Best answer: To connect Sonos Beam to your TV, you're going to need to use one of two ports: either HDMI-ARC, which connects your TV to the Beam with a standard HDMI cable and enables more advanced features, or the optical audio port, which connects your TV and Beam using an optical audio cable and HDMI-to-optical adapter and only delivers sound.
Amazon: Sonos Beam ($399)
Sonos encourages you using HDMI-ARC with the Beam
While you can use your TV's optical audio port (sometimes called the digital audio port) to connect your Sonos Beam, Sonos would prefer you use the HDMI-ARC port on your television, if it has one. While this port connects in the same way as a standard HDMI port, what's important is what the port delivers.
The "ARC" in HDMI-ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, and using the port will perfectly sync up audio between your TV and the Beam. With HDMI-CEC enabled (which allows external third-party devices to control your TV through its HDMI ports), you can use the Sonos Beam's built-in Alexa capabilities to turn your TV on and off, as well as mute and otherwise control your TV's audio using standard Alexa commands.
A large selection of TVs in a myriad of price ranges produced in the last few years come with an HDMI-ARC port. It looks just like the other HDMI ports on your TV, except that it will be labeled "ARC."
Optical audio is fine, too
If you don't have an HDMI-ARC port, it's not a problem. While the Beam doesn't have an optical port of its own, you can connect it to your TV's optical port (which, if your TV was built in the last several years, it ought to have) by plugging in the included HDMI cable with an HDMI-to-optical adapter.
The best part? That adapter is included.
Do be aware that you won't be able to control your TV using the Sonos Beam and Alexa if you're connected through your TV's optical audio port. That functionality requires the use of HDMI-ARC.
No additional hardware needed
Whether you have HDMI-ARC on your TV or have to settle for using an optical port, the Sonos Beam will work out of the box without any additional hardware. It comes with the HDMI cable you'll need to connect to your TV and, as mentioned above, the HDMI-to-optical audio adapter that you'll need to use if you don't have HDMI-ARC.
Ready for what you've got whether it's HDMI or optical audio.
The hardware setup for the Sonos Beam is fairly straightforward. While Sonos suggests that you use HDMI-ARC, if that's not possible, you should have an optical audio port that you can use.
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