Can You Connect a Soundbar to an Amplifier?

Can You Connect a Soundbar to an Amplifier?

Sound bars are a convenient way to add better sound to content coming from your TV. they require minimal setup and can be as affordable or as expensive as you like.

But when it comes to expanding the capabilities of these speakers, some wonder if they can connect a soundbar to an amplifier.

Reading: How to connect amplifier to soundbar

Technically you can connect a sound bar to an amplifier, but it doesn’t make much sense since the amplifier is already built in. Most sound bars are all-in-one home theater setups designed to provide everything you need in one package.

This article will explain why connecting an amplifier to a live sound bar is not a good idea and how to do it for a dead sound bar. If you want to learn more, I invite you to keep reading!

Also read: Can a sound bar be connected to a surround sound system?

the problem of connecting an amplifier to a sound bar

There are two types of sound bars; the first type is what you call an active sound bar, one of the most common and the one you probably think of when you think of sound bars.

the other type is a passive sound bar (my related article); they are speakers that cannot work independently and require a receiver or an amplifier to work.

Most soundbars are designed to be used as an all-in-one setup. they have everything you need in a relatively compact form factor that makes setup a breeze, and they’re also great for people who don’t want huge stereo speakers taking up a lot of space in a room.

Manufacturers generally don’t think about expandability when creating a sound bar, as many people don’t buy one for that purpose.

you should use what comes in the package and nothing more than that. That’s why you can’t connect things like subwoofers and wireless speakers without some awkward hoops to go through.

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but can and should you use an amplifier?

Basically, an amplifier is what powers the sound coming out of a speaker. Naturally, most soundbars and speakers work simply by plugging them into a power source and/or the device that will produce the sound.

On the other hand, you have speakers that require an amplifier to function at their best. most of these speakers are made for audiophile/professional setups, and most people aren’t going to deal with a discrete amplifier or receiver.

See also: 4 Tips for Connecting an Optical Audio Cable to Your Receiver |

Most, if not all, soundbars aren’t intended to be a drop-in replacement for a truly high-end audiophile-grade setup and don’t require a lot of power.

At the end of the day, these speakers are still designed to perform at their best from their original condition and are not marketed to people who need massive, powerful stereo speakers.

connecting a sound bar to an amplifier can backfire and give you better sound; may provide worse audio quality than it was originally.

People who are considering connecting a soundbar to an amplifier are trying to create a surround sound type of situation using the three front left, center and right channels.

but because an active amplifier already has everything it takes to take full advantage of the hardware, a third party amplifier/receiver can combine these sound channels and now you have compromised audio.

Instead of buying an amplifier to connect to a soundbar, it’s best to upgrade your soundbar or check if you can connect additional manufacturer-recommended speakers or a subwoofer.

In terms of connecting an amplifier/receiver to a passive soundbar, yes, you can, and it’s actually a must; they won’t work without one. but because they require an amplifier, they generally produce higher audio quality than an active soundbar.

But Can and Should You Use an Amplifier_

should you use a passive soundbar?

if you search for a soundbar in any major online store, almost all the results will be for active soundbars. They’re typically priced between $70 and $700 or more for higher-end models and are what most people are looking for in a soundbar: an all-in-one speaker for their TV.

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Passive soundbars, on the other hand, are a more niche market. they are priced higher on average and are something you have to look for rather than something you are likely to come across.

Their audio quality is better than the vast majority of active sound bars, which explains the need for an external amplifier to provide the power they need. sometimes the difference isn’t very noticeable, depending on which speakers you’re comparing and what room you’re using them in.

For example, a smaller room can work with a less powerful speaker, while a large home theater setup will need something designed to meet the sound needs of that environment. if you need a speaker for a bedroom, for example, you can get by with a less expensive soundbar.

With this in mind, a passive soundbar makes more sense than an active soundbar for a larger home theater setup in general.

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but it doesn’t end there; Another advantage a passive sound bar has is expandability. As we discussed, active soundbars are meant to be used out of the box and typically don’t have the necessary connections to add external speakers.

This is not the case with passive soundbars. you can add speakers for a true surround sound experience, bring your subwoofer, and choose which amplifier or receiver you want to use. it’s practically a modular experience that encourages experimentation.

In general, a passive soundbar is useful if:

  • you take sound quality very seriously
  • you want a stylish home theater setup
  • agree to spend more money on sound
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The average consumer will do well with an active soundbar. you can get one that sounds great like this sony htx8500 (see it on amazon).

consider passive speakers

If you’re considering a passive sound bar, try passive stereo speakers. are widely considered the best way to maximize sound quality.

they take up more space in general, but their advantage is that they are not limited by size; therefore, they offer an overall superior listening experience.

There are legitimate reasons to go for a passive soundbar, such as achieving a minimalist look in a home theater and/or maximizing space efficiency.

Still, chances are if you have an amp and subwoofer along with your soundbar, having traditional stereo speakers won’t be a big deal.

plus, you’ll pay less to get the optimal sound quality you want. For a sound bar to produce sound that is considered acceptable to audiophiles or people who want great sound in general, more technology and research and development is required to get a high-end listening experience through a smaller speaker. .

If you’re considering passive speakers because you’re more serious about audio quality, I recommend watching this video on soundbars vs. stereo speakers:


While you can technically connect an amp to a soundbar, be it active or passive, connecting one to an active soundbar doesn’t make much sense at the end of the day.

Most soundbars are designed to be used right out of the box without the need for any additional equipment to work; are great sound solutions for most people for this very reason.

On the other hand, passive soundbars require an amplifier or receiver to work and are designed with expansion in mind and are a decent solution for a stylish home theater setup.

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