Here’s How To Enable HDMI ARC On Samsung TV [Step By Step Guide]

Wondering how you can quickly enable HDMI ARC on your Samsung TV for better pass-through sound?

While cheap HDMI cables on Amazon are fast becoming a standard way to connect home entertainment sound and video systems, mismatched audio equipment often causes a headache to many folks as they try to figure out how to get the best sound and video quality out of their systems. But, how do you enable HDMI ARC on your Samsung TV? 

Your Samsung TV should have your HDMI ARC channel port already set to work once you connect your audio HDMI from the audio source or home theatre to your Samsung soundbars as an output. The only time you will ever need to activate your Samsung TV ARC is when you are not using a Samsung soundbar or AVR. 

And for that case, you need to follow the following listed steps to enable your Samsung TV output its sound through HDMI ARC-enabled speakers.

Activating ARC Channel On Samsung TV.

Home Button: To activate your Samsung TV’s HDMI ARC port, open the home button on your TV using a remote control or manually navigate the settings tab.

Samsung Settings Tab: Your settings should give you a laundry of optional settings, including Samsung TV sound output settings.

Samsung TV Sound Settings: Inside your Samsung TV Sound Output, you will see sound output options and speaker settings, which you must now go ahead and select a designated receiver in this case, it will be your HDMI ARC enabled speakers you see from the dropdown list. Once again, the steps to set up your Samsung TV HDMI ARC are: 

  • Step#1: Open The Home
  • Step#2: Navigate To Settings
  • Step#3: Select Sound
  • Step#4: Navigate to Speaker Settings
  • Step#5: Select Your Receiver HDMI ARC from the list.

HDMI ARC, Do You Really Need It?

HDMI ARC is not a new phenomenon, in fact, it is a modern clean and cable management connectivity standard used by most sound devices and projectors as a common connector of sound and video to reduce clutter. 

An ARC which is a short form for Audio Return Channel is a channel that is used to transmit sound usually from the smart TV to a sound device and sound can be sent back to the transmitter using this special function of cables that were certified as of HDMI. 

 The sole purpose of the Audio Return Channel in Samsung TVS is to make sure that the number of cables that exist between your external home theatre and TV are reduced. The sound quality is unique and comes out very good since between the speakers, the sound signal is transferred to and from. 

Once you have an HDMI ARC, be assured that there is no need to have a second optical/audio cable that you might need to connect to the speaker and that is compatible. 

You must use an HDMI cable 1.4 or higher if you wish to connect your speaker that has an ARC to your TV. This functionality of the HDMI ARC is mostly available on the TV through a specific port and the speakers on the outside are required to be somewhat compatible. In order to turn on the HDMI ARC controls, the settings of your speakers on the outside need to be adjusted.

How to enable HDMI ARC on Samsung TV?

  • Secondly, take the cable and connect it to the TV’s HDMI IN (ARC)
  • Thirdly, let the connection HDMI OUT (TV-ARC) port of the speaker that would prefer to connect.
  • In addition to that, make sure that the speakers that are connected to the TV are turned on. 

For Samsung TV, the home theatre system and soundbar have Anynet + (HDMI CEC) that is activated upon manufacturing. You can also make sure that Anynet + (HDMI-CEC) function is activated on your device if it’s not manufactured by Samsung. 

This is very important as this function must be enabled if the smart TV is to use eARC. The cables used have to be authorized for an error not to occur. It is usually the third HDMI-ARC port at the back of your TV.

Troubleshooting The Connection Of The HDMI

Sometimes, there might be a problem that might occur with the ARC/eARC operation. In order to notice and fix this problem make sure that all external devices are removed like the STB, OTT, and other similar devices that are connected to the TV, and then you can play again and try. 

The bottom line is other external devices can not may find themselves causing problems when they don’t comply with the HDMI connection specifications and this might cause problems.

Is It A Must To Have An ARC?

In an actual sense, it is not that much of a big deal. The feature becomes useless when you listen to audio using your TV’s speakers and when you do not have a soundbar or receiver. 

The sound of most TVs is not that pleasant that it is why you are most needed to buy a soundbar to improve the TV experience. And that’s when the ARC comes in and sends the audio created through your TV to your external device that is usually a speaker.

