How to Connect External Speakers to TV?

How to Connect External Speakers to TV

If you want to enjoy the ultimate movie experience in the most theatrical or cinematic way possible, you should invest in external speakers to TV. You should also know how to install them or if you need an A/V receiver for them.

If you want movie theater sound in the comfort of your own home then you need to invest in a home entertainment system with a widescreen HDTV as its centerpiece. Most TV speakers won’t cut it when it comes to offering high-fidelity sound, dialog, music, and effects comparable to a local cinema.

How to connect external speakers to TV? Keep on reading to find out! It’s easier than you think, especially when it comes to modern HDMI-ARC and HDMI-eARC devices.

How to Connect External Speakers to TV?

Use an HDMI-ARC port and HDMI cable in order to connect your TV to an AV receiver or soundbar. The two-way audio and video delivery of the High-Definition Media Interface (HDMI) format from 2002 serves as one of the more preferable methods for audio transmission out there.

HDTVs at this point all use HDMI just like CRT TVs from the 1980s and 1990s mostly follow the RCA composite standard of A/V connection. If you lack an extra audio output from your TV, connect directly from your media player instead.

What’s with HDMI Anyway?

They deliver hi-fi sound without any quality loss. This is in contrast to the compressed and less nuanced sounds coming from RCA audio cables or a 3.5mm phono jack speaker. HDMI-eARC in particular excels when it comes to surround-sound speaker setups for Dolby and DTS.

It also covers soundbars and receivers. They offer better sound than what you can get out of a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi speaker connection too, but those two wireless standards are preferred by some due to their wireless nature and convenience.

Just Connect One End of the HDMI Cable to the Other End

When using an HDMI cable via your soundbar or receiver through the TV, simply connect one end on the HDMI port of the external speaker or AV and the other end on the back of your TV. It couldn’t be simpler. Just make sure it’s HDMI-ARC or eARC.

  • HDMI Options: If you’re using an amplifier or A/V receiver setup with HDMI input ports and your TV offers HDMI-ARC (Audio Return Channel), then you can use HDMI cable for that.
  • Daisy-Chained Connection: To connect external speakers from your TV, which itself is a display output, is to daisy-chain the output connection to another output as opposed to directly connecting the speakers to the media player.
  • AV Receiver: The AV receiver allows you to turn the receiver into your middleman or connection hub instead of your HDTV and its limited amount of HDMI ports. You can use the remote of the AV receiver to control the whole sound setup.
  • No ARC: Earlier versions of HDMI don’t offer two-way connections, thus you can’t use an external speaker connection via HDMI. You have to go the optical route instead. Connect the speakers or AV receiver to your optical port.
  • Go for Other Outputs: If your TV lacks an HDMI output port, connect the speaker to your DVD player or laptop or gaming console instead. Go to the source player because it’s likely to have sound connections as well. An HDMI splitter or receiver might be called for.

Use an Optical Cable for Your External Speaker Connection

Optical cables tend to rarely be used nowadays but they offer comparable performance as HDMI. They’re digital but they’re more prone to pinching and attenuation compared to their HDMI cable counterparts.

  • Optical for Primitive HDMI: If your HDTV has an optical output and HDMI connection without the ARC or eARC label, then that must mean it’s an older or more primitive HDTV without ARC support. This means you have to connect your speakers or AV receiver via the optical port.
  • Multi-Port Support: Many soundbars have multi-port support, with optical TOSLINK or S/PDIF being the optical or digital cable options available. These cables tend to be more discrete and thinner than the thicker HDMI cable or the multi-colored RCA cable setup for CRTs.
  • Tweak the Settings: You might have to tweak your media source or TV settings to make sure the audio is sent to your optical cable. It should normally auto-recognize the connection as part of your speaker setup.

Using Wireless Connections

You have two options when it comes to wireless audio connections.

  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a wireless connection standard available for cellular phones since the late 1990s and the 2000s. It’s nowadays used for speakers and whatnot in the late 2010s and early 2020s. Both the HDTV and the external speakers should support Bluetooth for it to work.

Otherwise, you’ll need a Bluetooth transmitter in order to connect one or both non-Bluetooth devices together. Just put in the transmitter on your HDTV and the receiver on your favorite speaker.

  • Wi-Fi: Speakers can connect to each other and to your HDTV via Wi-Fi. Some require a wireless Wi-FI receiver and your home Wi-FI. Others, like Bose speakers, can connect extra speakers to a speaker that’s wired to your HDTV.

Or you can make all of them connect to a smart TV via its Wi-Fi Internet connection in lieu of a Bluetooth connection. It depends on the model of the speakers or the model of the smart HDTV.

Using RCA and 3.5mm Analog Cables

RCA composite connections with red and white “stereo” cables or 3.5mm analog “mono” cables can serve as your last resort if you’re using an older AV receiver or speaker. This delivers non-digital and compressed sound compared to their HDMI counterparts.

