How Do I Connect External Speakers to My Insignia TV

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Author: Kajal Singh

Sound quality plays a crucial role in the overall TV viewing experience, and while Insignia TVs offer decent built-in speakers, connecting external speakers can take your audio to the next level. Whether you’re looking to enhance your movie nights, elevate your gaming sessions, or simply enjoy your favorite shows with better sound, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of connecting various types of external speakers to your Insignia TV.

Table of Contents

Understanding Insignia TV Audio Output Options

Before diving into the specifics of connecting external speakers, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the audio output options available on your Insignia TV. Here are the most common ones:

HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)

HDMI ARC is a convenient and high-quality audio output option that allows you to transmit digital audio from your TV to a compatible soundbar, receiver, or home theater system using a single HDMI cable. To use HDMI ARC, both your TV and the external audio device must support this feature.

Optical (Digital Audio Output)

The optical audio output, also known as TOSLINK, is another popular digital audio connection. It uses a fiber optic cable to transmit audio signals from your TV to an external audio device. Optical outputs support various audio formats, including PCM, Dolby Digital, and DTS.

3.5mm Headphone Jack

Most Insignia TVs come equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which provides an analog audio output. While this option is not as high-quality as digital outputs, it’s still a convenient way to connect headphones or small external speakers.

RCA (Composite Audio Output)

RCA audio outputs are legacy analog connections that use red and white jacks to transmit stereo audio. Although this option is becoming less common on modern TVs, some Insignia models still feature RCA outputs for compatibility with older audio devices.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Select Insignia TV models offer Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to wirelessly stream audio to compatible Bluetooth speakers or headphones. This is a convenient option for those who prefer a clutter-free setup or want to place their speakers further away from the TV.

USB Audio Output

Some Insignia TVs feature a USB port that can be used for audio output. By connecting a USB soundbar or speakers, you can enjoy improved audio quality without the need for additional cables or adapters. However, it’s essential to check your TV’s specifications to ensure it supports USB audio output and to verify compatibility with your external speakers.

Comparing Audio Quality of Different Output Options

When choosing an audio output option for your Insignia TV, it’s important to consider the audio quality each one offers:

  • HDMI ARC and optical outputs provide the best audio quality, as they support high-resolution digital audio formats like Dolby Digital and DTS.
  • Analog outputs, such as RCA and 3.5mm headphone jacks, offer lower audio quality compared to digital outputs due to potential signal degradation and interference.
  • Bluetooth and USB audio quality can vary depending on the codecs and specifications supported by both the TV and the external speakers. Generally, they offer better quality than analog outputs but may not match the performance of HDMI ARC or optical connections.

Ultimately, the best audio output option for your Insignia TV will depend on your specific external speakers, room setup, and personal preferences.

Connecting a Soundbar to Your Insignia TV

Soundbars are a popular choice for enhancing TV audio, as they provide a significant upgrade over built-in speakers without the complexity of a full surround sound system. Here’s how to connect a soundbar to your Insignia TV:

Step-by-Step Guide for Connecting via HDMI ARC

  1. Ensure that your soundbar supports HDMI ARC and has an HDMI ARC input.
  2. Connect one end of an HDMI cable to the HDMI ARC port on your Insignia TV.
  3. Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI ARC input on your soundbar.
  4. Power on your TV and soundbar.
  5. Access your TV’s audio settings menu and select “HDMI ARC” as the audio output.
  6. Adjust your soundbar’s settings as needed for optimal performance.

Step-by-Step Guide for Connecting via Optical Cable

  1. Ensure that your soundbar has an optical input.
  2. Connect one end of an optical cable to the optical output on your Insignia TV.
  3. Connect the other end of the optical cable to the optical input on your soundbar.
  4. Power on your TV and soundbar.
  5. Access your TV’s audio settings menu and select “Optical” or “Digital Audio Out” as the audio output.
  6. Adjust your soundbar’s settings as needed for optimal performance.

