Just got a fabulous big-screen television but having troubles with the sounds after you have set it all up? Or you don’t want a complex sound system that takes up a lot of space? The best solution could be going for a soundbar to help improve or enhance your desired sounds.
With the advent of modern TVs becoming increasingly skinny, leaving little space for speakers inside them, this has resulted in smaller speakers being built into the television set. So what is a soundbar, and how can you connect it to your TV?
What is soundbar?
The first thing is to know what a soundbar is and discussed below are a few things you need to know about soundbars. Basically, a soundbar is an individual enclosure device with multiple driver arrays that produce and project a reasonable stereo effect from a single cabinet. Its width is usually more than its height.
A soundbar is specially and primarily designed to incorporate a speaker design producing a wider range of sound. It encloses speakers for both right and left channels. Without the need for wires and multiple speakers, a soundbar offers improved audio with virtual sound. All soundbars also offer stereo sound, which is often best for watching TV.
Sound bars are relatively small in size and can be easily positioned. This means they take up very little space and can be setup easily. They are also less expensive as compared to other stereo sound systems. They can also be mounted on the wall close to your TV or positioned on your TV stand just in front of your television. Simply put, a soundbar is one of the easiest ways of improving the sound being generated from your TV.
Below are the images of what a typical soundbar looks like.
How Do You Connect a Soundbar to a TV?
The main essence of this article is to show you how to connect your soundbar to a television set, which is not so difficult to do. You can rest assured that this article covers any difficulty or uncertainty you might come across as you connect your soundbar to a TV.
There are several methods you can adopt in connecting a soundbar to a TV. And some of the common ones would be discussed in this article. You can either use a Digital Optical Cable or HDMI connection. The use of Bluetooth is also discussed below.
The first thing to check as you unpack your soundbar is to ensure that all the necessary components are included and read the manual (as most folks do not).
1. Using a Digital Optical Cable
Generally, a soundbar will come with one form of digital input or another. It could be a digital optical or a digital coaxial. Most TVs also come with either one or both of these outputs to be able to connect to the soundbar or any other audio system without much issue.
The steps you need to follow are simply stated out below
- Connect one end of the optical audio cable to the “Optical IN” port on the soundbar. You may this port labeled “Digital IN” or “Optical.” Perhaps you plan to mount your soundbar on your wall; it is advised to connect it to the TV set before putting in a permanent position.
- Connect the second end of the optical cable to the ”Optical OUT” port on the TV which would most likely be located at the back of the TV panel.
- Connect your Soundbar to a source of Power. Once it is connected to the power source and the TV, you can now mount it on the wall as you so desire.
- Turn on the devices in the connection.
- Set up the source on the Soundbar. This is not always required for all soundbars but if a button with “source” is available, press it until you see “D.IN” show up on display.
- Also, set up your TV’s audio system to be routed through the connected soundbar. The steps to do this vary based on manufacturer. Check the TV instructional manual to know how to navigate through the settings. The remote control is usually used to access the settings and select “Audio Settings.” Then choose either soundbar or digital optical(depending on the one it displays) as the speaker.
2. Using HDMI Connection
HDMI means High Definition Multimedia Interface. It is an audio/video interface used in connecting digital devices such as TVs, setup boxes, projects, and so many others. HDMI produces the best audio and video sound quality as it was created from the digital source. These HDMI cables are more advanced relative to the optical cables. They can carry more data, therefore allowing for higher quality sound formats.
The steps in using an HDMI connection are highlighted below
- Find out if your TV supports ARC- Audio Return Channel. Check the back of the TV to find out if any of the HDMI ports are labeled “ARC,” then you can use this method. And if perhaps, your TV set does not support ARC, all hope is not lost. You can still use HDMI, but you will also need an optical cable in the connection.
- Put one end of the cable into the port labeled “HDMI OUT” located on the Soundbar which is usually located at the back side of the soundbar. And sometimes, it may be located on the top or side edge of the soundbar.
- Plug the other end into the “HDMI IN” port located at the back of the TV labeled “ARC.”
- Ensure the soundbar is connected to a power source. And once all the necessary connection have been done, you can now mount the soundbar on the wall if you so desire.
- Turn on all the connected devices to check if the connection has been rightly done.
- Enable ARC on your Television set. You can skip this step if your TV set does not support ARC. Depending on the manufacturer, using your TV’s remote control to setup. Open your settings and choose Audio Settings or something similar, then enable the ARC.
- The next step is to set the source on your soundbar. This might not be required or necessary for all soundbars. If you see a button with “source” on it, press it until you see “D.IN” show up on its display. This would be the correct mode for the connected soundbar ton receive from your TV set.
- Use the TV remote as normal. Once you have connected your soundbar using HDMI and ARC enabled, the audio should start coming from the soundbar immediately.
3. Using Bluetooth
In this method, you need to make sure your devices are Bluetooth enabled. This can only be used in specific situations because not all soundbars or TV sets come with a Bluetooth feature.
To pair the soundbar to your TV, follow the DIY steps below
- Press the Bluetooth button and hold for 5 seconds. Alternatively, you may get the Bluetooth pair option on the remote control. The LED indicator shown on the display panel begins to blink when both devices pair. The LED indicator stops blinking after the devices have paired.
- The next thing is to search from your Bluetooth enabled TV for the soundbar. To get more information about this, you might need to go through the instruction manual that came with the television set.
- After taking the above steps, you can listen to your audio from your TV and also control the sound volume on the soundbar as well as the TV set.
Check the following factors if your soundbar fails to connect to your TV using Bluetooth:
- Switch on the Bluetooth mode on the soundbar. Click the button labeled BT on the remote control. Wait until the display panel shows BT>WAIT>BT READY. If the display panel does not show it, the remote control may be disturbing. Press the function button of the soundbar to solve the problem. You have to press it repeatedly until the BT mode toggles.
- It is possible that the soundbar may not toggle to Bluetooth mode either by the function button or the remote. If this is the case, take it to the service center.
- Also, check to find out which Bluetooth profiles your TV supports. It is important to know as audio can only be generated through Bluetooth.
- You should also check if the Bluetooth function of your TV set is working or not by trying to connect to other devices via Bluetooth.
- If the connection still refuses to work, it is suggested that you shut down the TV you want to connect and then on it again. Try to connect to the soundbar again.
- If the devices are not compatible, the Bluetooth troubleshooting might also occur. Connect the soundbar to another device via Bluetooth; if they connect, the problem might be from the TV set.
Maximize the signal
You can only connect two devices via Bluetooth within a certain range to each other. Remember the Bluetooth format is a compressed type which may cause the streamed audio and video to lose its original sound quality. If it falls beyond optimal, try these-
- The audio connection between the soundbar and your TV maybe disturbed while streaming. If such happens, keep your soundbar close to your TV set.
- Get rid of any form of solid obstructions from the range of sight between the soundbar and the TV.
- Also, remove other wireless devices that lie within the Bluetooth range between the soundbar and the TV. They affect the Bluetooth connection if kept within the range. So turn off all wireless connections on the surrounding devices.
For some folks, to spend a day without watching TV is almost impossible. What is the use of TV shows when you are not enjoying a quality sound system from your TV speakers? To generate a good and enjoyable sound quality, get a soundbar, and connect it to your TV to improve the sound quality. Surely you will be able to connect a soundbar to your TV set yourself. Enjoy quality of sound production.