How to Connect a Polk Soundbar To TV for Superior Audio

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Struggling to hear critical dialogue and action scenes from your flatscreen TV?

Integrating a Polk soundbar offers an easy audio upgrade for deficient TV speakers.

Let’s explore exactly how to connect various Polk soundbar models to enhance any living room.

How to Connect a Polk Soundbar

To connect a Polk soundbar, first decide on either using HDMI wiring for combined video and audio signal or optical/RCA cables for audio exclusively.

Then interface ports on the TV to respective inputs on the soundbar itself.

Finally, configure the TV’s settings to route sound out to the external speaker system.

We’ll explore the connection steps more in depth ahead.

Compiling the Necessary Equipment

Getting set up begins with gathering the vital equipment components involved in structuring the integration.

At its very core, you need the Polk soundbar itself that will provide the actual audio projection capabilities.

Polk’s lineup includes everything from the affordable Solo BST-1 sound base to the mighty 16-speaker SDA 7600 unit with Dolby Atmos decoding.  

Second is having the television that you want transmitting media content and controlling functionality.

This may be any consumer display panel from LCD to OLED, small to oversized.  The TV needs audio-out connectivity matching ports found on the Polk soundbar being installed.

Next comes the physical cables acting as the data transfer conduits between television and soundbar components.

Here HDMI wiring or optical audio cables are the top options for relaying signal without quality loss.

Ensure you have the proper connecting wires with adequate length.  

Finally, both the Polk unit and television must plug into power outlets during configuration.

So having accessible wall sockets available nearby the hardware completes the foundational equipment for display pairing.

Now onto construction.

Honing In on HDMI Connectivity

For most modern televisions and home theater equipment like Polk’s soundbars, HDMI connectivity represents the premier wired interfacing method.

HDMI wiring is capable of transporting uncompressed digital video together with multichannel lossless audio.

This allows a pure high resolution signal exchange from media source to video display to amplified audio output.

Beginning with the television end, locate an open HDMI input along the rear facing panel which typically houses all connectivity.

Many sets have multiple HDMI ports, sometimes with slight differences related to HDMI specs or media device hookup function.  Scan labels for indicators of “HDMI ARC” ports.  

ARC stands for audio return channel; HDMI inputs bearing this tag allow bidirectional signal passage.

This means ARC ports can not only receive video/audio from upstream sources like Blu-ray players en route to the TV.

But then return just the audio back downstream to connected speakers or soundbars with ARC capability while retaining isolated video feed up to the display.  

This makes isolating just the sound to external amplification simple for integrating items like the Polk soundbar versus television native speakers.

Prioritize the HDMI ARC port if available.  If unlabeled, any HDMI input will receive transmitted video fine.

With the television connection point now established, grab an appropriate HDMI cable.

For the highest bandwidth, ultra high speed or 48 Gbps HDMI spec is recommended.

But any working cable will suffice for shorter runs under 10 feet.  Connect one end of the HDMI wiring to the television’s port singled out for linkage.  

Shifting focus to the Polk soundbar itself, examine the rear panel for integration now.

Look for HDMI input(s), potentially marked with “ARC” just as found on the television side.

Here is where you will join the opposing cable end for a complete data circuit between devices.  

Verify a solid click when inserting the cable connector. With HDMI wiring now directly linking television HDMI output to soundbar HDMI input, both the video and audio streams have an unbroken pathway on which to share information.

Optical Audio Cables as Alternatives

There may be instances where utilizing an HDMI interconnection between the Polk soundbar and television proves unfeasible.

Possibly due to limited input/outputs across devices, hardware incompatibility, or cabling length exceeding signal integrity.  

In these situations, optical audio cables serve as suitable fallback conductivity.

Optical wiring transmits purely digital audio signals encoded as pulses of light between the cable’s transmitting and receiving ends.

While lacking capabilities for high definition video like HDMI, optical cables are more resilient and can sustain longer spans.

Begin integration similarly by isolating the audio-out port along the television’s rear panel, typically marked “Audio Out – Optical”.

Also recognizable by the oval shaped jack with an embossed interior symbol. This represents the television’s optical transmitting point.

Take note bulky connectors and bend radii which can disturb delicate internal optical alignment – gently insert cables.

With the TV endpoint now designated, obtain a Toslink optical audio cable and connect one end to the television’s optical output.

