TV SOUND QUALITY
With the introduction of high-tech features such as 4K UHD and curved screens, TV picture quality has never been better. Getting high-quality sound to match these effects is essential – there’s nothing worse than struggling to hear the dialogue during a film or TV drama.
MODERN TVS – THIN ON AUDIO?
Due to increasingly skinny TV screens, there’s a lot less room for speakers than there used to be.
New models use smaller speaker drivers, so produce a lower volume and quality than you might expect.
Most TVs feature a simple stereo system, but there are also models available with surround sound effects and smart features that make the most of their built-in speakers. Because of this, some TVs have better audio capabilities than others. If your sound experience is important to you, be sure to look at the number and power of the speakers (in watts) when you are comparison shopping.
Built-in TV speakers range from around 12 to 20 watts in power.
Some TVs have better audio capabilities than others.
USING YOUR HI-FI
Some TVs do a pretty good job producing sound on their own, but you can also enhance it using external speakers.
If you own a Hi-Fi, you can plug this in with a cable to improve the volume and quality. This is the easiest and cheapest method, as suitable cables can be picked up for under £10. You’ll need to locate the optical digital out socket to achieve the best results, but you can use the headphone socket as well.
DO I NEED A SOUND SYSTEM?
If you’re looking to invest in something specially designed to improve your sound quality, take a look at soundbars and home cinema systems.
Soundbars consist of multiple speakers fitted neatly into a single compact device. These are usually long and thin, and you can secure them below a wall mounted TV, or place them alongside it. Many of the best offer virtual surround sound using side-firing speakers. Overall, soundbars are a relatively low-cost way to boost your TV’s audio dramatically.
A home cinema or surround sound system uses multiple small speakers placed strategically around the room to create cinema-like sound effects.
These systems arguably give you the best sound quality and depth, but can be reasonably expensive.
Most TVs nowadays work with surround sound systems. If you intend to have a large number of speakers, look for Dolby Digital Plus, which allows you to use up to seven speakers and a subwoofer with your TV.
Many of the best systems offer virtual surround sound using side-firing speakers.