Full length of technician checking TV speaker with multimeter at home

All modern TV designs are pretty impressive with their slim and sleek bodies. However, it’s hard to find one with a good sound.

Modern TV’s compact and slim design leaves no space for good-quality speakers. Hence, the need to use external speakers.

Today, we will show you how to connect speakers to TV with speaker wire and other options to enhance your listening experience.

What Is a Speaker Wire?

A speaker wire is a cable variety creating an electrical connection between the speaker and an amplifier.

Speaker wires usually come with two or more cables or electrical conductors, each insulated by plastic or rubber. The two speaker wires have similar functions but are marked with different colors to identify their positive and negative polarities.

Typically, speaker wires come in a figure-of-eight cable or a zip cord. It’s an electrical wire consisting of two or more insulated conductors that you can easily splice.

Speaker wires come in different varieties and use ports and terminals inconsistent with most modern TVs. You have to know what kind of connection is appropriate for your TV.

Can You Connect a Speaker to a TV Directly?

The straight answer is no. Most TVs don’t have speaker outputs, requiring an amplifier to power them.

However, most TVs have audio outputs, allowing you to connect your TV to a small external amplifier, a home studio receiver, or self-powered speakers. TV audio outputs differ from one model to another, but most have a 3.5-millimeter jack, coaxial or digital optical jack, and RCA or stereo jacks.

Some TVs only have an HDMI output jack. You will need an HDMI audio extractor with RCA output jacks for these TV models.

Again, you cannot directly connect a speaker to a TV because they don’t have speaker outputs but analog or digital ones.

Four Main Ways To Connect External Speakers

You have several options when connecting external speakers to your TV, which we will discuss below.

Use a Computer Speaker Set

Speakers you use on your computers are the easiest option to improve the sound quality of your TV.

Most computer speakers come with a built-in audio amplifier using a 5V USB power connection or an AC/DC adapter. These are affordable speakers that offer excellent sound quality.

Since most TVs don’t have a headphone jack, you can buy the RCA to 3.5-millimeter adapter cable.

Use a Small Amplifier and External Speakers

You don’t have to spend lots of money to power a regular external speaker with a traditional amplifier. There are affordable mini amplifiers and ordinary speaker combos.

On average, you only need a minimum of five watts per channel amp power when watching TV or listening to music. For this option, you have to connect the amplifier to the audio outputs of your TV using an RCA cable or 3.5-millimeter adapter.

Generally, mini amplifiers include an AC/DC power supply that you need to plug into a wall socket. Next, you need a speaker wire to connect the amplifier to your speaker terminals.

Use a Home Stereo Receiver

Most home stereo receivers or home theater systems have a pair of auxiliary and RCA inputs, making it easy to connect to your TV.

Technically, home stereo receivers are amplifiers, too, but with additional functions. They have more channels, allowing an HD video to pass through their system.

Connect the RCA cable to the auxiliary input of your home stereo receiver, usually intended for cable, DVD, Blu-Ray, and TV inputs from the primary sound control. For some home stereo receiver models, these inputs are in front of the device marked “AUX.”

If your receiver does not have an analog output, you can use the digital inputs using coaxial or optical connectors.

Connect to TV’s Digital Audio Outputs

You will need a stereo receiver equipped with digital audio inputs for TVs with only digital audio outputs. Another effective option for connecting a speaker to your TV is to use a digital to analog converter.

Different Types of Speakers

Good-quality speakers will give you an excellent audio experience as you watch your favorite TV shows. You can have the newest TV model, but relying on its built-in speakers alone will not produce an eargasmic sound quality.

Here are some speaker types that you can connect to your TV set:

Bookshelf Speakers

If you have a small space but would like a speaker that functions similarly to a tower speaker, the bookshelf type is your best option.

Most bookshelf speakers come with a mid-range driver or a woofer and a tweeter, but you will also find higher models equipped with these three components. Even if they are called bookshelf speakers, placing them on a stand help the sound radiate freely, providing higher quality performance.

Bookshelf speakers work well with stereo setup or surround sound systems like the floor-standing types. However, their size has a limited bass response and would sound better when paired with a subwoofer.

Built-in Speakers

Built-in speakers will give you high-quality audio reception and clutter-free space while hidden inside your ceilings or walls. Their only distinctions are the front panels or grills, making them less effective than other speakers.

That said, you need a professional to do the job, so you still need to allocate an amount for their installation.

Center-Channel Speakers

Center-channel speakers are an essential part of all surround sound systems placed on the front between the left and right units. As the name indicates, these center speakers focus on mid-range frequencies where you will hear most of the dialogues while watching a movie.

Smart Speakers

Another simple way of enhancing the audio quality of your TV is smart speakers. You only have to connect them to your home network and plug them into a wall outlet. You can control a smart speaker through voice prompts or a mobile application in most cases.


If you want a no-fuss sound-enhancing unit for your TVs, soundbars are the easiest to use and install. All you have to do is plug the power cord into a wall outlet and use an audio or HDMI cable to connect the soundbar to the TV.


If you want deep and rich bass notes, you need a subwoofer. Modern models come with a built-in crossover network and amplifier, allowing you to adjust their upper-frequency response.

As a result, blending in with the main speaker becomes more effective. Also, you must be conscious of where you place it as it affects its performance.

Surround or Satellite Speakers

Typically, you will find satellite speakers on the sides or behind your listening area.

As a smaller version of bookshelf speakers, they usually come with two cones; either a tweeter and woofer or a mid-range driver.

Generally, satellite speakers complement other units in sound systems but can also function as standalone units.

Often, these speaker types are mounted on ceilings or walls to prevent messy and tangled wires around the listening area. You may also opt for wireless satellite speakers, eliminating the problem of messy cables, though they still require a power cord to function.

Tower or Floor Standing Speakers

As its name implies, tower or floor standing speakers are typically placed on the floor beside your TV.

Most tower speakers measure three to four feet high and are fitted with more prominent cones, making it easier for them to create low frequencies. As a result, floor-standing speakers sound louder and are more likely to produce more bass, making them perfect for big spaces.

Typically, they act as front speakers for surround sound systems.

Two professional workmen in workwear installing luxury audio system in the white living room. Home appliances installation concept

How To Connect Speakers to TV With Speaker Wire?

Knowing how to connect speakers to TV with speaker wire give us several options to improve the sound quality of our TVs.

We have learned that passive speakers need to use speaker wires and amplifiers to produce good quality sound. On the other hand, active speakers, like those used for computers, have built-in amplifiers; thus, they will not require external amplification.

What’s more, we also learned that TVs don’t have built-in amplifiers; hence, you cannot connect an external speaker directly. Also, we have listed some speaker types to give you an idea of which style suits your listening needs.

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