Some music and sound connoisseurs might recognize the degraded audio quality by ear. However, curiously, the average watcher might not even be able to tell the difference between HDMI hi-fi sound, RCA or 3.5mm analog sound, or Bluetooth/Wi-Fi wireless sound. It is what it is.


Can I connect external speakers directly to my TV?

No, you can’t directly connect the speakers to the TV. TVs do not provide speaker outputs that can drive speakers. You may need an amplifier to use them. However, most TVs have audio outputs that allow you to connect them to speakers.

How do I connect external speakers to my TV with sound?

If your TV doesn’t use RCA connectors for audio output, it may have a headphone out port (3.5mm port). You can use this to connect your TV to the speakers. They’re the same connector used on phones, tablets, laptops, etc. For this, you’ll need to use a 3.5mm audio jack on the TV end and a RCA jack on the speaker end.

How do I connect wired speakers to my TV?

Plug the red RCA audio cable to the red RCA audio jack at the back of your TV, and plug the white RCA audio cable to the white RCA audio jack. Make sure that the color-coded jacks and plugs are correctly matched in order to maximize the sound quality of your speakers.

How do I hook up external speakers to my TV without receiver?

You can also add speakers to the TV without a receiver is the 3.5 to 3.5mm audio cable. This is pretty easy to do as the first step is to switch the audio source back to source number one. Then take the first end of the cable and plug it in the auxiliary port.

Can you hook stereo speakers up to a TV?

The two most common methods to allow the television sound be heard through the speakers of a stereo receiver or home theater system are: HDMI connection using the Audio Return Channel (ARC) feature. Connection using Coaxial Digital Cable, Optical Digital Cable, or Audio Cable.

How do you hook up speakers?

How to connect speakers to an Audio/Video (A/V) stereo receiver.

  1. Turn off the A/V receiver.
  2. Connect the speaker wires to the speaker terminals on the rear of the A/V stereo receiver. IMPORTANT:
  3. Connect the other end of the speaker wires to the corresponding speakers.

How do you connect speaker wires to speakers?

How to Connect Speaker Wire to Speakers and Banana Plugs

How do I connect my 3.5 mm jack to my TV?

Direct Wired Connection

If your TV has a 3.5mm headphone jack, just plug your wired headphones into it. If your TV doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack, but has RCA stereo outputs, get an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter and use your headphones that way.

How do I get my TV to play through my surround sound?

If you want to connect your TV to a surround sound system, your TV needs to have an audio output. On modern TVs, this will usually be an optical digital audio output or an HDMI ARC connection. Once you have identified your TV’s audio output, you need to connect this to an audio system that supports surround sound.

How do you hook up old speakers?

How to Connect Old Stereo Speakers to a Computer

  1. Attach the speakers to the amplifier with speaker wire, using the red wire to connect to the positive terminal and the other wire to connect with the black terminal.
  2. Connect a set of RCA-type audio cables to a set of free audio input jacks on the back of the amp.

How do I connect speakers to my LG TV?

Press the ‘Setting’ button on your LG TV remote control.

  1. Select ‘All Settings’ using the ‘OK’ button on your remote control.
  2. Select the ‘Sound’ menu.
  3. ‘Internal TV Speakers’ : using the TV speakers.
  4. ‘HDMI ARC, Optical, Bluetooth : connecting an external device.

Can I use electrical wire for speakers?

Electric wires can be used as speaker wires, but there are limitations. Stranded electric wires are a better choice for speaker wires because they’re flexible and have a better sound effect. Electric wires with solid conductors are not only stiff, but they can also damage connectors.

Why do speakers have two sets of terminals?

Manufacturers include dual-input terminals so that consumers can bi-wire their home theater systems, improve audio fidelity and create a fuller sonic landscape. The default setting for many home theater setups is to run one dedicated cable from the amp to each speaker.

Which wire is used in speaker?

Copper : Copper is the most commonly used material for speaker wire. Its cost is reasonable and it has a good level of conductivity, i.e. it provides a low level of resistance in the wire.

How do I connect speakers to a TV without a headphone jack?

You can connect your computer speakers to TV without headphone jack in the following 5 ways.

  1. Bluetooth connection.
  2. Optical Cable.
  3. RCA cable.
  4. HDMI switcher if TV has HDMI output.
  5. Digital to Analog converter.

Can I use headphone jack as audio out?

Can I Use a Headphone Out as Line Out? You can use the headphone output of your device as a line out. A headphone out can be used to send line-level signals to other audio devices, provided the volume is not too high.

Bottom Line

The speakers that came with your TV have tiny, squeaky, and tinny sound compared to the lumbering bass and treble offered by your movie theater. You should invest in external speakers in order to have something that’s actually ideal for movie and music listening.

Not that a home theater or cinema could compare, but the simple addition of external speakers can do a lot in making your home movie experience immersive. It’ll make all the difference when push comes to shove or when all is said and done.


  1. How To Connect External Speakers To Your TV“,, Retrieved April 18, 2022
Author: James Core

I write dozens of helpful informational articles based on topics that I have identified again and again throughout my research and work experience. I am here to help you find the right CABLE AND CONVERTER for your needs.

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