How to Connect Extra Speakers to an LG TV
In most cases, newer LG televisions do not let you connect standard audio speakers directly to the television. Instead, you must use an external audio device, such as a home theater receiver. Most models support connections to a range of external equipment, including some manufactured by LG itself, but you may need to tweak the settings.
Analog Audio Outputs
Some LG models, particularly older ones, contain analog audio output sockets, often marked in red and white. In most cases, you cannot simply plug speakers into these sockets; You must instead use the sockets to connect to a Hi-Fi system, surround sound system, home theater receiver, sound bar or other audio equipment that combines an amplifier with speakers. Take care when buying such audio equipment to use with an LG TV (or vice versa), as some newer LG sets do not have analog audio outputs. The only time you can plug speakers directly into the analog audio output sockets is if they are powered speakers, meaning they have a built-in amplifier -- and these must be plugged in to a power outlet before they will work.
Newer LG sets are more likely to have digital audio outputs. These include both HDMI sockets, which can carry both audio and video information, and dedicated digital audio outputs. Check the TV's specifications carefully, as not all HDMI sockets work as outputs as well as inputs. Some LG sets do not have any HDMI sockets configured for output. Note that most, if not all, LG sets use the optical audio output format, rather than the digital/coaxial format; this means they use the cables with a square, transparent plug, rather than a traditional pointed, round metal plug. As with analog audio outputs, digital sockets can carry audio to home theater systems (where the receiver and speakers are separate) and sound bars (which combine the two into one smaller unit).
LG manufactures a range of speaker systems under the SoundPlate brand. These combine speakers and amplifiers in a single unit that can connect wirelessly or through an optical audio cable. Unlike some sound bars, the SoundPlate models contain four speakers to broaden the sound field (the physical area over which the listeners perceive the sound as coming) and two sub-woofers for increased bass effects. The SoundPlate units' size and appearance is optimized to visually match many LG sets.
Many LG models have some key audio settings that are useful if you use external speakers or audio equipment. These are usually found in the Sound section of the Settings menu. When using external speakers, you may want to disable features with names such as "Virtual Surround Plus" or "Clear Voice" which manipulate the audio, something that may be redundant and even disruptive, if your external audio equipment has similar features. Some models feature an option to introduce and adjust a delay on the audio, meaning you can manually synchronize the audio and video. This may be necessary when the extra processing time of the audio going through your external equipment puts the sound out of sync with the picture. You may also need to look for a Settings menu with a title such as "Sound Out" and make sure it is set to route audio to the the Optical or HDMI port, rather than the TV speakers. Some models also let you choose the type of digital sound output -- such as PCM or Dolby Digital -- consult your audio equipment manual to see which you need to select.