Sound bars can effortlessly enhance your TV’s sound without the need for a large speaker setup. These audio devices can turn your boring video streaming sessions into a true home theater experience. And the fun doubles when you can ditch the wires and connect your TV to a sound bar wirelessly. but how do you do that?
You can connect a sound bar to a TV via Wi-Fi as long as both devices are compatible and connected to the same Wi-Fi network. however, it is a rare feature at this time. bluetooth is more common among sound bars and televisions. but hdmi cables offer the best and most consistent audio experience.
If your TV doesn’t support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can always use a Bluetooth adapter to achieve a wireless connection. Read the article to learn about the different ways to connect your TV and sound bar wirelessly, and to find out which option is better: wired or wireless.
how to connect a sound bar to a tv wirelessly (no hdmi, optical or aux)?
It is possible to dodge the extra effort of connecting an HDMI cable to the back of the TV in order to enjoy the audio effects of your soundbar.
Instead of getting into complicated cable installations, you can opt for simpler methods. here are two different ways to use soundbars without an hdmi connection to a tv:
how to connect a sound bar to a tv via wifi
This is the easiest way to connect your soundbars to a TV. however, before proceeding, you should check if the devices are compatible to connect via Wi-Fi.
however, it is very rare for a TV to have the ability to stream audio over wi-fi to a sound bar. As of now, the TV and the soundbar will most likely need to be made by the same manufacturer and both are relatively new.
For example, if you have a Samsung TV, it must be released no earlier than 2014. If so, it probably doesn’t support Wi-Fi. At the same time, you should consider buying a Wi-Fi compatible soundbar.
And while the ultimate goal of connecting both your TV and sound bar to the same Wi-Fi network remains the same on almost all models, the steps to achieve it can differ significantly. this article has taken the examples of this samsung smart tv (on amazon) and samsung soundbar 3.0 (on amazon).
steps to connect samsung tv and samsung soundbar via wifi
Follow these steps to connect the samsung sound bar to the television:
- Connect your TV to your Wi-Fi: If you’re using a Samsung Smart TV, look for the Network Settings option. usually found at start > settings > generals > the net. however, the choice may differ depending on the exact model of the TV. select ‘wireless’ in ‘network settings’ and choose your wifi name. when prompted, enter the password. you’ll be connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
- Connect the soundbar to your Wi-Fi: Make sure you connect the soundbar to the same Wi-Fi network as your TV. you can choose it using the source button on the sound bar remote. Alternatively, there is a control on the back of the soundbar to make the selection.
- Get the Samsung SmartThings App: Download and install the app on your mobile phone.< /li
- configure installation: once complete, open the app and choose ‘device’ by tapping the plus icon. click the av button to choose your soundbar model. just tap ‘start’. after this, you need to select your location to allow your phone to search for your soundbar.
This will complete setup, connecting your TV and soundbar through the same Wi-Fi. however, you might get disconnected from your wifi from time to time. In such a case, use the sound settings on your Samsung Smart TV to connect to the network. make sure you select the correct soundbar model.
how to connect a sound bar to a tv via bluetooth
In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, another option to synchronize your TV with a sound bar is via Bluetooth.
Fortunately, most of the latest soundbars and TVs support bluetooth. if not, you can still use bluetooth adapters (discussed later in the article) to complete the connection between your TV and a soundbar.
So, if your TV and sound bar support bluetooth, let’s move on to the connection process:
what if a tv doesn’t have bluetooth?
Don’t worry if your TV doesn’t have bluetooth. Luckily, there are devices that can help you complete the connection without having to switch to a new Bluetooth-enabled TV. With a bluetooth adapter, you can connect your TV to the sound bar, regardless of whether the TV supports bluetooth functionality.
here are some bluetooth adapter recommendations for various port compatibility:
bluetooth 5.0 transmitter and receiver
This bluetooth 5.0 adapter (on amazon) is ideal for a number of devices that do not natively support bluetooth functionality. it’s also one of the best options for TVs that house an auxiliary port.
make sure the device mode is set to “tx” (transmit). Once confirmed, connect the adapter to the sound bar. in the middle, use the auxiliary output to connect the device to your TV.
