3 Ways to Connect Bose Soundbar to TV

Today’s article will focus on ways to connect Bose Soundbar to TV. Most televisions are being made to be thinner and have fewer bezels. While this might make them look sleeker, manufacturers find it almost impossible to put reasonable-sounding speakers in them.

For this reason, consumers who care about beautiful sound feedback need alternative speakers. Bose is one of the leading players in audio technology, with various soundbars from which to choose. There are three ways to connect Bose Soundbar to TV– HDMI, Optical Cable, and Bluetooth.

How to Connect Bose Soundbar to TV

Connect Bose Soundbar to TV via HDMI

To connect your Bose Soundbar to a TV via HDMI, you must ensure your TV has an HDMI port that supports ARC technology. You can usually tell by the inscription ARC in brackets after the HDMI sign at the back of your TV. 

The next step is to connect the HDMI cord from the TV to the Soundbar. You can use any HDMI cord to initiate this connection successfully.

After your Soundbar is connected, you need to set your TV’s audio output. Depending on your TV, this should be located somewhere in the “Audio” section of the Settings menu. When you locate it, set Bose Soundbar as the output. Some TVs require you further to enable ARC and CEC in the Settings menu.

On some Bose Soundbar models, you would need to change your audio input. You can do this via a physical switch on the Soundbar or by selecting it in the device settings.

Connect Bose Soundbar to TV via Optical Cable

The second option for connecting your Bose Soundbar to TV is Optical Cable. This option is the next best thing, considering many TVs don’t support the ARC technology, and it’s rare to see a Smart TV with neither ARC nor Optical input.

After you’ve confirmed your TV has an Optical input, remove the protective cap from both ends of the optical cable. Insert one end of the optical cable into your TV’s Optical OUT connector. 

Hold the plug at the other end of the optical cable, align it with the Soundbar’s OPTICAL IN connector, and carefully insert the plug. Firmly push the plug into the connector until you hear or feel a click.

NOTE: Be careful not to insert the plug in the wrong orientation, as it can damage the plug or the connector.

Finally, go to your TV Audio Settings and set the output setting to “Optical” and the source to be Bose Soundbar.

Connect Bose Soundbar to TV via Bluetooth

To connect your Bose Soundbar to a TV via Bluetooth, first, confirm the TV can send sound to a speaker or headphones using Bluetooth. Some TVs can only receive sound via Bluetooth (i.e. to play sound from a smartphone through the TV speakers) but cannot use Bluetooth to send sound from the TV to a speaker or headphones.

If your TV can indeed output sound via Bluetooth, open the settings menu on the TV. Options vary by TV, but typically, you will need to go to the Audio or Bluetooth settings. For example, you might need to go to Audio settings, select Bluetooth, and then choose your Bose product.

What is HDMI ARC Technology?

ARC or Audio Return Channel is a technology that allows televisions to send audio signals to and from other devices using an HDMI cable. Without it, your TV cannot supply sound to your Soundbar. The reason is that regular TV HDMI ports are supposed to receive video and sound from input devices, not send them out.

What Means of Connecting Bose Soundbar to TV is the Best?

As detailed above, most Bose Soundbars can be connected to your TV via HDMI, Optical Cable or Bluetooth. Purely by merit, the HDMI connection is the best way to connect your Soundbar to TV, and that is because it just affords the best audio quality by a long shot!

Bluetooth is the means of connection that you should try to steer clear of if sound quality is a priority. The only significant advantage Bluetooth has is the flexibility of moving your Soundbar around easily, along with less wire clutter.

If you’re concerned about how to properly arrange your living room with your Soundbar in it, you can check out this article on the 7 best Soundbar mounts.

How do I Know If My TV Supports Optical or HDMI ARC?

You can go through your TV manual and see the features your TV supports. Alternatively, you can look behind your TV, and if you see any of the distinctive shapes of the HDMI or Optical cable ports, you’re good to go.

Some Televisions with multiple HDMI inputs would have one port dedicated to HDMI ARC, while the others would be standard HDMI ports.

Sample of what HDMI (ARC) and Optical ports look like.

Connect Bose Soundbar to TV
Sample of what HDMI (ARC) and Optical ports look like

What if My TV Doesn’t Support HDMI ARC, Optical or Bluetooth?

It is possible to have a TV that cannot connect to your Bose Soundbar because it doesn’t have any of the three means of connection. In this case, you can easily purchase a Bluetooth adapter that supports sound output, connect it to your TV and connect it to the Soundbar.

If you choose to go this route, keep your expectations low in sound quality.