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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a Samsung HDTV that has a fantastic picture, but tinny sound quality. I want to use external speakers for the TV audio, but I have severe space constraints. A 5.1 system is out of the question. I don't even have room for a subwoofer. I looked at soundbars, but even those presented a space problem. My Blueray player is in the place where the soundbar would go, and I don't have anywhere else to put it.


So my constraint is that I need a small 2.0 system with a remote. There are not a lot of 2.0 systems with remotes. In fact, the only one I know of is the Bose MusicMonitor. These are outrageously overpriced at $400, but I was able to get them for $300 through Craig's List.


I have a Bose Wave Radio and the sound is outstanding though the speakers are quite small. I expected (hoped) that the MusicMonitor speakers would be comparable, but to my disappointment they are not, though they cost more. The sound quality isn't bad - it's vastly better than the TV's built-in speakers - but it doesn't have quite enough bass. There is some bass and most of the time it's fine. But sometimes the sound isn't rich and full enough for me, and I can experience some listener fatique with them. I just want more bass.


If the speakers had controls for treble and bass I think I could adjust them satisfactorily, but they don't. They were designed to be connected to a computer which has these controls. Is there any way around this? It would be so great if there was some sort of device that sat between the speakers and the TV and added controls so I could make adjustments. Does such a thing exist? If not, is there any other way I can enhance the bass on these speakers?


Thanks for any help you can give me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18133543


I bought a Samsung HDTV that has a fantastic picture, but tinny sound quality. I want to use external speakers for the TV audio, but I have severe space constraints. A 5.1 system is out of the question. I don't even have room for a subwoofer. I looked at soundbars, but even those presented a space problem. My Blueray player is in the place where the soundbar would go, and I don't have anywhere else to put it.


So my constraint is that I need a small 2.0 system with a remote. There are not a lot of 2.0 systems with remotes. In fact, the only one I know of is the Bose MusicMonitor. These are outrageously overpriced at $400, but I was able to get them for $300 through Craig's List.


I have a Bose Wave Radio and the sound is outstanding though the speakers are quite small. I expected (hoped) that the MusicMonitor speakers would be comparable, but to my disappointment they are not, though they cost more. The sound quality isn't bad - it's vastly better than the TV's built-in speakers - but it doesn't have quite enough bass. There is some bass and most of the time it's fine. But sometimes the sound isn't rich and full enough for me, and I can experience some listener fatique with them. I just want more bass.


If the speakers had controls for treble and bass I think I could adjust them satisfactorily, but they don't. They were designed to be connected to a computer which has these controls. Is there any way around this? It would be so great if there was some sort of device that sat between the speakers and the TV and added controls so I could make adjustments. Does such a thing exist? If not, is there any other way I can enhance the bass on these speakers?


Thanks for any help you can give me.

A quick search on your speakers reveal that they are tiny speakers designed to take up the very minimum of desk space...You're not going to get much bass out of them...Bose doesn't like to reveal specs...as you stated, they are way over priced...it is what it is...something like "Audio Engine's" are much better performers at more reasonable cost. You can try placing your Bose up against a wall to get a little more bass out of them. Here is another example of how Bose does such a good job of marketing a product. They work hard on perception.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am painfully aware that there are other speakers that deliver better sound for less money, and I did look at Audio Engine before buying. The problem is that they don't come with remotes. Whatever I use for my TV's audio has to have a remote.


The speaker systems made for use with HDTVs all have remotes, but those are either soundbars or systems with 3+ components, neither of which I have room for. I can only accomodate two small speakers, and the MusicMonitor is literally the only system on the market with two speakers and a remote.


Bose products may be overpriced - particularly these MusicMonitor speakers, which are ridiculously priced - but they do make quality hardware, and they specialize in big sound in small packages. I have a Bose Wave Radio and the sound is excellent, though it's quite small. MusicMonitors don't deliver the best possible sound for the money, but they're vastly better than the tinny built-in audio. They're really not bad at all.


Since posting my question I discovered that the device I was seeking has a name - an inline graphic equalizer - and can be purchased for a moderate price. I ordered one, and hopefully that will tweak the sound enough to make me happy. I know it's not going to make small speakers into big speakers, but the reviews said it can help quite a bit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18135467


I am painfully aware that there are other speakers that deliver better sound for less money, and I did look at Audio Engine before buying. The problem is that they don't come with remotes. Whatever I use for my TV's audio has to have a remote.

