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How to Fix a Soundbar that is Not Connecting (STEPS)

Why is my Soundbar not connecting to my TV?

Your soundbar may not be connecting to your TV because of a missing ARC connection, a pending firmware update, a damaged HDMI cable or a disabled CEC setting.

  • Missing ARC connection
  • Pending firmware update
  • Damaged HDMI cable
  • Enabled CEC setting


Missing ARC connection

AA missing ARC connection is a problem that occurs with some television sets. The solution to this problem is to perform a system reset every time it occurs and opt for HDMI ARC as the TV audio output. Following this, you can also reset the soundbar if needed.

To perform a TV reset, disconnect the television from the power supply by unplugging it. Wait for a few minutes, plug in the cable power cable once again and switch ON the television.


Pending firmware update

A soundbar can fail to connect if the firmware of either the soundbar or is outdated. Check the firmware status of both the devices and update them to their latest versions.


Damaged HDMI cable

A damaged HDMI cable is a common reason why a soundbar is failing to connect to a TV.

Use another properly working HDMI cable in place of the existing cable and check if the soundbar is getting connected to the TV. If it connects, then it means that the cable is faulty or damaged and needs a replacement.


Disabled CEC setting

Check if the CEC setting on your TV is disabled. This can sometimes prevent the connection from taking place. Enabling this setting may help to fix the issue.

If all the above solutions fail and you still have issues with the ARC connection or your HDMI cable is in good condition but still not working, you can use an optical cable to connect the soundbar to the TV.


How do I get my TV to recognize my soundbar?

You can get your TV to recognize your soundbar by connecting one end of an HDMI cable to the HDMI Out port of the soundbar. The other end of the cable connects to the HDMI ARC port of the television.

Remember to set the audio output of the TV to HDMI ARC.


Types of soundbar connections

There are four types of soundbar connections for the TV that are usually the preferred choices. These are using an HDMI cable, a digital optical or digital coaxial cable, a 3.5mm line out connector or RCA and a headphone jack.


  • HDMI cable

This is the most preferred and common method of connecting the soundbar to the TV. Connect one end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI cable to the HDMI Out or HDMI ARC port of the soundbar and the other end to the HDMI ARC port on the television. You must make sure that you use the correct HDMI cable.


  • Digital optical or digital coaxial cable

This connection is similar to that of the HDMI cable. Plug in one end of the cable to the digital port on the TV and the other end to the corresponding port on the soundbar. Before connecting the cable, you must check behind the TV to see if it supports an optical connector or a coaxial connector. Optical cables have square connectors while coaxial cables have square connectors. Most TVs support optical connectors.


  • 5mm line out connector or RCA

Connect one end of the 3.5mm line out connector to the port marked line out on the TV. Ensure that you don’t get this port mixed up with the one for the headset as they look alike. Connect the other end of the connector to its port on the soundbar.

If you opt for an RCA connector, connect the red and white connectors to the red and white sockets respectively on the TV. Plug in the other end onto the soundbar.


  • Headphone jack

This connection must be considered as the last alternative. You must make sure that you adjust the volume settings on the television when you use this connection method.


Soundbar not connecting


Is it better to connect soundbar with HDMI or optical cable?

It’s better to connect a soundbar with an HDMI cable over an optical cable. HDMI cables are more capable of passing audio of higher resolution when compared to optic cables.

You will need only one HDMI cable for both audio and video connection while you may need a second cable for video if you use to opt for an optic cable.

On the flip side, HDMI connectors are usually present only on soundbars in the mid- to high-end range. However, almost all soundbars are equipped with optical connectors to support optical cables.


Is a soundbar better with Bluetooth or HDMI?

A soundbar is better with HDMI compared to Bluetooth. HDMI is more stable, has better sound quality and supports higher bitstreams than Bluetooth.

On the other hand, Bluetooth supports only stereo and poses higher chances of connectivity and interference problems. HDMI also eliminates the hassles of pairing and/or searching, which is one of the key problems with Bluetooth.


Do I need HDMI ARC for the soundbar?

It’s not essential that your soundbar has an HDMI ARC port although most of the recent ones have this port. You can check if your soundbar has this port by looking for a port named ARC in your unit.

