Using a soundbar is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to elevate your TV’s audio and turn your house into a home theater.
One of the main benefits is that you can avoid multiple cables in your living room. You might be wondering if you can skip the cables altogether and have a completely wireless setup.
You can wirelessly connect some soundbars to TVs if they are enabled for WiFi and/or Bluetooth connection. While this avoids using cables, it’s better to use an HDMI connection because there is no danger of lag or network problems. It’s also possible to use an optical cable.
In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of using a wireless connection between your TV and soundbar. We also show you how you can connect your soundbar to your TV, either wirelessly or with a cable. So, let’s get into it!
What Are the Pros and Cons of Wireless Connection?
Wireless connections are a great option if you want to avoid messy cables in your home entertainment system. The two most popular forms of wireless connection are WiFi and Bluetooth. However, not all soundbars and TVs can handle these connections.
Wireless connection via WiFi is one of the best options for connecting your soundbar to your TV for the following reasons:
- WiFi connection is faster than Bluetooth, and depending on your connection, it can handle between 54 and 1300 Mbps.
- You can have a wireless connection across a greater distance
- You can connect many soundbars and/or speakers to the same audio setup
However, the risk of using WiFi to connect your soundbar and TV is that you might have lag if the internet connection is slow. Also, if you have an outage in your internet service, the connection won’t work. Furthermore, if you have multiple people in your house using the internet at the same time, this could also slow the connection.
Bluetooth is another option for a wireless connection. It’s a good option because:
- There are more soundbars and TVs with Bluetooth enabled
- After the initial setup, the two units should auto-connect
However, Bluetooth connection is significantly slower than WiFi, with a maximum connection speed of 3Mpbs, so there is a higher risk of lag. Furthermore, Bluetooth usually has a maximum distance for connection, so it might not work well if you have a large room.
How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV
Connect the Soundbar With WiFi
WiFi connection is not possible with all soundbars and TVs. For example, if you are trying to connect Samsung products, then you need:
- A TV made after 2013
- A compatible Samsung soundbar
How to Connect:
- Connect your TV to your WiFi network.
- Use the Source button on the soundbar remote or on the back of the unit.
- Select the same WiFi network that you are using with the TV.
- Open the Samsung SmartThings app.
- Tap on the plus (+) icon and tap on Device.
- Select the AV button and then select the model of your soundbar.
- Select Start and choose your location to make your mobile search for the soundbar.
Once you have connected your soundbar to the TV, sometimes its WiFi connection can disconnect. It’s super easy to connect to the network through the TV by using the Sound settings and selecting your soundbar.
Connect the Soundbar With Bluetooth
Many soundbars and TVs are optimized for Bluetooth, particularly if they are newer models. You can also use Bluetooth plug-ins for TVs that don’t have it built-in, like the Taotronics Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver (Amazon).
How to Connect:
- Press the source or Bluetooth button on your soundbar to turn Bluetooth on.
- On the soundbar remote, click Pair to enter the Bluetooth pairing mode.
- Turn on your TV and go into the Bluetooth settings. Usually, it will be under general settings, but it may depend on your TV model, so check the TV manual if you can’t find it.
- Choose the name of your soundbar and press Pair and Connect to synchronize the devices.
- Press okay once the devices are paired.
- You can check that they are paired correctly because the name of the TV should show up on the display of your soundbar. You will also be able to hear programs from the TV playing through the soundbar.
This video shows you how to connect a Samsung soundbar to a TV with Bluetooth:
Connect the Soundbar With an HDMI Cable
An HDMI cable allows the digital transmission of video and audio files between different devices like a TV and a soundbar.
It has a superior bandwidth speed, with a minimum of 4.9Gbps. It can also support up to 7.1 surround sound. With this cable, there is no danger of lag like with WiFi or Bluetooth.
How to Connect:
- Turn on your TV.
- Find the HDMI ARC input on your TV and the HDMI ARC output on your soundbar.
- Connect the HDMI cable between the TV and the soundbar, using the input port on the TV and the output port on the soundbar.
- Test the connection by playing audio on the TV. Your TV should default to the soundbar for audio output as long as it is plugged in.
- If it does not start playing automatically, go into your TV settings and go into the Sound section.
- Go into the speaker settings and choose your soundbar as the output. You may also need to use the Input button on your TV remote to choose the HDMI as the output.
This simple video walks you through the process and explains some of the advantages of HDMI:
Connect the Soundbar With an Optical Cable
An optical cable is your next best cable option if your TV doesn’t have an input for an HDMI cable. This is common on older TV models.
Optical cables can carry the sound of up to 5.1 surround sound. They work by sending signals between devices in an electrical format through fiber optic cables and laser light.
How to Connect:
- Remove the plastic protectors from both ends of the optical cable.
- Find the optical output on your TV and insert the cable.
- Find the optical input on your soundbar and insert the other end of the optical cable.
- Go into your TV settings, select sound, and choose Audio Out/Optical.
- Test the connection by playing a video and seeing if it plays through the soundbar.
The following quick video shows you how to set up the connection:
In conclusion, you can use WiFi or Bluetooth to connect your soundbar to your TV if both devices support the wireless format. This has the advantage of avoiding any cables or complicated installation. You can control everything from a single remote or even an app on your phone.
However, wireless connections are vulnerable to their connection speeds. Therefore, there might be some lag or the connection might drop out.
If this is a concern, then using an HDMI or optical cable can avoid these problems. These wired connections are simple to set up and have rapid speeds that are not vulnerable to lag. They can also support surround sound up to 7.1.
There are multiple ways to connect your soundbar to your TV, so you can experiment and find the way that suits you best.