How To Use Computer Speakers With TV

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Computer Speakers – Much Better Sound!

Almost any television you buy these days has built in speakers. And TVs with the latest video technologies – like Plasma, LCD and OLED screens – should also have the latest innovations in sound quality.

So why does it so often happen that when you get your TV home and watch a movie the sound is so disappointing – weak, thin, distant or flat, with no life and almost no volume?

Don’t worry – this is a really common occurrence. For all of their glorious picture quality, modern flat screen tvs can have pretty mediocre sound quality. Inside that beautifully flat cabinet are a couple of flat speakers, which often necessarily have pretty flat sound. And older televisions are often even worse.

Fortunately there is an easy solution – PC speakers. Even if you have purchased the latest, greatest and most expensive television, you might find that even modestly priced computer speakers offer vast improvement in sound quality. And having sound that is as captivating as the picture quality of today’s TVs will completely change your viewing experience!

This article on How to use computer speakers with a TV will show you exactly how to connect PC speakers to your flat screen or any other television. And after the tutorial you will find a short list of the PC speakers we think offer the best sound and the best value for your money.

Computer Speaker

Why Do Newer TV’s Have Bad Sound Quality?

Modern televisions often have really innovative audio technology, including not just stereo but simulated surround sound, enhanced dialogue, volume leveling and extended (or simulated) deep bass.

And so, why do so many of the latest televisions sound so terrible? They may have even sounded good in the showroom, or their sound quality was favorably reviewed online, but at home it is a different story – weak or non-existent bass, no presence or energy, low volume, a tinny or even distorted sound. How can this be, even sometimes with the most expensive and high tech TVs?

There may be many different reasons:

  • Most people are more concerned with picture quality, and don’t really listen to a TV’s sound at the store (or accurately review sound quality online)
  • Stores may play specially selected (even altered) movies and soundtracks with big, dynamic sound
  • At home there may be distractions – family and guests making noise, dogs barking, appliances whirring
  • Your room may be bigger, your layout different or your acoustics less lively

Whatever the reason, lots of today’s televisions have pretty poor sound quality – especially considering their amazing picture quality. This might come as no surprise, considering that inside that big and beautifully new TV are pretty small (and often cheap) speakers, which are also often mounted not where they sound best, but simply where they fit – form, in this case, doesn’t always follow function!

Choosing the Right PC Speakers

But that’s where PC speakers come in.

And while almost any decent computer speaker will offer a substantial improvement in sound, it is important to choose the best speakers for your room, your viewing habits and your budget.

Just ask some basic questions:

What kind of movies do I watch?

If you like Action and Adventure, Sci-Fi and Thrilliers, you’re going to want more power and a subwoofer.

If you are more into Rom-Coms, Dramas or Documentaries, smaller speakers and less power might be just fine.

Musicals also like to have more power, and sound much better with a subwoofer.

How much money do I want to spend?

Answer the question about kinds of movies first, and then select the best speaker system of that type that you can afford.

Do I want stereo or surround sound?

Surround is always nice with movies, but certainly not necessary. Many people find it is better to get more power, and better sound, in stereo than settling for lower quality and more speakers.

Do I want a subwoofer for deeper bass?

If you can afford it, YES! But, again, Dramas, Romances and Comedies – and a lot of broadcast television – don’t benefit that much from deep bass.

How big is my room?

The bigger the room, the more power you should have. If you have a large room, or you have trouble hearing the sound from your television’s built in speakers, you should get a powered PC speaker system with more power.

Choosing the Right PC Speakers

Hooking Up Your Speakers to the TV

There are three main ways to connect PC speakers to your television:

Headphone Jacks

PCs will always have a 3.5 mm (or 1/8th inch) headphone jack, and so do almost all televisions. PC speakers should always be able to plug into that jack.

3.5mm Audio (RCA) Jacks

Many higher end, and some less expensive, TVs will also have RCA connectors, and many computer speakers can use those connectors as well.

