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How to Control a Soundbar with a TV Remote

Who likes to have multiple remotes for one system? Not us! Thankfully, there is a way to simplify the control of your entertainment equipment, including your soundbar, through your TV remote.

We’ll walk you through the steps on how you can do just that, generally, and then we’ll proceed with the specific steps per brand. Let’s begin:

little hand holding one of the three remote controls on the table

Control Your Soundbar with a Remote: Universal Steps

1. Find the compatible connection for both devices.

The connection ports are usually found at the back of your devices, or occasionally on the side. Take a look at what connections your TV [1] and soundbar offer. Most have HDMI ARC nowadays, but just in case yours does not, optical is still a good alternative.

2. Connect the corresponding cable to both devices.

The cables should be provided with your purchase, but any HDMI labeled as a standard 2.0 or higher will work. As for a digital optical cable, they should all be compatible with your soundbar. Just remember to insert it all the way until you hear a click.

3. Turn on Both Devices.

You can use the separate remotes or the control panels on the devices, if applicable, for this step.

4. Adjust the Settings

Once your devices are connected, you should be able to hear the audio through your soundbar. If not, you’ll have to go to Settings, locate “TV Speaker” and turn that off.

Alternatively, you can also locate HDMI ARC or digital optical setting and select that option. This will prompt your TV to reroute the audio.

You can now adjust the bass, treble, and sound modes as you please with your remote.

couple sitting on the sofa while holding remote and food

How to Control a Soundbar with a TV Remote by Brand

If the general steps do not work, then the following instructions specific to the brand will do the trick. Determine your soundbar’s manufacturer and find the particular steps for your device below:

Vizio

Vizio soundbars and TVs are equipped with both HDMI and digital optical connections. However, you may find that the optical connection is labeled as “S/PDIF”. 

Once plugged in, the TV should recognize the connection straight away. If not, head over to the menu, select “systems”, then adjust the settings as needed.

Samsung

Samsung devices including TVs also feature both connection options with cables included. You should locate the ports and connect both devices accordingly. You will then need to change the source of your soundbar to “D.IN”. This can be found on the menu.

If you are using digital optical connection, you need to find and hold down the left arrow button on your remote to trigger the Auto Power Link. Then, head over to the menu and select the right settings for audio output.

For the HDMI option, your TV will automatically recognize the new connection. It can be activated and deactivated with the right arrow button on the remote.

Sony

Sony TVs and other devices are trickier because there are more ways to connect. The soundbars can be connected to the TV with the HDMI ARC, optical digital cable, or both. However, the setup is easy and follows our general guide above.

One thing to note though is that you won’t be able to control certain HDMI functions with your remote such as volume control when using the optical cable.

tablet, phone, remote control and mug on table

LG

LG features many connection options including Bluetooth, digital optical and HDMI.

For Bluetooth, make sure that you turn on this feature on your soundbar. Once that is done, go to the main menu, locate “TV Settings”, select “Sound” and then “Sound Out”. Locate “LG Sound Sync” and select the name of your soundbar. 

The method of connection for HDMI ARC and digital optical are the same as our general guide.

TCL Roku

Most TCL Roku devices only have the HDMI ARC connection.

You can connect the devices together with the cable and go to the “Home” screen on your TV. Go into Settings and locate “System’’, then “Control’’, and find the HDMI ARC.

Make sure to uncheck the box for ‘’System Audio’’.

Panasonic

Panasonic TVs feature both HDMI and digital optical connections.

When connecting via HDMI, settings can be tweaked easily through the compatible app you can download on your phone. Meanwhile, the steps are the same as the general guide for the digital optical connection, but you’ll have to turn off your TV speaker in the settings.

man in white shirt pointing at white phone

Hisense

If choosing HDMI for your Hisense TV, you’ll have to connect the soundbar to the TV with the cable. Afterwards, head over to “Settings” on your TV menu. Go to “Sound’’, then ‘’Speakers’’, and select “ARC”. There is no need to turn off your TV speaker separately.

As for digital optical, you will have to go to ‘’Settings’’, then ‘’Sound’,’ and choose “Advanced Settings”. From there you should see and select “Dolby Digital Out’’, then choose “Dolby Digital Plus”.

Hitachi

Hitachi TV often has Roku TV built-in, which makes HDMI ARC the only connection. To set it up, go to “TV Settings”, choose “Audio”, then select “Audio Preferences”.

Philips

For HDMI ARC, connect the cable to the right ports then press the “ARC’’ button on the soundbar remote. Do this once you have located the audio settings on the TV menu. The soundbar and the TV should connect automatically.

spacious living room with TV and plants

Yamaha

Yamaha devices support HDMI. Locate the “ARC” port at the back of your TV and soundbar, and connect the cable. Go to ‘’Settings” on your TV, select “CEC” and enable the HDMI function.

For optical connection, connect the cable securely to both devices and select the TV “Settings” menu. From there, enable the optical output in “Settings” and turn off your TV speakers as well.

Sonos

The Sonos soundbar can be set up via the app. Once you have connected the soundbar to the TV with the digital optical cable, you will need to add the device to the app before you can control it with your TV remote.

You will need to create an account on the app when you add a new device. The app will then guide you through the setup process step-by-step. The same is the case for the HDMI connection.

Bose

Bose supports both HDMI and optical connections.

Once you have located the ports and connected both devices, you need to download the Bose app and run through the setup process before it can be paired with your TV remote. Once everything is set up, the soundbar will recognize your TV remote.

woman with graduation cap watching TV

Conclusion

It’s very easy to control your soundbar with a TV remote. It minimizes the need for multiple controllers and streamlines your sound system. 

Most devices support HDMI ARC, but if your devices don’t, the optical digital connection is always a viable alternative.

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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