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How to get the best sound for your television?

Does the sound of your flat screen TV cause toothache and headache?

Don't movie bass tracks and explosions shake your home couch? Would you like to watch current affairs programs at low volume, but the speech is not clear? Do the sounds of Voice of Finland not cause any sensations? The reason for this can be found in the non-existent designed speakers of modern televisions.

There are many different solutions for improving the sound of a television with the products found on Nordic Speaker Shop. These products can actually be divided into three different categories: active speakers, amplifier / passive speaker combinations, and soundbar speakers.

1. Active speakers

Active speakers combined with a TV are one of the easiest solutions to get better sound out of your TV. The active speaker has a built-in amplifier, so it can be connected directly to the TV's headphone, rca or optical jack. When connected to the headphone jack, the volume of the active speakers can be adjusted with the TV remote control, while when connected to the rca and optical jacks, the active speakers must have their own volume control.

Genelec active speakers
The best results are achieved even with active speakers with a good quality d/a converter or preamplifier, which allows you to bypass the TV's own d/a converter. In this case, the sound comes digitally from the TV to the dac or preamplifier with an optical cable or hdmi cable. When using an optical cable, the volume must be adjusted via a separate preamplifier. When using an HDMI cable, audio can be connected to the hdmi arc jack on the TV, allowing the TV to recognize the receiving device as an audio system, and the volume can be controlled with the TV's own remote control. A good device for this use is, for example, the Marantz NR1200.

The best-known and the best active speakers are the Finnish made Genelec active speakers, which are produced in Iisalmi, Finlabd. Prices for these speakers start at a couple of 660 euros. Nordic Speaker Shop has an excellent package for improving TV sound, using Genelec's G Three active speaker and Bluesound's Node 2i preamplifier / network player.



2. Amplifier and passive speakers

Another option for improving TV sound is to connect it to a separate amplifier to which passive speakers are connected. Today, virtually all televisions have the digital output so with an optical toslink cable you can pass the televisions own audio circuit. The d/a converter can therefore be thought of as an external sound card for a television. This also often eliminates nasty grounding hum or other sound-distorting sound problems.

Amphion passive speakers

There are a lot of good amplifiers on the market today that have a digital input, i.e. an optical input for audio. High-quality hi-fi amplifiers such as the Rotel A12, NAD C338, Pro-ject Maia and the slightly more expensive Exposure XM5 are excellent for such a device in connection with a television.

The d/a converter, or dac, can also be purchased separately if the old amplifier does not have digital inputs or if the best possible result is desired. Prices for d/a converters start from just over a hundred. At its best, dac improves the sound of old hardware to a whole other level, which means that the importance of a good sound source should not be underestimated!

In addition to the optical connection, AV receivers, or more familiarly home theater amplifiers, also have hdmi connections, so that the picture and sound both travel digitally along the hdmi cable. In this case, the AV receiver is the hardware control center to which all other devices are connected and the source is selected and listened to on the remote control.

Nowadays, televisions also have a separate arc-hdmi connection, ie the sound return channel, whereby, for example, when viewed through the TV's own tuner, the sound travels along the hdmi cable to the amplifier and from there to the speakers. A home theater sound system can be connected to the home theater receiver to enjoy multi-channel movie soundtracks.

The choice is always influenced by the intended use of the device, ie it is always advisable to choose a stereo amplifier for listening to music due to its better sound quality. If you want to enjoy multi-channel sound and need HDMI connections, you may want to get a home theater amplifier.

 3. Soundbar speakers

The third category for improving sound in television are the so-called soundbar speakers, which are fairly flat and about a meter wide under the TV. The soundbar speakers are connected to the TV with either an optical or hdmi cable. Often, these speakers also feature the most common streaming services as well as multi-room support.