The new second-generation Apple TV 4K is capable of relaying audio from a compatible TV to a HomePod – even when you're not using your Apple TV. This allows you to stream audio from a TV-connected game console or other set-top box straight to Apple's smart speakers. Keep reading to learn more and how to set it up.
The new Apple TV 4K supports two additional connection standards, called ARC and eARC. ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a feature of HDMI 1.4 that enables audio from a device to be sent to a compatible TV and relayed through its HDMI port to a separate audio receiver, speaker, or sound bar. eARC (enhanced ARC) meanwhile adds support for the passthrough of higher bandwidth audio like Dolby Atmos, as well as 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.
For Apple TV 4K, ARC and eARC support effectively allows a HomePod or stereo-paired Homepods in a Home Theater Audio setup to play audio from other TV-connected devices like a cable box, PS5, or Xbox Series X. The following steps show you how to get it set up.
Note that the feature only works with the original, discontinued HomePod – the newer HomePod mini is not supported at this time. Also, make sure that your TV supports ARC or eARC. You can check if it does by seeing if there's an ARC label next to your HDMI port, or try contacting the TV manufacturer.
- On your Apple TV, launch the Settings app.
- Select Video and Audio.
- Select Default Audio Output. (Under "Default Audio Output," make sure HomePod is selected.)
- Under "Audio Return Channel (Beta)," select Play Television Audio. You'll know ARC or eARC is turned on when it says On (ARC) or On (eARC).
If ARC or eARC doesn't work for you after following the above steps, check whether you need to turn on ARC, eARC, or HDMI-CEC in the settings of your TV.