An HDMI cable is the simplest and best way to hook up a soundbar to your Vizio TV. If you’ve already unpacked your television and Vizio soundbar, connecting to the TV is as easy as a simple plug in to HDMI ports on both to connect your sound system connected and working.
If you follow the steps listed in this tutorial on how to connect a soundbar to Vizio TV, you should have a Vizio-soundbar HDMI connection for a better sound quality experience in your home theater.
Great sound is a key part of any screen viewing and I’m passionate about making sure your Vizio device has the right connections for the best sound any audiophile can enjoy.
What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial
You’ll need a few items to get your Vizio TV and sound bar connected properly, mostly items included in the packaging of either or both devices.
HDMI cables are the best option because they can transmit high-quality sound, like Dolby Atmos produced by Dolby Digital, at a low latency between the screen and speakers.
However, the only essential item in this tutorial is the Vizio TV itself because that’s what this whole article is about. So don’t worry if you want to use a different sound bar or another input method for connecting the Vizio TV and sound bar.
Other wired connection methods like using an RCA cable, SPDIF cables, and fiber optic cables are possible as well as Bluetooth for a wireless connection.
Many of these options, especially the Bluetooth connection, have a higher latency between the Vizio TV and speakers which means your audio output can become desynced with the picture on the TV.
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Step by step Instructions
Step 1: Unpack your Vizio TV
Chances are that you’ve already done this step in the excitement of receiving a new TV, or you already have your TV setup and are just wanting to add a sound bar to the audio output of your speaker system.
Simply remove all of the parts from their packaging and make sure everything was included.
Step 2: Unpack your sound bar
Carefully extract your sound bar from its packaging just like the TV and arrange everything so that everything you need is easily accessible.
Step 3: Locate the HDMI ports on both devices
This is a simple step that involves looking for the HDMI port on the TV and sound bar individually. They should have the same shape like the one shown in the picture which lets you know that they are indeed an HDMI port.
Step 4: Make sure your TV uses an HDMI ARC port
Many newer models of TVs, including Vizio TVs, have an HDMI ARC port which is usually the first HDMI port because it is becoming a standard within the industry.
You can tell if your TV and sound bar follow this standard with a simple label stating “ARC”, “TV-ARC”, or something else along those lines.
Step 5: Research the best HDMI cable for your needs
Your TV may have come with an HDMI cable included in the packaging, but these cables tend to be relatively short and not of the highest quality. A simple search online can point you in the right direction for choosing an HDMI cable that is suitable for your audio needs.
Step 6: Plan the installation of your device accordingly
If you haven’t already set up your TV, make sure you have enough space between the back and any walls you may be placing the TV against, whether you use the included feet for the TV or wall-mount the TV. You’ll want to do the same and leave some space between your sound bar, the TV, and any other obstructions.
This will make it easier to insert cables into a port later and can also help with cable management down the line.
Step 7: Turn off the TV and sound bar before plugging in an HDMI cable
To prevent any short-circuiting or other electrical mishaps, make sure you switch off both before attempting to plug in a new cable. You should only need to use the power button to turn off the devices, so there is no need to unplug them from the power outlet.
Step 8: Get your HDMI cable plugged in
One end of the cable will get connected to the HDMI 1 slot of the TV or whatever port has the HDMI ARC port labeling. Connect the other end of the cable to the same deal on the Vizio sound bar or whatever sound bar you are using.
Step 9: Turn on the TV and sound bar
You can now switch on the pair for your final step before enjoying your new speakers in the sound bar.
Step 10: Adjust your audio settings from the audio menu on the TV
If your TV or smart TV isn’t so smart and doesn’t automatically adjust your settings to utilize the new audio output option, you may have to do some work yourself through the audio settings.
In this case, you will have to navigate the menu with your remote until you select HDMI as your audio feedback option. From there you may need to turn up and down the volume using your soundbar remote to make sure the issue has been fixed.
Alternative Connections to Your TV
Your television may not have included an HDMI cable for your use or your soundbar may not have a compatible HDMI ARC port because its use isn’t as widespread in soundbars as in TVs.
Thankfully, there are other ways to connect a soundbar to a TV for better sound quality than from standard TV speakers.
Optical is often the next best option for many users if they cannot experience a better sound experience simply because of hardware limitations. Optical allows for superior sound quality than built-in TV speakers even though it’s not quite at the same level as high-definition sound like Dolby Atmos.
It also has incredibly low latency so that your audio and visual experiences are synced thanks to signals being transmitted at speeds close to the speed of light. Over these short distances covered by cables, this translates to instant transmission of data.
Bluetooth is another popular option for connecting a TV to its audio system but it has distinct pros and cons. The biggest advantage that a Bluetooth connection will have over a physical connection is that you have a cable-free option for a clean-looking aesthetic.
It also means that you will have one more slot left open on your TV for adding other devices like game consoles or streaming sticks to the TV.
The main disadvantage of Bluetooth is that it isn’t always compatible between televisions and soundbars. Aside from that, you may also experience a higher amount of latency depending on the distance the hardware needs to cover to communicate.
Related: Bluetooth Pairing Not Working on Vizio Sound Bar
Tutorials can be long and stressful so I hope I made this one easy to understand right up to the end.
Helping you achieve your dream TV and audio setup is my goal with these helpful tutorials and you should always want the best out of your devices, especially if it can be done at a low cost to your wallet!
Let me know what you thought about this tutorial or if you have additional questions in the comments and share the article to help others who may have the same questions!
John Fleming is the senior editor for Audiophilez.com, covering everything from headphones to smart speakers. He is a graduate of Music Production and Technology. Before Audiophilez, John began his career as a staff writer for two different magazines, where he became a skilled storyteller across different mediums. When he isn’t writing, he can be found biking, reading books, and playing the piano.