Can I Add Surround Speakers to My Soundbar? Step by Step Guide

You are a sound lover; you want a surround sound system in your room. Though you have a soundbar, it doesn’t meet your requirements. So, what should you do? How can you get a surround sound system in your room?

Some soundbars are made to include extra speakers for surround sound. However, you are limited to very specific additional speakers. There is usually only one option available. You have to do it from one of these companies: Sonos, Bose, and Nakamichi. These companies all make surround sound-ready soundbars.

You may be thinking of hooking up a few speakers to the Soundbar. Few soundbars come with wired or wireless surround sound speakers, but soundbars rarely connect outer speakers included in the system. But there are ways to add surround sound speakers to a soundbar. But it will be a complex setup.

Here we will describe why using a soundbar with surround sound speakers may not be the best idea to increase the sound system in your room. So, keep reading.

Why Shouldn’t You Add Surround Sound Speakers to Just Any Soundbar?

We have suggested to you earlier hooking up with additional surround sound speakers to your Soundbar will not be the best idea. You may want to know why it won’t be the best idea. So, let’s make you clear.

Not all the soundbars are built to include additional surround, sound speakers. Some soundbars include additional surround sound speakers that are limited to very specific additional speakers. These limited specific additional speakers may not provide you the sound that you want. Bose, Nakamichi, and Sonos provide surround sound-ready soundbars.

The 5 Best soundbars we recommend & they are capable of adding surround sound speakers:

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel 1000W Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Dual 10" Subwoofers...
  • With 70+ years of audio excellence, experience the absolute best audio no other soundbar can replicate. Feel the roomshaking bass with industry’s only Dual Wireless Subwoofers & 360° 9.2 channel audio from every direction with our soundbar + four modular surround effects speakers. This plug and play solution’s designed to bring the acoustics of a high performance cinema into your living room in approx 30 minutes. Winner of the best Dolby Atmos soundbar battle (hosted by Brian Tong, Ex-Cnet host)
  • Our DUAL 10" WIRELESS SUBWOOFERS (industry's 1st!), the new soundbar reference standard for bass, produce ground-shaking rumbles that turn your living room into an epicenter of adrenaline-pumping action. They merge to distribute bass evenly throughout the room with zero localization. The sound bar, surrounds and subwoofers replicate the perfect theater experience, reaching cinema-level volumes with no distortion. Agreed among experts, TWO subwoofers are a must for ultimate home theaters.
  • FOUR 2-WAY SURROUND SPEAKERS (industry's 1st!). Each of them (connected to sub via RCA wires) is constructed with a tweeter that reproduces high frequencies with captivating clarity, and a full-range driver that delivers surround effects with power and precision. MODULAR in form, they are designed to work perfectly for any room size or shape. Attach them as dipoles to disperse expanded surround effects or detach as 4 individual speakers (signature setup) to deliver our 360° surround sound
  • Redefine soundbar expectations and surround performance with our exclusive SSE Technology. Featuring 3 advanced audio processing engines working in harmony to enhance directionality, enlarge spaciousness and unlock extra details of any audio soundtrack. Envelop your home theater with up to 9.2.4 channels of Dolby Atmos or DTS:X object based multi-dimensional audio that flows around, above and through you. Unleash the full dynamics of your audio experience with 110dB of room-filling sound
  • All units sold since Aug '19 can receive Dolby Atmos surround via TV’s eARC when streaming with TV’s smart apps like Netflix (Note: not all TVs can output Atmos. Refer to your TV brand’s audio output specs). Enjoy advanced connectivity with Dolby Vision, 4K UHD pass-thru and High Dynamic Range (HDR). Connect up to 6 devices via 1 HDMI ARC, 3 HDMI, 1 Optical and 1 Coaxial inputs. The 52-key backlit remote allows seamless control of sources, DSP modes, individual channel and room size optimization

