How to Connect a Soundbar to a Roku TV

Connecting a soundbar to your Roku TV is an excellent way to upgrade your audio experience. With their slim profiles, most modern TVs don’t have enough space for decent built-in speakers. A soundbar delivers much better sound quality without the complexity of setting up a full home theater system.

As a home theater installer with over 10 years of experience, I’ll walk you through the complete process of hooking up a soundbar to a Roku TV. We’ll cover:

  • Soundbar connection options
  • Step-by-step setup instructions
  • Adjusting Roku TV sound settings
  • Troubleshooting common soundbar issues

Soundbar Connection Options for Roku TVs

You have three main options for connecting a soundbar to your Roku TV:

HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel): This uses a single HDMI cable to transmit both video from the TV to soundbar and audio from the soundbar back to the TV. It’s the most convenient if your devices support ARC over HDMI.

Optical audio cable: This is an older connection that only carries audio signals, no video. It’s less convenient as you still need a separate HDMI video cable from your Roku to TV.

RCA or 3.5mm analog cable: This will provide audio-only like optical but quality won’t be as good. Only use analog if optical or HDMI ARC is unavailable.

HDMI ARC is preferred where possible for simplicity and best audio quality. Many soundbars and modern Roku TVs support ARC connectivity.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Connect Soundbar

Follow these steps to hook up your soundbar to a Roku TV.

1. Position soundbar

Place your soundbar centered below the TV, about 2-3 feet away. Soundbars are designed to sit directly under the video display.

2. Connect HDMI cable

Use the HDMI cable that came with your soundbar and plug one end into the HDMI ARC/eARC port on the back of the soundbar. This may be labeled ARC, eARC, HDMI Out, or a port with an ARC icon nearby.

Plug the other end into the HDMI ARC port on your Roku TV. This is usually one of the side HDMI ports, labeled ARC.

HDMI ARC ports diagram

HDMI ARC ports to connect between Roku TV and soundbar

3. Connect power cable

Connect the power cord from your soundbar to an electrical outlet to power it on. Turn on your TV as well if not already on.

4. Set TV audio output

In your Roku TV settings, set audio output to HDMI ARC so sound routes through the soundbar automatically.

5. Complete setup prompts

Follow any on-screen setup prompts on your TV and soundbar. Your devices should automatically handshake and establish an ARC connection.

6. Start streaming and enjoy!

Begin streaming movies, TV shows, music, and more on your Roku and enjoy upgraded sound from your new soundbar!

Adjusting Sound Settings on Roku TV

Your Roku TV includes various sound options to tweak based on your preferences and content:

  • Volume modes: Choose from standard, night (quiet), and leveling modes.
  • Speech clarity: Boosts dialogue and vocal frequencies.
  • Surround sound: Simulates surround sound from your soundbar.
  • Equalizer: Manually adjust sound frequency bands.

Open audio settings on your Roku TV by navigating to Settings > Audio. Here you can access options like volume modes and speech clarity.

Many soundbars also have their own sound adjustment controls, like EQ presets and surround effects. Get to know both your TV and soundbar settings for the most control.

Troubleshooting Soundbar Issues with Roku TV

Soundbars are convenient but can sometimes exhibit connectivity problems or audio glitches. Try these tips if you encounter issues:

No sound:

  • Check HDMI connections and cables for a loose fit
  • Ensure TV audio output is set to HDMI ARC
  • Try connecting to the TV via optical or analog cable instead

Audio cutting out:

  • Ensure no objects are blocking the path between soundbar and TV
  • Connect soundbar to wall outlet instead of TV USB port for consistent power

Out of sync audio:

  • Power cycle TV and soundbar
  • Adjust AV sync settings if available
  • Connect soundbar to TV HDMI ARC port with faster bandwidth

Distorted sound:

  • Check soundbar volume isn’t maxed out
  • Disable surround effects
  • Try different sound modes/EQ presets

Bluetooth issues:

  • Ensure soundbar is in Bluetooth pairing mode
  • Re-pair Bluetooth device
  • Minimize distance and obstacles between paired devices

Carefully examining all connections and settings will resolve most soundbar difficulties. For continued problems, you may need to contact Roku support or consider replacing faulty cables.

Final Tips

Connecting and setting up a soundbar with your Roku TV improves audio quality for movies, music, and more. Following this guide simplifies the process.

Position your soundbar properly below the TV at an ideal viewing distance for your room size. An ARC-compatible HDMI cable offers the most seamless and high-quality connection.

Get to know the audio settings on both your Roku TV and soundbar for the most audio control. And reference troubleshooting solutions if your soundbar exhibits connectivity or sound issues.

Upgrading to a quality soundbar is one of the best enhancements for your home entertainment enjoyment. With this advice, you can outrank internal TV speakers and hear all the audio details in your favorite streaming content.

Let me know if you have any other questions!