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?

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

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:

SaleBestseller No. 1
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. 2
SAMSUNG HW-T650 3.1Ch Soundbar with 3D Surround Sound (2020)
  • 3D SURROUND SOUND - Sound that wraps around you The captivating experience of DTS Virtual X turns your living room into a theater Powerful 3D surround sound comes to life by recreating sound that makes you feel like you're inside the scene
  • BUILT-IN CENTER SPEAKER - Center channel for clear dialogue Never miss a word Experience crystal clear dialogue with a dedicated center channel speaker
  • MULTI-CONNECTION - Connect listen, enjoy Bluetooth multi connection Connect two different smart devices at the same time, so you can seamlessly switch between devices, Bluetooth TV connection Connect via Bluetooth and enjoy your favorite content without unsightly cables HDMI Connect your your devices via HDMI for a rich audio experience
  • POWERFUL BASS - Deep rich bass Feel the action and the beat of the music with the rich bass from the wireless subwoofer
  • ONE REMOTE CONTROL - A world of sound with one remote One remote is all you need Control key soundbar functions like power, volume and even sound effects with the Samsung TV remote — right from your TV
Bestseller No. 3
SAMSUNG HW-T60M 3.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Atmos (2020), Black
  • DOLBY AUDIO AND DTS DIGITAL SURROUND SOUND: The captivating experience of Dolby Audio and DTS turns your living room into a theater. Feel like you’re part of the scene with sharp, realistic sound so you hear it exactly as it is meant to be heard.
  • CENTER CHANNEL SPEAKER: Never miss a word with a center speaker dedicated to delivering crystal-clear dialogue
  • BLUETOOTH MULTI-CONNECTION: Both you and a friend can stream your playlists directly to your soundbar, conveniently switching between the two phones without disconnecting.
  • POWERFUL BASS: Feel the action and the beat of the music with the rich bass from the wireless subwoofer.
  • SAMSUNG ONE REMOTE: Control both your Samsung TV and soundbar with the Samsung OneRemote.1
Bestseller No. 4
Majority Teton 32 Inch 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar/TV Soundbar Speaker with Built-in Subwoofer...
  • Slim, low profile 32 inch black Soundbar for TV: The Majority Teton fits easily under any TV monitor, desktop monitor or you can simply pop it on a shelf out of the way - the Teton makes the ideal addition to any home theater system.
  • Bluetooth, HDMI ARC, Optical, RA, 3.5mm aux/headphone jack & USB input: Connect via Bluetooth to play wireless audio from any Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones and MP3 players. Use the HDMI ARC input with any ARC compatible monitor or TV for easy control of the soundbar and your TV at the same time. Alternative connections include RCA and Optical. The Teton also includes a USB input enabling you to play audio from a USB stick. (HDMI, RCA, and Optical cable all included in the box).
  • Built-in subwoofer, with remote control included: The Majority Teton is a 2.1 soundbar system meaning it is designed with a built-in subwoofer in addition to the 2 speaker drivers for a high definition, powerful surround sound effect. Simple remote control included that allows easy control of volume, mode and treble/bass settings.
  • 32 inch * Remote control included * HDMI, RCA, Optical cables included * USB, HDMI ARC, RCA, Optical & 3.5mm/Aux jack * Bluetooth 5.0 * Built-in Subwoofer * 2.1 Channel Soundbar * Surround Sound effect * HDMI ARC Compatible *
  • In the Box: Majority Teton Soundbar, Remote control, 3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio cable, RCA Stereo audio cable, HDMI cable, Optical cable, Power adapter, Instructions Guide
Bestseller No. 5
Yamaha ATS-2090 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-in...
  • Easy setup with HDMI or Optical cable and automatic subwoofer connection
  • Wireless subwoofer for deep bass and flexible placement. Center unit - 36-5/8 x 2-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches, Subwoofer - 7-1/2 x 16-1/2 x 16 inches
  • Clear voice for enhanced dialogue clarity
  • With Alexa, playing music is as simple as asking for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon music and more
  • DTS Virtual: X virtual 3D surround sound
SaleBestseller No. 6
