Best Soundbar With Multiple HDMI Inputs: Details Guide and Alternative Options

With increasing number of devices, a soundbar with multiple HDMI is a must. You should match the number of devices to connect with the number of HDMI ports in a soundbar. If you think you can work without HDMI ARC, then connecting soundbar with optical cable is also possible.

Soundbar with HDMI 2.1 or HDMI eARC isn’t widely available but you can find some if you search thoroughly. These have advanced features which might also increase your cost. Soundbars with wireless subwoofers are the best option because they will take up less space and there will not be any messy wires.

While selecting the best soundbar with multiple HDMI inputs, make sure the soundbar HDMI is the latest 2.0 version. The HDCP should be 2.2. The advantage with HDMI is that they are backward compatible so older HDMI cables may also work with new ones. Finally, the audio quality should be taken into consideration specially the dialogues.

Overview of Soundbar With Multiple HDMI Inputs:

Soundbar With Multiple HDMINo. of HDMIOther ConnectionsNo. of Channel
Polk Audio MagniFi 2 3 HDMI 2.0,
HDCP 2.2
And
1 HDMI ARC (out)
Optical input,
AUX 3.5mm, Bluetooth, Chromecast, Ethernet (RJ45)
5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS audio with
8” Wireless subwoofer
JBL Bar 3.1 3 HDMI input with HDCP 2.2 and one HDMI ARC out1 Analog, 1 Optical, Bluetooth, USB3.1 Surround Sound System
With 10” wireless subwoofer
Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 Channel Dolby Atmos Soundbar 3 HDMI (HDCP 2.2), 1 HDMI ARC

Supports Dolby Vision, 4k HDR
Optical, coaxial, Aux, Bluetooth 4.1 and USB7.1.4 Channel 600W Dolby Atmos Soundbar

8” subwoofer with all-wooden design
SAMSUNG HW-Q950A 11.1.4ch Soundbar 2 HDMI inputs,
1 HDMI eARC output

SmartThings app
Optical, 3.5mm stereo analog input11.1.4ch high-end Soundbar with wireless subwoofer

High Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI: All You Need To Know

These days soundbars with multiple HDMI is very common so that it can connect with several devices. They often include the latest versions.

What are HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1?

HDMI 2.1 is the most updated and latest version of HDMI technology. HDMI 2.0 is an older version and some old soundbar models might have HDMI 2.0. The thing with HDMI is, they are backward compatible. This means the HDMI 2.1 version cable will be compatible with older versions.

This HDMI supports High-bandwidth Digital Content Preventions and the HDCP 2.2 is the latest version. This needs a secure connection between the source and display. To view 4k content, you need a TV and soundbar both compatible with HDMI, HDCP 2.2.

Otherwise, there will be a break in the chain and the HDCP can’t complete the digital handshake which means you will not see a 4k image. Make sure other devices like Ultra HD Blu-ray player and media players are HDCP 2.2 compatible.

Comparing HDMI vs HDCP, while HDMI is backward compatible, HDCP isn’t. so if you connect a device with older version to a 4k TV, you will still receive images but in HD format and not 4k.

What is HDMI ARC and Why Do You Need One?

HDMI ARC is an added feature that sends audio signal forward and backward within the devices. It supports CEC feature which means you can control 15 devices with a single remote control.

The HDMI ARC cables is capable of detecting additional sound system. This means it will play audio through the connected soundbar instead of the built-in TV speakers. The most common use is to connect the HDMI cable to the HDMI ARC out of soundbar to the HDMI ARC in of the TV.

HDMI ARC will help to reduce having multiple wires, i.e. wire connecting soundbar to TV, then another wire connecting TV to audio device.

HDMI splitter vs HDMI switch

If your soundbar only has one HDMI input or no HDMI output, you need to know about HDMI switch. Or, if you have two displays, you need an HDMI splitter. HDMI splitter vs HDMI switch what are the differences?

