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How Can I Improve the Sound Quality of My TV?

How Can I Improve the Sound Quality of My TV?

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After splurging on your brand new QLED 4K TV, you proudly set it up against your living room wall. You invite your friends over to watch the next big game on a Saturday evening, but you can barely hear the masterful voice of the commentator.

You wonder if something is wrong with your TV settings and spend the next hour trying to figure it out.

Don’t worry about the game—you’ve missed most of it.

You can improve the sound quality of your TV by changing the sound mode, activating compression mode, tweaking the equalizer, or connecting to an external speaker. Surround sound speakers are the best option for improving sound quality amongst TV users.

TV sound quality is a sticky subject. In this article, we’ll explain why your TV’s built-in speakers are low-quality and what you can do about it.

Why Are My TV Built-In Speakers So Low and Poor?

man adjusts the sound setting of TV

TV design has changed a lot in the past 20 years. The boxy rabbit-ear CRT televisions we grew up watching have grown thinner over the years and evolved in performance.

While TV technology has improved, one part of it has remained in a constant state of deterioration: the sound quality.

You may find that your old CRT TV has a better sound quality than your OLED 4K TV. We’ll need to go back to the basics to understand this phenomenon.

First, speakers’ size determines their efficiency. The bigger a speaker is, the better its sound quality can be.

Old box TVs had room to house larger in-built speakers. In comparison, newer TVs have adopted a flat-screen design, and manufacturers have sacrificed the room for speakers to promote slim designs.

old TV with big built in speaker

Consequently, TV speakers have gotten tinier, and this size reduction has affected the sound quality. The small speakers don’t have enough room for resonance and good bass.

Speakers convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. The mechanical energy compresses air, converting its motion into sound energy.

A big speaker will compress larger quantities of air and produce a better resonance and bass.

The speaker position is another factor responsible for muffled sound quality in your TV.

Ultra-slim TVs with a nearly non-existent bezel (frame around the screen) are all the rage now. To keep TV frames small, most manufacturers install speakers backward, and sound comes out the back of the TV.

There’s already no room for resonance inside the TV, but backward-facing speakers worsen the sound quality.

If your TV is mounted on a wall, sound waves bounce off the wall behind the TV, resulting in distortion and muffling.

Note that while the physics of your modern TV is the primary reason for its low sound quality, the factors outlined below can also contribute to the sound distortion:

  • Too much music and sound effects, which can drown dialogues and voiceovers.
  • Faulty built-in TV speakers.
  • The placement or mounting of the TV.
  • Room aerodynamics, which may accentuate or muffle some frequencies more than others.

Despite the inherent disadvantages of modern flat-screen TVs in audio output quality, several options allow you to get around problems and enjoy good sound.

In the next section, we’ll explore different ways to tackle low-quality built-in TV speakers.

4 Different Ways To Improve The Sound Quality Of My TV

TV sound settings vary based on the brands and models, but three settings that can help improve your sound quality are sound modes, compression, and equalization.

Want to get a better sound quality out of your TV? Below are four ways to improve the sound experience.

1. Switch Sound Mode

a girl uses remote control to adjust the sound setting of her TV

Like “Picture Mode” in your TV settings, sound modes are preset options that help you control your TV’s audio. They are usually designed to fit different types of video content.

On Samsung TVs, the sound modes are Standard, Movie, Music, Amplify, and Clear Voice.

You can choose the sound mode preset for the content on your screen. Whether you are watching a live game or a movie on Netflix, a suitable sound mode can improve sound quality.

2. Tweak The Equalizer

There might also be an equalizer (EQ) in your sound settings. A sonic filter separates specific frequencies, allowing you to amplify, decrease, or leave them intact.

You can tweak your TV sound through the EQ. Increase the higher frequencies to make your sound brighter (high-pitched) or add more depth to the bass by increasing the lower frequencies.

3. Compress Your TV Sound

The compression option might be helpful if you want to make the dialogue in your audio output clearer. Compression separates the loud bits from the quiet bits.

To prevent the loud sound effects from drowning out dialogues and voices, activate the compression mode (or “auto-gain control” as it is labeled on some TVs).

4. Use An External Speaker

man installing the external speaker for his TV

Yes! Of course, we were going to get to this. Using external speakers is the most popular solution to poor TV sound quality.

Not to mention, a soundbar or surround sound speaker is a fitting addition to any home theater.

SAMSUNG - HW-S40T 2.0 ch All-in-One Soundbar with Music Mode, Black (2020)
  • ROOM-FILLING SOUND, ALL-IN-ONE DESIGN - For holistic sound, everything you need is in a single...
  • CRAFTSMANSHIP BEYOND SOUND - A sound system designed to be part of your home. Refined by Kvadrat,...
  • BLUETOOTH TV CONNECTION - Simply use Bluetooth to connect the soundbar to your Samsung TV and enjoy...

Last update on 2023-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Since modern TVs leave no interior room for larger and more efficient built-in speakers, the next best thing is to attach a louder speaker externally via a wired or Bluetooth connection.


The constant improvement in TV technology has advanced picture quality. However, we cannot say the same for sound quality.

The slim, frameless designs of high-end TVs only support small internal speakers with poor resonance. The small speakers are often installed behind the TV—two strikes against good sound quality.

Investing in high-quality external speakers is the best way to improve your TV’s sound quality. We’ve selected the 5 best external speakers for your display device. Check it out!

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