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  • Writer's pictureCraig Whitaker

Optical or HDMI ARC Connection for Soundbars?

In general, an HDMI ARC connection is preferred to an optical connection. If your TV does not have an HDMI ARC connection, an optical connection will work. Here are some of the benefits of using the ARC connection.


  • Better Audio Quality: The HDMI ARC connection provides the higher bandwidth required for better quality audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio. The smaller bandwidth of an optical connection limits you to audio formats such as Dolby Digital and DTS and does not support higher-quality uncompressed audio formats.

  • Bi-Directional Audio: The HDMI ARC connection provides bi-directional audio, which the optical connection does not. Bi-directional audio allows for audio transmission from the TV to the soundbar and from the soundbar to the TV when needed.

  • Simplified Installation: The HDMI ARC connection transmits both audio and video, reducing the number of cables required and resulting in a simplified installation.

  • CEC Support: The HDMI ARC connection supports CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), allowing a single remote to control multiple devices. The optical connection does not support CEC.


In closing, when available, use the HDMI ARC connection between your TV and soundbar.


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