For gaming enthusiasts, there is just something special about being able to hear the sound effects from your favorite Xbox game coming at you from all angles.
To achieve this, you might want to use a recently purchased Soundbar. But, how do you connect a soundbar to an Xbox One the right way?
The first step is to run an HDMI ARC cable from the Soundbar to the TV ARC receiver. Then, connect the Xbox One to the TV with another HDMI cable and adjust your TV settings so the sound comes from the Soundbar rather than the TV speakers. This is the best way to connect a soundbar to an Xbox One.
Of course, there are other ways to connect your Soundbar to your Xbox One by running an optical cable or connecting the Soundbar to the Xbox One and then connecting that to the TV.
But, if you are looking to achieve the best overall quality for sound and video, then it is best to just use two HDMI cables assuming your TV is ARC (audio return channel) compatible. Let’s take a closer look.
Also read: How to Connect a Soundbar to a Receiver
How to Connect a Soundbar to an Xbox One – Step By Step
Maybe you keep your gaming to yourself as you enjoy the comfort of your own room and a setup that is uniquely yours.
Or, perhaps you have a home theater that has seating options that rock your gaming world and allow you to game in comfort and style. Either way, there is no gaming scene that is quite complete without the power of incredible sound.
To enhance the sound quality of your Xbox One, you might be considering pairing it with your Soundbar- a piece of sound equipment that can stream multiple channels of audio creating an enhanced audio experience in your home.
To connect a Soundbar to an Xbox One, be sure to follow these steps:
1. Purchase all the necessary equipment
Before you can begin the process of connecting your Soundbar to your Xbox One, you need to be sure that you have all of the appropriate and necessary pieces of equipment.
While there are certainly more complicated methods to connect these two devices, one of the easiest ways is to connect each of them to the TV independently.
To do this, you will need to ensure that you have your Soundbar, Xbox One, TV, an HDMI ARC cable to connect the Soundbar to the TV, and an HDMI cable to connect the Xbox One to the TV.
Of course, this is assuming that your TV is HDMI/ARC compatible and can handle two HDMI connections in different input/output options respectively.
Although, if you have found that your TV does not have this type of compatibility, then you might need to purchase a converter to work with what you already have.
Along these lines, if your Soundbar is more aimed at a wireless connection, you might have to buy a receiver to gain access to the signal that you will attempt to send to be played on this piece of equipment.
Finally, be sure that you have purchased (or still have the originals that should have come with each component) a plug that can provide power to each device.
This might mean that you are powering each of these independently, but the fewer switches have to be turned to provide power to your entire system, the less time you will spend simply turning the power on, and the more time you can spend gaming with your closest friends.
2. Connect the Soundbar to your TV using an HDMI ARC cable
Once you have purchased all of the necessary equipment, you can begin the simple steps of connecting the two devices to your TV. You will first want to pair the Soundbar to the TV using an HDMI ARC cable.
Your TV should have some kind of label identifying where the ARC audio input/output should be.
You will likely be able to find an HDMI entrance port with limited difficulty (as the shape is quite unique on this type of cord), but finding an input slot that has the ARC label next to it might be tricky. Just be sure to check the back of your TV for this part.
Realistically, you would connect the Xbox to the TV first, but it is typically easier to just go ahead and connect the Soundbar considering you will be looking for the specific (ARC) input option.
If your TV is not HDMI/ARC compatible, then you might have to purchase a converter and plug this in to achieve the same results.
3. Connect the Xbox One to the TV with an HDMI cable
The next step that you will want to complete is connecting the Xbox One to the TV with an HDMI cable. In case it was unclear, this will be a separate HDMI cable from the one that you are using to connect the Soundbar to the TV.
Because of this, your TV will need to have a minimum of two HDMI input options available.
If you find that your TV does not have these options available, then you can look into purchasing different equipment such as a converter or another type of receiver that will allow you to pair your devices.
Some people have attempted to connect their Xbox One directly to their Soundbar to achieve the desired sound enhancement, but this simply will not work to provide the best quality and the easiest solution.
Instead, connecting the devices this way will limit the picture quality that is produced by your Xbox One onto your TV.
So, instead of connecting the Xbox One to the Soundbar, you will connect the Soundbar and the Xbox One to the TV and allow the TV to act as the intermediary that transfers both the audio and video signals to and from their respective sources.
Then, you can achieve the best overall audio and video experience while gaming on your Xbox One with your Soundbar hooked up.
4. Provide a power source for all components
Something that might be seemingly simple but is commonly overlooked is providing a power source for all components in the system including the Soundbar, TV, and Xbox One.
While it might seem strange to have to bring up in the first place, including this in your checklist can save you from an embarrassing call to a tech troubleshooter.
So, be sure to provide a source of power for each device that needs it- including installing batteries in your remote if you have not done so in a while.
Then, using as few switches or power strips as possible, you can turn on your gaming system and be prepared for the thrill that will come with the surround sound effects on your next gaming experience.
5. Adjust your TV settings for the audio to stream from the Soundbar
After you have physically connected your TV, Xbox One, and Soundbar using two different HDMI cables, you need to ensure that you have adjusted the TV settings for the audio to stream from the Soundbar. Otherwise, your TV might default and begin streaming the standard audio from the TV speakers.
Of course, this is not what you would be paying for in both resources and energy, so it is important to ensure that you do not miss this step. Fortunately, adjusting your TV settings is relatively simple with this type of audio/video input and output.
To do this, you will go to your TV’s Settings options and ensure that the audio output option that you have selected is the Soundbar.
If you are using a wireless transmission for connecting your Soundbar, then you will skip the HDMI attachment but still ensure that this is where your audio is streaming for.
While you are messing with settings, you can also ensure that your Xbox One has been recognized as a media source. But, assuming your gaming system streams on the TV when you turn it on, this is a safe bet that it has been recognized, and you will not need to mess with anything on this part.
- How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV and DVD Player
- How to Connect a Soundbar to TV Without Audio Output
- Soundbars For Home Theater: Top Picks
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.