Vizio Sound Bar HDMI ARC Not Working: Solutions and Tips

Updated on: January 11, 2024

Having trouble with your Vizio soundbar and its HDMI ARC connection? You’re not alone. Many people face this issue, but we’ve got a solution. In this guide, we’ll show you easy steps to fix your soundbar. We’ll keep things simple and clear, so you can get back to enjoying your movies and shows with great sound. Stick with us till the end, and let’s get your soundbar working like new!

Ways to Fix Vizio Soundbar HDMI ARC Issues

Double-check the HDMI ARC port


To start, it’s essential to verify your HDMI connection, including how it’s plugged into both the soundbar and the TV. Make sure to plug it correctly into the HDMI ARC port, not any other port. You won’t believe it, but many people confuse HDMI ARC port with simple HDMI port and end up making a wrong connection. It is crucial to plug in the cable in the port labeled as HDMI ARC or just ARC. 

If you’re not sure how it is labeled by your TV manufacturer, you may consult the device’s manual for further information. Otherwise, no matter how hard you may try, the soundbar will not accept the connection. And that’s obvious! Be mindful that Vizio soundbars come with more than one HDMI port but only one of them supports HDMI ARC. 

Check your HDMI Cable

Check your HDMI Cable

Besides checking the ports, ensuring a smooth cable connection is equally crucial. The cable should not be taut at either end. Keeping some slack into the cable is the key to avoiding any connection damage. Moreover, don’t forget to check the quality of the HDMI cable. Make sure to inspect it for any signs of wear and tear, such as breaks or folds, or else you are likely to get connection errors. 

If you do, try to replace the existing cable with a fresh one. It will hopefully fix the connectivity issue. 

Change the Audio Output

Once you have plugged in the HDMI ARC cables, you might have to toggle the audio output settings on your TV to HDMI to make things go smoothly. While many TV sets auto-detect the soundbars and switch to compatible modes, others require the settings to be turned on manually. Make sure to switch the audio output from internal TV speakers to HDMI.

To make this fix, you need to go to your TV settings > sound settings > Audio output.

Toggle to the HDMI ARC option. Although the setting’s thread might vary from device to device, you are likely to find the toggle options generally in sound settings. You can access the settings using your TV’s remote.

It might be the HDMI-CEC issue


Well, the sequence in which you connect two devices holds great importance in the digital realm. Suppose you have already connected your TV with some other device via HDMI cable, and later on you decide to connect your soundbar, too. That may cause interference across the devices connected via HDMI and is termed as HDMI-CEC issue. 

Enable CEC across all connected devices 

To fix this issue, you need to enable HDMI-CEC on all the connected devices. To resolve this, you’ll need to navigate through the settings—which may vary by device—and enable HDMI-CEC on all connected devices, including set-top boxes, TVs, soundbars, and Blu-ray players. This should fix any audio output problem. 

The only thing that might make things complicated is the way devices interpret HDMI connections. For instance, this feature is called Anynet+ in Samsung, VIERA Link or EZ-Sync in Panasonic, HDMI control in Sky Q, Simplink in LG, and Bravia Sync in Sony.

Nevertheless, you just need to explore the settings to get the right control. 

Follow the right connection sequence 

Well, if enabling HDMI-CEC doesn’t solve the problem, don’t panic! Your devices need to be queued in the right order. 

  • Start off with turning off your TV and unplug all the HDMI ports. 
  • Next, first of all turn on the TV.
  • Once your TV is fully on, connect your Vizio soundbar via HDMI ARC cable to it. 
  • Now, turn on the soundbar, and voila! This will fix the audio problems.
  • You may connect other HDMI devices once the soundbar has started working perfectly. 

Keep the Firmware updated

One of the primary issues that may put your audio output at risk is outdated Firmware that might not support the HDMI ARC connection. Well, this problem has a simple fix; you need to update your TV and soundbars to the latest software versions. These firmware updates ensure an improved performance by fixing any bugs detected during the process. 

