Updated on November 24, 2018
How to Connect a Soundbar to a Windows PC or Mac
Soundbars are a great thing to have around if you are passionate about music – or simply want something that lets you hear the action of a movie properly. If you are the owner of a computer, then the soundbar might just be the upgrade that you need to your regular speakers.
In the past, Windows computers or Mac PCs had slightly different installation requirements; however, nowadays, the connection method is not really that different. You just have to decide on the type of connection that you want: wired or wireless.
Going for a Wireless Connection
The most standard option is going for a wired connection; however, if you dislike continuously tripping over wires or you just find them unsightly, then a wireless connection may be right up your alley. This way, you won’t necessarily have to keep the soundbar next to your computer.
Here are the main steps for establishing a wireless connection:
- Plug the Soundbar In and Turn the Unit On
In order to plug the soundbar in, you will first have to find an outlet. If your soundbar is powered by a battery, then this step might not be necessary; but if not, you’ll have to bring it to a source of electricity. Once you have plugged it in (or added the batteries), turn the unit on.
Make sure to read the instructions of the soundbar carefully before trying to connect it. Depending on the model, you might have to set it on pairing mode. This varies among manufacturers – which is why it will be time-saving to do some research first.
- Enable Bluetooth
If you do not know where Bluetooth is on your computer, go to your search bar on PC menu. Once you type in “Bluetooth,” the menu should appear to you.
On Windows 10, it’s called “Bluetooth and other devices settings”
Access that menu and follow the prompts given to turn on your Bluetooth. It should be fairly instinctive – and even if you are not a computer geek, it should not be difficult for you to make that connection.
- Scan for Devices
Once Bluetooth has been enabled, you should be able to scan for devices nearby.
Click the “Add Bluetooth or another device,” and your soundbar should appear right there. Make sure that you know exactly the name of your soundbar.
- Connect to the Device
Your computer has found the soundbar – but this does not mean that the connection has been made automatically. You need to hit “connect” in order to actually connect the soundbar to your computer. Bear in mind that depending on the computer, you might not be able to use more than one connection at a time. Some operating devices will ask you to disconnect from a previous connection if you want to install your soundbar.
Connecting With the Standard AUX Jack
This is likely the easiest method to connect your soundbar to your Windows or Mac PC – since the connection is done automatically. Here’s what you have to do:
- Plug the 3.5mm jack inside the 3.5mm sound port of your computer.
- Turn the soundbar on.
Easy, right? From there on, the soundbar will act exactly like your average speaker – only that you will have a more superior sound performance. All you will have to do is press the “on” button, and no further configurations will be required.
This is a method you might want to choose if you really can’t figure out your way around a computer. Bear in mind that if you use this option, you will have a fair amount of cables to deal with. This is why you might want to look into ways to “disguise” your cables – preferably behind your desk.
Connecting Via Toslink
Toslink connection is becoming more and more common nowadays, and people seem to prefer it due to the superior audio delivery. The Toslink is a standard cable that people use for home theaters – as a means of connecting digital electronics to the TV. However, these cables can also be easily used on laptops, Windows computers, and Mac PCs.
To connect your soundbar using this method, here is what you will have to do:
- Get the Toslink cable and insert it in your soundbar connection point. Generally, the port will be in the back of the unit.
- Find the Toslink port on your Windows computer or Mac. Some desktop models, particularly the early ones, have their ports in the back – but you may also find them on the sides if you are dealing with a laptop. What is certain is that the Toslink port will be in close proximity to other ports such as the mouse, keyboard, and USB.
- Plug the other cable end in. This should be done from the soundbar all the way to your computer port. Once that is over and done with, your soundbar will work exactly like an external speaker. All you have to do is turn the unit on because no further configurations will be needed.
Using a Toslink connection is just as easy as plugging in a 3.5 mm jack.
Special Mac Specifications
First, you should know that there is no actual difference between Mac and Windows computers. Just like most Windows laptops, Mac devices will also feature their own speakers; however, you may also connect headphones or a soundbar if you want to get a better kick off the sound quality.
To connect a soundbar to your Mac computer, you may do it through the headphone jack, FireWire port, USB port, or optical digital audio (Toslink) port. Some soundbars may have special configuration systems, so make sure that you read the instruction manual.
Connecting a soundbar to a computer, regardless if it’s Windows or Mac, is fairly intuitive. Most of the time, the connection is made from the moment you insert the cable – and it’s likely you won’t need further meddling (unless you are using Bluetooth). It is recommended that you read the instructions manual before attempting to connect the unit. If you wanna save yourself the hassle, you can go for and look at the best computer soundbars instead.