How to Connect Speakers to a TV
If you're reading this article, chances are you are interested in upgrading your home theater and living room audio. To do this, you will need to connect your speakers to your T.V. somehow, but how?
The real question here is: How do you connect your pre-pro to your T.V.? Speakers are rarely connected directly to a T.V. unless the speaker is also a source such as the Roku Soundbar. In most cases, you will connect your speaker to an amplifier, processor, A.V.R., and your T.V.
In other words, you most likely will not be connecting your speakers to your television.
Wires and Cords You Need (depending on your device)
Depending on your T.V. and what Audio gear you have will dictate what cables you will need.
Generally, you will need:
- HDMI Cables
- Interconnect cables
- speaker cables
You might need:
- Digital cables
With a configuration from Emotiva and any separate component A.V. setup, you will need both an amplifier and a preamp to drive a pair of speakers. Since you would be connecting the T.V., processor, amplifier, and speakers, you will need all cabling types. ~ HDMI, interconnect cables (R.C.A. or X.L.R.), and speaker cables. The HDMI cables connect your processor or A.V.R. to your T.V. Interconnect cables (R.C.A. or X.L.R.) to connect your processor to your amplifier, and speaker cables connect your speaker to your amplifier!
Other ways to connect audio systems are all-in-one A.V.R. units or Bluetooth surround sound systems.
Receivers or A.V.R. units connect to the Tv very similarly to separate components; the significant difference here is that there is no external amp. The amplifier is integrated into the A.V.R., making a typical A.V.R. capable of processing the signal as a wall as providing power to drive speakers; hence the term, All-in-one unit.
Bluetooth Surround Sound systems are an entirely different subject. Bluetooth surround sound systems operate by sending data via radio waves instead of wires or cables. This offers a lot of conveniences. However, you may experience cacophony audio and audio drops in the signal.
Soundbars have speakers, amplification, and processing all built into the unit itself. Just plug your soundbar into your tv via an optical or HDMI cable, and that’s it.
How to Connect Your Speaker to Your T.V.
Soundbars are pretty straightforward, as the soundbar from Roku pictured above. You connect this unit to your T.V. via an HDMI connection, and then you are done. Your T.V.s signal will then be rerouted to the soundbar’s output. These units are extremely easy to operate but can pose problems and be very limiting when it comes to performance.
Speakers- The units that started this conversation! There are so many speakers out there that anyone can find a good speaker they enjoy at their price point. You will connect passive speakers to a powered amplifier and processor or A.V.R. unit, then connect to your T.V.
To connect passive speakers to your T.V. to receive surround sound, you will need to have a pre-pro / receiver unit connected to your T.V.; in most cases, you will combine these two units with just an HDMI cable. After doing so, you will need to connect your speakers to either an internal amplifier on the receiver or an external amplifier that you can connect to a pre-pro unit!
Subwoofers add a significant amount of bass to any setup when added to any home theater or stereo system! Typically, subwoofers are produced with an internal amplifier making it possible for the unit to amplify the signal it is given without an external amplifier.
Since subwoofers are so often found with an internal amplifier, most pre-pros, preamps, or receivers have a dedicated subwoofer output where you will connect your sub to your setup.
The first audio amplifier was made in 1906 by a man named Lee De Forest and came in the form of a triode vacuum tube. This particular mechanism evolved from the Audion, which De Forest developed. Unlike the triode, which has three elements, the Audion only had two and did not amplify sound.
Modern-day home theater amplifiers use a similar design to the Audion triode, or the first amplifier created. Of course, the amplifier has been updated and improved to be more efficient with a greater power amplifier output over the years. Class A/B amps sound better today than ever, given the significant improvements in transformer technology and component circuitry. Modern amplifiers have less distortion than older ones, and you get better performance for a lot less.
This was touched on briefly in the “speaker” section of this Article~ Processors can be very complex machines, but connecting them to your T.V. is pretty straightforward! You will typically connect your processor to your T.V. using an HDMI cord. Most modern T.V.’s have HDMI connections. Suppose your T.V. does not, for whatever reason.
In that case, you would be able to connect a processor to your T.V using a different type of connection, such as an optical connection for two-channel stereo listening! How you would connect a processor to your T.V. largely depends on what input connections you have on your T.V.
TV-Speaker Connection F.A.Q.’s
How to connect speakers to T.V. with speaker wire?
You cannot connect speakers to your T.V.’s as it does not provide speaker outputs that can drive speakers. As we mentioned above, you will need either a preamp, amplifier, or both to connect a surround sound system to your Television.
Can I hook up old speakers to my new tv?
With the correct processor/amplifier combination, you can connect older speakers to a new T.V. with the right processor/amplifier combination. As long as you have the proper audio gear in your system, the limit to your connection options is endless!
Can I connect speakers to my tv without a receiver?
It is almost always required to connect a receiver to your T.V. However, sure, if you have a powered speaker with an aux input and a T.V. with an aux output. It will not be surround sound- only two-channel stereo, but this would be the only way to do this, and most T.V.’s don't have an aux output anymore.
Check out Emotiva and Explore Audiophile-Quality Speakers
Emotiva asked a simple question: “Why can’t we have amazing audio and video sound at prices that don’t threaten our mortgage?” As high-end audio chased an ever-shrinking market with ever-more-costly gear, the price of sonic nirvana shot out of reach. New enthusiasts shook their heads and thought, “You know, a soundbar and a receiver may not be that bad.”
If you are looking to upgrade your speakers for your system, we just happen to have incredible performing loudspeakers at an incredible price with our Airmotiv series. Click here to check out the ever-expanding selection to take your system to the next level. If you are looking for an amplifier or processor as well, have no fear. We carry pretty much everything you will need from start to finish with your sound system.
Check out our full product lineup here
Other articles you might be interested in
How to Choose the Right Amplifier!
We are here to help you go over the basics when trying to pick the right amplifier for your system with some simple things to look for when shopping for that perfect amplifier and speaker combination.
The Science of Sound: The Basics of Stereo Preamplifiers
Our very own Lonnie has an in depth discussion about the ins and outs of stereo preamplifiers.
The Science of Sound: How a signal goes from source to speaker
Ever wondered how a song goes from your source all the way to your speakers? Our very own Lonnie has a quick explanation of how that happens!