Sonos 5.1 Surround Set - Home Theater System with Playbar, Sub and set of two Sonos One Smart...
  • Immerse yourself in shows, movies, music and more with the ultimate home theater system
  • Playbar delivers powerful, realistic sound to your TV with nine amplified speakers, and doubles as a wireless speaker for music
  • Complements HD television screens with highly detailed, richly textured sound
  • Sub adds soul shaking bass with two force cancelling speakers for deep sound and zero cabinet buzz or rattle
  • Two One surround speakers bring full theater surround sound to your HDTV

Bose Surround Speakers, Black
  • The smallest speakers designed by Bose so the focus can remain on your home entertainment not your speakers
  • Designed to bring music movies and TV to life with full immersive surround sound
  • Simply plug the adapters into a power source and wirelessly connect the receivers to the sound bar to enjoy your entertainment in minutes
  • Compatible with Bose sound bar 500 Bose sound bar 700 and Sound Touch 300 sound bar
  • Standing less than 4 inch tall Both bass modules have a wireless range of 30 feet

Sale
JBL Bar 5.1 - Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar with True Wireless Surround Speakers
5,247 Reviews
JBL Bar 5.1 - Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar with True Wireless Surround Speakers
  • JBL 5.1 surround sound with 510W of power
  • Detachable, battery-powered wireless surround speakers
  • Thrilling bass from a 10 Inch (250mm) wireless subwoofer
  • Wireless music streaming with Bluetooth
  • True 4K connectivity with 3 HDMI in/1 HDMI out (ARC)

VIZIO SB4551-D5B SmartCast 45 Inch 5.1 Sound Bar System (Renewed)
  • Manufacturer warranty: 1-year warranty
  • Subwoofer (W x H x D): 26.5 x 15.35 x 3.47 inches
  • Clarity as loud as 95 dB with less than 1% total harmonic distortion
  • Subwoofer delivers wall-shaking bass as deep as 70 Hz
  • Includes: Sound bar, wireless subwoofer, speakers and more

How Most Soundbars Work

If you don’t have the instructions about how you will hook up surround sound speakers to the Soundbar, you should never supplement the Soundbar with outer speakers. First, you have to know how the Soundbar works.

Soundbars do simulate surround sound with some tricky audio tricks. For example, if you angled the speakers toward the outside of the Soundbar, the sound would bounce off the walls in the room and into your ears. However, if you do that, you will hear sounds coming from the sides of the room instead of hearing in front of you.

If you add surround sound speakers to a soundbar, you add speakers to amplify sound. However, as sound travels in waves, adding surround sound speakers may cause interference with the normal Soundbar.

This is why you are highly recommended that unless the surround speakers are already included with the Soundbar, or it is capable of surround sound, you should not follow this setup. If you don’t follow this rule, you may mess up with your sound system.

When Can You Add Surround Sound Speakers Directly to a Soundbar?

Many of you may not agree with us. You guys may not agree that hooking up surround sound speakers to a soundbar is not the best idea. Well, just because you shouldn’t hook up surround sound speakers to a soundbar doesn’t mean you can’t. You can, but you need to follow our instructions to hook up your speakers with the Soundbar without creating any mess.

Most soundbars don’t have a speaker out. If you are able to hook up surround sound speakers to a soundbar somehow, you won’t get the audio; it would have audio out. If you try to plug your speakers into the Soundbar’s audio in channels, you won’t be able to get the audio because they aren’t able to deliver any sound.

You may also be thinking of using the subwoofer channel. Unfortunately, if you use this channel, you won’t be able to meet your requirements because it doesn’t provide a stereo signal.

As we discussed a lot of negative sides of using surround sound speakers with a soundbar, you may think it will be a terrible idea to use it. But, if you don’t agree with us, there are some solutions to use external speakers with any type of Soundbar.

