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TechReport (UK)

Audio Enhancements

(Subwoofers, Dolby Surround Sound Processing etc.)

TV manufacturers still seem proud to quote a range of audio statistics in relation to their products at their customers – number of speakers, total output power, subwoofers etc.


Unfortunately, the truth is that the integrated speakers within TVs have got worse, not better, over the years.

This was, of course, inevitable. Back in the days of the old CRT TVs (the big, heavy and very deep TVs), it was easy to fit one (or sometimes two) substantial speakers into a TV cabinet and the size and solidity of the overall structure even helped with the reproduction of the bass notes.

With modern TVs being so slim, the speakers have to be equally slim (and often rear or downward facing to avoid spoiling the look) and unfortunately there is no getting around the laws of Physics – to be able to produce low notes accurately, you have to have a big, deep speaker driver!

The problem is exacerbated even more by the fact that most mid to large screen-size TVs are wall mounted, making it difficult for the sound to reach the listener without sounding somewhat muffled.

This is why a whole generation of separate audio products –soundbars, soundbases etc – have been created to offer vastly improved sound – simply connect to the TV via its digital optical audio out, HDMI or Bluetooth and switch off the internal speakers! If you want good quality sound, this is way to go…

Manufacturers will also often quote a number of surround sound processing standards with which their TVs are compliant – for example, Dolby Digital, DTS etc.

Bear in mind that these standards are largely irrelevant if using the TV’s own speakers (which even though there may be a number of them, will not be large enough, nor suitably positioned to reproduce surround sound), but do offer the prospect of compatibility if passing sound processing responsibilities onto one of the aforementioned external audio products (assuming that the latter is also compatible with the quoted standard).

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