Is HDMI ARC Better Than Bluetooth? (Analyzing For Soundbar)

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Both HDMI ARC and Bluetooth have brought great convenience for mankind, but they have distinctive features to add to the flavor.  So, Is HDMI ARC better than Bluetooth?

At A Glance: HDMI ARC is better because it supports 5.1 and the soundbar can be controlled with the help of a TV remote also there will be no lip-sync issues that usually happen with Bluetooth.

This was a general blow to the fire. Keep reading to discuss it in detail, and I will answer some of the most significant related questions.

HDMI ARC Vs Bluetooth: In-depth analysis

FeatureHDMI ARCBluetooth
compressed 5.1YesNo
Stereo YesYes
Control both Soundbar and TV with one remoteYesNo
Lip-sync issuesNoYes
Compressed Dolby AtmosYesNo

With HDMI ARC, you can have high-quality 5.1 surround sound audio. You will have to feel each dimension of the audio that is provided in 5.1.

Bluetooth is capable of just stereo sound. It will send stereo music to the soundbar. 

Also, HDMI ARC provides HDMI CEC features. With this feature, you can control the soundbar with the remote of the TV. You will have to use lesser remotes in your theater room.

Another great benefit of CEC is that when you turn on the TV, it will automatically turn on the soundbar.

No need to turn them on separately. 

Bluetooth is nice when you love wireless connectivity, otherwise, it can’t beat the HDMI ARC in any other feature.

The Bluetooth connectivity with the soundbar sometimes gives lip-sync issues to the users. In this issue, the lips’ movement of the characters on the screen will be different and the dialogues coming out of the speaker will be different. 

The lips’ movement will lag in matching the dialogue flow.

In which condition will they both be the same? When the system doesn’t support Dolby Audio or the system is stereo altogether. In this condition, the HDMI ARC and Bluetooth are the same because they both can decode stereo audio pretty well.

How HDMI ARC decodes Dolby Atmos is a separate debate, but this is the case for the stereo.

Keep reading as we will be discussing many more aspects of this connectivity.

Also, know Does HDMI ARC goes both ways. You will know many more new things.

What is the advantage of HDMI ARC?

The HDMI ARC has a few advantages that are well known, and these advantages really bring convenience to our lives.

  1.  Fewer wires will be used in the home theater because you are required to use only one wire for both audio and video transmission. Like this HDMI cable that is first 8K certified and works with modern technologies. Check it on Amazon.
  2. HDMI CEC. When you turn on one device it will turn on another, and when you turn off one device it will automatically turn off another.
  3. You will have to use one remote to control both the TV and soundbar
  4. You get a 5.1 surround sound format via HDMI ARC
  5. The transmission is fast, that’s why there is no lag in the dialogues and lips’ movement.

Also, read what can damage a projector. The points in this guide are not well-known by everyone.

What is the disadvantage of HDMI ARC?

Here are the noticeable disadvantages

  1. Although it supports 5.1. But it’s a compressed version. It means there will be a loss in the data and it will impact the quality of the audio
  2. Its bit rate is 1Mbps. This is very little as the world is developing pretty quickly and now consumers need more bandwidth and bit rates.
  3. It can’t deliver Dolby Atmos in its pure form. It will have to compress to transfer.

Final Verdict

HDMI ARC is the best if you want to pass through 5.1 surround sound signals to the soundbar, control both TV & soundbar with one remote, has an HDMI CEC feature that will turn on connected devices when you turn on one, and if you don’t want lip sync-issues that come with Bluetooth connectivities.

Did you get something out of this HDMI ARC guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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Does HDMI ARC give a better picture?

The HDMI ARC is an audio return channel, and it doesn’t affect video but only audio.

It supports decompressed 5.1 surround sound and can transfer it effectively.

Is HDMI ARC better for gaming?

It is better because the HDMI ARC is created by keeping the input latency rate of the gaming. 

You will get a nice gaming experience without frames cutting and lagging in the game. This latency rate is also affected by many other devices in the chain. Like consoles, projectors, or TV.

Newer versions of the HDMI cables are equipped with Auto Low Latency mode that will keep the input lag in check.

What is better than the HDMI ARC?

The HDMI eARC is better than the HDMI ARC because it can transfer object-based audio Dolby Atmos in its pure form and has 36 M bits higher bit rate than the HDMI ARC.

The HDMI eARC is the enhanced version of the HDMI ARC, and this enhanced version can do all the features better than the HDMI ARC. 

The eARC supports uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 and has better lips sync than the HDMI ARC.

What is better for sound optical or HDMI?

HDMI is the best because you get audio and video both in one wire, and HDMI is a big organization that keeps its technology updated.

There are more than 5 versions of HDMI and each HDMI has its capabilities. This technology is getting better with time. Every newer version is crafted with better precision and equipped with newer features that are in demand in the market.

I always feel safe with HDMI because they will adapt to any newer technology that is emerging in the market.

Does a soundbar sound better with HDMI?

The soundbar sounds better because the HDMI supports all the newer audio and video formats. But you have to use a newer version of HDMI for those features.

HDMI is a big organization, and they craft their technology for newly emerging codecs in the market. 

So, don’t worry, your soundbar will always sound better with an HDMI connection.

Should I connect my soundbar with HDMI or Bluetooth?

Always go for the HDMI because Bluetooth can only transfer stereo even though your soundbar is 5.1 capable and also the audio will face lip-syncing issues.

Bluetooth can’t transmit 5.1 audio, and many soundbars now come with 5.1 surround sound mode. This will be a huge mismatch to provide stereo signals to a device that is brought to the home for 5.1 surround sound.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. Read my guide about the best UST projectors. Few are the best for gaming. (Resource for the third answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more from the resources about the eARC by (Resource for the fourth answer)
  3. This was my opinion, read more about it from CNET BLOG. (Resource for the fifth answer)
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Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

I'm Ayaan khan, a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After my degree, I started an internship with my father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month I realized that this is the best job in the world for me and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when my internship ended, I joined my father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. I test new equipment and approve it before it can be installed in the customer's house. I love to test equipment and sometimes love to install it by myself in the customer's theater room. I have the right experience and knowledge to learn from my articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy. If you have any questions for me. Reach out to my email (Support(AT)

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