How to Control Bose Soundbar with TV Remote

Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Jhonni Jets

Having a separate soundbar remote to deal with in addition to your TV remote can feel cluttered. Wouldn’t it be convenient to use just one remote to control both your TV and soundbar volume and functions?

Many Bose soundbar models can in fact be programmed to work with your television’s remote control. This allows you to turn on your soundbar, adjust volume, and access settings using the same remote as your TV.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the step-by-step process for controlling a Bose soundbar with a TV remote. You’ll learn about:

  • Advantages of using only the TV remote
  • What you need to set up the universal remote
  • Programming modes like IR, HDMI-CEC, and Bluetooth
  • Step-by-step instructions for popular TV brands
  • Programming for older or non-compatible soundbars
  • Using universal remotes as an alternative
  • Troubleshooting tips for remote issues

Follow the instructions specific to your TV and soundbar models for the convenience of a single remote controlling your home theater. Let’s get started!


A soundbar is a great audio upgrade for any TV viewing experience. But juggling multiple remotes can quickly become annoying. Certain Bose soundbar models include IR sensor eyes so they can pair directly with compatible TV remotes.

With the proper setup, you can then use your television’s remote to:

  • Turn Bose soundbar ON and OFF
  • Adjust soundbar volume up and down
  • Mute the soundbar
  • Access soundbar modes and settings
  • Control everything without switching remotes

This covers about 90% of the basic functions you’ll need. For deeper soundbar settings, you may still occasionally need the Bose remote. But for everyday viewing, your TV’s remote becomes a powerful all-in-one tool.

In the rest of this guide, we’ll cover different programming modes, walk through steps for popular TV brands, and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Soon you’ll be enjoying the simplicity of a single remote to rule your entire home entertainment system!

Advantages of Using Only the TV Remote

Before we dig into the programming how-to, let’s look at some of the benefits of using just your television’s remote to also control soundbar functions:

  • Convenience – Only one remote needed for all basic functions. No switching remotes back and forth.
  • Simpler operation – TV remote layouts are designed to be intuitive and easy to use.
  • No misplaced remotes – TV remote always handy; less chance of losing the soundbar remote.
  • Better aesthetics – No clutter of multiple remotes on the coffee table.
  • Power savings – Turn off soundbar automatically when TV is powered off.
  • Complete control – Ability to adjust volume, mute, mode, etc. right from the TV remote.
  • Troubleshooting – Determine if TV or soundbar issue based on TV remote functions.
  • Guest-friendly – Visitors can easily figure out how to use the system.
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Those are some excellent benefits you’ll enjoy by programming your Bose soundbar to work with your TV’s remote control. Now, let’s look at what’s needed to set up this universal control.

What You Need to Set Up the Universal Remote

To get started programming your TV’s remote to control the Bose soundbar, you’ll need:

  • Bose soundbar (compatible models only)
  • Television remote control
  • TV user manual
  • Bose soundbar user manual
  • Fresh batteries for both remotes

You’ll also need access to the following on the TV:

  • Input/Source menu
  • External Device Control or Remote setup menu
  • CEC/HDMI Control options
  • Bluetooth settings if applicable

And access to these settings on the soundbar:

  • IR mode
  • CEC options
  • Bluetooth pairing

With those components and settings available, you’re ready to begin programming. We’ll cover the steps based on how you connect your devices.

Programming Modes: IR, HDMI-CEC, Bluetooth

There are a few different ways a TV remote can control other devices:

Infrared (IR): The TV remote sends IR signals that are picked up by the soundbar sensor. This works for Bose models with IR receivers.

HDMI-CEC: The TV communicates directly with the soundbar through the HDMI cable. Allows basic controls like volume and power.

Bluetooth: The TV remote pairs wirelessly via Bluetooth with the Bose soundbar. Limited range but works with newer TVs.

Most universal remotes will use IR signals. But HDMI-CEC and Bluetooth provide alternate options too. We’ll cover programming steps for all three methods next.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Popular TV Brands

The specific steps to program a Bose soundbar to work with the TV remote will vary slightly depending on your TV brand. Here are the basic steps for some popular models:

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Samsung TV Remote Programming

  1. Under Audio settings, ensure HDMI-CEC is enabled on your Samsung TV.
  2. On the Bose soundbar, enable HDMI-CEC in the settings.
  3. Connect the TV and soundbar via HDMI cable.
  4. The TV remote should now control basic soundbar functions automatically.
  5. To enable deeper menu control, set the remote to IR mode and follow device programming steps.

