vizio soundbar optical not working

Vizio soundbar optical not working and you’re wondering why? Well, you’re not alone!

It’s quite common for Vizio soundbars connected with an optical cable not to work right away.

Fortunately, there are plenty of trustworthy solutions available and in this guide, we will walk you through the entire troubleshooting in easy and non-technical steps…

If your Vizio soundbar’s optical cable isn’t working, check if the soundbar is connected to the correct input and try performing a setup power cycle. This can often resolve issues related to the optical connection.

Let’s dig deeper because there is much more to unwrap!

Why is the Vizio Soundbar Optical Input Not Working?

why is the optical input not working

When the Vizio soundbar won’t recognize the connected optical cable, there are many factors involved so it’s best to check all of them first.

Here’s a complete list of soundbar optical faults:

  • Incorrect audio output mode is selected on the Vizio soundbar.
  • The default output device of the TV is NOT set to the soundbar.
  • The Vizio soundbar is muted or the volume is simply too low.
  • There’s a temporal software/hardware issue with the soundbar.
  • A physical fault or damage with the soundbar’s optical cable.

What Are the Vizio Soundbar Inputs?

A Vizio soundbar could have up to two optical inputs based on the model and release date.

Thoroughly examine the back panel of the device and determine if there are one or two optical inputs, as this is crucial to resolving the problem.

what are the vizio soundbar inputs

Here are all of the audio Vizio soundbar inputs:

  • OPTICAL input (3)
  • OPTICAL input (4)
  • USB input (B)
  • AUX input (2)
  • AUX input (1)
  • HDMI IN 
Tip: The optical cable connector has a square-shaped head with a circular (central) pin!

Vizio Soundbar Optical Not Working7 Proven Ways to Fix!

Tip: Follow the chronological order of the steps to fix the problem faster!

1. Correct the Soundbar’s Input Mode

correct the soundbar's input mode

Based on the type of audio cable that connects the Vizio soundbar to the TV, you need to select the appropriate input setting in the menu of the device.

Since the Vizio soundbar is connected with an optical cable to the TV, you must choose the “OPTICAL” mode setting in the menu.

Here’s how to correct the input mode of the Vizio soundbar:

  1. Press the “Input” button on the soundbar’s remote control.
  2. Press the arrow key to scroll through the available modes.
  3. Once “OPTICAL” appears on the screen, press the “Menu” key.
  4. Wait for the input mode selection to lock in and test the soundbar.
Note: Some Vizio soundbars may have more than one optical input mode, so watch out!

2. Power Cycle the Vizio Soundbar

power cycle the vizio soundbar

The reason why the optical input of your Vizio soundbar is not working might be due to a simple temporal functionality malfunction.

This method will teach you how to perform a power cycle on the soundbar, to eliminate any non-lasting issues that might be inferring with your device…

Here’s how to perform a power cycle on the Vizio soundbar in easy steps:

  1. Press the Power button on the Vizio soundbar’s remote control.
  2. Wait until the Vizio sound bar shuts off and the display goes black.
  3. Disconnect the power cable of the Vizio soundbar from the outlet.
  4. Wait for 40 seconds while unplugged for power circulation.
  5. Reconnect the power cable of the soundbar back into power.
Note: While the power cable of the soundbar is unplugged, inspect the condition of the cable!

3. Inspect the Optical Cable Connection!

inspect the optical cable connection

In this method, you’ll learn how to inspect the entirety of the optical connection, which involves quite a few factors.

If the optical cable is not connected or situated properly, the soundbar will not appear in the TV’s audio menu and therefore the audio output will not be transferred.

Let’s review the most important factors in an optical cable connection!

#1 Inspect Optical Connectors!

The first and most important step is to verify that the cable is connected securely on both ends.

Thoroughly examine the optical cable’s connection involving the cable’s body, connectors, and of course, the TV’s output port.

#2 Reconnect the Optical Cable

reconnect the optical cable

The second-most-important factor is the connection between the source and the Vizio soundbar.

Unplug the optical cable both from the TV and soundbar’s end, wait for up to 20 seconds, and reconnect the optical cable securely on both ends. 

#3 Inspect the Cable’s Condition

If the optical cable has visual hardware damage, it may not function properly. So, inspect the optical cable for any rips, cuts, or exposed wires.

In case the cable has serious hardware damage, you must replace it with a new one!

Note: If you have a spare optical cable laying around, now is the time to test by using it.

4. Test with Another Optical Input

test with another optical input

If your Vizio soundbar has more than one optical input, you should now test the connection of the soundbar, while the cable is connected to another input.

It’s not unlikely for an input port on your Vizio soundbar to get worn out and stop functioning correctly, so it’s worth trying to switch!

  • Simply connect the optical cable to the second “OPTICAL” input on the soundbar!
Note: If your TV also has a second optical output, connect the cable there!

How to Detect a Defective Optical Input?

There’s an easy way to tell if the optical input either on the Vizio soundbar or the TV is defective.

Inspect the pin of the connector closely and check whether it’s bent, missing, or worn out.

Reminder: Don’t forget that you’ll have to switch the TV output if your Vizio soundbar is now connected to a different optical output.

5. Alter the TV’s Audio Output Device

alter the tv's audio output device

If you have multiple audio devices connected to the TV, you must specify the Vizio soundbar in the audio settings to activate the output.

In case your TV or audio device is set to playback on a different output rather than “optical” the sound will be coming from your Vizio soundbar!

Here’s how to alter the audio output device on most TV devices:

  1. Press the “Menu” button on the TV’s remote control.
  2. Navigate to the “Audio” tab and press the “OK” button.
  3. Scroll down and highlight “Default Audio Device”.
  4. Press “OK” and use the arrow buttons to select.
  5. Highlight the “Optical” input or simply “Vizio Soundbar”.
  6. Lock in your selection and exit the TV’s audio settings.
Note: Choose “Optical” in the TV’s audio menu and make sure it is the correct optical port!

6. Factory Reset the Vizio Soundbar!

factory reset the vizio soundbar

In case nothing helps and the optical input on your Vizio soundbar is not working, well, it’s time for the ultimate factory reset.

This method will unpair your Vizio soundbar from the app, and from other wireless connections, and will restore the default device settings.

  • Most of the Vizio soundbar models have identical action buttons, so the factory reset is also completed in an identical way.

Here’s how to complete a factory reset on your Vizio soundbar:

  1. Locate the “Bluetooth” and “Volume Down” buttons.
  2. Press and hold both of the buttons simultaneously.
  3. Release both buttons after about 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Then, the 12 LED lights of the soundbar should blink.
  5. Wait until the Vizio sound bar shuts down and reboots!
Note: If the steps do not apply to you, consult the Vizio soundbar’s user manual.

7. Replace the Optical Cable

In case you’ve attempted all of the previous solutions and nothing helped, the problem is most likely with the optical cable.

replace the optical cable

Over time, cables simply wear out, leading to heavy intermittent or no audio output, when the cable is damaged or faulty.

Acquire a brand new compatible optical cable and uninstall the old one from the Vizio soundbar and the TV device.

Connect the new optical cable to the TV’s optical output and then to one of the soundbar’s optical inputs. Then play some music and check whether the optical now works!

Note: You may have to re-configure the audio settings of the soundbar/TV if the new optical cable is installed into a different input port.

Quick Recap:

Hence, to fix when Vizio soundbar optical not working, power cycle your setup and verify that the soundbar is set to the “OPTICAL” input mode. Moreover, inspect the TV’s audio settings, reconnect the optical cable, and finally factory reset the Vizio soundbar!

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Nicole B