How to Wire Speakers to a TV

Add speakers to your TV to improve sound quality.

TV sets have built in speakers, but because TVs are made as compact and thin as possible, their speaker size and number of speakers is very limited. A lot of TV owners buy additional speakers to get better sound quality. You can add improve your TV sound system and get more enjoyment from your TV by adding speakers directly to the set or by using a home theater system or amplifier.

Connect Using an Amplifier or Receiver

Step 1

Locate the RCA audio output jacks at the back of your TV. The two color-coded (red and white) audio input/output jacks carry audio signals from the TV to the amplifier using RCA cables. Locate the RCA audio input jacks at the back of your amplifier or receiver.

Step 2

Plug one end of the red RCA audio cable to the red RCA jack at the back of the TV, and then to the red RCA jack at the back of the amplifier. Do the same procedure for the white RCA audio cable.

Step 3

Connect the left, right, center and rear-channel speakers to the amplifier by plugging the speaker wires to their corresponding jacks or terminals on the amplifier. Observe proper connection polarity by connecting the positive wires to positive terminals and the negative wires to the negative terminals. Red wires should connect to positive terminals while black wires should connect to negative terminals.

Connect Directly to TV

Step 1

Locate the color-coded audio output jacks at the back of your TV or cable box. The RCA audio output jacks are typically colored red and white.

Step 2

Plug the red RCA audio cable to the red RCA audio jack at the back of your TV, and plug the white RCA audio cable to the white RCA audio jack. Make sure that the color-coded jacks and plugs are correctly matched in order to maximize the sound quality of your speakers.

Step 3

Turn on your TV and check each speaker one by one. It is difficult to hear the performance of an individual speaker when both or all speakers are working at the same time. Unplug all other speakers except the one you are testing in order to hear its performance. Repeat this procedure for all other speakers and check connections for speakers that are having problems.

Things You'll Need

  • RCA audio cable

  • Audio amplifier