No one watches silent movies anymore. If they want to watch films or television shows, then it is imperative that sound coincides with the moving pictures. Even when projecting video using a digital home projector, you naturally want sound synched up with the action for a truly cinematic experience. How to connect audio devices as SoundBar Speaker, Bluetooth speaker to Projector? Long story short, get the right audio connection device to allow a link between projector and speaker.
Take note though that certain projectors cannot connect to a Bluetooth speaker because they lack Bluetooth themselves. Just keep in mind that you have the option to use the sound coming from your notebook PC or HDTV in case you can’t get sound from your projector.
The Ins and Outs of Connecting Audio Devices to Your Projector
Many modern 21st Century projectors released in the late 2010s till the 2020s have an audio option and built-in speakers to allow you more flexibility when it comes to getting sound from your projected video, movie, or TV show. You can have the sound come out from both your projector speaker and through your HDTV that’s connected to a cable box or BD player.
At any rate, here are the different ways you can connect your projector to different audio devices. It varies from device to device and brand to brand, but they give you a general idea of how it’s supposed to go regardless.
- Connecting Projector to Stereo Speakers: This is fairly straightforward. Some speakers are linked to each other while other speakers have individual left and right audio connectors that require you to split the audio jack or coaxial cable between them. Most work with one audio port.
- Just Plug It in: For most modern projectors with built-in speakers, you simply need to get a projector with a 3.5 mm, composite/component audio, or a TOSLINK cable in order to connect your projector to stereo speakers.
- Mandatory Speaker Connection: If your media source device doesn’t have speakers of its own (for example, you’re using the Amazon Fire TV Stick instead of an HDTV with a cable box or a PC with its own speakers), stereo speakers are a must.
- Connecting Projector to Soundbar Amplifier: A soundbar is literally a speaker shaped like a bar providing you sound. They’re usually sold as soundbar amps or amplifiers to enhance the sound coming from built-in speakers from a projector or HDTV.
- Amp versus Speaker: As opposed to a speaker or headphones, an amplifier doesn’t “mute” the speaker of your projector, HDTV, and/or PC so that the sole sound comes from them. It instead enhances or amplifies the sound by keeping both the soundbar and the original speakers turned on.
- Same Rules Apply: A soundbar works essentially the same as a left and right stereo speaker, but with fewer plugs. Just use the available ports and cable connectors your stereo speakers and projector have to make that audio connection. Otherwise, don’t connect them. It covers connections ranging from 3.5 mm (phone jack) to HDMI.
- Connecting Projector to AV Receiver: An AV or A/V receiver (also known as AVR) is an electronics component used in home theaters. It’s supposed to receive video and audio signals from multiple sources in order to process them and amplify their sound to drive loudspeakers while routing the video signals to display on devices like HDTVs, PC monitors, or projectors.
- Turn Off, Connect, and Turn On: Turn off both devices first. Plug the audio cables into the sound port or “Audio Out” on your projector. Insert the audio cables’ other connectors into the “Aux-In” port on the rear end of the AVR. Now you can turn on both devices.
- Press The Source Button: The AVR has a “Source” button. Press it until the “Aux” word appears on the control panel. If you hear a sound or alert from the projector come through to the AVR then you know you’ve done this step properly.
- Connecting Projector to Bluetooth Speaker: Like with your PC, tablet, smartphone, this option only applies if your projector is a smart projector that offers Bluetooth connectivity along with Wi-Fi connectivity. Otherwise, you won’t be able to link your Bluetooth speaker to the projector. Instead, you can only use it if you’re using a PC with Bluetooth.
- Turn on Bluetooth on Both: First, make sure no other Bluetooth devices are present. Turn on your Bluetooth speakers. Afterward, go to the settings of your projector in order to turn its Bluetooth on. It should automatically detect the speakers within its vicinity. Select the speaker then connect to it.
- Power Cycling to Troubleshoot: If your projector fails to connect to the Bluetooth speaker, you can turn off and on the Bluetooth and/or turn on and off the speaker in order to reset and induce detection. A confirmation sound should tell you it’s connected or not, like in the case of Raycon E25 Bluetooth earbuds.
