So you just brought a brand new 55″ 4K Samsung Smart TV. It has amazing features and looks quite elegant in your living room like this one.
But of course, the internal speakers are just not powerful enough so you decide to connect the TV to your home audio system. The only problem is, the TV doesn’t have audio out. So, the question is: how do you connect external speakers to a TV without audio output?
Read on to get the answer if your TV has no audio output:
Why Don’t Some TVs Have Audio Out?
Many newer TVs don’t have audio out because most of them have HDMI and most HDMI versions have return audio. This means the audio out is built into the HDMI board on the set. This also means you won’t see an AV label on your TV for audiovisual connection.
For example, seeing a Samsung TV with no audio out is quite common these days. Of course, this is not what you want to hear if all you have is an RCA audio connection on your stereo receiver. No worries however as there are other ways to get your speaker connected.
So How Can I Connect A TV With No Audio Outputs to A Home Theater Receiver?
So, firstly, let’s put things into perspective. As already mentioned, there are many new TVs that do not have analog RCA outputs (what most people call audio out). The good news is, however, there are many other ways to connect your speaker that are even better than RCA.
Most modern TVs have these kinds of ports – optical audio outputs, HDMI outputs, or send signals to set-top-boxes – so you can actually connect the TV to a home theater system, soundbar, or audio receiver quite easily. We discuss these below:
1. Optical Digital Audio Outputs (TOSLINK)
If your TV is an “HDTV” then it should have a fiber optic (TOSLINK) digital output. So, what is TOSLINK? Let’s break it down:
TOSLINK is popularly known as an optical, digital optical, or fiber-optic audio connection. These connections work by converting electrical signals into light (quite often red, with wavelengths upward of 680 nm or so) and are transmitted through a fiber made of plastic, glass, or silica.
So, in other words, it is a standard fiber optic cable. Of course, this will only work if your home theater has an available fiber optic input.
Best Optical Digital Audio Cables On Amazon
A good way to prevent this is by using an optical amp. There are a few really good optical amps on Amazon including the NAD Electronics Digital Integrated Amplifier and the Pro-Ject MaiA Audio Integrated Amplifier.
It is important to note however that some TVs may not deliver very powerful audio output. Now if your home theatre system is not powerful enough, the sound quality may be poor.
Can I Use An Optical Output With RCA Speakers?
Now let’s say your TV has an optical output, but you still want to use RCA with your speakers, then you will need to use an optical to RCA converter.
This converter will help with your audio interfacing by converting the optical output to RCA.
Again, you can easily purchase a good optical RCA converter on Amazon, for example, the Panlong Premium Digital to Analog Audio Converter.
What’s the major benefit of using optical output? Well, a fiber optic digital connection allows you to get Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, so if you want that kind of audio experience, this is the way to go.
If you have an optical output, then it’s one of the best ways to connect your TV to your speaker. So, your question ‘how do you connect external speakers to TV without audio output?’ would have already been answered.
2. HDMI Switcher Box
Now, most people will know what HDMI is, but if you don’t know, let’s explain. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is an audio/video interface that is used for transmitting audio/visual data. It’s that flat-looking port that you will see on TVs, audio systems, and other devices.
If your TV has HDMI and if your audio system also has HDMI, then all you will need to do is to connect the TV to the audio system with an HDMI cable.
However, let’s say your TV has HDMI but your audio system does not. In this case, you will need a switcher box.
An HDMI switcher is an easy way to ensure the HDMI from your TV works with your speaker. It’s an all-in-one solution. A typical 4 x 1 HDMI switcher box will offer 3 to 4 different types/choices of separate audio outputs to plug into your sound system/sound bar/amplifier/surround sound system:
(a) digital coax audio
(b) digital optical audio
(c) older analog red/white RCA audio
This means, with a switcher box, you could connect to any receiver/external speakers/home theater/surround sound or whatever you wish.
