How to make your TV sound better for cheap

Written by james clark
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How to make your TV sound better for cheap
Connect computer speakers to a TV for an inexpensive improvement in sound. (pc speakers image by Georgios Alexandris from

One of the mysteries of modern electronics is the television with a shimmering picture but barely audible built-in speakers. No matter how beautiful the image on the screen, somehow the sound can't compete. If the audio on your TV set leaves you underwhelmed, one inexpensive solution is to hook up a pair of external stereo speakers to offset the thin sound of the built-in speakers. Desktop computer speakers offer an elegantly simple solution because they take up little space, deliver big sound and contain their own amplifier so they won't draw power from the television.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer speakers
  • Y-adaptor with two 1/4-inch plugs and one mini-jack

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  1. 1

    Turn off the TV to prevent a power surge that could damage the computer speakers the instant they are hooked up.

  2. 2

    Place a speaker on each side of the TV. The speakers are labelled L and R on the back for Left and Right.

  3. 3

    Plug the cable from the left speaker into the audio OUT jack on the back of the right speaker.

  4. 4

    Plug the cable from the right speaker into the mini-jack on the Y-adaptor.

  5. 5

    Insert the two plugs on the Y adaptor into the Audio OUT jacks on the back of the TV.

  6. 6

    Connect the DC power plug to the jack on the back of the right computer speaker and insert the plug on the other end into an electrical socket.

  7. 7

    Turn on the TV and the computer speakers, which have an on/off/volume control knob typically on the front of the right speaker.

  8. 8

    Shut off the TV's built-in speakers, if desired, by pressing the "Menu" button on the remote control, using the down arrow key to reach "Settings." Highlight "Speakers" and press the left or right arrow key to turn the built-in speakers on and off.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure the speaker on/off knob is switched to the off position before plugging in the power.

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