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 to 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 that 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:

3,418 Reviews
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 Channel 1000W Dolby Atmos/DTS:X 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
  • 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

Surround Sound

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:

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

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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

RCA and Aux Connections

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 soundbar 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:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Sony S100F 2.0ch Soundbar with Bass Reflex Speaker, Integrated Tweeter and Bluetooth, (HTS100F),...
  • Straight from the theater to your home: easy set-up, built-in tweeter, 2-ch speaker with simple Bluetooth connection
  • Deep sound with Bass Reflex speaker
  • High power with a slim design that matches any room and is perfect for small living spaces
  • Voice enhancement feature is great for TV content with hushed dialogue, or to make conference call participants easier to hear
  • Easy TV set up with HDMI ARC
Bestseller No. 2
1,957 Reviews
Sonos Playbar - The Mountable Sound Bar for TV, Movies, Music, and More - Black
  • The mountable soundbar for TV, movies, music, and more
  • Enjoy crisp dialogue and impressive bass from wall to wall with Playbar. Control it with the Sonos app, your remote, and more
  • Whether you mount it on the wall or place it below your TV on a stand or console, Playbar automatically tunes itself for the best possible sound
  • Playbar was specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to emphasize the sound of the human voice so you can always follow the story
  • Easily connect Sonos speakers in different rooms over WiFi to create a home sound system that brings every room and everyone together
Bestseller No. 3
1,174 Reviews
VIZIO 2.0 Home Theater Sound Bar with DTS Virtual:X, Bluetooth, Voice Assistant Compatible, Includes...
  • Ultra-Compact 2.0 Design Experience the performance of larger, more complex home theater systems in a simple, ultra-compact solution designed fit anywhere and blend seamlessly into any environment.
  • Bold Performance Experience rich, clear sound with up to 91dB of total SPL output for performance that belies 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.
SaleBestseller No. 4
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. 5
Larksound Sound Bar for TV, 35 Inch TV Speaker, Surround Sound System, TV Soundbar with...
  • Exclusively Soundbar for TV - 70W maximum output power. Powerful drivers deliver high-end acoustic sound effect with built-in reflex tubes for left and right channels, which greatly enhances the bass effect to bring sound to life for a fantastically dynamic audio experience
  • Multi Connection - Supports optical fiber, HDMI(ARC), AUX, and USB, compatible with TV, projector, computer, blu-ray player, tablet, XBOX, PS5, MP3 player, etc. (The package contains high-quality 4.92 ft HDMI(ARC) cable, 4.92 ft Optical cable, and 4.92 ft AUX cable)Multiple connections to play music freely
  • Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Connection - Bluetooth 5.0, more stable and faster transmission, and the latest technology greatly increases the transmission range up to 33 feet. Easily connect with most devices, such as iPhone, iPad, tablet, computer, TV, laptop, etc. Powerful anti-interference lossless transmission technology ensures perfect sound quality, enjoy music anytime, anywhere
  • Home Theater System - The exclusive left and right channel independent cavity design improves the separation of the left and right channels compared with the ordinary design, and sound field positioning is more excellent. Spacious and dynamic sound effects give you an immersive 3D surround experience
  • Easy to set Up - Soundbar: 35.4*2.36* 3.54 inch. The slim form factor of this soundbar allows it to subtly tuck under your TV. No matter it is placed flat on the table or mounted on any wall; it will not take up your precious space
Bestseller No. 6
10,917 Reviews
PHEANOO 2.1 Compact Sound Bars for TV with Subwoofer, HDMI ARC/Bluetooth 5.0/Optical/AUX/RCA...
  • Small Design, Big Sound: Only the size of a keyboard, the PHEANOO P15 sound bar offers louder, more powerful TV sounds with up to 107 dB of total SPL output and 140W maximum audio output. Significantly improve dialogue clarity and broaden your TV’s soundstage a lot. It can easily make an impactful change to your TV sound and film-watching experience.
  • Deep Bass with Dedicated Subwoofer: A dedicated subwoofer delivers punchy, rich bass to get a more engaging and immersive listening experience in movies, music, and games. Undoubtedly, the dedicated subwoofer cavity space is big enough to reproduce deeper, richer bass than most systems with a built-in subwoofer. We also developed a subwoofer extension cable (sold separately), which you can use to make the subwoofer placement more flexible.
