HDMI ARC-Pass Switch VAX04100 für Soundbars - FeinTech

HDMI ARC pass switch VAX04100 for soundbars

This new HDMI switch was developed to connect a soundbar with HDMI-ARC connection directly to the HDMI sources. It doesn't work the usual way. Because the HDMI ARC connection of the soundbar is an HDMI output, not an HDMI input. Only the sound is transmitted in reverse via the Audio Return Channel

HDMI-ARC is used in TVs to transmit the internal sound (cable TV, satellite TV or smart TV) to the soundbar. If external sources such as a PC or media player are connected to the TV, the sound can in principle also be sent to the soundbar via HDMI-ARC. The wiring effort is therefore low. And such soundbars are popular. Unfortunately, there are possible limitations. And this is where the VAX04100 switch comes in handy:

  1. Better audio formats:
    TVs often do not support better audio formats such as Dolby Digital, DTS or Dolby Atmos. Although film and media players could offer better sound, the TV doesn't do it any better. DTS in particular suffers from this, which is no longer forwarded by current LG and Samsung televisions. The VAX04100 fixes that by bypassing the TV's limitations.

  2. No Audio Delay:
    Or the sound is only sent after the video processing and is therefore too late at the sound system. You can no longer synchronize a trailing tone. The VAX04100 prevents such a delay, because the soundbar no longer receives the sound from external players from the television.

  3. Soundbar can be operated with a projector or monitor:
    Video projectors or monitors do not have an HDMI ARC connection at all. They cannot be used with soundbars that require HDMI-ARC.

VAX04100 HDMI ARC Pass Switch for a soundbar with ARC, with remote control
VAX04100 HDMI ARC Pass Switch for a soundbar with ARC, with remote control


The VAX04100 delivers audio and video signals from an HDMI source to the end device (TV, monitor or video projector). HDMI data rates of up to 18 Gbps are supported. 4K 60Hz and HDR formats such as Dolby Vision are therefore possible. On the front of the device you set the so-called EDID mode on. This sets the maximum audio format. If you have a powerful sound system, set this to "7.1". This signals to the player that all audio formats are supported. If your soundbar only supports stereo and Dolby Digital, it is best to set it to "5.1".

Please note: While some soundbars support the high audio format Dolby Atmos, they do not support the competing formats of DTS. DTS formats are often found on Blu-ray discs. But there are no streaming videos with DTS sound. If the soundbar remains silent when playing a Blu-Ray, it is best to change the audio track manually.

Additionally offer media player often offers a selection or setting option for the audio format. This overturns the automatic format negotiation. You can adjust the output even better this way.

To have the sound output through the soundbar, turn on ARC. The right LED then lights up green. The following audio formats can be transmitted from the VAX04100 to the soundbar via HDMI-ARC:

  • Stereo,
  • Dolby Digital (2.0 / 5.1)
  • DTS 5.1
  • Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 / 7.1
  • Dolby Digital Plus with Dolby Atmos

This covers, for example, the most important audio formats that the following devices can deliver:

  • Satellite/cable receiver, Sky Q, Fire TV Stick/Cube, Nvidia Shield, Chromecast, Playstation PS4/PS5 (without Blu-ray), Magenta TV Stick

The following formats are Not transfer because it requires connection to eARC or via an HDMI input:

  • Multichannel PCM, DTS-HD Masteraudio, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby MAT (Dolby Atmos format from Apple TV, PC and Xbox)

These formats require a soundbar with one or more HDMI inputs. Or if the soundbar has HDMI-eARC, the VAX04101 can be used. Apple TV 4K and Xbox benefit from the VAX04101, in some cases also Blu-Ray players (Most Blu-Ray discs support different audio formats.)

This is how the VAX04100 is connected via HDMI.
This is how the VAX04100 is connected via HDMI.

Everyday use

You select the desired HDMI source on the VAX04100 using the remote control or the button on the front panel. The soundbar is connected to HDMI input 1. When you switch to input 1, you'll see the soundbar's on-screen menu (if available). If the soundbar also has an HDMI connection, you can connect another player there.

