Do you own a soundbar? Are you having problems connecting it to your TV? There are several ways you can connect your soundbar to a TV. These include:
- Using HDMI cable
- Using an optical cable
- Using a coaxial cable
- Using Red and white cable (RCA cable)
- Using Bluetooth
- Using Wireless (wifi)
Read more here: How to Connect Soundbar to TV (9 ways)
The majority of the people use HDMI cables to connect soundbar to TV, provided their TV has extra HDMI ports.
If their TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, people prefer using optical cables to connect the soundbar to the TV.
However, when you are exhausted with both options, the next possible way to connect the soundbar to TV is through an RCA cable. This method is most prevalently used for old TVs.
What Is RCA Cable?
In older days, RCA or the Red and White cable were predominant. RCA cable or connect is a type of audio connector that transmits only analog signals.
This cable is used to connect two corresponding devices together (in this case, a soundbar and a TV). However, both devices should have RCA ports to make this possible.
RCA cable includes two colored cables, namely red and white. Similarly, RCA ports include two ports that are painted red and white.
Connecting Soundbar To TV Via RCA Cable
You can get an RCA cable online, or you may already have one lying somewhere in your house. In either case, if you have an RCA audio stereo cable, here is how you can use it to connect the TV and soundbar:
- Plug one end of the RCA cable to the TV’s rear RCA cable port.
- Plug the other end into the soundbar’s RCA cable port.
Connect the red cable to the red port and the white cable to the white port. The red cable is used for the right audio channel, and the white is used for the left audio channel. If your RCA cable is all black, it works similarly. If plugging them randomly doesn’t sound fruitful, switch the sides and try it again.
If Your TV Does Not Have An RCA Port
If your TV doesn’t have an RCA port and instead has a 3.5mm jack output, you can even use it to connect the soundbar to the TV.
For this, you need a 3.5mm jack RCA stereo cable. This cable, just like RCA cable, has two red and white connectors at one end and includes a 3.5mm connector (similar to your headphone) on another end.
Thus, you can insert the 3.5mm connector end to the TV and the other end to the soundbar. This is usually not preferred due to its poor audio signal. However, increasing the volume of the TV can make it work just fine.
If Your Soundbar Does Not Have An RCA Port, but having a analog in port (3.5mm in)
You can connect your TV to Soundbar like the picture below:
Using Optical To RCA Convertor
If your TV doesn’t have RCA ports while your soundbar does have them, you can still use an RCA cable to connect your soundbar to the TV using an ‘optical to RCA converter device’.
This device acts as a mediator between your TV and the soundbar.
In this setup, you will connect one end of the optical cable to the TV, another end to the optical to RCA converter device. Now, connect one end of the RCA cable to the mediator device and the other end to the soundbar.
Also, make sure you go to the TV’s audio settings and set audio output to optical rather than surround sound.
Using RCA To HDMI Convertor
If your TV has RCA ports, but your soundbar doesn’t, then you can make use of RCA to HDMI converter.
This again acts as a mediator between your TV and soundbar. Under this setup, you connect the TV to this mediator device via an RCA cable. Then, connect this converter to the soundbar using the HDMI cable.
This way, you can connect your TV to the soundbar indirectly without having to upgrade your TV. You may not be able to use the full potential of using 3 or more channel audio quality, but still best to make the setup work without going out of your budget.
When Not To Use RCA Cables
Using an RCA cable to connect the soundbar to your TV should be used only when none of the other options works.
Here are few reasons why you should not use RCA cables
Low Audio Quality
As RCA cable only transmits the audio signal, the audio quality is lower than those transmitted by the digital signal. You can even experience unwanted disturbance due to external factors.
Only For Two-Channel Transmission
As RCA cables have two connectors, red and white, they can transmit two-channel audio signals only. Therefore, if your setup favors surround sound with three or more channels, using RCA cable would not unleash its full potential.
Even if your TV supports RCA output, your soundbar may not include it. Most soundbars are compatible with three or more channels and thus don’t include an RCA port.
Using RCA cable will not be feasible then. Devices compatible with 3.1 surround sound and above make use of HDMI, optical or wireless connection.
However, RCA cable is the most convenient, fastest, and cheapest way to connect your soundbar to TV. You may not have to spend extra if you already have an RCA cable at home. In the old days, it was most commonly used to connect the DVD player to a TV. If you have a DVD player, there are chances you already have it at home.
1. How do I connect my soundbar to my RCA cable?
Your soundbar should have RCA ports to connect the RCA cable to it. If yes, connect the red connector to the red port and the white connector to the white port. Then, connect the other end of the RCA cable to the TV’s RCA ports.
2. How do I get my RCA soundbar to work on my TV?
To make this work, your TV should have RCA ports at the back as well. If yes, use the RCA cable (one with red and white connectors) to connect the TV and soundbar.
3. Do I need an optical cable for my soundbar?
If your soundbar doesn’t have an HDMI port at the back, you will need an optical cable for your soundbar.