Soundbars aren’t only for sound – you can connect them to your receiver and enjoy both sound and images. As this article points out, soundbars are ideal for those looking for a less expensive option with great sound and what you need to play in media like movies or television on a TV.
The question: can you connect a soundbar to a receiver? seems to have been answered definitively.
- 1 Which Soundbar Can Connect To A Receiver?
- 2 Why Would You Want To Connect A Soundbar To A Receiver?
- 3 Different Scenarios For Connecting An Active Soundbar To A Receiver
- 4 Connecting A Passive Soundbar To A Receiver
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
Which Soundbar Can Connect To A Receiver?
Technically, passive and active soundbars can be connected to a receiver. Active soundbars should not be used in this manner. These soundbars are meant to be all-in-one pieces for your home entertainment system.
Passive sound bars can be used in conjunction with existing amplifiers or receivers. The specific circumstances of your situation will dictate the type of soundbar that you choose. If you have an active soundbar and receiver, consider your ultimate goal.
Are you happy to keep your existing equipment? Are you looking to buy a soundbar designed to work with your receiver? Are you looking to upgrade but are not able to afford it?
If you want to use the equipment you already own, connect your soundbar to receivers. If you don’t have a receiver, I will show you some options.
Why Would You Want To Connect A Soundbar To A Receiver?
Many people connect a soundbar with a receiver to use the front three channels (left, center and right). The surround sound speaker system can then be connected to it. This is not a good idea as active soundbars aren’t meant to be used in this manner. The audio quality can be severely affected by the merging of the front three channels.
Instead of using separate surround speakers and pairing them together, I recommend a sound bar with wireless surround sound speakers. These systems are straightforward to set up and provide an immersive surround sound experience.
The Nakamichi Shockwave Pro7.1.4Ch Soundbar System (on Amazon) is my favorite sound bar with wireless surround speakers. This great sound system is very affordable for all it offers. It would be about twice as expensive for a surround system with a higher name brand.
If you have a limited budget or don’t want to spend any of your existing equipment, read on!
Different Scenarios For Connecting An Active Soundbar To A Receiver
Although it isn’t a standard setup to connect an active soundbar with a receiver, certain situations might warrant it.
Use the better sound bar to be your central channel speaker.
Although this is an understandable reason to pair your receiver to your sound bar, it is not the best. Here are the reasons. The sound bar and the other speakers you have will most likely be of different brands, shapes, sizes, and so forth.
Because the wireless speakers and soundbars are different sizes, the audio won’t sound the same across all speakers. Due to the unique characteristics of soundbars, the audio signal will likely sound different from multiple speakers connected directly to the receivers.
You might be watching a war movie that has lots of gunfire and explosions. If the camera pans left to right or vice versa, it will follow the quality audio if the design is correct.
As immersive sound produced from the front right speaker (sound bar) to the center speaker, you’ll likely notice a change in the sound sêpas it transitions between the speakers.
Your soundbar should be able to act as your center channel speaker. It must have pre-outs for the channel and an RCA/3.5mm input. These are pre-outs:
Depending on the receiver and soundbar, you will need an RCA-3.5mm (Aux) or an RCA to RCA cable. The RCA should be connected to the pre-out connectors on the receiver. Next, connect the 3.5mm or RCA connector(s) as appropriate to your quality sound bar. You may have to turn on the pre-out center channel of the surround sound receiver. This is how it will look:
There are other ways to connect your soundbar as the center channel speaker to your audio receiver if it does not have one. A line-level adapter/converter can be connected (example) to the receiver’s aux or RCA input.
This is how it works: Connect speaker leads from your receiver to the line-level adapter’s input, then connect RCAs to the Aux or RCA ports on the soundbar.
Use the soundbar as your only speaker.
You can use it with a receiver in several ways.
An optical cable can be used to pair the soundbar and a receiver. Connect one end of the cable to the digital optical out port on your receiver and the other to the optical port on your soundbar. The receiver will require a digital optical out port.
The receiver’s settings may need to be adjusted to direct the audio in the desired direction. It is important to note that both must use the same digital encoding standards. You may experience strange sound problems if they do not match.
HDMI ARC (audio return channel) can be used to connect a soundbar and a receiver. HDMI ARC is not compatible with all the components and may cause issues. It is still an acceptable option, even if your receiver doesn’t have an optical connection.
Connect the HDMI cable to HDMI ARC from your receiver’s HDMI ARC connection to the soundbar. Connect the HDMI cable from the receiver to your television.
To make this work, all devices must have ARC capability. You may need to configure both the receiver and other devices to use AR. They may not use it automatically.
Your receiver can be reduced to a glorified HDMI switch. You would pair the aux, optical, and RCA cables from the TV to the soundbar. You would still need to use the HDMI input, but this would disable all audio functions.
It acts as an HDMI switcher, passing audio signals and video signals to the TV. The soundbar would then play the sound. This method can require a lot of setting adjustments on the receiver’s side. You won’t disable the receiver’s audio functions on all receivers, so I warn you!
Connecting A Passive Soundbar To A Receiver
It’s straightforward. It depends on which receiver passive soundbars you have. There may be multiple channels, or they could be combined into one channel. Connect the speaker wire to the soundbar.
Connect the leads to the soundbar if it has a single channel. If so, pair them to the receiver’s center-channel binding post.
Connect three pairs of speaker cables to the receiver if the soundbar has more channels. Usually, there are three—one for each of the three front-left, center, and proper channels.
You could merge all of those channels into one if you really wanted to, but your receiver or amplifier must have ample power output to support that amount of power. It’s easy to connect a passive soundbar and a receiver because it was designed to do.
How do I connect a soundbar to an Onkyo receiver?
Use the compatible connection ports to connect your soundbar with an Onkyo receiver. To provide incredible sound, most Onkyo receivers support both HDMI ARC as well as digital optical connections. You only need the correct wires.
How do I connect a soundbar to a Denon receiver?
Your soundbar can be connected to a Denon receiver using the optical cable connector ports or the ARC. Find out which one your soundbar supports and connect them with the correct cable.
How to connect a soundbar to a Yamaha receiver?
Use the HDMI output connection to connect. Most Yamaha soundbars support this type of connection. It’s recommended because it produces amazing sound quality with the least amount of distortion and lag.
Do soundbars require a receiver?
If you already have an AV receiver, your soundbar doesn’t need one. The majority of soundbars available on the market today are active. This means that they can simulate a home theater experience.
These passive soundbars can benefit from a receiver to amplify sound and enhance the audio-video quality.
Soundbars will benefit you in many ways, and you should consider this if you want to add value to your audio and visual experience for your home surround sound system.
Combining a soundbar with a TV and a receiver can help enhance the best sound quality of your movies, TV shows, music, and video games even more in your home theater system.
Connecting a soundbar to a receiver is a simple task, but it requires the correct cables. Follow our instructions to make sure you connect the right way. Enjoy!