Will Getting a Bigger TV Affect Sound Quality

Once you start down the road of maximizing your system for good sound, every change gets you worried. Should you move your center speaker? Were tower speakers the best idea or should you have bought bookshelf speakers instead? And how important are room treatments anyway? Eventually, you start questioning everything. For instance, if you are thinking of getting a bigger TV, could it affect your sound quality? You’d think the answer would be “no.” But it is actually “maybe.” Let’s discuss.

Mostly No

Obviously, the simple act of placing a bigger TV in your room will not affect your sound quality. In this, we are assuming you have a full surround sound (or maybe Atmos) system. Swapping out your 55″ plasma TV for a 75″ OLED won’t affect how your speaker’s sound quality. In nearly every instance, this is the answer. Most people have their speakers flanking whatever furniture that is holding their display. Maybe the center speaker is in the cabinet. But none of these would be affected by the inclusion of a larger display.

But Sometimes Yes

There are a few situations where we could see installing a larger TV could affect your sound quality. Some of these are obvious. Others, not so much.

In-Wall Front Speakers

One of the most obvious problems would be if you had installed in-wall front speakers to flank your display. Most times, in-wall speakers are placed based on where studs are placed in the wall. But if you just happened to perfectly place your speakers around your TV, you may be stuck. A larger display will physically block your in-wall speakers. In your case, you are going to want to measure very carefully to make sure your TV won’t cover your speakers.

Using in wall speakers for home theater
You can get a larger display, but not much larger!

Speakers Very Close to the Display

In the above example, even getting the display too close to the speakers can be a problem. Speakers don’t just fire sound straight forward. The sound radiates out in a cone (for the most part). This means that you can’t really butt your TV up to your speakers without concern. If the speakers are slightly behind the display, and they are very close to the sides of your TV, then sound quality certainly will be affected. The solution is fairly simple – move your speakers out and maybe forward. How far? It depends. Contact the manufacturer of the speaker for recommendations. We’d recommend a clear shot from the edge of the speaker in a 30-degree cone from the front.

Rear Speakers Slap Echo

The least likely issue you might have with getting a larger TV is with your rear speakers. Rear speakers are supposed to be placed in line with your front speakers and firing directly into the room. This has them facing the front wall. If your rear speakers are slightly closer together, they may be firing directly into your new, larger display. This could create a slap echo where the sounds coming from the rear speakers bounce off your TV and reflect back at you. You’d know if you have a problem as it would sound like your rear sounds are coming from the front of your room. This was a common issue with the short-lived 6.1 speaker setup.

Take Away

For most people, adding a larger display is a day of celebration and excitement. But for some, it can cause concern and worry. If you are one of the latter, and you are concerned about your new TV affecting your sound quality, don’t worry! Chances are you’ll be fine! Enjoy your new, larger display.

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