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How to connect and set up your sound bar

For better TV sound and music

In a nutshell: Connecting a basic sound bar to your TV is easy. But what if you want to connect your cable box, Blu-ray player, and game console to your sound bar? We'll answer the following questions:

  • What cables do you need?
  • Which jacks should you plug them into?
  • Which settings will you have to change in your TV's audio menu?
  • Which sound bar settings will help you make the most of your new purchase? 

The last time I hooked up a sound bar, about five years ago, there was practically nothing to it. I had it up and going in under five minutes.

When I went down to the Crutchfield Lab to set up one of the latest models, it was a different story. This thing worked like a home theater receiver, with connections for several A/V components and lots of different ways to play music. It took a bit longer to set up, but it was worth every minute.

You can still find a no-frills sound bar you can hook up and have working in no time flat—I'll cover those here, too—but having more options is a good thing.

Intro image

Now that I've gotten this sound bar hooked up, it's fun to see what it can do. Here I am taking advantage of the sound bar's Bluetooth connection to stream music from my phone.

The easy way: components connect to the TV

Are you connecting your cable box, Blu-ray player, game console, or other components to your TV? Then it’s a snap to connect and set up a sound bar. The sound bar's role in this scenario is simply to sound better than your TV speakers. An optical digital audio cable transfers the audio signal from your TV to the sound bar. You continue to use your TV remote to switch sources.


In this example, your TV has control of your input selection, and passes the audio signal to your sound bar.

Setup tips for optical digital connections

  • Deactivate your TV's speakers. From the TV audio menu, you'll either turn off the built-in speakers, or select "external speaker."
  • If your TV can send digital surround sound formats through the optical output, but your sound bar doesn't decode them, set the TV's digital audio output to PCM.

Scenario 2: components connect to the sound bar

Wall mounted TV with sound bar on cabinet below

If your TV is wall-mounted and your sound bar sits on the furniture below, it makes sense to use your sound bar as the hub for your A/V components. You'll only have to run one cable to the TV.

If you choose to connect your components to your sound bar, installation will take a bit longer. The HDMI soundbar connections guarantee you the best sound quality from Blu-ray soundtracks and other multi-channel formats. (That's because many TVs can't send digital surround sound formats through the optical output.)


Here, your HDMI sound bar keeps control of your system's inputs, and passes the video signal to your TV.

Sound bar menu

An HDMI connection carries both audio and video signals. It lets you view the sound bar's onscreen display

Setup tips for HDMI connections


ARC (Audio Return Channel) lets you connect a sound bar to your TV with a single HDMI cable

If your TV and sound bar both have an HDMI jack marked ARC (for audio return channel), a single HDMI cable (version 1.4 or higher) is all you'll need. If your TV doesn't have an HDMI/ARC input, you'll need both optical and HDMI connections between the TV and the sound bar. You may have to activate ARC on your TV.

Setup menu

Some sound bars, like the Sony HT-ST9 I hooked up, offer an onscreen display to walk you through the setup process.

You're not quite done yet

Once you've connected the sound bar to your TV, it's time to complete the setup. Learn how to take advantage of all the features a sound bar offers. Let's start with the subwoofer.

Sound bar with subwoofer

If your room setup is flexible, try placing the subwoofer in different locations to find the sound that's right for you.

Many sound bars include a wireless subwoofer to round out the sound. You just need to make sure the subwoofer is plugged into the wall and switched on. In most cases, the sound bar and its subwoofer are preset at the factory to work together, so the connection is automatic. With higher-end sound bar models, you may need to activate the subwoofer through the onscreen setup menu.

Wireless subwoofers can be placed just about anywhere in the room, within about 30 feet of the sound bar. You'll get more bass if you place the subwoofer against a wall or in a corner.

Soundbar app

Some of today's sound bars offer a variety of useful listening modes and other settings to fine-tune the sound. You can use a remote control app on your mobile device to make the adjustments.

Cool tweaks for better sound

Sound bars don't just make your TV sound louder — they also add some adjustment options. These features help you get the most out of your sound bar.

  • You may find specialized processing modes for movies, music, games, and sports. These can really make the sound more engaging. Give them a try.
  • Do you have trouble hearing dialog over background sounds? Dialog enhancement makes spoken words easier to understand.
  • Sync settings remove any delay between the action onscreen and the accompanying sound.
  • Night mode keeps the volume from getting loud enough to disturb neighbors or family members when you're watching late night TV.
  • Compressed music enhancement makes MP3s and streaming music sound more full and natural.

Sound enhancements like these go by different names depending on the sound bar model. You can access them with the remote control that comes with the sound bar, or possibly from an onscreen menu or remote app.

Use Bluetooth for near-limitless listening options

Bluetooth® lets you stream any music you listen to on your phone or tablet to your sound bar. If you watch a video on your device, you can stream the audio to your sound bar.

Follow these steps to stream audio to your sound bar using Bluetooth:

  • Activate Bluetooth on your phone or tablet.
  • Select the sound bar as the device you want to stream to.
  • Select what you want to hear, and press play.

Some sound bars, like the Sony HT-Z9F, even let you transmit TV sound to a pair of Bluetooth headphones, or to a Bluetooth speaker in a nearby room.

Bluetooth transmitter screen

Screenshot of a sound bar's onscreen display showing Bluetooth transmitter option.