LG TV Remote Programming

  1. In the LG TV settings, enable SIMPLINK (HDMI-CEC).
  2. Enable HDMI-CEC on the Bose soundbar in its settings.
  3. Use the HDMI cable to connect the LG TV and Bose soundbar.
  4. Select “External Speakers” under TV audio output settings.
  5. The LG magic remote will now control the Bose soundbar through HDMI-CEC.
  6. For IR control, set remote to IR mode and program it with Bose device codes.

Vizio TV Remote Programming

  1. Under the Vizio TV CEC settings, ensure CEC is enabled.
  2. Enable CEC also in the Bose soundbar settings.
  3. Connect TV and soundbar via HDMI cable.
  4. In the Vizio TV audio settings, select soundbar as audio output device.
  5. The Vizio remote will then control soundbar volume automatically.
  6. Program the Vizio remote to Bose codes in the remote setup menu for added IR functions.

Sony TV Remote Programming

  1. Enable HDMI control on both the Sony TV and Bose soundbar in their respective settings.
  2. Use HDMI to connect the Sony TV and soundbar.
  3. The Sony TV remote should now be able to turn the soundbar on/off when TV is powered on/off.
  4. For functions like volume and muting, program the Sony remote to the Bose IR codes.

That covers settings for just a few popular TV brands. Check your TV user manual for the specific steps to enable HDMI-CEC and program IR codes for your model.

Now let’s look at options for older or non-compatible soundbars.

Programming for Older or Non-Compatible Soundbars

If your Bose soundbar does not include HDMI-CEC or IR capability, or you have an older TV model, you still have some options to consolidate remotes:

  • Use IR repeater: An IR repeater picks up IR signals from the TV remote and beams them to the soundbar using an attached external IR receiver. This essentially adds IR capability.
  • Swap soundbar: Upgrade to a newer CEC/IR-enabled Bose soundbar model designed for universal remotes.
  • Use IR extension cable: Allows you to reposition the soundbar’s IR receiver to be able to pick up the TV remote signals from longer distances.
  • Add universal remote: A programmable remote like Logitech Harmony can control the TV via Bluetooth and IR while controlling the soundbar via IR.
  • Use smart home hub: Connect via Alexa, Google Home, or smart home hub so you can control soundbar via voice alongside TV.
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With a little creativity, you can achieve consolidated TV and soundbar control through universal remotes, voice assistants, or IR accessories.

Using a Universal Remote as an Alternative

If your TV’s native remote can’t be programmed to control your Bose soundbar, universal remotes provide an alternative:

  • Logitech Harmony – Harmony Hub models use both Bluetooth (for TV) and IR (for soundbar) allowing control of both with the same remote.
  • SofaBaton – SofaBaton universal remotes can neatly control a full home theater setup including TV, soundbar, streaming devices, game consoles, etc.
  • GE Universal – GE makes affordable universal remotes that can learn your TV’s Bluetooth commands and be pre-programmed for Bose soundbars.
  • Philips Universal – Similar to GE, Philips universal remotes can take the place of both your TV and Bose remotes.

Universal remotes have the advantage of controlling virtually any models. And they allow TV and soundbar programming through a mix of IR, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. Just be sure to buy a more fully featured model to cover all your devices.

Troubleshooting Tips for Remote Control Issues

If you are running into problems getting your TV remote to control the Bose soundbar, try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Check batteries in both remotes and replace if low.
  • Ensure the soundbar IR receiver is not blocked.
  • Try disconnecting and reconnecting HDMI if using HDMI-CEC.
  • Re-pair the remotes if using Bluetooth.
  • Enable any disabled CEC options in device settings.
  • Verify correct input source is selected on both devices.
  • Try programming the remote to the soundbar again from scratch.
  • Factory reset one or both devices and reprogram from default.
  • Use an IR repeater or extender if IR signals are too weak.
  • Update firmware on both TV and soundbar.

Taking the time to troubleshoot any programming or connection issues is worth it for the convenience of consolidated control using your TV’s remote!


The ability to use a single remote for both your television and Bose soundbar improves home theater usability and simplicity. By leveraging technologies like HDMI-CEC, IR, and Bluetooth, you can equip your TV’s remote to power on/off and adjust volume levels on compatible soundbars.

Just remember to:

  • Enable CEC options on both TV and soundbar
  • Connect via HDMI if using HDMI-CEC
  • Position devices for optimal IR reception
  • Follow device programming steps for your TV brand
  • Try a universal remote if your TV’s remote won’t program

With the right setup, you’ll be controlling your complete entertainment system with the simplicity of one intuitive, streamlined remote. No more fumbling for different remotes just to turn on your TV and soundbar! Simplify your home theater experience today.

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