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Did you get yourself a new soundbar? Congrats! So, what should you do with it? Do you connect it to your Sky box? Or is it better to pair it with your TV? Well, we know the answers to these questions, and we’re eager to share them with you! So, if you want to learn what to do with your soundbar and should you connect it to your TV or the Sky box, keep reading this article!
Table of Contents
- Should I Connect a Soundbar to the TV or Sky Box?
- Connecting the Soundbar to Your Sky Box
- Connecting the Soundbar to the TV
- Connecting the Soundbar to Both – Your TV and Your Sky Box
- Choosing a Soundbar for Your Sky Q Box
- In Conclusion
Should I Connect a Soundbar to the TV or Sky Box?
So, what should you do? Well, the answer to this question really depends on your preferred method of connecting devices. If you’re not sure what we mean by that, don’t worry. We’ll get more specific.
Some people like HDMI cables because they provide the highest quality of audio and they are pretty easy to use. On the other hand, others love optical cables as they are an old-school, durable way to connect two devices.
Now we’re getting to our point: one of these methods will require connecting the soundbar to the TV, which is already connected to the Sky box. Another one works best when you directly connect the soundbar to the Skybox, which is connected with the TV prior to this process. Therefore, you will need to ask yourself which way works better for you. You can also check which cable you have in your home at the moment and start from there.
Different soundbars have different inputs/outputs – depending on the type and number of available inputs/outputs, you will have to use a different connection
Moreover, your choice might depend on the type of port your devices have. Nowadays, most devices have both optical and HDMI ports. But, in case you have an older TV model, there’s a chance that it doesn’t have an HDMI port. So, check that before spending money on an HDMI cord that you won’t be able to use.
Either way, in case you’re not happy with the quality of audio, you can always switch to the other method. That is if you even have the option to try out both. We will, of course, show you both ways to connect the soundbar to the TV and Sky box. So, you will learn everything there is to know about connecting these three devices. After that, the choice is yours!
Connecting the Soundbar to Your Sky Box
As we mentioned before, you will need to check two things before you decide which method you will choose. The first one is which ports your TV has while the second one is which cables you have in your household. Since there isn’t that big of a difference in the quality of audio between the optical cable and HDMI, it’s good to save money and choose the cord you already have. However, we need to mention that HDMI provides a slightly better quality of audio. In addition, many users believe they are easier to work with. Still, we don’t think the difference is that important.
We will show you how to connect your soundbar to the Sky box first. That is best done via the optical audio cable. Thus, we’re starting with the optical cord option.
A good thing about the optical cord, commonly known as the Toslink cable, is that every Sky box has a port dedicated to it (Optical OUT). Moreover, most soundbars and TVs have it as well. So, you won’t have issues there.
OPTICAL OUT on your Sky Q
If you wish to connect the soundbar directly to the latest Sky box (Sky Q Box), using optical is actually your best option. In fact, depending on the soundbar, this could be your only option. Besides the optical output, Sky Q Box has no other digital or analog audio outputs. It has only one HDMI output, but you can use this port to connect the box to your soundbar only if the soundbar supports HDMI ARC (if it has HDMI ARC OUT) and if your TV supports HDMI ARC (if it has HDMI ARC IN).
1. Connecting via Optical Cable
Before you start plugging the optical cable into your sky box, it’s vital that you do a quick quality check of the cable. An optical cable which is also known as a Toslink cable, is responsible for transferring digital audio signals between multiple devices. Although this is a reliable way of connecting your Soundbar to your sky box, you should still look out for any signs of damage before beginning the process.
Now, let’s get to the step-by-step guide on how to connect your sky box to your Soundbar through this cable.
- Check if your optical cable has the protective caps intact. These caps are meant to guard the delicate optical fibers located inside the cable. If so, remove them from the plugs.
- Once you’re done, now insert one end of the cable into your Sky Box and the other end into your Soundbar. Make sure that the plugs fit tightly in the jacks of both devices and are not loose. This is because loose connections can lead to frequent dropouts in the audio or can even block all the sound.
- And that’s it. You’re done from your end. Now turn on both devices and analyze if everything is working smoothly. Simultaneously, you must also turn on your TV, which must be already connected to the Sky Box through an HDMI cable, if you wish to test the audio.
- In any case, if you’re not getting any sound from your Soundbar, double-check your connections and check if your Soundbar is set to the correct input.
