Vizio soundbars are meant to provide a higher quality sound than your TV is equipped to handle, such as surround sound. It’s a common feature of home theaters, one that can seriously enhance your viewing experience. Of course, before you can take advantage of its higher sound fidelity, you need to set it up.

However, not every Vizio soundbar is created equally. Every model comes with a different type of audio connection, such as RCA cables—which are red and white cables—or a SPDIF cable, otherwise known as a ‘toslink fiber optic’ cable. A SPDIF cable is typically colored black and is a single cable.

Regardless of the cable your soundbar is equipped with, both are super easy to get set up.

Connecting a Vizio Soundbar with RCA Cables

For those of you who own a Vizio soundbar with a red and white cable, you have a model that channels sound by way of analog. Just about any TV on the planet supports an analog connection, indicated by the red and white connector labeled ‘Audio Out.’

Here’s what you do:

1. Start by inserting the RCA cables into the Audio Out port on both your soundbar and TV. The red RCA cable goes into the red port, and the white goes into the white port. You typically find them next to each other. Afterwards, turn on the Vizio soundbar.

2. With your soundbar remote, tap the Input or Source button and cycle through the different sources until you arrive at AUX or Analog.

3. With your TV remote, press the menu button to access the TV settings. While in the TV menu, pick Audio.

4. In the Audio menu, highlight TV Speakers and turn them Off. Having both a soundbar enabled and the TV speakers will create an echo effect. You want to avoid that.

5. Now highlight Analog Audio Out and switch it to Fixed or Variable. If you pick Fixed, the soundbar will control the volume. If you pick Variable, adjusting the TV volume will adjust the soundbar volume.

Connecting a Vizio Soundbar with SPDIF Cable

For those of you who own a Vizio soundbar with a single, black fiber optic cable, you have a model that supports surround sound, provided your TV has one. Look in the back for a black connector, usually covered by a door. If you can’t find one, check for the ‘Optical’ label.

This is how it works:

1. Inspect the ends of the optic cable. Check that the ends do not have plastic tips. If so, remove them. The plastic tips are there to protect the cable and do NOT go into your TV or soundbar.

2. Now that the rubber covers are removed, insert the SPDIF cable into the Optic ports or both your Vizio soundbar and TV. The Optic port is keyed so the cable only goes in one way, and when it does, it’s a snug fit. Afterwards, turn on your Vizio soundbar.

3. On your soundbar remote, press the Input or Source button and cycle through the sources until you land on Optical, SPDIF or Toslink.

4. Now, press the menu button on the TV remote to access your TV settings. In the TV menu, choose Audio.

5. Highlight TV Speakers and turn them Off. Yes, Off. If you leave the soundbar on and the TV speakers on, it will create an echo effect.

6. Now go down to Digital Audio Out and switch it over to Bitstream or Dolby Digital.

Bottom Line

As you can see, no matter what type of cable your Vizio soundbar is equipped with, it’s a very straightforward process. Plug in a few cables here, press a button there, and before you know it you’re enjoying enhanced sounds. Enjoy the movie!