Soundbars are a great way to use your existing projector and TV speakers for better sound. You can connect a soundbar and projector at the same time without worrying about the cabling because they allow you to link several diverse devices simultaneously. There are many different methods how to connect soundbar to projector, as you might imagine.
This is a common problem for many people when they have their projector in the back of the room and don’t want to run wires through the length of it. The solution is easy! Connecting your soundbar to your projector with an HDMI cable will do just what you need.
But what if you don’t have a soundbar and want to play music through one? This article will show you how easy it is with just a few steps using HDMI cables, speaker wire, and an RCA cable!
Although universal manuals for all devices are not available, there are several steps you can take to ensure the best soundbar for projector sound experience.
How To Connect Soundbar To Projector
First, you need to make sure that the soundbar is equipped with a subwoofer cable jack. Some of them may have a coaxial or optical input instead. If your TV or projector does not have these inputs, you will want to purchase an RCA cable and connect it from the left/right channel output on the back of the soundbar (the green and red) to the left/right channel input on the back of your projector (labeled L & R).
Assuming both devices are Blu-ray players, now you want to go into your audio settings menu for both units and change speaker selection to “external”. Also, be aware that some Blu-ray will only play in surround sound when connected with HDMI.
Now, you want to make sure that your Blu-ray is set to bitstream or PCM when outputting the sound from a digital source like Netflix or Hulu+. This option may be found in the advanced audio settings menu of your Blu-ray player. You will also need to change it back once the connect soundbar to projector has been set up as it’s best for listening to standard 2 channel stereo through your TV speakers.
Lastly, you may need to set the external audio device on your projector and/or TV so that they are not muted and play at full volume. The volume buttons on most remotes will only control the TV speakers so if there is no sound coming out after connecting everything, you may need to check your sound settings.
5. Once all of these steps have been completed, you are ready to rock and roll! Connect the HDMI output from the Blu-ray player to an input on the back of your projector or TV. If you don’t have a spare input, use Y (green) and PB (blue). Most projectors only have one set of component inputs but most TVs will have several so feel free to use whichever one is best for your setup.
You can also use a universal remote that supports HDMI-CEC so as soon as your movie starts playing on your blu ray player, it’ll automatically turn on your projector for you!
That’s what I love about my Sony Wega TV- it has built-in CEC support from the HDMI output so I don’t have to change any settings on my blu ray or projector. If you want a universal remote that supports this feature, check out our article on finding one here.
Some important notes:
Do not use red, green, and blue component cables! That will not work and result in a “no signal” message.
Make sure you’re using the same brand on both connect soundbar to projector inputs. Some devices may not work well together, resulting in difficulties.
If your Blu-ray player is outputting PCM audio and the soundbar is also capable of this, then you will need to go into your blu ray player’s audio settings menu and change it to the bitstream. The most common setting for audio output by default is PCM so many people don’t know about this setting or how to switch it over. If your TV speakers are producing good sound quality but not when connected through the external speaker, try changing to another input on of the soundbar such as AUX if you are using coaxial.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment! There are many different combinations of connections and settings so feel free to change things up until you find what works best for your setup. If you have any questions about this article or need help setting something up, we are always happy to help out in the comments. Good luck and happy listening!
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Connecting a soundbar to a projector with an HDMI
HDMI is the best way to go about how to connect soundbar to projector and will provide the best results without issue as long as you are using the correct inputs on both devices. The first thing you want to do is run an HDMI cable from your projector’s left/right channel output (labeled L/R) into one of the HDMI inputs on the back of your soundbar.
If you have any other types of connections available such as digital optical or coaxial, I would recommend going that route instead since they can be easier to find cables for and won’t require any additional adapters in most cases. If this is not possible, then run another HDMI cable from a different HDMI input on the soundbar to the projector’s HDMI out.
