How to Access Home Cinema System Audio on a Budget
| Reuben Howe
Having our hands on all this audio tech, Bluetooth adapters, wifi receivers and portable TVs has given us an insight in to “hifi” set ups. Hifi simply means High Fidelity (Similar to TV’s being HD for High Definition) and so there are, actually, a number of different ways to go about setting up your own high fidelity home cinema. The core components to a home cinema set up are a high-quality TV + receiver and stereo surround sound that’s loud, has high audio range and most importantly is easy to set up.
TV is an audio-visual experience, so if you focus on maximising both the audio and video you will end up with a working home cinema system before you know it! Cut corners with adapters, use your current tech and simplify your requirements with these Home Cinema budget tips:
#1 Understand Your Current Tech and Set Goals
Before you begin investing in new tech and overhauling your current set-up, you should first check what specifications you currently meet. Use the handy list below to understand your TV and audio set-up on a deeper level, so you can then make the right choice when upgrading it!
TV / Receiver Checklist:
Audio Outputs -
Audio Set Up Checklist:
Internal Speakers -
True Stereo Speakers -
Surround Sound -
Wireless or Wired -
Bluetooth Ver. (If wireless) -
Audio Inputs (If Wired) -
Once you’ve identified these key areas you can begin looking at what possible upgrades you could make.
For example, if you have only wired speakers you could upgrade to Bluetooth speakers with only an adapter! If you have a singular wireless speaker, you could create a stereo wireless network using another for full surround sound.
If you are still using your TV internal speakers then almost any external speaker will be a little boost to your audio!
The most important factor to check in the list is the input and output ports of your TV and speakers. These determine which adapters and upgrades will actually be compatible with your current set up out the box.
For example, you don’t want to get a 3.5mm audio Bluetooth adapter for a TV that is using Optical Audio cables!
Choosing one metric which is bottlenecking your system and then improving it is a great way to save and upgrade.
#2 Upgrade To Wireless with an Adapter
If you’re already enjoying external audio from wired speakers, then upgrading your surround sound capability is easy. By making your speakers and TV communicate wirelessly via Bluetooth adapters you can give yourself the freedom to place your home cinema speakers exactly where they need to be, no wires trailing across the living room.
#3 Upgrade your Driver / Hardware Specs
Driver Units. A speaker’s drivers are the core force behind the audio it outputs. A pair of headphones, for example, will most commonly use 40mm drivers (One in each ear). In the case of your TV speakers, you want powerful, wide-range drivers that ideally are working in true stereo. This means there are some driver units for the lows and some for the highs, as well as at least two for directional sound.
Bass and Treble. Creating an immersive soundscape for your home cinema is as easy as looking out for the right types of speakers. Using a single speaker that has “Tweeters” for highs and a Subwoofer or Bass Reflex Tube for lows will give you a greater audio fidelity than multiple single-driver speakers.
Size and Weight. While the size and weight of a speaker will have minimal effect on its function (Provided the drivers and engineering are of good quality) it’s a factor that affects home cinema creation. Having space to accurately place your speakers for a perfect surround while staying out of the way and looking natural is vital to completing the aesthetic.
#4 Upgrade Bluetooth Version and Features
If you are already using a wireless speaker or even stereo speaker network wirelessly, the upgrades will be more incremental. This is why checking your current specifications is so important.
By upgrading your Bluetooth version and features you could see lower latency, wider audio range and a more authentic cinema experience. If your current speakers and TV use Bluetooth 3.X then an upgrade to 5.X will revolutionise the network.
Bluetooth 5 is double the speed and capacity of Bluetooth 4 versions and provides under 40ms of latency. This means a seamless TV experience for all of your surround sound speakers (Or one very high-quality speaker).
Budget Tip: If you want the responsiveness of Bluetooth 5 without buying a brand-name hifi speaker, you can look in to enhanced Bluetooth 4 Versions. Bluetooth 4 with aptX LL or Bluetooth 4 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) are both competitive with Bluetooth 5 while often costing less!
#5 Choose a New Output Port
In your checklist you identified what ports are available on your TV. If you discover a connection that you would previously not have thought to use, this can be a great opportunity for a cheap and easy upgrade.
Budget Tip: Optimising for what connections you already have can save a lot of money compared to buying new devices on both ends. If you have the ports to support better audio, don’t waste resources upgrading the TV!
For example, using an Optical Audio port for a cabled Bypass to a Hifi speaker or Soundbar can transform your TV in to a home cinema system in one step! Using a HD Bluetooth adapter with the Optical Port can also yield new compatibility with standalone hifi stereo speakers.
If you discover your options are limited and audio ports are scarce, then your home cinema upgrade can be budgeted accordingly. Identifying what area is bottlenecking your set up is exactly how to maximise your upgrades for minimal costs! In this case, you would need to upgrade the TV or use an adapter to access higher-fidelity audio.
#6 Go All-In-One on a Stereo Speaker System
If you find yourself in a position with a fresh start, having no real audio set-up to speak of, then adapters won’t be as helpful to you as new tech. To that end, make sure that when you buy a fresh new speaker bespoke for your home cinema that it truly covers all your requirements.
You will want the sound quality and depth of multiple driver units, the connectivity of wired or wireless with high-speed Bluetooth or even Audio over Wifi and finally the option for full stereo channels. Using a device like the WS350 can ensure you are covered in the event you change TV or connection. The Wifi connection allows a free app to control volumes, and even set “Left” and “Right” channels for specific speakers!
If your checklist showed a lack of wireless, stereo and surround sound then this one speaker can upgrade all of those areas!
#7 Buy Refurbished from Daffodil
We understand the struggles of setting up expensive tech, as we have calls from customers daily in which we knuckle-down and make your dream set-up a reality. To help everyone access this tech for even less (Since we already set out prices lower than Amazon or Ebay due to our direct relationship with suppliers) we run a Refurbished products initiative. When you buy refurbished, you shave a few pounds off the price while receiving the same quality product. We have tested and ensured the devices are functioning, and even supply them with a fresh warranty of 6 months!