If you’re wondering how to connect surround sound speakers to a TV, then you’ve come to the right place.
Surround sound speakers help enhance your movie watching experience and boost the audio quality of your TV. But how do you connect a surround sound speaker system to your TV?
It’s simple and you can connect surround sound speakers to your TV either by using wires or in a wireless manner. If you’re going to use the wired method then you can either connect an optical cable, RCA cable or HDMI cable between your TV and speakers, or if your surround sound system and TV supports wireless connectivity then you can either use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to pair the two devices.
This article will cover everything there is to know about connecting your TV with a surround sound system and how to always receive the best sounding audio.
Check it out!
Recommended Read: How To Connect Bose Soundbar To a TV
Table of Contents
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV
Since there are two primary ways to connect surround sound speakers to a TV; wired and wirelessly, i’m going to take you through both methods and show you how easy it is to connect both the devices together.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV with a Wired Connection
Examine the Speakers – Determine the type of speaker setup you want/have
Your speaker arrangement depends on the number of speakers you own. The most common speaker setups are 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1. The number before the decimal refers to the number of speakers you own while the number after the decimal indicates the number of sub woofers.
- 2.1 indicates two front speakers and one sub-woofer.
- 5.1 indicates two front speakers, a center speaker, two surround speakers and a sub-woofer.
- 7.1 indicates all the above in addition to 2 back speakers.
Check the TV’s Audio Connections
Your TV contains an “audio out” either at the back or at the side of the TV. It will contain at least one of the following outputs.
- AV – Red and white circular ports. Used for basic audio. A must on all receivers.
- HDMI – Thin hexagonal slot. It supports both video and audio. Most new gen receivers support HDMI.
- Optical – It’s a hexagonal port. It’s the freshest addition to most new gen receivers and produces the clearest audio.
Ensure you Have an Audio Receiver
Audio receivers amplifies sounds from a TV and transmits it the connected speakers via wires. The good news is that most surround sound packages come with a receiver.
If not, you can check out this article to buy an awesome receiver under a 1000 dollars. Connect the speakers to the receivers using an AV cable.
The receiver can be connected to your TV either with AV, HDMI, or optical cables to your TV.
Use the Appropriate Cables
You will need a set of AV cables and speaker wires that attach speakers to each other, HDMI and optical wires so that you can connect the receiver to the TV’s audio ports.
If you don’t have any of the wires mentioned above, you can buy them here.
Unplug your TV from a power source and check your surround speaker’s manual for the placement of your speakers. You can also move around the speakers later on your own to adjust the audio output to your preference.
Position the Speakers Appropriately for the Best Sound
Before connecting your speakers to the receiver and hooking them up with wires, it is important to position the speakers correctly. This process is known as “blocking” and will save you from the hassle of remeasuring wires that you need to connect your speakers.
- Position Your Subwoofer – Place your sub-woofer near the center of your home theater. Sub-woofers emit omni-directional sound. This means that wherever it is placed, it will achieve similar results. Avoid placing the sub-woofer against a wall or a corner as this will amplify the base.
- Set up the front speakers on each side of the TV – Note, some speakers come with a left and a right symbol. Place the speakers accordingly. Place the speakers at the same distance from the TV
- Angle the speakers towards your audience – Each speaker should be angled in such a way that it should point towards the center of the seating area.
Hack: if you can raise the speakers to your head level, you will notice a distinct difference in sound quality which will improve your overall experience.
Depending on whether your surround sound system is a 5.1 or 7.1 position your remaining speakers so that it angles towards the listener.
The speakers at the side and at the back of the speaker should be placed at least two feet above the listeners ear and angled down slightly so that they can be pointed towards your audience.
Position the Receiver Close to the TV and a Power Source
The receiver should be placed at a comfortable distance from the TV and a power source so that you can plug into both easily. Also, give enough ventilation space for the receiver so that It does not overheat.
Connect Your Speakers to the Receiver
Most new gen surround systems have specific ports that you can plug in the appropriate connector into. If your sound system is old, you might have clips that you can place your raw speaker wire into.
For this, you need a pair of wire cutters that can cut off the ends of the plastic so that the wire is exposed. Then simply place the wire into the clip.
Keep in mind that expose loose wires is not only a safety hazard, but it looks unaesthetic as well.
- As much as possible, cover exposed wires by sticking them against a wall or covering them up with a carpet.
- Be sure not to stretch out your wire and leave them some slack so that the wire does not snap.
With one end of the wire connected to the back of a speaker, connect that speaker to another speaker and repeat until all the speakers are connected to each other.
Connect your speakers in a loop such that all the speakers are connected in a line from one front speaker to the other front speaker.
- The front speakers are connected to the receiver using AV cables. They are not connected using speaker wires.
- Unless specified by the manual, do not connect your sub-woofer to the speaker. They are almost always connected directly into the receiver.
Connect the Subwoofer to your Receiver
Sub-woofers are usually connected by AV cables directly into the receiver.
- The port for the sub-woofer on the receiver is usually labelled as “sub out” or “sub pre-out”.
- For sub-woofers with multiple outputs, connect to the one labelled “LFE” or the input on the far left if there is no label.