Sometimes both of those cables won’t fit due to their orientation (left/right) and you will have to choose one or rotate one connection. This will depend on which input your soundbar has available as well as how far apart your components are from each other. If they are very close, you can use either the left or right channels since it doesn’t really matter in this case.
However, if they are further apart, such as with a front projector, you’ll want to make the soundbar input that is closest to the projector’s audio output. That way, when all connections have been made and everything is turned on, the sound will come straight out towards you instead of going towards another wall.
Connect any speakers you have to the soundbar’s speaker terminals (don’t use the terminals at all if you don’t want to). If your projector is capable of passing both video and audio through the HDMI cable, then connect it directly to one of those inputs on the soundbar instead of using a separate set of cables for sound.
This can be beneficial because it will take up less space behind your equipment rack and keep everything nice and tidy. You can also do this with an HDMI switch so that only one cable needs to be run from the projector to the switch and then into the either HDMI input on your soundbar.
Plugin and turn on all components as well as whatever you are connecting them too such as your TV and A/V receiver if you are using that. Make sure to keep everything off for the time being since we will be doing more testing very shortly.
Turn on the soundbar and projector at the same time (not all components need to be powered on if they are plugged into an AV receiver). This is when you may need to switch inputs on the soundbar if your projector doesn’t automatically detect the input you chose. Once everything is turned on, make sure that you are still getting audio on both devices and that it sounds good to you.
If there is no audio or the sound isn’t clear, you will need to go back into the soundbar’s settings and change some of the options. Try switching from Auto Detect to PCM, Optical, or Digital if you are using one of those connections and see if that has an effect on your results.
If it sounds better but is still not perfect, then try changing the Dynamic Range Control option (if available) to Max Performance or Standard. This will clear up the problem with most soundbars and is a quick fix. If your soundbar has an option for surround emulation, you can also try turning that on or off to get a better result depending on your preference.
You should now have audio from the projector connected directly to the soundbar without any additional cables besides power. You should also have audio coming from your A/V receiver connected directly to the soundbar if that was the connection you chose.
If everything sounds good, then you can turn off the projector (along with all other components) and move on to testing out different inputs on the soundbar.
How to Connect a Soundbar to a Projector With Optical or SPDIF Audio
At this point, your projector will need to be connected to the soundbar directly. This can be done with any of the connections available on both devices such as optical, coaxial (SPDIF), or analog audio. An HDMI switch can also be used at this point in case you would rather not use multiple cables for audio.*
- Connect everything exactly like explained in steps 1-7 above except you won’t be using an HDMI connection from the projector to the soundbar. You will instead want to connect between either one of those two A/V inputs on your soundbar and one of those three outputs on your projector (optical, digital, or coaxial).
- Make sure that all components are powered on and that you are using the correct input on your soundbar. If everything is already turned on, then simply change your A/V receiver’s Input to either Optical or Digital depending on which one you chose. This will power on the projector as well so that you can see if there is a picture coming from it or not.
- If there is still no audio, make sure that the proper setting in your A/V receiver has been selected for an optical or digital connection (if available). The switch should be set to off if this option isn’t available which means that it won’t show up when changing connections directly on the projector itself. In some cases, you may have to turn off surround because it can interfere with getting a good audio signal.
- You should now have sound from the projector connected directly to your soundbar without any additional cables besides power. If you want to test out different A/V receiver input connections, then make sure that everything is still powered on and change the Input or Source on your A/V receiver until you find what works best with your particular setup. Once you’ve found a connection that sounds good to you, simply leave it there for future use unless something else needs to be tested out.
HDMI Automatic Switching
*This method will not work with most projectors as they are designed to only receive one HDMI connection at a time (with no overscan options). This article assumes that this method will not work but can be used for additional information to help your setup work. You can read the article below to see if it will work for you and what settings to use.*
Although this is a rare feature, some projectors are able to receive and automatically switch the HDMI connection depending on what device they are powered on. This means that the projector will automatically switch to whatever signal it detects, such as a DVD player or an A/V receiver. If you have a device like this and there is no audio when everything else seems to be working fine with the settings explained above, then try out this method first before anything else.