With HDMI switch you can connect multiple sources like Xbox, Nintendo and pass them through one cable to the TV. HDMI splitter takes one input and can give two outputs to two displays or TVs. You can use the Rocketfish – 4-Port 4K HDMI Switch Box – Black RF-G1501

Details Review of Soundbar With Multiple HDMI Inputs:

Here I will discuss all ins and out of the best soundbars with multiple HDMI inputs with excels in terms of performance features at a reasonable cost. In addition at later part of the article, I will discuss some alternative options and what you need to emphasize before purchase any soundbar.

Polk Audio MagniFi 2 Sound Bar with Multiple HDMI Connections:

Features at a glance:

  • Built-in Chromecast
  • HDMI ports: 3 HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 and 1-HDMI ARC (out)
  • Other inputs: Optical input, AUX 3.5mm, Bluetooth, Chromecast, Ethernet (RJ45)
  • 8” subwoofer
  • Soundbar dimension: 2.09” H x 37.5” W x 3.01” D

Product Differentiator:

This powerful soundbar with 6 drivers is affordable and quite versatile in terms of HDMI ports and subwoofer.

Performance:

The Polk soundbar with multi HDMI with 3D mode can create virtual height channel. This will definitely not be like dedicated Atmos height speakers but will significantly improve soundbar audio. With 2” height, it has an excellent elegant look and sleek design which you can place underneath TV or wall mount.

This soundbar supports HDMI 2.0. It supports a refresh rate of 60fps with 12-bit color. It has 4 full-range drivers and two tweeters. The Polk 3D mode along with SDA technology produces room-filling 3D surround sound. The eight-inch subwoofer produces decent bass with good depth.

The VoiceAdjust technology changes the sound of the vocals and dialogues to ensure they are crystal clear. You can stream music via Bluetooth or stream from any device via built-in Chromecast. You can play music files from Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music HD, Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, iHeart Radio, Pandora, etc.

The setup is quite simple and straightforward. The Polk user manual describes details with pictures. It is capable of producing 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS audio.  This soundbar with three HDMI inputs also supports the Google assistant and with one single remote, you can control both soundbar and the TV.

Based on its performance, it can be considered as one of the best budget HDMI soundbar for TV. Polk soundbar with multiple HDMI allows you to connect set-top box, gaming console or Blu-ray players.

If you want to improve the surround sound with dedicated speakers, you can easily add SR2 wireless surround kit. This soundbar can be used with the Google speaker group to make it work as multi-room audio.

Things to Improve:

This Polk Audio MagniFi 2 doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or DTS Virtual:X. these would have produced powerful and more immersive audio. A mobile app would make this soundbar more user-friendly.

JBL Bar 3.1 with Multiple HDMI Inputs:

 Features at a glance:

  • 10” subwoofer
  • HDMI: 3 HDMI input with HDCP 2.2 and one HDMI ARC out
  • Other inputs: 1 Analog, 1 Optical, Bluetooth, USB
  • Frequency response: 35Hz to 20KHz
  • Soundbar dimension: 40” W x 2.3” H x 3.1” D

Product Differentiator:

The JBL 3.1 metal-grille soundbar comes with 10” subwoofer delivering room shaking bass and decent audio quality.

Performance:

The JBL 3.1 soundbar with multiple HDMI will impress you. The surround sound with 450W power outputs ensures quality. It has 3 HDMI along with an HDMI ARC. It supports the latest version of HDCP. How to connect soundbar to TV with HDMI? The best way is to use the HDMI ARC. Also, make sure the CEC feature in the TV is turned on.

An alternative to HDMI port is optical port and you will find several users using it. While connecting set-top box, consoles or other players, use a High-Speed HDMI cable and connect the HDMI in to the soundbar. Then connect the other end to the HDMI out of the source device.

And finally, connect soundbar to the TV. You also have the option to use the optical connection. Connecting the wireless subwoofer with the soundbar is relatively easy. A successful connection is represented by LED lights.

This HDMI soundbar for TV has 6 racetrack drivers and two tweeters. It has separate amplifiers and speakers for dialogues which makes them clearer with clarity. To minimize hassle, you can control the soundbar with the TV’s remote control.