How to Add Surround Sound Speakers to Almost Any Soundbar

Now, we are going to discuss the processes of hooking up surround sound speakers to a soundbar. You need to abide by these steps very carefully. Otherwise, you may fall into trouble. Here is the step by step guide to connecting external speakers to any soundbar:

  • A 5.1 channel video/audio receiver that has pre-outs for the front right, front left, and center channels.
  •  Soundbar with an RCA, Digital Optical, or AUX input
  • External speakers that accept normal speaker cable inputs or connect them to the Receiver wirelessly.
  • You will need a stereo mixer with at least three inputs and one output. You can go with the Rolls MX42 4-Channel Passive Mini Stereo Mixer (on Amazon).

1. Connect the RCA Cables to the Pre-Outs on the Receiver

At first, you will need to connect the RCA cable to pre-out. You will surely need a receiver with pre-outs. So, what are pre-outs? Pre-outs are one kind of output from the Receiver that only outputs the audio signal for every channel. They don’t comprise the power for each channel. If you try to connect a soundbar to normal speaker output, it will damage the internal components because it would send power directly into the Soundbar. So, be careful.

2. Connect Other Ends of the RCA Cables to A Mini Stereo Mixer

This is an easy step. You will need to connect the other ends of the RCA cables to a mini stereo mixer. You can buy the Rolls MX42 4-Channel Passive Mini Stereo Mixer (on Amazon). It will be the best option for you.

3. Establish a Connection Between the Output From the Mini-stereo Mixer and the Soundbar

You will need a soundbar with an AUX, Digital Optical, or RCA input in this step.

  • Soundbar with AUX input – If your Soundbar only contains an AUX input, then buy an RCA to AUX cable (on Amazon). After that, connect the AUX end to the Soundbar and the RCA ends to the mini-stereo mixer.
  • Soundbar with Digital Optical input- If your Soundbar has a Digital Optical input, you will need an analog to the digital optical converter (on Amazon). Then connect a set of RCA cables to the stereo mixer’s RCA output and the other ends into the analog to the digital optical converter (on Amazon). After that, connect a digital optical cable from the digital optical converter to the Soundbar.
  • Soundbar with RCA input- If you have RCA input, then connect another set of RCA cables to the output of the stereo mixer and connect the other ends to the Soundbar’s RCA input.

4. Connect Your Speakers to the Receiver

And finally, by using normal speaker wires, hook up your surround sound speakers to your Receiver. How many surround speakers can you use? It completely depends on the capability of your Receiver. If your Receiver allows, then you can make a 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, etc. sound system by using this process.

Why You Shouldn’t Add Surround Sound Speakers to a Soundbar

You probably don’t want to ruin your sound by mismatching speakers. Though there are ways to connect external speakers to your Soundbar, it will be a difficult setup. By using external speakers and a soundbar, you won’t get high-definition audio.

In the case of adding two surround sound speakers, a 2.1 soundbar will provide a 4.1 sound. On the contrary, a 3.1 soundbar will provide a 5.1 sound.

Your Soundbar doesn’t need any support. It alone provides better sound than hooking it up with external sound speakers. If you add extra speakers, it will interface with the usual sound of the Soundbar.

If you are not satisfied with your soundbars audio system, you should purchase a soundbar that includes wireless surround sound speakers.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

Best Seller List Of Soundbars:

