The right way to join a soundbar to a TV

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A soundbar may give your TV a severe improve when it comes to audio constancy and energy: music will get extra immersive, dialog turns into extra distinct, and bass sounds actually kick if you’ve received a soundbar arrange as a substitute for the default audio system constructed into your tv. Fortunately, it’s not exhausting to learn to join a soundbar to a TV.

You don’t must put apart half a day to get your new piece of apparatus arrange. Most soundbars are comparatively simple to put in, and most TVs will mechanically acknowledge if you’ve connected a brand new audio gadget.

The soundbar featured within the images accompanying this text is the Sonos Beam (Gen. 2), however regardless of which soundbar you’ve purchased to improve your own home theater setup (and whichever TV you’re connecting it to), it’s best to discover a lot of the setup course of is comparable.

Know what all of the connection ports do

Most soundbars include some sort of HDMI port. David Nield

Earlier than you begin plugging in cables, get acquainted with the ports on the again of your soundbar. When you’re undecided what one thing is, examine the included instruction guide, and should you don’t have a tough copy you possibly can normally obtain a digital one from the producer’s web site.

The acquainted HDMI (Excessive-Definition Multimedia Interface) port is the one you’re most certainly to see. HDMI cables transmit top-quality audio and video collectively, although within the case of a soundbar it’s clearly simply audio. You may additionally see references to HDMI ARC (audio return channel), which launched two-way audio in 2009, and HDMI eARC (enhanced audio return channel), the 2017 replace that added greater bitrates, higher encompass sound, and assist for extra audio codecs.

It doesn’t matter whether or not your soundbar has HDMI, HDMI ARC, or HDMI eARC, you’re nonetheless going to attach that port to your TV. Nevertheless it’s value noting that if in case you have primary HDMI with out these further acronyms, you may not have entry to the identical options and sound high quality carried by the newer connections. So if in case you have an older soundbar with out eARC assist, you may need to take into consideration an improve.

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You might also see an optical digital audio port, both by itself or alongside an HDMI connection. It will get you high-quality audio, however not fairly nearly as good as what you’d get with HDMI eARC, and this sort of port has progressively been phased out on newer fashions because the eARC customary has taken over.

On the oldest, smallest, and most cost-effective soundbars, you may additionally see a 3.5mm analog audio cable port. You should utilize this to attach your soundbar to your TV, however you received’t get the most effective audio high quality. Moreover, it’s best to see a port for the soundbar’s energy cable. Within the case of the second-generation Sonos Beam, there’s additionally an Ethernet port for a extra direct (and steady) connection to the web, if it’s wanted.

Join your soundbar to your TV

The connection ports for a soundbar and other cables on the back of a TV.
Search for the HDMI port in your TV to attach your soundbar. David Nield

The same old rule of electronics applies right here: Swap off all the pieces you’re working with whilst you get all of it linked. Energy up your soundbar first, after which join the soundbar to your TV. As talked about above, this can normally be by way of an HDMI cable, although you may additionally want to make use of one of many different ports.

[Related: How to fix the annoying audio delay on your soundbar]

Sadly, choosing HDMI cables isn’t as simple appropriately. Whereas nearly any cable will assist HDMI ARC, you want a cable labeled “HDMI with Ethernet,” “high-speed HDMI cable with Ethernet,” or the most recent (and greatest) “extremely high-speed HDMI cable,” to make the most of HDMI eARC (which options the most effective resolutions and bitrate). Bear this in thoughts whereas procuring: HDMI cables ought to say on their packaging or on-line itemizing what requirements they assist. If there’s one included along with your soundbar, even higher.

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Older HDMI cables will work with an HDMI eARC soundbar, however you received’t get all the most effective options. It’s the identical with TVs, the place HDMI eARC has been out there on units manufactured in the previous couple of years: You’ll nonetheless get sound out of an older tv with a non-eARC HDMI port, however you received’t be capable to get the highest audio high quality that eARC helps.

In case your TV has an HDMI eARC port, that’s the one to go for in the case of making the connection, in any other case, any spare HDMI port will do. When you’ve linked the soundbar to the TV, make sure the cables are firmly in place. When you’re utilizing optical digital audio or analog audio, search for the corresponding port in your TV, which ought to be marked accordingly—your TV’s instruction guide will help.

Lastly, get your TV and soundbar positioned the way in which you need (in addition to your subwoofer, if one is a part of the equation), then energy up the tv first, adopted by the soundbar. If all goes effectively, the 2 gadgets ought to efficiently join to one another and work just about immediately.

End the soundbar setup

A black Sonos Beam (Gen 2) connected to a TV and sitting atop a wooden entertainment console.
With all of the cables linked to the Sonos Beam (Gen. 2), it’s nearly time to sit down again and revel in. Sonos

Connecting a soundbar to a TV isn’t a very difficult activity, and also you’ll normally discover that your tools works instantly—notably if in case you have newer {hardware} that helps the most recent requirements. Attempt placing on some sports activities or a film to listen to the distinction within the audio high quality.

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You must also take a while to mess around with the audio settings in your TV. We will’t provide you with directions for each single mannequin, however the audio settings menu shouldn’t be too exhausting to search out along with your TV distant. In some circumstances, you may need to particularly select the soundbar because the audio output to drive sound to exit your linked speaker as an alternative of the TV’s defaults. You may additionally discover you possibly can regulate the audio output high quality and allow further options (akin to Dolby Atmos or DTS:X).

One acronym to search for whilst you browse these settings is CEC (client electronics management) or HDMI-CEC. Basically, these allow you to regulate your soundbar’s quantity and on-off state utilizing your TV distant (and by way of the HDMI cable). More often than not, you’ll need to have this enabled, and it’ll doubtless be enabled by default on the vast majority of units anyway.

Your soundbar could have a couple of settings to mess around with too, although—once more—we will’t provide you with a complete information to the entire soundbars on the market. The Sonos Beam (Gen. 2) has contact controls on the unit itself for quantity management, in addition to an accompanying cellular app that lets you beam audio to it straight from the apps in your cellphone, for instance.

All that’s left is to get pleasure from the advantages and the improved audio high quality of your new soundbar. If all the pieces isn’t working because it ought to, attempt swapping to a special HDMI port in your TV, switching out the HDMI cable for a special one (a brand-new one if doable), and diving into the audio settings in your tv set.