However, if you plan to connect the soundbar to a television, the TV must have an HDMI ARC port. This will help you to establish the connection between the soundbar and the TV using a single HDMI cable.


Why is my soundbar not working with the TV?

Your soundbar may not be working with the TV due to no HDMI connection, port mismatch, disabled CEC setting or a TV speaker setting.

Sometimes, an activated eARC function, an HDMI handshake problem, a faulty HDMI cable or a pending firmware update can also prevent the soundbar from working with the TV.

  • No HDMI connection
  • Port mismatch
  • Disabled CEC setting
  • TV speaker setting
  • Activated eARC function
  • HDMI handshake problem
  • Faulty HDMI cable
  • Pending firmware update


You can try the following steps to fix the problem of the soundbar not working with your TV:

  • If your soundbar has an HDMI port among several other ports for connection, it’s recommended that you opt for the HDMI connection. This is because if the other options are chosen, the soundbar may opt for those connections and cut down the audio completely or lower the sound quality.
  • Make sure that you match the ports on both the soundbar and the television. The two ends of the HDMI cable must be connected to the HDMI Out and HDMI ARC ports of the soundbar and TV respectively. The HDMI ARC setting must be done on the television.
  • Look out for a CEC setting that has been disabled. Enabling it is likely to fix the problem.
  • Check the setting for the TV speaker on your television. Make sure that it’s set to either Auto or OFF.
  • Turn OFF the eARC function of your TV through its audio settings menu if the soundbar doesn’t support this functionality. An activated eARC function can trigger unexpected connection problems.
  • Perform a power cycle if you suspect a handshake problem. To do this, disconnect the TV and soundbar from their power supplies. Wait for close to 15 minutes and plug them back once again.
  • Do an HDMI cable replacement if it’s quite old or damaged. Such cables might not be able to the recent HDMI technologies.
  • Make sure that the firmware for the TV as well as the soundbar is of the latest version. Do the desired update if needed, followed by a power cycle.

If the soundbar doesn’t work after you have tried all the methods mentioned earlier, you can either opt for a factory reset of the TV, soundbar or both or try out an optical digital connection.


Why is my Soundbar connected but I have no sound?

A soundbar can be connected but have no sound due to a problem with the connection of the cables or inputs or HDMI ARC. Incompatible audio formats, a turned ON sleep timer or pending software update can also cause this problem.

The steps mentioned below can help you to solve the problem of no sound when a soundbar is connected:

  • Check if the input ports have been selected correctly on both the soundbar and the TV. Ideally, the connection should be between the HDMI OUT or HDMI ARC port on the soundbar and the HDMI ARC port on the TV. Similarly, make sure that you use the right cable and set the audio output correctly through the TV settings instead of TV speakers.
  • Check if your TV supports an HDMI ARC port labeled ARC to connect the soundbar. If your TV doesn’t feature this port, you will have to change over to an optical cable connection.
  • Check the audio settings of the television and select the correct sound format for it to work properly. You may have to do a setting like this on the soundbar as well.
  • Check if the sleep timer has been activated accidentally for the soundbar and the TV. Turn OFF this setting for both devices. You may consider switching OFF the eco-settings on the TV if it has been activated.
  • Check if an update is due for the TV and soundbar. If you notice this, do an update to get the firmware up and running with the latest version.

If the above methods don’t help, you can always think of a factory reset for one or both devices.


Why is my soundbar not working with Netflix?

Your soundbar may not be working with Netflix due to a connection or wiring issue. An audio setting can also cause this problem.

  • Check if the cable used to connect the TV in which you’re watching Netflix and the soundbar is in good condition and do a replacement if needed. You should also ensure that this connection is tight and secure.
  • Go through the different audio settings and choose one that is compatible with the soundbar. Make sure that the desired audio output is configured through the TV settings.


Why is my soundbar not working with my Firestick?

Your soundbar may not be working with your Firestick because of a pending power cycle or reboot, an audio setting or a defective port.

One or more of these issues can result in not having any sound on the TV when the Firestick is plugged in.

