Replacing the standard speaker on the Television with a dedicated speaker system will make a substantial difference in the sound quality of your system, and your experience with it. If you will only be watching soaps on it you may not care so much, but anyone that watches films, DVD’s, blu-ray and even gamers should consider it as an option.
Although a lot of TV’s have a good speaker on them, there is nothing like a full surround system. A common reason to buy an HD Television set, aside from the current mass marketing, is after viewing a friends or relatives new set.
Before rushing out and buying a new HD Television, you should consider carefully what you want from it, and what your budget is. If you are going to be buying – or already have – surround sound speakers, as a general rule of thumb, 10% of the TV’s cost should be spent on speaker cabling.
You will most likely need an amp, or av receiver also to control the external speakers. This is also an extra cost from several hundred upwards into the thousands but warrants another article alogether.
Speakers generally come in several forms, although there are many factors of them. You are typically looking at 5.1 upwards. This is – 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer. The speakers consist of one centre speaker, a left and right “surround” speaker – these typically sit at the far, front corners from the seat and a left and right rear speaker. Each is independent and although the positions done have to be equal the optimum seating place is in the middle of them all. Most AV receivers / amps can be configured however to control the volume they output at to offset the speaker location accordingly.
The subwoofer basically creates the “oomph” in a movie. Having a capable subwoofer will enhance your movie enjoyment greatly. It brings sounds to life – it creates the small, but intensifying vibrations that we all know from watching movies at the cinema. In addition, since the deep-bass frequencies reproduced by the subwoofers are non-directional (as frequencies that are at or below the threshold of hearing). It is very difficult for our ears to actually pin-point the direction in which the sound is coming. That is why we can only sense that an earthquake seems to be all around us, rather from coming from a particular direction.
The subwoofer can be placed anywhere in the room, however, optimum results depend on room size, floor type, furnishings, and wall construction. Typically, best placement for a subwoofer is in the front of the room, just to the left or right of the main speakers.
Speaker sets can be picked up relatively cheaply, and of course, second hand. An excellent starter choice for speakers, if its within budget is the Canton movie CD-1 (now CD-101) which have a high quality, slimline aluminium construction that makes them a real eye-catcher and brings a sense of style to any contemporary living environment.