How to set up a sound bar with your TV

How to set up a sound bar with your TV

We show you how to connect your sound bar to your TV and obtain the finest sound quality possible, regardless of what you’re watching.

Sound bars, like any other speaker system, benefit from a little more time and attention when they’re first set up. Use our simple tutorial to learn how to obtain the highest-quality audio from yours. To get started, simply follow these six simple steps. We also explain what the various connections entail so you can choose the best one for your setup, as well as walk you through the necessary TV updates. Sound bars aren’t just for listening to music from your phone, tablet, or laptop; they can also be used to listen to music from your phone, tablet, or laptop. We’ll show you how to do it. We’ll show you how to set up your sound bar, but you’ll also want to make sure your television is in good shape. To view your TV’s perfect picture setting, use our free tool – go to how to get the greatest TV picture. If you’re having troubles with your sound bar, have a look at our professional guide to common sound bar issues.

How to put your sound bar together

For the greatest effects, set your sound bar right in front of your TV and watch it straight on. If space allows, place both on a flat surface, such as your TV stand. You may mount the sound bar to the wall to conserve room, but you’ll need a separate bracket.

Subwoofer

A cable connection may be required if your sound bar contains an external subwoofer. Others are wireless and can be placed anywhere, although they should be within 10 meters of the sound bar in most cases. Make sure it isn’t too close to a wall, as this will cause boomy bass. As long as it doesn’t generate distracting vibrations, you can put it inside your TV cabinet.

 

Keep it in the middle.

Your sound bar should, in my opinion, have equal space on the left and right corners so that sound may disperse evenly around the room. This allows for a more balanced and immersive experience by allowing sound to reflect more equally towards your TV viewing location.

Height of the sound bar

When you’re sitting in your typical TV viewing position, aim for it to be within a foot of the height of your ears. Because of this, sound bars that are wall mounted sound better.

The distance between you and the sound bar

The appropriate distance between you and the sound bar varies depending on its power and whether or not it has surround-sound capabilities. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations in the manual.

Finding the sweet spot

A decent sound bar will sound wonderful no matter where you sit. Some, on the other hand, have a pretty narrow’sweet spot.’ Audio quality degrades outside of this, so attempt to set up your space so that all TV watchers get the best audio quality possible. To place you in the midst of the action, Dolby Atmos uses upward-firing speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling. If your sound bar supports it, use the instruction menu to customize it for the shape and size of your room.

Furniture

To reflect the sounds to your ears, you’ll have walls to the left and right of the sound bar. Carpets and curtains, as well as other soft furnishings, will aid to improve sound quality. If you try to hide your sound bar in your TV cabinet, it will sound boxed in and you won’t get the most out of it. Are you looking for a sound bar that will look great in your living room? Discover the sound bars from Best Buy that are both stylish and functional.

How to connect a sound bar in the best possible method

Even if you set up your space to perfection, you’ll still miss the most critical step: choosing the correct connection. We look at your primary options to help you figure out which one is ideal for you.

Analogue input is a type of input that is not digital.

These once-common red and white cables are rarely seen as a major input for sound bars these days. Connecting analogue cables is as simple as connecting the colored connectors into the appropriate port. This cable type isn’t compatible with many contemporary sound bars, and we’ve noticed several newer TVs without it as well. It may be time to upgrade if you’re still using analogue connections. To pick a model that’s suitable for you, look through our Best Buy TVs.

Analog input

Almost every sound bar has a digital input, whether it’s digital coaxial or digital optical. Most TVs have one or both of these outputs, so you’ll have no trouble connecting yours to your sound bar. These cables are capable of carrying high-quality stereo signals, but they aren’t ideal for surround sound.

HDMI

HDMI input/output connections are becoming more popular as a way to connect your sound bar to your television. Although most new sound bars come with HDMI connectors, it’s important double-checking before purchasing. HDMI cables may carry more data than optical cables, allowing higher-quality sound codecs like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound to be used.

CEC HDMI

Consumer electronics control (CEC) is supported by the majority of HDMI ports. This enables you to operate additional CEC-enabled devices, such as your TV’s volume and power, with just one remote. Although many manufacturers claim that their TVs will only connect to AV equipment from the same brand, fundamental CEC functionality normally works across brands – just make sure HDMI CEC is turned on.

