How To Connect Speakers To T.V. Without A Receiver

You may have recently bought a new sound system or a new TV and you’re struggling with the installation. Or you may have found that a certain part of your sound system has stopped working.

Regardless of what the problem is, there is always a way to make sure your sound quality is up to standard. We’ll help you.

There are a few things to consider when installing a sound system. The first and most obvious is the speakers.

Another aspect you will need to consider when connecting sound to your TV is a receiver, and how to connect the speakers without a receiver.

What is a Receiver?

The first question you must ask yourself is what is a receiver? A receiver is a box that takes the sound you’re getting in, amplifies it and enhances it. Then it sends it to the speakers. Receivers basically take the sound you have, make it better and then send it to the speakers.

Receivers can often have other devices built-in like a DVD player or computer systems to play music independently off your TV. Receivers can also transfer the sound from stereo to 5.1 surround sound and make sure the speakers play the correct sound.

Can You Connect Your Speakers to Your TV Without a Receiver?

You can connect your speakers to your TV without a receiver and it is relatively simple. How you connect your speakers to your TV depends on what kind of speakers you’re using and what kind of connection they currently have.

Different types of connections include:

  • AUX jack
  • RCA
  • Speaker wires

Normally the type of connection is related to the quality of the speakers. Low-end speakers have aux jacks while higher-end models have RCA cables or speaker wires.

Let’s discuss a few scenarios—use the guidelines that suit yours.

Simple Small Speakers

It’s easy to connect a small set of speakers—even if they’re not of high quality—to your TV. You may be using these speakers because you want more volume or because they may be slightly better in quality than your TV’s. Or your TV speakers may not be working at all?

These small speakers usually come with a 3.5mm aux jack. You can simply plug this straight into the aux output on the back of your TV and it will play your sound. No receiver needed.

Older or Mid-Range Speakers

If you have a set of old speakers or mid-range speakers it’s easy to connect them to your TV. Both old speakers—speakers designed before 2005—and mid-range speakers come equipped with an RCA cable.

The RCA cable is a cable with two wires joined together. These wires split at the plug into a red plug and a white plug, though sometimes it may be red and black. The plug has a rim and a pin. The RCA cable can be plugged directly into the back of your TV.

When you look at all the plugs on the back of your TV some will be labeled ‘input’ and others will be labeled ‘output’. You must make sure that you connect the RCA cables to the output plugs not the input plugs.

If you accidentally connect the RCA cable to the input instead of the output the TV will be looking for incoming media instead of sending the sound to the speakers.

When you plug in the RCA cables you must also make sure that the color of the RCA cable endpoint matches the color of the output plugs that you connect the RCA cable to. If you mix up the colors then the sound will come out of the wrong speaker.

This may not seem like a problem but if you’re looking at using higher-quality speakers then it matters if the sound is coming out of the correct speaker.

If there is an explosion in the movie you’re watching on the left of your screen and the sound comes out of the right speaker you may not enjoy the overall effect very much.

High-Quality Speakers

Finally, if you want to connect your high-quality speakers to your TV bypassing your home theater system that may be a bit more difficult. But it’s not impossible.

There are many reasons why you may want to bypass your home theater system. It’s possible that the receiver in your home theater system has broken.

Or it could be that you’re using your home theater system for your music and have an additional speaker you want to connect to your TV. Either way you will need to plug your speaker directly into the TV without connecting it to the receiver.

If you want to connect your speaker wires directly to your TV then there are a few steps to follow:

  1. Buy a set of RCA plugs. These can be bought at your hardware store.
  2. Strip your speaker wire so that a 1” portion of copper wire is exposed.
  3. On one wire there will be a marking. Whether it is a ridge or a stripe or the wire is a different color there will be a distinguishing feature.
  4. Connect that wire—the one with the ridge—to the outside rim of the black plug.
  5. Connect the other wire to the other plug.
  6. Follow the instructions for mid-range speakers and plug in your new speaker.

Final Thoughts

When connecting your home theater system there are always ways to navigate around problems that arise.

Whether your TV speakers have broken, whether you have bought a set of mid-range speakers or whether the amplifier in your home theater system has broken, you can always find a way to ensure that your sound quality is amazing.

What type of speaker did you connect? Was it one not mentioned here? How did you do it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

About the author


My name is Glen. I've been in the audio world for over 15 years. I love reviewing audio equipment and solving audio related problems.