Connect a soundbar to a projector with Bluetooth
This method won’t work with most projectors as they are designed to only receive one HDMI connection at a time (with no overscan options) and the audio will be embedded directly into the video signal instead of coming through its own dedicated channel.
This article assumes that this method will not work but can be used for additional information to help your setup work. You can read the article below to see if it will work for you and what settings to use.
If your projector is Bluetooth capable, then this may be a good alternative way of getting sound from your A/V receiver or cable box connected directly to your soundbar. Although some projectors do send out an optical or digital coaxial signal over Bluetooth, it isn’t going to be as high quality as a dedicated connection would be.
This is why you need to make sure that this method will work with your projector before adding the extra step of connecting via Bluetooth. If it doesn’t, then there are other methods further down the page that may work better for you.
The first thing to do is connect both devices (soundbar and projector) together using a 3.5mm cable between the headphone out port on each device. Once they are connected, set up whatever audio source you want to route through your soundbar and into your projector by following steps 1-7 in section one above.
Now that everything has been set up properly, all that’s left to do is figure out how to pair these two devices together so they can automatically switch over. There are two ways to do this depending on your projector:
Pairing Via Optical
*This method will not work with most projectors as they are designed to only receive one HDMI connection at a time (with no overscan options) and the audio will be embedded directly into the video signal instead of coming through its own dedicated channel. This article assumes that this method will not work but can be used for additional information to help your setup work. You can read the article below to see if it will work for you and what settings to use.*
The first thing you need to do is enable Bluetooth on both devices (soundbar and projector). For this example, we’ll assume that your soundbar already has Bluetooth enabled and is ready to connect.
If you have an applicable projector model, then the next step is to press the “Source” button on your remote until a small light appears underneath the word “HDMI”, usually a few seconds after powering up. The only downside here though is that this works best when turning on or off your projector because the light will appear almost immediately. Otherwise, it might just take a little longer for it to show up.
Finally, you should see that light start flashing under the word “HDMI” on your remote as it tries to connect to whatever device (soundbar) is Bluetooth-paired with. If this method doesn’t work on your projector, then chances are it will require the other method which is explained below.
Pairing Via Bluetooth
This method is most likely going to be your best bet if your projector does not have a subwoofer output or any other outputs for that matter. This article assumes that this method will work and what settings to use but feel free to try out the first one (via optical) on your projector if it doesn’t.
If you’re just trying to send the audio from whatever source device (cable box, A/V receiver, etc.) to your soundbar without using a wirelessly connected Blu-ray player or console, then this is what you should use. The one catch about this method is that you will need to enable Bluetooth on both devices and set them up with each other before they can work together.
This process varies based on each model but usually involves holding down some combination of buttons on each unit until it’s in pairing mode followed by entering a code into both devices when prompted.
Once everything has been paired up properly, all that’s left to do is figure out how to switch over automatically between your source device and the soundbar. This will depend again on each model but usually involves hitting one of the “input” buttons (Source, Aux, etc.) to toggle between whichever two devices that you have connected in this setup. Since this is a manual process,
I would recommend only doing it when your projector is already turned on so it doesn’t switch back over to its internal speakers by mistake while trying to watch something else.
How to Connect a Ceiling-Mounted Projector to a Soundbar
This article assumes that your projector was mounted to the ceiling in order to get it closer to where you will be watching most of the time. The basic principles will apply if you have one mounted at eye level instead but keep in mind that there is a points system as follows:
- 5 for projecting at eye level (you’re going to have to deal with volume issues)
- 1 for having a dedicated media room or home theater and no living room TV (don’t worry, we’ve all been there)
Important Note: It’s worth mentioning again that using a soundbar might not work for everyone due to its inherent audio limitations which can include “tinny” or “muddy” sound, lower maximum volume levels than a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system, etc.
