January 4, 2018

Will a Sonos Playbar Work with any TV?

If you got a new TV for Christmas, or maybe you have an older television set, you may be wondering if a Sonos Playbar will work with it.  Well chances are good that it will.  Luckily, all a Playbar needs is a digital optical audio output jack, which is pretty common in all TV sets in 2018.  The Playbar even with the optical cable, so you don’t need to purchase any additional cabling to make it work.  Set up is extremely quick and easy, and you don’t need any special tools, equipment or special skills.  Sonos makes their speakers so that they are very user friendly to install and program.

Optical Audio Output Jacks Have Been Common for Years

Whether your television set is 10 years old or brand new, odds are that it comes with the optical audio output jack included.  They have been common on most every television set for over a decade, so chances are very good you have everything you need.

To make sure, you can always consult with your TV set manual.  Don’t worry if you don’t have it or threw it out, a quick search online can find almost any user manual for a modern TV (and many old ones too).  We also carry many user manuals right here on this site.

What A Digital Optical Audio Output Jack Looks Like

An audio output jack looks like this:

And it is also called S/PDIF optical or TOSLINK, because it was actually introduced by Toshiba back in 1983.

Even though it has largely been replaced by HDMI in many cases, it is actually a very useful cord because it uses fiber optics.  This translates to very high quality sound transmission, and that is why Sonos uses it for the Playbar.

What if Your TV Doesn’t have an Optical Jack?

Well if your television set does not have an optical audio output, you may not be able to use the Playbar.  Unlike other Sonos speakers that can work solely on WiFi, Sonos does not let the Playbar work solely on WiFi or Bluetooth, it must be plugged in to the television set.  Some companies do make adapters, which you can try.  Remember that Sonos gives a long money back guarantee, so if you are not able to get your speaker working you can always return it.  Remember that odds are good that you will have the appropriate output.

Is it Easy to Set Up?

Yes, all you need to do is plug it in.  One end of the cord goes into the speaker, and the other goes into the television set.  All you need to do is plug in the power cord, and you are ready to go. Here is a good video showing you how to get your speaker installed into your television set:

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?

Not really.  Your Playbar can support sounds from devices such as a cable box, Roku, Blu Ray Player, or Apple TV.  Also keep in mind that it can be controlled with almost any remote, such as the ones that come with your TV, so no special remote is required.  You will want to download the Sonos controller App on your phone or Ipad after you plug in your speaker.  Especially if you have more than one speaker, this will help you program them.  You also will be able to play music from your Playbar and use it for streaming radio or a speaker for your music library.