When shopping for a soundbar to pair with your Insignia TV, consider these recommendations:

  • Budget-friendly options:
    • Insignia NS-SB212 2.1 Channel Soundbar: This affordable soundbar offers good sound quality and easy setup, making it a great choice for those on a tight budget.
    • VIZIO SB2920-C6 2.0 Channel Soundbar: With its compact design and clear audio, this soundbar is perfect for smaller rooms or secondary TVs.
  • High-end options with advanced features:
    • Sonos Beam: This smart soundbar supports HDMI ARC, Amazon Alexa, and Apple AirPlay 2, offering excellent sound quality and versatile connectivity options.
    • Bose Soundbar 700: Featuring a sleek design, exceptional audio performance, and built-in voice assistants, this premium soundbar is ideal for audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts.

Setting Up Surround Sound Speakers with Your Insignia TV

For a truly immersive audio experience, consider setting up a surround sound system with your Insignia TV. Follow these steps to get started:

Understanding Surround Sound Configurations

Surround sound systems come in various configurations, such as 5.1, 7.1, or even 9.1. The numbers indicate the number of speakers and subwoofers in the system. For example, a 5.1 system consists of five speakers (front left, front right, center, rear left, and rear right) and one subwoofer.

Choosing the Right Surround Sound System

When selecting a surround sound system for your Insignia TV, consider factors such as room size, budget, and personal preferences. Research different brands and models, read reviews, and compare features to find the best system for your needs.

Step-by-Step Guide for Connecting Speakers via HDMI ARC or Optical

  1. Position your speakers according to the manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal surround sound.
  2. Connect your speakers to a compatible AV receiver or home theater system.
  3. Use an HDMI cable to connect the HDMI ARC output on your Insignia TV to the HDMI ARC input on your receiver. Alternatively, use an optical cable to connect the TV’s optical output to the receiver’s optical input.
  4. Power on your TV, receiver, and speakers.
  5. Access your TV’s audio settings menu and select the appropriate audio output (HDMI ARC or Optical).
  6. Configure your receiver’s settings, such as speaker distances and calibration, for the best surround sound experience.

Tips for Optimizing Surround Sound in Different Room Layouts

  • For rectangular rooms, place the rear surround speakers slightly behind the listening position and angle them towards the center of the room.
  • In a square room, position the rear speakers at a 45-degree angle from the listening position to create a more enveloping sound.
  • For open floor plans or irregular room layouts, consider using wireless surround speakers or in-ceiling speakers to maintain a clean look and ensure proper sound distribution.

Troubleshooting Common Surround Sound Issues

  • If you’re not getting sound from all speakers, double-check the connections and make sure the receiver is set to the correct surround sound mode.
  • If the audio sounds distorted or unclear, adjust the speaker levels and crossover frequency settings on your receiver.
  • If you experience a delay between the audio and video, use the audio delay or lip-sync settings on your TV or receiver to synchronize the sound with the picture.

Connecting Bluetooth Speakers to Your Insignia TV

Connecting Bluetooth speakers to your Insignia TV is a simple and wireless way to improve your audio experience. Here’s how to do it:

Step-by-Step Guide for Pairing Bluetooth Speakers

  1. Put your Bluetooth speakers in pairing mode according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. On your Insignia TV, navigate to the Settings menu and select “Bluetooth.”
  3. Select “Pair new device” or “Add Bluetooth device.”
  4. Wait for your TV to discover the Bluetooth speakers, then select them from the list of available devices.
  5. If prompted, enter the pairing code provided by the speaker manufacturer.
  6. Once paired, your Insignia TV will automatically output audio to the connected Bluetooth speakers.

Troubleshooting Common Bluetooth Connectivity Issues

  • Ensure that your Bluetooth speakers are within range of your Insignia TV (usually up to 30 feet).
  • If you experience audio dropouts or stuttering, try moving the speakers closer to the TV or remove any obstacles between them.
  • Make sure your Bluetooth speakers are fully charged or connected to a power source.
  • If you can’t find your Bluetooth speakers in the list of available devices, try resetting the speakers or putting them back into pairing mode.

Comparing Bluetooth Speakers to Wired Speakers

While Bluetooth speakers offer the convenience of wireless connectivity, they have some limitations compared to wired speakers:

  • Bluetooth speakers may experience latency or audio lag, which can be noticeable when watching videos or playing games.
  • The audio quality of Bluetooth speakers may be slightly lower than wired speakers due to the compression used in Bluetooth transmission.
  • Bluetooth speakers require regular charging or battery replacements, whereas wired speakers don’t have this limitation.

