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How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV with HDMI

As an owner of a soundbar and a TV, I know all too well the frustration of trying to figure out how to connect the two together. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share how I solved this issue and other solutions I discovered. In this blog post, I’ll be discussing how to connect a soundbar to a TV with HDMI.


  • HDMI cables are specifically designed to transmit uncompressed audio and video data signals at high speed.
  • Check the HDMI ports on the back of your TV and soundbar to make sure they are compatible.
  • Make sure that the HDMI cable you are using supports ARC connection.
  • Connect the two devices using HDMI cables, then adjust the TV audio settings.
  • Alternative methods to connect a soundbar to a TV include optical audio cables, wireless or Bluetooth connection, and analog connection.
MethodStepsNotes and Considerations
HDMI ARC Connection1. Check HDMI ports on TV and soundbar for ARC compatibilityRequires ARC-compatible HDMI ports on both TV and soundbar
2. Locate the HDMI ARC port on the soundbar
3. Connect the HDMI cable between the two devicesUse a high-quality HDMI cable that supports ARC
4. Adjust the TV audio settingsMay vary depending on the TV model
Optical Audio Connection1. Check for the optical audio port on both TV and soundbarA popular alternative to HDMI ARC
2. Connect the optical audio cable between the two devicesUse a quality optical audio cable for the best audio experience
Wireless or Bluetooth1. Ensure soundbar supports wireless or Bluetooth connectionEasy to set up if both devices support the connection
2. Put the soundbar in pairing mode and locate it on your TVMay vary depending on the TV and soundbar model
Analog Connection1. Check for red, white, and yellow cable connections on both TV and soundbarRarely found in modern soundbars, lower audio quality
2. Connect the analog cables between the two devicesSuitable for older TVs without HDMI or optical audio ports

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.

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