Improving my TV sound


I’m currently using my TV speakers and it sounds like crap. I’d like to upgrade to something better.
Since I’m living in a very small apartment, I’m looking for a 2.0 that sounds well even in low volume.

After watching this video (and others from Z):

I’m not sure whether I should get the active Micca PB42X or go for the passive MB42X-C / RB42. If passives, should I get a simple amp or go for an AVR? I only have an Nvidia Shield as an input to my TV.

Out of the options you mentioned, I would go for the rb42 and an amp. With an AVR you could probably find for cheap with decent amounts of power, and you could run an optical cable to the AVR from the TV or the shield

Edit: or check out the topping PA3, a great little amp with impressive power. The receiver would have a built in dac and more features though

Edit 2: you could get a good receiver like this one

And have plenty of power, and other features. You can look around and find really good deals on refurbished receivers for a good price. Just make sure it would have an optical in and at least 100 watts rms at 8 ohms, otherwise you might as well just get the pa3

If you wanted the compact form factor and lots of features, perhaps consider the SMSL AD18, just doesn’t have as much power as the pa3 and receiver at 8 ohms. You should be fine as long as you don’t listen super loud

Are there other speakers I should consider?

Re/ RB42, is it much better than the PB42X? Since it requires an amp it makes it way more expensive.

When I had heard the PB42xs, it sounded fine but really didn’t impress me, and also didn’t get very loud. The RB42 is super impressive for its size, and when powered correctly really surprised me. While it is more expensive, you definitely do get a better sound.

If you want to take the active speaker route, I think the Fluance AI40, Kali LP-6, or the Klipsch R-41PM are a much better speaker then the PB42x

I guess I’ll wait for the RB42s to become available on Amazon.


Edit: Does the PA3 that you recommend include a remote?

No, it is a simple device and is all analog, so no remote or digital inputs.

The SMSL AS18 has a remote and digital inputs though, and is only a little more then the topping. It should be enough power for a desk or a small room, but I don’t know how it would be in a larger room

If you wanted speakers sooner, the Klipsch R-41M is around $140 on Amazon right now and also sounds great

What’s your Budget.? Several ways to go. Fluance SX6 with a mini amp or receiver would be Nice.

I’d rather go with an AC receiver You could add a Center and sub later…

Or edifier powered speakers

Those edifiers aren’t really ideal for a living room setup, but the fluances are nice

Yeah I prefer a receiver with 5.2 - but many people run Edifiers on the TV because it’s better than a cheap sound bar but they want it to be as easy as a sound bar

Regarding the Video OP posted - I Run 3 MB42XCs for R/C/L with R/L standing on end and MB42Xs for surrounds and MB42Xs on my desktop - they Sound Good at Low Volumes - esp the desktop nearfield setup.

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Depends a bit of the TV as well, what outputs are available and total budget. Is there even space around the TV for a set of speakers or even for a sound bar?

But i would also go with a pair of active speakers with a remote. Would not need separate amp. Any update from TV speakers is a update, even a sound bar but still prefer speakers if there is space.

What is the “need” also. Just listening to news or maybe enjoy movie & games sometimes, maybe music?

Cheap option:

Dayton Audio has released an updated version of their MK402 series with new crossovers. They also kept the price the same as the old version which is very cool.



Gonna revive this thread to ask some questions.

I just recently moved my pair of edifier s2000pros to my family TV room. Connected to the TV via optical and it works great as a replacment to the shitty TV speakers. The only problem is I feel like they don’t get nearly as loud as they did when I had them hooked up to my pc via optical through a topping d10. Is this because they are hooked directly to the TV? Would buying a dac with optical in and then connecting via rca make a difference?

You could do that and that might help well. The adjustable output gain of something like the enog 2 pro would probably help (but I would assume if you did get that you would want that for your desk setup.

Yeah it’s just weird because now I literally have them at max, and yeah it’s loud but it could be louder. Before I would get them half way and I had to turn them down, granted it was a smaller room. I know there is such a thing as differences in room acoustics and seating position that could affect the loudness This room is a good bit bigger than the room I had them in previously.

On a side note I’ve recently been playing around with speakers using integrated DACs vs external (balanced sdac specifically) and found the sound actually does improve noticeably. Things sounds cleaner and less muddy on my Vanatoo T0 with the sdac. So adding a DAC to the chain might improve the sound for you as well.

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room size, shape, and everything in it plays a major part is the sound stage in the room. So If they are quieter now its prob just because the change of room. Only way to know is to move either the TV or PC into the other room to test volume side by side.

Just connected Bluetooth via my phone and it was definitely louder compared to optical via the TV. Thinking this might just be a source issue.

Maybe gonna buy one of these and see if it fixes the problem. Are there any other dacs under a hundred that has optical in that are worth looking at?

I mean the m100 is pretty sweet for the price, I would just go for that imo

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there are a lot of others, but none of them have in depth reviews going over how they sound, All i have seen is generic amazon reviews.

TV’s usually (or some) have digital volume adjustment. Might need to crank it up.

Also If you watched something like Netflix etc, the volume levels might have to be louder so Yes.
Source material plays a big role.
if I would watch the local Netflix. Some series or movies, volume has to be near max to get something good out of it.
Turning back to local TV like news… everything would explode.
Same if i would stream music to TV from network or just BT the TV. Volume don’t need to be that loud.