How To Connect Soundbar To TV With An HDMI Cable? (Setup & Troubleshooting Tips)

HDMI cables have made setting up my home entertainment units much easier and less messy. After all, I don’t need to run multiple cords between devices. A single HDMI cable will do as it transmits both video and audio signals between the source and output gadgets.

I recently bought a soundbar, and I noticed it has an HDMI port, so I was wondering if it is possible to connect it to my TV with an HDMI cable. I discovered it is very much possible, the only issue is that HDMI doesn’t always work with other soundbars or TV brands.

That notwithstanding, I’ve produced a step-by-step guide demonstrating how I connected a soundbar to my TV with an HDMI cable.

How To Connect Soundbar To TV With An HDMI Cable

Key Takeaways

  • An HDMI cable relays high-definition audio signals between the TV and the soundbar, ensuring a rich listening experience.
  • The HDMI-ARC or the HDMI-eARC port is the best way to connect a soundbar to a TV. The ARC (Audio Return Channel) allows the HDMI cable to transfer digital video and audio data between the TV and soundbar.
  • Once you connect the soundbar via HDMI, you must configure it on your TV to stream audio. Go to your TV’s sound settings and select the soundbar as the output audio device.
  • Not all soundbars and TVs support HDMI connections. However, the soundbar manufacturer might provide alternative ways to connect the soundbar to your TV.

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Connecting a Soundbar to a TV Using an HDMI Cable

HDMI technology has made connecting a soundbar directly to a TV easier. However, getting them to work together is an intricate process. First, both your soundbar and TV must support HDMI connections. Then again, you must configure the soundbar on your TV’s audio settings for it to produce sound.

Here are the steps:  

Step 1 – Locate the HDMI Ports

Confirm if your devices have HDMI ports by checking the back or side panels. Look for a port labeled HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC. If you don’t find one, you can still use a standard HDMI port to connect your soundbar to your TV.

HDMI ARC ports on a TV and Soundbar

HDMI ARC ports on a TV and Soundbar

Step 2 – Connect the HDMI Cable

For the best sound quality, connect the cable to the port labeled HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC. 

ARC refers to Audio Return Channel, while eARC is Enhanced Audio Return Channel. This feature transmits digital audio and video data upstream and downstream between your TV and soundbar, ensuring high-quality audio.

Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI OUT (ARC) or TV OUT (ARC) port on your soundbar and the other into the HDMI IN (ARC) port on your TV.

You can connect your soundbar to your TV via the standard HDMI port if your soundbar doesn’t support ARC. However, some TVs might not recognize your soundbar since they only work with ARC for HDMI connections.

Step 3 – Power the TV and Soundbar

Once connected, you can turn on your TV and soundbar and continue the setup process. Disconnect other external devices from your TV before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4 – Configure Audio Settings on Your TV

Even after completing the step above, the soundbar will not automatically produce sound from your TV. You must set up the TV to recognize the soundbar. You may have to switch the TV’s internal speakers OFF to hear sound from the soundbar.

Follow these instructions to configure your TV:

  • Grab your TV’s remote control.
  • Press the HOME or MENU button.
  • Select the gear icon to open Settings.
  • Go to Audio or Sound Settings.

Sound Settings

  • Select Audio Output (on your TV, this option might have a different name).

Speaker List

  • Choose your soundbar as the audio output device (on some TVs, the default name for HDMI audio output is HDMI Receiver).

HDMI Receiver

Some soundbars might require you to select the input device for them to play audio from your TV. Fortunately, enabling this setting is straightforward. 

  • Locate the input source button on the soundbar.
  • Press the button until the soundbar panel displays D.IN.



  • Grab the soundbar’s remote.
  • Press the source button.
  • Select D.IN mode.

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Troubleshooting HDMI Setup Issues

Connecting a soundbar to a TV with an HDMI cord might seem straightforward if both your TV and soundbar have HDMI ports. After all, you only need to plug the HDMI cable into the respective jacks. 

However, this is not necessarily the case. Getting your TV to recognize your soundbar can be a massive challenge. Sometimes, your soundbar might not play sound from the TV even after selecting the correct audio settings.

Fortunately, I have several troubleshooting tips you can use to fix HDMI connection issues between your TV and the soundbar.

Troubleshooting HDMI Setup Issues

How to troubleshoot an ARC HDMI connection between TV and soundbar or receiver

Inspect Cable Connections

Your soundbar might fail to produce sound from the TV because of loose or incorrect connections. As such, you should first inspect the cables. 

Ensure the cords are firmly in the correct slots. Replace any visibly damaged HDMI cables and test your connection again. If using HDMI ARC on your TV, the cable should plug into the corresponding HDMI ARC and NOT the regular HDMI port on your soundbar.

