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Speaker quality in tube TVs

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've seen people say the speakers could be better in older TVs (CRTs) because they used larger magnets and had the room for bigger speakers. But what was the actual quality difference between some of the lower level or mid-range sets popularly sold, say, by Sony or Toshiba or RCA, any of the top brands, compared to the 6 to 10 watt x2 speakers they put in today's ~$500 LCDs and plasmas? I'm thinking $500 is a rough estimate of a low-priced 40 inch, or decent 32 inch, which when accounting for the difference in aspect ratios is kind of like a $500 27" CRT?

Maybe my numbers aren't right, but you know what I mean -- typical decent-quality TVs in the 90s or 80s -- what was the speaker quality for them?

I've just wondered how much of the sound problem for today's TVs has less to do with the actual speaker quality than the mixing of the hi-fi audio, moving from stereo to 5.1 sound and beyond, especially in regards to dialogue or center channel stuff.

post #2 of 5
Most every TV speaker I recall hearing in a CRT was crap. Now that every TV made is a thin screen, it's even more crap. So I would say you're dealing with crappier crap today, and if you have an old CRT with larger speakers, it's just crap. You absolutely want at least a simple stereo receiver paired with your TV to get decent or superior audio, that really hasn't changed since the old days. The old CRT speakers could likely be better than the thin screen speakers you have now, but you are still comparing refined layers of caca.
post #3 of 5
There's also the physics of backloading and porting of the speaker; i.e. sound is emitted from both sides of the speaker cone. And like you mentioned the speaker cone and magnet size. Of course the lower-tier sets my not utilize these benefits other than having the bigger cabinet for the backside of the speaker.

My Panny widescreen HD 34" CRT sound amazes me, especially the bass, but I suspect that it was considered a high-tier set. I peeked in the back and could see it has some sort of sound waveguide porting. Plus it has 5 speakers.

Yeah I suppose today's multi-channel sound might have an ill affect on only two speakers but should sound better than old stereo with the right amount of speakers.

I know there's new technology under development for thin film speakers although I wonder if they'll be able to achieve good low frequency response from it (physics limitations). There's electrostatic speakers but from what I recall they require lots of power to drive.

I loved LiquidSnake's reply. "Refined layers of caca." biggrin.gif
post #4 of 5
BTW, stereo is imbedded in multi-channel sound. So a stereo-only TV should sound the same as it detects just the stereo components and I would think most other TVs have the ability to set in the menu stereo rather than multi-channel. Many two-speaker TVs have a surround-sound simulator which may sound weird to some folks but should be able to be turned off and set to stereo.
post #5 of 5
We have an 34XBR960 CRT, a 120hz 42" Vizio LCD and 50" Pioneer Kuro 5080HD Plasma, the Vizio's speaker quality is probably the worst Ive heard from built in TV speakers, it has no bass output whatsoever (even when turning up bass in the TV menu, it just causes distortion) and an overall "Hollow" lifeless sound quality.

On the other hand the Pioneer has probably the best overall sound Ive heard from a TV with clear, crisp highs, good midrange output and impressive bass (for a stock speakerbar).

The XBR960 is a very close second and actually surpasses the Plasma in bass output by a decent margin, but the Plasma's midrange & upper end output is more defined & accurate.

But still nothing beats a receiver & speakers, I bought a cheap Onkyo 7.1 HTIB setup 5 years ago and it sounds vastly better than any TV speakers Ive heard even when running the Receiver in 2 channel Stereo mode.
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