How To Add Rear Speakers and Subwoofer to Your Soundbar

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Imagine you just brought home an awesome new soundbar.

You eagerly unbox it, position it below your TV, and power it on expecting movie theater audio in your living room.

But while it sounds better than junky TV speakers, the sound seems flat and lifeless compared to true surround sound.

Transforming that underwhelming soundbar into an immersive home theater experience is easier than you think.

By adding powered rear speakers and a subwoofer, you can unlock phenomenal surround sound that transports you into the action.

In this guide, we’ll cover the benefits of upgrading to surround sound, walk through how to connect rear speakers and a subwoofer to popular soundbar models and provide tips for optimizing your new setup for maximum audio impact.

With a few simple steps, you can have your soundbar sounding like a commercial cinema ready for a movie marathon night.

Here goes.

Benefits of a surround sound system with rear speakers and subwoofer

An informative image showcasing the benefits of a surround sound system with rear speakers and a subwoofer, including immersive audio and enhanced movie experiences

Adding rear speakers and a subwoofer to your existing soundbar can take your home theater to the next level by providing a truly immersive surround sound experience.

With rear speakers, sound effects and music will feel like they are coming at you from all directions, fully enveloping you in the action on screen.

Having audio surround you delivers a thrilling sensation of being transported right into the movie or game.

You’ll hear sounds emanating from behind that you would miss with only a front soundbar.

This makes scenes like cars racing by or arrows whizzing past your head incredibly realistic.

A dedicated subwoofer allows you to hear and feel the deep, rich bass notes that add impact and realism to explosions, car chases, and other low-frequency effects in movies and music.

The subwoofer handles the low end, preventing the soundbar speakers from straining to reproduce deep bass.

This allows the soundbar to focus on reproducing clear midrange and treble. A subwoofer adds that visceral punch and rumbles to action sequences that you feel in your chest.

You can also better hear subtle deep noises like stomping footsteps that provide a frightening immersion in horror scenes.

The subwoofer completes the sound by filling in the low end that smaller soundbar speakers can’t fully portray on their own.

Having surround sound with properly positioned rear speakers and a subwoofer makes it seem like you are right in the middle of the action on screen.

This leads to much greater excitement, engagement, and enjoyment when watching movies, TV shows, sports, and playing video games.

The next time friends or family visit your home theater with surround sound, they will be amazed at the experience and feel like they are at the actual cinema. It’s a great way to impress guests.

Instructions for connecting rear speakers and subwoofer to a Vizio, Samsung, or LG soundbar

An illustrative image providing step-by-step instructions for connecting rear speakers and a subwoofer to a Vizio, Samsung, or LG soundbar

Connecting additional rear speakers and a powered subwoofer to enhance your existing soundbar into a surround system is a straightforward process.

Most major consumer soundbar brands like Vizio, Samsung, and LG provide pre-outs and subwoofer outputs to easily hook up an external subwoofer and surround speakers to their products.

Vizio Soundbars

For Vizio soundbar models, first, locate the single RCA-style subwoofer pre-out port which is used to connect a powered subwoofer via a standard RCA audio cable.

Then find the left and right surround channel pre-outs, typically RCA or screw-terminal connections, to hook up the rear left and rear right passive speakers using speaker wire.

Change the sound settings menu on the Vizio soundbar itself to enable surround sound mode so the system knows to send audio to all connected speakers.

Samsung Soundbars

On Samsung soundbars, there are typically optical inputs specifically intended for adding wireless rear surround speakers.

Simply run optical cables from the optical output ports on the main soundbar unit to the optical inputs on the wireless surround speakers.

For the subwoofer, find the dedicated subwoofer out port on the back of the soundbar designed for connecting a powered sub.

Access the Samsung soundbar’s settings via the remote and go to the audio options to configure the system for surround sound output.

LG Soundbars

For LG soundbar models, first locate the SUB OUT port which is specifically meant for connecting a powered subwoofer using a standard RCA cable.

