Can you add additional speakers to a soundbar?
- By: Ashley Saunders
- December 2021
A soundbar will vastly improve your TV’s sound in seconds. But after a while, you might want to expand your speaker set up. You might ask yourself: “Can you add additional speakers to a soundbar?“
You might want to use a subwoofer, rear speakers, or both, especially if you love watching movies and prefer listening to surround sound. Of course, you could mean using your TV speakers with your soundbar. However, we’d advise against doing this.
You have a few options that will allow you to connect your soundbar with other speakers. If you have recently purchased a soundbar, depending on the brand, it might work wirelessly with additional speakers. Many offer a subwoofer output, allowing you to connect an active sub.
So, Can you add additional speakers to a soundbar? Let’s explore this question!
Can I use my Soundbar with other speakers?
It’s possible to add further speakers to your soundbar and create an even richer sound. However, the steps you’ll need to follow will depend on several factors, including your soundbar make and model, the external speakers you’ll use, and your TV’s connections.
Some manufacturers have made it easy to use additional speakers with a soundbar. For example, the Samsung Q range of soundbars instantly works with wireless speakers. You can start with a soundbar, and later add a subwoofer and rear speakers.
Other brands make the process more complex. However, it’s possible to use additional speakers with a soundbar.
Should I rewire my soundbar to create an additional output?
Soundbars are typically self-contained as they consist of an amplifier and speakers. Most budget soundbars don’t offer an audio output, only a few different inputs. If you don’t have an audio output, you can’t directly connect other speakers to soundbars.
While it’s possible to rewire your soundbar and create a separate output, you’ll need some experience with electronics. Not to mention having the time to experiment. Of course, you’ll void any warranties by opening up your unit. So not ideal if you’ve spent hundreds on the best soundbar.
Can we use an audio splitter?
A far simpler option is to use an audio splitter. If you’re using a mini-jack cable between your TV and soundbar, you can buy a mini-jack splitter for a few pounds. You’ll also need two mini-jack cables to connect to your soundbar and speakers.
It’s more likely that you’re using an optical cable from your TV to your soundbar. You can use the same idea as above. Using an optical splitter and two optical cables, you can connect your TV to a soundbar and external speakers.
But won’t it sound weird?
Depending on what you’re using, the resulting sound could be a little weird as the two audio devices will sound different and might not complement each other.
If you’re adding a subwoofer to a soundbar, then you should be fine, albeit after some adjustment as each component handles a different frequency range.
Another option is to try and borrow some external speakers. You can then try using them with your soundbar and an audio splitter. Doing this will allow you to experiment before deciding to buy or not.
How can I transform my soundbar into a surround sound system?
There are still a few options for creating a 3d sound experience using a soundbar and additional speakers. You don’t need to conduct electronic experiments or use an audio splitter and live with poor sound!
Buy an extendable soundbar
Many of the leading manufacturers, including Sony, Samsung, Yamaha and SONOS, offer soundbars that you can add additional speakers on top. These systems use wireless technology and sound fantastic, are easy to install, and are highly affordable.
If you’re upgrading from a budget soundbar or the speakers in your TV, you’ll notice a massive change with one of these soundbars alone. As you add a subwoofer and rear speakers to the system, you’ll hear an even greater difference. Any content you watch will come alive!
Invest in a surround sound package
If you don’t fancy building a system over time but are still on a budget, consider buying a surround sound package such as the Sony HT-S20R (read our review). The package consists of a 3 channel soundbar, subwoofer and two rear speakers.
The only downside with these packages is that each speaker is connected using cables. So they take longer to set up and mean you have to hide cables under a rug. That said, they are a highly affordable option.
Buy a 5.1 AV receiver and speakers
If only the best will do, and you must have the complete surround sound experience in your living or media room, you’ll want to buy an AV receiver and a speaker set up.
There are affordable AV receivers available for both 5.1 systems and 7.2 systems. However, buying speakers and cables quickly adds up. And that’s before dealing with the hassle of installing and configuring such a system.
Don’t buy until you’ve checked the system specs
With all of the options we’ve covered above, you’ll want to check the specifications before buying to ensure they offer what you’re expecting the final result to be.
For example, you plan to buy a Yamaha soundbar now. You’ll add a subwoofer and rear speakers in the coming months. You’ll need to double-check before buying the Yamaha soundbar that it’s easily extendable. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy yet another soundbar.
Even if the manufacturer discontinues the subwoofer and rear speakers, you can likely buy them on eBay or Facebook marketplace, even if they are second hand.
Still, you need to be convinced that you can pair additional speakers with the soundbar and create your dream surround sound system.
So, can you add additional speakers to a soundbar?
If you’re thinking about using additional speakers with your soundbar, our best advice would be to upgrade to a soundbar with a subwoofer. You might find your soundbar has a sub output, making it painless to connect one.
However, if you still want a better sound, then upgrade to a soundbar that’s expandable or to a surround sound package such as the Sony HT-S20R.
If you have the budget, go the distance and invest in a 5.1 AV receiver and speaker set up. But be warned, they are costly and take a while to install and configure.
So, can you add additional speakers to a soundbar? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you should!