If you love binge-watching movies, you will admit that at one point, you have struggled with finding the best audio from your TV or computer. You keep increasing the volume for the quiet parts and then get startled by the explosive sounds of the action scenes.
So, can you use a soundbar on a monitor? You can connect a soundbar to a monitor to help improve the audio quality. It works when you need the setup for movies, music, podcasts, or other compatible media. You can link the systems wirelessly via Bluetooth or use wired HDMI and 3.5mm jacks through the ports on the monitor.
Your preferred method will depend on your soundbar model and type of PC because some older versions don’t have Bluetooth support while others lack essential ports.
If you are a fan of watching movies or listening to music on your computer, you must have noticed the poor sound quality the inbuilt speakers sometimes transmit. External speakers may help except for the part where several cables link. You may think of the soundbar as a practical solution, but does it connect or work on PCs?
You can connect a soundbar to a monitor, but first, you should know the type of connection to make based on the computer and soundbar features. You link them wirelessly or use cables through a jack, Bluetooth, USB, or optical.
Bluetooth is typically the most convenient since the setup is wireless, but you will have to use cables if your monitor lacks the capability. HDMI is another popular version where you locate the ports on both devices and then plug and play.
There are various soundbar designs in the market, each with specific ways to connect to your monitor. If you want to buy one, you will have to choose your preferred linking option, but your safest bet is to go for one with multiple options in case one fails.
There are three common ways to attach a soundbar to your PC. These include the Bluetooth, a 3.5 mm jack, and HDMI, but most users use the wireless method to avoid using several cables.
Luckily, most computers have Bluetooth, which makes it more convenient. You only have to pair the two devices and activate the link to transmit audio from the monitor straight to the soundbar.
While wireless connection works for music, doesn’t need cables, and is faster, there are some concerns about slight audio delays when watching movies. There is also the disadvantage if your PC doesn’t have Bluetooth, in which case, you will have to use the cables.
Almost all monitors have a 3.5mm port to allow external headphones, and it is a viable option to link your soundbar. You can check behind your PC for three ports or your laptop for two and pick the green one or the one with the headset symbol. Alternatively, you can use HDMI cables, although some users find it the least reliable method due to the monitor’s build.
If you link the speaker and PC using an HDMI, the system will likely deem it a tertiary display instead of another audio device. However, you can work it if you make some adjustments. For instance, you can try linking the monitor to the TV using the HDMI, then the soundbar to the TV using an HDMI ARC, and afterward setting the audio. This way, you can transmit sound from your monitor to the soundbar through the TV.
You should consider soundbars if you have struggled to find the best quality sound, but your PC’s speakers don’t cut it. They offer an unmatched movie, music, and gaming experience, improving the sound from any media.
You can place it below the monitor or close to the ports if using a jack or HDMI. If you are conscious that the speaker may be too large for your PC, note that it is not very portable, but you can place it next to the screen.
4K HDMI for soundbars
If you have recently bought a soundbar and are using a regular HDMI cable and it works, it is expected to wonder whether upgrading the cable will help improve the sound quality. After connecting standard and 4K HDMI wires to the soundbar and testing the quality, here is what you should know.
Although many new users swear that the 4K HDMI cables enhance the sound quality, you don’t need one for your soundbar. People may opt for the overpriced cable, but in reality, it is usually a marketing stunt by the manufacturer. The 4K HDMI has the same design and functionality as the regular version, meaning the transmission quality is similar.
The only difference is when the expensive cable has HEC and looks better than the standard. Therefore, whichever HDMI cable you use will improve the soundbar quality regardless of the price.
Sadly, most users judge a product based on bells, whistles, and price points, avoiding the cheaper versions. There may be hundreds of reviews online crediting 4K HDMI cables, but it is all a marketing strategy to increase sales.
The architecture and performance are similar to the standard wires, and it will not improve the soundbar quality. The only contrasting feature with regular cables is the physical difference.
The 4K cable may have better shielding and Ethernet (HEC) capability, aspects lacking in standard designs. Ultimately, the HDMI cable you buy will either work or fail, whether high-end or low-end, and you cannot expect more precise sounds from the soundbar by going for the 4K version. However, the advantage is that a well-built cable will be more durable and work over long distances.
The 4K wire may also have fewer chances of breaking down and look better than the standards. Therefore, you can go for the high-end HDMI if you are keen on reliability and durability but note that there will be no difference in the sound quality.
However, you can make some tweaks to improve the soundbar’s performance. You can mute the TV or PC inbuilt speakers and only go for the highest quality soundbars. Alternatively, you can make equalizer settings and programming for the best performance.
