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Connect a Soundbar to TV Without HDMI or Optical – 4 Ways to Try

To connect a soundbar to TV without HDMI or optical cable isn’t the most technical thing in the world to do. But you do need to know some essential factors. In the age of the internet, we all need to be semi-quasi technicians to save cash. No point paying someone when you can do it yourself.

If your current TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, don’t fret, because there are many ways around that issue. So, here are four of the best ways to connect a soundbar when your TV doesn’t have the standard HDMI or optical connections.

Connecting a Soundbar with Aux 3.5mm Jacks

Aux 3.5mm Jacks

One of the most inexpensive ways to connect a soundbar is by purchasing 3.5mm jack cables. This is one of the best ways to connect if you have an older TV model. And if you don’t know what these look like, these cables have the same connectors as standard headphone jacks.

It’s one of the most direct ways to connect a soundbar to a TV without HDMI or optical cables. Nearly every TV model, especially the older ones, have headphone jack (3.5mm) ports. You can simply plug the cable into your soundbar from the headphone socket of your TV. It’s that simple.

Check out these inexpensive 3.5mm jack cables to simplify your soundbar connection needs…

Amazon Basics 3.5mm Male to Male Aux Cable

This is a quality aux cable product that will connect your soundbar in seconds. This 4-meter-long cable will fulfill all your connectivity needs.

Syncwire 3.5mm Nylon Braided Aux Cable

This is the most popular 3.5m aux cable on the market. This male-to-male aux cable offers universal compatibility. You can choose either the 1-meter or the 2-meter long options. The bigger, the better!

CableCreation Aux Cable

When you need a quality aux cable to connect your TV, this is one of the most reliable. This 3.5mm jack is available in three colors and many different sizes.

Pros and Cons of Connecting a Soundbar with Aux 3.5mm Jacks

Pros

  • 3.5mm aux cables are a direct way to connect a soundbar.
  • Very inexpensive products and solutions.

Cons

  • Stereo outputs only.
  • Not compatible with surround sound systems.

Connecting Soundbar to TV with RCA Cables

RCA Cables

Some older TV models do not even have 3.5mm headphone ports. If this is a major issue that is causing you problems, connecting your TV to a soundbar with RCA cables might be a viable option. It’s also another very inexpensive solution that could have you connected for sound in just a few minutes.

RCA cables are basically audio jacks with two-channel ‘left’ and ‘right’ stereo connections that are color-coded in red and white. They are one of the most effective ways to transmit audio signals. But firstly, check your TV to ensure it has RCA audio output ports.

If your RCA cable only has input ports, you can simply connect the yellow video cable to your TV, and the two-way audio cables into your soundbar. That should be a viable option. So, here are some RCA cable products that are reliable, durable, and highly recommended…

Pascow 3 RCA Cable Audio Cable

This product is one of the best RCA cables you will find in terms of price. The product has two audio cables and a video cable. These cables are inexpensive and uncomplicated.

iMBAPrice RCA Cable

This high-quality RCA cable has two stereo audio connectors and a yellow TV/video plug. This is one of the cheapest and best quality products of this type currently available to buy.

KabelDirekt RCA Stereo Cable & Cord

If you are looking for a high-quality RCA cable, this is one of the best. It doesn’t have a yellow TV/video cable, but it is built for durability and longevity. You can buy this cable in sizes from 3-feet to 25-feet.

Pros and Cons of Connecting a Soundbar to TV with RCA Cables

Pros

  • Inexpensive audio solution.
  • Quick and easy way to connect a TV with a soundbar.

Cons

  • Not a digital connection.
  • Is not compatible with surround sound systems.
  • Not high-resolution audio.

Connecting Soundbar to TV with a Coaxial Cable

Coaxial Cable

There are old TVs… and then there are OLD TVs! If you have a really old TV, the only way to connect a soundbar to TV without HDMI and optical cables is with a Coaxial Cable. This connection is from a bygone era when TVs were mainly used to connect both audio and video from cable networks. Things have dramatically changed.

It’s surprising how many devices still use this type of coaxial cable connection. You will probably need a DVD player or VCR to act as a conduit or a ‘go between’ to connect your TV to your soundbar. This approach might seem a bit complicated, but if it’s your only option, you will have to persist.

How to plug in your coaxial cable…

Plug your coaxial cable directly into your DVD or VCR player output. Connect the other end of the cable to your TV input. You will then need to connect your DVD or VCR audio outputs to your soundbar via RCA cables. By doing this, your TV essentially becomes nothing more than a monitor.

Don’t worry, as it’s not as complicated as it initially appears. As long as you follow these easy steps, you will be wired for sound in no time. All without an HDMI or optical cable. So, check out these recommended coaxial cables currently available to purchase.

