Have you ever had a good-looking flat TV that sounded so horrible you didn’t think it was a modern TV? Well, it’s not just you because, despite all the modern changes the TV has gone through over the past couple of years, it has left behind the sound quality of the speakers.
It’s pretty normal to have a bad-sounding TV. However, it does get annoying, primarily if your TV was meant to give the best watching experience.
This is where soundbars came in. Soundbars are speakers that come in the shape of a bar. They’re the long rectangular speakers you find underneath the TV that produces high-quality sounds. It’s the newest replacement for bulky speakers, and most people are pleased that it was even invented in the first place.
How Do You Operate a Soundbar?
Say you bought a soundbar. What do you do now? You want to connect it to the TV so you would never have to bear the awful, tinny sound of your TV’s speakers.
There are two ways to connect the soundbar to your TV – through an optical cable or all audio and video components directly to the soundbar. The first one is very straightforward, as you’ll connect the optical cable to the TV, and the sounds will be played directly from the soundbar. The second one is a bit more complex, but not so difficult that you’ll spend an hour connecting it.
How to Connect the Soundbar Without the Optical Cable
Fortunately, there are many ways to connect the soundbar without the optical cable. There are four other ways, and you’ll learn more about them here.
1. Using Bluetooth
Connecting via Bluetooth is so common these days with all the Bluetooth speakers available in the market. This is the easiest and most convenient way to connect your TV to your soundbar because no cables are involved. You can do away with those wires for good!
Of course, connecting via Bluetooth is only possible if your TV has a Bluetooth connection. If it doesn’t, you can purchase a Bluetooth transmitter that converts your TV (or any other audio device) to a Bluetooth device. Otherwise, if your TV supports Bluetooth, this will be a walk in the park.
The first thing you have to know is how to activate your Bluetooth connection on the TV. TV sets have different instructions, but most can be seen through the Source options. To be sure, it’s best to consult the manual. When you’ve turned on your Bluetooth on the TV, go to your soundbar and activate Bluetooth. On your TV, you’ll see your soundbar come up and then choose that.
And just like that, you’re already connected wirelessly.
2. Using HDMI
If you don’t want to use your Bluetooth connection, one of the more popular ways to connect audio is through an HDMI cable. However, your TV should also support HDMI-ARC. ARC is the acronym for ‘Audio Return Channel,’ a connector that allows your HDMI cable to receive and send audio to and from the TV set. Without the ARC, your TV will receive data but not be able to send data out. In this case, your TV won’t be able to send audio out which makes the soundbar useless.
For those with an HDMI-ARC connection, you can connect via HDMI by just plugging the HDMI-ARC. But not so fast! You have to make sure both devices are turned on first. Once they’re turned on, plug the HDMI-ARC end into the TV and the other end, the HDMI, into the soundbar. Depending on your soundbar, you might have to go to the connections and select ‘HDMI’ to finish the connection with your TV.
If you’re wondering why people who have Bluetooth connections prefer to connect via HDMI is mainly because the latter can transmit more significant audio data. It can process sound formats like Dolby Atmos and 7.1 surround sound.
3. Using RCA Cables
Another way to connect your TV and your soundbar are through RCA cables. The RCA cables are more commonly known as colorful cables that usually come in red, white (or black), and yellow. The red and white/black are for the right and left audio channels, while the yellow plug is for the video.
Unlike the HDMI-ARC cable, you must ensure that both your devices are turned off before you connect them. Place the red and white/black onto the soundbar since they correspond to the audio ports. Then, connect the yellow plug to your TV. After connecting all the plugs correctly, you can turn on both the soundbar and the TV.
Some people experience problems connecting with the RCA cables because the color coding can be confusing. If your TV comes with a manual, consult it first to ensure that all the plugs are correctly placed in their corresponding ports. It would be best if you also tried to push the plug further because it has to “lock” with the port itself.
4. Using AUX Input
Lastly, you can connect with an AUX cord. AUX is a shortened term for ‘auxiliary,’ often used to connect audio input and output from devices like phones, speakers, and TV sets. Most, if not all, soundbars have their own AUX port, so all you have to do is to plug the AUX IN end into the soundbar and the other end into the TV. Both devices can be turned on while you’re doing this.
If you did it correctly, you would already notice the sound coming from the soundbar. If not, then you’ve probably had the cords backward. If it still doesn’t work, then you might have to manually choose ‘Aux’ in the sound settings of both the TV and the soundbar.
So as you can see, there is no optical cable, no problem! Pick from one of these four other options to enjoy your soundbar.