Follow these steps to transmit TV sound from a compatible sound bar to another Bluetooth device:

  • From the sound bar menu, designate the sound bar as a Bluetooth transmitter.
  • Select your Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speaker as the device to stream to.

Depending on the model, the sound bar may be muted when you transmit sound via Bluetooth to another device, or it may continue to play.

What does networking capability add?

With the sound bar connected to your network, you can stream from different online music services, and even your own PC. You'll also have access to quick firmware updates for your sound bar. Another cool aspect of networking capability is that some sound bars can work as part of a wireless multi-room music system.

Sound bars may offer both wired and wireless connections to your home network. The network connection setup will vary across models, but as long as the sound bar is connected to your router, the process is more or less automatic. Consult your sound bar's manual for specific setup information.

How do I control this thing?

For a basic sound bar without many advanced features, it makes sense to keep using your TV remote. With the sound bar connected via HDMI, you should automatically be able to use your TV remote to control volume. If you use the optical digital connection, just follow the instructions in the owner's manual to teach your TV remote to control your sound bar's volume.


Here are three different examples of sound bar remotes, to give you an idea of the wide variance between models.

Since some sound bars have more advanced features than others, the remote controls that come with them are all different. A sound bar's remote control might let you adjust subwoofer volume, for example, along with other available sound tweaks. It may be as advanced as a receiver remote, with controls for source-switching.

SB app

The menu screen on the Sony HT-ST9 remote app mirrors the options on the sound bar's onscreen display menu.

You may even be able to use an app on your phone or tablet to control your sound. Remote apps and sound bar remotes let you access settings you can't get to from your TV remote.

Please share your thoughts below.

  • Willie Johansen from BOYKINS

    Posted on 7/1/2021

    Hi, I have a Klipsch RP-450-C sound bar that has only 2 terminals marked + and -. How do I connect it to my Sharp TV? The TV seems to have all of the modern terminals. Thank you, Willie

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 7/2/2021

    As it turns out, the Klipsch RP-450-C is a center channel speaker. It's a passive unit and requires external amplification. Those + and - terminals are speaker wire connections. You would need to connect the Klipsch to a receiver for power, then plug in an A/V connection from the receiver to your TV. Sadly, your TV isn't going to be able to power a center channel speaker. If you're looking for a powered sound bar you can connect directly to your TV, don't hesitate to give our Advisors a call and they'll point you in the right direction.
  • Teresa from Gary

    Posted on 5/24/2021

    I HAVE A leg soundbar and woofer system I've used for 4 years on my ANDROID smartphones. Suddenly since I've needed to purchase another phone,same brand..Samsung A01 smartphone,my BLUETOOTH soundbar volume controller is turning my phones VALUME up,as well as the phone is turning my systems VALUME up etc. HELP PLEASE,NEVER HAS THIS BEEN AN ISSURE BEFORE

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 6/10/2021

    Lots of android smartphones have an option in their settings to separate your Bluetooth and phone volume levels. If the two volumes are synced, this feature is usually labeled as "absolute volume," and you can disable it to keep the volume levels separate. If you're having trouble getting that to work, your best bet will be to reach out to Samsung, your phone manufacturer. Hope this helps!
  • Mani from Krakow

    Posted on 3/16/2021

    Very informative content..

  • Gary L from Stockton

    Posted on 1/3/2021

    So I purchased a TCL 6 series sound bar and hooked it up, then I tried to pair it with my xfinity XR11 remote and guess what...TCL doesn't have a pairing code for xfinity remotes, so I'm stuck with having to use two remotes one strictly for sound and one for everything is this possible??????????

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 1/4/2021

    Lots of sound bars can be controlled by a TV remote through HDMI-CEC, but cable remotes can present a hurdle in this regard. You may be in a situation where adding a universal remote is helpful. If you need help with a recommendation, just reach out to one of our Advisors. They should be able to find something that fits your application.
  • Ron Petrich from Sacramento CA

    Posted on 12/11/2020

    Regarding remotes... You mention nothing about cable remotes. Mine from Comcast is the XR15 with voice control. No reason to use anything else, especially since my 55" Samsung TV is 6 years old and I have no need to replace it. It seems these sound bars all have 5-digit codes (3XXXX) to enable the XR15 to control sound bar on/off, volume, mute, etc. I just took delivery of the Enchant 1300 to replace my Samsung HW-F551 bar. GUESS WHAT? Xfinity does NOT support the Enchant sound bar. No code. I was led down a path by Crutchfield "experts" that I would have no issues. No one at your end (I spoke with 4 of you) mentioned this, even though I said I had Comcast. So please update your instructions to warn customers about these pitfalls. It is not always as easy as you make it seem. Now I have to go through the hassle of returning the 1300 and subwoofer. I'll probably get stuck paying the freight.

