Does HDMI Carry Audio?

Does HDMI Carry Audio?

Wondering if your HDMI cable will be able to carry Audio?

There’s no secret that HDMI cables are widely being used to connect varying digital devices in our homes and the office. However, very few understand how far we have come from when Coaxial cables and RCA cables used to be the only way to connect devices to media sources. And, so does the old habits which often raise questions around the workings of HDMI. Does HDMI carry Audio?

HDMI cables do carry both Audio and Video using a single cable. Apart from the obvious key benefit of HDMI cables, they can transport a significantly high bandwidth of data , whether its compressed or uncompressed Video, Audio and now 3D and Ethernet using a single cable.

 For the average consumer, this is unreal, possibly making the idea of embracing HDMI cables over Coaxial or RCA cables to be huge ask for a change. But I can assure you that since HDMI burst onto the scene, connecting digital devices from an audio source to an output device like a soundbar or smart tv has never been so easy and simplified than using a single cable than multiple coaxial and RCA cables that had to be color-coded. Even better, with an HDMI cable, you can enable an HDMI ARC for HD sound and picture quality.

While HDMI’s ability to connect TV and AVRs or cable box with just one connection cable certainly makes setting up a home entertainment system less daunting, many of you have been left wondering if your HDMI cable will carry both Audio and Video altogether.

So, what has really changed since HDMI cables burst onto the scene? 

Since HDMI came to the market as the must-have cable from Coaxial and RCA cables, the main change is how HDMI can transmit digital Video and digital audio signals between devices using a single HDMI cable. 

Any digital device with an HDMI audio/video port connects to an HDMI media source port and terminates into an HDMI output media port like TV or Soundbar to deliver seamless quality audio and video files. 

HDMI is commonly known for transmitting h video signals. However, it can also carry audio signals. HDMI carries audio signals using the same cable that the video signals are transferred through. Therefore, this eliminates the need for you to have so many cables for audio signals and video signals.

HDMI is a very common choice when it comes to transmitting audio as well as video signals. It has a lot of good features and advantages over other ways such as coaxial, digital optical, and RCA. HDMI works on devices that have an HDMI connection. The resolution offered by this kind of connection is very good. 

HDMI is capable of supporting a wide range of formats. Some of the formats supported by HDMI are Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution, Dolby digital plus, Dolby atmos, LPCM, DTS Express, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DVD-A and more. 

HDMI can transmit almost all types of video signals. It is capable of transmitting Ultra HD 4K videos resolution. There are so many versions of HDMI. Some of the most common versions include HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1. HDMI version 2.1 is can support 4K/120P as well as 8K/60P resolutions. The older versions of HDMI do not have similar functionalities with the new versions, as these new versions support upgraded features.  

What is HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)

HDMI ARC has been available since HDMI 1.4. This makes it possible for the device to send data in two different directions. It allows the source device to send audio and video. It also allows audio to be sent back to the source device. 

This also helps to eliminate the trouble of using a lot of cables between the devices. 

In a normal HDMI connection, you can send data from an audio device to a display device. You can send your audio and video signals from your Blu-ray player to your TV using the HDMI cable. 

When using an HDMI ARC connection, the Television can also send back audio to your Blu-ray player using the same HDMI cable. This becomes very helpful when you are using a soundbar or an AV receiver. 

Hence, your audio receiver can easily send video signals to your display device while receiving audio signals from the TV/display device using the same cable. Therefore, it will be able to play this audio over your sound system.

HDMI ARC becomes very useful especially when your television has some built-in applications such as amazon prime or Netflix. With the HDMI ARC, you will be able to play audio from Netflix, amazon prime and other apps on your sound system through the same cable.

Most soundbars are equipped with HDMI ARC features. This gives your soundbar the capacity to receive audio signals from the TV.

HDM ARC also supports a lot of audio formats including stereo PCM, 5.1 Dolby digital, DTS and Dolby digital plus. HDMI ARC will support Dolby atmos as long as it has been encoded using a Dolby digital plus signal.

What is HDMI eARC?

eARC stands for enhanced Audio return channel. This is simply the improved version of ARC. HDMI eARC has been around since HDMI 2.1 was introduced. 

HDMI ARC and HDMI eARC are different in such a way that eARC is capable of sending more data as compared to the ARC. 

The bandwidth of of HDMI eARC is 37 mbps while that of the HDMI ARC is 1mbps. Therefore, eARC is capable of transmitting audio at a much higher resolution that the ARC. 

When should i use HDMI?

HDMI is the best option when it comes to transmitting audio signals as well as video signals. Therefore, the HDMI can be used any time you want to transmit video signals and audio signals. 

This is a very good option because it supports a higher bandwidth. It also has the ability to support so many audio formats giving you a good listening experience. With an HDMI cable, you will not need to have have separate cables for video signals and audio signals. 