With a max. SPL of 103dB, it can get very loud. Consumers who are audio-expert, audiophiles or DJs shared their positive feedback on this product. While we recommend an 8” sub for large rooms, this JBL wireless sub has a 10” woofer.

The result is deep, tight, and clean bass without any distortion. It is known for ‘floor shaking’ so if you are a basshead, you will be impressed. The bass and treble section is precisely represented and we agree on this with these audio experts.

However, you will find certain lacking in the mid-range section and if you are willing to overlook it, it is the best soundbar with multiple HDMI inputs at this price point. If you can’t manage to buy this one, the Monoprice SB-200 Premium Slim Soundbar  is the best affordable soundbar with HDMI ARC.

This soundbar doesn’t come with a subwoofer. As seen with the Polk soundbar, this JBL soundbar also allows connection to the TV with HDMI ARC.

Things to improve:

The improved mid-range would have made night and day difference. If you pause the bar for few seconds, it will frequently mute itself which is annoying. It also lacks Dolby Atmos.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 Channel Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Multiple HDMI:

Features at a glance:

  • Frequency response: 35Hz-22kHz
  • 3 HDMI (HDCP 2.2), 1 HDMI ARC
  • Other inputs: optical, coaxial, Aux, Bluetooth 4.1 and USB
  • Supports Dolby Vision, 4k HDR
  • Soundbar dimension: 45.5” x 3.5” x 3”

Product Differentiator:

What makes the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro soundbar unique, is the addition of rear speakers along with a subwoofer.

Performance:

The Nakamichi Shockwafe is one of the best soundbar with multiple HDMI inputs. This is because you get dedicated 2-way speakers, powerful surround sound and support for Dolby Atmos. This soundbar with HDMI output has 6 full-range drivers and two tweeters.  The 8” subwoofer with all-wood design, will produce massive low-end.

You should place it 5ft. from the listening area to the right side. Looking into Nakamichi user manual, you will see details of placement and connection for different use cases which makes it helpful for newbies.

The following image shows speaker placement in different room sizes. The rear speakers can be wall-mounted on kept on stands to make sure they remain in ear level. While other soundbars with subwoofers have simple plug-and-play setup which you can complete under 5mins, this may need some time.

It comes with all needed accessories, so once you have planned out the placement, you can complete it in a short time. The surround sound soundbar with HDMI input and output supports 3HDMI In and one HDMI ARC out. You can easily add TV with the ARC and use the other 3 HDMI for console like Microsoft Xbox One X, Sony PlayStation 4 Pro, Blu-ray player, set-top box or streaming box.

The 3.5mm aux can be connected to tablet, mp3 player or PC. If you want to connect a fourth HMI device, then connect it in the HDMI input of the TV. The soundbar can play Dolby Atmos through the TV’s eARC. The soundbar can produce 35% broader soundstage.

The dedicated rear speakers along with the sub can produce virtual Dolby Atmos height effect as well as immersive surround sound. It has rumbling bass along with crystal clear dialogues. If you want quality sound, you can rely on this one.

We can say this boldly because, the system is known to support advanced features including: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD, and DTS Digital Surround.

While we are aware of the benefits of HDMI ARC, not everything is perfect. HDMI ARC is an outstanding feature but it supports limited number of channels, up to 5.1. so, soundbars with more than 5.1 channel will be restricted. It also can’t support Dolby Atmos or DTS: X.

Things to Improve:

The soundbar system might be expensive for some. It doesn’t support HDMI 2.1.

SAMSUNG HW-Q950A 11.1.4ch Soundbar with Multiple HDMI:

Features at a glance:

  • 2 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI eARC output
  • Others: optical, 3.5mm stereo analog input,
  • SmartThings app
  • Soundbar dimension: 48.5″ x 2.7″ x 5.4″
  • Wireless subwoofer

Product differentiator:

HDMI 2.1 soundbars aren’t widely available yet. This Samsung soundbar is similar to the Nakamichi and comes with 8” subwoofer along with rear speakers. You can use this bar with Samsung QLED TV.