  • George Mathews from Rockville, MD

    Posted on 12/10/2020

    I have Samsung HW-Q900T Soundbar and the Samsung QLED Q90T Television. When I connect the soundbar to the TV (both eARC compatible ports), the TV does not see the soundbar as eARC when I put my cable box and BluRay player to HDMI1 and 2 on the TV? If I disconnect HDMI 1 and 2 from the TV and have only the eARD(HDMI3) connected to the soundbar, it response perfectly to eARC. Then if I late connect the cable box and BluRay, everything operates as it should. Do I need to connect the cable box and BluRay player to the soundbar then keep the eARC connections to the TV to make this work right? The TV remote wants to try to work everything. Can it do that being connected in this manner? Also, do I leave the TV pointing at HDMI3 to get video ? Would have to? George

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 12/11/2020

    Hi George, There are a few movie pieces here. Any time you buy from us, it comes with tech support. Best bet would be to give our folks a ring so they can help troubleshoot through the problem.
  • John Evans from Wilsonville

    Posted on 12/10/2020

    My new Yamaha 209 only has one hdmi input. If I use that for the comcast feed and then run an hdmi to the tv's hdmi ARC input, how does connections to the tv's other hdmi inputs work? Will my firestick, for example, be able to produce sound? I'm thinking I will have to use an optical connection as I did with my old Yamaha soundbar.

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 12/11/2020

    Hi John, No problem, A/V sources plugged directly into the TV's HDMI will still operate normally. You can then pass the audio to your sound bar with an optical cable, like you described. Sounds like what you have in mind will work out just fine.
  • Joy from Enid

    Posted on 12/2/2020

    My sound bar has 1 hdmi port, my cable box is conected to hdmi port on TV how can I connect my sound bar use hdmi?

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 12/3/2020

    Hi Joy, It sounds like you might have 1 HDMI connection on both your TV and sound bar? That could limit your options a bit. Most sound bars and many TVs also have an optical digital connection though. If both of your devices have that, you could always bypass the problem and use an optical digital cable instead.
  • Vivienne from London

    Posted on 11/28/2020

    Hi I have a Samsung soundbar with optical output only and have just got new Samsung TV that has hdmi arc connection to soundbar . Which adaptor /converter can anyone recommend. Their is a USB port I was wondering if I got a USB to hdmi converter if that would work instead . Thank you

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 12/3/2020

    Hi Vivienne, As long as your new Samsung TV also has an optical digital output, you can still connect your sound bar that way. If your sound bar only has the optical connection, it won't be compatible with ARC — even with a device to convert the HDMI signal to optical.
  • Arturo Gallegos from San Antonio

    Posted on 11/21/2020

    Very informative, I don't know much, but I am well informed just enough to be dangerous?

  • Gerald Lim

    Posted on 11/20/2020

    thanks for this great article!

  • joe walters from lapeer mi

    Posted on 11/19/2020

    i have a samsung q80t tv and a samsung q800t sounbar, they both have eARC i am going to connect the 2 via eARC my cable box has HDMI out, should i connect my cable box to the sound bar or the TV ?

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 12/3/2020

    Hi Joe, Your sound bar should be able to pass the HDMI signal from your cable box to your TV without a problem. The 80T should have plenty of HDMI connections though, so if you needed to connect the cable box to the TV directly, that will work as well. What makes the most sense for you may just come down to placement and what other devices you're connecting.
  • Ed Selby from Billings, MT

    Posted on 11/13/2020

    Discussion not complete. A zillion options, but never tells me the answer to my obvious question: When the television is "muted", does it also mute the sound bar?

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 12/3/2020

    Hi Ed, If you've connected the sound bar via HDMI to your TV and both are CEC compatible, you should be able to control the sound bar's volume with either it's own remote or the TV's remote — including the mute function. You'll want to turn of the TV's speakers if you're planning on using the TV remote and make sure you have HDMI control turned on.
  • carl from st. pete

    Posted on 10/30/2020

    I am very impressed with your website... the knowledge and clearity and simplicity is very professional... You get to the point quickly and don't reapeat boring facts just to eat up space.... thank you

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 11/12/2020

    Thanks so much Carl!
  • Renee from Novi

    Posted on 10/16/2020

    I have a Klipsch Soundbar and a Samsung Smart tv. Should the setting for audio out be Receiver HDMI, or Audio Out/Optical? Also, Bit stream or PCM? Audio format: PCM, Dolby Digital, DTS or DTS Neo 2:5?

    Commenter image

    Colin M. from Crutchfield

    on 12/3/2020

    Hi Renee, This will depend a little on how you've got your system set up and what type of connection you're using. Purchases with us come with tech support, which will probably be the best bet to make sure all the settings are good to go.
  • Aiden Martinez from Kansas

    Posted on 10/14/2020

    I have a Yamaha ATS-1030 sound bar is there anyway I can connect a subwoofer to it I have tried everything and nothing seems to work.

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 10/20/2020

    Sorry Aiden! It looks like that bar has a built-in subwoofer, and unfortunately I don't believe there is a way to connect a separate one.
  • Gary Davis from Big Bear City

    Posted on 10/8/2020

    I have a Sony XBR-65X850G TV and am trying to hook up a Sony HT-Z9F soundbar to it. I have connected the Tivo cable box and my Sony 4K blu Ray player to the TV with HDMI cables. I have connected the soundbar to the eARC on the TV also with HDMI. When I turn on the TV the picture comes up and goes black for a few seconds and then the soundbar window says please wait and a few seconds later the picture and sound come up. But the issue is that sometimes the picture does not come up the screen just says no signal. I have put new HDMI cables to no avail. I am going to try the optical cable instead of the HDMI to see if that works. I have also tried hooking everything up to the soundbar but that is worse. Any suggestions?

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 10/20/2020

    Hi Gary! I would confirm that you've done the firmware update on the HT-Z9F to make sure it is supporting eARC. If you are still having trouble, let us know. Every Crutchfield purchase comes with lifetime tech support. Good luck!