In the end, though, there are a lot of options out there but not all are created equal, especially when it comes to soundbars with built-in subwoofers.
Please keep in mind that this article assumes a ceiling-mounted projector and soundbar installation which is what I did so your results may vary if you have something different set up for either one (or both). Also, note that this article focuses on the audio side of things as opposed to physical features like wire management or other room design concerns that would be beneficial to consider before setting things up too far along in the process.
Thankfully, most projectors can be hung pretty easily from the ceiling with only a little bit of measuring beforehand, mainly as a double-check to make sure they are going to be at the right height for everyone in your household.
The projector mount (for lack of a better term) that I used was from Omnimount and is also pictured below. It has an adjustable arm that allows you to move it up and down depending on how tall the ceiling is where you’re hanging it and can rotate left or right but not all models will have these specific features which mean you would need another mount if either one doesn’t work out.
Other manufacturers exist so be sure to look around before buying anything though if the money becomes an issue then chances are some tweaking will be necessary afterward if you find yourself needing more range than what the mount gives you.
You can also get away with just using a solid-surface ceiling mount like this model from Sanus if it’s sturdy enough or perhaps even try raising the projector up on some books/cinder blocks in a pinch, though I would not recommend doing anything that is too unstable (like having the projector nailed to the ceiling) just to get it up higher.
If you’re not comfortable with DIY solutions then this is what the pros are for, whether it’s having them come out and install something custom or hiring a company to do the job for you.
Finally, if your projector isn’t mounted at all due to not being able to support a ceiling mount of some sort then you can always just set it on a table, dresser, or another piece of furniture that is sturdy enough to hold the weight and clear of obstructions such as speakers, etc. #1 Getting the Projector and Soundbar Ready
- Turn on your projector to make sure that the image and sound work properly. If it has a “test pattern” option on the menu then you can use that to make sure your picture looks okay as well.
- Plugin your soundbar into the wall outlet and turn it on. Make sure that any wiring necessary for power or connecting other devices is complete before continuing (e.g., subwoofer, TV, etc.).
- Turn on your projector and allow it to warm up (if necessary). This step will vary depending on the technology used, e.g., DLP vs LCD/LED projectors. If you’re using a front-projection type then you should wait until the fan noise quiets down before moving onto step 4 since some models tend to get quite loud during this phase of initial startup (my first projector was like this).
- on your soundbar with either the remote that came with it or internal controls. You want to make sure that all of the speakers are working and try playing different types of media, e.g., a DVD movie vs music from your phone, etc.
- Connect your Blu-ray player, cable box, or other home theater gear (e.g., Chromecast) to your TV and turn both devices on before getting into any settings changes for optimal performance with everything hooked up properly.
- Projector: Turn on the projector and allow whatever image you were displaying in step 2 to fill up the screen completely before moving onto the next step if it wasn’t already doing so (some models may require this step while others can go straight to calibration).
- Soundbar: Press the source button on the soundbar remote and then select your Blu-ray player as the input; you can also use other options or cycle through them with the up/down arrows if they aren’t already selected.
If using a media center PC to playback media (e.g., Kodi, Plex) then make sure it’s properly configured before proceeding since some tweaks may be necessary for optimal playback. You also need to make sure that whatever device you are using is outputting audio at an audible level by adjusting volume levels accordingly either on the external device itself or externally via your TV if available.
Use arrow buttons or remote to navigate through menus as needed until you are into any calibration settings (if available) or the system preference menu. After that, head to “brightness” and change it so that the image on-screen looks good (this step will vary depending on the model and manufacturer so calibration may not be possible on some)
Q: How do I connect my Bluetooth soundbar to my projector?
To connect your soundbar’s Bluetooth to a projector, you will first need to pair the speaker with your phone. You do this by pressing and holding the pairing button on the back of your soundbar for about five seconds.