Issues Associated With 5.1 

As much as ARC can prove to be helpful, there are problems that might be faced. In an actual sense, TV’s can not send 5.1 audio over HDMI. How? You will receive a 2.0 audio when you are watching a movie when your 5.1 Dolby Digital is connected directly to your TV. TV’S that can manage to transmit sound in 5.1 are termed as 5.1 passthrough TVs. 

The restriction of TV’s not to transmit sound in 5.1 led to the existence of eARC which is what can make it possible for external speakers to play both 5.1 channel and Dolby Atmos.

 Some TV’s have a 5.1 passthrough while other TV’s will need a 5.1 optical output device. Remember that this issue is only a concern for those who have a 5.1 source, which is either a Blu-ray player or game console. 

In the case that your TV does not support 5.1, the source can be connected to the receiver directly or in other cases, optical cables can be used to connect the receiver and TV.

There are two ways in which sound flows when HDMI-ARC is used and it simplifies so many things that could have required you to use cables.

In one case, a single HDMI cable can be connected to your audio system. The soundbar is connected to your TV using a designated ARC-capable port and this can be used on any device that can be connected to the TV, that might be game consoles, Blu Ray players s and other similar devices. You do not need a separate audio receiver for this, the HDMI does that through the TV itself.

In another case, the soundbar can be used to run the connections which enables you to do multiple HDMI connections between the TV and soundbar when doing the additional setup. 

This might come in handy when your TV is mounted on the wall and maybe you are usually restricted access to some or all the HDMI ports or you just want a clean look without messy cables all around and it means less confusion in terms of the cable installation.

ARC connection can also be used to deliver TV audio to the speakers when the speaker system is connected to the TV. In addition to that, audio from the antenna that goes to the TV can also be piped Through to the soundbar and the output over the HDMI. 

This comes in handy for those owning smart TVs in the case of the streaming services delivering all content via Wi-Fi and when there is no means for the sound to be fed into your receiver, the ARC connection comes to the rescue by making sure that the sound is brought to your soundbar with no need for a dedicated audio cable.

Another HDMI standard which is known as HDMI-CEC, short form for Consumer Electronics control, can also be used in conjunction with the HDMI ARC and this gives you the ability to have control of external devices namely satellite boxes, Blu-ray players and the likes just by using the remote of your TV. 

This gives you a cleaner and smart look of your system as there will be few numbers of cables to be used and there will be a few number of controls you would need on your remote, all this after combining the ARC connection for Audio and the HDMI-CEC functionality which is usually enabled by default on your TV.

Problems Associated With The HDMI ARC. 

As much as there are so many to using the HDMI ARC on your Samsung TV and the simplicity it provides, there are some disadvantages associated with it. Having in mind that it was specifically designed to replace digital audio outputs and this enables it to support every audio format, there are still some limitations. 

For instance, high definition or high bit rate audio that Dolby Atmos and other standards like the DTS:X use can’t be used by these standards. This proves to be a problem as the signal can be carried without any problems by the downstream audio over the HDMI.

In addition to that, most TV’s usually compress the audio output when the ARC is involved as the sound system is converted from the 5.1 audio to the two-channel sound system. If you might experience this problem, you might use some extra cables to get amplify the sound over the ARC.


Just a bit of recap, an HDMI is a standard used by most sound devices and projectors and nowadays is a common connector of sound and video. An ARC which is a short form for Audio Return Channel is a channel that is used to transmit sound usually from the smart TV to a sound device and sound can be sent back to the transmitter using this special function of cables that were certified as of HDMI. 

We have seen that you can use HDMI ARC on your Samsung TV through Having an HDMI cable and getting it ready first, and then take the cable and connect it to the TV’s HDMI IN (ARC) Afterwards let the connection HDMI OUT (TV-ARC) port of the speaker that would prefer to connect. 

In addition to that, make sure that the speakers that are connected to the TV are turned on. Lastly, the external speakers will play the sound from the TV. Having known this information and the benefits and limitations to using the HDMI ARC table on your TV, the choice on using the HDMI ARC or not is all yours.

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

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