  • Ellen Vaillancourt from Amesbury

    Posted on 10/2/2020

    I am just trying to connect my polk, signa s2 sound bar to my tv for better sound. I have an extra connecting cable with two very small round connectors at the ends which I don't know where it goes. So far there is no sound from my sound bar. I am 80 years old and not most knowledgeable about these things.

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 10/2/2020

    Hello Ellen! It looks like your Polk sound bar should've come with an HDMI cable (which has a single fat rectangular-ish connector), and that is likely all you need (if you aren't connecting lots of sources). The back of your bar should have a port that says "TV (HDMI ARC)" and your TV will *hopefully* also have a port labeled ARC. If that is the case, you should only need that single HDMI cable connection between the two. If your TV doesn't have something labeled ARC, I would try calling the tech support line for the place where you got your sound bar or TV. I hope that helped. Take care, Ellen!!
  • Eric from Saint Louis

    Posted on 9/7/2020

    Hello, I have a Sony soundbar and have it hooked up to the TV just fine, but I also have an HD radio that I want to connect to the soundbar. I ran an optical audio cable from the HD radio to the Sony soundbar, but I can't select the optical input as an input on the soundbar to hear the HD radio. Any tips? Thanks for your time, Eric

  • Tom from Boise

    Posted on 9/5/2020

    If you could answer this question for me it would help a lot. Thanks. Tom

  • Tom from Boise

    Posted on 8/30/2020

    Can anyone tell me if it is better to have the satellite box connected to the tv HDMI Arc or the sound bar?

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 10/2/2020

    Hi Tom! Sorry for the delayed reply. The ARC port is strictly for a connection between your TV and sound system (a sound bar, in your case). Any sources, like your satellite box, will be connected to other available HDMI (or optical) ports on either your sound bar or your TV. As far as which is best, it really depends on your setup. I hope that helped. Thanks for the question, and good luck!
  • Tayyab Akhtar from Sialkot

    Posted on 8/3/2020

    Best Information and guide line.

  • Rob from Muskego

    Posted on 7/28/2020

    I'm going to be purchasing an LG 65" CX OLED and a Sony HT-ST500. I will eventually be using a Playstation 5 for a HD Blu Ray player when it comes out. If I run everything (Cable, PS5, Nintendo Switch) through the soundbar, will I lose anything in picture quality? If I hook everything up to the TV and use ARC to send audio to the soundbar, will I lose audio quality? Will it be pretty even either way?

  • Larry Yip from Anaheim

    Posted on 7/28/2020

    I have a hard time connect the yamaha sound bar YAS207. I'll be able to connect the cable device to the TV & to the soundbar. However, I can't connect my Apple TV to the soundbar & to the TV, there were not sounds. Please let me know what I did wrong.

  • benin from Somerville,Ma

    Posted on 5/22/2020

    I have samsung 4k Uhd tv.(USB,optical audio,HDM2 ARC and HDM 1) sound bar : ( line1/2 ), Optical audio, hdmi Arc and bluetooth) PS4 : (couple USB , hdmi ARC ,LAN AND WLAN ) my problem is I don't have the optical cable AND m/m USB so how can I assemble connection with all ?

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 6/1/2020

    Hi Benin!

    The HDMI out on your PS4 is just a regular HDMI out, not an ARC port, so I would use that to hook it up to your TV's non-ARC HDMI input. Then connect your sound bar using ARC on both the TV and sound bar. You shouldn't need an optical or USB cable at all.

    I hope that helps! But if you need more assistance, feel free to get back in touch. Good luck!

  • Jose Auffant from San Juan

    Posted on 5/7/2020

    HI..I need to know in the case i buy a reciever like the ONKYO TX NR696 if is proper to includ it in the conection with the soundbar set up?

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 6/1/2020

    I'm so sorry Jose, I thought I had already replied to this one, but it didn't go through. Most sound bars are self-powered, so you don't need a receiver involved at all. The exception is if you pick up a passive bar, which takes the place of the front left-, center-, and right-channel speakers in a typical home theater setup. You DO need to connect a passive bar to a receiver.
  • Joe from Sarasota

    Posted on 4/24/2020

    I have my cable box, soundbar and Sony X800 4k disc player connected to my Samsung QLED TV's One Box. Would there be any benefit to also connecting the Sony's 2nd HDMI output (audio only) to the soundbar?

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 6/1/2020

    Hello Joe! The only reason to make a separate audio connection would be if your TV cannot pass high-quality audio signals through to your sound bar. It depends on the model, but I believe your QLED can probably pass Dolby Atmos (via Dolby Digital Plus), Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, or 2-channel PCM signals, so I don't think there'd be much benefit in a separate connection. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!
  • David Jennings from Fort Myers

    Posted on 4/15/2020

    I purchased the 75" Sony Bravia last year and the Sony 900F soundbar that is specifically made to go with it and have never been able to get the sound correct. The mouth movements are always AHEAD of the sound so there is no way to adjust. I have a Direct TV HDMI going to TV and a Blue Disc HDMI to TV and then have HDMI to sound bar and then HDMI back to TV (ARC). This has never worked correctly. Last adjustment was to use optical output to soundbar and don't use the HDMI but I think the HDMI is still there returning to TV HDMI in. Any suggestions to correct this reverse sound latency? Since I read ur review, I will now change and have no HDMI to TV...just optical and see if that helps...Thanks..DJ

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 5/7/2020

    Hi David!

