How to Connect Soundbar to TV with Optical Cable

- Updated January 10, 2020

If you have landed on this page, you might be craving to get a high-quality stereo effect from your soundbar but are confused about which plug goes into which slot. Or perhaps you don’t know whether your television supports the wire that comes with the sound system. In this article, we will explain how to connect soundbar to TV with optical cable as well as the other ways you have available to connect it.

You are not alone in this confusion. As technology has been advancing rapidly for a decade or so, there are just too many options to connect various devices.

Options for Connecting a Soundbar System to Your Television

You may not have every connector we have mentioned here, but you will at least have one of these options. You can use the one that will work for your cable.

Digital Optical Cable

An optical cable can transfer up to 5.1 surround sound. Some soundbars can be connected with a digital optical cable instead of an HDMI or a coaxial cable. An optical cable has a square shaped connector.

Its signals travel in the form of optical light before they are converted back to electrical ones as they reach the other end. There is very little electrical interference that affects the sound quality. You get a really good digital signal out of it. Thus, it’s high-quality sound that you hear once you connect it to your television.

HDMI Cable

An HDMI cable is the best way to connect your devices. It works well with 5.1 surround sound to 7.1 surround sound. It can even process Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Most of them do not allow two-way reception of data. You will only get to send data to your television but not the other way around. Therefore, if you are looking to connect your soundbar to your television with an HDMI cable, you will need to make sure that your TV supports HDMI-ARC. This will let data travel both ways.


An RCA carries audio instead of digital data. With it, you will not get the same experience as you would with an option that carries digital data that supports surround sound. Connect it using the red and white circular sockets on your television. The red plug would go into the red socket and the white one into the white socket. If your TV does not support RCA, you can plug it into a DVD player and connect the player to your television.

3.5mm Line Out

An audio cable, a 3.5mm line out won’t give you the cinematic experience you get from digital cables, but it is still a good option. It is simple to connect as you only need to look for the slot on your TV that says, “line out.” Make sure you do not plug it into the headphone jack as it will make a terrible noise.

Headphone Port

If your television does not have any of these options, you can use the jack for your headphones and plug your soundbar to it. Some televisions will not require you to adjust the sound, but generally, you will need to adjust the volume as well as other sound features. The sound quality will not be as good as other connection options discussed above, but it will work fine. Just be sure to turn down the volume while connecting the soundbar to avoid any screeching noise.

Do you fell like that one of the options above are better to connect your soundbar to tv? Then make sure you check our tutorial that has better explanations for each one of them: How to Connect a Soundbar To Your TV

How to Connect Soundbar to TV with Optical Cable

You might be wondering how to connect soundbar to TV with optical cable if you just bought a sound system and know that your television supports a digital optical cable. Follow the steps below to connect the two devices and enjoy your music.

Connecting the Optical Cable to the Soundbar

Start with connecting the optical cable to the soundbar by plugging it into the slot labelled “Optical IN,” “Optical” or “Digital IN.”

Connecting the Optical Cable to the TV

Insert the other end of the cable into the port on your TV labelled “Optical OUT” or “Digital Audio Out.”

Connecting to an Electric Socket

Once you connect the optical cable to the soundbar and TV, connect the soundbar to an electric power source.

Mounting the Soundbar on a Wall

You can fix the soundbar to a wall after you have made all the connections.

Turn On Devices

Turn on all the devices you just connected.

Set the Source

On the soundbar, set the source to receive data from the TV. Keep pressing the Source button until you see the D.IN sign. This is the mode which will play sound from your TV on the soundbar. You can skip this step if your soundbar does not require you to select a source.

Change TV Settings and Set Soundbar as the Speaker

Open the audio settings of your television and set the Digital Optical or soundbar as the speaker. After you choose it as your speaker, you can change its volume by using the TV remote control.

Difference Between Optical Cable and HDMI

Both cables pass digital data and can work with multiple audio systems. They are also cheaper than other cables and can work with Dolby Digital. The difference between the two lies in the HDMI cable’s ability to function with formats that are typically on Blu-ray such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio. That’s something which is missing in an optical cable.

Nonetheless, both will give you a good experience because they can work with the latest surround sound technology. While optical cable is a good option when it comes to getting quality sound, an HDMI cable is by far the best option in this category.

Final Thoughts

I hope you are now, after you have read this how to connect soundbar to tv with optical cable tutorial, in a position to start plugging in your devices and use the soundbar without feeling overwhelmed by the task. If you are connecting an optical cable, simply follow the steps and you will get through the task easily.


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