How to Connect Soundbar to TCL TV with Optical Cable?


Soundbars nowadays are typically linked by Bluetooth. However, you can connect an older soundbar to your TCL TV with the classic optical cable solution. Read on to learn more.

A soundbar is a speaker that looks like a huge metal log or bar of metal. It’s renowned for its portability, easy mounting, and placement on any type of home entertainment setup. The TCL TV is a series of QLED Android TV models that range in sizes like 65 inches and so forth.

It’s a smart TV brand that can run apps due to its use of the Android platform, but it’s also a TV with standard ports for AV, HDMI, video, and audio inputs.

How to Connect Soundbar to TCL TV with Optical Cable?

Connecting your soundbar to your TCL Roku TV with an optical cable couldn’t be easier. Just find the right ports on your TCL TV and your soundbar, put the input end of the optical cable on your TV then put the output end on your soundbar, and you’re good to go.

Hooking up your sandbar to the TCL Roku TV isn’t all that different from connecting it to another TV brand. If you have the right components, it’s pretty easy. However, what if you have an advanced TCL TV with mostly HDMI ports?

It can be confusing for some to deal with HDMI ports when you instead have an optical cable and connection on hand of the SPDIF or TOSLINK variety. This guide is here to walk you through the entire process.

connect soundbar to TV
To connect soundbar to TV

 

What are the Specifics to Connecting Your Soundbar to TCL TV?

You need to figure out which connection form you wish to use. Use the optical cable if it’s available. Use HDMI if it’s not. If your soundbar only has an optical port and your TCL TV only has an HDMI port then you need to get an adapter or converter. Otherwise, just use the optical port.

To make things easier, we’ve condensed the process of connecting your sounder to your TCL TV into a few simple steps as outlined below.

  • Optical Cable Ports: You can either have an SPDIF or TOSLINK port, which should be indicated by your TCL TV and sounder. There are soundbars that accept HDMI connections too, so you merely need the second HDMI port or an HDMI splitter to connect to these soundbars.
  • HDMI vs. Optical: HDMI connections allow for higher quality connections that are much better than optical. HDMI cables are also less likely to stop functioning to pinching or bending its interior wires. This is in contrast to optical or fiber-optic cables that should be laid straight.
  • Setup the Settings: Turn on the TV once you’ve plugged the cables to their proper ports. From there, you’ll have to put in the correct settings. To be more specific, choose the connection you have to have the TV recognize the soundbar (RCA audio, digital optical, or HDMI arc).
  • Enable Connection: To recap, connect the soundbar to your TCL TV, turn on both devices, turn on the settings on the television, click on “Control Other Devices”, enable the connection (“Optical”), pull up on the main menu your system audio control, and finish up.
  • Return Home: Go back to the home screen then test your soundbar by playing the movie. It should work fine if you’ve connected and set it up properly. Roughly the same setup is involved for HDMI or Bluetooth connections. Just choose the “HDMI” or “Bluetooth” slots.

What Should You Watch Out for When Connecting Your Soundbar to TCL TV?

Make sure you’ve pushed the jacks or connectors all the way into the ports in a secure manner that’s not easy to bend or damage accidentally. Otherwise, this could lead to severe lag, one-sided audio, popping or glitchy sounds, or no audio at all.

After double-checking and securing the connections, test the sound by playing a movie or turning on Spotify. You can even open the YouTube app, listen to podcasts, or play online radio depending on which apps you have downloaded.

Should You Connect Your Soundbar to Your TCL TV with an Optical Cable?

If an audio-split HDMI connection isn’t possible with your soundbar then use optical. Just plug the cable into the ports of both devices. There should be labels on which end is the input and output.

Nowadays, most LED, OLED, or QLED flatscreen TVs are smart TVs with multiple USB ports, HDMI ports, and/or Internet connectivity included as well as digital optical ports. Setting up its settings should be straightforward and user-friendly.

Which Soundbars Work with TCL Roku or Android TV?

Soundbars that work with your TCL Android TV or Roku TV should include TCL Alto (the soundbar made by TCL itself), Yamaha Yas-207, Polk Soundbar, Bose Soundbar, Sonos Beam, and so forth. Some generic soundbar brands can interface fine with this smart TV brand line as well.

YAMAHA YAS-207BL Sound Bar
YAMAHA YAS-207BL Sound Bar

It shouldn’t be hard to find a decent soundbar for your Roku TCL TV—it’s just that the ones outlined offer the best results when push comes to shove.

How Do You Connect Your Soundbar to the TCL TV without HDMI?

You can use 3.5mm cables, RCA audio cables, analog cables, and digital optical cables in order to make your soundbar work with your TCL TV. Analog connections are inferior to digital ones like optical because the latter is able to process and decode the sound in a cleaner manner.

In particular, surround sound requires digital for the best results. In regards to using Bluetooth, you can only use them with a smart soundbar or as part of a TCL Roku Wireless Speakers package. You can’t use Bluetooth on the TCL TV alone.

You need a bit of finagling to make the Bluetooth soundbar work with your TCL TV, including connecting the speaker directly to the media player itself (DVD or BD player, game console, PC, or smartphone).

See more this video: To connect soundbar to TV.

A Few More Items to Consider

Connecting your soundbar to TCL TV isn’t all that different from connecting to other TV models. Even though the television brand offers a number of wired setup choices, wireless works best for convenient listening. However, optical exists in case you don’t wish to charge your soundbar every time.

Wired connections range from RCA A/V connections to optical digital cables. HDMI is also available, but most reserve that for HD connections and outputs for media players. It’s not a complicated task at all, as this guide shows.

References:

  1. How to Connect a Soundbar to TCL Roku TV“, TheProductAnalyst.com, Retrieved August 12, 2021

Andy Avery

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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