Benefits of a Soundbar when using Phonak Marvel with TV Connector

phonak marvel with tv connector, is there any benefit in adding a soundbar

If you buy a nice soundbar, the audio quality will be significantly better than your TV’s built in speakers. This can be helpful in a lot of situations especially if you don’t always have your TV Connector turned on or your HAs in/set up. But also, the “room” sound that’s mixed in will be better quality, for you and anyone else listening.

You’d have to make sure your TV will output to the soundbar and your TV Connector at the same time (meaning, do you plan to use optical or HDMI ARC for the soundbar, and optical or analog for the TV Conmector?).

Personally I have a receiver and a 5.1 speaker setup because I like having a surround speaker closer to my head. For a lot of TV I put it in “5 channel stereo” mode so the front channels are duplicated to the surround speakers. A soundbar has much less clutter but lacks this particular benefit.


The only real benefit IMO, is if your TV that has no Toslink (optical out) connection, and the sound bar does have a Toslink, as I always feel you get cleaner/crisper audio, via an optical out connection …. As always, YMMV :wink:

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Hi Greg, thanks for the info.
Just to be clear, do I connect my TV to the sound bar via optical or hdmi and then connect my Phonak TV connector to the sound bar.
And will it produce improved music sound, than I am getting now via TV to Phonak connector.
I don’t have a problem with voice, that is pretty good and clear, but maybe that would improve as well, with a sound bar.
So at the end of the day, is it worth spending the money on a sound bar.

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Adding a soundbar would likely improve the “in room” TV audio as compared to the TV’s built-in speakers (just how much would depend entirely on the quality of the particular model you purchase) but would not affect the audio coming through via your TV Connector.

Some sound ads connect by optical, and others connect by HDMI, is it depends on which you select.

Likewise, how you would connect your TV Connector depends both on the above and on your TV. If your tv will output audio via the headphone output simultaneously with optical (for example) then an optical soundbar connection and analog TV Connector connection, both directly to the TV, are possible. Some sound bars may provide a “pass through” optical port (similar to how some HA TV streamer accessories, but not Phonak’s, have a pass-through optical port). But most likely, if you want to connect both your TV Connector and soundbar using optical then you would need an optical splitter (split the output from the TV, and connect the two devices to the splitter).

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Thanks Greg,
Seems best I just stick with the Phonak TV connector, and not bother with a soundbar, as you say, it is not going to improve the audio that I have now.
Thank you very much for your help.

Do you know if the Sonos Arc soundbar and the TV connector vis Toslink can work together with both surround sound and the tv connector? How does it all work? Parallel sound or only one of the two?

Many TVs output audio via Toslink all the time, regardless of the other connections. So if you use HDMI ARC for the Sonos soundbar, you should be able to use your TV Connector at the same time… but again, you need to check to confirm that your TV works this way.

Not easy for me to understand, but is it the case that with an added sound bar, and the Phonak connector, I would get just the same audio as always via the connector, but pick up some added sound improvement via the mics on the HA,s.
I am only trying to improve the music audio streamed from my phone via Youtube to the TV.

Why go through the tv? Stream from the phone to the HA’s. Or if you’re wanting the bass oomph from bigger speakers then just listen using the aids.
Yes, if the sound of the speakers is good then the mics mixed with the Connector would be better. I do that too. But I’m thinking I’m leaning towards less mic and more Connector. That’s what the volume button on the aids do. But I can also get by somewhat with listening to the tv with the aids and not adding the Connector. It might also depend on the show. If I’m getting frustrated with speaker listening then I turn on the Connector.
Using the Connector instead of headphones for private listening is great though.

My audio via the Phonak TV connector is good.
Just wondering if I would gain better music fidelity by adding a sound bar, and picking it up via the HAs mics, in addition to the Phonak TV connector.
Would it be worth the extra cost.

I’m a little skeptical of soundbars. The speakers would be small. I found some square-box 5" speakers and I have a 10" sub. There are also plenty of normal rectangular-box bookshelf speakers out there. I don’t use a separate amp. My tv basically does 2.1. I understand that’s not entirely common.
My hearing can get the bass. The aids help hear everything else.
Blending the mics with the Connector works fine but I can also get by without the Connector.

But still and again…why not just stream music directly from your phone.

Yes I sometimes do just stream straight to my phone, but it plays on the TV at the same time.
It’s all a bit too technical for me.

Are you preferring it to also play through the tv? Is your phone connected to the tv as well? The times that you just want to listen to the music in your head then turn off the connection to the tv in the phone. I would suggest just using the Connector to listen to the audio of whatever you’re watching on the tv. If you don’t want to listen to whatever is playing on the phone on the tv then “Forget” the connection to the tv on the phone.
I know…it can get technical. You just need to be aware of what is connected to what and what is inputting to what and what is outputting to what. Ins and outs.

There are three scenarios of which I wonder if it could be easy to set up:
1/ TV / soundbar only
2/ TV Connector only
3/ Both

Being able to flex across these three depending on guests, type of show / games, etc would be very helpful.

It’s all about power.
All off.
Turn on tv = video

  1. Also turn on soundbar = TV / soundbar only
  2. Turn off soundbar, turn on Connector = TV Connector only
  3. Turn on soundbar = Both

Wires and connectors and splitters needed is up to your gear. You’ll need normal sound from somewhere and sound outputting to the Connector somehow.

My tv has speaker out connectors. It also has optical out. Speakers are connected for normal sound. The Connector is connected to optical. I can mute the tv and just listen via the Connector because mute doesn’t affect optical. The V2 version of the Connector has a power button that I turn on or off as I wish.

The soundbar needs input. Is it HDMI? Optical? Does it have optical out? Does the tv? Would you need an optical splitter? Is there an amp in the mix like 5.1?

The Connector can also take a standard 1/8" (3.5mm) cable.

I have Roku and get the audio from my TV via Phonak TV connector

I didn’t get in to whatever the source is. You could connect the 3.5mm from your phone headphone jack (if it has one) and out to the Connector and listen to that on your aids. Again why would you? Just stream directly from the phone. But you could.
Whatever output the Connector is connected to either optical out or 3.5mm audio out doesn’t matter. It will happily transmit that audio source to the aids. However audio got to that output connection on whatever device doesn’t matter either. Videos on the phone, radio on an amp, cd’s on a player, records from a turntable. You can use adapters to go from left and right rca jacks to 3.5mm.

Thank you for all the info.

To answer your question, strictly my unprofessional opinion… a soundbar will do little to improve your audio (music) experience in the aids. A soundbar is not a great sound solution. A full surround system 5.1 or more, with subwoofer and surround speakers plus a center speaker will get you better audio for TV/Movies. Not really for music (except for subwoofer output).

Again, just my opinion.