ARC HDMI

This convenient function allows you to connect HDMI-compatible devices. You can connect your Blu-ray player or console to the sound bar, for example, so that just one cable is needed to connect to your TV and serves as both input and output. Most contemporary TVs have a clearly defined ARC or eARC plug, therefore this feature won’t operate through every HDMI port.

If you don’t have HDMI ARC on your TV or sound bar (you’ll need it on both to use it), the next best alternative is to use one of the other digital connections, such as digital optical or digital coaxial. Check which one your TV has (it may have both) and pick a sound bar that complements it. You can select models with the connections you want by using the filters on our sound bar reviews.

Set the volume of your sound.

Choose to output sound to an external speaker system from the TV menu. If you don’t do this, your sound will continue to come through the TV speakers or you won’t hear anything at all.

Double-check your HDMI cable.

The sound bar may be listed using the manufacturer’s HDMI name if you’re using an HDMI connection. Keep an eye out for: LG Simplink Viera Link by Panasonic EasyLink by Philips Samsung Anynet+ Sync Sony Bravia

Make sure CEC mode is turned on.

This will allow you to control the volume of the sound bar using your TV remote.

Change the volume.

Because every area has its own shape, layout, and furnishings, which all affect the sound, you may need to adjust the delay and volume levels.

Change the subwoofer volume

This is to ensure that it blends in nicely with the sound bar and does not overpower it. In our tests, we frequently discover that the subwoofer level is set too high by default, so we lower it.

Play about with the sound bar’s settings.

Many have a mode to process surround sound (Dolby Digital and DTS audio) found on DVD/Blu-ray soundtracks and films broadcast on television.

Play around with sound effects.

This is when the audio is electronically manipulated to generate a simulated surround-sound effect for films or music, such as ‘cinema’ or ‘3D’ for a film. Look for a ‘Stereo,’ ‘Bypass,’ ‘Off,’ ‘Standard,’ or ‘Natural’ setting. Are you still having issues with your setup? Check out our expert guide to the most frequent sound bar issues.

 

Using an app to set up a sound bar 

Smart features on sound bars allow you to adjust some settings from your smartphone or tablet. This is especially true in premium and mid-range sound bars. The level of functionality varies between brands and models. It’s a nice-to-have extra feature for some. Some settings and features are only available when you use the app, which is a mixed blessing for others. That may be great today, but when the app is no longer supported by the manufacturer, you may lose those functions (which can be as crucial as being able to balance the music to suit your area). If you want to ensure that your soundbar is future-proof, make sure that all of its capabilities are available via a good old-fashioned remote control. Sound bar applications are generally simple to set up and operate, although they may require an additional step in the setup process, such as inputting your email address and adjusting permissions. If you want a sound bar that you can put in and use straight away, a model without smart functions might be a better choice. If your sound bar is beginning to show its age, check to how to get the greatest sound bar to learn more about the features available on the most recent versions.

This feature allows you to control sound bar features such as turning it on/off and altering the volume by saying a command aloud – useful if you lose your remote. These functions are built into some models, so you won’t need to connect them to a hub device. Others will necessitate the use of additional gear, such as an Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, or Google Nest. The setup method varies by model, but it usually requires utilizing an app to connect to your sound bar. You should be good to go after this initial setup. Check out our buying guide for the best smart speaker if you’re seeking for a compatible hub for voice commands.

Using your sound bar to listen to music

Check whether the sound bar supports 3.5mm or Bluetooth connectivity if you wish to listen to music from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth connectivity is available on most new sound bars. This allows you to listen to music on your phone or laptop, for example. This is normally done in the ‘Bluetooth’ section of your device’s settings menu. It’s best if you keep the gadget close to your sound bar. It’s normally good to stay in the same house or flat, although barriers or thick walls can present problems.

Port for headphones

A 3.5mm mini-jack input, sometimes known as a headphone port, is found on many sound bars. We don’t recommend this cable for TV audio because it has the poorest sound quality and is prone to interference. It could be useful for playing music from a smartphone or other portable audio device, but you’re generally better off just using a Bluetooth connection. Many current smartphones lack headphone ports — iPhones haven’t had them since 2016, while Samsung’s flagship devices dropped the connector in 2020.

Multi-room

Many sound bars now include wi-fi connectivity, allowing them to be integrated into a multi-room music system. These usually only function with other speakers from the same brand. If you already own a Sonos multi-room speaker system, purchasing a Sonos sound bar may make more sense. For more information on the finest brands, see our guide to multi-room speakers.