These days, there are more than enough decent-quality TV Speakers Under 200 on the market. And if you’ve got a brand-new speaker set, but can’t seem to figure out how to connect it to your TV, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn about the best ways to get everything plugged and start enjoying your new setup. Alright, let’s get right to it!
What are your Options?
So, if you’re ready to ditch the squeaky TV speakers and go for something better, here’s what you need to know. There’s more than one way to connect external speakers to a television. You can use RCA, analog, or optical cables. And then there’s HDMI, USB, and the wireless interfaces. They all have their pros and cons – we’ll take a quick look at each.
Now, before we start, it would be best if you could find your equipment’s manual, as the instructions can be quite helpful. And one more thing: unless you want to spend extra bucks on a standalone amplifier, make sure you’re getting an active set of speakers. They come with a built-in amp. Passive speakers, in turn, can’t create a sound without an external amplifier’s help.
This connection design was first introduced in the 40s. RCA (Radio Corporation of America) cables are very easy to connect. You get two channels – left and right. Unfortunately, these cables don’t support surround sound (5.1, for example). However, since most folks use 2.1 speaker systems, RCA could be a good enough option. You’ve probably already seen the black and red cables somewhere on audio/video equipment.
Well, it’s the RCA pair, and the ports are also marked with these colors so that it’s easier to identify them with a naked eye. If you have a two-speaker set, the cables will go from the back of the TV into one of the speakers. Or, if it’s a 2.1 system, the cables should be plugged into the subwoofer.
Next, we’ve got the 3.5mm cables, AKA the analog pair. These are also called the headphone port cables. This is important: depending on the system, to connect the TV to a speaker set, you’ll only need a 3.5mm cable (jack) for the TV. The other side can still be an RCA jack. It’s not rare for modern-day soundbars and speakers to support the headphone port, though.
In that case, a two-way 3.5mm cable should do the trick. Again, the analog cables only fully support the good old stereo sound. And while that doesn’t mean you can’t connect a surround system through them, you won’t get any of the surround audio perks (essentially, it will turn into a two-speaker system). The owners of “traditional” 2.0 or 2.1 multimedia speakers will find the headphone port to be quite reliable and easy to use.
Further down the list, we’ve got the HDMI interface. If you bought a Surround Sound System for Samsung Smart TV recently and want to use it to the fullest, HDMI is your best bet. Sound quality loss isn’t an issue with this interface. On top of that, HDMI is incredibly fast and dependable. All the modern television sets and speakers/soundbars support it.
So, we highly recommend using a two-way HDMI cable, instead of mixing it with RCA or the 3.5mm jack, as that will drop the overall audio quality. A quick tip: computers, notebooks, and laptops have at least one built-in HDMI port. That means you can connect the speakers directly without having to turn the TV on every single time you want to listen to music, for example.
With HDMI out of the way, let us check out the optical cable. It’s more commonly used in movie production, big concerts, and real-time TV shows. But, it can also be used to connect external speakers to a television. The optical cables support 5.1, 7.1, and other surround sound systems, just like HDMI. There’s, one downside, though: most TVs don’t automatically detect the optical interface.
That’s right: you might have to go into the menu and change some settings to make it work. Other than that, optical cables are a safe bet. They are long-lasting, reliable, and ensure the best possible audio quality.
Known initially as the “computer interface”, USB is one of the most popular cables/connectors standards. Its biggest pro is the ease of use and fast communications. As for the downside – not all TVs support it. The same can be said about speaker sets and soundbars. But, if both your television and speakers are USB-friendly, it might be the best option.
Last, but not least, we’ve got the so-called wireless interfaces. Yes, I’m talking about Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, of course. The best thing about this: you’ll be able to control the volume level and maybe even the built-in EQ using your Smartphone (you won’t even need a remote for that). But, both the speakers and the TV should support one of these interfaces. Otherwise, no connection will be established.
Bluetooth of Wi-Fi can also be used to wirelessly connect a set of headphones to the TV, by the way.
Unless you’ve got a 1000-dollar TV at home, the audio quality is probably really low. The good news is – you can get an aftermarket set of speakers/soundbar and create your own home theater. Today, we learned how to connect external speakers to a TV. Check back with us for more guides on home electronics and the best (and easiest) ways to get connected!