Sound system for TVs

I have a Samsung TV, I can hear it fine, but Mrs Slog wants it louder than I like to put up with.

I was wondering if one of the home theatre systems was the answer, thinking that if I could position speakers nearer to the listener, then it wouldn't have to be so loud.

Does this make sense, or have I got it @rse about? Is it possible to have a 5.1 system (say) on really low and still have it performing?

The TV has optical output for certain, also bluetooth I believe but definitely no 3.5mm jack.



The older I get, the better I was.

Comments

  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,179
    Depends on whether it is the volume that gets you, or the harshness of poor quality speakers. If it is volume then you are fooked. You may well get on with better quality speakers and a fuller sound though. I always notice how poor the TV sound is when I switch off the 5.1 system. My wife detests the bass of a full system though. Compromises have to be made. This is all just back story though.

    I'd recommend going for auditions where the sound can be set to your wife's taste and see what you can tolerate.
    Then the debate will probably switch to speaker size but that's for another day...
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,468
    capt_slog said:

    I have a Samsung TV, I can hear it fine, but Mrs Slog wants it louder than I like to put up with.

    I was wondering if one of the home theatre systems was the answer, thinking that if I could position speakers nearer to the listener, then it wouldn't have to be so loud.

    Does this make sense, or have I got it @rse about? Is it possible to have a 5.1 system (say) on really low and still have it performing?

    The TV has optical output for certain, also bluetooth I believe but definitely no 3.5mm jack.


    I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but if you find the volume your wife likes considerably too loud, I wonder whether a hearing test might be in order: hearing loss will creep up unnoticed, whether it's through wax in the ears or just degradation with age. Needing the TV up to an uncomfortable level for others can be a bit of a clue.
  • IMO, a 5.1 system may actually make things worse for you. Is it just for certain program types that Mrs Slog wants it louder, or is it for everything? If the latter, as Brian says, get a hearing check booked first.

    Unless the source broadcast program has actually been well recorded with a 5.1 (or more) audio format, you may find the bits you really need to hear (dialogue, basically) get lost in the mix spread around, because the system is arbitrarily trying to decide what should be played back where. A lot of standard TV programs are produced with stereo sound at best, not really designed with full multi-channel decoding in mind.

    The source broadcast is the main factor. I’ve a pretty fabulous theatre system set up here with upwards of 25 grand worth of electronics, tailored with DSP software to suit the room acoustics, and there are still plenty of TV programs that sound flat and compressed, have unintelligible dialogue at sensible listening levels, and generally poor audio quality.

    Yes a decent 5.1 system will sound better, but that won’t fix the volume issue.

    Last resort - you can try wireless headphones for the Mrs with her own volume control on them?
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • capt_slog
    capt_slog Posts: 3,954

    capt_slog said:

    I have a Samsung TV, I can hear it fine, but Mrs Slog wants it louder than I like to put up with.

    I was wondering if one of the home theatre systems was the answer, thinking that if I could position speakers nearer to the listener, then it wouldn't have to be so loud.

    Does this make sense, or have I got it @rse about? Is it possible to have a 5.1 system (say) on really low and still have it performing?

    The TV has optical output for certain, also bluetooth I believe but definitely no 3.5mm jack.


    I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but if you find the volume your wife likes considerably too loud, I wonder whether a hearing test might be in order: hearing loss will creep up unnoticed, whether it's through wax in the ears or just degradation with age. Needing the TV up to an uncomfortable level for others can be a bit of a clue.
    That's what i said last night. And why I've been on 'vision only' for most of the day.

    I find it odd that an eyetest is perfectly acceptable but a hearing test is a 'king insult,


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 18,468
    capt_slog said:

    capt_slog said:

    I have a Samsung TV, I can hear it fine, but Mrs Slog wants it louder than I like to put up with.

    I was wondering if one of the home theatre systems was the answer, thinking that if I could position speakers nearer to the listener, then it wouldn't have to be so loud.

    Does this make sense, or have I got it @rse about? Is it possible to have a 5.1 system (say) on really low and still have it performing?

    The TV has optical output for certain, also bluetooth I believe but definitely no 3.5mm jack.


    I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but if you find the volume your wife likes considerably too loud, I wonder whether a hearing test might be in order: hearing loss will creep up unnoticed, whether it's through wax in the ears or just degradation with age. Needing the TV up to an uncomfortable level for others can be a bit of a clue.
    That's what i said last night. And why I've been on 'vision only' for most of the day.

    I find it odd that an eyetest is perfectly acceptable but a hearing test is a 'king insult,

    Well done for broaching the subject. Perhaps the two of you could do an online hearing test of some sort to 'compare your sensitivity'...
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 41,378
    Agree with much of what Wheelspinner said, the problem is that sound mixers or whoever working on TV programmes seem to be doing it for something different to most people's TV audio. I'm regularly turning sound down when there is music or action sequences then back up for speech. I've tried using various built-in sound profiles on several TVs but it never really helps.

    I had a fairly decent, for the time, Sony 5.1 surround system about 15 years ago and it was great for gaming and action movies (the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan were superb with it) but it didn't really offer much on normal TV shows.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,179
    edited November 2021
    Just to muddy the waters a bit further. I prefer the stereo sound of TV through my hi-fi to my lesser quality 5.1 system. The 5.1 is still much better than the TV alone though.
    I concur on sound mixes. There is a definite emphasis on music and effects these days.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • capt_slog
    capt_slog Posts: 3,954
    Thanks for your replies, and they sort of confirm what i expected: it's not that simple.

    I have found out that some samsung TVs are capable of wifi connecting to a remote speaker, which looks a bit like an Alexa type thingy. But I don't know for certain whether my TV is one that will, and neither it seems does Samsung. I'll keep investigating.


