The Fire TV Stick (on Amazon) is a great tool for your entertainment center. The simplicity of having everything you need in one small stick is hard to beat, but things get a little more complicated when you want to try and get the sound off the device and onto a soundbar.
How to connect a Fire TV Stick to a soundbar: To get the audio from your Fire TV Stick to a soundbar, you’ll want to connect the Fire TV Stick to the soundbar directly, then connect the soundbar to your TV. You may need to change the TV or soundbar’s output settings.
With all the different input options on the back of your TV, it may not be super clear how to get the audio off of the device. You may have a whole assortment of ports, and just plugging the soundbar in may not work automatically. Let’s talk a little more about how to get this figured out.
How-To Connect Your Fire TV Stick to a Soundbar
If you have your soundbar, your Fire TV Stick, and your TV all close by, your ready to get started. Connecting all these devices is a simple process that shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes.
1. Use a USB Adapter to Plug the Fire TV Stick into an Outlet
First, make sure your Fire TV Stick is powered on. The Fire TV Stick should come with a thin cord. One end is designed to plug into the stick and the other fits almost all USB adapters. The take the USB adapter and plug it into a nearby power source. The electrical outlet needs to be close to your soundbar.
You can bypass this step and connect the Firestick directly to your soundbar’s USB port but this usually causes problems with power. There might not be enough power from your soundbar for the Fire Stick to work properly.
Most streaming sticks require 5v 1A of power to work properly. Check the specs of your soundbar to see if it can provide this much power. If not, then you should probably connect it to a standard power outlet.
2. Connect the Fire Stick to the Soundbar’s HDMI Input
On your soundbar, typically in the back, you’ll find one or more HDMI inputs. Connect the Fire Stick into one of the HDMI inputs. If it’s a more modern unit like the Sony HT-S350 2.1 Channel Home Theater Soundbar (on Amazon) it will have several inputs, but only one output labeled “ARC”, and that’s the one that needs to go to the TV later. Don’t plug the Fire Stick into the ARC port.
This ARC port…we have another article that goes into more detail on what that is, and what that port is doing, but for now, just focus on picking the right port for your Fire Stick. And if you don’t see a bunch of HDMI ports on your soundbar, don’t worry, we’ll address that below.
3. Connect an HDMI Cable From the Soundbar to the TV
Using the HDMI OUT/ARC port, connect the soundbar to the TVs HDMI ARC input. Using this port allows for the devices to communicate in a more advanced way, and allows you to control all of the devices connected with a single remote.
4. Change the Input Source on the Soundbar
You’ll need to go to the soundbar’s settings menu to change the input source. If you don’t, the signal from the Fire Stick will not be received by the soundbar.
Switch the source setting to the one that corresponds with the HDMI input the Fire Stick is plugged into. The number of input options will depend on how many are on the soundbar.
5. Change the Input Source on the TV
It’s just as important to change the source settings on your TV. You’ll have to go into the settings menu to find the HDMI input. In the settings menu, this should be called out as “HDMI ARC.”
Once you’ve found the corresponding HDMI input the soundbar is connected to, select that setting so the TV receives the signal from the soundbar.
6. The Fire Stick Content Should Appear on the TV
After you’ve connected the Fire Stick to a power source with the USB adapter, connected the HDMI cable to the correct input and output, you should be able to watch content on your TV.
As simple as this sounds, sometimes there are problems. Your Fire Stick content doesn’t always work seamlessly with your other components.
Unfortunately, even when you follow the directions perfectly you can still run into problems. There are a few steps you can take to correct the problem that doesn’t involve buying any new cables or equipment.
You’ll start by unplugging all of the connected HDMI cables going from the soundbar to the TV. Once the cables are disconnected, turn both components off. Leave the soundbar and TV off for a few seconds. You want to give it time for the power cycle to finish.
Before turning any component on, reconnect the HDMI cable to the output on the soundbar and the input on the TV. Once this is done, plug the Fire Stick back into the Soundbar’s HDMI input.
Turn the components on, and recheck the source settings on both. Often the problem is due to incorrect source settings. After troubleshooting, you should be able to enjoy your Fire Stick content on the TV.
What if My Soundbar Doesn’t Have ARC?
If you have an older soundbar, or one that just doesn’t have ARC for whatever reason, then the order of operations is a little different. While you will still need to play with the inputs as described above, you’ll want the Fire TV Stick to be plugged into the TV, not the soundbar. And from there, you’ll manage the audio through the TV, outputting to the soundbar from an optical out port or other audio-out option.
It’s not difficult to connect a Fire Stick to your soundbar. All you need is the USB power adapter and an HDMI cable. Use the right inputs and outputs, and change the settings on the two components, and you should see your Fire Stick content on the TV.
Sometimes, it doesn’t work perfectly and you may have to reconnect the HDMI cables. However, before you start disconnecting components always check your source settings. Often, this is why your content won’t appear on the TV.