In this article, I’ll explain whether you can connect speaker wire to TV and what options you have. I hope I can assist you in getting the right kind of sound you require so that you can enjoy your television viewing experience!
Despite the fact that the TV industry is constantly improving in terms of both audio and picture quality, we must reiterate that they continue to give a significant advantage to picture quality over audio quality. In fact, they favor all of their technologies and TV components over audio quality.
TVs are becoming thinner and thinner, they have more input and output ports, and the resolution is improving, but it appears that their speakers are simply not up to par with the image.
As a result, we are once again forced to reach for stereo speakers, soundbars, or home theater speakers in order to appreciate all of the finesse and nuances of audio (or audio/video) content that would otherwise go unnoticed.
This is why we decided to write this article and show you how to properly connect your speakers to your TV so that you can enjoy high-quality sound whether you’re listening to music or watching a movie.
Please keep in mind that only active speakers can be connected directly to your TV. You can’t just connect the speaker wire to your TV and then to the speakers if you want to connect passive speakers to your TV. An amplifier or AVR is required to connect passive speakers to a television.
Connect the TV to the AVR/amplifier, and then connect the speakers to the AVR/amplifier using a speaker wire.
What Does Speaker Wire Mean?
Speaker wire is a type of wire that, as the name suggests, is used to connect one or more speakers to an audio amplifier or AV receiver, which is used to amplify the audio signal.
Speaker wires are typically made up of two conductors insulated by plastic or, in some cases, rubber, but they can have more conductors for users who want to connect multiple devices with a single cable. Speaker wire is typically sold as a zip cord with clearly marked polarity.
Electrical impedance (resistance) and gauge are the two most important speaker wire characteristics to consider when determining its quality (wire diameter measure). These two characteristics are mutually exclusive.
Thicker and shorter wires have lower impedance because electrical impedance is proportional to wire length and inversely proportional to wire thickness.
American wire gauge (AWG) or standard wire gauge (SWG) can be used to express the gauge (SWG). The two measuring systems are incompatible, but since AWG is more common, we’ll just say that a 12 AWG wire works well for connecting speakers to amplifiers/receivers. More detailed information can be found in one of the sections below.
AWG describes the thickness of the speaker wire – the lower the number the thicker the wire
Alternative Video: How to connect Speakers to Amplifiers
Passive vs Active Speakers
At first glance, passive and active speakers appear identical. They can have multiple drivers (woofers, tweeters), but their function is the same: they reproduce sound by converting incoming electrical signals into sound waves.
The primary distinction between passive and active speakers is not one of quality, and it is certainly not true that active speakers are superior to passive. They are simply more practical, and because they are pre-amplified, they require less effort. Their actual quality is determined by how well the speaker features and room acoustics are matched.
When it comes to amplification, this is what distinguishes these two types of speakers. Both require amplification; however, active speakers have built-in amplification, whereas passive speakers require external amplification.
This external amplification is provided by a stereo amplifier or an AV receiver, and speaker wire is required to connect passive speakers to the amplifier/receiver.
Amplifiers VS AV Receivers
Most people believe that amplifiers and receivers are two separate devices that cannot be used in the same way. This is only partially correct. Although there are some differences between the two, their operating principles are very similar.
Amplifiers are devices that are used to amplify low-voltage signals from source devices (or from a preamp) and provide enough gain to power speakers.
We can tell the difference between stereo amplifiers and integrated amplifiers. Stereo amplifiers can only amplify the signal and cannot be directly connected to audio sources. Another unit called a preamp is required for this.
Integrated amplifiers are a little more complicated. They are essentially a preamp and a stereo amplifier in one. You can connect audio sources directly to them because they combine the functions of a preamp and a stereo amplifier. Some integrated amplifiers only have analog inputs, while others have digital (optical and coaxial) audio inputs as well.
AV receivers perform the same function as integrated amplifiers, but they are more complicated. They also have multiple speaker terminals and video inputs (HDMI, composite, and component) (not just two like stereo and integrated amps).
How to Connect Speaker Wire to TV?
When it comes to connecting your AV receiver or amplifier to your new passive speaker system, there isn’t much of a difference between the two.
In both cases, you must use the appropriate speaker wire and connect the appropriate speaker outputs on your amplifier/receiver to the appropriate speaker terminals on the rear panel of your speaker.
The only difference is the number of speakers you can connect to amplifiers, which is only two, whereas AV receivers can connect up to five or more. So, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to do to connect a passive speaker system to your TV.