- Connecting Projector to a Home Theater Sound System: It’s a bit more complex to hook up a whole home theater sound system compared to simply putting up the left and right speakers for stereo sound or a single soundbar or Bluetooth speaker for mono sound. You can use an AVR or something similar to reroute video and audio signals to their proper channels while connecting to different splitters, switches, or matrix switches.
- Splitter, Switch, and Matrix Switch: A splitter splits the connection of one media source device between two display devices or one display device and one audio device if it’s HDMI. A switch allows you to increase the number of media source devices you can connect to a projector or HDTV. A matrix switch is a combination of both for more complex home entertainment connections.
- AVR versus Switches and Splitters: An AVR can serve as an audio matrix switcher of its own since it splits the video signal to the display devices and the sound signal to the speakers, stereos, or whole sound system. It can serve as part of a matrix switcher set up to make it easier to link audio to your speakers.
- Wired versus Wireless Audio Connections: When connecting wirelessly, you’ll mostly use the 3.5 mm headphone port to connect speakers to the port of the video device or the projector itself. You can also connect audio wirelessly not only via Bluetooth but also through your Wi-Fi network along with your video signal through apps or features found on a smart projector.
- Bypass or Splitter: If you have a vintage soundless projector with a VGA port and cable, then use the source media (an HDTV or PC) to connect with your speakers. You also have the option to split the HDMI signal from your source media to video and audio feeds via converter or HDMI splitter.
- Miracast, Chromecast, Airplay, or Wireless Casting: You can wirelessly split the audio and video signal by using Miracast, Chromecast, Airplay (via Apple TV), and similar to connect the video to your smart projector while using a separate Bluetooth speaker to connect the audio. Just beware of sound syncing issues and latency
Projector Audio Connection Types
The possible audio connection standards and interfaces available when adding external audio devices to your projector include the following.
- 3.5 mm: Patented back in 1884, the phone jack format is the most likely method you’ll use to connect your speakers to your projector or through the media source device, whichever port is available. It’s mostly used to connect headphones to laptops but can also link music players, smartphones, and projectors to stereos, AVRs, and sound systems.
- Composite or Component Audio: Both the composite and component video (YPbPr) standards include stereo audio, with one plug for the left speaker and the other for the right speaker. It’s typically a red and white connector L and R respectively. It creates better sound fidelity compared to mono sound for one speaker
- Optical or TOSLINK: Before there was HDMI there were TOSLINK or optical cables. The TOSLINK standard uses an optical cable to deliver high-quality digital audio streams outdone only by the 2-in-1 A/V HDMI cable. It can deliver sound from your DVD and CD players, PCs, game consoles, and DAT recorders to an AVR for decoding to two channels of compressed surround sound or uncompressed PCM.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth technology that allows for wireless audio transmission wasn’t just a boon for the smartphone industry but also for the home projector market as well. This wireless standard is available on phones, laptops, and PCs, allowing you to connect two Bluetooth-compliant devices together. You can amplify or replace your built-in projector speaker with the much louder and clearer Bluetooth speaker that can connect to any unit with Bluetooth included with it
When it comes to connecting external audio devices to a projector to improve audio quality, keep in mind that like with your HDTV and PC, the possible devices you can hook up to your projector ultimately depend on the ports available on the unit. Regardless, different external audio devices require different connections and methods of connection depending on their ports and the ports available on your projector of choice. Some even allow wireless connection depending on whether it’s a “smart” projector or not (that is, if it can connect to Wi-Fi and download apps or not).
- “How do I connect external speakers to my projector to improve the audio quality if my projector does not have an Audio Out port?“, Epson.com, Jan 18, 2019
- “Phone Connector (Audio)“, Wikipedia, Retrieved July 1, 2020
- “Composite Audio“, Wikipedia, Retrieved July 1, 2020
- “Optical Audio“, Wikipedia, Retrieved July 1, 2020
- “Bluetooth“, Wikipedia, Retrieved July 1, 2020