Use the HDMI ARC Port

When connected to a soundbar, some TVs only work with HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC ports. After all, an ARC streams audio both ways, ensuring high-quality sound on your soundbar. If your soundbar doesn’t support this option, you may have to buy an HDMI ARC adapter.

Moreover, disconnect all other external HDMI and audio connections to ensure the soundbar selects your TV as the input device. If not, your soundbar might automatically pick up audio from other connected devices, such as your set-top box or media streaming player.

Turn off eARC On Your TV

The HDMI eARC ports support enhanced audio and video streaming over a wired internet connection. It transmits high-quality, uncompressed audio to your soundbar. If your soundbar doesn’t support this feature, it might have issues playing sound from your TV.

Fortunately, you can disable eARC on your TV and enjoy quality audio on your soundbar. Go to your TV’s audio settings and search for eARC to turn it off.

Select the Appropriate Audio Output

Your soundbar won’t play sound from your TV if the TV doesn’t recognize it in the first place. You can get your TV to detect the connection by selecting the appropriate audio output. You may also have to set up the input source on your soundbar for it to play sound from your TV. Use the steps outlined in the previous section to set up the proper audio input and output settings.

Activate CEC on Your TV

CEC, or Consumer Electronics Control, is a feature that allows you to control your soundbar and TV using one remote (the TV’s remote). If your TV supports it, you should enable the function. Go to your TV’s system menu and search for CEC to activate it.

Enable HDMI-CEC on your TV

Enable HDMI-CEC on your TV

Power Reset the TV

Power resetting your TV can help fix various issues, including HDMI connection problems. This step is relatively easy. Unplug your TV’s power cord from the wall outlet and wait 30 seconds before plugging it back. Turn the TV on and play a song or movie to determine if you can hear sound on your soundbar.

Restart the Soundbar

If power resetting the TV didn’t resolve the issue, you could try rebooting the soundbar instead. Turn off the soundbar or disconnect it from the wall outlet for about 30 seconds, then restart it. Allow the soundbar to boot and test if this resolves the issue.

Update the TV and Soundbar Firmware

Manufacturers often avail software updates and security patches to help fix connection glitches on their products. Updating the TV’s and soundbar’s firmware can help restore the HDMI connection and solve audio issues. 

You can update the firmware via the device’s system menu or download the software update on a USB stick before installing it on your TV and soundbar.

Factory Reset the TV

Consider performing a factory reset if your TV and soundbar have the latest firmware version but still have connection issues. You can get the reset option on your TV’s system menu. You may have to press a reset button or a series of buttons to reset your soundbar to factory defaults.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: What is the best way to connect a soundbar to a TV?
  • Answer: The best way to connect a soundbar to a TV is via an HDMI cable. After all, HDMI supports high-definition audio, ensuring the clearest sound between connected devices. Besides, HDMI relays high-quality audio and video signals between your TV and soundbar using a single cable. It supports various audio formats, including Dolby surround, for enhanced sound clarity.
  • Question: Can I connect a soundbar to a TV using HDMI?
  • Answer: Yes. You can connect a soundbar to a TV using an HDMI cord. The latest soundbars and TVs have multiple HDMI ports for HDMI connections. You only need to plug one end of the cable into your soundbar, and the other into your TV, then configure the connection on your TV’s audio settings. You don’t require more than one HDMI cable to connect your soundbar to your TV.
  • Question: Why won’t my soundbar connect to my TV with HDMI?
  • Answer: Your soundbar might not connect to your TV via HDMI if it has other active audio connections. You should only use the HDMI connection between the soundbar and TV. The soundbar might automatically switch to other connections instead of using the HDMI, leading to audio dropouts. Ensure the HDMI is firmly in the appropriate port before trying other troubleshooting steps.
  • Question: How do I get my TV to play sound through my soundbar?
  • Answer: Once you connect your soundbar to your TV, you must select it as the default audio output. Go to your TV’s audio/sound settings and choose the soundbar as the sound output device. If this doesn’t work, reset or restart your TV by unplugging the power cord for a few minutes before plugging it back. You can also reboot your soundbar to see if this step fixes the problem.
  • Question: Do I need two HDMI cables for my soundbar?
  • Answer: Even though most modern soundbars have multiple HDMI ports, you don’t require two HDMI cables to connect it to your TV. A single HDMI cable can simultaneously relay audio and video signals between connected devices. It allows you to enjoy high-quality sound and pictures without requiring additional cords.


HDMI technology has long been the standard way of connecting various entertainment units, from TVs to set-top boxes. It transmits high-definition audio and video signals between connected devices with a single cable.

The best part is that it supports various audio formats, allowing you to connect your soundbar to your TV for a rich listening experience. You only need to configure the soundbar on your TV to enjoy high-quality audio. Follow this detailed guide to learn how to go about it.

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