Why? Doesn't your TV have volume-controlled outputs what will let its remote do the volume control? How about any associated equipment like a cable box?


There are many decent powered speakers will work in this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/18135544


Why? Doesn't your TV have volume-controlled outputs what will let its remote do the volume control? How about any associated equipment like a cable box?


There are many decent powered speakers will work in this way.

Maybe my TV is unusual, but no - the TV remote cannot control the volume when the sound is coming from external speakers. Is this a common capability that my TV lacks? This is my first HDTV and the first one I'm using with external speakers. It's a Samsung LN40B640. I just checked it again to make sure I didn't just make an idiotic error, but no - the remote only can control the volume if I'm using the built-in speakers.


I guess your TV can control the volume with external speakers? What kind of TV do you have?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18135694


Maybe my TV is unusual, but no - the TV remote cannot control the volume when the sound is coming from external speakers. Is this a common capability that my TV lacks?

This is fairly common and I have yet to have a set that didn't offer this feature.

Quote:
This is my first HDTV and the first one I'm using with external speakers. It's a Samsung LN40B640. I just checked it again to make sure I didn't just make an idiotic error, but no - the remote only can control the volume if I'm using the built-in speakers.

Confirmed. I downloaded the user's manual and, unfortunately, you are correct.

Quote:
I guess your TV can control the volume with external speakers? What kind of TV do you have?

Yes, mine do but I rarely use that feature since I have a full-blown audio system that I use with them. FWIW, I have Pioneer KP-500M and a Fujitsu 50" (but I cannot recall the number).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Huh! That's very interesting to know - and something to keep in mind the next time I buy an HDTV. I would have had a lot more audio options if the TV didn't have this limitation.


When I was choosing what to buy, I didn't think about the audio at all, just the picture - and it does have a great picture. It wasn't until I got it home that I realized how dreadful the built-in speakers were. The MusicMonitors give me an audio solution that's at least adequate, and might become great if the equalizer does what I hope it will do.
 

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I don't think an EQ is going to do much of anything for you except cost more money.


You found speakers that met your two most important criteria:


Self-powered

Have a remote


When you succeeded at these two criteria, you sacrificed sound quality to do it. It's a trade-off you made willingly - and no EQ is going to turn those speakers into good performers.


It's better than your TV. That was a good success and I think you are best leaving it at that. Sow's ear and all that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noubourne /forum/post/18139443


I don't think an EQ is going to do much of anything for you except cost more money.


You found speakers that met your two most important criteria:


Self-powered

Have a remote


When you succeeded at these two criteria, you sacrificed sound quality to do it. It's a trade-off you made willingly - and no EQ is going to turn those speakers into good performers.


It's better than your TV. That was a good success and I think you are best leaving it at that. Sow's ear and all that.

Actually, you left out the most critical of my requirements: tiny size. So yes, I have to make trade-offs. With these constraints, I can't have the best sounding audio system out there. I would just like the best audio system possible, given these limitations.


I'll be very interested to see if the EQ helps. Some are sure it will, some are sure it won't.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18136936


Apparently Pioneer and Fujitsu are the exceptions. Toshiba and Sony TVs don't have this feature, either.

I purchased a 32" Toshiba LCD TV right before Christmas... it DOES have variable outputs. They can also be disabled for powered external speakers or an amp.


Have you looked at computer speakers? I have seen some with remotes. You mention that you don't have room for a sub... is that a big sub or a very small one? The reason that I ask is that I have the above mentioned Toshiba in my bedroom. Its sound pretty much sucked, too. I'd picked up a Cambridge Soundworks (IBM labeled) 6.5" or so subwoofer from a thrift store for $1 a while back. I connected it with a 1/8" to RCA cable, 12 volt adapter, and actually had decent sound. It's definitely good enough for a bedroom.


Another thought... doesn't your Wave Radio have a line input? If so, why not use that? I know you already have a DVD player, but you can get a HTIB with a DVD player built in and use that in place of your existing one.
 

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You should of come here first, before you spent the money on the bose.


What i would of done is with the $300. you spent on the bose, and ill guess that you spent a minimum of $100. on the bluray, you could of got a powered bluray and just use the 2 front, center and hide the sub behind the couch, or in a closet. Bass you can hide almost anywhere.


Some of the powered bluray players are not super powerful but are small enough to not take up much more room then a regular bluray and still sound halfway decent. Most use the same size small cube type speakers as the bose but split the sound with the sub giving the illusion they are alot larger then they are.