Performance:

This high-end soundbar support 11.1.4 system. This means there are left, right, and center channels, two surround channels on the left and right, two satellites and two channels on top. The Auto EQ feature can adjust audio analyzing the room acoustics. The soundstage and dynamics is absolutely brilliant.

While the soundbar is mostly plastic, the sub is made of wood. The build quality is decent. The full-range up-firing drivers create a virtual height effect. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. the Samsung has Q-Symphony for accurate synchronization.

You will get Aple AirPlay 2 and support for Alexa. This soundbar with HDMI 2.1 pass-through consists of 17 drivers. The rear or satellite speakers have up-firing drivers for height effect. Samsung uses other features like SpaceFit and Adaptive Voice Amplifier.

The Samsung Q-series soundbar with HDMI eARC allows you take advantage of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, and DTS. The Bluetooth or voice control makes controlling the soundbar easily.

This soundbar supports HDMI 2.1. for HDMI eARC out. Other HDMI In ports have a version of HDMI 2.0a. The HDMI 2.1 supports up to 10k resolution and [email protected], [email protected] refresh rate. It can work with bandwidth up to 48Gbps and dynamic HDRs.

The Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable is used for the bandwidth. It is also backward compatible with other HDMI versions. Keeping aside all these specs, this means the HDMI 2.1 makes your TV futureproof and is best for gaming. You can enjoy games just as they are meant to be in terms of audio and video. You can connect PS5, Xbox X and other gaming consoles.

Things To Improve:

The soundbar package is quite expensive.

How to Choose a Soundbar with Multiple HDMI inputs?

Below I have listed how I rated these soundbars with multiple HDMI and the major factors which I took into consideration.

Number of audio source

Since we are hunting for some of the best soundbars with multiple HDMI inputs, the first thing to list down is the maximum number of devices you are going to connect to the HDMI ports. If you have two devices but think it might increase to three, choose a soundbar with 3 HDMI ports.

Choose a soundbar with 2 HDMI or 1 HDMI as per your wish. If you think you want to connect the soundbar to the TV with optical then you shouldn’t bother whether the bar has HDMI ARC or not.

HDMI ARC or eARC

We have already discussed the differences between HDMI ARC and eARC. If you think you are going above a 5.1 system, you need to go with eARC. Also if you want Dolby Atmos and DTS: X compatibility you need to look for HDMI eARC. Otherwise, HDMI ARC with HDCP 2.2 will work just fine.

Audio Quality

While you will scrutinize the number of HDMIs, you shouldn’t forget the main purpose of the soundbar. Not all soundbars are made equal and it is quite a norm that you will get what you pay for, look for a soundbar based on your room size and make sure it can produce audio and dialogues with clarity.

The audio quality will improve dramatically if the soundbar comes with rear speakers with up-firing drivers. This is the best way to get height effect without dedicated Atmos speakers.

Subwoofer

Subwoofer or not? Well, if you just want a simple upgrade from your built-in TV speakers to get a louder movie sound, then you might not need one. However, soundbars with subwoofers are widely available and in a very reasonable price. So we recommend to choose a package with subwoofer. This will give you the additional rumble to enjoy the scenes.

Best Alternative Options for Soundbar with multiple HDMI:

 Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

The Sennheiser is one of the best high-end soundbar with multiple HDMI. This expensive soundbar isn’t similar to standard ones, rather you can call it a surround sound system. It has HDMI eARC and is known to create a 5.1.4 powerful and immersive surround sound. This soundbar reminds us that soundbars aren’t always weak or only used to save up space.

VIZIO SB36512-F6 36” 5.1.2 Channel Home Theater

This Vizio soundbar can produce true 5.1.2 surround sound. It has a balanced and neutral sound profile. It has one HDMI input and one HDMI ARC output. It supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digitial, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS. The built-in Chromecast makes it quite flexible.