Bestseller No. 1
VIZIO 2.0 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Audio, DTS:X, Bluetooth, Includes Remote Control -...
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VIZIO 2.0 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Audio, DTS:X, Bluetooth, Includes Remote Control -...
  • Low-Profile 36” Design - Provides a wider soundstage and fills the space beneath larger screen sizes.
  • Room-Filling Performance - Experience rich, clear sound with up to 91dB of total SPL output for performance that is beyond its size.
  • Essential Connectivity & Control - Get setup and listening in seconds with the included cables plus Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming of your favorite music and podcasts.
  • 2.0-Channel Sound - Experience a powerful room-filling, true stereo experience ideal for movies, music, and gaming.
  • Full-Range Speakers - 2 full-range speakers in the sound bar provide rich, clear sound.
Bestseller No. 2
Bose TV Speaker - Soundbar for TV with Bluetooth and HDMI-ARC Connectivity, Black, Includes Remote...
4,022 Reviews
Bose TV Speaker - Soundbar for TV with Bluetooth and HDMI-ARC Connectivity, Black, Includes Remote...
  • Hear your TV better: Designed with simplicity in mind, the Bose TV Speaker is a small soundbar that clarifies speech and is a simple fix for better TV sound.
  • Wide, natural sound: 2 angled full-range drivers deliver a more realistic, spatial audio experience for overall better TV sound from a small soundbar.
  • Enhanced dialogue: This TV speaker is designed to specifically focus on clarifying and elevating vocals and pronunciation.
  • Bluetooth TV speaker: Pair your device to this Bluetooth soundbar to wirelessly stream your favorite music and podcasts.
  • Simple setup: A single connection from this compact soundbar to the TV via an optical audio cable (included) or an HDMI cable (sold separately) has you up and running in minutes.
SaleBestseller No. 3
SAMSUNG 5.0ch S61A Amazon Exclusive S Series Soundbar – Acoustic Beam and Alexa Built-in (HW-S61A,...
  • SIDE HORN SPEAKER WITH ACOUSTIC BEAM Experience room filling sound with a panoramic soundscape.
  • BUILT IN CENTER SPEAKER A dedicated speaker enhances dialogue so you hear every word.
  • BUILT IN VOICE ASSISTANT Control your soundbar and stay connected with Alexa
  • AIRPLAY 2 Stream audio from iOS devices.
  • PREMIUM DESIGN Refined design to complement every space.
Bestseller No. 4
Samsung HW-A450/ZA 2.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Audio (2021) , Black
2,261 Reviews
Samsung HW-A450/ZA 2.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Audio (2021) , Black
  • SUBWOOFER INCLUDED - Wireless subwoofer is included so you can enjoy deep bass right out of the box All-in-one
  • BASS BOOST - Give your bass an instant boost with the push of a button on the soundbar
  • ADAPTIVE SOUND LITE - Enhanced audio tracking for your content in real time, with technology that equalizes background music and consistent volume control
  • BLUETOOTH TV CONNECTION - Set up is a breeze. Easily connect your soundbar to your TV by connecting wirelessly
  • GAME MODE - Boost your gaming experience with perfectly synced directional audio that moves with the action on-screen and crosstalk cancellation that minimizes distractions
Bestseller No. 5
Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar | Works with 4K & HD TVs | Wireless Subwoofer | Includes...
13,153 Reviews
Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar | Works with 4K & HD TVs | Wireless Subwoofer | Includes...
  • A PREMIUM ULTRA-SLIM SOUND BAR WITH INCLUDED WIRELESS SUBWOOFER – 5 powerful full-range drivers deliver BEAUTFUL RICH SOUND WITH DEEP BASS. POLK’S EXCLUSIVE VOICE ADJUST TECHNOLOGY & Dolby Digital Decoding maximizes sound clarity & reduces voice delays
  • EXCELLENT SOUND AND VALUE on par with any mid- to high-range sound bars available in the market. At just over 2" tall, it fits most spaces — easily wall-mount it or place in front of your TV. It won’t block your TV’s bottom edge or IR remote sensor
  • UPGRADE YOUR HOME THEATER EXPERIENCE – Watch your favorite shows on your 4K HD Smart TV with exceptional picture quality & crystal clear sound. With numerous connection possibilities, plug in any audio source via HDMI ARC, optical input & AUX
  • WIRELESSLY STREAM MUSIC from your favorite streaming apps like Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, and others directly from your smartphone, tablet or other compatible device through the built-in Bluetooth technology
