What is 4k Soundbar

A 4K soundbar sounds very high-tech, but what does it mean? Why do manufacturers make it a point to advertise this and is it worth the extra money? If you don’t know what you’re getting, you may not be getting the most out of your 4K soundbar. Our experts have a detailed guide on what is 4K soundbar.

What is a 4k Soundbar

A 4K soundbar is a soundbar that supports 4K passthrough. 4K resolution is the second-highest resolution out there below 8K. It is approximately 4000 pixels [1] and is sometimes referred to as Ultra HD. A soundbar such as JBL Bar 5.1 supports this form of passthrough and does not lose any of the resolution when connected to the TV. 

In other words, what the content format is is what you will see on your screen. It can be confusing because a soundbar is for sound, so why does the video resolution apply here? 

Our experts are going to set the record straight. It means you can connect to the soundbar and run the signals to the TV in high resolution.

How To Tell If You Have A 4k Soundbar

The easiest way is to read the product description. But unfortunately, not all advertisements are completely honest. So what is 4K soundbar and how can you make sure you have one? Our team is here to help.

Things You’ll Need

One of the first things you’ll need is an HDMI cable. It’s highly unlikely that any other type of connection can support 4K. For simple connection, that is, not for 4K content, digital and analog cables are enough.

To make sure your soundbar can handle video in and out, there needs to be two HDMI input and outputs. To be sure your soundbar is indeed 4K compatible like the Roku Smart Soundbar, it needs to support video in from your media device and video out to your TV.

4k Passthrough on Soundbars

What is a 4K soundbar if it doesn’t do anything for video quality? When taken at face value, a 4K soundbar basically means the soundbar has both HDMI in and out ports for you to direct content from the media device to the soundbar, then to the TV.

A 4K soundbar like Yamaha SR-B20A can bring you high-resolution audio and video with a simplified connection. But do you need a 4K soundbar? The benefits of having a 4K soundbar include better audio and video quality with less chance of unstable connections.

4k Soundbar In A Room

However, you must make sure there is a passthrough for 4K content to be transmitted. Soundbars are only for audio and the passthrough will allow it to transmit video as well.

Even if the 4K soundbar doesn’t drastically improve your audio or video quality, at least it creates a cleaner setup and minimizes the need for long cables. It also makes sure the video and audio are synchronized smoothly. The 4K pass through in Sony HTCT790, for instance, displayed high-quality images and clear audio when its connected to the TV.


Is 4k pass through necessary?

No, 4K pass through is not necessary. It depends on your setup but it’s also better. For example, a 4K pass through TV like TCL 50S535 allows you to enjoy and process the Ultra HD content without suffering any loss of audio and visual signals with a simple connection.

Do all soundbars work with 4k TV?

Yes, all soundbars work with a 4K TV but if the soundbar isn’t 4K compatible, it may not be able to handle the high definition signal load and allow you to enjoy high resolution audio and video.

Find out which between Vizio and Samsung is better when investing in a 4K TV, next.

What does 4k compatible mean?

4K compatible means the device can process and relay 4K signals. With soundbars, it means that the bar can be connected to your media device then pass through the content to your TV without losing the quality of the Ultra HD content.


Now that you know what is 4K soundbar, you can decide if it’s a feature you want in your soundbar. The sound quality emitted from a soundbar has to do with the embedded audio technologies and the 4K passthrough only supports higher quality images to your 4K TV. 

The most important thing to make sure of is that your new soundbar is compatible with your TV in terms of connection. Always look for HDMI in and out to make sure your soundbar is indeed 4K compatible.

4k Soundbar Displayed

Have a Philips TV and a soundbar? We have specific instructions on how to connect your audio device to the set.

Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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