Who would love to watch movies or provide presentations without audio? Probably no one. Speaker is an integral part of a projector setup as it immerses the user at the moment. Many projectors nowadays come inbuilt with speakers, but you can’t expect a great audio experience from them.
Using an external speaker is the only way to have a terrific audio output while you watch your favorite movie or provide an essential presentation to your clients. But how to connect speakers to the projector? Well, every projector audio has its own input and output setup. In general, a projector either needs 3.5mm input or Bluetooth connectivity, and they will smoothly play the incoming audio signal.
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Different Types of Connectivity
When it comes to how to hook up a speaker to the projector, you will find various port options ranging from 3.5mm stereo, RCA connector to Optical/TOSLINK. The stereo jack is probably the most common audio connector that has been dominating the market for decades, and it comes with a single head that fits easily into any projector. Not only speakers, but you can also connect any headphones as most of them come with the same stereo connectivity.
RCA connectors, on the other hand, are not as popular as the 3.5mm jack, but there are many projectors that offer support for this jack even projectors under $200. Unlike the 3.5mm jack, each speaker comes with an RCA cable that needs to be connected to the projector. However, nowadays, only a few standard projectors and specialized models come with RCA connectors. While using the RCA connector for audio, you might also need to use the RCA video input for video transmission.
Some high-end projectors also come with a TOSLINK/Optical jack that comes really handy when you want to hook up a surround speaker system or soundbar. It is an uncommon connectivity option for speakers but offers a better audio quality than RCA and 3.5mm connectivity. The audio transmission rate is also high, and none of the data is lost during the transmission. Optical connectivity is not widely used, and you will hardly see users using them unless they are pretty particular about their audio output.
Bluetooth connectivity is currently a popular choice for hooking projector speaker setup. Nowadays, many people opt for Bluetooth compatible speakers as it allows them to go wireless and set up the speaker wherever they want. However, not all projectors come with a Bluetooth facility, but you can use a Bluetooth adapter to utilize a Bluetooth-compatible speaker. The audio quality of Bluetooth speaker output differs from model to model, and generally, they offer immersive audio. But some users believe that the audio of Bluetooth is lower than optical or 3.5mm stereo, which is valid to some extent.
USB for projector and speaker connection is gradually becoming popular among users as many speakers and soundbars are coming with USB facilities. However, the number of options available in the market is relatively low.
Connecting Stereo Speaker
Stereo speakers are probably the most common option that many people prefer when they want to have a speaker for a projector. In general, a 3.5mm audio cable serves as the common medium of connecting both devices. However, you can’t connect a speaker that requires an amplifier or A/V receiver for audio setup.
For the RCA connection, you will have two separate cables for hooking it to the projector. If your speaker has an RCA jack, but your projector only supports a 3.5mm jack, then you will have to use a splitter to create the connection.
To connect the speaker, first, you need to place the speaker close to the projector as RCA or stereo speakers aren’t that long. Then hook one end of the RCA or 3.5mm cable at the back of the speaker (some speakers come attached with audio cable). Then connect the other end of the audio cable to the output port located in the back of the projector.
Once you have connected, switch on both the devices and adjust the volume of your projector. You will then be ready to enjoy an immersive audio experience from your speaker. Remember, some stereo doesn’t need external power, so you just have to connect them to the projector.
When it comes to hooking a soundbar to the projector, it might seem not accessible to some, but in reality, they are pretty too straightforward to set up for projector audio. The process is similar to that of the stereo speaker but with some extra cables. Most of the soundbar comes with 3.5mm and RCA audio cable for the projector.
But some high-end soundbars also come with the option Optical/TOSLINK connectivity as they offer better audio quality and transmission rate. You should check for compatibility before getting the soundbar, as you should only go for that port. However, you will always have the option to utilize the HDMI port for getting the projector with sound.
The process of connecting the soundbar to the projector is pretty simple, but the method depends upon the connection type you are using. Always position the soundbar in the center of the projector set up for a room-filling experience and also hassle-free connectivity. Now connect the Optical or stereo cable to the designated port in your soundbar. Keep both the devices switched off and unplugged from the power sources.
Hook another end of the audio cable to the projector and make sure they are correctly inserted. Then simultaneously switch them on and crank up the volume of the projector. You will get superb audio for all your movies, music, and games.
Check out our detailed guide on how to connect soundbar to projector.
Connecting Bluetooth Speaker
If your projector comes with Bluetooth connectivity, then you get rid of the hassle of wires and enjoy wireless audio streaming. You need to have a projector with a Bluetooth facility; otherwise, you will need to install a Bluetooth adapter separately. Generally, these adapters get attached to the HDMI or USB port of your projector for seamless audio transmission. The audio quality is usually inferior when you compare it to wired speakers, but some high-end Bluetooth speakers deliver terrific sound with a wide frequency coverage.
In the beginning, you should correctly place the Bluetooth speaker so that it produces a proper soundstage. Moreover, it would be best if you didn’t put it near other electronic and wireless devices because they cause interference in the audio transmission. Once you have placed the speaker, turn on both the devices and keep the Bluetooth in the discoverable mode in the speaker.
Now, you have to go to the Bluetooth settings of your projector and switch on the Bluetooth facility. When you switch on Bluetooth, you will find the speaker name from the search and tap on it. When both the system pairs up, the projector speaker system will be complete, and you will be able to hear audio from the speaker. Some speakers might require code for pairing up, so you should check the manual before beginning projector audio out speaker setup.
Connecting AV Receiver
Connecting AV receivers gets slightly tricky as there is no single to single way for setting up the audio cable for the projector. Some people prefer connecting all the audio and video cables to the receiver, while some prefer only hooking the audio cable.
We will discuss how you can connect the projector to the speaker via the AV receiver. You need to connect the speaker to the receiver using the specified cable. Then connect the video source to the receiver using the HDMI. Once you have plugged it, now take another HDMI cable and connect the receiver to the projector. Finally, select the appropriate source in the receiver, and you will be ready to enjoy your favorite movie on the big screen.
There are numerous ways to connect a projector to the speaker and through this article we have tried to provide you information regarding all the popular ones. We have highlighted all the essential processes regarding how you can connect the speaker to the projector. We have even covered A/V receivers which are rarely used by users.
My name is Henry Larson and I have been associated with research and development of projectors throughout my professional career. I used all my experience and expertise to create this blog so that I can guide people to get the best projector of their choice. For any further assistance, you can get in touch with me through email or comments.