An Apple TV is an inexpensive streaming device you can plug into a TV or monitor. While this device gives you excellent audio quality, your TV or monitor may not have the best sound quality. In such cases, connecting the Apple TV to an external speaker will help improve the audio quality. So, how do you connect your Apple TV to an external speaker?
Connecting your Apple TV to a speaker depends on whether it is a wired or wireless speaker. Connecting a wired speaker to your Apple TV is possible via the HDMI or optical port. Whereas connecting a wireless speaker to an Apple TV requires it supports AirPlay 2.
Most people find connecting a speaker to an Apple TV difficult because few speakers support the Apple ecosystem. Moreover, few people are tech savvies that know how to manipulate the HDMI or optical audio output on the Apple TV. This guide explains how you can connect your Apple TV to an external speaker.
Different Ways To Connect Speakers to an Apple TV
Connecting an Apple TV to different external devices is possible, provided you know your way around it. Below, we will elaborate on the three ways you can connect speakers to an Apple TV.
Method #1: Wired Speaker
Apple TVs are one of the few streaming devices with an HDMI port and an optical audio output port which you can use to connect your Apple TV to an external speaker. Most people just use the HDMI port as it is easier to use and get the add-ons. The easiest way to connect an Apple TV to a speaker is by using a wired connection.
Here are some ways to connect a wired speaker to Apple TV.
- Plug an HDMI cable into the Apple TV and the other end to the speaker directly.
- If your receiver does not have an HDMI port, run an HDMI cable to connect your Apple TV to your TV and use the optical cable to connect your TV to the speaker.
- Another option is to use the HDMI port to connect the TV and Apple TV, then use the optical audio port at the back of the Apple TV to connect to the speaker.
Not all Apple TVs come with an optical cable; Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4 do not have an optical audio port.
Method #2: Speaker That Supports AirPlay 2
Another way to connect Apple TV to an external speaker is by using a speaker that supports AirPlay 2. Sadly, few speakers support AirPlay 2, but speakers like Apple HomePod 2, Bose, Yamaha, JBL, IKEA, etc., support this feature. You can easily pair your Apple TV with these speakers to get better surround sound.
After confirming that your speaker supports AirPlay 2, you can follow the steps below to connect Apple TV to it.
Here’s how to connect wireless speakers with AirPlay 2 compatibility to Apple TV.
- Turn on your Apple TV, go to Settings, and click on the “Video and Audio” options.
- Search for the “Audio Output” option from the list.
- From the drop-down list for the name of your speaker and select it.
With the AirPlay 2 feature, you can simultaneously connect your Apple TV to speakers and use them for different functions, such as side speakers for your TV and Siri.
Method #3: Bluetooth Speakers
Finally, if your speaker only has Bluetooth compatibility, you can still connect it to Apple TV. Most Apple TVs support connection to Bluetooth speakers except for the Apple TV 3. If you have an Apple TV 3, you can pair it with your display device instead.
Here’s how to connect a wireless speaker with Bluetooth compatibility to Apple TV.
- Turn on your Bluetooth speaker and activate Bluetooth pairing mode.
- Turn on your Apple TV and go to Settings.
- From the list of options in Settings, click on “Remote and Device”.
- Click on “Bluetooth” and search for Bluetooth devices close by.
- From the result page, tap on your Bluetooth speaker to pair, and you can now play from your Apple TV to the speaker.
You can still adjust the Bluetooth speaker after connecting it to the Apple TV, such as volume or equalizer, or you can go to the Apple TV settings to make changes to the speaker.
Connecting an Apple TV to an external source is still possible despite Apple’s strict ecosystem policy. The best option is the wired option, which gives you better sound quality. However, if the hassle of connecting wires and you don’t want wires messing up your TV console, then you can always use the wireless option. You can get a speaker with AirPlay 2 compatibility or stick with the Bluetooth speaker option.