Then find the REAR speaker outputs which are screw terminals used to hook up the left and right rear channel passive speakers using speaker wire.

Make sure to observe proper polarity. Enable surround sound audio in the LG soundbar’s settings menu accessed via the remote.

This ensures the soundbar sends audio to the now connected subwoofer and rear surround speakers.

Always refer to the instruction manual included with your specific soundbar model for full details on the proper connection methods and setup procedures.

Optimal placement is key for surround sound. Position the rear speakers 2 to 3 feet behind the central seating area, at ear height when seated.

Place the subwoofer on the floor near the front soundbar for a cohesive system. Run automatic room calibration if available to optimize the full setup.

Tips for optimizing a surround sound setup with soundbar, rear speakers, and subwoofer

A visually appealing image illustrating an optimized living room setup with a soundbar, rear speakers, and subwoofer for the ultimate surround sound experience

Properly setting up and optimizing a home theater surround sound system composed of a soundbar, added rear speakers, and a subwoofer takes some care and tuning but pays off in a remarkably immersive audio experience.

Here are some key best practices to follow:

Carefully place the rear surround speakers at ear height when seated in the central listening position. Angling them inward slightly pointing toward the main seating area helps create an enveloping surround soundstage.

Having the rear speakers positioned properly makes sound effects seamlessly pan around the room, transporting you into the movie or game.

Position the subwoofer on the floor near the front soundbar for a cohesive front soundstage. Avoid cramming the subwoofer into a corner which can over-accentuate bass, resulting in a boomy muddy sound.

Experiment with subwoofer placement along the front wall to find a spot that minimizes boominess for clean, tight bass.

Always run the automatic speaker calibration via the soundbar’s setup menu if it is available.

This property sets individual speaker levels, distances, and delays for optimal audio balance and immersive surround sound effects.

Proper calibration accounts for room variables and makes the system work seamlessly.

Adjust the volume knob on the subwoofer itself to perfectly blend with the soundbar speakers.

Turning up the sub just past the point where it starts to be noticeable results in strong bass that complement the soundbar without overpowering or masking critical dialogue. Getting the sub-blend right prevents it from sticking out.

Experiment with the various surround mode options available in the soundbar remote control to find the setting that provides the most immersive experience for movies and music.

For example, Dolby Digital, DTS Neo:6, or proprietary modes like Samsung’s Adaptive Sound. This surround processing creates a spacious soundstage.

For best results, ensure video streaming boxes, Blu-ray players, and other audio sources are configured to bitstream or pass through multi-channel audio like Dolby Digital Plus.

Passing these audio formats to the soundbar allows full utilization of all connected speakers for proper surround effects. The source device handles decoding.

Taking the time to properly set up and optimize a surround sound system composed of a soundbar, rear speakers, and subwoofer results in a remarkably immersive home theater audio experience.

Movies, sports, and music will come to life and envelop you through the power of optimized full surround sound.


Adding rear surround speakers and a subwoofer to enhance your soundbar unlocks its full potential for room-filling, cinematic surround sound.

While soundbars alone provide better audio than flat TV speakers, they are limited to basic left, center, and right channels. Expanding to a 5.1 or greater system transforms sterile sound into an immersive experience.

Following the straightforward connection steps and optimization tips outlined above will let you achieve stunning results.

Positioning is key – take time to place the rear and subwoofer speakers optimally. Run room calibration and tweak settings to balance the system.

Once properly configured, you’ll be amazed as audio envelops you from every direction. Action scenes will have you gripping your seat as effects zoom overhead and behind you.

Musicians will seem like they are performing live in your living room. The dialogue will be clearer and punchier. This is home theater audio done right.

So take the plunge and realize the full surround sound capabilities of your soundbar. Family movie nights and parties with friends will be elevated to new levels of excitement.

Your home cinema will rival or surpass local theaters. Immerse yourself in heart-pounding, crystal-clear audio today.


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.