Maybe you can still go this route and use the bose for your computer. I think the computer is what they are designed for anyway.


Most bluray theater systems have a passive sub that uses a single wire from the receiver/bluray unit you can easily run this some where to hide it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18139912


Actually, you left out the most critical of my requirements: tiny size. So yes, I have to make trade-offs. With these constraints, I can't have the best sounding audio system out there. I would just like the best audio system possible, given these limitations.


I'll be very interested to see if the EQ helps. Some are sure it will, some are sure it won't.

what size is your tv? how long is the wall the tv is on?post some pictures of you current setup so we can really help you. most people have more space than they realize.
 

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Are you using a cable box? Most of those have variable volume out.


There are wireless sub / soundbar solutions. I really can't imagine not having room to hide a tiny 6.5" wireless subwoofer somewhere in the room. Boston TVee 2 comes to mind. Just put the sound bar on top of the TV. Wireless sub can go under the bed, under an end table, etc.


Pop up a pic of your setup and room, then people can help.


My last Sony LCD had variable volume out. My Panasonics do not. It's a mixed bag out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello again. Sorry for the delay in responding. I wanted to wait for the EQ to arrive so I'd have something new to say.


First, for anyone who read this thread from the beginning: The inline EQ worked! I am so happy. Just a small boost in the lower frequency bands corrected the problem I had with the Bose MusicMonitor speakers. I am very satisfied with the sound quality now. I know that it's not the best sound I could buy for the money, but it's the best sound I could buy with my space constraints, and it's much better than you'd expect.


Recap for anyone similarly space challenged (and there a lot of us living in New York and other big cities), with responses to various comments and suggestions:


* I bought a 40" Samsung HDTV (LN40B640), which has an exceptionally high quality picture, but tinny native sound.


* If I use external audio, the TV's remote cannot control the volume. The external audio must have its own remote.


* I don't have room for a receiver and full 5.1 surround sound. I don't even have room for a soundbar because I have a Blueray player where the soundbar would go. Sorry no pictures of my home, as some have requested. You'll have to trust me on this one.


* The only external audio I can accomodate is 2.0 - two small self-powered speakers. That describes many computer speakers, but I needed speakers with a remote because my TV's remote can't control external audio.


* There is exactly one product on the market comprised of two small self-powered speakers with a remote: Bose MusicMonitor speakers (their high-end computer speakers). Unfortunately, they are wildly overpriced. I monitored eBay and Craig's List for over a month and was able to buy them used.


* While trying to find used Bose MusicMonitor speakers, I output the audio to my Bose Wave Radio (which I inherited from my mother when she died - it's not that I'm such a diehard Bose fan). This was okay, but it meant I couldn't use the AUX jack for my satellite radio. Also the TV sound was coming from a different side of the room as the TV (weird), and it was hard to point the remote at both places at once.


* The Bose MusicMonitor speakers turned out to be surprisingly good for their size, but a little light on the bass, which over time created some listener fatigue. These are computer speakers, so usually bass and treble levels are controlled through software, but I was hooking directly up to a TV. Just as the TV cannot control the volume of external audio, it cannot control the treble and bass levels.


* I thought that if I could tweak the bass level just a little, it would make a huge difference. That is what prompted my original question that started this thread. When I posted the question, I didn't know if such a device existed.


* After posting my question here, I discovered that there was indeed such a device and it was called an inline EQ. The Behringer FBQ800 looked good and wasn't too expensive so I ordered it. I posted that I'd found this solution.


* The response I got to this was (paraphrasing): "You're a sucker to buy anything from Bose", "If you're willing to settle for small speakers you either don't value or can't appreciate quality audio", "An inline EQ will not work with these speakers because they're crap", "Bose MusicMonitor speakers are so dreadful to begin with that an EQ cannot provide any meaningful improvement."


* The EQ arrived today, I hooked it up, made a small tweak increasing the lower frequencies, and the difference is profound. I am very pleased with the result. The sound is rounder and fuller, and I no longer experience listener fatigue. I am well aware that Bose MusicMonitor speakers with an inline EQ can't compare to a high quality 5.1 surround sound system, but the quality is remarkable for speakers so small. It's the best I could do given my constraints, and it's worlds better than the built-in audio, so I am satisfied.


Having shared all this, I ask just one thing. If you haven't heard the Bose MusicMonitor speakers with the Behringer inline EQ, please don't disparage my judgement and tell me how bad you're sure it sounds.


Thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge and ideas. There are a lot of smart people here.
 
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