How do wireless TV speakers work?
- By: Ashley Saunders
- November 2021
For a decent sound, speakers need space to vibrate and push air. Sadly, we all seemingly want super thin TV. Many manufactures have therefore moved the speakers to the rear and replaced them with smaller ones. The result is a muffled, thin sound that isn’t ideal for watching TV.
Adding external speakers to a TV is hardly a new idea, but it is one way to improve your TV’s sound. Wireless speakers are easy to set up and enable you to bin the ugly cables that might constrict where you can place them.
Let’s learn how do wireless TV speakers work and if they can improve your TV’s sound, creating a better viewing experience.
How do TV speakers work?
It’s a good idea to start by looking at how speakers work. After you understand this, you can then learn how sound is wirelessly transferred. With these two ideas together, you will know how wireless TV speakers work.
All speakers work the same. However, wireless speakers have an additional element that makes them work without cables.
Speakers convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. The audio signal is electrical energy, while the sound wave that the speaker creates is mechanical energy. As you can’t listen to electrical energy, you need a device that converts the energy from one form to another.
We call this the driver. When the audio signals reach the driver, the energy it creates causes the driver to move within a thin sheet of material called the diaphragm. As the driver moves, the surrounding air is pushed and pulled, creating sound waves that mimic the audio signal.
Is using wireless speakers painless?
The driver must receive audio signals to create sound waves for us to hear. There are two ways we can transmit audio from a device to our speakers; either wired or wirelessly.
Wired speakers use cables that connect between devices and transmit electrical energy. The speaker’s driver converts this into sound waves.
With wireless speakers, these signals are converted into digital signals (0s and 1s). A transmitter sends this digital signal from the amp to the speaker through the air using radio waves. Hence, no need for cables.
Typically, these devices use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi protocols to transmit radio waves. On the other end, the wireless speakers use a receiver to pick up the radio waves. As this is done in real-time, there’s no noticeable delay.
What is Bluetooth technology?
Widely available, you’ve probably used Bluetooth technology countless times. Most use it to connect a phone to their car or a game controller to a console.
In short, Bluetooth is a wireless connection standard that allows devices to share data over short distances using ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio waves. Of course, this brief explanation just scratches the surface of this complex topic, but it’s enough for the average person.
How do I connect wireless speakers to my TV?
Connecting wireless speakers to your TV is simple, you either need a television with built-in Bluetooth or you need to purchase a Bluetooth transmitter, such as the Sennheiser BT T100.
In the next section, we’ll look at a range of currently available televisions that have Bluetooth. But first, let’s look at how to connect a Bluetooth transmitter to your TV and wireless speakers.
Firstly, connect your Bluetooth transmitter to your TV’s audio output. Depending on your transmitter, it may need mains power, so you’ll want to plug it in. Next, pair the transmitter with your Bluetooth speakers. After pairing the devices, you can enjoy superior TV sound!
Televisions that work with Bluetooth speakers
Most smart TVs usually have Bluetooth connectivity built-in, allowing you to instantly connect wireless speakers.
Samsung Smart TVs
Most modern Samsung TVs support Bluetooth connectivity.
- Open the Settings menu on your TV
- Navigate to Sound
- Select Sound Output
- Select Bluetooth Speaker List
- Set your Bluetooth device to begin actively pairing. Please consult the user guide for your Bluetooth device for more information
- Select the device you wish to pair to the TV
- Select Pair and connect.
As one of the first manufacturers to add Bluetooth functionality to their televisions, you should find your LG TV can easily connect to wireless speakers.
On your speaker:
- Press and hold the Power button on your speaker until the power button flashes twice (a tone may play to signal power has been turned on)
- Press and hold the Bluetooth button for 2-5 seconds
- When the Bluetooth icon starts flashing, your speaker is in pairing mode.
Next, on your LG TV:
- Select the Settings icon
- Select Advanced Settings
- From the Sound menu select Sound Out
- Select LG Sound Sync Bluetooth from the list, then select Detect
- Choose your device from the list to pair
- It may take 1-2 seconds for audio to play when you first turn on your TV.
Available since 2017, Sony has quickly added Bluetooth connectivity to many of its TV models. If your TV has A/V sync available in the TV settings menu then it’s able to pair with wireless speakers.
- Activate your speaker’s Bluetooth pairing mode
- On your Sony TV, scroll down on the Home menu to the Settings icon
- Under the Network & Accessories menu, click on Bluetooth settings icon
- Turn on the Bluetooth and set On as default.
- Select the Device list to see connected devices
- If the speaker is not yet connected, click on Add Accessories. It will automatically search for available devices
- Click on your device name to complete pairing and connection.
It’s easy to connect wireless speakers to a Panasonic TV as most modern units support Bluetooth.
- Enable pairing mode of speakers
- Press the menu button on the remote
- Select Setup, then Bluetooth Setup
- In the following menu, select Devices
- Select the name of the headphones and click OK to confirm
- After successful pairing, the device list and the name of the speakers with the status “Connected” are displayed.
As one of the leaders of smart TVs, Apple has changed the game. All of their TVs include Bluetooth connectivity as standard, and pairing devices is very easy.
- Put your Bluetooth speakers in pairing mode using the instructions that came with it.
- On your Apple TV, go to Settings
- Select Remotes and Devices
- Then select Bluetooth. Your Apple TV will search for nearby Bluetooth devices
- Choose your Bluetooth speakers
- If asked, enter a four-digit code or PIN. On your Apple TV, your speakers should now appear in My Devices.
How far can you place a wireless speaker from a TV?
One of the most common questions when considering how do wireless TV speakers work is the range. The maximum distance you can place your wireless speaker from the TV depends on the device. But, most can handle up to 15 metres.
Remember, the wireless range is always an estimate and is influenced by objects that could block the wireless signal and therefore reduce its strength.
Do Bluetooth Speakers sound good with a TV?
They might not match the sound quality you can get from a soundbar, but yes Bluetooth speakers are often a superb option when choosing wireless TV speakers. They will sound better than the standard TV speakers. Plus you’ll be able to position them for the best sound.
For the best results, you’ll want a stereo wireless speaker or a pair of speakers. It’s worth spending a bit more. Avoid buying the cheapest option as they tend to sound mediocre at best.
If you can, listen to different options before you buy as this can help you make a better decision. Regardless of the wireless TV speakers you buy, spend some time experimenting with where you place the speaker and how you position it.
What are the best wireless speakers?
There are plenty of options when it comes to picking the ideal wireless speaker to use with your TV. Our favourites include the JBL Charge 5, Sony SRS-XB33, Bang & Olufsen Beoplay M3, Cambridge Audio YOYO S and Sonos Roam Portable Stereo Speaker.
All of these options are affordable yet provide a superior sound quality over cheap wireless speakers.
So, how do wireless TV speakers work?
As you now know how do wireless TV speakers work, you can improve your TV’s sound in minutes. If your TV doesn’t offer Bluetooth, you’ll need a transmitter for your wireless speaker to work.
Thankfully, most TV released in the last 6 years come with Bluetooth built-in, and so it’s a matter of ensuring it’s activated and then pairing your speaker with your TV.