  • SET UP YOUR SOUND BAR IN MINUTES — With the included subwoofer, HDMI and optical cables quickly connect your TV to the sound bar. Get set up and listening in minutes
Bestseller No. 6
Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini Sound Bar with 6 Speakers and an 8" Wireless Subwoofer, 3D...
  • HEARD BUT NOT SEEN - Two inches tall, this modern and unobstructive sound bar remains out of sight until you hear the massive boom with its (4) 1" x 3" racetrack drivers (two front, two side) and (2) 1” tweeters that deliver dynamic and detailed audio
  • IMPACTFUL 3D SURROUND SOUND - True to its name, this slim, compact soundbar speaker fills your room with natural 3D surround sound, and hi-res audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, making every movie you watch, unforgettable
  • EXTRAORDINARY VISUALS - Get a cinematic experience on your 4K HD TV with HRD10 and Dolby Vision support for stunning, nuanced contrast and detailed imaging with brilliant colors and depth that bring your songs and movies to life
  • INCLUDED WIRELESS SUBWOOFER FOR DEEPER BASS - With striking looks, the 8” subwoofer may blend into your bedroom or living room, but its deep, rumbling bass grabs your attention in every corner of the room. The sound is big, powerful and heart-thumping
  • WIRELESS MUSIC STREAMING - Built-in HEOS lets you stream hi-res audio tracks from popular streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, TIDAL, or simply connect to music stored in your digital library for wireless listening
SaleBestseller No. 7
VIZIO V-Series 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with DTS:X, Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, Voice Assistant...
3,474 Reviews
VIZIO V-Series 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with DTS:X, Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, Voice Assistant...
  • New low-profile design Packed with performance and a sophisticated new low-profile design that slides beneath your TV for a clean look.
  • Powerful Full-Range Speakers 2 full-range speakers in the sound bar create brilliant clarity.
  • Optimized for 4K HDR content with Dolby Audio: Bring out the best audio performance from your 4K HDR content with Dolby Audio when connected through HDMI.
  • Loud and Clear The 96dB sound pressure level and 50Hz – 20kHz frequency range deliver dynamic and accurate Sound.
  • DTS Virtual:X: Enhances any content with room-filling, floor-to-ceiling virtualized 3D sound.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Klipsch Cinema 600 Sound Bar 3.1 Home Theater System with HDMI-ARC for Easy Set-Up, Black
  • 45 inches 3.1 Soundbar With 10 inches Wireless Subwoofer
  • Best-In-Class 600W Peak Power
  • HDMI-ARC: Single Cable, Single Remote Control
  • 5.1 Decoding for Virtualized Surround Sound
  • Powerful audio performance with deep, theater-like sub-bass and crisp high-end definition
Bestseller No. 9
Sony HT-S350 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer: S350 2.1ch Sound Bar and Powerful Subwoofer - Home...
4,933 Reviews
Sony HT-S350 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer: S350 2.1ch Sound Bar and Powerful Subwoofer - Home...
  • Ultimate Home Theater Upgrade: Sony 2.1 Channel Sound Bar System With Wireless Subwoofer for Optimized Audio
  • Audio Comes Alive:320W total power output brings content to life with incredible volume and clarity
  • Powerful Subwoofer: Large 6.30 Inches Speaker Unit and 6.16 Gallon Volume for a Deeper, Richer Bass Sound
  • S-Force Pro: Virtual Surround Sound Technology Emulates a Theater-Style Surround Sound Experience
  • 7 Sound Modes: Choose from Auto Sound, Cinema, Music, Game, News, Sports, and Standard Audio Mode
Bestseller No. 10
VIZIO M-Series 5.1.2 Home Theater Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • 11 High-Performance Speakers With separate tweeters and woofers, deliver fuller, clearer and more powerful sound.
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Cinematic, life-like 3D surround sound around and above you.
  • 2 Upfiring Speakers Reflect accurate overhead sound off the ceiling for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content.
  • Separate Tweeters and Woofers True 2-way speaker design delivers pristine clarity and a wider audio range.
  • 4K Dolby Vision HDR Pass Through 2 HDMI ports allow you to connect multiple devices to your TV through the sound bar at the highest video quality possible with 4K Dolby Vision HDR

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Last update on 2021-11-30

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