Bluetooth

Newer TVs may have Bluetooth transmitters built right in, and this may allow you to connect to your new PC speakers wirelessly.

How to Connect Computer Speakers to your Television

Connect using Headphone Jacks

This is the easiest and simplest way to connect PC speakers to your flat screen or any other television. All you need are:

  • PC speakers
  • Connector Cable (Your computer speakers should come with the correct cable to plug them into the TV. This will have a Male 3.5 mm headphone plug on at least one end, which plugs into the TV’s headphone jack.)
  • Television with headphone jack
  • AC / Mains power wall outlet (if speakers are not battery powered)

Just follow these simple steps, and enjoy rich, dynamic sound:

  1. Place your speakers where you want them, but close enough to the TV that the connector cable can reach between them, and close enough to a wall socket for power.
  2. Make sure your television and your speakers are powered off.
  3. Connect the headphone plug of the cable into the TV’s headphone output jack. (Please note that plugging cables, or headphones, into this jack will cut off the television’s built-in speakers so that they won’t make any sound.)
  4. Connect the other end of the cable (probably also a headphone plug) into the PC speakers’ input jack.
  5. Plug the speakers into the wall, turn everything on and watch a movie!

Make sure you have the TV volume control turned way down at first, as there might be a lot more volume than you’re used to!

Connect using RCA Jacks

This is also an easy way to connect PC speakers to your TV, but not all televisions will have the right connectors. If your television has RCA connectors on the back panel, you are good to go, and you will need:

  • PC speakers
  • Connector Cable (Your computer speakers should come with the correct cable (or cables) to plug them into the TV. They will have two RCA jacks on at least one end, which plug into the TV’s back panel connectors.)
  • Television with RCA connectors on the back panel
  • AC / Mains power wall outlet (if speakers are not battery powered)

Just follow these simple steps, and watch your movies in full, rich sound:

  1. Place your speakers where you want them, but close enough to the TV that the connector cable can reach between them, and close enough to a wall socket for power.
  2. Make sure your television and your speakers are powered off.
  3. Connect the RCA jacks of the cable into the TV’s RCA output jacks on the back panel. (Please note that plugging cables into this jack might cut off the television’s built-in speakers so that they won’t make any sound.)
  4. One RCA jack should be red, and should go into the red outlet, and should also be used for the RIGHT (Red = Right) speaker.
  5. If you connecting more than two speakers, the television should have more than two RCA outlet connectors on the back. These are used for Surround Sound, and there should be 2 for front speakers, 2 for surround speakers, 1 for front center (dialog) speaker and one for a subwoofer.
  6. Connect the other end of the cable (either RCA jacks or a special connector) into the PC speakers’ input jack.
  7. Different speaker systems will have their connectors in different places – either on each speaker or (usually) in one place – either the left or right speaker or the subwoofer.
  8. Remember to take the Red cable to the Right Speaker, and for surround sound to match outputs with inputs – that is, the subwoofer output should go to the subwoofer input, right rear output to right rear speaker, center speaker output to center channel speaker and so forth.
  9. Plug the speakers into the wall, turn everything on and watch a movie!

Make sure you have the TV volume control turned way down at first, as there might be a lot more volume than you’re used to!

When using RCA jacks, the television’s internal speakers may or may not be automatically cut off. If they are still making sound, you will need to go into the TV’s setup menu and turn them off – please see your television’s owners manual for specific instructions.

Connect via Bluetooth

Actually, if you have used Bluetooth before, this is undoubtedly the easiest connection method. And, if you’ve never done Bluetooth coupling before, it is easy to learn, and after the first time it will happen automatically.