    Sorry for the delayed reply. That sounds really annoying. If your sources are all connected to the TV, and they are all having sync issues, it sounds like the problem might be the TV. I'm not sure exactly what model you have, but there should be some A/V sync options under Setup / Audio settings.

    If you've already tried that, you can try adjusting at the sound bar. I'm guessing you've got the X9000F sound bar. First, make sure you have a single-cable HDMI connection between the ARC ports on your TV and sound bar (you shouldn't need two HDMI or HDMI and optical). I suspect you've already tried this, but there are some A/V Sync options on pages 36 and 36 of the manual (which you'll find at the link right under "what's in the box").

    If you are still having trouble, let us know. Every Crutchfield purchase comes with lifetime tech support. Good luck!

  • sidney from christchurch

    Posted on 4/8/2020

    help i have a new samsung hw-n300 soundbar that the remote does not even switch on

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 4/13/2020

    Hey Sidney! That sounds frustrating. If it's new, I'd try either Samsung or the retailer where you purchased it. They should be able to help you out. Good luck!
  • Jonathan Benitz from Greeley

    Posted on 3/24/2020

    Is it possible for the Sony HT-ST9 soundbar to display the HDMI signal from my PS4 and bluetooth audio/music from my phone at the same time?

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 6/1/2020

    I'm so sorry for the delayed reply. I don't believe the sound bar can play audio from the PS4 and a Bluetooth connection simultaneously.
  • John Neilsen from Garden Grove

    Posted on 2/19/2020

    Emily, My goal is to eliminate wires from the TV and devices but without sacrificing audio quality. I am running a LG OledC9 55" with and LG SL6Y Sound bar. I want to connect a UHD 4k bluray player, Amazon fire TV and gaming system. I want to use the ARC function and with only 1 HDMI input and output on the sound bar I wasn't sure the best way to do this. My thought was: - The UHD bluray player HDMI to the Soundbar. - The soundbar HDMI ARC to the TV HDMI ARC. - The Amazon Fire TV into a non HDMI ARC in the TV - The gaming system into a non HDMI ARC in the TV My questions then become: - Will all the devices be able to get the best possible audio or only the UHD bluray player? -Is it possible to use some type of HDMI splitter and use that to connect all 3 devices into the Sound bar? - Will the ARC functionality only work when watching right from the TV, TV apps and UHD bluray player? - What limitations will this give to the audio/ARC function when using the Fire TV and gaming system? Lastly if you think it would be easier/the same audio quality I can also do the same set up above but the extra two devices into a nice Onkyo receiver to have less HDMI cords coming from the TV.

  • jack walsdorf from millsboro, de

    Posted on 2/10/2020

    Help. I have: Vizio E55-C2 TV & Vizio Soundbar SB3251n-EO & Verizon FIOS cable box. I have all the cords I think I may need. This is the question. From to FIOS cable box to where? Using which cable?? To which port?? ARC??? or somewhere else? From there to...???? to which port?? and which cable??? Thank you. Jack

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 2/11/2020

    Hi Jack! Based on some quick research, I think your best bet is to connect your cable box to your TV with an HDMI cable. Then use another HDMI cable to connect the TV's ARC port with the sound bar's ARC port. If that doesn't work, I suspect someone at Verizon or Vizio might be able to help as they will be more familiar with your components. I wish I could be of more assistance, but we don't carry any of that gear, so I just don't know as much about it. Thanks for reading!
  • Paul from Columbus

    Posted on 2/6/2020

    Emily, thanks for this great article! I am searching for a soundbar that I can connect to my TV and an Echo Dot through bluetooth. Ideally, I want to be able to have everything off and say "Alexa play The Beatles in the Living Room." And the echo will use the soundbar. But then I can shut off the echo and use the Soundbar with my TV. Do you know if any soundbar with HDMI-ARC will automatically switch to the HDMI source when the TV turns on? And then after finishing with the TV, it would need to be available for bluetooth. Or, is it better to use an analog cable between the Echo and the soundbar. Thanks!

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 2/11/2020

    Hi Paul!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the article. We do carry some sound bars with ARC and Bluetooth that will work with your existing Alexa devices to do what you want.

    I would also suggest taking a look at these sound bars with ARC and Bluetooth that also have Alexa Built-in since that would simplify things. There are a lot of good options in that list. I never hesitate to recommend the Yamahas as both are very well-reviewed. I also really like the Bose Soundbar 700, which I got to try out at home (and it sounded awesome!).

    I also passed your question along to our advisors, so you should be hearing from someone soon who should be able to help you narrow things down. Thanks for reading!

  • Charles Roll from Hellertown PA

    Posted on 12/17/2019

    Hi, I just purchased a Samsung sound bar and it is connected by a optical cable. I can control the volume on the soundbar with my Samsung TV remote but it will not turn the soundbar on or off. Is there anything I can do to resolve this issue. The soundbar is great.

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 12/18/2019

    Hi Charles!

    It may depend on what sound bar and TV combo you have, but I do believe that the bar should turn off when you turn the TV off. Samsung support indicates that this should work automatically, but if it's not working, try this: use the TV menu to make sure the TV audio is set to external speakers (often found in "Settings/Sound/Sound Output").

    Then, with the sound bar powered on, press and hold either the WOOFER or SURROUND button on your remote (depending on your sound bar model) until "ON — TV REMOTE" appears on the display (about 5 seconds).

