Don Lindich’s Sound Advice: Sound from flat-panel TVs is lousy

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

Ques­tion: It seems that the sound I get from my TVs is not very good, at least to my ears. We have two TVs, both flat pan­els. One is a smart TV while the other is not. I have been told that the speak­ers on flat-screen TVs are of­ten di­rected to­ward the rear of the TV. Is this cor­rect? Should I in­vest in ad­di­tional speak­ers that are front ori­ented?



Answer: The speak­ers are ei­ther di­rected rear­ward be­hind the TV, or down­ward, from the bot­tom of the bezel. No mat­ter how they point them, the sound from pretty much ev­ery flat-panel TV in ex­is­tence is lousy. Some of the Sony 4K TVs have lar­gish speak­ers mounted to ei­ther side of the screen and they sound bet­ter than most, but most peo­ple with an ex­pen­sive 4K TV are prob­a­bly go­ing to have it hooked up to a sep­a­rate sound sys­tem any­way.

I think bet­ter TV sound is al­ways a good in­vest­ment, es­pe­cially if you like sports, mov­ies or TV tal­ent shows with a lot of sing­ing. Even talk shows will ben­e­fit. Though they may not be heavy on ac­tion, mu­sic or spe­cial ef­fects, hard-to-un­der­stand di­a­logue from flat-panel TVs is prob­a­bly the big­gest, most com­mon com­plaint I have com­ing in.

There are lots of op­tions, from sound­bars to com­plete the­ater sys­tems to adapt­ing a pair of pow­ered com­puter speak­ers to your TV.

I re­cently re­ceived a ZVOX Sound­base 320 for test­ing and am anx­ious to put it through its paces. It’s $199 and your flat-panel TV (29-42 inches in size) sits di­rectly on top of it, so place­ment is rarely go­ing to be an is­sue. It works with your TV’s re­mote con­trol, no sub­woofer is re­quired and it has cir­cuitry to en­hance vo­cals. You can see it at www.zvox­au­

Me­dia­s­onic DVR up­date: I have re­ceived emails ex­press­ing a lot of reader in­ter­est in the Me­dia­s­onic DVR. My re­view and rec­om­men­da­tion is tak­ing me a bit lon­ger than I an­tic­i­pated, but soon I will have more in­for­ma­tion about the prod­uct and my first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence with it. Stay tuned (no pun in­tended!).

Wharfed­ale speaker give­away: Two years ago, I gave away a home the­ater for my col­umn’s 10th an­ni­ver­sary. Know­ing this, the PR ex­ec­u­tive for Wharfed­ale speak­ers con­tacted me about fa­cil­i­tat­ing an­other give­away. Wharfed­ale wants to give away a pair of their ex­cel­lent Wharfed­ale Di­a­mond 10.2 book­shelf speak­ers ($450/​pair) as a grad­u­a­tion/​Father’s Day sea­son pro­mo­tion.

I love pro­vid­ing Sound Ad­vice read­ers with news about great deals, and what could be bet­ter than free? Of course, I agreed and in­for­ma­tion about the give­away will ap­pear in the col­umn next week as well as on my web­site, soundad­vice­

I ex­plained that due to the tim­ing of when col­umns are writ­ten and they ac­tu­ally ap­pear in print, the give­away would not take place be­fore Father’s Day, es­pe­cially since we would want to give peo­ple time to get their name in the hat. So, if you are read­ing this af­ter Father’s Day, rest as­sured that you still have a chance to get the speak­ers.

You can see the Wharfed­ale Di­a­mond 10.2 at www.wharfed­ale­ I will be re­view­ing a pair soon. Based on my ex­pe­ri­ence with the smaller Di­a­mond speak­ers, I am con­fi­dent they will sound ex­cel­lent.

Read product reviews by Don Lindich at

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here