How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV with an Optical Cable

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Updated February 10, 2023
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Difficulty Easy
Steps 3
Time Required 3 minutes
Things to Know

If you are brand new to the world of television audio enhancement, you may wonder how to connect a soundbar to a TV with an optical cable. Some of the best speakers, after all, are premium soundbars and these gadgets occasionally connect via this type of cable. So why use an optical cable for a soundbar, and how do you get started? Keep reading to find out.


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Why Use an Optical Cable for a Soundbar?

When learning how to connect a soundbar to a TV, it’s all about port integration. For instance, if you have learned how to connect a soundbar to a TV with HDMI, but realized your model lacks the correct ARC-enabled HDMI ports, then go for an optical connection. In other words, this is a great way to connect a soundbar to a TV without ARC. It is also a great solution to the issue of connecting a soundbar to a TV with no audio output.

Insider Tip

Make sure you have enough power outlets nearby for the soundbar, the TV, and any other peripherals.

How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV Using an Optical Cable

This process is incredibly easy and should give even the most nervous amateurs a satisfying feeling upon completion.

STEP 1 Check the TV

  1. It is worth noting that HDMI ARC will likely deliver slightly better sound and will allow soundbars to easier incorporate with other tools, such as surround sound systems.
  2. So check first for HDMI ARC ports. They are typically labeled with both words or at least ARC.
  3. You should also check for the Digital Audio Out port, otherwise known as the optical port.

STEP 2 Buy the Correct Cable

  1. Now that the TV has the appropriate Digital Audio Out port, head to the store or online and purchase an optical cable that advertises itself as this type.
  2. Keep the receipt in case it doesn’t work out and you need another cable.

STEP 3 Make the Connections

  1. Plug one end of the optical cable into the back of the soundbar and connect the other end to the affiliated Digital Audio Out port on the TV.
  2. Arrange the soundbar as you see fit, as placement is entirely up to you.
  3. Power on both devices.
  4. This setup should require no settings adjustments, as it should just work. This is one benefit of going optical over using an HDMI.
  5. In very rare cases, head to the settings and select the soundbar as the approved speaker source.

STAT: Keep in mind that an optical cable doesn’t support HD audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. (source)

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