However, Bluetooth speakers are ideal for situations where you want a clutter-free setup, need to place the speakers far from the TV, or want the flexibility to move the speakers around easily.

Enhancing Audio Experience with Insignia TV Sound Settings

Once you’ve connected your external speakers, take some time to explore your Insignia TV’s audio settings menu to fine-tune your listening experience. Here are some settings to consider:

Adjusting Equalizer Settings

Many Insignia TVs offer equalizer settings that allow you to adjust the balance of low, mid, and high frequencies. Experiment with different presets or create a custom equalizer profile to suit your preferences and the type of content you’re watching.

Enabling and Customizing Surround Sound Effects

If your Insignia TV has built-in surround sound processing, you can enable and customize these effects to create a more immersive audio experience. Look for settings like “Virtual Surround” or “Surround Sound” and adjust them according to your preferences.

Syncing Audio with Video

To prevent audio sync issues, where the sound is slightly ahead of or behind the video, look for an “Audio Delay” or “Lip Sync” setting in your TV’s audio menu. Adjust this setting until the audio and video are perfectly synchronized.

Adjusting Audio Delay for Perfect Synchronization

If you notice a slight delay between the audio and video, use the “Audio Delay” or “Lip Sync” setting to fine-tune the synchronization. Increase or decrease the delay in small increments until the audio and video are perfectly aligned.

Customizing Audio Settings for Hearing Impairments

Insignia TVs often provide audio settings designed to enhance the viewing experience for those with hearing impairments. Look for options like “Clear Dialog,” “Voice Enhancement,” or “Audio Description” to improve the clarity of speech and make it easier to follow the on-screen action.

Saving Custom Audio Profiles

Some Insignia TV models allow you to save custom audio profiles for different users or content types. This feature enables you to quickly switch between your preferred settings without having to manually adjust the audio each time.

Troubleshooting Common Insignia TV Audio Issues

Despite your best efforts, you may encounter some audio issues when using external speakers with your Insignia TV. Here are some common problems and their solutions:

No Sound from External Speakers

  • Double-check that all cables are securely connected and plugged into the correct inputs and outputs.
  • Verify that your external speakers are powered on and set to the correct input.
  • Make sure your Insignia TV’s audio output is set to the correct option (e.g., HDMI ARC, Optical, etc.).
  • Check if your external speakers are compatible with your Insignia TV’s audio output format.

Audio Out of Sync

  • Adjust the “Audio Delay” or “Lip Sync” setting in your TV’s audio menu.
  • Check for any available firmware updates for your Insignia TV and external speakers, as these may resolve sync issues.

Poor Sound Quality or Distortion

  • Ensure that your external speakers are properly positioned and not obstructed by any objects.
  • Check the cable connections for any damage or loose plugs.
  • Adjust the volume levels on your TV and external speakers, ensuring they’re not set too high, which can cause distortion.
  • Experiment with different equalizer settings to find the best balance for your content and speakers.

Intermittent Audio Dropouts

  • Check for any interference from other electronic devices, such as cordless phones, microwaves, or Wi-Fi routers. Move these devices away from your TV and speakers or turn them off if possible.
  • Update the firmware on your Insignia TV and external speakers to ensure they have the latest bug fixes and performance improvements.

HDMI ARC Not Working

  • Verify that both your Insignia TV and external speakers support HDMI ARC and that you’re using the correct HDMI ports labeled “ARC.”
  • Enable HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) and HDMI ARC in your TV’s settings menu. This allows your TV to communicate with the external speakers and automates the audio output selection.

Bluetooth Pairing Issues

  • Remove any previously paired devices from your TV’s Bluetooth settings and try pairing your speakers again.
  • Update the Bluetooth drivers or firmware on your Insignia TV and external speakers to resolve any compatibility issues.

