AmazonBasics Soundbar setup and unboxing: Add quality sound to your new TV

It can be annoying to purchase a huge, state-of-the-art 4K television with high dynamic range (HDR) support, only to realize the manufacturer did not leave enough room for adequate speakers. Luckily, there are myriad solutions, from Samsung’s multi-piece Atmos bar, to mid-level budget bars like Yamaha’s excellent YAS-207, to bars that barely dent your bank account. As the name implies, Amazon’s AmazonBasics product lines are intended for those who want quality workmanship without spending their whole paycheck.

At less than $100, the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Soundbar is an excellent example of this philosophy. It’s got a built-in subwoofer and a two-piece passive radiator to help drive full, wall-to-wall sound, a remote control for easy operation, and a few different modes to tailor your listening experience. Here, we will run you through the basics (no pun intended) in our AmazonBasics Soundbar setup and unboxing guide.

What’s in the box?

In addition to the soundbar itself, you will find the following in the box:

  • An external power adapter and compatible cable
  • A two-way RCA cable for use with older devices
  • A 3.5mm auxiliary cable
  • A digital optical audio cable
  • A remote control and two AAA batteries
  • Two wall brackets and screws
  • A mounting template

If you want to mount your soundbar, you also need to purchase some drywall anchors and compatible screws.

Hardware setup

First things first: Connect the A/C adapter and plug the other end into a wall outlet. Now that you have more power than one should ever have, remove the little plastic caps on both ends of the optical cable, and connect it from your television to your soundbar (assuming you bought the soundbar for use with your TV, that is).

Features and design

The soundbar has onboard control buttons (for when you inevitably lose the remote in the endless void of the couch) for power, volume, input selection (with some helpful LED indicators), Bluetooth pairing, and DSP selection, where you can choose between Standard, News, and Movie settings — kind of like an audio equalizer. These are located on top of the soundbar, near the right edge.

The remote has the same controls, laid out simply, plus a mute button in the upper right corner.

All the jacks and ports are on the soundbar’s back panel, in the center. To the left of these, you can see the ovular subwoofer, housed behind a screw-locked grate.

Software setup

Technically, soundbars don’t have software (not that you can see, anyway). Most modern TVs do, though, and they won’t all automatically route audio through your soundbar — even after connecting the optical cable. Head to your TV’s sound settings, and choose “sound out” or “output.” Make sure “optical” is selected and, if applicable, you might need to switch the “Digital Sound Out” setting to “PCM.”

How to choose the right soundbar

Update: Added more soundbar options

Product Review

Hisense’s new H8E 4K TV serves up a pretty picture at a very nice price

Budget TVs continue to get more attractive and that includes the latest from Chinese TV maker Hisense. The company’s new H8E offers 4K resolution, HDR, and a slick design for well under $500.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

You can get a top-tier Vizio P Series TV for a song this Black Friday

Vizio has announced a slew of Black Friday deals for those interested in new home theater offerings, but none are more enticing than the deals the company is running on its top-tier P-Series and P-Series Quantum TVs.
Home Theater

Cable TV without the cable bill? Silicon Dust’s All-In-One plan is calling

You either pay a high monthly cable bill and get all the channels you want, or you pay no monthly bill, and only get what is freely transmitted over the air. Silicon Dust is offering a third option now, with its All-in-One plan.
Home Theater

Don’t cash in that 401(k)! These are the best TVs you can get for under $500

These days, $500 can get you a pretty nice TV. Still, sorting through thousands of options online can be both boring and overwhelming, so we've put together a quick guide to the best TVs under $500.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in December 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for December 2018 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.