sound quality on flat screen TVs?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by cwon, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. cwon

    cwon Active Member Thread Starter

    I replaced my 20 yr.old CRT TV with a flat Dynex and was dismayed to find the sound from the set was pretty bad, even after adjusting the tone quality as much as I could. Is this usually the case? Is the sound going to suffer because they're squeezing it into a thin chassis?
  2. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Yes, but some manufacturers still manage to get decent sound from the flat enclosure. I find the sound of my Samsung UE55C6700 quite good. Good enough for TV news and sports. For movies I use my stereo system.

    I guess the manufacturers of budget LCD TVs care much less about such things.
  3. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    It's about the quality of the design, not the shape. Better sets use better amplifiers and better speakers. I have a Samsung plasma set with detachable speakers and they actually sound quite nice. The more famous makers have better sound systems in their better models.

    That said, even those are not true hi-fi and I run a small separate audio system with it to great effect. I get better sound when I want that from the audio system but the TV does a good job on its own for the news or a quick "TV program" viewing session.
  4. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Funny, that's essentially what I was just typing. Budget is the key word here. You get what you pay for.
  5. everton

    everton Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    I think right now all flat-screen TVs have downward-firing speakers (for aesthetic reasons). I don't think they sound as good or clear as units with front-firing speakers.
  6. dumangl

    dumangl Forum Resident

    I would never ever consider using the speakers on any TV. They're just to say they have sound and aren't normally of even cheap boom box quality. And I'm not even an audiophile.
  7. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Do you turn on your home theatre system even when you only watch the news, or do you have replacement speakers (soundbar)?
  8. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    I have two Samsungs, a 32" and a 46", and both have "tolerable" sound.
  9. dumangl

    dumangl Forum Resident

    Yes, our TV speakers are set by menu to off.
  10. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
    Mine too.
  11. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    My wife and I just bought a 40" Apex (kissing cousin to the Dynex, I think). The sound is fairly tinny, but I expect that from a TV. What I didn't expect is that the lowest setting is still just too loud. :thumbsdn:
  12. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    I have a Toshiba and the sound is tolerable...
  13. RussellG

    RussellG Forum Resident

    Same here. I use my 25 year old Monitor Audio speakers from my first hifi system with an old Sony amp I got off eBay. The TV's audio (Samsung LCD) is awful after becoming accustomed to that.
  14. guitarguy

    guitarguy Tone Meister

    Greenville, SC
    I've never even listened to the speakers in my Panny Plasma TV.
    Home theater is on whenever we watch TV.
  15. Feisal K

    Feisal K Active Member

    I do too, partly because the universal remote is set to turn everything on, and partly because we might turn to a another channel to watch a TV show or a movie after the news.
  16. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Yes, flat-screen speaker quality is horrible. I think the sad reality is that as screens have gotten thinner, manufacturers have cut back on the size and quality of speakers.

    Ideally, the best way to go is with a dedicated 5.1 (or 7.1) system with a subwoofer, with all the speaker positions optimized, and the center-channel speaker placed close to the monitor (usually right underneath it).

    For average people who want to upgrade TV sound, I generally recommend Zvox as having acceptable sound quality an an affordable price -- significantly better than the built-in flat-screen speakers. The ZVoxes aren't great, but they sound lightyears better than any flatscreen I've ever heard. I use one for my bedroom set, and I've been pretty happy with it.
  17. zobalob

    zobalob Forum Resident

    Glasgow, Scotland.
    Same with us, we use the same amp & speakers as we use for music.
  18. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    Old TVs usually had forward firing speakers of several inches in diameter, venting into a relatively big cavity between the housing and the tube. It was easy for the sound to be of decent quality.

    New flat TV speakers may be like 1x2" firing down-making it VERY difficult to get good clear highs to your ears-firing into tiny, tortuous passageways in the thin enclosure. This is a huge acoustic challenge, which at today's declining prices is not met very well.

    That said, some new TVs sound way better than others. REVIEWS can be your friend, if you are lucky enough to find some on models you are considering.
  19. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Even flat panel TVs hooked up to 2 channel stereo receivers with decent speakers sound better than most built in speakers.
  20. docwebb

    docwebb Forum Resident

    All our plasma and LCD TVs also have their speakers turned off. I wish more manufacturers would make flat screens without speakers....Panasonic made a large plasma monitor at one tme with no speakers but when I looked into it the cost was more than those with speakers.....they have to make them with speakers for the masses of people that don't use home theater or hook up to any other sort of stereo system.
  21. Done A Ton

    Done A Ton Forum Member

    Rural Kansas
    Couldn't believe how bad the sound was when I got my Sharp 32" flat screen home. I wasn't happy about spending more money on a speaker for my new TV, but it had to be done.

    Zvox usually have several models for sale on ebay, with warranty, at substantial savings over their website. That's where I got mine (model 315, I think).
  22. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Gilbert AZ
    And mine also. I don't think I have had a TV where I have used the internal speakers in 15 years.

    And with regards to the OP I concur with others regarding the potential quality of sound systems in the budget line products as a general rule.
  23. Jim T

    Jim T Forum Resident

    Built-in TV sound is for dialogue only. You would be better off buying a 2.1 computer speaker system and running the audio through that, or better yet, buy a stereo receiver for integraged amp from a pawn shop and hook it up to any spare speakers you have. Even that 2.0 would be a huge improvement.

    I just bought my wife a new night light for our bedroom...a 32" LCD TV that is 720P for $280. I am not expecting much at that price, but she will be the one watching it most of the time. I'm sure the DVDs she watches @ 480P to fall asleep will be better than the 27" tube Sony it is replacing. I'm moving it to my office in the basement for very causal viewing. I know I paid more than twice that for the Sony when new.

    We have a 1080P Insignia in our small TV room that I find fine for dialogue.I'm not in there much. DVD and especially BluRay through it is pretty good. My 42" Philips in my man cave is through a Pioneer HT receiver into my Triangles. As it should be.
  24. proufo

    proufo Active Member

    My plasma has the speakers behind the screen, and glass. :(
  25. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    My flatscreen, a 37" magnavox LCD has the best sound of any flatscreen ive yet to hear. It has a separate speaker that runs the length of the screen and protrudes back a few inches where the drivers are. Its honestly capable of fairly loud sound with decent fidelity and some honest to goodness mildly deep bass. Id say on par with a decent bookshelf stereo. Not perfect mind you, but able to do justice to music and bass, while still being not tinny at all.

    Reminds me of that sound quality that big console TVs used to have....warm, full, with some real bass.
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