: Locate the HDMI ARC input on your TV and the HDMI ARC output on the Soundbar.
Step 3: Plug one end into the TV panel’s HDMI (ARC) port.
Step 4: Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the TV OUT (ARC) port on the rear panel of the Soundbar.
Step 5:Now power on your TV and Soundbar to test the audio.
Step 6: From your TV settings, go to audio output settings and change the output mode to Soundbar instead of built-in speakers. While some soundbars automatically become the speaker output, others require you to manually select it. Test to confirm if your TV’s sound is coming through the speakers and you are done!
Note: TV audio settings options may differ according to your TV model, so check the manual for more specific details. Remember to enable HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) in the TV setting. With this, you can use your TV remote to control your Soundbar’s volume and switch it on and off.
If you’re lucky enough to have devices that support HDMI eARC, the steps to connect the two will be the same as mentioned above. But make sure you use an HDMI 2.1 cable (Available on Amazon)to connect the two.
What if there is no sound coming from the Soundbar?
If you find that even though your devices are connected, you still don’t hear any sound from your Soundbar, here are a few things you can try to get it working-
Change the audio output settings on the TV
Your TV may be using its internal speakers as the preferred source of audio output. Go to audio output settings and change the output mode to Soundbar instead of built-in speakers.
Check if you have used the right HDMI ARC ports on the TV and the Soundbar.
Ensure you have connected the cable to the HDMI ARC ports rather than plain HDMI or you won’t get the audio.
Enable CEC on your TV
The CEC option should be selected for the HDMI ARC to work. The CEC feature may have a different name based on your TV brand for example- Bravia Sync for Sony, Anynet+ for Samsung TVs etc.
Unplug the two devices for a while and then plug them back again.
Sometimes, doing this can help re-establish the HDMI connection.
Check for firmware updates for both devices
This is helpful in case the manufacturer has fixed any glitches through its updates.
If these don’t work, try changing your HDMI cable.
If it’s an old one, made before 2009, it may not support ARC. Also, if you are trying to use it for eARC and it was made before 2017, then there’s a chance it may not support eARC
How do you connect a Soundbar to a TV without HDMI?
If your TV or Soundbar do not have HDMI ARC, there are other ways to connect them.
Use an optical cable
Find the optical output on your TV and optical input on your Soundbar. Connect the two devices. Go to TV settings, select sound and choose Audio Out/Optical. Test the connection.
Use a Bluetooth audio transmitter/adapter or an RCA/HDMI cable adapter
If your Soundbar is Bluetooth compatible, simply plug the Bluetooth receiver into your TV and connect it with the Soundbar’s Bluetooth signal. If your TV does not have HDMI, use an RCA/HDMI adapter with an HDMI port on one end and RCA cable ports on the other, and connect the devices.
As TV sets become slimmer and sleeker, their audio quality may not be up to the mark. Soundbars are a great way to take your TV audio to the next level. Follow the above steps, and your Soundbar should be all set up. Sit back, relax and enjoy the upgrade in audio quality!