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Can A Universal Remote Work On A Soundbar? 3 Easy Methods

Are you tired of juggling multiple remotes just to watch TV? Using a universal remote to control your soundbar with ease is a great convenience. Say goodbye to the hassle of managing different controllers and dive into the simplicity of consolidating your controls into one device.

You can use a universal remote to control your soundbar. Several solutions can fix this. Some use IR technology to communicate, while others rely on hardwired connections like HDMI ARC or a Digital Fiber Optical Cable to simplify controls.

In this article, explore how to sync your soundbar with a universal remote, whether through IR technology or hardwired connections like HDMI ARC or Digital Fiber Optical Cable. Learn the steps, from decoding binary data to programming brand-specific pairing codes, to streamline your home entertainment setup effortlessly.

Universal Remotes For Soundbars

Most soundbars (by the way, we have a Top 8 List here) will allow you to control them using a universal remote, but this will depend on the type of soundbar you have.

To make this work, your soundbar will have to have an IR (Infrared) sensor equipped. IR uses waves to transfer binary data in pulses over the electromagnetic spectrum. For both devices to communicate, the receiving equipment needs to be able to decode this data.

IR technology, commonly used in remote controls, is popular for relaying basic command functions. While it has various applications, for most consumers, its primary use lies in controlling electronics like TVs. This requires a few components.

  • IR Sender/Blaster – This will be on the remote itself
  • IR Receiver – Located on the soundbar
  • IR Decoder  – This will use control protocols like RC-5 or SIRC to decode the binary message to command the soundbar to move the volume up or down. 

If your soundbar has an IR receiver, chances are you will be able to control it with a little setup. Here are a few soundbars on Amazon that allow for IR communication: the Sonos Playbar, Samsung HW-Q60T, and the Vizio 2.1 Soundbar. We also have a guide on using universal remotes with a Sonos soundbar.

If your soundbar comes with a remote, it likely uses IR technology for communication, allowing compatibility with a universal remote. However, you’ll need to set it up by programming brand-specific pairing codes into the remote for most cases.

Universal Remote Control Soundbar Codes

Pairing a universal remote with a soundbar is generally straightforward, but instructions vary by brand. With the right universal remote codes for pairing and a bit of time, you can control your sound bar using your remote. Let’s look at some general steps to get started.

How to Pair a Universal Remote With a Soundbar

  1. Find the 3, 4, or 5-digit pairing code for your soundbar (common ones listed below).
  2. Ensure both your TV and soundbar are powered on.
  3. Point your universal remote at the soundbar you want to pair to.
  4. Press the Setup button on your universal remote until the light flashes (this step varies by brand), or press the AUX and OK buttons simultaneously, then press the channel up button.
  5. Hold until the soundbar turns off, then press the AUX button again to save (if successful, setup is complete).
  6. Enter the brand-specific pairing code into the universal remote.
  7. Look for the indicator light on the remote to flash, indicating successful pairing.
  8. Test your remote by adjusting the volume to ensure everything works correctly.

This setup sequence provides a general guideline. Refer to your universal remote’s user manual for specific instructions as setups may vary. The crucial step is obtaining the correct soundbar pairing codes, which are brand-specific. Below are some codes for popular brands.

Soundbar Pairing Codes

Common Soundbar Universal Remote Pairing Codes By Brand

An Alternative: Control the Soundbar with the Stock TV Remote

Depending on the connectivity options on the soundbar, you may be able to use the stock TV remote to control the volume, instead of the soundbar remote. This method will require you to have an HDMI ARC input on your soundbar and an HDMI ARC port on your TV. This method is straightforward, and we have another guide on how to control a soundbar with a TV remote that you should check out, but the basic steps are:

  1. Find the HDMI ARC connection on both the soundbar and TV.
  2. Connect an HDMI cable to each.
  3. Turn the TV and soundbar on.
  4. Test and troubleshoot any connection issues.
  5. If it is not working, try enabling the CEC option on your TV.

In this setup, remember that both the TV and soundbar have separate volume controls. Even if the TV volume is high, the soundbar may remain quiet if its volume is low or on mute. This scenario is similar to using a wireless speaker with a device or using a Firestick remote to control the soundbar.

To optimize sound from your soundbar, adjust settings carefully to avoid low volume or audio distortion from being too high. Ensure correct audio output settings on both your TV and soundbar for proper connection and sound quality.

Why HDMI ARC is Important for Universal Remotes

HDMI ARC simplifies remote setup for soundbars. It lets your TV send volume commands directly to the soundbar without pairing.

HDMI ARC lets you control your soundbar with your TV remote seamlessly. It sends command data directly to the soundbar when adjusting volume, even if it lacks an IR sensor for universal remotes. This innovative setup simplifies control using just one remote for both the TV and soundbar.

If you have a universal remote paired with your TV, HDMI ARC can control the soundbar too. Whether it’s a stock or universal remote, as long as it sends volume commands to the TV’s IR receiver, it’ll also control the soundbar seamlessly.

Related Questions

Can You Use Your Phone As a Soundbar Remote?

Yes, you can use your phone as a universal remote for your soundbar by downloading a compatible universal remote app from the app store. Simply install the app, and follow the setup instructions,

Can RCA Universal Remote Work With Soundbar?

RCA Universal Remotes can often work with soundbars, as they are programmable to control various audio devices. Check the compatibility list or instructions to ensure it works with your specific soundbar model. Also, take a look at our guide with RCA Universal Remote Codes.