    If you are still having trouble, let us know. Every Crutchfield purchase comes with lifetime tech support.

  • Lance from Cool

    Posted on 10/8/2019

    I just picked up a sound bar and sub I just want to use it for I need to have it hooked up through a optical cable to get it to work through bluetooth?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 10/9/2019

    Hi Lance! I strongly suspect you'll only need it plugged into power in order to play music via Bluetooth. Happy listening!
  • Steve from Rocklin

    Posted on 9/6/2019

    What's the best way to hook up my TIVO Roamio to the Sony soundbar. I really want to just use the TIVO remote for on/off, volume , mute. The TIVO has optical and HDMI but not ARC. The LG TV and Sony soundbar have optical and ARC.

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 9/10/2019

    Hello Steve! I would probably hook the TIVO up to your Sony sound bar and then use the ARC connection between the sound bar and your LG TV. You should be able to program the TIVO remote to control volume and on/off, but TIVO support should be able to help you with that if you have trouble. Thanks, and good luck!
  • Warren from North Plympton

    Posted on 8/17/2019

    Hi Emily. I am about to buy a Sony 65 inch tv X95G 4kTv and an LG 5.1.2 soundbar 570W and the guys at the tv store said that i wont be able to maximze the capability of the dolby atmos due to different brands. According to them the HDMI ARC will not be communicatiing well due to being different brands.

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 9/10/2019

    Hi Warren!

    It's not necessarily the different brands that might cause trouble for you. If both the TV and sound bar have eARC capabilities, you'll probably be fine regardless of brand. But from your description, I'm guessing you are looking at the LG SL10YG sound bar. It's an otherwise great choice, but it doesn't actually have eARC.

    You could still be okay for Atmos content if you are running your sources into the sound bar. But if you want to watch anything streaming from a smart TV back to your sound bar, then the regular old ARC unfortunately isn't going to pass that Atmos sound.

    I hope that helps a little! If you need more assistance, feel free to call, chat, or email with one of our Advisors.

  • Kay P. from Waycross

    Posted on 8/2/2019

    I have a soundbar (RCA) and a Sony tv that only has a Firestick we use to watch movies. I have used the red and white cables, an audio cord, and an digital optical cord and still no sound! I turned off tv speakers and no sound!! Help please

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 8/29/2019

    Hello Kay! It's hard to walk through possible solutions in a comment reply since that requires a bit of back and forth. Fortunately, every Crutchfield purchase comes with a lifetime of tech support! I bet our tech support team can help you resolve that sound issue in no time. Good luck!
  • Lori Kepple from Post Falls

    Posted on 7/16/2019

    We had to connect our sound bar to our TV with a red, white cable with a headphone plug in the back of the tv. It's the only way it would work. The sound isn't as great as I hoped but it's better than the tv speakers were.

  • Dee dee from Seattle

    Posted on 6/10/2019

    My Sony soundbar goes to mute when I switch inputs. I have a Sonos connect plugged into Sony soundbar hdmi ( via a component to hdmi adapter) in HDMI 3 for music, and tv plugged in using optical and hdmi in soundbar hdmi port 1 . It seems like the tv and soundbar are fighting for control of the ports. So when I switch to tv screen, the sound bar keeps playing music, then when I try to Select the soundbar to tv, it mutes. Then I have to select the correct port on tv again. Thoughts?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 7/15/2019

    Hey Dee Dee!

    I'm sorry you're having trouble getting everything to work together. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the Connect. Have you tried using optical for that instead of the adapter to HDMI? If you can make an ARC connection between the TV and soundbar, you won't need the extra optical cable there (but I guess that's a big "if!").

    I'm afraid it's a little hard to walk through possible solutions in a comment reply since that requires a bit of back and forth. Fortunately, we offer free tech support with every purchase. Reach out to our team, and I bet they can help you get that port problem resolved in no time!

    Thanks and have a great day!

  • Ken Holloway from Oklahoma City, OK

    Posted on 5/27/2019

    I have a Bose Soundbar 700, Bose Base 700 unit and the 700 wireless surround speakers. I need to connect a SAT box, DVD player, and PS3 to individual TV (Samsung model 6300 series) HDMI inputs. I am uncertain the best way to interface the soundbar with the TV. The soundbar has a HDMI (ARC) (doesn't state input or output) and optical audio output jacks. The TV's HDMI ARC is the HDMI2 input as well. Am I correct in thinking I can use either the TV HDMI ARC jack via HDMI to the soundbar's HDMI ARC jack, or must I use the TV's optical output to the soundbar's Optical input?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 7/15/2019

    Hi Ken! So sorry for the delayed reply. That ARC connection should be all you need between the TV and sound bar, but give us a call if you have any more questions.
  • E from cincinnati

    Posted on 5/16/2019

    I would like to use a soundbar to complement my TV speakers. Is it possible to play audio through both the soundbar and the tv speakers together at the same time or does using the sound bar prevent you from using TV speaker and vice versa?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 7/15/2019

    Hello E! That might be possible, but I'm not sure you'll enjoy the results that much. The sound bar alone should be worlds better than your TV speakers. But if it's still not getting it done for you, try digging into the manual to see if there are other sound modes or settings you might try. And if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to get in touch. Thanks!
  • Nancy G from LARGO