Amazon Basics Digital Audio Coaxial Cable

This is one of the best coaxial cables you will find. Its reliable, durable, and extremely inexpensive.

Coaxial Cable Triple Shielded CL3

This is a high-quality gold-plated coaxial cable, 30-feet in size, and ideal for connecting your soundbar to TV without an HDMI port.

Pros and Cons of Connecting a Soundbar to TV with a Coaxial Cable

Pros

  • An inexpensive way to connect a soundbar.
  • Quick and easy sound connector.

Cons

  • Complicated connection route.
  • Need to connect to DVD or VCR.
  • Does not support surround sound systems.

Connecting Soundbar with Wireless Connections

Wireless Connections

The best alternative to HDMI and optical cables are finding a wireless solution to connect your soundbar to a TV. You could use a wireless conversion kit that supports RCA cables or a stand-alone wireless speaker product.

They are the best modern solutions to fix your audio problems. So, let’s take a look at the two most common wireless options to connect your TV to a soundbar.

Bluetooth Connection

This is the most common wireless connection for connecting audio from your soundbar to a TV. Bluetooth has both transmitters and receivers. This allows you to connect via aux or RCA cables but will be essentially be used for wireless connectivity.

WiFi Wireless Connection

Surprisingly enough, WiFi wireless connectivity for speakers and soundbars is not as common as Bluetooth. You will need a soundbar and TV that both have wireless network functionality.

We recommend that you use wireless speakers with Bluetooth connections for the simplest and most straightforward experience. Here are some of the best wireless Bluetooth speakers and soundbars currently in the marketplace.

Rockville ONE-BAR Bluetooth Soundbar

This Rockville One-Bar is a classy wireless Bluetooth speaker soundbar with a built-in sub-woofer. It comes equipped with remote control and RCA, and 3.5mm options. It’s a fantastic product.

BESTISAN TV Wireless Bluetooth Soundbar

The BESTISAN Soundbar home theater system offers 5.0 Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The enhanced bass and wall mount options make this a popular wireless speaker product. It’s a great alternative if you do not have HDMI or optical options.

Wohome S09 Soundbar with 5.0 Bluetooth Connection

The Wohome S90 Soundbar comes equipped with 5.0 Bluetooth connections and has more bass than most wireless speaker products. It comes with remote control, four equalizer modes, and AUX, USB, and RCA inputs.

TaoTronics Wireless & Bluetooth Soundbar

This affordable TaoTronics wireless speaker soundbar product has 5.0 Bluetooth connectivity and booming bass options. If you want the best sound options for your TV, this wireless speaker is highly recommended by users and industry insiders alike.

Samsung HW-T450 Wireless Soundbar

This Samsung HW-T450 wireless soundbar is the market-leading Bluetooth speaker system you have been looking for. It looks great, performs even better, and can be connected to Dolby surround sound audio-enabled TVs.

Pros and Cons of Connecting a Soundbar with Wireless Connections

Pros

  • Bluetooth and wireless soundbars are the best alternative to HDMI.
  • Wide choice of top-notch products in the market.
  • Some of the best hi-res sound quality options.
  • No wires means less clutter.

Cons

  • Wireless speakers can be expensive.

Looking for more quality Soundbar recommendations?

Then check out our reviews of the Best Wireless TV Speakers and the Best Sonos Speakers you can buy in 2021.

You may also enjoy our in-depth reviews of the Yamaha Audio YAS 109, the Samsung HW R650, our Sony HT S350 Soundbar Review, the Yamaha YAS 207BL, and the Klipsch R 10B.

Connect a Soundbar to TV Without HDMI or Optical – Final Thoughts

Now you know how to connect a soundbar to TV without HDMI or optical cables; life is much simpler than before. Although it’s ideal to use HDMI and optical cables, it’s not always possible depending on the TV you have. Here are your four main alternatives:

  1. Connecting with 3.5mm Aux cables.
  2. Connecting with RCA cables.
  3. Using a Coaxial Cable.
  4. Wireless and Bluetooth speakers.

You don’t have to be a technical whiz-kid in the tech-savvy modern world, but it would help. Fortunately, we live in a time where the best advice and tips are just a click away. We hope you are now wired for sound in the most cost-effective wireless way.

Happy listening!

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About Warren Barrett

Warren has spent nearly half a century (now that's a long time!) as an ink-stained wretch writing for music magazines and websites and has no plans on giving up soon.

He is curious about all types of music and instruments apart from any genre with 'Urban' in the title. He's also not so keen on Plastic Potted Plants, Reality TV, and any movies with Kevin Costner in them.

He lives in Delaware with his wife Wendy and lots of great memories...

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