To do that make sure your TV is connected to the internet. Navigate to the settings tab and choose “Update Firmware”. This will help the soundbar deliver the audio perfectly. 

Reboot | The ultimate fix

Before you try any other hack to fix the audio output on your soundbar that is connected through HDMI ARC, it is highly recommended to reboot both of the devices and unplug them from the socket for about 1 minute. Rebooting, often helps the devices detect the connected devices from scratch and auto-set the settings as per compatibility. Therefore, before you jump to any other hack and try figuring it out through several long steps, just reboot it! You’d wonder but one simple reboot can mostly solve it all.

Reset to Factory default settings 

Last but not least, you can reset the TV and the soundbar to factory default, to get things working. Restoring to Factory default actually fixes any hidden problems or setting bugs that you could never detect otherwise. 

All you gotta do is:

  • Turn off the Vizio soundbar for around 15 seconds.
  • Press and hold the soundbar’s input and Bluetooth button for 5 seconds until it restarts.
  • If the above-mentioned combination of buttons doesn’t work, press the hold the input and volume-up buttons for 5 seconds until it restarts. 
  • Perform a factory reset process on your TV, either. 

Be noted that the factory reset process isn’t the same for all the devices and models. It varies from device to device. You may consult the user manual for further information. 

Connect the Support

Suppose all the above-mentioned hacks don’t make the audio output work properly, stop playing around with the settings anymore. It might be a lot much deeper than what you think and can’t be fixed using simple DIY hacks. Under such circumstances, the best option is to contact the Vizio support center for further help with your device. 

User Problems and Solutions: Vizio Soundbar HDMI-ARC Issues

HDMI-ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a technology that enables the transfer of audio data between a TV and a soundbar, providing a seamless audio experience. However, users of Vizio soundbars have reported intermittent issues with HDMI-ARC connections. This section delves into common problems and solutions based on real user experiences.

Intermittent Audio Loss

Problem: Users have reported periodic loss of audio from the soundbar, with the TV’s internal speakers taking over. This issue seems to persist even after ensuring that all firmware is up to date and the connections are secure.

Solution: A temporary fix involves pressing the power or input select button on the soundbar or its remote. However, for a more stable solution, users have suggested:

  • Setting the TV’s HDMI CEC setting to “ARC only.”
  • Ensuring the soundbar is not set to “Auto” input select mode.
  • Disabling “ECO” mode on the soundbar.
  • Setting the TV’s audio mode to “Speakers off” to immediately notice any disconnections.

Soundbar Not Being Detected

Problem: The soundbar is not detected by the TV, and the HDMI-ARC connection is not established.

Solution: Users have found success by:

  • Ensuring that “Audio Receiver” is enabled in the TV’s CEC menu.
  • Setting the TV’s digital audio out to PCM.
  • Turning off the TV’s internal speakers.
  • Ensuring all HDMI cables are properly connected and functional.

Frequent Disconnections and Required Resets

Problem: Users experience frequent disconnections between the soundbar and the TV, requiring frequent resets or power cycles.

Solution: Potential fixes include:

  • Unplugging the soundbar from the power source and plugging it back in.
  • Using a CEC-less HDMI adapter to prevent unwanted CEC commands from interfering with the connection.
  • Ensuring that all connected devices are compatible and not sending conflicting CEC commands.


To resolve issues with Vizio soundbars, particularly HDMI-ARC connection problems, familiarize yourself with various troubleshooting methods. These can include adjusting device settings, rebooting, resetting, enabling CEC, replacing cables, toggling settings, or updating firmware. By doing so, you can efficiently address and fix any connection errors, ensuring a seamless audio experience.

I’m Shaun Conroy, an audiophile & founder of HiFi Audios. Holding a Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering, I bring deep expertise in audio devices and offer insights & recommendations to fellow enthusiasts.

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