Some strategies for connecting stereo speakers to your TV

That’s right, there’s nothing better than a good home theater system or a good sound bar when it comes time to enjoy the latest massacre committed in Game of Thrones at its fair value in the soft comfort his cozy home.

But the circumstances do not always lend themselves to the installation of a complete system. There may be a lack of space in the family room or the furniture where the TV is sitting. There is a risk that the cables connecting a home theater receiver to the rear speakers will be dangerous for the baby. Or maybe we have three or four televisions in the house and we are afraid of being scolded if we install complete systems everywhere. What is not at all a fact lived, I swear!

In these cases, what if the internal speakers of our TV are not quite satisfactory? The screen is connected to a pair of stereo speakers. Most TVs have connectors that make the operation almost instantaneous; if this is not the case, it can often be done by devious means and still arrive at a good result. Here are some ideas.


The direct connection

The simplest solution is still to connect the speakers directly into the TV. There are several ways to get there.

First look at the back of your screen: you will almost certainly find an RCA analog audio output, ie a white plug and a red plug, or even with a little luck connectors type “clamp” or “banana” designed for higher-end external speakers. If that’s your case, you can use just about any pair of speakers with matching inputs. If you already have unused speakers in your home, this is the most economical solution.

Your TV is probably also equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack, like that of your mp3 player. In this case, you can divert this jack to a pair of personal computer speakers with their own power supply, such as top Bluetooth Speakers under 200.

In theory, you could also use miniature speakers that feed from the headphone jack, but this kind of device is designed to be used at a very short distance and you will probably get a lower quality sound to what is produced by the internal speakers of your TV.

The mini stereo and the audio receiver

Your stereo and your old stereo amplifier do not serve you much now that all your music goes through your phone, your computer and your wireless speakers? Good! These devices almost certainly have one or more auxiliary RCA audio inputs to which you can connect your TV.

While you’re at it, check to see if you cannot get even better results using digital connections. Two of my TVs have fiber optic audio outputs that produce a digital stereo signal; if your mini-channel or old stereo receiver accepts such auxiliary sources, you may get better sound than with an RCA cable. One thing is certain; this signal will be less vulnerable to interference, which may be important if your TV is located near a source of electromagnetic “noise” such as a heating baseboard, for example.

External sources

Other things being equal, it’s best to connect your speakers to your TV, directly or through a mini-channel, as this is the only way to get high-quality sound for everyone. The content you will watch: TV shows, Blu-ray or DVD movies, video games, Netflix, etc.

However, if for some reason you cannot connect your TV to your speakers (because of missing or defective connectors, for example), you can still connect your speakers directly to your disc player, your set-top box cable or your satellite decoder. You’ll only get improved audio quality for the source, which may require you to plug in and unplug your devices often, but that’s already done.

Still, a good home theater system or a good sound bar will probably give you a superior experience, especially if you watch a lot of content rich in special effects. But if the circumstances do not lend themselves to installing a complete system, or if you’re looking for a lower-cost solution for your second or third TV, a pair of stereo speakers could be a great alternative.

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