How to Connect 5.1 Speakers to a TV

Written by james clark
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How to Connect 5.1 Speakers to a TV
Connect a 5.1 speaker system to a TV with stereo audio cables. (tv control and tv 3 image by chrisharvey from

A 5.1 surround sound speaker system uses five speakers and a subwoofer to fill a room with multichannel audio. When connected to a TV, the system lets you enjoy programming recorded in surround sound. A self-contained 5.1 system includes a subwoofer with a built-in amplifier and surround-sound processing. Often designed for computers, these systems can also connect directly to a TV. The smaller-sized audio plugs may require adaptors to work with the TV's jacks.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 5.1 speaker system with cables
  • Y-adaptor with 3.5mm jack and two RCA jacks
  • Stereo RCA cable

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  1. 1

    Connect the cable from the back of each speaker to the respective audio output jack on the back of the subwoofer. For example, the centre speaker connects to the centre-channel audio output. Connect all five speakers: left front, centre, right front, left rear and right rear.

  2. 2

    Connect the subwoofer cable's mini-plug to the 3.5mm jack on the Y-adaptor.

  3. 3

    Insert the white (left) and red (right) plugs on one end of the RCA stereo cable into the respective jacks on the Y-adaptor.

  4. 4

    Insert the white and red plugs on the other end of the cable into the matching audio output jacks on the TV.

  5. 5

    Plug in the electrical cords for the subwoofer and TV.

Tips and warnings

  • Plug in all audio cables before connecting electrical cables to a wall outlet.

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