The sound from the selected source is routed to the soundbar. The television or video projector receives the video signal from the source. In most cases the TV speakers will remain silent because ARC is enabled or the audio format is not supported. In principle, however, it is possible for the television to also receive the sound. The same audio format is used as on the soundbar. Therefore, TV headphones may remain silent because the TV does not convert the format. That depends on their skills.

If a TV with HDMI-ARC is connected, you can also play its sound via the soundbar and the VAX04100. To do this, switch the TV to the receiver or the smart TV app. Then select HDMI input 1 on the VAX04100.

Limited automatic switching

In principle, with an HDMI switch, switching can take place via hotplug detection ( pin 19 ). Many devices only give a signal here when they are connected – not when they are switched on or off. A fully automatic switching of all inputs therefore often does not work. Devices without a power switch such as Fire TV or Chromecast in particular prevent automatic switching.

A television monitors its HDMI inputs and the players connected via HDMI handshake. As soon as a switch-on command is sent here, the television can switch to the respective HDMI input. A switch is transparent, the connection between the HDMI source and the television also takes place here. However, the TV or switch does not receive any control command from the other HDMI inputs. Because there is no HDMI connection with handshake to these.

So if you have multiple HDMI sources connected and one of them doesn't have a power switch, you'll have to switch manually. Switching is possible on the VAX04100 or with the infrared remote control. You can also set up a programmable remote control accordingly.

HDMI CEC control

above HDMI CEC the player selected on the switch communicates with the television. Therefore, you can use the TV remote control to remotely control the media player. If you switch off the TV or media player, the connected device will also be switched off if it supports this function. However, players on the inactive outputs cannot be controlled via CEC. Because there is no active connection.

Alternative use

The VAX04100 can also be used like a conventional HDMI switch 4×1. 4 HDMI sources can then be operated on one HDMI sink (television, video projector or sound system with a real HDMI input).

Notes for users of the Sonos app

The Sonos App S2 enables the integration of additional audio services such as Internet radio, Spotify, Amazon Music etc. However, this app requires connection to a TV with ARC (or optical adapter). The app checks the connection after using an audio service. If a Sonos soundbar - only the Beam Gen. 1 is supported by the VAX04100 - is connected to the VAX04100 instead of a TV, the app reports an error in the installation dialog and offers a new installation. This is very annoying. Sonos has not yet included this case in the app.

We therefore recommend connecting the devices without the help of the app. Other features and settings such as sound, volume, audio delay of the S2 app work as expected. The Sonos S2 app meanwhile shows the audio format being played.

Technical specifications:

signal input

4 × HDMI (including 1× HDMI-ARC for soundbar)
Supported copy protection HDCP 1.x, HDCP 2.2
data transfer rate maximum 18 Gbps
Supported video formats up to 2160p@60Hz, 1080p/1440p@120Hz
signal outputs 1 × HDMI, 1 × HDMI ARC
color space RGB, YCbCr 4:4:4, 4:2:2; 4:2:0
Supported color depth 3 × 8 bits / 10 bits / 12 bits
HDR (High Dynamic Range) HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision
Audio formats HDMI ARC Dolby Digital Plus (incl. Atmos), AC3 (Dolby Digital 5.1), DTS, LPCM 2.0
Audio formats HDMI out (passthrough) DTS-HD, Dolby True-HD (incl. Atmos), Dolby Digital Plus, AC3 (Dolby Digital 5.1), DTS, DTS-EX, DSD, LPCM 2.0 – 7.1, Dolby MAT
HDMI CEC control Yes
Recommended HDMI cable lengths < 5m at the entrance,
< 3m at output (at 4K 60Hz)
power consumption < 2W
Dimensions 183×85×19mm
For the HDMI-eARC soundbars Sonos Arc, Sonos Beam Generation 2 and Bose 900 we recommend the VAX04101.