A TV Remote control can act as a universal remote and control a TV or a soundbar if you connect them properly. Follow our quick and easy-to-understand steps to set up your TV Remote control so that more of your devices, including a soundbar, can be controlled with a single remote.
After reading and completing the steps in this tutorial to sync Sony sound bar with the TV remote, you’ll have greater control over your volume and a more simplified system of devices.
If you’re like me, you probably get confused when you visit family and friends and each of their devices is controlled by a separate remote control. “The best system is a simple system” is my philosophy, which is why I put this tutorial together.
What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial
A simple system starts with your hardware. Many of these items you will probably own already and here I assume that you already own a Sony sound bar and TV.
If you’re missing cables, they are relatively cheap to purchase online, from electronics stores, or even in some supermarkets.
Alternatives to Using HDMI Control
I recommend using an HDMI ARC connection because it is the simplest way to connect a TV and sound bar. If your sound bar doesn’t have a port for accepting an HDMI cable, an optical audio cable is your next best option for superior audio output.
Step 1: Unpack Your TV
Chances are that your TV is already set up in some capacity and that you’re just trying to add a sound bar to enhance your sound system. In case you haven’t though, go ahead and carefully unpack your TV along with the TV remote and other accessories.
Set all of your items to one side so that you can access all of the parts easily, especially the back of the TV where you will find the audio ports.
Step 2: Unpack Your Sony Soundbar
Take out your sound bar from its protective packaging and set it near your TV. You may find an included optical cable for audio but we will need an HDMI cable that is sold separately for this tutorial.
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Step 3: Connect Each Device With An HDMI Cable
On the back of your TV, you should be able to find multiple HDMI ports. You will want to connect your HDMI cable to the port that is labeled “HDMI ARC”. More likely than not this will also be labeled as “HDMI 1”.
This is the Audio Return Channel that will allow you to experience better sound quality through Sony soundbars.
Step 4: Plug-In Your Hardware
Both the TV and soundbar will have a power cord that needs to be plugged into each one individually before being connected to an electrical outlet to be powered.
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Step 5: Turn On Each Connected Device
For now, you will need to use the included remote controls for both your TV and soundbar to power each one on.
Step 6: Navigate Your TV Settings
Using the TV remote, bring up the settings for the TV. This may be as simple as a single button press that looks like a cog wheel on the remote.
Alternatively, you may need to open the TV menu and navigate to your TV audio settings. Unfortunately, this can be different for each brand of TV.
Step 7: Turn On Your Consumer Electronics Control Setting
The HDMI Consumer Electronics Control or HDMI CEC is what tells the software in your TV to use the external input devices like Sony soundbars. It is a simple matter of toggling on the setting.
Depending on your TV, it might be named something different like “BRAVIA Sync” and the “sync menu” according to that brand
Step 8: Troubleshoot Both Your Soundbar and TV
You should now be able to control your TV’s audio output through the sound bar with the same remote after the CEC is enabled.
You can test whether or not your connection was successful by turning up and down the volume of the sound bar with the TV remote.
Your volume may show that is changing in response to your button presses but you will need to check that you can hear TV audio through the soundbar output. Switch on a video at low volume and put your ear to the soundbar to check the audio.
If you can’t hear anything from your sound bar, you may need to adjust the cable for a secure connection or adjust your audio settings on the TV.
Alternative Connection Methods
I chose to use HDMI because it is a simple method for high-quality audio. If you have hardware limitations you may need alternative ways to connect your Sony audio hardware to your TV.
Another popular way of connecting a soundbar and TV, optical cables are often included in the soundbar packaging. A specialized port for optical audio will also be on the back of your TV and soundbar.
There’s no need for CEC to be enabled on the TV because optical cables only carry sound signals so you won’t be able to control your TV volume with a single remote with this method.
If you like a clean aesthetic without cables, this wireless solution may be for you. When paired with a compatible TV, a Bluetooth indicator on your soundbar will let you know if you have been successful.
The biggest problem with this method is the potential for the video and audio to become desynced. This could happen if other signals are interfering with the Bluetooth audio or if the TV is too far away from the soundbar.
Did you enjoy how simple that was? I strive to make easy-to-understand tutorials so that everyone can experience the best digital audio. A simplified system like this is not only convenient but introduces fewer points of failure so troubleshooting is a breeze.
If you found this article helpful, let me know in the comments and share it with anyone you think might need the advice!
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.