Subwoofer Not Working or Producing Low Volume

  • Check the subwoofer’s cable connections and make sure it’s properly plugged into the receiver or soundbar.
  • Adjust the subwoofer’s volume and crossover frequency settings to ensure it’s properly integrated with the rest of the speaker system.
  • Experiment with different subwoofer placement options to find the optimal position for even bass distribution in your room.

Alternative Audio Solutions for Insignia TVs

In addition to connecting external speakers directly to your Insignia TV, there are other ways to enhance your audio experience:

Using a Home Theater Receiver

Connect your Insignia TV to a home theater receiver using HDMI ARC or optical output, then connect your speakers to the receiver. This allows you to create a custom surround sound setup and control all your audio devices from one central hub.

Connecting a Gaming Console or Streaming Device

If you have a gaming console or streaming device connected to your Insignia TV, you can often route the audio through these devices to your external speakers. This is useful if your TV has limited audio output options or if you prefer to use your console or streaming device as the audio source.

Utilizing HDMI Splitters or Switches

HDMI splitters and switches allow you to distribute audio and video signals from your Insignia TV to multiple devices, such as a soundbar and a gaming console. This can be helpful if you have limited HDMI ports on your TV or want to easily switch between different audio sources.

Exploring Wireless Audio Adapters

Wireless audio adapters, such as the Roku Wireless Speakers or the Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver, enable you to connect your Insignia TV to external speakers without the need for long cable runs. These adapters use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to transmit audio signals, providing a clutter-free and flexible speaker placement option.

Connecting a Turntable or Record Player

If you have a turntable or record player with a built-in preamp, you can connect it to your Insignia TV’s analog audio inputs (RCA or 3.5mm) to enjoy your vinyl collection through your external speakers. This is a great way to add a unique, warm sound to your TV audio setup.

Using a USB DAC for Improved Audio Quality

A USB Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) can help improve the audio quality of your Insignia TV by bypassing its built-in audio processing and providing a cleaner, more detailed sound. Simply connect the USB DAC to your TV’s USB port and your external speakers to the DAC’s audio outputs.

Integrating Smart Speakers with Your Insignia TV

If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker, you can connect it to your Insignia TV via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio cable. This allows you to use the smart speaker as an external audio device and control your TV’s volume and playback with voice commands.

Advanced Audio Customization for Enthusiasts

For audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts, there are several advanced techniques to further optimize your Insignia TV’s audio performance:

Calibrating Your Speakers with a Microphone

Use a calibration microphone and room correction software, such as Audyssey MultEQ or Dirac Live, to measure your room’s acoustics and automatically adjust your speaker settings for optimal performance. This ensures that your external speakers are perfectly balanced and tuned for your specific room layout.

Using a Parametric Equalizer

A parametric equalizer allows you to make precise adjustments to specific frequency ranges, giving you ultimate control over your audio output. Use a parametric EQ to fine-tune your external speakers’ response and eliminate any unwanted resonances or frequencies.

Implementing Acoustic Treatments

Improve your room’s acoustics by adding acoustic panels, bass traps, or diffusers to control reflections, reduce echo, and enhance the overall sound quality. Proper acoustic treatment can make a significant difference in the performance of your external speakers.

Experimenting with Different Speaker Configurations

Try different speaker placement options and configurations to find the best sound stage and imaging for your room. Experiment with toe-in angles, speaker height, and distance from walls to optimize your external speakers’ performance.

Upgrading Speaker Cables and Interconnects

High-quality speaker cables and interconnects can help reduce signal loss and interference, resulting in clearer, more detailed sound. Invest in well-shielded, low-resistance cables to ensure your external speakers receive the best possible signal from your Insignia TV.

The Future of TV Audio Technology

As TV audio technology continues to evolve, there are several exciting developments on the horizon:

Emerging Audio Technologies and Formats

  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are immersive 3D audio formats that add height channels to traditional surround sound setups, creating a more enveloping and realistic sound experience.
  • WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio) is a new wireless audio standard that promises high-quality, low-latency sound transmission between TVs and external speakers, eliminating the need for complex wiring.

Advancements in TV Audio Processing and Upscaling

Many TV manufacturers are developing advanced audio processing and upscaling technologies that can enhance the quality of compressed audio sources and create a more immersive sound experience. These technologies use machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze and optimize audio signals in real-time.