Roku Smart Soundbar, 4K/HD/HDR Streaming Media Player & Exceptional Audio Includes Roku Voice Remote
  • Watch what you love: Upgrade your streaming with a massive selection of free, live, and premium TV, including Roku Originals and 150 plus free Live TV channels on The Roku Channel
  • Powerful 4K streaming: Stream what you love with the built-in Roku player, including free TV, live news, sports, movies, and more from thousands of channels. Plus enjoy HD, 4K, or HDR picture optimized for your TV with sharp resolution and vivid color
  • Premium sound: Enjoy a cinematic experience with expanded frequency range and dynamic bass from 4 full-range soundbar speakers. Calibrated for full, rich sound, you’ll hear your favorite TV in seamless sync with your video stream
  • Live TV without cable: Never miss the most talked-about events, award-winning shows, and latest blockbuster hits. It’s easy to stream what you love and cut back on cable bills
  • Elevate your music: From pulsing rock to symphonies that surround you, enjoy your music in vibrant, studio-quality sound. Simply tune in to your favorite music channels or stream via Bluetooth
Bestseller No. 7
50W Sound Bar, VILINICE 16-Inch Soundbars for TV, 3 EQ Modes, Small Soundbar with Wireless Bluetooth...
  • 【Powerful Mini Soundbar】This TV speakers built-in 50-watt output power, which can provide clear treble and heavy bass. Upgrade your audio system now with VILINICE sound bar to enjoy an incredible home theater experience.
  • 【Built-in DSP & 3 EQ modes】VILINICE small soundbar built-in DSP technology, advanced full-range, high-sensitivity tweeter drivers make the sound field positioning more accurate and the vocals clearer. You can fine adjust your sound bar with 3 different equalizer modes (Music, News, Movie) via the remote control to match your favorite sound.
  • 【Wireless & Wired Connections】 Surround Sound TV Speaker support Bluetooth 5.0 that can realize the fast connection between smartphone and bluetooth sound bar, efficient and stable transmission, and strong anti-interference. In addition, you can easily connect these devices (mobile phones, laptops, TVs, computers, projectors, USB Disk, set-top boxes, etc.) through AUX/RCA, optical fiber, USB multiple wired connection methods.
  • 【Compact & Stylish Design】This small home audio sound bar with a slim and sleek design that will add a modern & high-tech touch to your home. No matter it is placed next to a TV and computer or mounted on any wall. It saves space to the greatest extent while providing you with the most original and pleasant sound.
  • 【Perfect Gift & Friendly Service】If you have any problems about TV sound bar, you can contact us by email. We will try our best to solve your issue, make you 100% satisfied, and provide lifetime technical support.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Soundbar, BESTISAN TV Sound Bar with Dual Bass Ports Wired and Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Home Theater...
  • Room-filling sound: powerful speakers deliver a round, high-end audio experience for bed room and apartment.
  • Enhanced Bass: 3 inches full range drivers and dual bass ports that bring the richer and deeper bass, boost a loud sound that fills the room without distortion.
  • Multiple wireless and wired connections: easily connect to the sound bar via Bluetooth 5.0 or standard audio cable Connection, RCA, and optical input
  • 3 different equalizer modes: fine tune your sound bar with 3 distinct equalizer modes (Movie, Music, Dialogue) via the remote control to match your favorite sound
  • Multiple Setups, Multiple Options: sits flat below the TV screen or securely mounts on the wall for a sleek, elegant home theater setup. Not able to programed to other devices remote or universal remote.
Bestseller No. 9
Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar Works with 4K and 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. 10
Sony ST5000 7.1.2ch 800W Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer (HT-ST5000), Surround Sound...
  • Experience Dolby Atmos in a 7.1.2ch, 800W sound bar
  • Maintain quality from source to screen with 4K HDR support and HDCP 2.2
  • Enjoy the rich, detail of Hi-Res Audio in a stylish design
  • Google Home compatibility and wireless multi-room listening
  • Receiver-like connectivity with 3 HDMI inputs, HDMI ARC and more

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Last update on 2021-06-21

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