How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV in 2021

by Editor

You have decided to take your TV experience to the next level and invest in a super luxurious set of surround sound speakers. That’s great. The only problem is you don’t know how to connect them. 

Don’t worry. We have got you covered. With this super simple instruction guide, you will be able to connect your speakers to your TV in no time. Immerse yourself in the stunning visuals of your next action movie coupled with hyper realistic surround sound in no time.

Movie night can’t get any better than this.

How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

If this is your first time buying a surround sound system, then you certainly would need some help figuring out where the connections go and how to position your speakers so they deliver true surround sound in high-definition.

Recommended Read: How To Set Up Surround Sound on a PC

This article will clear any and all of your doubts pertaining to the subject – how to connect surround sound speakers to a TV. I’ll break it down for you with 10 very easy to follow instructions. You can read through and figure out exactly how to get the most out of your new surround sound speaker unit.

Here goes!

Step 1 – Examine the Speakers

Your speaker arrangement depends on the number of speakers you own. The most common speaker setups are 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1.  The number before the decimal refers to the number of speakers you own while the number after the decimal indicates the number of sub woofers.

  • 2.1 indicates two front speakers and one sub-woofer.
  • 5.1 indicates two front speakers, a center speaker, two surround speakers and a sub-woofer.
  • 7.1 indicates all the above in addition to 2 back speakers.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

Step 2 – Check the TV’s Audio Connections

Your TV contains an “audio out” either at the back or at the side of the TV. It will contain at least one of the following outputs.

  • AV – Red and white circular ports. Used for basic audio. A must on all receivers.
  • HDMI – Thin hexagonal slot. It supports both video and audio. Most new gen receivers support HDMI.
  • Optical – It’s a hexagonal port. It’s the freshest addition to most new gen receivers and produces the clearest audio.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

Step 3 – Ensure you Have an Audio Receiver

Audio receivers amplifies sounds from a TV and transmits it the connected speakers via wires. The good news is that most surround sound packages come with a receiver.

If not, you can check out this article to buy an awesome receiver under a 1000 dollars. Connect the speakers to the receivers using an AV cable.

The receiver can be connected to your TV either with AV, HDMI, or optical cables to your TV.

How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

Step 4 – Check your Cables

You will need a set of AV cables, speaker wires that attach speakers to each other, HDMI and optical wires so that you can connect the receiver to the TV’s audio ports.

If you don’t have any of the wires mentioned above, you can buy them here.

Unplug your TV from a power source and check your surround speaker’s manual for the placement of your speakers. You can also move around the speakers later on your own to adjust the audio output to your preference.

Step 5 – Position the Speakers

Before connecting your speakers to the receiver and hooking them up with wires, it is important to position the speakers correctly. This process is known as “blocking” and will save you from the hassle of remeasuring wires that you need to connect your speakers.

How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

5.1 Position Your Subwoofer

Place your sub-woofer near the center of your home theater. Sub-woofers emit omni-directional sound. This means that wherever it is placed, it will achieve similar results. Avoid placing the sub-woofer against a wall or a corner as this will amplify the base.

5.2 Set up the front speakers on each side of the TV

Note, some speakers come with a left and a right symbol. Place the speakers accordingly. Place the speakers at the same distance from the TV

5.3 Angle the speakers towards your audience

Each speaker should be angled in such a way that it should point towards the center of the seating area. 

  • A hack, if you can raise the speakers to your head level, you will notice a distinct difference in sound quality.
  • Try imagining a symmetrical triangle between your two speakers and the center of the seating area

Depending on whether your surround sound system is a 5.1 or 7.1 position your remaining speakers so that it angles towards the listener.

The speakers at the side and at the back of the speaker should be placed at least two feet above the listeners ear and angled down slightly so that they can be pointed towards your audience. 

Step 6 – Position the Receiver

The receiver should be placed at a comfortable distance from the TV and a power source so that you can plug into both easily. Also, give enough ventilation space for the receiver so that It does not overheat.

How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

Step 7 – Connect Your Speakers

Most new gen surround systems have specific ports that you can plug in the appropriate connector into. If your sound system is old, you might have clips that you can place your raw speaker wire into.

For this, you need a pair of wire cutters that can cut off the ends of the plastic so that the wire is exposed. Then simply place the wire into the clip.

Keep in mind that expose loose wires is not only a safety hazard, but it looks unaesthetic as well.

  • As much as possible, cover exposed wires by sticking them against a wall or covering them up with a carpet. 
  • Be sure not to stretch out your wire and leave them some slack so that the wire does not snap.

With one end of the wire connected to the back of a speaker, connect that speaker to another speaker and repeat until all the speakers are connected to each other.

Connect your speakers in a loop such that all the speakers are connected in a line from one front speaker to the other front speaker.

  • The front speakers are connected to the receiver using AV cables. They are not connected using speaker wires.
  • Unless specified by the manual, do not connect your sub-woofer to the speaker. They are almost always connected directly into the receiver.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

Step 8 – Plug in the Subwoofer

Sub-woofers are usually connected by AV cables directly into the receiver.

  • The port for the sub-woofer on the receiver is usually labelled as “sub out” or “sub pre-out”.
  • For sub-woofers with multiple outputs, connect to the one labelled “LFE” or the input on the far left if there is no label.

For more detailed instruction to connect the sub-woofer to a receiver, check out this blog.

How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

Step 9 – Connect the HDMI Cables and Power Supply

If this is the first time you are plugging your receiver into a power source, it might take several minutes before your receiver comes online.

Devices that use HDMI input as their audio output include gaming consoles, DVD players and cable boxes. To reroute the sound, plug the devices into the receiver to channel their output into the surround sound.

You will need additional cables to attach the receiver to the appropriate HDMI inputs.

  • Receivers usually have a ‘HDMI IN” and a “HDMI OUT” series of ports (eg “IN 1”, “OUT 1”, etc)
  • For example, if a HDMI device is plugged into the “HDMI IN 1” it would have a HDMI cable plugged into the “HDMI OUT 1” port on the receiver and the “HDMI 1” port on the TV as well.
How to Connect Surround Sound Speakers to a TV

Step 10- Plug the Receiver into the TV

Using a HDMI cable plug in the receiver to the TV. Refrain from using AV cables as this will reduce the quality of the sound emitted from the speakers.

Since most TV’s today have a slot for a HDMI cable. it’s best to use it so there’s no compromise in overall video quality and you’re able to watch even 4K or 8K movies considering you have the setup and HDMI capabilities..

Hooray! You have connected your surround sound system to your speakers. Turn on your TV and check out how your efforts paid off.

Testing Your Surround Sound System

You can fiddle around with the audio settings on your TV and set your audio preferences.

  • New gen surround sound systems come with an automatic set up process that makes adjusting your audio output easy and efficient. It involves placing a microphone in the middle of the room and allowing the speakers to read the ambient sound levels.
  • Moving your speakers is the last resort. Before doing so, check out the audio settings on the TV and adjusting that.

Conclusion

Setting up your surround system can take a bit of effort but it well worth it. There’s nothing like sitting back and relaxing on your couch after a hard days of work and losing yourself in your favorite movie.

What’s more, you will feel like you accomplished something as you get the sound reverberating through your entire living space.

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