The advent of LCD and LED TVs have changed the home entertainment scenario. However, majority of the flatscreen TVs have tiny twin speakers that sound poorly or are pointed in the wrong direction.
If you want to enjoy a good movie or music, the existing speakers in your TV can make the entire experience seem lackluster. That’s why investing in a good audio system makes a lot of sense. In this article, we’ll look at both expensive and inexpensive ways by which you can invest and upgrade your TV sound.
Tips To Upgrade TV Sound
Using Your Old Desktop Speakers
This is probably the easiest and most affordable way to enhance your TV’s sound. As most desktop speakers are small, portable, and lightweight, you can easily put them close to your TV.
Make sure your desktop speakers have an optical input at the back so that you can easily connect them to your TV. In case your speakers don’t have one, you can connect them to the 3.5 mm headphone-out on the TV. This will also allow you to control the volume of the speakers through the TV remote.
Adding a Soundbar
Adding a soundbar can be an effective way of upgrading your existing TV when you don’t have space or budget for an AV system. It not only takes up less space, but it also involves only plugging in a single cable.
Soundbars are broadly categorized into three types:
- Single soundbar
- Surround sound with soundbar, wireless rear speakers and a subwoofer
- Soundbase – holds the TV on top
For wall-mounts, we’ll recommend single soundbars or soundbars coupled up with a sub-woofer. While if you don’t have a wall-mount TV, you can use a sound base that sits right under your TV acting as a mini stand.
Invest In a 5.1 or 7.1 Home Cinema Surround
A full-fledged home cinema surround system is expensive yet provides an immersive cinema experience at home. If you like to play Blu-rays, Netflix, Apple TV+ and other streams, investing in a 5.1 or 7.1 surround system makes perfect sense.
Such speaker systems comprise 5 or more speakers including bookshelf, floor-standing, or wall-hanging monitors to give you an enthralling sound experience. The power is supplied by an AV receiver, while for bass a powered subwoofer is used.
You can also use additional speakers to create a decent wraparound effect.
Using Good Headphones
Getting better audio doesn’t always mean filling your living area with big-sized speakers. If you’re a solo listener – it only takes a pair of quality headphones to have an enriching TV viewing experience.
Make sure you get a pair of headphones with a long cable so that you can plug in at the back of your TV, sit on the couch, and enjoy. If your TV supports Bluetooth, you can always pair it up with your wireless headphones.
Even if you don’t have quality headphones, you can use your normal earphones to connect them to your TV. Sometimes an inexpensive pair of earphones can outperform the stock TV speakers.
Does an AV receiver require in-built Bluetooth or WiFi?
Even though streaming over WiFi is superior to streaming over Bluetooth, no standard WiFi standard makes the process complicated. On the contrary, Bluetooth has minimum compatibility issues and is supported by a wide range of home audio devices, which makes it the more popular choice.
WiFi streaming will also require a WiFi router to act as a wireless access point for your WiFi-enabled AV receiver and other devices.
Is Virtual Surround Sound any good?
You must have seen many soundbars claiming to create a real surround-sound experience without any rear speakers – in most cases, the sound output from such devices is unsatisfactory.
It doesn’t mean that all virtual surround modes are unworthy of your attention. In some of the high-end devices like the Yamaha YSP Sound Projector, the virtual surround sound from the soundbar is convincing and adequate.
So before buying a soundbar with the virtual surround sound feature, check out all the user and critic reviews to make sure it delivers a satisfactory experience.
Can a soundbar block the TV remote sensor?
It depends on the position of your TV’s remote sensor is, and the size and placement of your soundbar. If a soundbar is placed directly before a sensor, it may block the IR signals from your TV remote.
To prevent this, you can use soundbars with a pedestal design or soundbars with an IR repeater that uses a blaster to relay the remote signals to your TV.