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • harry-s
    harry-s Posts: 295
    I'd agree that a 5.1 system will definitely sound better than the TV, but may not help with the volume problem. For me the cost of a fairly budget theatre system was worth it, just for the improvement in sound quality. Movies, in particular blu-ray, sound fantastic.

    Interesting about the hearing test response though, - I had the same thing except it was me that was turning the volume up. I eventually had a hearing test, was told it was shoot and now have a couple of tiny, almost invisible, in ear hearing aids. The difference is huge, if I pull them out while watching the box or listening to music it's like someone turned the treble right off (which makes a big difference with speech) and the volume down a few notches. Even boiling the kettle sounds different.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644

    capt_slog said:

    capt_slog said:

    I have a Samsung TV, I can hear it fine, but Mrs Slog wants it louder than I like to put up with.

    I was wondering if one of the home theatre systems was the answer, thinking that if I could position speakers nearer to the listener, then it wouldn't have to be so loud.

    Does this make sense, or have I got it @rse about? Is it possible to have a 5.1 system (say) on really low and still have it performing?

    The TV has optical output for certain, also bluetooth I believe but definitely no 3.5mm jack.


    I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but if you find the volume your wife likes considerably too loud, I wonder whether a hearing test might be in order: hearing loss will creep up unnoticed, whether it's through wax in the ears or just degradation with age. Needing the TV up to an uncomfortable level for others can be a bit of a clue.
    That's what i said last night. And why I've been on 'vision only' for most of the day.

    I find it odd that an eyetest is perfectly acceptable but a hearing test is a 'king insult,

    Well done for broaching the subject. Perhaps the two of you could do an online hearing test of some sort to 'compare your sensitivity'...
    if it helps your cause, i am the appointed audiology tester, so when you do a hearing test at the hospital the beeps are every 4 seconds....... you now know this. your wife does not.....
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    capt_slog said:

    capt_slog said:

    I have a Samsung TV, I can hear it fine, but Mrs Slog wants it louder than I like to put up with.

    I was wondering if one of the home theatre systems was the answer, thinking that if I could position speakers nearer to the listener, then it wouldn't have to be so loud.

    Does this make sense, or have I got it @rse about? Is it possible to have a 5.1 system (say) on really low and still have it performing?

    The TV has optical output for certain, also bluetooth I believe but definitely no 3.5mm jack.


    I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but if you find the volume your wife likes considerably too loud, I wonder whether a hearing test might be in order: hearing loss will creep up unnoticed, whether it's through wax in the ears or just degradation with age. Needing the TV up to an uncomfortable level for others can be a bit of a clue.
    That's what i said last night. And why I've been on 'vision only' for most of the day.

    I find it odd that an eyetest is perfectly acceptable but a hearing test is a 'king insult,

    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    edited November 2021
    capt_slog said:

    Thanks for your replies, and they sort of confirm what i expected: it's not that simple.

    I have found out that some samsung TVs are capable of wifi connecting to a remote speaker, which looks a bit like an Alexa type thingy. But I don't know for certain whether my TV is one that will, and neither it seems does Samsung. I'll keep investigating.

    I have a Samsung TV and use one of those remote speakers. It’s a Samsung R3 and looks like a cylindrical tower. It links simply and remotely to the TV through TV Sound Connect and you can place it anywhere as long as you can plug it in to a mains socket. So you could place it closer to the person with less sharp hearing. It gives 360 degrees of sound and the quality is way better than the TV speakers, crisper and with much more bass. You are also supposed to be able to play music on it through an app although I can’t get it to co-operate with my iPhone. It was recommended to us by a Samsung rep several years ago when we bought our TV and wanted better quality sound, in particular for dialogue. He suggested it was better than a sound bar and much cheaper than a surround sound system. I think Samsung probably has updated versions now but here is a review:
    https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/samsung-r3-review
    I might add that despite what that review says, you don’t need the phone app to set it up. You just plug it in and the TV finds it and you just choose and select R3 speaker on the TV sound source settings.
  • capt_slog
    capt_slog Posts: 3,954
    @mercia_man Wow! they're expensive! I'll have a look at second hand ones coming up on ebay. As I said above, it's not very clear which SamsungTVs are compatible with which speaker, which makes buying one a bit of a gamble. But thanks for the opinion.


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,179
    edited November 2021
    capt_slog said:

    @mercia_man Wow! they're expensive! I'll have a look at second hand ones coming up on ebay. As I said above, it's not very clear which SamsungTVs are compatible with which speaker, which makes buying one a bit of a gamble. But thanks for the opinion.

    £50, I'd say that's relatively cheap for any decent sound.
    Edit - Unavailable. Seems to be the way these days.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • capt_slog
    capt_slog Posts: 3,954
    pblakeney said:

    capt_slog said:

    @mercia_man Wow! they're expensive! I'll have a look at second hand ones coming up on ebay. As I said above, it's not very clear which SamsungTVs are compatible with which speaker, which makes buying one a bit of a gamble. But thanks for the opinion.

    £50, I'd say that's relatively cheap for any decent sound.
    Edit - Unavailable. Seems to be the way these days.
    The link above gave the price at £249 at the time, hence the shock. If i can pick one up at £50, fair enough. :)


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,179
    The bay might be your best bet. My source...

    https://www.richersounds.com/samsung-r3-black.html
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • mully79
    mully79 Posts: 904
    I've suffered the same as Pross fighting the volume in films for action sequences etc.

    In my case this seems to have been Virgin media. Now I’m on sky I rarely have to faff with the volume and speech is far clearer.