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How To Connect Soundbar To TV For The Best Audio Quality

When you have a large room where you have placed your TV, the sound coverage is never going to be enough. That is why people who prefer equally awesome audio as the visuals of the TV, they opt for a soundbar to amplify the sound effects and enhance the audio coverage in the room. When you go to purchase a soundbar, you will see that soundbars come with different ports.

You need to connect your soundbar to TV via port, and hence, their importance is significant. We will discuss in detail all the different ports of the soundbar. Along with that, we will illustrate how to connect soundbar to TV using each of the soundbar ports. You will also find out which port is the best to connect the soundbar to TV for the best audio output.

HDMI: The Best Cable

These days, most soundbars come with HDMI cable to connect to TV. It is safe to say that HDMI cable is the most common as well as the best way to connect soundbar to TV. HDMI cable transfers audio in raw digital form without any compression. Therefore, the originality of the audio is sustained.

If you purchase high-end soundbars, HDMI cable connection is a must. HDMI cable is capable of creating the surround sound that premium soundbars promise. In fact, all modern TVs come with extra HDMI ports to allow users to connect soundbars for better output. But you need to make sure that your TV has an HDMI ARC port to let you connect the soundbar properly.

Check the back panel of your TV and look closely on the area where HDMI ports are. There must be one HDMI port where you will see a label – ”ARC”. You have to also make sure that the soundbar has HDMI ARC as well. That is the port you need to use to connect your soundbar to your TV successfully.  Most modern TVs and soundbars have HDMI ARC ports for the best compatibility and output.

Note: You might see eARC HDMI port on your TV instead of ARC HDMI port.

HDMI-ARC  and HDMI eARC – The Difference

HDMI eARC is an upgraded form of HDMI ARC. That is why modern high-end TVs have them. Technically speaking, HDMI eARC has a wider bandwidth than HDMI ARC. Therefore, the amount of data transfer possible increases immensely which leads to more detailed sound quality. Moreover, the speed of transfer of data is faster in HDMI eARC.

Coming to technical specifications that matter for buyers, HDMI ARC supports only 5.1 surround sound audio in compressed form. On the contrary, HDMI eARC supports 5.1 as well as 7.1 surround sound audio in uncompressed form. Naturally, if you want to have a better surround sound experience, HDMI eARC is a better choice for connection.

Note: If your TV has only HDMI ARC and your soundbar has HDMI eARC, you can get the full advantage of HDMI eARC thanks to its backwards compatibility. This means you can connect a soundbar with HDMI eARC to a regular TV with HDMI ARC port to experience all the properties of HDMI eARC.

Step To Connect A Soundbar to TV via HDMI –

Take the HDMI cable. Connect one end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC port of your TV. The other end of the HDMI cable should go into the OUT port of your soundbar. Make sure that your soundbar has an HDMI port as the OUT port. Note that you are using HDMI 1.4 cable for ARC setup. Alternatively, ensure that you are using HDMI 2.1 cable for eARC setup.

Your soundbar could have multiple HDMI ports. You should use the IN(HDMI) port of your soundbar to connect your gaming consoles and DVD players. Therefore, there is no need to connect a gaming console or DVD player directly to your TV. This is useful when your TV is mounted on the wall.

Most modern TVs automatically detect your soundbar as the external speaker. If your soundbar is not detected, you have to manually set it up on your TV settings. Besides, you can download apps and use your smartphone to control the modern soundbar.

Optical Cable: The Second Best Cable

There are certain TVs that do not have an HDMI port. This is applicable to some old TVs. In that case, an optical cable is the second best cable to connect a soundbar to TV. Just like HDMI cable, an optical cable transfers audio signal in digital form. Therefore, it is also capable of producing surround sound effects.

While HDMI cable can transfer high-quality audio that is capable of producing 7.1 surround sound, optical cable is capable of producing 5.1 surround sound. HDMI cable is capable of transmitting audio in compressed and uncompressed form but optical cable is capable of transmitting audio in compressed form.

Step To Connect A Soundbar to TV via Optical Cable –

Take an optical cable and connect one end of the optical cable to the OUT port of your TV. Connect the other end of the optical cable to IN port of your soundbar. On your TV, there can be a label named “digital audio optical output” where you need to plug in. On your soundbar, it could be labelled as Optical IN. After connecting the cable, you should read the soundbar manual as well as the TV manual to set it up properly.

RCA Connector: Alternative TO HDMI and Optical Port

When your TV or your soundbar does not have HDMI or Optical port, you have to connect them via RCA cable. RCA ports are basic audio ports that are present in all old TVs. You will see them as Red and White ports.

Get RCA cables to connect soundbar to TV, connect the Red and White cable ends into Audio OUT ports of TV. Similarly, connect the corresponding the Red and White cable ends to Audio IN ports of your soundbar.

Bluetooth: Wireless Connection

If you do not want to connect your TV and soundbar through wire, you can connect them wirelessly using a Bluetooth connection. There are several reasons to go the wireless route starting from all ports already occupied or avoiding cluttering wires. Both your TV and your soundbar must have Bluetooth connectivity options. Please note that when you connect through Bluetooth wirelessly, the audio quality will not be as good as a wired connection.

In order to connect your TV and soundbar through Bluetooth, you should go through the manuals of the devices. The soundbar could come with a Bluetooth button to activate. If it is not available, press the Bluetooth button on the remote. For your TV, you can navigate through the menu to find the Bluetooth option and turn it on. Thereafter, you need to pair the devices, and the connection for audio transmission will be successful.


When it comes to connecting the soundbar to the TV, the best option is to use an HDMI cable if HDMI ports are available on both devices. If the HDMI port is not available, you should go for optical cable as the second best option. If both ports are unavailable, RCA connectors are the only option. Additionally, you can connect through Bluetooth for wireless connection.

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