Do Soundbars Work With any TV? 

When it comes to audio, we often have to consider just how we want our TVs to sound, it is through a speaker, the TV’s stereo system, or through another method, we want the best product so we can have the best sound. So, that is why many people, when considering what to get, often go to soundbars as their go-to device.   

Sound Bars are considered the in-between of the Tv’s standard setup. But, the question remains, can any soundbar work with any TV?  

A soundbar can work with any TV as long as your TV is equipped with an HDMI port, optical output, or Bluetooth. One of these forms of connections is required in order to connect your sound bar to your TV.

Now let’s take a look at the different ways you can go about connecting your soundbar to your TV. As well as how to install your soundbar. Let’s dive in!

Do Soundbars Work With any TV? 

So long as there is a connection between the two. Now, as romantic as that sounds, let me explain. On a soundbar, there is either an HDMI port or an optical connection between them. 

If your soundbar & TV both contain an HDMI jack marked as ARC then all you will need is a single HDMI cable. If it doesn’t then you will need both optical and HDMI connections between the TV and the soundbar.

The HDMI port is for the cable that runs the audio settings from the TV and into the soundbar, allowing the connected audio system to operate as the TV’s speakers instead of the built-in systems. 

The optical connection cable is like the HDMI port, though more specialized. The HDMI port is also capable of working on computers, video game systems, and other TVs. 

Its main job is to move visual and audio to separate systems, though whether or not it displays the same things simultaneously is up to the user. 

An optical connection is built solely for audio between two devices. That is, it works for soundbars and other audio-based devices, but not much else. 

Of course, it depends on what kind of soundbar you have, and what kind of tv system you have. 

Naturally, older models built in the early 2000s aren’t going to have an HDMI port built-in, as soundbars weren’t invented then, nor would TVs built in the early 2010s would either, as they only worked with select systems.  

However, most 2014+ tv and soundbars have an HDMI port or an optical connection built-in, so you should be good so long as you search for it. 

In order to install the soundbar, please follow these simple steps:

 Be sure to put the HDMI plug in the TV-out port so the audio comes out properly. 

Switch on your tv, then change the audio settings by going into the menu function. There should be an option for that either on the tv itself (usually on the side or at the bottom corners) or on a remote labeled as “options” or “Menu,” then, find the audio option and switch it from TV to the soundbar.  

You also might have to do this for the soundbar itself, but there’s usually a remote you can use to select the option or a button on top of the soundbar you can press.  

Each soundbar comes with an instruction manual or an identifiable brand. If you are confused about any specifics, it is best to look up the brand for reference or consult your local electronic store, but these are the general guidelines to follow. 

Quick recap: just put the cables in the appropriate places, and make sure the TV and soundbar are both set to the correct options. 

Other Kinds of Sound Bars

A soundbar usually costs around a hundred dollars, depending on the make, model, and year. A quick rule of thumb, the more recent it is, the more it probably costs. 

A Samsung soundbar will probably cost around $200, and the most advanced ones, such as the Sono, will cost $800. So, you have to consider what you want when it comes to soundbars. 

But, what kind of soundbar should you get? It honestly depends on what you want, how much you’re willing to spend, and where you want it. 

Most soundbars have the basic function of making your audio come out cleaner or easier to hear as the TV plays, some are capable of connecting to iPhones or androids to act as a speaker, and a few have built-in Alexa or Siri functions. A quick rule of thumb is: the more stuff it can do, the expensive it is.  

I’ve even heard of soundbars that can act as automated systems, but those are the really expensive kinds and require a sizable wifi strength.  

The other factor to consider is where you can install it. Now, this isn’t a big problem unto itself, as most soundbars can be placed anywhere close to the TV, provided there’s enough space. Some can even be installed into a wall. 

But, you would want to keep it out of the reach of animals for various reasons (cats clawing at it, dogs chewing on it, or, heck if you have a bird, pooping on it.) 

So, with that in mind, you want to place it somewhere safe, close to the TV, and easy to reach in case you need to fiddle with it or remove it if the need arises. 

Anything else? 

Well, once you’ve had it all set up the way you want it, congrats! You now have a device that can play audio crispy and cleanly, and if your model supports it, you can have a multifunctional tool that can play from all kinds of iPhones, TVs, computers, and more! 

A soundbar is more of an accessory than anything else though, so don’t feel too bad if you can’t get or afford one. They’re like the fancy coat in a clothing store. Sure, they look nice, but a regular coat will still keep you warm. 

Besides, there’s always a chance you could find a soundbar for cheap at garage sales or during sale events. In addition, don’t be discouraged if you can’t find any that you like. There are all kinds of models, and some TVs do have recommended soundbars, kind of like the pocket watch to the coat I mentioned before.  

So, let’s recap

Most TVs can be hooked up to a soundbar for ease of use, and installing one is just a matter of connecting the HDMI or optical cables from the TV to the soundbar. Then you just had to adjust your settings so the audio comes out of the soundbar correctly.  

The price on the soundbar itself varies, but most of the time you can expect to spend over a hundred dollars, and if you want the ones with all the fancy features, then you have to spend more than just clean audio. 

Finding a place for the soundbar itself is important, as you don’t want something or someone knocking into it by accident. But, so long as you keep it off ground level and in front of your TV, you should be good.  

Don’t be too concerned if you don’t have a soundbar, or can’t afford one. At the end of the day, all a soundbar does is provide cleaner audio, and you have a good enough tv, you might not even need it. At best, it’s an accessory, not a necessity.  

But, if you want a soundbar, be wary of what options you have, and what you want out of one. They’re good machines and are a good part of an entertainment setup. Play a podcast on it, play a song, or hook up your computer to it, and you’ll be having fun.  

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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