HDMI cables advantages

  • Transmits both video and audio signals through one cable. 
  • Included on most devices
  • Produces high quality video signals

HDMI cables 

HDMI cables are usually made of copper material. This is not very expensive material. The copper material is not very expensive. The copper material also makes the prone to interference and signal loss. A cable of up to 5 meters is the recommended length with these HDMI cables so that you avoid signal losses. 

You will find HDMI connectors on so many devices including the Blu-ray players, sound bars, TVs, AV receivers and other audio devices. HDMI cables also have a very high bandwidth. The bandwidth that they can support is up to 48Gbps. 

How To Choose The Best HDMI Cable

When you want to buy an HDMI cable, there are so many things that you need to consider. HDMI cables are available in different lengths, prices, specifications as well as colors. The following are the factors that you should follow: 


This a very important factor that you need to consider when purchasing a cable. You first need to think about where the cable will be used, do you want to connect it on short distances or not. When it comes to HDMI cables, the shorter cable is better as it will not face so much signal loss.


Cables are made of different materials. There are some cables that are braided in nylon. Such cables are very flexible and you can easily move them around. However, the material used doesn’t really matter for a lot of people. 


When purchasing a cable, you need to make sure to have a look at the specifications. Make sure to choose an HDMI cable that has category 2 high speed. Such cables are capable of supporting a resolution of up to 4K. There are also ultra high-speed HDMI cables. These cables are capable of transmitting data up to 8K resolutions. 


When purchasing a cable, do not focus much on the price. This is because a cheaper cable can have very high quality. Therefore, make sure to go for quality. 


The color you choose is does not affect the quality of the cable. These cables come in different colors. The color that you choose will depend on your preference. 

What is better HDMI ARC or Optical?

When sending audio between your TV and AV receiver, you can choose whether to use a digital optical output or an HDMI ARC output. 

These two provide the same function. However, the choice that you make will depend on the scenario that you need them for.

For instance, if you need them for your AV receiver, then the HDMI ARC may be the better choice. This is because you will not have to get an extra cable to transmit video signals, they will all be transmitted through one cable.

When it comes to the kind of formats that they can support. The HDMI ARC also supports a lot more formats than the optical. Both of these are able to support PCM stereo and 5.1 Dolby digital as well as DTS audio. The HDMI goes further and supports other formats such as DTS HD master audio, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X and more. 

If you want to connect your TV to your soundbar, you need to check, the kind of devices that they are able to support. If you want to use the HDMI ARC, then both of your devices need to have HDMI ARC support. If they lack this, you will have no choice but to use the optical.

In order to use HDMI ARC, your devices should support HDMI ARC. You will also have to enable the HDMI CEC feature on your device. This feature allows the devices to automatically detect the signal. 

When choosing whether to use HDMI ARC or Optical digital output, the choice will largely depend on the kind of connections that your devices have. If your device supports HDMI ARC, we recommend using this option instead of the optical because of the advantages explained in this post.

Which is better coaxial or HDMI?

HDMI is better than coaxial connection because HDMI has a larger bandwidth. It is also able to support a lot of high-resolution formats than coaxial. HDMI is also able to transmit both video signals as well as audio signals. However, if your device lacks an HDMI connection, using the coaxial for audios is also fine. 

Do All HDMI Cables Support Audio?

All HDMI cables support both compressed and uncompressed Audio and Video. Whether your media files are standard-definition, high-definition, and Ultra HD video signals, an HDMI cable will handle them easily. 

No wonder that in recent years, HDMI cables have become an excellent choice for connecting devices at home, including wired surround sound digital devices working with audio formats in all whatever form presented.

Do HDMI Cables Affect Sound?

HDMI cables and HDMI ports can affect both audio and video one way or the other. You are either using a bad HDMI cable or your connections are loose, making your TV display a clear picture, but no audio is coming from your smart tv speakers. Firm connections to both ends often resolve these HDMI connection issues. 

Do Expensive HDMI Cables Make A Difference?

Branded or none branded HDMI cables are no different and won’t change or make the difference you hope to get from a premium-priced cable. Nonetheless, salespeople or scrupulous Audio accessory retailers and to some extent HDMI cable manufacturers will try to hike up prices and make you believe that buying glossy packaged cables will get you a better picture and sound quality. 

The truth is that no affordable HDMI cable will deliver miracles to your smart tv if it is not a high-end smart tv itself. … No matter what your local cable and audio accessories sale rep say, truth is that expensive HDMI cables offer no difference in both audio or picture quality over budget HDMI cables available on Amazon.


HDMI can also carry audio. It is very popular for carrying video signals but it also has the ability to carry audio signals. It does this using the same cable that it uses for video signals. HDMI provides high-resolution audio signals. It also has support for high-resolution audio formats as well as video formats. So many versions of HDMI are available. These also support a lot of new features including HDMI ARC and HDMI eARC. We hope that this article answered your question.

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Is no stranger to technical writing after spending years in Networking, IT Infrastructure management, and online content marketing. He is an avid researcher, Software and apps dev tester who spends hours solving problems behind the scenes. Get in touch with him via social media and you can email him via

Recent Posts