I listen to music through my TV and it has to end.
November 15, 2012 1:31 PM   Subscribe

My computer is connected via HDMI to the flatscreen TV in my living room. There has to be a better way to listen to my music than through TV speakers. Help me out.

I asked a similar question before but I didn't find what I'm looking for. My desktop computer in my bedroom is hooked up to my router (via cat5) and my TV (HDMI) through cables we ran under my carpet. Right now, I play music in the living room from my desktop through the TV. This must stop. It doesn't sound great. And I just bought a record player. Note, I think speakers on stands are kind of ugly and I rent, so no wall drilling or ultra boomy bass. I live in an 814 sq ft apartment.

What kind of speaker system do I need to output (a) music I might play through my computer; (b) records I might play through my record player; (c) normal TV noises? Cost is not a huge factor. Can you link me to your recommendations?
posted by anthropomorphic to Technology (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
oops, here's the record player link.
posted by anthropomorphic at 1:33 PM on November 15, 2012

This is definitely a left-field suggestion, and won't necessarily apply if you're not living alone, but how about a nice pair of wireless headphones? I love mine. My neighbors do too.
posted by carsonb at 1:36 PM on November 15, 2012

If it's just for music, you could get by with a modestly priced receiver and a pair of floor-standing speakers.
posted by Oktober at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

As I see it, your two major options (that don't involve laying more cable) involve either taking the audio-out signal from your TV into an amp or using a wireless music system (Sonos or Airplay). The major drawback for the first option is that the TV will need to be powered on to play music. The major drawback for the second is that it adds more infrastructure and complexity. Do you have a preference between these?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:44 PM on November 15, 2012

Stereo receiver with HDMI input, wired to a decent-or-better set of freestanding speakers. As a bonus your TV will also sound waaaaaaaaaay better.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:48 PM on November 15, 2012

Bose Solo TV Sound System
posted by plokent at 2:08 PM on November 15, 2012

Depending on your budget, there are plenty of great 2.1 speaker systems out there that sound great (there's been tons of discussion here about them- this is a good starting point.

Typically the amps for these have RCA jacks, which your TV should also have. Your record player probably has RCA output as well. If you want to play music from your computer without leaving the TV on, you'll need to get a converter from whatever sound output you have (typically a 9mm headphone jack)- RadioShack typically has these.
posted by mkultra at 2:16 PM on November 15, 2012

hdmi receiver + bookshelf speakers. They needn't be floor standing to sound way better than tv speakers.
posted by TheAdamist at 2:43 PM on November 15, 2012

I don't want to use Sonos or Airplay or any Apple device. I don't want to use headphones.

I would love any links to recommended receivers and/or speaker systems. Eyeing these since they're the #1 on Amazon.
posted by anthropomorphic at 3:32 PM on November 15, 2012

I was just going to suggest bookshelf speakers like the Sony ones you mentioned.

You might also consider MonoPrice 6 1/2" ($28), 8" or 5.1 ($84) speakers. CNet liked the 5.1 system.
posted by cnc at 3:51 PM on November 15, 2012

I just bought a Samsung Sound bar with wireless subwoofer and bluetooth at Costco. Connects to the TV through HDMI, so any content from Netflix etc comes out great. When I connect my laptop to the TV through HDMI, I connect my laptop to the soundbar using bluetooth.

Sound is great, not something that an audiophile would love, but I live in an apartment and I cannot anyway play anything loud.

No connectivity/synch issues and any change is just a remote switch away. Not a great rating in Amazon, but works well for me nevertheless.

posted by theobserver at 7:17 PM on November 15, 2012

N-thing HDMI receiver and bookshelf speakers (How were you planning on getting sound from your turntable?). The bookshelfs aren't bass heavy and a good pair sound awesome, blow away any TV or computer speakers. Here's a well reviewed set of Pioneer speakers that at $129 for a pair won't break the bank (these are a bargain), and you can certainly annoy your neighbors if so desired. Plus with the receiver you'll have AM/FM and you can hook up a CD player, a big plus for me.
posted by PaulBGoode at 12:28 AM on November 17, 2012

After some more research, I ended up buying the same soundbar theobserver recommended, also at Costco. Thanks, everyone!
posted by anthropomorphic at 8:48 PM on November 19, 2012

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