How do I connect Apple TV to the external speakers?

How do I connect Apple TV to the external speakers?

Although Apple TV can give you a high quality of sound, an external speaker will still be able to optimize your experiences. Therefore, many Apple TV viewers would like to have additional speakers for their devices.

The most current Apple TV models give you a chance to connect with several devices. But is any speaker compatible with your Apple TV?

How do I connect my Apple TV to the external speakers?

Apple now offers you to connect with different types of external speakers on all of the Apple TV boxes. For each type, the process to pair your devices is quite different.

There are now some main types of connection:

  • Wireless speakers: HomePod, AirPlay2 – compatible speakers, Bluetooth speakers
  • Wired speakers: get access through an HDMI cable

Connecting Apple TV to HomePod or AirPlay2-enabled speakers

The list of AirPlay2-compatible speakers includes:

  • Apple HomePod
  • JBL
  • Bose
  • Sonos
  • Bang and Olufsen
  • Bluesound
  • Naim
  • Denon
  • Bowers and Wilkins
  • KEF
  • McIntosh
  • Harman/Kardon
  • Yamaha
  • Libratone
  • IKEA

How to use those external speakers on Apple TV?

After you determine whether your speaker is compatible with AirPlay 2 or not, follow to next steps to stream your audio:

  • Step 1: Activate your Apple TV
  • Step 2: Select the Video and Audio option under the Settings heading
Settings menu
Settings menu
  • Step 3: Find the Audio Output option
Video and Audio menu
Video and Audio menu
  • Step 4: Choose the name of your speaker from the list of AirPlay2-enabled devices connected

With the AirPlay2 feature, the audio signal from your Apple TV can be sent to multiple rooms at the same time. Besides, you can also make use of separate HomePods as two-sided speakers. And your Siri is ready to be used right on your connected speakers.

Apple HomePod
Apple HomePod

Connecting Apple TV with Bluetooth speakers

It is possible for you to connect most of the current Apple TV models with Bluetooth speakers, except for Apple TV Gen 3. With the Apple TV Gen 3, you have to pair your speaker to your display device or an Audio and Video Receiver instead.

Otherwise, in the case of Apple TV Gen 4 or later, you can even access multiple Bluetooth accessories simultaneously. Here’s how to connect your Apple TV to Bluetooth speakers:

  • Step 1: Activate the Pairing mode on your Bluetooth speaker
  • Step 2: Open your Apple TV, then move to the Settings section
  • Step 3: Select the Remotes and Devices option
  • Step 4: Click on the Bluetooth button so that your Apple TV starts to find any available Bluetooth devices nearby
  • Step 5: Select the name of your Bluetooth speaker from the menu

Then, your Apple TV is connected with your Bluetooth speaker successfully as expected. You can make any audio adjustment by pressing the buttons on your Bluetooth speaker. Otherwise, go to the Settings on your Apple TV menu to manage your Audio settings.

Connecting Apple TV with wired speakers

For wired speakers, it is common to pair your Apple TV with your speaker via an HDMI cable. The majority of Apple TV boxes can support an HDMI output. Thus, you just need to take the action as belows:

Use an HDMI cable

  • Step 1: Plug one side of your HDMI cable into your Apple TV HDMI port
  • Step 2: Plug the other side of the cable into the HDMI port of your speaker

Use the HDMI cable cutters:

  • Step 1: Connect two sides of the HDMI cable with the HDMI ports on your Apple TV and your TV set respectively
  • Step 2: Use a separate optical cable to link your TV set and the optical port of your receiver together. Otherwise, you can get an optical audio cord to connect your Apple TV with your receiver directly.

However, only older versions of Apple TV can support this feature. Meanwhile, the newer version like Apple TV Gen 4 or Apple TV 4K does not have any optical audio port.

  • Step 3: From the Inputs or Source menu on your receiver, choose the Apple TV option
  • Step 4: Check the Settings of Dolby Digital on your Apple TV

For older Apple TV models: Open Settings → Select Audio and Video → Check the mode of Dolby Digital. For Apple TV Gen 4 or later: Instead of Audio and Video, choose Surround Sound, then select Best Quality Available.

  • Step 5: Make sure that the Dolby Digital setting is available on your receiver

Some questions related to the connection of external speakers on Apple TV

What to do if your optical audio on your Apple TV does not work?

For most of the versions of Apple TV, you should follow the guideline as belows:

  • Step 1: Move to the Settings section from your Apple TV Home Screen
  • Step 2: Choose the Audio and Video option
  • Step 3: Check if the Audio out option is connected on Apple TV or not
  • Step 4: Adjust the Audio mode settings from auto to 16 bit

For some of Apple TV Gen 2 or Gen 3: It is useful for you to activate the On mode of your Dolby Digital Out.

Is optical audio not different from HDMI?

The similarity of the two options is that they are both affordable for any user. However, with the HDMI cable, you will be able to get a higher resolution for audio.

Final thoughts

It is possible for you to connect most of the Apple TV versions to different types of external speakers. You will be able to pair your set-top box with AirPlay2-compatible speakers, Bluetooth speakers or any other speaker having an HDMI port. And for each type, there are different easy-to-go processes to link your devices together.

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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