  • Set Up with Multiple Options: The HDMI ARC connection allows you to control the volume on the soundbar with the TV remote control, and the Optical and RCA connections ensure compatibility with all the older TV models. There’s also a 3.5 mm AUX input for connecting external devices.
  • Professionally Tuned EQ Modes: To suit different audio needs, the PHEANOO P15 features a variety of preset EQ modes including Dialogue, Movie, and Music creating suitable individual sound curves matched to the content type to boost the sound quality and enhance your viewing experience.
  • Wireless Streaming with Bluetooth: Easily stream all your favorite music, podcasts, or audiobooks from your smartphone, tablet, or any smart device via Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity to the TV soundbar.
SaleBestseller No. 7
255 Reviews
SAMSUNG HW-B450 2.1ch Soundbar w/Dolby Audio, Subwoofer Included, Bass Boosted, Wireless Bluetooth...
  • SUBWOOFER INCLUDED: Experience the intensity of action movies or the excitement of sports with the rich, powerful bass coming from the included subwoofer*
  • BASS BOOST: Feel the rumble of distant thunder as your listening experience is taken to another level; Give your bass an instant boost with the push of a button
  • BLUETOOTH TV CONNECTION: Set up is a breeze; Easily connect your soundbar to your TV wirelessly**
  • ADAPTIVE SOUND LITE: Enjoy dynamically optimized audio with enhanced voice clarity so you can follow along with action-packed games and blockbuster films
  • GAME MODE: Game Mode optimizes your gaming experience with synced, directional audio that moves with the onscreen action***
SaleBestseller No. 8
3,859 Reviews
TCL Alto 6+ 2.1 Channel Dolby Audio Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth – TS6110, 240W,...
  • DOLBY DIGITAL: Dolby Digital decoding maximizes sound clarity and creates incredible room-filling virtual surround sound.
  • DEEP BASS WITH WIRELESS SUBWOOFER: Experience deep, rich bass to make movies and music truly come to life.
  • STREAM MUSIC WIRELESSLY: You can use your Bluetooth-enabled device to wirelessly stream music on your sound bar.
  • SPECIALIZED SOUND MODES: Specialized sound modes bring Movies, Music, and News to life.
  • QUICK AND HASSLE-FREE SETUP: With HDMI, optical, or Bluetooth connections, you can go from unboxing to listening in minutes.
SaleBestseller No. 9
3,998 Reviews
Hisense HS214 2.1ch Sound Bar with Built-in Subwoofer, 108W, All-in-one Compact Design with Wireless...
  • Enjoy Better Tv Sound: Easy to place and connect to your television, the Hisense H214 is an All-In-One soundbar that improves your TV sound experience and is perfect for TV’s 32” or larger. Instead of just hearing the scene, you’re transported into it.
  • Built-in Subwoofer: A built-in subwoofer delivers excellent bass for a full-bodied audio experience. You’ll feel the “boom” while the two front-facing speakers project bright, clear high- and mid-range frequencies.
  • Roku TV Ready: As Roku TV Ready device, the Hisense HS214 All-in-one Soundbar is fully compatible with any Roku Tv through the HDMI (ARC) connection. You can even use the Roku Tv remote to control both the Tv and soundbar for easier setup and better navigation experience.
  • Easy Connectivity: With HDMI (ARC), the Hisense HS214 can connect to your TV through a single HDMI cable (included), connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to smart device, and control both with one remote. You’ll be enjoying better TV sound in minutes.
  • Simple, Compact Design: The compact and elegant all-in-one design with built-in subwoofer will easily fit your living room, bedroom, or family room space. You won’t need to find a space for a big sub and still get big sound.
Bestseller No. 10
VIZIO V-Series 2.1 Channel Soundbar System with 5-inch Wireless Subwoofer - Black (Renewed)
  • Turn your living room into a captivating home theater. DTS Virtual:X sound enhancement adds room-filling, floor-to-ceiling virtualized 3D sound.
  • 3 full-range speakers in the sound-bar create brilliant clarity. Place the 5" wireless subwoofer anywhere in the room to add deep booming bass.
  • With HDMI cable, use the highest-quality audio available and allows you to control the soundbar with your TV remote.
  • Connect Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant devices. Pair with any device via Bluetooth.
  • US Warranty. Package Includes: SoundBar, Subwoofer, HDMI Cable, Digital Optical Cable, 3.5mm to 3.5mm, Stereo RCA to 3.5mm, Power Cable, Subwoofer Power Cable, Remote Control, User Manual, Wall Mounting Screws, Wall Mounting Template.

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Last update on 2022-09-16

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