If you have an Android or Windows device, it should automatically detect and attempt to pair with the speaker; if you have an Apple device, you may need to go into your Bluetooth settings and connect manually. Once connected, open whatever media app or service you want to play through the soundbar (e.g., Kodi) on your phone and start playing a movie or song of choice.
Q: How does a soundbar connect to a TV?
For most models, the connection can be done with either an optical cable (for digital audio) or RCA cables (for analog audio). You should plug the first into your TV and then plug in your soundbar to the other ends of those same cables.
If neither audio option is available on your TV but only one of them is present on the soundbar, you will have to make a choice as to which one you want to use so that both devices are able to properly function together.
Q: Why are audio and visual on my TV/projector incompatible with my soundbar?
If your TV or projector isn’t being detected by your soundbar as an available option when you try and switch to that input, there are a couple of things that could be going on.
The first is that your model of soundbar doesn’t have the proper connection for it to work with the device in question. For more recent TVs and projectors, this may not be an issue due to them using HDMI connections but older models might still have only RCA cables or optical audio out which can cause problems if the other end lacks support for those types of inputs.
Q: How do I connect my soundbar to my USB port?
You need to ensure both devices are turned off before doing any connecting because live electrical currents running through wiring can damage the soundbar. Start by plugging your soundbar into a power source. Next, simply insert one end of your USB cable into the port on your speaker and connect the other side to an available port on your television or external device.
Q: How do you connect a TV to a wireless surround sound system?
If all else fails, re-run through steps 1-4 for each individual input until you find out which component is causing interference with the rest of them. You have most likely entered this state if none of them are working properly together anymore but some may be doing so individually.
Once you’ve found out which one isn’t working as expected, unplug it from its dedicated power source (if applicable) and switch over to an alternative source of input (e.g., USB or auxiliary) for as long as you need to perform whatever task it was that caused the problem in the first place. This will help prevent damage from a power surge should something malfunction on your soundbar before you have a chance to unplug it and rectify the issue yourself over time.
Q: Are there any devices that my sound bar can’t connect with?
Many older models may not be able to properly work together with newer TVs and/or projectors due to them lacking support for HDMI connections which is required by most modern soundbars. For this reason, you would first need to figure out what connection types are available between all devices at play here so that compatibility isn’t a problem.
Keep in mind that even if you have the proper cables or adapters available for use, it may not be possible to get everything working together without some issues cropping up due to incompatibilities between the software on the devices and controllers. This mostly applies to TVs from a specific era as most other auxiliary input sources (e.g., Blu-ray players) should work fine with newer soundbars.
Q: Can I hook up my sound bar via Bluetooth?
Although many modern sound bars incorporate wireless streaming capabilities out of the box, older models will require an adapter in order to connect wirelessly through Bluetooth. Wireless connectivity is especially helpful when setting your speaker up in spaces where there isn’t an appropriate method for running wires all the way from an external device.
For instance, if you’re going to be placing it behind a 32-inch TV that doesn’t have any extra inputs on the back for connecting additional devices like an auxiliary cable or even RCA cables, Bluetooth streaming will allow you to connect wirelessly from anywhere within its range which is typically limited to about 30 feet.
Q: How can you make a projector screen?
In order to use Bluetooth streaming, you will first need to ensure that it’s enabled on your sound bar and that its adapter is plugged into a power source. Next, turn both the speaker and any external device (e.g., TV) with Bluetooth capabilities on before pairing them together by selecting the input option on your sound bar, then choosing “Bluetooth” for whichever device you would like to connect wirelessly.
It should only take a few seconds at most since these connections are made automatically once they’ve been paired successfully without requiring any user input beyond enabling the necessary settings beforehand.
There are a few different ways how to connect soundbar to projector. Which way do you want to use? If you’re looking for an easy connection using HDMI, then it is as simple as connecting your soundbar to any HDMI input on the television or receiver. You can also use optical cables which will work with newer models of projectors that have digital inputs.