Integration of Smart Assistants and Voice Control

As smart assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant become more prevalent, we can expect to see deeper integration with TV audio systems. This will allow users to control their external speakers, adjust audio settings, and even search for content using voice commands.

Predictions for the Evolution of TV Audio

In the coming years, we can anticipate several advancements in TV audio technology, including:

  • The widespread adoption of object-based audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which will enable more immersive and personalized sound experiences.
  • The development of more advanced wireless audio solutions, such as WiSA and Bluetooth LE Audio, which will offer high-quality, low-latency sound transmission without the need for complex wiring.
  • The integration of AI-powered audio processing and room correction technologies, which will automatically optimize sound quality based on the user’s room acoustics and personal preferences.
  • The rise of modular, upgradeable TV audio systems that allow users to easily customize and expand their setups over time.

As these technologies continue to evolve, Insignia TV owners can look forward to even more exciting options for enhancing their audio experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I connect multiple external speakers to my Insignia TV simultaneously?

In most cases, you can only connect one set of external speakers to your Insignia TV at a time. However, you can use an AV receiver or HDMI splitter to connect multiple speakers and switch between them as needed.

What type of external speakers is best for my Insignia TV?

The best type of external speakers for your Insignia TV depends on your personal preferences, budget, and room setup. Soundbars are a popular choice for their simplicity and improved audio quality, while surround sound systems offer the most immersive experience.

How do I know if my external speakers are compatible with my Insignia TV?

Check your external speakers’ specifications to ensure they have compatible inputs (e.g., HDMI ARC, optical, or analog) that match your Insignia TV’s audio outputs. Additionally, verify that your speakers support the audio formats output by your TV, such as PCM, Dolby Digital, or DTS.

Is it better to use wired or wireless external speakers with my Insignia TV?

Wired speakers generally provide better audio quality and reliability compared to wireless speakers. However, wireless speakers offer the convenience of a clutter-free setup and flexible placement options. Ultimately, the choice between wired and wireless speakers depends on your personal preferences and room layout.

What should I do if I’m still having trouble connecting external speakers to my Insignia TV?

If you’ve followed the steps in this guide and are still experiencing issues, consult your Insignia TV’s user manual or contact Insignia customer support for further assistance. Additionally, check the manufacturer’s website for any firmware updates that may resolve compatibility issues or improve audio performance.

How can I optimize my room acoustics for better TV audio?

To optimize your room acoustics, consider implementing acoustic treatments such as sound-absorbing panels, bass traps, and diffusers. These elements help control reflections, reduce echo, and improve the overall sound quality. Additionally, experiment with speaker placement and toe-in angles to find the best sound stage and imaging for your room.

How often should I update my TV and speaker firmware for optimal audio performance?

It’s a good idea to check for firmware updates for your Insignia TV and external speakers every few months or whenever you encounter audio issues. These updates often include bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features that can enhance your overall audio experience.

Can I use my Insignia TV’s built-in speakers in combination with external speakers?

While it’s generally not recommended to use your TV’s built-in speakers in combination with external speakers, as this can lead to audio quality issues and potential echo or delay, some Insignia TVs offer a “TV Speaker” setting that allows you to output audio from both the built-in speakers and external speakers simultaneously.


Connecting external speakers to your Insignia TV is a fantastic way to elevate your audio experience and get the most out of your favorite content. By understanding your TV’s audio output options, following the step-by-step guides for different speaker types, and exploring advanced customization techniques, you can create a truly immersive and personalized sound setup.

As TV audio technology continues to evolve, Insignia TV owners can look forward to even more exciting options for enhancing their audio experience. From the latest immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to the development of advanced wireless solutions and AI-powered processing, the future of TV audio is brighter than ever.

So, whether you’re a casual viewer looking to improve your TV’s sound quality or a passionate audiophile seeking the ultimate home theater setup, don’t hesitate to experiment with different speaker configurations, settings, and accessories to find the perfect audio solution for your needs.

Share your experiences, tips, and questions in the comments section below, and join the growing community of Insignia TV owners who are discovering the joys of enhanced TV audio. Happy listening!

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