2. Connecting via HDMI ARC to the TV
An HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) transfers the audio from your TV to your Soundbar through a single HDMI cable. This method is considered to deliver superior-quality audio when compared to optical cables. However, the only catch with this method is that you must have both your TV and Soundbar supporting HDMI ARC.
If it’s all good till now, then let’s go right into the steps on how to connect it.
- Look out for the text “ARC” in both your TV and Soundbar, as it denotes the HDMI ARC port.
- Now, plug one end of your HDMI cable into the HDMI ARC IN port present in your TV. After doing it, connect the other end of the cable to the HDMI ARC OUT port that must be present on your Soundbar.
- Once you’ve connected both ends to the respective devices, you are now ready to let your Soundbar rock the audio from your TV.
- Still, if the audio is not automatically playing through your Soundbar, you might have to tweak the settings of your TV audio to make sure that the sound is being played through the Soundbar and not from the Tv speakers.
Also Read: What Wattage Soundbar Do I Need?
3. Connecting via Bluetooth
Probably the easiest method on our list, you can easily connect your sky box with your Soundbar through Bluetooth as well. It is a very convenient method of connection, but you should keep in mind that the audio quality of your Soundbar won’t be as good when using an optical or HDMI cable.
That said, you can still get a hassle-free experience through this method. So, let’s discuss the steps below.
- Before getting to it, check if your Sky Box and Soundbar support Bluetooth. You can easily find this info in the user manuals.
- Now, turn on the pairing mode on your Soundbar. This process is different for different types of soundbars. So, you might have to refer to the product details to find the right approach.
- Once your Soundbar is in pairing mode, navigate to your Sky Box’s Bluetooth settings.
- Your Sky Box should start scanning for available devices in the Bluetooth settings by now. Once it finds your Soundbar, click on it, and both devices will start the pairing process.
- After it is done, your music will now start playing from your Soundbar. If not, check your settings and make sure that your Soundbar is set on the right input.
Connecting the Soundbar to the TV
Using the HDMI ARC port is the preferred method for many users. We already mentioned that HDMI gives better audio quality. Therefore, in case you already have an HDMI cable and all of the devices support this type of connection, we recommend that you choose this method to connect them. This way of pairing devices will require you to connect the soundbar directly to the TV. Your TV should already be linked to the Sky box. So, when you connect the soundbar with the TV, all three devices will be paired.
The Process of Connecting the Soundbar and the TV via HDMI Cable
You should start this process by taking your HDMI cable and connecting it to the HDMI ARC IN port on your TV. You’ll usually find this port on the side or on the back of your TV. Then, you will need to take the other side of the cable and connect it to the HDMI ARC OUT port on your soundbar.
Assuming that you have already connected your Sky Box to the TV, once you turn on all three devices, the audio will automatically go through the soundbar. However, many TVs will not do that on their own. So, you will need to change the audio settings on your TV so that the audio goes through the soundbar instead of the built-in TV speakers. Now, test the audio to check whether you managed to connect everything properly.
Note: If your TV doesn’t have HDMI ARC, you won’t be able to use HDMI cable to connect it to your soundbar. In that case, if you still want to connect the TV to your soundbar, you will have to use the optical cable (run the cable from optical OUT on your TV to optical IN on your soundbar). If there’s no optical port on your TV or on your soundbar, look for the next best option (coaxial, RCA, AUX).
Connecting the Soundbar to Both – Your TV and Your Sky Box
In case you have one of those more advanced soundbars with multiple HDMI inputs and with HDMI ARC OUT, and if your TV has HDMI ARC IN port, then you can connect both your TV and your Sky Box to your soundbar. In that setup, the soundbar with be the hub of your system (something like an AVR).
The Process of Connecting the Soundbar to both, your TV and your Sky Box, via HDMI cable
In this case, you will need two HDMI cables. The first one goes from HDMI OUT on your Sky Box to one of the available HDMI IN ports on your soundbar. The second goes from the HDMI ARC OUT on your soundbar to the HDMI ARC IN on your TV.
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We have to say that this setup looks the cleanest and very straightforward but, as we’ve just said, it only works if your TV supports HDMI ARC and if your soundbar supports HDMI ARC and has available HDMI inputs.
Choosing a Soundbar for Your Sky Q Box
When it comes to taking your music experience to the next level, picking the right Soundbar for your Sky Box can make all the difference. But with so many options available in the market, how do you choose the right one? Well, let’s check out some key factors that you should consider.