For more detailed instruction to connect the sub-woofer to a receiver, check out this blog.
Connect the HDMI Cables and Power Supply
If this is the first time you are plugging your receiver into a power source, it might take several minutes before your receiver comes online.
Devices that use HDMI input as their audio output include gaming consoles, DVD players and cable boxes. To reroute the sound, plug the devices into the receiver to channel their output into the surround sound.
You will need additional cables to attach the receiver to the appropriate HDMI inputs.
- Receivers usually have a ‘HDMI IN” and a “HDMI OUT” series of ports (eg “IN 1”, “OUT 1”, etc)
- For example, if a HDMI device is plugged into the “HDMI IN 1” it would have a HDMI cable plugged into the “HDMI OUT 1” port on the receiver and the “HDMI 1” port on the TV as well.
Using a HDMI cable plug in the receiver to the TV. Refrain from using AV cables as this will reduce the quality of the sound emitted from the speakers.
Since most TV’s today have a slot for a HDMI cable. it’s best to use it so there’s no compromise in overall video quality and you’re able to watch even 4K or 8K movies considering you have the setup and HDMI capabilities..
Hooray! You have connected your surround sound system to your speakers. Turn on your TV and check out how your efforts paid off.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV Wirelessly
Surround sound speakers themselves don’t support wireless connectivity. However, with the help of an AV receiver you will be able to connect the speakers to your TV wirelessly.
Receivers come with ether Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and some offer both services. This feature lets you connect your surround sound system to your TV without any wires allowing you to have a clutter-free zone near the TV.
While this sound simple, there are some conditions that need to be met. Check out what must be done in order to connect a surround sound system to your TV wirelessly.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV Using Bluetooth
One of the most common built-in connectivity feature is Bluetooth and surround sound systems generally do offer either Bluetooth 4+ or 5 and above. But you have to make sure that your TV is Bluetooth compatible and only if it is then you can pair the TV with your Surround sound system wirelessly.
- Turn on the TV and the Surround sound system
- Enable Bluetooth mode on the receiver and on the TV locate the receivers Bluetooth name
- Tap on the name using your TV remote and then click on Pair.
- Once the TV has successfully connected with your receiver, the rapidly blinking blue light on your receiver will stabilize.
You will be able to watch movies and play music from your TV to your Surround sound system wirelessly with the help of Bluetooth.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV Using Wi-Fi
Some surround sound systems come with Wi-Fi capabilities allowing you to connect your TV with your Surround sound system using a Wi-Fi router at home. In order for this to work, both your TV and the receiver of your surround sound system have to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
However, some surround sound systems would require a manual wireless connection and for this, you will be able to find all the necessary answers in the surround sound systems instruction manual.
Testing Your Surround Sound System
You can fiddle around with the audio settings on your TV and set your audio preferences.
- New gen surround sound systems come with an automatic set up process that makes adjusting your audio output easy and efficient. It involves placing a microphone in the middle of the room and allowing the speakers to read the ambient sound levels.
- Moving your speakers is the last resort. Before doing so, check out the audio settings on the TV and adjusting that.
Soundbar vs Surround Sound Speakers : Which is Better?
While soundbars are both easy to use and are versatile, they lack the punch and delivery like a traditional surround sound system. If you’re looking for a theater-grade experience, then nothing can come close to the sound you’d receive from a surround sound system connected to an AV receiver over a soundbar.
Also, soundbars can only be positioned in a single space and you won’t receive 3-D sound whereas surround sound systems on the other hand can be positioned all over the room to your liking so you have an in-depth listening experience.
Soundbars are much cheaper than regular surround sound speakers and are good enough for a basic entertainment experience. If you’re really out to get the best sounding audio, then stick to a good set of speakers connected to a receiver.
Can I connect speakers directly to my TV?
No, unfortunately, you can not connect speakers directly to your TV because the TV does not have a driver that’s capable of powering the speakers. You will have to use an AV receiver connected to your speakers and TV in order to receive the best sounding audio.
Does HDMI support surround sound?
Yes, HDMI supports multi-channel audio formats that are generally used in surround sound. Some examples are DTS, Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Plus.
What does a HDMI-ARC do?
A HDMI-ARC helps transmit audio as well as video from your TV to a receiver or soundbar. Thanks to the HDMI-ARC cable you won’t require more than a single cable to have all your media transmitted.
How do I check if my TV has a HDMI-ARC port?
You can check the ports at the back of your TV and locate the one labeled HDMI-ARC or ARC. Generally, all TV’s post 2009 come with a HDMI-ARC port.
What to do if my TV does not have an optical port?
If your TV does not have any optical ports then you can use a HDMI-ARC to Optical adapter and connect the system to the TV.
What is the difference between analog and digital audio jacks?
Digital audio jacks such as coaxial and optical convert analog stereo sound into digital data that is then converted within the receiver and the output is passed through the speakers. Analog audio jacks are the 3.5mm and RCA ports that send raw audio straight through to your speakers without any digital conversion.
Setting up your surround system can take a bit of effort but it well worth it. There’s nothing like sitting back and relaxing on your couch after a hard days of work and losing yourself in your favorite movie.
What’s more, you will feel like you accomplished something as you get the sound reverberating through your entire living space.
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