PCM VS Passthrough Soundbar [Detailed-Guide]

PCM can be used with 2.1 stereo content. The TV will not up mix or downmix the signal, allowing the sound system to figure it out. If you’re expecting 5.1/7.1/Atmos content, this should make a significant difference.

The contrast between PCM and passthrough soundbar can be discussed quickly. We can delve deeper into subtopics such as features, installation, and design.

What is PCM?

PCM “Pulse Code Modulation” is a digital representation of an analog signal that collects samples of the signal’s amplitude at regular intervals. The sampled analog data is converted to binary data and then represented by it.

A very accurate clock is required for PCM. The number of samples per second, which can range from 8,000 to 192,000, is often many times the analog waveform’s maximum frequency in Hertz (Hz), or cycles per second, which can range from 8 to 192 kHz.

Pulses in transmission lines are a natural result of two other analog approaches that arose almost simultaneously: pulse width modulation and pulse position modulation, both of which use discrete signal pulses of variable widths or positions.

What is a Passthrough Soundbar?

A “4K soundbar” has a 4K HDMI video pass-through, which means you can connect your media device to the soundbar first, then to the TV without losing video resolution.

As you may be aware, a soundbar will not improve image quality, therefore seeing an image quality standard (4K refers to image resolution) in a soundbar specification is puzzling.

A soundbar that claims “4k pass-through” as a feature has both HDMI in and HDMI out, allowing you to send any video source, even 4K, through the soundbar to your TV.

PCM VS Passthrough Soundbar – Installation

Lets discuss the installation procedure of both PCM & Passthrough.

PCM Installation

The process of converting analog to PCM is known as sampling. Unlike PCM, which is a collection of ones and zeros, analog sound flows in waves. Specific places on the sound wave from a microphone or another analog audio source must be sampled to capture analog sound using PCM.

The amount of analog waveform sampled at each point is also a part of the process. On the listening end, more sampled points combined with longer parts of a sound wave recorded at each point implies more accuracy is displayed.

Passthrough Soundbar Installation

Any video source, even 4K, may be routed through the soundbar to the television through HDMI in and HDMI out on a 4K soundbar. Of course, this has no effect on the visual quality, but it does lessen the amount of clutter on your home entertainment system.

This eliminates the need to deal with a tangle of cords while watching movies, television, or playing console games.

PCM VS Passthrough Soundbar – Design

Lets discuss the design of both PCM & Passthrough.

PCM Design

The analog-to-digital converter component of a Pulse Code Modulator circuit’s transmitter part performs sampling, quantizing, and encoding. The transmitted data is protected from inter-symbol-symbol interference by a low pass filter applied before sampling.

The receiver section’s key purposes are signal regeneration, decoding, and restoration of the quantized pulse stream.

Passthrough Soundbar Design

Audio passthrough allows you to connect numerous devices to your TV and provide high-quality audio signals to a receiver, allowing you to use video capabilities that your TV supports, such as HDMI 2.1 and variable refresh rate that your receiver may not.

By connecting a video source and a receiver to the TV via the proper connector, we may check for audio passthrough. We test whether the TV can carry audio through to the receiver properly by playing files from our sources that have different audio formats.

PCM VS Passthrough Soundbar – Features

Lets discuss the features of both PCM & Passthrough.

PCM Features

  • It is more noise resistant.
  • The use of a repeater further reduces the effect of noise.
  • We can easily store PCM signals because of their digital structure.
  • The compatibility of different kinds of traffic in the network is modulated in this way.
  • Excellent performance despite a weak transmission path
  • For long-distance communication, the PCM is ideal.

Passthrough Soundbar Features

  • As a result, it’s evident that 4k pass-through can deliver outstanding audio and video.
  • Although 4K soundbars aren’t required, they are recommended.
PCM VS Passthrough Soundbar infographic

Related Posts:

  1. PCM Audio VS Dolby Digital – Comparison
  2. Bitstream VS PCM – Which one is Better?
  3. PCM or Raw for Soundbar – [Detailed-Guide]
  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?


You’ll need not only a fantastic TV with amazing picture quality but also the excellent audio experience possible to have the best home theatre experience. If you want to use your TV in a PCM setup and play content with high-quality audio, audio passthrough is a must-have function.

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