The primary thing to ensure before buying a soundbar is to check if it’s compatible with your Sky Box. Although most of the soundbars work fine, it’s not a bad idea to double-check. Look out for soundbars that have the needed ports for connecting with your Sky Box through your desired method, which can be HDMI ARC or Optical Cable.
2. Audio Quality
The whole point of switching to a soundbar instead of regular TV speakers is to get a better sound experience. So, you should look out for those soundbars that are equipped with high-quality speakers and very advanced audio technologies. For instance, getting a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X technology can be a good idea. I say this because such technologies can give you a more immersive audio experience which makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of the action.
3. Size and Design
Not many people consider this, but you should always pay close attention to the size and design of the Soundbar you are opting for. The Soundbar should fit perfectly just under your TV without causing any hindrance to the TV screen or any important sensors. You can also opt for a soundbar that compliments your room’s aesthetic. After all, a soundbar isn’t just a boring tech piece but also a part of your room’s decor.
This is a no-brainer. The features of any tech gadget are the most important part, and you should not ignore them while buying a soundbar as well. Some soundbars are equipped with built-in voice assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, which can be a nice upgrade to your setup. At the same time, there are others that have different sound modes for different types of content or the ability to connect to different speakers for a multi-room audio setup.
Obviously, your budget plays a very crucial role in the process. Soundbars have many price tags, from the cheaper budget-friendly options to the high-end pieces. So, determine your budget and find the best Soundbar within your range.
Here is the another Another way to connect Soundbar to the TV with the Red & White Cable.
Yes, HDMI audio is superior to optical audio. This is because HDMI cables can easily handle higher bandwidth than optical cables. This means that they can deliver higher quality audio comparatively. Not just that, they can even support more advanced audio formats like the Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, which are used in many Blu-ray discs. That said, the difference in audio quality between HDMI and optical might not be noticeable to an average listener while watching TV shows or movies.
Definitely, you can easily connect your Sky Box to a surround sound setup. The process is quite similar to connecting a soundbar. So, if your surround sound system comes with an HDMI ARC port, you can use an HDMI cable to directly connect it to your Sky Box. However, if it doesn’t, you can also go for an optical cable instead. Finally, once everything is connected, you can enjoy immersive surround sound while watching your favorite shows and movies.
Yes, you can easily control the volume of your Soundbar with a Sky Q remote. All you need is to program your Sky Q remote to get full control over your Soundbar. Although the entire process can vary depending o[n the brand and the type of Soundbar you have, it still usually involves navigating to the settings of your Sky Q Box, by choosing ‘Setup’, then clicking ‘Audio’, and going through the on-screen instructions to rightly program your remote. Once done, you can now control your Soundbar’s volume using your Sky Q remote.
Lastly, connecting your TV or Soundbar to your Sky Box bundles down to your personal preference, the features of your devices, and finally, the connection type that you find easier.
Although all the above-mentioned methods have their own pros and cons, connecting your Soundbar to your TV via HDMI ARC gives superior audio quality and lets you transmit more advanced audio formats. It can be a great choice if your TV and Soundbar both support HDMI ARC and you wish to get the best audio experience.
On the other side, connecting your Soundbar to your Sky Q Box through an optical cable is a more reliable and straightforward method. This is a better option if your devices don’t support HDMI ARC or if you prefer a simple setup.
Not to mention, if you want to dance around with your Soundbar, connecting both devices via Bluetooth is also a great option. This is a convenient method that simply gets rid of cables and lets you make your your Soundbar more mobile. That said, the audio quality is comparatively lower than the other mentioned methods in this process.
In any case, the most important thing is that you’re happy with your setup. Whether you choose to connect your Soundbar to your TV or your Sky Q Box, the goal is to enhance your audio experience and make watching TV more enjoyable. So, take your time, consider your options, and choose the method that works best for you. Happy viewing and listening!
Since the time I got my first pair of headphones in 2012, I’ve been fascinated by these little gadgets that have the power to change our moods through our favorite music. Whether it was the cheap $5 earphones or the premium JBL headphones, I have played my favorite music on tons of different audio devices for all these years.
At AudioReputation, I test and review headphones of all kinds. From popular earbuds like the Airpods pro to the expensive HIFIMAN Susvara, I always perform a deep test and present my honest and unbiased opinion to my readers.