    Posted on 4/12/2019

    Hi! Love this article! I have an issue tho... I have a Samsung TV without an ARC channel, a cable box with HDMI and a Samsung Soundbar with HDMI in and out and also other formats like optical, usb, etc... I have the Cable out HDMI connected to the HDMI in on the sound bar and then the HDMI out from Soundbar connected to the TV. This set up does not allow me to use the soundbar for Smarthub content. To fix this, I also connected the TV to the soundbar via the optical cable. My issue is, when I turn on the TV with the cable remote, all is well, the tv goes on, the cable goes on and the sound bar goes on, the problem is, the soundbar for some reason, goes to the D. In channel. So i have to hit source, and then the "idiot proofing" on the tv wants to search for a different output. I ignore this and have to manually select HDMI on the soundbar. How can I turn it all on and have the soundbar default to HDMI? Im thinking this is because the tv doesn't have the ARC channel? Should I just connect the tv directly to the cable box via HDMI and remove the HDMI from the equation? or something else?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 7/15/2019

    Hi Nancy! I think I would definitely try your idea of connecting the cable box directly to the TV via HDMI to see if that resolves the problem. If you have any more questions, please get in touch. Thanks and have a great day!
  • Teri Merchant from Hemet

    Posted on 3/30/2019

    So frustrated! We have a RCA television connected to dish network cable box, a sound bar and we just bought a Blu-ray player. Everything we believe is plugged in properly, but when we put a movie into the Blu-ray we're not getting the sound on the sound bar. We had to buy a small cable That goes from the sound bar to the television we don't have an optic cable on the television. Not sure how to be able to use our Blu-ray and watch a movie with the sound bar is the problem Maybe settings on the television? We've tried changing them and no

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 4/2/2019

    Hi Teri! That does sound frustrating. And I'm afraid I can't solve the problem in a comment reply since it really requires a bit of back and forth. Fortunately, we offer free lifetime tech support with every purchase. I have no doubt our tech support team can help you fix that sound issue in no time. Good luck!
  • Gary from Oklahoma City

    Posted on 3/11/2019

    There is a Scenario 3 that you didn't really address. What if you have a BluRay, Cable box, Sound Bar and TV and you want to connect with a receiver?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 3/12/2019

    Fair point, Gary! This setup guide is really only about powered sound bars — those self-contained, self-powered speaker systems that don't require a separate receiver.

    If you want to use a receiver with a sound bar, you'd be connecting a passive sound bar to your receiver with speaker wire (making it more like a three-in-one home theater speaker than it is like a typical sound bar).

    Then your BluRay player, cable box, and TV would all connect to your receiver, much like they connect to the powered sound bar in scenario 2 (since the sound bar in that case is acting almost like a mini-receiver).

    Thanks for the note!

  • oneoldbmwguy from Stafford

    Posted on 3/2/2019

    Will the Bose 700 soundbar complete system (w/bass module and rear surround speakers) work with a Yamaha TSR-7850 A/V? If so, is there any special connection sequence? Thanks for any assistance!

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 3/12/2019

    Hi there!

    The Bose Soundbar 700 is a powered bar with its own built-in amplification, so there's no need to use a separate receiver.

    But if you already have a Yamaha TSR-7850 you want to use, you might want to consider a passive sound bar. It would allow you to use your receiver for its processing power and connections, but you'd still get the streamlined footprint of a bar.

    I believe that receiver also allows you to add a pair of MusicCast 20s or MusicCast 50s as surround speakers.

    Still not sure what to do? One of our Advisors would be happy to help you find the right fit for you.

  • Jeff K from Chandler AZ

    Posted on 1/30/2019

    I have my Directv 4K mini Genie, LG OLED TV, DVD player and Samsung soundbar connected via the "easy way" you described. However, I have noticed some Audio - Video lip sync issues. Using sync adjustments on the TV and soundbar do not solve the problem. However, when I go to the "Standard Audio" on the Directv box, instead of "Dolby Audio", the lipsync issues go away. How do you suggest I proceed?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 1/31/2019

    Hey Jeff!

    Man, that sounds really annoying. It's hard to walk through possible solutions in a comment reply since that requires a bit of back and forth.

    Fortunately, we offer free tech support with every purchase. So get in touch with our tech support team — I bet they can help you get that lip sync problem resolved in no time!

  • Lonnie Parmenter from Forsyth, Mo

    Posted on 7/28/2018

    I purchased a Soundbar speaker from Amazon. We have set it up for the volume to be controlled by the TV remote. We also have the charger hooked up to the speaker to charge continousily. We have to reset the speaker every 2 hours because it shuts itself off. Has anyone got any ideas on how to solve our problem??

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 7/31/2018

    Hi Lonnie! Your best bet is to contact either Amazon or the manufacturer of your sound bar to resolve this issue. They should be able to help you out (especially if it's still under warranty)!
  • Sharon from Roseburg

    Posted on 7/13/2018

    All I want to say is thank you so much. After 1 hour 50 minutes my boyfriend and I finally got the new sound bar (Yamaha YAS-107) to work with our Roku 3. For us it was all solved by your simple diagram above. You may have saved a relationship here. Lol

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 8/6/2018

    I'm so glad that ended happily Sharon! I'm going to pass your comments along to the writer and the designer for the article. I'm sure they will be pleased — it's not every day you get to save a relationship!
  • Arun from Walnut Creek

    Posted on 7/5/2018

    Like every other Smart TV, mine too came pre-installed with Netflix, amazon etc. and I have a sound bar connected to the TV using the optical cable. My questions is, if i play everything directly though smart content on the TV and have nothing else attached (like Blu-ray, direct TV or any sort of receiver etc.), should I use HDMI for connecting to the sound bar or the normal optical cable will work fine, since nothing else is connected?

