Skip to Content

How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV with HDMI

If you want to take your home audio experience to the next level without much hassle, a soundbar is exactly what you’re looking for!

These devices are relatively small, but they pack a punch in terms of sound quality and performance.

If you want to know how to connect a soundbar to a TV with HDMI cables, you’ve come to the right place!

Keep on reading for a brief guide that walks you through all the steps necessary for the connection as well as a possible alternative. Let’s jump right in!

A Step by Step Guide to Connect Soundbars to TVs

HDMI cables are specifically designed in order to transmit uncompressed audio and video data signals at high speed, ensuring excellent sound quality with almost no latency at all.

One of the easiest ways to connect your soundbar to your TV is by using HDMI cables. In this section, we’ll show you how to make this connection happen:

Step 1: Check the HDMI Ports on the Back of Your TV and Soundbar

In order to make sure that your soundbar is capable of an HDMI connection with your TV, you have to check both for the proper ports to make the connection happen.

Unfortunately, not all HDMI ports will work for soundbars, as they require a special type of HDMI port that is capable of transferring an audio signal from the TV back to the soundbar.

This one is known as “Audio Return Channel HDMI” or ARC HDMI for short. By checking the back of your TV, you should find that some ports have (ARC) written next to them, indicating that these ones should be used to establish the connection.

You can also consult the TV’s user manual to find out whether your HDMI cables support ARC connection or not.

Keep in mind that there are several varieties of ARC connections out there, including eARC and HDMI-CEC. These should also work in most cases.

Connecting your soundbar through the HDMI ARC cable also comes with additional advantages, such as:

  • Enjoying ultra high quality features, such as Dolby Atmos.
  • Controlling your volume using a TV remote control directly

Step 2: Locate the HDMI ARC Port on the Soundbar

Next, you’ll need to find the compatible HDMI port on the soundbar. This should be much easier because soundbars are portable and have fewer connection ports, so they’ll be easy to spot.

Step 3: Connect the HDMI Cable Between the Two Devices

Now that you’re sure that both your TV and your soundbar are compatible and can establish a connection together, you’ll need to connect the two devices using HDMI cables.

Sound soundbars come with their own HDMI cables, which are usually of high quality and should be used for the connection.

However, if your soundbar doesn’t come with one, make sure that you use a premium HDMI cable that is capable of supporting ARC data, such as this HDMI Cable from Silkland.

Plug one end of the HDMI cable to the soundbar, then connect the other to the ARC HDMI port in your TV, and take note of the one you used.

Step 4:  Adjust the TV Audio Settings

In many smart TVs, the setup process is done automatically, and you should be able to use the soundbar directly once you connect it to the TV.

However, you can also check the TV audio setting in order to send the audio to the soundbar. To do that, simply navigate to Audio or Sound settings on your TV. 

After that, choose “Audio Output”, then select “ARC” or “External Audio Device”. Every TV here would be different, so you may want to check that in your user manual as well.

Alternative Methods to Connect Your Soundbar to TV

In addition to HDMI, you can use any of the following ports to establish a connection with your TV, depending on the availability of the port in both the TV and the soundbar. These include:

Optical Audio Cables

This one is the most popular alternative to ARC HDMI and is usually used when you only have a regular HDMI port on your TV. Make sure that your TV has this port and get a quality cable to enjoy maximum audio quality.

Wireless or Bluetooth Connection

This one is easy as long as your soundbar is capable of supporting the connection. To connect them, you’ll need to put the soundbar in pairing mode, then locate them on your TV depending on your TV settings.

Analog Connection

This uses regular red, white, and yellow cable connections, which are available in most old TVs as well as many modern ones. They’re easy to connect but they’re usually low quality and rarely found in modern soundbars.

Final Thoughts

With that said, you now know how to connect a soundbar to a TV using HDMI cables. As you can see, it’s important that your HDMI cable supports an ARC connection in order to work properly.

If your TV doesn’t support ARC, your only workaround is to connect the soundbar using other slots that are compatible with your TV, such as Optical audio cables or Toslink cables.