Please keep in mind that you cannot connect speaker wire directly to your television. That is simply not possible. If you want to connect a pair of passive speakers (or an entire surround sound speaker system) to your TV, you’ll need an amplifier (or AV receiver). The TV is connected to the amplifier/receiver via HDMI (or another audio connection), and the amplifier/receiver is connected to the speakers via speaker wire. This is the only way to connect passive speakers to your television.
Step 1 – Choosing Proper Wire
When you connect speakers and amplifiers/receivers, you are establishing a new electrical circuit. To achieve peak performance and ensure that the entire system functions properly, use wires that match the circuit amperage to avoid wire melting and other damages. The point is that the lower the wire gauge value, the higher the circuit amperage.
Given that most household circuits are rated at 15 or 20 amps and that copper is the most common speaker wire material, we believe that a 12-gauge wire will suffice in most cases.
However, you should be aware that other wire gauges (8, 10, 14, 16) are used for wiring various appliances and devices. There are other materials used to make speaker wires, such as silver, but they are more expensive than copper. In such cases, the gauge-amperage relationship would be different.
Step 2 – Connecting Speakers to an Amplifier/Receiver Using Speaker Wire
After you’ve purchased the appropriate wire and calculated the amount of wire you’ll require, you’re ready for the next step – the actual wiring.
Place the speakers and amplifier/receiver exactly where you intend to keep them before you begin cutting. After that, measure the distance between the amplifier and each speaker and cut the wire into pieces based on your measurements.
The length of the wire pieces should, of course, be slightly longer than the actual distance you measured. Now, take each piece and remove about half an inch of the plastic insulation that is protecting the wire on both sides of the wire.
There are now two options for making the connection: using bare wires or using various clips and connectors (for example, banana plugs, pin connectors, spade connectors).
Speaker terminals are located on the back of the speakers and are used to connect to amplifiers and receivers. 5-way binding posts and spring-clip terminals are the two most common types of terminals.
If you’re using a bare wire connection, you’ll need to unscrew the circular connections or press the plastic part on the spring-clip terminals to reveal small holes into which the wire should be pushed.
If you use some of the above-mentioned clips or connectors, the process will take longer, but the connection quality will be much better, safer, and, frankly, much cleaner.
So, after connecting the speaker wire to the speakers, connect the amplifier/receiver in the same manner. The only thing to remember is to connect the wires to the correct black and red terminals (positive and negative terminals) on the back of the amplifier/receiver.
If you still have questions about the wiring process, we recommend watching the video below, which will make everything much clear
Step 3 – Connecting an Amplifier/Receiver to TV
When it comes to connecting amplifiers and receivers to televisions, there are numerous options and combinations that can be used to achieve the desired performance. Only the type and number of available ports on the back of your TV (and the rear panel of your receiver/amp) limit your options. You simply need to find a pair of ports that are compatible.
You can consider yourself a winner if you have a receiver and a TV with HDMI ARC ports. This is the best option because it allows you to not only listen to TV audio through your speakers but also watch video content from another source on your TV while listening to audio content from the same source (gaming console, BluRay player, etc.) through your speakers.
If your TV does not support HDMI ARC, or if you have an amplifier rather than an AV receiver (which means no HDMI ports), you can use other options such as RCA cables, AUX cables, digital optical cables, and so on. However, because there is no return channel in this case, if you want to watch a movie from a BluRay player, you must connect it directly to your TV rather than to the amplifier/receiver.
Step 4 – Final Adjustments
If you followed all of the steps exactly and the sound still doesn’t come out of your speakers, you may have overlooked the final step – adjusting the audio settings on your TV. Don’t be concerned; it’s not a big deal. Simply go into your TV’s audio settings and ensure that your TV speakers are muted or that external speakers are selected in the speaker menu.
FAQs About Connecting Speaker Wire to TV
Can I connect speakers directly to my TV?
No, you cannot connect the speakers to the TV directly. TVs do not have speaker outputs that can be used to power speakers. It’s possible that you’ll need an amplifier to use them. Most televisions, on the other hand, have audio outputs that allow you to connect them to speakers.
Can you hook up old speakers to Smart TV?
If you have the space, the simplest option is to scour thrift stores for an old-school stereo receiver/amplifier. Connect it to your TV’s audio outputs, and then connect your speakers to the amp. Some amps can support a full surround-sound system, so there’s room to upgrade if desired.
How do you hook up old speakers?
Connecting Old Stereo Speakers to a Computer
Connect the speakers to the amplifier with speaker wire, connecting the red wire to the positive terminal and the other wire to the black terminal. …
Connect a set of RCA audio cables to the amp’s free audio input jacks on the back.
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