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Do 4K TVs Need a Soundbar?

Do 4K TVs Need a Soundbar?

Soundbars are almost a staple in home theaters. But the question is, does a 4K TV need a soundbar?  

And you may be wondering what a sound device can do to a TV’s resolution? 

In all honesty, nothing. A 4K soundbar doesn’t refer to the resolution improvements it can make with your 4K TV, it is actually referencing being able to stream 4K content through the soundbar. 

This can be confusing at first, so allow us to elaborate. 

Later on, you can decide if you need a soundbar, specifically, a 4K soundbar for your TV.

What is a 4K Soundbar? 

4K soundbar in front of a TV

A 4K soundbar is the term used for soundbars that have HDMI input and output ports. What allows it to be called “4K” is its capability to be a passageway for other video content. 

These shouldn’t be confused with a generic soundbar, although we understand why it causes confusion. A generic soundbar can connect to a 4K TV but it doesn’t serve as a passthrough. 

So the main difference between a 4K soundbar and a generic soundbar is that the former has both HDMI input and output ports. 

For example, you have a console that you wish to play on your 4K TV. If you connect it to your soundbar via HDMI, then connect the soundbar to your TV, then you can play your games on the TV while having the audio play on your soundbar. 

The best part of this connection is that video quality isn’t reduced. 

A 4K soundbar also allows devices to be “daisy-chained”. Daisy-chain or daisy-chaining refers to wiring devices following a sequence.

So in the example above, the soundbar will connect to the console, and the TV is then connected to the soundbar. 

Does a 4K TV Need a Soundbar?

4K TV with 4K soundbar

Despite 4K soundbars serving as pass-throughs to your TV, they aren’t a necessary device for you to be able to watch and enjoy movies and games on your 4K TV. 

The sound may be enhanced, especially if you have a high-quality soundbar. But other than that, there aren’t any reasons why your TV won’t be able to play without it. 

Moreover, if you’re thinking of using a soundbar to connect other video devices, you can just directly connect your console to the TV instead. Both audio and video will run just fine with this direct connection. 

However, you might find a soundbar useful with a 4K TV for several reasons. 

The first is if the soundbar you’re eyeing gives a better audio quality than your TV. Most TVs, despite having high-quality video, will often have subpar audio. 

So if you’re looking to enhance your overall sound experience, choose a soundbar with great audio quality

Another reason to use a soundbar is if you want to make use of its daisy-chain capabilities. 

Most people use daisy-chaining when they want to reduce long cables connected to devices. A daisy chain reduces those long cables and minimizes the clutter that you see behind your TV. 

How to Know if a Soundbar is Compatible to 4K TV?

4K soundbar

The best way to know if your soundbar is compatible with a 4K TV is by checking the user manual. The manual will state which devices or versions of devices are compatible with the soundbar. 

It’s important to note that if a soundbar doesn’t have both HDMI input and output ports, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not compatible with a 4K TV. Instead, it just means that it can’t serve as a pass-through. 

Soundbars, in general, will be able to connect with a 4K TV as long as both models are fairly new. Older TVs may not be able to connect with modern soundbars. 

In the case of 4K soundbars, they should have both HDMI input and output ports. Without the presence of these two ports, it won’t be called a 4K soundbar. 

Do 4K Soundbars Need HDMI?

Close up of a 4K soundbar

Yes, they do. In fact, HDMI ports are the ports used on 4K soundbars. 

HDMI, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is the connection used to transmit audio and video signals. Since 4K soundbars let video signals pass through it, it makes sense that its ports should be able to read both audio and video. 

Is a Soundbar Worth It?

A 4K soundbar under a TV

Even though a soundbar isn’t a necessary device to play games and videos on your TV, it does help enhance the overall quality of the audio. 

It’s also a good technique for reducing the number of cables that you connect. Plus, the soundbar itself can serve as an additional port where you can connect a video device without having to connect it directly to your TV’s HDMI ports.

On the other hand, if you have a small space and you aren’t sensitive to audio quality, a soundbar may be a redundant device in your home theater system. 


A set of 4K soundbar and 4K TV

4K TVs don’t need a soundbar for their audio to run, but a soundbar improves the quality of the audio for your games, TV shows, and movies. It can also serve as a way to reduce all the wire clutter of your home theater.

A 4K soundbar isn’t necessary either as it only serves as a passageway for another video device to connect to your TV. However, it’s useful when you plan on using your soundbar to play your console’s audio on. 

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