Setting up an Insignia NS-SB314 soundbar (and other brands too)


The Insignia NS-SB314 soundbar was one of my most popular recommendations last year. While not a high-end product, it sounds pleasant and makes your television much easier to hear.  That’s all a lot of consumers want, and with an MSRP of $99 and frequent sale prices between $49 and $79 it is a very good buy.

You can do it!

If you can plug in and use a hair dryer, you can set up this soundbar. This page will show you how easy it is. All you need to do is make two easy connections and push a few buttons.

Other brands may apply

This setup guide may also help you set up another brand of soundbar, though the buttons and input placement may be different.

Let’s get started

I have borrowed some content from my ZVOX SoundBase setup page so I can get this page up a little faster.

What you need


Of course, you need the soundbar itself. Here is mine on its way home from Best Buy the day I found one on sale and decided to try it. I had no idea what I would be starting that day!


Unfortunately, it only comes with analog cables and you will get your best results with an optical digital cable, as shown above.  This cable should cost no more than $10, and I recommend a-foot to 6-foot length.  It is better to have some extra cable to tuck in, rather than a cable that is under tension.

You can find some at this link: Optical Digital Cables

Step 1: Place the soundbar in front of the TV

First, put the soundbar in front of the TV. Easy enough.

Step 2: Connect the optical cable to the TV


As you can see in the picture above, the optical cable connector is shaped so it only fits one way. You pull off the protection cap before inserting the cable.


You will probably already have HDMI cables connected to the TV. These cables carry the picture and the sound. In this case, a cable box and a Blu-ray player are connected. This is as it should be, and nothing changes here.


Look for the Optical Digital Out connection on the back of the TV. You can see what it looks like in the picture above.


Connect one end of the optical cable to this connection. It will firmly click in place.

Step 3: Connect the optical cable to the soundbar



Locate the optical digital input on the back of the soundbar. You can see it in the picture above. It is “SOURCE 1 OPTICAL” on the far right.


Connect the other end of the optical cable to this input, as shown above. It will firmly click in place.

Step 4: Plug in the soundbar


Plug one end of the power adapter into the soundbar (shown above) and the other end into the wall. Easy enough!

Step 5: Turn down TV speakers


Turn down your TV speakers all the way to zero. You want the soundbar to produce all the sound.

Step 6: Set TV audio output to PCM


Go into the TV’s setup menus and look for the digital audio output setting.  Set it to PCM.

If you are wondering what PCM stands for, it is “Pulse Code Modulation” which, for lack of a better term, is a generic digital audio signal.  It does not require special decoding like Dolby Digital or DTS formats.

Step 7: Using the remote

Turn on the soundbar, then select the input using the remote or the buttons on the top. It is SOURCE 1 OPTICAL on the left, under the red power button.  When you select it the soundbar will start making sound.


As you can see, in the center there are three different sound settings.  Use “News” if you want to understand voices better.  Bass adjustment is directly below, and volume is to the right.  Mute button is directly above the volume.

No optical connection?


The soundbar comes with stereo RCA cables that can be connected to the audio output of your TV or cable/satellite set-top box. You will get better results from optical, though.