  • If the audio worked without any problem initially but fails at a later stage, you can unplug the Firestick and plug it back in place after half a minute.
  • Go through the audio settings of the Firestick and choose a different setting. Often, the recommended setting is stereo.
  • Connect the Firestick to a different HDMI port on the TV. There is likely a problem with the port that prevents the Firestick from working properly.
  • Reboot the Firestick by going to Settings followed by My Fire TV and then Restart. The Firestick will switch OFF automatically and switch ON again by itself.


Why is my soundbar not working with my Apple TV?

Your soundbar may not be working with your Apple TV due to incorrect port selection or an HDMI-CEC setting.

  • Connect the TV and soundbar through their HDMI ARC ports and connect the Apple TV to the soundbar via their normal HDMI ports.
  • Check the audio settings of the Apple TV and opt for the best sound setting. Atmos is generally the preferred sound setting.
  • Disable the HDMI-CEC settings on the soundbar and TV if they are activated and enable them once again. This option is generally needed if the Apple TV has had an upgrade.


How to convert TV HDMI to HDMI ARC

You cannot convert the TV HDMI to HDMI ARC through any setting on your television. This is preset hardware that is set by the manufacturer at the factory.

However, there are some readymade converters available in the market that you can try using to help with this conversion.

If your TV doesn’t support an HDMI ARC port, you’ll have to use an optical port as a normal HDMI port doesn’t allow a two-way audio transfer.


Why is my Samsung soundbar not connecting?

Your Samsung soundbar may not be connecting because of a due device reset, faulty connections, a pending reboot or settings issue.

  • Reset both the television and soundbar. This will at times help to get rid of problems like HDMI handshake preventing the connection. To hard reset the soundbar, you must turn it OFF and keep the Pause button pressed until you notice its display highlighting the INIT OK Turn ON the soundbar again and connect it to the TV.
  • Remove the cables connecting the soundbar and TV. Connect them again securely after a gap of three minutes.
  • Turn OFF the TV and remove the plug connection for a couple of minutes if you’re doing the soundbar connection for the first time. This action will carry out a power reset.
  • Check if the soundbar has been plugged into the wall socket properly and there is a secure connection between the soundbar and power cord. Replace the power cable if it’s in damaged condition.
  • Make sure that the ports on the soundbar and TV are correctly matched to each other and the soundbar is associated with the right source.

As a last option, you might want to do a factory or hard reset of your television.


Why is my Sonos soundbar not connecting?

Your Sonos soundbar may not be connecting due to a pending reboot of the soundbar and TV, outdated firmware, disabled CEC settings, a bad HDMI cable or turned OFF Autoplay setting.

  • Do a reboot of the soundbar and TV. This is a simple process as mentioned earlier and involved unplugging the HDMI and power cables.
  • Check for pending firmware updates for both the devices and carry out the update at the earliest.
  • Check if the CEC setting for your TV has been disabled for some reason and turn it ON. This setting is known by different names based on the manufacturer.
  • Try using a different HDMI cable to see if the connection problem persists. If it doesn’t, you must change the original cable.
  • Activate the TV Autoplay feature on the Sonos app. This can be done by going to Settings and then System followed by selecting the appropriate room and then TV Autoplay.


Why is my Sony soundbar not connecting?

Your Sony soundbar may not be connecting because the cables are loose, the batteries in the soundbar are weak or the soundbar signals are blocked. The soundbar is less likely to work when any of these problems are encountered.

  • Check if the cable connecting the TV and the soundbar is secured tightly into the ports of both devices.
  • Try replacing the batteries in the remote of the soundbar. If there is no more connecting problem, it means that the initial batteries were weak and caused the problem.
  • Move any object present in front of the soundbar as these can obstruct the signals produced by the device.


Why is my Denon soundbar not connecting?

Your Denon soundbar may not be connecting due to a defective HDMI cable, mismatched ports, turned OFF CEC setting or outdated firmware.

  • Use a different HDMI cable to connect the soundbar with the TV. If the connection is established successfully, the earlier HDMI cable has a problem and has to be changed.
  • Check if the HDMI cable is connected to the HDMI ARC port on your television at one end and the HDMI Out port on your soundbar at the other end.
  • Make sure that you turn ON the CEC settings of the TV. This setting is known by many names like Anynet+ in Samsung TVs and BRAVIA Sync in Sony TVs.
  • Ensure that the firmware for the soundbar and the connecting device are of the most recent versions.

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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