If you are a gamer you will love this! If you are planning on using the TV and speakers for gaming, then most switcher boxes will have an HDMI input that can be used for gaming. In some cases, some gaming systems will need an HDMI adapter/converter.
Best HDMI Switcher Boxes On Amazon
So, how do you connect your TV with HDMI to your speaker with a switcher box?
Firstly, purchase an HDMI switcher box that supports whichever input is used on your audio system
- Connect the HDMI cable from the TV to HDMI
- Connect the HDMI cable to the HDMI port on the switcher box
- Connect the switcher box out to the audio (depending on whichever type of connection is used)
- Enjoy your music or movie!
If you decide to use this option to connect your speakers, then the Proster 3×1 HDMI Switch is an excellent choice with TOSLINK, stereo and HDMI out.
If you have HDMI output, then this is the answer to the question, ‘how do you connect external speakers to a TV without audio output?’
3. Headphone Output To Computer Speakers
One cheap and easy way to fix this problem is to use computer speakers. All HDTVs should have a headphone output, which you can connect to stereo RCA inputs using a simple stereo 1/8″ to RCA adapter cable. These cables allow you to convert audio jack output (3.5mm Aux Headphone Jack Audio) to RCA.
You may be saying to yourself, ‘but computer speakers are garbage’. If you don’t think there are good computer speakers out there, think again. While most computer speakers are indeed weak and may have overdriving problems when pushed with powerful audio, there are many modern computer speakers that do a great job, some as powerful as lower-grade monitor speakers.
As we already said, there are many excellent computers on the market (remember Logitech makes many of these speakers). The Audioengine A2+ is an excellent example.
4. Audio Out From DVR or Set-Top-Box
If you are connecting your coaxial wire (cable wire) or fiber cable wire through a set-top box and not directly to your TV, then you are in luck!
If you are using a split cable on your TV line, you are still in luck.
If you are using a DVD player, then you are also in luck.
In both cases, you can easily connect your speakers to the set-top-box or DVD player.
In many cases, the set-top-box will have an HDMI or optical output to connect to your speakers. In most cases, the DVD player will have RCA output, so you can just connect directly.
What Is the Best method?
In general, the fiber optic or HDMI output is preferred. However, of you don’t have either of these available, then you can use the other methods provided here.
Can I Intercept The Wires To The Internal Speakers?
Many people will buy a new Samsung or LG TV and after discovering that there is no RCA audio out, they try to open the television set and connect external speakers to the wires that the internal speakers were connected to.
Not a good idea!
This will probably work a little, but it will not work very well. This is for several reasons. For one, most internal speakers are low-impedance, low-wattage speakers.
This means they are not powerful speakers which also means the internal audio drivers are not meant to drive larger, more powerful speakers.
So, your external audio system will not sound much louder than the internal speakers. In fact, you may even damage your TV drivers.
What To Do If TV Has No Audio Output?
If you have a satellite set-top box, cable, or DVR, you could also plug the box’s audio output directly into your speakers. Also, the coaxial cable or fiberoptic connection is preferred, or use HDMI output if the connection is supported.
Best External Speakers For TV
Some of the best external speakers to use with your TV include:
- Samsung’s HW-T450
- Amazon Basics AC Powered PC Multimedia External Speakers
- Klipsch R-51PM Powered Bluetooth Speaker
- Polk Audio T15
So TV has no audio output? We hope we solved that for you. Early on, audio connections for equipment were fairly simple and straightforward. All you would need to do is to match RCA TV output to RCA speaker input. Nowadays, things are a bit more tricky with HDMI, optical and other forms of connections.
However, the truth is, it’s rather simple. If you have HDMI, you can use a splitter or the single HDMI itself. If you have an optical output, you can simply connect directly to most speakers with optical input or use an optical to RCA connector. If you have a cable or satellite set-top box or DVR you could also plug the audio output of that box directly into your speaker system.
So, next time someone asks the question says ‘my tv has no audio output’ or ‘how do you connect external speakers to a TV without audio output?’ you will have an answer.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.