Television sound – a problem in search of the simple resolve

In a technological world where there appear to be no end of choices with ‘solutions’ filling just about every sector of the marketplace, there remains a void with the most obvious of considerations: one that is founded upon a completely ignored facet that we are equally predisposed toward in a collective expectation; that of good television sound quality.

Common ground technologies

While developments in screen technology has begun to overcome what has been a protracted period of lamentably mediocre image performance within the confines of the LCD screen medium, bringing forth superior resolution that has more in common with the plasma panel televisions enjoyed over a decade ago, conversely we now face inferior sound quality due to the reduced cavity from which the television loudspeakers radiate within; all in a ruse for the high-end design critique of minimalism using wafer-thin structures. The sonic results vary from tinny, as in transistor radio quality, through to hollow and boxy; as though coming from the back of the set instead of being projected from the front, – which quite often is the case.

Step into any electrical retailer or look online for sellers of televisions and among the options to deal with this shortcoming of sound quality will be the familiar array of audio products on offer, starting from what are commonly known as sound bars; a narrow and longitudinal black column that sits directly under the television screen profile. This is often aided by a sub-bass speaker cube that sits on the floor, serving to fill the missing low-frequency detail (some of it annoying to many ears) that the bar misses out on. Most of these basic systems are pretty crude affairs; delivering a sound far removed from the quality that the content broadcast actually contains and with prevailing distortion to muddy the balance.

While the mainstay or prerequisite for a good many homes since it’s inception in the domestic marketplace thirty years ago, multiple-speaker array home cinema sound systems would appear to some as being mere novelty, or simply a case of going too far, especially within the confines of a tastefully established room’s decoration. Also, the plethora of home cinema speaker ‘packages’ that are offered today are equally inexpensive in build and cost, much like the aforementioned soundbar speakers from a qualitative perspective; crammed with unnecessary sound setting gimmicks and possessed of the worst aesthetics using cheap materials and finishes. Worse still, they sound awful.

Quality is key

As with any quality installation, the simplest solution is often the best and most appreciated, such as the use of a discrete stereo amplifier driving a pair of proprietary hi-fi loudspeakers from a known and respected British manufacturer of specifically engineered product that does full justice toward every sound reproduced, including achieving the important aspect of dialogue intelligibility. Something that cannot be said of the packaged speaker solutions offered today.

In addition, there is the added benefit of superior sound quality as received from national BBC and independent radio transmissions in which to enjoy, courtesy of all television broadcast platforms. With carefully installed and suitably positioned loudspeakers, small or large, evening live concerts such as from BBC Radio can be appreciated to the full. The benefits also extend to DVD or Blu-ray players within a television set-up that double-up for CD duties.

With full consideration given toward the right equipment selection and appropriate design aesthetic that avoids off-the-peg solutions, a system of simple means can be tailored accordingly with far reaching results that are appreciated longer than any initial cost consideration. However, more elaborate sound system requirements deploying the correct equipment can be tailored accordingly.

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