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    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 7/10/2018

    Hi Arun! That optical digital cable should be all you need. If it's not working, you may just need to deactivate your TV's speakers. From the TV audio menu, you'll either turn off the built-in speakers, or select "external speaker." We also offer free tech support with every order, so if you run into any trouble you can call us at 1.800.955.9091 to get some help.
  • rich

    Posted on 2/27/2018

    good article...i've found that having a sound bar from the same mfg as the tv generally makes he connections and operations in point, i have a samsung tv with a visio bar (had good reviews) in the bedroom, but i have to use the bar remote to turn the bar on and control volume...with my new lg tv and lg sound bar they connect automatically and i control everything with the tv remote...much easier for my wife to deal with??

  • Ashley from Exmouth

    Posted on 12/30/2017

    Good step by step, still can't get mine to work, other than a low hum occasionally. am taking it back to the shop !

  • Dean & Melissa Gegwetch

    Posted on 9/30/2017

    Thank you so very much. We can now here our TV in the 18 wheeler.

  • kw from Salem, OR

    Posted on 7/10/2017

    Wow, shouldn't be this friggen complicated.

  • Rosemary Miner from Colfax

    Posted on 3/9/2017

    When using my Sony HT-St9 with my smart lg tv, the voices and their mouths do not sync together. Using the TVs sound, it resolves the problem. Why does the mouths not sync with the sound bar.

  • Jason from Kenosha Wisconsin

    Posted on 2/20/2017

    I'm looking for all soundbars that can transmit to Bluetooth headphones. My assumption would be the sound would be muted on sound bar then I can listen in the headphones. I know I can do this with a cheap Bluetooth receiver plugged in to the TV, but I really want to do this via the sound bar to reduce complexity. Thanks!

  • lorraine from forster Australia

    Posted on 1/1/2017

    Hi , I have just purchased a LG SOUNDBAR that has all the connection options on it . I have a 3 year old LG TV that has only one HDMI connection and no optical cable connection ans no headphone jack . I want to connect to connect a new Sony Blu-ray player as well ..So I connected all everything with HDMI and nothing worked so I connected the optical cord from the soundbar to the Blu-ray and I have great sound from a CD and DVD but no picture and the TV just sounds the same . Can someone help me, What can I do to get a picture from a DVD and better sound from the TV.

  • Dan from Illinois

    Posted on 12/21/2016

    If you hook up a sound bar through the ARC HDMI on the TV and sound bar do you need to run your cable box, blu-ray, etc back through the sound bar? Or can you leave it connect to the TV? The ARC connection still plays the sound through the sound bar regardless if the accessories are ran through sound bar. If both options work, which is the best?

  • jules from oceansiden ny

    Posted on 12/10/2016

    Thank you You've answered some key questions for me.

  • Cecile from Orting

    Posted on 12/2/2016

    I have a TV with HDMI Arc, HDMI AV In, and another HDMI. I connected a soundbar with HDMI Arc to the TV HDMI Arc. I connected my Panasonic bluray w/ HDMI Arc to TV via HDMI AV In, and cable box to the third HDMI on the TV. All is good except I don't have any sound from my bluray? What did I do wrong?

  • Jonathan Hiott

    Posted on 11/28/2016

    How would I connect a soundbar to my TV with this setup: TV only has one HDMI input, which has the Roku going into it. TV does not have ARC. TV has optical out and coax out. Soundbar has optical in and coax in. My question is how will the TV output sound on the optical or coax if the TV input is selected for HDMI in for the Roku?

  • Lynda from Tenby

    Posted on 11/26/2016

    Sadly, this does not help me to connect my sound bar to my TV. Sound bar has an optical socket only. TV has no optical arrangement. Help please from anyone? I also have a TalkTalk YouView box in the equation.

  • Carol Fehring from Green Lake

    Posted on 10/29/2016

    Any ideas as to where to hide the power brick DC adaptor that goes with the sound bar power cord? It is quite large.

  • Gerry from Redding, CA

    Posted on 8/5/2016

    Awesome step by step instructions. Thank you for taking the time to explain things.

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    Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/12/2016

    Carole, I've forwarded your comment to an Advisor to look for a solution. They'll contact you soon.

  • Carole from New Windsor

    Posted on 5/9/2016

    Can I connect Bluetooth headset to a Bluetooth sound bar to a TV that's not Bluetooth compatible and hear the sound from the Sound bar to the headset

  • Don Hanson

    Posted on 1/12/2016

    You provided some useful comments regarding locating the subwoofer to get good acoustic performance. Any comments on the effect of location on the acoustic performance of a sound bar? How about on a shelf in front of the TV? Is it better on the wall? If I put a 36" bar in a shelf unit (say 42" wide x 12 " high x 15" deep and open in front), will there be any resonance or interaction problems with the enclosure?

  • Carole from Queens , NY

    Posted on 1/6/2016


  • Donald Robertson from Albuquerque

    Posted on 11/14/2015

    Remember the 'good old days' when all we worried about was WHO would GET OUT OF THE CHAIR and go change channels and/or fiddle with the TV volume? Those WERE the days!

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