Soundbars are a great way to enhance your home entertainment system. They can give you more bass and volume than your TV’s speakers can provide and many of them also include streaming sources, Bluetooth connectivity, and other features to make your audio experience a whole lot better.
But connecting a soundbar to an amplifier can be tricky, especially if you have never done this before. Before you start, it’s important to understand whether your soundbar is an active or passive one. This will impact what method you should use to connect it to your receiver and also affect how the soundbar sounds when connected to the receiver.
Passive soundbars lack an amplifier, so they must be linked to a receiver. You can connect passive soundbars to a receiver by using speaker wire that is connected to the channels or speakers on your soundbar. The number of wires you need will depend on the number of speakers, usually 2.1, 3.2, or 5.
You can also connect a passive soundbar to a receiver with a line level adapter. A line level adapter allows you to connect a soundbar’s RCA in or Aux ports to the input on your receiver. This will allow you to use your soundbar as a center channel speaker, which can improve the overall audio quality of your receiver and your soundbar.
The only problem with this is that it can diminish the sound separation between your receiver and your soundbar. This can be a big deal if you’re trying to listen to music or movies that require a lot of sound separation.
It’s best to use a receiver with a pre-out for the center channel. This will ensure that your receiver will output the right amount of power to your soundbar’s channels and speakers.
Another option is to use a receiver’s optical or HDMI out port to connect your soundbar. This can also be done with an amplifier, which has multiple outputs. However, this method is not recommended for most people because it can interfere with the audio signal.
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, then you can build your own amplifier to plug your soundbar into. This method can be complicated, but it can also be fun.
The amplifier you choose should be able to handle the power needed to run your soundbar and the other components that it connects to. It should also be able to output a clean, uncompressed digital signal that will be compatible with your soundbar and your receiver.
You can find a variety of amplifiers that will work with your soundbar, but you’ll want to consider your budget and space when making this decision. For instance, if you don’t have a lot of extra room or money for an amplifier, then you might be better off buying smaller bookshelf speakers to replace your soundbar.
If you’re looking for a quality soundbar to connect to your amplifier, check out our review of the Dayton Audio SBA302-BT. It’s a high-end amplifier that can fit in a compact cabinet and come with multiple inputs to suit your needs.