Skip to comments.TV Sound Issues
Posted on 04/11/2012 7:03:20 AM PDT by pabianice
As my great, old, CRT TVs break-down, I have had to replace them with today's crappy flat-screen TVs. The big problem is sound. CRT TVs give a full, rich sound. Too many flat-screen TVs sound terrible. I have a Sony 32-inch flat screen that gives fairly good sound. I have just bought a 27-inch Samsung that has great references but sounds like a soup can on a string. No volume, no bass, even on custom settings. Let's not even get into the crappy picture quality if one does not look at the screen at a 90 degree angle...
How does one inexpensively improve the sound volume and quality of such a (not so inexpensive) TV? External speakers? And if external speakers, does the TV have enough output to make a difference?
Kill it. Youll be glad you did.
I bought an inexpensive speaker bar at walmart and it sounds much better than the crappy speakers on the little 30inch TV in the den..
It’s one of these and I just use the auxiliary input:
External speakers could and would improve the sound far beyond what a CRT TV can do, depending upon how much $$ you wish to throw at it. You could use a pair of computer speakers which can be really cheapo deals or more expensive KLH or Boston Acoustic brand-name things. Probably the best results at least cost would be buy an apartment-grade used stereo system at a yard sale or Craigslist. Even a boombox with ext audio input would solve the problem. Kind of depends how big a room you need to serve. Of course any such item would almost certainly *not* turn itself off with your TV remote.
My own solution to the problem is not to own a TV.
Less than $10.
Try a Soundbar.
The cabinet dimensions have much to do with the sound quality. A crt tv has a larger cabinet thus allowing greater depth in the sound. The flat screen has no room to develop the sound. There are several jacks on the flat screen where you can plug external speakers. External soundbars and some speaker systems have external power supplies to power them.
IOW, the sound bar costs more than the TV itself? IOW, the TV with good sound costs twice the actual cost of the crappy flat-screen TV?
You can use any number of external speakers to enhance the TV. They plug in just like your speakers on your computer. Go to Gizmondo.com to get more insight into tech stuff solutions.
Let’s not even get into the crappy quality of the content, and the outrageous charges of the cable provider.
Open a book for pete’s sake.
You can always buy some external computer speakers that will hook up with some $5 adapters.
TV sound always sucked. If you want great sound spend a few bucks and get a good AVR with discrete amps and some good speakers.
(The other reason is that at the time an economy 32” LCD was $500, and what I now call the “stereo” was $125 or so.)
I recommend it. Yes, you can plug other stereo components into it— mine also has a USB plug so I can listen to tunage off a thumbdrive— and movies sound great. Still watching them on the 19” CRT— I expect to get around to the LCD in May or so.
Most flat screen TVs direct the sound in a downward direction which exacerbates the problems you describe. Even a cheap sound bar will greatly improve sound quality.
Use the audio output jacks (color coded red and white) on your TV to connect it to the aux input jacks on your stereo receiver or amplifier. Problem Solved.
This is the best solution since you would be using preamp-level outputs from your tv. If the set’s speakers are crappy, then it’s a good bet the audio power amplifier circuit is also crappy, so don’t just add speakers. Also, don’t use the headphone jack on the tv for the same reason.
The only drawback is that you have to turn your stereo system on and off when you turn on the TV and turn it off, but this is no big deal. I’ve been doing it this way for as long as tv sets have had audio output jacks, which is about 20 years.
Don’t know if this will be of any assistance to you but I have an old stereo (circa 1975) which is still operational.
I took the left and right line-out signals from the TV to the line-in on the stereo, placed the stereo speakers atop the entertainment center and set the stereo to its line-in setting. In addition, I have some of those devices which will turn an AC outlet on remotely. When I turn the TV on with its remote, I simply press the on button on the AC remote outlet device. Works good, sounds good. And, by the way, the stereo resides in the entertainment center bottom compartment which has doors on it. The only thing that reveals itself is the speakers atop the entertainment center and their finish pretty well matches that of the entertainment center. Good luck.
Got a link to the walmart one?
As has been mentioned, pick up some sound bars. Some have subwoofers with them; a great idea for your “main”/living room flat panel.
They sound terrific, and trust me: you will NOT miss those old, damned tube TV’s one little bit.
If you want some recommendations, FReepmail me and I’ll shoot you some ideas.
I don’t see the exact one I bought - it was about a year ago, but it’s very similar to this one:
As it has a remote..
Thanks. I keep waiting for the prices on the flat screens to come down to a reasonable level. $500 plus another $100 for decent sound is ridiculous.
Wouldn't be surprising. For digital recordings, such as DVDs, the audio portion is significantly larger than the video (IIRC, 2-3 times for last one I looked at).
AVRs (Audio Video Receivers) can be had for $100-up (to the stratosphere), depending on features.
For me the sweet spot is an AVR with 5 channel output (including subwoofer), built-in Blu-Ray player and net access for video streaming, for about $450. I use only DVDs/Blurays, Netflix, and Blockbuster; no broadcast TV.
In my case, Samsung for both the TV and AVR.
I recently helped my father-in-law with exactly this issue. My solution was the Altec Lansing PT7031. It originally retailed for $600 but is now discontinued and can be had for $150 or less. Read about it here http://www.alteclansing.com/ae/us/archive-speakers-for-home/pt7031/invt/pt7031/&bklist=,type=icat%3E and one place to buy it is here http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/58-14930 . It sounds good and eliminates any need for an AV receiver (it has both digital and analog inputs). You can always add a subwoofer later. Unlike most sound bars out there it is very large and hefty.
If you tend to be picky, Bose is your buddy.
Modern TVs are built under the assumption they’re part of an “entertainment system”, which includes some sort of external speakers.
Go here and start reading:
Update: www.thingfling.com has it for $129.99 + $6 shipping.