How to Connect Soundbar to TV with an HDMI ARC

So, you just got yourself this incredible piece of equipment called a soundbar and you are wondering how to connect the soundbar to your TV with an HDMI cable?.

Well, don’t worry!. The good news is that it’s easy to hook up in some four simple steps. Just follow the guide here and you should be fine.

A soundbar is an incredible piece of equipment that allows you to streamline multiple channels of audio into one piece of sound equipment.

It gives your TV sound some serious sound upgrade in terms of audio fidelity and power like immersive music, dialog becomes more distinct and the bass sounds.

Your only worry might have to do with how to hook it up to your TV with a single cable like this HDMI cable and a source of power to power it.

Luckily, it’s not hard to learn how to connect a soundbar to a TV.

It doesn’t take the whole day to set up once you have your soundbar, power source, HDMI cable, and TV in place.

It’s kind of straightforward to do and by design, most TVs will automatically recognize when a new audio device is attached to them.

Steps to Connect a Soundbar to a TV with HDMI Cable

Having a soundbar can really get you excited at least if not for anything, but the feeling of getting quality sound from your TV.

Congratulations on acquiring this incredible piece of sound device. Now, it’s time for us to set it up by connecting it with the HDMI cable to your TV for that immerse sound you desire.

Here are simple steps to get you to accomplish your aim.

Also Read:

Setting up a soundbar with a TV with an HDMI cable

How to connect soundbar to TV with optical cable

1). Power Up Both Devices and Turn Them On

There is a  high chance that your TV is already connected to a power source if unless is a brand new one you are just unboxing for a new space.

If the TV is already connected, good!. Otherwise, you need to connect it to a power source, and likewise the same for the soundbar.

Both TV and soundbar require separate power sources to operate. If you forget to power up the soundbar, it won’t turn on.

Different soundbars from different brands may have different methods of receiving power. But the most common way is to connect it to an AC power adapter or something similar.

Some even power themselves through the TV. But just check your brand to be sure it’s receiving its source of power.

Sometimes, people get frustrated that their soundbar to TV connection is not working. When in actual fact, the device is not plugged in and turned on.

Before, you get frustrated, make sure to check for the power connections first and then turn both devices on before you establish the connection between them with the HDMI cable.

That way, the notification will pop up on the TV that an audio device is detected.

2). Locate the HDMI Input (ARC) on the TV

Once the TV and soundbar are connected to their respective power sources, it’s time to establish the connection between them with the HDMI cable.

For this, it doesn’t really matter which of the devices you plug in the HDMI cable inside first. What matters is that the connection is properly established with each device respectively.

You need to locate the HDMI input port (ARC) on the TV. Mostly, this port is found at the same location as the other input ports.

If you cannot find the HDMI input (ARC) port on your TV, then check by the power and other buttons. Then, if you still cannot find it, consult your TV’s user manual or contact the manufacturer.

The shape of the HDMI cable is easy to identify. Get the ends of the HDMI cable and plug the end that matches the port on the TV.

It is worth mentioning that not all TVs use an HDMI cable. Some TVs don’t. I am sure if you have followed this far, yours have an HDMI connection.

If not, you may skip this part and read towards the end for how to connect a TV to a soundbar without an HDMI cable.

3). Locate the HDMI Output (ARC) on the Soundbar

If have already followed step 2, I am sure you have connected the TV side by now.

Now, you need to locate the HDMI output port on the soundbar to connect the other end of the cable.

Finding this port won’t be much of a problem since there are few ports on a soundbar compared to a TV.

Once you have found the port, plug in the HDMI cable and make sure it’s properly connected. It’s time to now pair the soundbar to the TV.

4). Plug the HDMI Cable into Each Device Respectively

Once all ports are identified and power sources connected. It’s time to connect the cable to each port respectively.

The order doesn’t really matter as long as they are both securely connected.

5). Adjust the Settings on the TV to Select the Soundbar as the Preferred Speaker Output

After the connections, the next thing is to adjust the settings on the TV to your preferred speaker output which will be the soundbar.

While some Soundbars will automatically become the preferred speaker output once they are plugged in, this is not always the case.

If your TV does not automatically opt for the new HDMI input/output option to be the Soundbar, then you might not notice any difference in the sound quality streaming from your TV.

This happens mostly when the TV is still using its built-in internal speakers instead of using the soundbar as the audio output.

In this instance, you will need to manually adjust the automatic preference so that the TV will send the audio output to the soundbar.

How to set the Prefered Audio Output on Your TV to Soundbar

I can give you instructions on every single model out there, but looking for the audio settings menu on your TV shouldn’t be hard to find using the TV remote.

You can check your user manual on how to connect it or these general steps will help you out.

In some cases. you might have to specifically choose the soundbar as the audio output to force the sound to exit your connected speaker instead of the TV’s defaults.

Go to the settings on your TV and select speaker or audio settings

 Then select the preferred speaker output to be the soundbar. It may also be connected as an HDMI as the default option or you make sure the default source of the soundbar is set to D.IN. 

Also, enable other extra features such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X). Another acronym to look for in your search in the settings is the consumer electronics control (CEC) or HDMI-CEC.

Most likely is already enabled by default. Otherwise, you will have to have it enabled.

After checking to and connecting to your preferred speaker output as the soundbar, you will still have to ensure all your other home theater gadgets are connected and paired up properly.

This video below also explains the process of connecting the TV to the Soundbar with an HDMI cable.

How Do You Connect a Soundbar to a TV without HDMI?

We have already established above how to connect your TV and soundbar with an HDMI cable.

Now, let’s say your T does not have an HDMI port but you wish to connect a soundbar. How will you go about it?. Here is how you can achieve that.

You can connect a soundbar to a TV without an HDMI cable by using a Bluetooth audio transmitter/adapter or consider using an RCA/ HDMI cable adapter or an adapter that is compatible with your TV

Furthermore, if you explore other options, you will be able to find some that might work. But these two options above are the easiest.

With the Bluetooth audio transmitter/adapter option, you need to check if the soundbar is Bluetooth compatible. Next,  get a Bluetooth receiver and plug it into the TV. Connect the Bluetooth transmitter with the receiver to receive the signal.

The other option I mentioned above is the RCA/HDMI cable adapter. With this option, you will need to find the  RCA inputs ( right, left, and center channel options which are typically labeled red, white, and yellow ports on the TV).

Then, you get an adapter that has an HDMI port on one end and RCA cable ports on the other end. Now connect the cable with the RCA ports on one end to the TV and follow the above steps on how to connect the TV and soundbar via HDMI.

Final Thoughts

Using an HDMI cable to connect the soundbar and your TV is really simple. The process is straightforward provided you follow the steps above.

But if after the connection, everything isn’t working as it should be, you should try swapping to a different HDMI port on the TV and switch out the HMDI cable to a different one.

If possible a brand new cable. Because HDMI cables are sensitive and should be handled with care.

If everything is connected properly, the TV will either automatically recognize the device or you will have to go into the audio settings on your TV set to connect it properly.

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