How To Connect Soundbar To TV Without Optical Cable

- Updated January 10, 2020

The Soundbar is one of those inventions that has completely revolutionized the way we watch our Television. The invention of television itself was a monumental feat in our human history, but the inclusion of soundbars to elevate that experience with surround sound is beyond what anybody could have imagined.

Imagine sitting in front of a 75” 4K OLED TV with a Dolby-Atmos soundbar watching Star Trek (yes!). The only thing that could make that scenario better was if you could somehow physically go inside the TV and take a ride on the starship with Mr.Spock.

However, all that high definition (and imaginative-awakening) sound experience comes with some minute hassles. Typically, the easiest and the most obvious method would be to simply plug-in the optical cable of the Soundbar to your TV, and abracadabra your sound system is ready to go!

However, as technologies evolve, so do soundbars as well. Hence, some latest soundbars do not come internally equipped with optical cables connection options. In some cases, the soundbars support optical cable connection, but you simply don’t have any at your disposal. So, what do you do? How to Connect Soundbar to TV without Optical cable?

Well, there are several alternative methods you can use to connect the Soundbar to your Entertainment unit without optical cables.

  • Using wireless connectivity aka Bluetooth connection
  • Using Arc supported HDMI connection
  • Using Auxiliary input (AUX) option
  • Using the RCA (Cinch/ Phono Connector) adapter cable

So, here’s a detailed break-down of how to connect soundbar to TV without Optical Cable using the above methods.

  1. Using Wireless Connection aka Bluetooth

The majority of soundbars in the market at present come equipped with wireless connectivity option. This means you can connect your entertainment unit to your Soundbar without any cluttered wire connections. Of course, this also means your entertainment unit has to support Bluetooth connection as well. In our opinion this really responds to how to connect soundbar to TV without optical cable question the best

Here’s how to connect Soundbar to TV without using Optical wire via Bluetooth connection.

  • To make sure, always check if your TV has Bluetooth connectivity support. If not, the entire venture will be in vain. To check this, the easiest way is to browse through your TV manual guide book or simply enter your specific TV model number and check online to see if the feature is supported.
  • If your TV has Bluetooth support, simply scroll through your TV connectivity options in the main settings and enable it.
  • You can then turn ON the Bluetooth in your soundbar unit. Most soundbars come with a small Bluetooth icon either on the top or on the sides of the unit. You can tap on it or use the remote controller (if provided) to enable it.
  • A message will appear on your TV to pair up the two units. Press “yes” and abracadabra, you’re good to go.
  • Using an ARC-supported HDMI connection

HDMI or High-Definition Multimedia Interface connection is another alternate means of connecting your Soundbar to your TV. HDMI connectivity is one of the standard features in any entertainment unit. So, as long as your TV is not from the Victorian era, it should have an HDMI connectivity support. However, the HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) support is something you need to look for.

HDMI ARC works both as audio input and output, as opposed of the conventional HDMI port that supports inputs only. HDMI ARC port even delivers a higher audio output quality when compared to the traditional optical cable.

If your Soundbar has HDMI ARC support, you can easily spot out the port as it will be labeled clearly. It will also be present around the area where your traditional cable connections are usually housed.

Here’s how to connect Soundbar to TV without optical cable via HDMI ARC port.

  • In your soundbar unit, locate the HDMI OUT port and connect one end of the cable to it.
  • Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to your TV on the HDMI (ARC) port on your entertainment unit.
  • Turn ON both your entertainment unit and Soundbar and enjoy a flawless audio transmission from your TV to your audiobar.

ARC audio connection can even process higher audio formats like Dolby Atmos with negligible sound distortion. In addition to that HDMI ARC port also lets you connect other audio/video equipment such as game consoles or any other similar devices to your TV with a single and hassle-free connectivity option. So, logically, you should prefer using the HDMI (ARC) port even if you have optical cable connections available.  

  • Using an Auxiliary (AUX) Port

Auxiliary Port is another standard feature on most soundbars and TVs as well. If you have been using the higher-end smartphones, you may have forgotten what an AUX port looks like. The traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack that used to be a standard feature on your mobile phone is the Auxiliary port.

Auxiliary port performs the function of transmitting an audio signal from one source to another (unidirectional).  If both your TV and your Soundbar has the 3.5 mm jack feature, all you need is an Aux-Aux connectivity cable, and you’re good to go. 

Here’s how to connect Soundbar to TV without optical cable using the Auxiliary port.

  • Identify the 3.5 mm audio jack on both your Soundbar and your TV.
  • Connect one end of the Auxiliary cable and plug it in your TV, and the other end to your Soundbar.
  • Turn ON the TV and your Soundbar. If successful, your TV audio output will be transmitted to your Soundbar.
  • Using an RCA adapter cable

The RCA cables are the most iconic cables that were used mostly during the VCR and CD/DVD player era. The RCA cable has three separate plugs with different color coding – Red, Yellow, and White (or black). These colors represent video and audio transmissions. The yellow cable is used for transmitting video signal, and the red and white cable are for audio transmission. 

If your TV and Soundbar both have RCA cable ports, connecting them is a straightforward method. You just need to insert the plugs according to the color-coded jacks on the Soundbar and TV.

Here’s how to connect TV to Soundbar without optical cable via RCA plugs.

  1. Spot the RCA cables jacks on your TV, and connect the plugs as per the color-codingng.
  2. Look for the audio port on your soundbar unit and connect the black plug from the other end of the RCA cable.
  3. Power ON your TV and the Soundbar, and voila, you’re entertainment unit is set and ready. 

So this is it! You’ve got plenty of options now, hopefully this “how to connect soundbar to TV without optical cable” guide helped you.

If you’re still not happy about the options presented above, make sure you check this article too, maybe you’ll change your mind about it and decide you’ll use an optical cable instead.

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