Make your TV sound better
Many people know that the latest in flat screens produce a great picture, but the sound leaves them a bit, well, flat. The popularity of soundbars is a great demonstrator of the desire for a better sound experience to enhance our viewing pleasure, and these can be a great way to simply make your TV sound better without going to the expense or hassle of a full-on surround system. There are however other options available:
Simple powered speakers – these can be the sort of thing that you would normally connect to your computer, or maybe something a bit snazzier Like the Serene Audio Talisman -right). A simple 3.5mm jack cable (often included) plugs into the TV Headphone output, and lo, the volume control still works with the TV remote. You may have to experiment with the TV sound settings to get the best sound, as the headphone output is designed for headphone use, and may have different processing options to for example boost the bass.
- Straight forward soundbar. The soundbar typically has a stereo amplifier and speakers built into a single unit that is designed to sit underneath the TV for example the Sonos Soundbar (right). Another version of this is the sound plinth, where the TV actually sits on top of the soundbar, however I have lumped them together here, as they are very similar. The separate box means that they typically sound much better than the TV, however there is usually not much separation available. Some soundbars have adjustable width, so it can stretch to exactly match the width of your TV for a better look.
- Soundbar + Sub. The soundbar on it’s own has a limited size and hence low frequency capability. The natural extension to this is to add a separate sub-woofer to fill in the lower registers. These systems can be surprisingly effective, and can produce pleasing results. The Paradigm Soundtrack system (right) and the Sonos Soundbar and sub both feature a wireless link to the sub, which makes connection and installation easier and more flexible.
- A dedicated TV sound wrap-around. This is like a sound bar, however wraps around the back of the tv for a discrete installation. It is effectively a 2.1 system with a sub-woofer mounted behind the TV. Depending on the brand and connection, it may require a separate volume control, however offers a simple and tidy solution.
- Separate 2.1 system. Like the wrap-around solution above, this offers two discrete speakers and a sub-woofer, however separation can be much larger, and a better overall sound can be produced. There are many systems along these lines such as the Paradigm Milennia CT system (right) where the power amplifer etc is housed in the sub-woofer, and the satellite speakers can be desk-top or wall mounted.
- Link your TV to your HiFi. This can provide the ultimate way to make your TV sound better(for broadcast TV the audio is typically stereo only). If you combine a desire to listen to quality music with watching TV, it makes sense to link the two together. We typically take the digital audio output from the TV and connect this either to a surround AV processor, or dedicated Digital to Analogue Conveter, which is set as one of the sources to the HiFi. Quality is typically excellent, and usually the speakers are in a great position for the focus of the room.
Come and talk to us about the different ways to make your TV sound better. we have solutions ranging from a couple of hundred pounds upwards, and are always full of good ideas.