It supports Google Assistant and you can also use it for multi-room audio. You can use this with Vizio TV.

Best Soundbar with Multiple HDMI Ports: Summary

If you are wondering, ‘How do I connect multiple devices to my soundbar?’, this is when you need to look for a soundbar with multiple HDMI inputs. Even if there are other methods of connection, HDMI is the latest and most important port a soundbar could have.

It can deliver quality audio and video transmission between source and the media. This means you need only one cable which is the ultimate reason to use a soundbar.

Why Do You Need Multiple HDMI Inputs for a Soundbar?

Multiple HDMI ports are needed because we often add multiple devices to the soundbar. HDMI ports can work with both audio and video signals. This means you don’t need separate cables for audio and video.

HDMI ports help reduce messy wires or use only one cable for the process. It also allows you to control multiple device with one remote which is convenient in a home theater.

HDMI vs Optical

Since this Polk MagniFi 2 supports both HDMI and optical for TV connection, it is worth explaining the terms and the differences. While HDMI is the universal connection and the most reliable one, users can also use the optical connection.

It is well-known to produce audio with consistency. People often use optical connection in their home theater. One drawback is, since optical cable can only transmit audio, you will need another cable for video. If you don’t want this hassle, then HDMI is the best solution.

The optical audio also can’t support Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD caliber audio but can work with Dolby Digital. For these, you need HDMI. On the other hand, if you think you only need to send audio, then optical cable might give better quality.

HDMI ARC vs HDMI eARC, what are the differences?

Simply put, the HDMI ARC doesn’t support certain features which you can find in HDMI enhanced ARC or eARC. Comparing HDMI ARC vs HDMI eARC, the eARC supports the HDMI ARC features mentioned above along with some other advanced functions.

HDMI technology is quite versatile so cables made from 2009 or 2010 will work as HDMI ARC easily. HDMI eARC with HDMI 2.1 is the updated version. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. it also supports 7.1 channel surround sound.

It supports up to 8 channels to be transmitted simultaneously. It’s a simple plug and play solution which doesn’t need any settings setup. For eARC you need HDMI 2.1 hardware along with ultra-high speed HDMI 2.1 cable.

Parting Words:

The best soundbar with multiple HDMI inputs must also have the best sound quality. This will depend on the number of drivers and their size. Some soundbar can create a broader soundstage which is ideal for large rooms, others are mostly desgined to work on small rooms.

Soundbars with multiple HDMI should also have other basic connections like Bluetooth, optical, coaxial and aux. If both TV and the bar can be controlled with single remote, then it is the best. Compatibility with voice assistants or mobile app is much better than a single remote.

Lastly, choose the HDMI ARC or eARC as per you need. Make sure the soundbar, subwoofer or rear speakers, if any, are placed appropriately as described in the user manual. Support for Dolby Atmos will take the surround sound to the next level.

Soundbars with multiple HDMI is the best affordable solution if you have small space, want declutter of wires or seek a plug-and-play solution for your home theater.

FAQ

This FAQ section is going to waving you a good luck gesture. Let’s find out all the solution it provides.

How to use analog cables in JBL 3.1 soundbar?

Follow these steps to complete the connection:

  • Take an analog cable
  • Insert the 3.5mm Aux In to the Aux in of the soundbar
  • Insert the other end to the audio device.
  • Use the remote and press several times on the Source button
  • Wait for the Aux to show on the display

What are the Alternative Options if Your Soundbar have not Multiple HDMI Inputs or output?

If you soundbar doesn’t have multiple HDMI inputs, you can easily use an HDMI switch. You can use the optical input for connecting the soundbar to the TV. If your TV supports Aux port, then you can use a 3.5mm Aux cable like the Syncwire 3.5mm Nylon Braided Aux Cable   to connect the soundbar to the TV.

In case there aren’t multiple HDMI inputs, you can use the optical connection to connect with gaming console, coaxial port to connect network media player or the 3.5mm Aux port to connect tabs or PC.