Since Bluetooth is fully wireless, the only cable you’ll need is the one to plug the speakers into the wall. So, all you will need are:

  • Bluetooth PC Speakers
  • TV with Bluetooth connectivity
  • AC / Mains power wall outlet (if speakers are not battery powered)

With the following instructions, you can finally enjoy the sound of your movies and television as much as the picture:

  1. Place your speakers where you want them, but close enough a wall socket for power.
  2. Turn your speakers on, and make sure they are “discoverable.”
  3. Please note that different speakers use slightly different methods for Bluetooth pairing, and you should consult their owners manual for exact directions.
  4. Using your television’s set up menu, choose the Bluetooth pairing option.
  5. Please consult your television’s owners manual for exact directions on Bluetooth procedures.
  6. Let the TV “discover” the Bluetooth speakers, and you should be up and running.

Make sure you have the TV volume control turned way down at first, as there might be a lot more volume than you’re used to!

Also, if you are using surround sound speakers, you may need to make the appropriate selection in your TV’s setup menu.

If you love the idea of wireless speakers, but your TV does not have Bluetooth, you can simply connect a cool little Bluetooth Adapter to the TV’s headphone jack. A great choice is the excellent but inexpensive TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter and Receiver.

How to Connect Speakers to a Computer

Of course PC Speakers don’t just improve the sound of televisions – they also offer a dramatic improvement compared to the built in speakers of laptop and desktop PC computers. In fact, many desktop computers don’t even have built in speakers, and you will need stand-alone PC speakers to hear the audio output.

Connecting these PC speakers to your computer can be done in essentially exactly the same way as the first and third options above. That is, you will use either the PC’s headphone output jack or Bluetooth connectivity.

Except in the case of very specialized sound output cards, computers will not offer RCA jacks, and so the second set of directions above will not apply.

Best PC Speakers for the Money

Wired (Headphone Jack or RCA Plugs):

Logitech Compact Laptop Speakers

  • Stereo Speakers (No Subwoofer)
  • Great Sounding Wired Stereo Speakers for the Headphone Jack
  • Small Speakers with Big Sound
  • Inexpensive and a Great Value
  • Wired with Headphone Jack

Edifier USA 2.1 Speaker System

  • Stereo Speakers with Subwoofer – 2.1 Sound
  • Big Sound and Deep Bass
  • Beautiful Design
  • Will Connect with Several Devices
  • Wired with Headphone Jack and Other Options

Surround Sound Speakers – 5.1 Sound

Logitech Z906 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System

  • THX, Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Certified
  • Incredible High-End Surround Sound
  • Plenty of Power
  • Will Connect with Several Devices
  • Wired Options Include Headphone Jack, RCA and More

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX Certified Computer Speaker

  • Stereo Speakers with Subwoofer – 2.1 Sound
  • The Very Best Sound for the Money
  • Incredible Bass and Smooth, Detailed Highs
  • High Volume with Very Low Distortion
  • Legendary Klipsch Quality at a Low Price
  • Wired with Headphone Jack

Wireless (Bluetooth):

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

  • Stereo Speakers (No Subwoofer)
  • Superb Sound
  • Plenty of Power
  • Excellent Quality and Durability
  • Bluetooth Connectivity

Logitech Z623 400 Watt Home Speaker System, 2.1 Speaker System

  • Stereo Speakers with Sub-woofer – 2.1 Sound
  • Plenty of power
  • Great bass with included subwoofer
  • Beautiful Design
  • Bluetooth Connectivity

Bose Acoustimass 10 Series V Home Theater Speaker System

  • Surround Sound Speakers – 5.1 Sound
  • Immersive Surround Sound Image
  • Tons of Volume and Dynamic Energy
  • Great Deep Bass Impact
  • Best Quality and Reliability
  • Bluetooth Connectivity

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Timothy Scott
Timothy Scott
Hey there, I am Timothy and I am an aspiring bass guitarist and lover of high-quality speakers. Music has been my life. I've owned several high-quality speakers over the last few years and have become obsessed with them. At Speakergy.com I share my knowledge on choosing and using speakers. I hope you enjoy my articles!

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