Having a soundbar is the perfect way to enhance your sound on the TV. If you want to feel almost like you’re sitting in the theater, the soundbar is great! Soundbars are a simple solution to complete sound, and they don’t take up a ton of space either.
JBL is a popular soundbar choice. But when you get one, you need to understand the basics of how to connect it to your TV. How do you connect the JBL soundbar to the TV? Check out this complete guide that walks you through the steps for the best ways to get connected.
Connect JBL Soundbar with HDMI
The easiest method to use with most modern TVs is an HDMI hookup. HDMI hookups were added to TVs beginning in 2004 and since that time, they have almost become the norm for most hookups with your TV. That may not be the case with every single TV but it’s the most common element.
HDMI stands for the high-definition multimedia interface. It’s ultimately designed for a high-definition connection between devices and appliances. This type of connection can be used for audio and video. With a sound bar, you are using it for a high-quality audio connection.
The steps here are pretty simple because you will mostly just be connecting the cords. You may have to adjust a few settings depending on your TV, but we will walk you through this. Some TVs will automatically adjust based on the connection, but others require you to turn on the function.
Check out these steps to help you connect your JBL soundbar to the TV:
- Locate the HDMI connections on both the TV and the soundbar. Use this to help you determine the appropriate placement of the soundbar so you can get it where you want.
- Grab your HDMI cable (you may have to purchase one if it was not included).
- Make sure the TV and soundbar are off initially for safety purposes.
- Plug the HDMI cable into first the TV and then the soundbar.
- Adjust your cables accordingly to your liking.
- Noe power on both the soundbar and the TV.
- Head to the settings on your TV. There should be a menu or settings that you can access via your remote. Find the audio settings and just be sure that your HDMI ARC functions are turned on so the soundbar can connect this way.
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Once you’ve done these steps, your soundbar should be good to go. You can test it out and make sure. The soundbar should kick in automatically for your audio unless it is powered off. If for some reason this does not work, you may need to do some troubleshooting specific to JBL. However, this is the easiest way to connect.
Connect JBL Soundbar with Bluetooth
Some soundbars, including many made by JBL, are Bluetooth accessible. This could make your connection job easier overall. To be able to connect with Bluetooth, your TV does have to be Bluetooth-enabled. Of course, the soundbar also needs to be Bluetooth compatible.
Connecting with Bluetooth is pretty simple. It gives you more flexibility with the placement of your soundbar because the only connection you have to worry about is the power connection. Most Bluetooth-compatible options could also be wired. If you start with Bluetooth and feel as though you don’t like it, you can always switch to a cable connection.
You can follow these steps to connect your JBL soundbar using Bluetooth.
- Check to be sure both the soundbar and your TV can use Bluetooth. You will want to make sure that Bluetooth features are enabled as well.
- Now power on the TV and the soundbar to get started.
- You will need to start by pairing the two devices together. Head over to your TV settings using the remote and go to Bluetooth. Here, you should be able to start by searching for the device.
- When you find the JBL soundbar, select it and choose to begin pairing.
- This may take a few moments to complete. The JBL soundbar has a blue light that indicates when it is paired through a Bluetooth connection.
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As long as your connection process was successful, you should be good to go! Now, the audio will play through the soundbar, if it is powered on, and they remain connected.
With Bluetooth, sometimes things unpair or disconnect. If this happens, you should just be able to pair them again as you did initially.
Connect JBL Soundbar with Optical Cable
Another common type of cable that you might find is an optical cable. If your TV does not have HDMI connections, this is likely the connection you will need. It’s very much like an HDMI cable and you will find that making the connection is also similar.
If you’re curious about the difference between HDMI and optical, it’s just that HDMI supports more types of sound. You may not notice unless you compare them. But things like TrueHD and DTS are more compatible with HDMI. The sound produced will be better and you will actually hear all the sound. Optical cables can sometimes limit the sound that comes across in certain capacities.
Optical cables are quickly becoming outdated. At the same time, there are many TVs still out there that use them.
Follow these steps to connect your JBL soundbar with an optical cable.
- Power off the TV and the soundbar and get each piece placed how you want them to be.
- Grab your optical cable.
- Connect it first to the TV and then to the soundbar.
- Power on the TV and the soundbar.
- Check to see if they connect automatically. Sound should come through the soundbar. If it doesn’t, grab the TV remote and activate the function in settings.
In most cases, when you connect the soundbar with the optical cable, the sound will funnel through automatically. You typically will not have to change your settings, but you should check there if it doesn’t work right away.
Once connected properly, your sound will come through the soundbar every time as long as it is powered on.
Connecting a JBL soundbar is not overly challenging. If you are familiar with the basic steps, you should be able to get everything connected without a problem. If you do have issues, you can work through some troubleshooting scenarios that are specific to JBL.
Once you have your connection setup, the sound will automatically come through the JBL soundbar unless it is powered off. If you prefer TV sound, you can just turn off the soundbar.
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.