Buying new soundbar vs speakers and connection/controlling confusion


Hello everybody.
This is my first topic, please be patient. To be honest I have read a lot about the subject and the more I read the more stupid I feel. I’m totally noob about sound issues. So, here is my problem.
I own a Samsung tv : 50RU7402. It has crappy speakers (the same goes for most modern tvs as I found out). So, I thought I should buy external speakers. Searched the internet, first solution I found was buy a soundbar. Read a little more, audio knowledgeable people say stay away.

I will use it for 95% movies and tv, 5 % gaming. No music.

I have a very small budget =< 100 €. That means, amplifier + passive speakers is out of the question. I started looking for powered speakers and found Edifier R1280T (70 €) and Edifier R1280DB (100 €). For a soundbar I ended up thinking about Creative Stage 2.1 (80 €).

My problem is how to control the speakers with Samsung’s smart remote. My questions:
1) From what I understood the soundbar is easy: connect it through hdmi arc and I can control volume and on/off with Samsung’s remote. Right?
2) My tv doesn’t have 3.5mm jack. It has hdmi arc, optical, bluetooth and something that says Component / AV IN with 5 connections: Two of them labeled as Audio Right Left and three as Pr Pb Y. Are the first two for speaker RCA connection or are they only for input?
3) I found an article in Samsung’s site that said that you can control a soundbar through optical connection like you would with hdmi arc. In Sony’s site says that you can’t do it with optical because it’s fixed but you can do it with composite. Which one is right? Is Samsung referring to specific tv and soundbar or the same goes for any speaker?
4)The Edifier’s don’t have hdmi. The R1280T has only RCA and the R1280DB has RCA, bluetooth, optical, and coaxial. Is there a way to connect the speakers to tv so I can control them through Samsung’s remote?
5) If there is no solution, is a soundbar that bad for the use I want it?

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
TV Volume - what you are looking for is the option to set the Optical Digital Audio Output of the TV to 'Variable' rather than Fixed, that will allow you to connect the TV to a sound system via Optical and then use the TV remote to 'vary' the audio Output.

Component/AV In - is an analogue Video + Audio Input on the TV so not relevant at this time.

ARC - relies on CEC (HDMI Control) to work and CEC can be tricky at times with multi brand systems so you cannot assume it will always work for you.



Thank you, Joe for pointing me at the right direction. I couldn't find in the tv's settings an option to set the optical output to "variable". I'm going to contact Samsung and find out if the output is fixed or not.
So, my tv only has digital audio outputs. That's weird... Also, that narrows down my options.
I'll come back with any knew information I'll gather. Maybe someone will find them useful.


So, my conclusions...

Contacted Samsung and asked if the optical is fixed. They told me they will look into it and answer me through email. 1.5 month later and no answer. There goes customer support.

I bought the Edifier R1280DB. You can't control volume with Samsung's remote when connected by optical but only through bluetooth (as expected). I don't have a HDMI DAC to try the hdmi route so I can't comment on that.

The weird thing is that Samsung's optical doesn't seem to be fixed. Through tv's menu you can set Samsung's remote to control soundbars, home cinemas and AV receivers that are connected through optical. Why on earth did they decide to restrict it to some brands and also not set it variable for speakers?

Hope that helps someone.

P.S. The Edifiers are pretty good speakers. Especially for their price.

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