Then shift focus to the soundbar itself, scanning the rear for the corresponding optical input jack – commonly labeled “Optical In” or “Digital Audio In”.

Insert the opposite cable end here, finalizing the conduit through which audio data shoots downstream.  

Unlike HDMI, this uni-directional linkage only permits sound to travel from television into receiving soundbar.

Wireless protocols or analog wiring would be required for any microphone talk-back or return channel feedback.

So expect a display-dominated, non-interactive experience but with the capacity for multichannel audio.

Wireless Bluetooth Connections  

Employing HDMI or optical cabling allows low-latency, higher fidelity sonic transmission between Television and Polk soundbar.

But for the ultimate in clutter-free installation without stringing wires, consider a wireless Bluetooth interface.

Any Polk model featuring integrated Bluetooth connectivity can pair directly with compatible televisions via streaming digital signal.

This does require both the Polk unit and TV have Bluetooth radio hardware onboard alongside antennas for transmission/reception.

Additionally, wireless sound demands more periodic re-pairing and exhibits higher latency than direct wired affairs.

But the absence of cables coupled with acceptable audio quality over short spaces makes Bluetooth more convenient.  

Initiate pairing mode on the Polk soundbar first by pressing the Bluetooth button either on the chassis itself or found on its included remote.

An LED confirmation cue like a blue light flash indicates discoverability and readiness. Next, navigate into the television’s settings menu via the connected remote.

Scan for options related to external device connectivity, inputs and Bluetooth specifically.

Here there should be provisions for turning television Bluetooth transmission on for pairing attempts, searching local region for available units to bond with, and connecting incoming requests.

Trigger the scan function and if successful, the TV will identify the Polk soundbar by name as an eligible device.

Select it to instantiate pairing.  

Similar to wired setups, the television may need additional configuration to route audio out through its Bluetooth antenna into the now linked soundbar.

Toggle external speakers versus internal ones if the option exists.

Otherwise by default, the TV should redirect sonic data wirelessly into the Polk hardware.

But discrepancies and troubleshooting may be required case-by-case.

Optimizing Audio Levels between Devices  

With a Polk soundbar physically tethered to its collaborative television via cables or wireless Bluetooth link, properly calibrated levels ensure a balanced, thunderous sonic experience. 

Attend first to physical volume modifiers on both the display and soundbar themselves.   

Too high on the television side potentially overdrives incoming signal, causing distortion. Start conservative around 25 percent scale and intensify as needed.

The soundbar’s own separate controls dictate overall loudness. Set this to acceptable background levels for regular viewing.  

Any accompanying remote allowing command of soundbar parameters will offer wider selections like equalizer presets and surround sound profiles.

Run through various built-in modes while testing assorted media like action films or spatial documentary content.

Let the audio characteristics of test material reveal optimum preconfiguration.   

Network-connected soundbars work in conjunction with smartphone apps as well.

These allow complete control plus visual feedback for tweakable settings like subwoofer intensity, rear harmonic balancing, type-specific optimization presets, and more.

Dial these in according to personal preferences.

Finally, conduct incremental break-in through playback of visually engaging content with strong sonic diversity.

Allow the speaker drivers and electronic components to further mesh during first several hours of operation.

As components settle, you may discern the need for slight EQ tweaks or levels adjustment.

But with everything tuned to harmony, the Polk soundbar debut culminates a profoundly enhanced A/V showcase.  

Connecting a Polk soundbar like the flagship SDA 7600 involves little more than plugging wired inputs and outputs between devices or alternatively pairing wirelessly over Bluetooth.

Optimize signaling levels from television through media routing settings. Explore available audio configurations on the soundbar through remote tools or mobile apps.

And let rich acoustic energy permeate your entertainment cinema thanks to immersive fidelity only possible through Polk’s high-performance hardware.

Conclusion

Connecting a Polk soundbar ultimately comes down to selecting the right cables to interface with your TV, properly configuring audio settings for routing, and customizing sound levels. 

Following the steps outlined above, your entertainment system can come alive with the amplified, encompassing sound that only a quality soundbar like Polk can deliver.

Let your movies, music, and more immerse you thanks to superb clarity.

Dominic

Dominic is the chief editor of the Burton Acoustix blog which writes about acoustics and soundproofing to help readers with their queries and questions they might have with regard to improving any sound or noise issues that they faced in their life.