Soundbar HDR pass through
Sound systems generally don’t have much to do with the video quality of any media you want to transmit. However, you may want to connect an HDMI input into the device and have questions about whether the soundbar can pass HDR.
Not every soundbar can allow HDR to pass through; therefore, your preference will come to play when you want to purchase one. You may also need an HDR-capable system if it is the only option you can use to play your videos to the screen.
Televisions have audio output, and the speakers have the input, hence opting to aux the soundbar will connect all the devices. It is the standard linking option many users go for, and you may need it at some point.
You don’t require a soundbar that supports HDR unless it is necessary. Speakers only output sound, which has nothing to do with images. Therefore, seeing the system labeled to pass HDR can be puzzling.
Although you don’t necessarily need a video passthrough on the soundbar, there are some instances where it will be crucial, like when the video source cannot tether directly to the TV or monitor.
Also, an HDR-enabled sound system may come in handy when you don’t have the required ports for additional cabling and cannot unplug any wires. Still, finding a soundbar that allows HDR in the older models can be pretty challenging, but the modern sound systems are compatible with the feature. Besides minimizing your home cabling system, the gadgets also enhance video and sound quality, making everything crispy and in sync.
However, if you have an HDR-supporting soundbar, the bottom line is that you can link the gadgets to your TV to get the most out of your audio feeds. Other than owning a soundbar, you should know how to tell whether the system can pass HDR. The speakers will look similar from face value, but some minor discrepancies exist. Your sound system should have video input and output ports on the back.
Without the capability, then an HDR video passthrough may be impossible. If you need to spruce up your home to give it a theater-like experience with an HDR-supporting soundbar, you can get one at an affordable price from online shops or a fantastic slightly used system from a dealer. It is also essential to understand some aspects of the soundbar.
An HDR-supporting soundbar has an internal receiver that initiates the passthrough. Most regular soundbars don’t have it, explaining why you cannot achieve a theater experience using them at home.
Furthermore, most televisions have a single 2.0 HDMI port, lacking the slot you need to plug an input. It will be impossible since you cannot pair the video source and the soundbar through a single port.
Therefore, it will be ideal to combine the gadgets. The experience you get from using an HDR soundbar is incredible. Still, it is not mandatory because you can do without it, provided that you have a way to link your regular system to the television. However, if you insist on getting one, ensure that the HDR-enabled speaker is compatible with your monitor.
What Does No USB Mean on the Soundbar?
Soundbars are a great addition to your home’s sound system, enhancing audio quality without affecting the video’s output. Like most electronics, the sound systems may also have some hitches. If you have bumped into the message No USB, here is what it means and how you can solve it.
No USB on your soundbar may be a system error occurring whenever you start the gadget or due to power cable problems. You don’t need to fret once you see the message because it is usually easy to solve using a few hacks.
First, you can try disconnecting and reconnecting the power cables after about ten minutes in the soundbar or use the device’s original remote to rectify it. However, if the system gives you the same message, it may be a more severe issue requiring expert help.
A No USB text would mean that your system connection is faulty, or you are experiencing minor technical issues on your soundbar. The glitches are pretty manageable; otherwise, you can consult an expert to avoid further damage to the speaker.
Severing the power cables links from the sockets and letting the system sit for about ten minutes before reconnection can solve it, and it should be the first thing to try when you run into such hiccups.
However, if it fails, you can try other options. You will need the sound system’s original remote. From the device, press the INPUT or SOURCE button severally, leaving intervals of about five seconds before your next dial.
Click the button several times and check whether the ‘No USB’ text is gone. The method should help you reboot the soundbar and get everything back running, but it may be time to seek professional help if the tweaks fail.
The No USB on your soundbar sometimes goes together with lost sound on the device. If you also notice that the speaker is silent, you can check whether all the sound input and output cables are in order. Additionally, set the soundbar to read the correct INPUT if you are using HDMI, and lastly, you can get some assistance from the sound system’s manual.
Besides the No USB, you may experience other problems while using the soundbar. You may perceive unpleasant sounds, lower sound quality, and many others. Generally, checking that your system is compatible with other devices you want to link is crucial. Also, confirm that the settings are correct and optimum, and ensure that the cables are in the correct ports.
If you constantly set the sound system when watching movies or listening to music, you will be glad to know that a soundbar can improve the audio quality. You can use Bluetooth if your devices support it or go for wired links through a 3mm jack or HDMI cable. If the connection must be wired, note that any wire will do.
The 4K HDMI wires do not have a significant quality improvement, and you can go for regular cables instead. The only advantages involved are that they are more durable and dependable and have more capabilities like HEC. Some soundbars will also pass HDR, improving the video and audio quality.