PCM or Raw for Soundbar? Let’s Explain Both Terms

Do you have a soundbar, and you are confused between the audio output settings of your soundbar? Are you not able to make a choice between PCM or RAW for your soundbar? Well, if yes, here’s a detailed and handy guide for you.

Beginning with the fact that you can have your soundbar operated at two different audio and video output settings, those are PCM(Pulse code modulation) and RAW(also known as bitstream). Each has its pros and cons and specific features that set one apart from the other.

Following, you will be provided with the distinctions between the two, so you can make an easy and instant choice regarding the audio setting option for your soundbar.

PCM or Raw for Soundbar?

PCM and Raw for soundbar are two different terms and both have separate advantages and disadvantages. Lets explain each one in detail and conclude our result.

PCM For Soundbar

PCM assists you in maintaining and managing the quality of sound directly from your console without any external interruptions. Various processes first encrypt the audio you receive into a code, and then it is made available to the users in a simplified manner. Being complex into principles, PCM creates the need for having a high-quality device.

It does not give commendable experience in low-quality devices. If you do not have any speakers or headphones or a home theatre, then PCM is the get a to-go option. PCM is limited to only two channels: Dolby Digital and DTS. If the sound is already processed beforehand and you wish to extract it from your television, you can use the PCM audio settings.

• Codes are decoded in the player itself.
• PCM is quicker and faster.
• Easy and instant access to audio tracks.
• PCM only supports two-channel signal transmission.

RAW For Soundbar

RAW, as the name suggests, is an uncomplicated way of having the audio being heard by a user. RAW, commonly known as a bitstream, does not process any unique or challenging codes itself before sending the sound from one source to another.

External back-end devices decode the codes in the RAW audio settings option, i.e. the source code option. Other than that, you can arrange files in a particular frame order while using the bitstream method of audio playback.

RAW is chosen by those who have a powerful amplifier that can support the audio settings easily. Not only this, the quality of the sound experienced by the user is comparatively better in RAW than PCM. Also, RAW or bitstream is suitable to send signals through opticals and coaxials, a feature wherein the PCM lags.

Read also: Best Settings for Samsung Sound bar

• The quality of sound in bitstream is enhanced.
• Audio is decoded in the home receiver system only.
• Signals can be sent via opticals and coaxials too.
• RAW demands a high-quality receiver which might be unavailable to many users.

Read also: Best Settings for LG Sound Bar


On the base level, there are hardly any differences found between PCM and RAW. Both these audio settings can be chosen for your soundbar. But, it would help if you were clear about the quality and power of your soundbar because, in those aspects, there lies a significant distinction between the two.

Once you are clear of that, an easy and instant choice can be made, and obviously, your soundbar’s audio quality will be enhanced automatically. For a superior quality of audio, you must choose RAW or bitstream. On the other hand, if you want a quick solution to your audio settings, go for the PCM.

Related Posts:

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  2. PCM Audio VS Dolby Digital – Comparison
  3. Bitstream VS PCM – Which one is Better?
  4. Bitstream or PCM for Soundbar
  5. Is PCM Better than Dolby Digital? [Detailed-Guide]
  6. PCM vs Dolby Digital Sound Bar – Which One is Better?

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