If your TV has an rca output instead of an aux output, get the rca to aux cable. this will allow you to use the same adapter connected to a TV without an auxiliary output.
bluetooth 5.0 transmitter and receiver with 3.5mm wireless audio adapter
If your TV is missing the RCA or Auxiliary output and only has the digital optical output, you will need more than just a bluetooth adapter.
so you should look for a device like the bluetooth 5.0 transmitter and receiver with a digital optical input (on amazon). connect one end of the digital optical cable to the spdif input or digital optical input of the adapter and the other end to the digital optical output port of the TV.
once again, make sure to set the device to “tx”.
two-in-one audio/bluetooth adapters vs. one-way bluetooth transmitter
two-in-one audio/bluetooth adapters are capable of transmitting for both input and output. however, there are others that only allow one-way transmission.
so if you want to buy a one-way bluetooth transmitter, please choose the right one for you. In other words, for a TV that doesn’t support bluetooth, choose the transmitter that can connect to your TV’s audio output jack.
Just make sure the TV’s sound setting is selected to go through its audio jack and not the built-in speakers.
is it better to connect a sound bar with hdmi or bluetooth?
While pairing your Soundbar wirelessly to the TV sounds like overkill, you may want to find out if it is a better choice than the standard HDMI connection.
so let’s compare the two connectors in terms of various parameters, one by one, to understand which option suits you best.
support for audio formats
hdmi is capable of supporting a variety of audio channels, ranging from 2.1 to 7.1 and higher. this means that using an hdmi cable can give you the best sound quality.
The same does not happen with bluetooth. Depending on the model, support for audio formats differs widely. and still not as capable as hdmi.
Bluetooth is only capable of playing mono or stereo (2.0 channel) audio. it doesn’t support any surround sound audio formats, and generally can’t play audio in a lossless format.
control signal support
another great advantage of the hdmi connection is its compatibility with control signals. That said, you can also use your TV’s remote to control the soundbar. therefore, you can stream videos using just one instead of switching between different remotes.
with an hdmi cable, you can use the volume control button on the tv remote to access the sound bar settings. and the rest of the buttons will work for the TV as expected.
it is essential to mention this. after all, we connect soundbars to enhance the audio experience. if the audio device can’t do that, what’s the point of having it in the first place?
When it comes to hdmi cables, there is no room for disagreement. this is the most stable option to connect the TV to the soundbar. On the other hand, you may experience some noticeable problems with the bluetooth connection.
For example, you may experience latency issues, occasional video pairing, and video sync issues. this results in the constant need to check the connection and redo the configuration.
flexibility to move the sound bar
this is the only parameter where bluetooth takes the lead over all other connection options, including hdmi.
Connecting your TV to a sound bar via bluetooth eliminates the need for cumbersome cables. Instead of trying to reach hard-to-locate HDMI ports on the TV, all you have to do is use the remote to complete the connection setup.
plus, because of the wireless connection, you can even change the location of your soundbar from time to time for a better audio experience.
so should i use bluetooth or hdmi cables?
If you want to experience excellent audio quality, choose an hdmi cable. It not only supports higher channels and bit streams, but also offers the highest connection stability.
However, that doesn’t mean bluetooth isn’t good. you can consider this option to play music instead of videos. that way, the timing of the audio output won’t matter at all.
you can also depend on bluetooth connection to watch standard youtube videos which use simple stereo sound anyway which is supported by bluetooth.
In general, stability will continue to be an issue with bluetooth. the connection is easily interrupted by the presence of any radio device, such as a wireless microphone. the unstable nature is too frustrating for many people.
In a nutshell, if you prefer a stable home theater setup with the highest quality sound effects, choose hdmi. Otherwise, if you like to move your audio device frequently and prefer a neat setup that doesn’t involve cables, opt for bluetooth.