Does your TV sound terrible? Here are three ways to make it sound better instantly

Don't worry, you don't need a PhD to fix it!

So you've just collapsed in front of the TV after a hard day's work. But something's not quite right. No, it's not that they've changed the schedule of your favourite soap yet again. The issue is that you can't make out what everyone's saying. Your TV sounds terrible, and you're not sure what to do.

Related: Why you're watching your TV all wrong 

Well. we are here to help. And we've also found a rather amazing discount on a product that can solve the issue, if you can't get our free options to work first.

How to make your TV sound better

room with tv shelves and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

1. Play with the sound 'modes'

These are presets that the manufacturer has created, which you'll find if you go into your TV's menu and look under 'sound', typically. These presets will have different names like 'cinema' or 'movies', 'sports', 'music', 'clear voice/dialogue' and so on. There's also likely to be a standard or default setting.

Your first move is to play around with these, and see if any improve your TV sound for the better. And if you need an upgrade, you can find some inspiration in our guide to the best TVs.

2. Adjust the equalisation

So if that didn't work, move on to step two, and hunt for a mode in the audio menu of your TV called 'sound equalisation'. This is often shortened to EQ. This might be under your TV's speaker settings.

You should, at the very least, have bass and treble controls that you can change up or down. To solve the issue of muffled speech, you'll need to reduce the bass so it's not as boomy, and raise the treble so that the voices become clearer.

3. Buy a soundbar

As the old saying goes, 'if at first you don't succeed, cheat.' Or in this case, buy a sound bar. A soundbar is a compact unit with a built-in amplifier and speakers that sits in front of your TV. And we have just the thing! Check out our guide to the best soundbars for more.


(Image credit: TBC)

Plug this magical box into your TV, and you'll hear an instant improvement in sound quality. There are two options – an analogue and optical coaxial cable – which, simply translated, means it will work with older and newer sets.

If your favourite actors often seem to talk in muffled tones (remember the great Poldark scandal?) Dialogue mode will make every word as clear as day. And there's Bluetooth connectivity so you can wirelessly stream from your phone to the speaker.

View Deal: Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System: was £239.95, now £124.99, 

Alternatively, check out Best soundbars 2020 – boost your TV's sound quality for movie nights and sporty days

Hopefully we've solved all your sound-based woes for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.