I have a Phillips TV and it doesn't have the best sound, so I want to use my MacBook, which has much better sound, as a speaker for this TV.

I've tried connecting the laptop through HDMI to TV and select "HDMI port" in Sound output, but it says that this output channel is not available (probably because it only detects it as input).

Is there any way I can configure macOS to use HDMI as sound input?

  • 1
    @ibonyun OP wasn't talking about a laptop, they were talking about a MacBook -- and MacBooks have incredibly good speakers.
    – Max
    Feb 14 at 9:08
  • 1
    Just to be clear - the 'source' of the picture and sound is the TV itself? You're not using the TV as an external monitor for the MacBook?
    – MikeB
    Feb 14 at 9:52
  • 1
    @MikeB Yes, this is not about using TV as an external monitor. I went with using the TV as an external monitor instead, which you might think is an obvious solution, but I think the picture quality (colors are less saturated and sometimes picture is blurry) is worse this way. Maybe this is fixable though?
    – comonadd
    Feb 14 at 9:56
  • 11
    @Max Macbooks are laptops, and as such they have very good speakers for a laptop. They're not incredibly good speakers compared to what's available for home theater use.
    – barbecue
    Feb 14 at 14:21
  • 7
    Buy a pair of active speakers like Edifier MR4 or Polk T15 for $80-$200. Even $50 home speakers with MDF cabinets sound much better than the MBP 16. Don't waste a laptop doing the job of a $50 speaker, and not as well.
    – Therac
    Feb 14 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


This won't work. Macs don't support HDMI-ARC. ARC is the "Audio Return Channel" that allows a smart TV to send audio "upstream" up the HDMI cable to a soundbar or other home theater receiver where the "good speakers" would be.

  • 1
    This isn't even about ARC. Macs don't support HDMI input whatsoever. I think the distinction is important because if for some weird reason someone has a display/TV with an actual HDMI out that wouldn't work either.
    – Logarr
    Feb 14 at 18:26
  • 9
    @logarr OP said that on his TV he selected sound output on an HDMI input. That means this question is most definitely specifically about HDMI-ARC.
    – Spiff
    Feb 14 at 18:35
  • Nevertheless, @Logarr's comment is clearly helpful to future searchers of similar questions (whose titles could easily be identical to this one). Feb 15 at 12:32

Thinking loud here.

The Macbook in itself does not have HDMI inputs. So what you probably would look for is some kind of USB device to connect to the Macbook.

As indicated by your question the TV does not seem to support HDMI out (well, I´ve never seen any TV supporting that, but that is me). Maybe the TV has some other kind of sound output. It is not totally unknown for TV-s to have digital optical outputs on a so called Toslink.

If the TV has toslink output you could add an external so called "sound card". Connect the toslink from tv to soundcard and then USB to the computer. Toslink in are getting rare on soundcards today, so you might need to search a bit. I found one that might work called M-Game Solo but have never seen one IRL or used one, so you may be on your own there.

Just maybe it would be an idea to search for second hand stereo equipment. Some have Toslink input and can be surprisingly cheap as they are out of fashion.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .