HDTVs have notoriously bad speakers. That's understandable, if only because there's just not a lot of room for cones and whatnot inside those skinny LCD and plasma panels. It's also disappointing: here you spend all this money for a beautiful screen, and your ears pay the price.
The best way to improve the audio situation is to invest in a surround-sound system or a good set of stereo speakers plus receiver -- but that gets expensive.
A more affordable option: a sound bar, which is a speaker/receiver combo that sits above or below the screen and does the work of two or more standalone speakers. Of course, those can be pricey, too.
Update: Looks like the eBay sale is over, folks, as it's now showing $69.99, same as on TigerDirect's site. Still a mighty sweet deal, though!
The VSB200 consists of four midrange speakers and two tweeters, which kick out a maximum of 60 watts' worth of audio. And thanks to built-in SRS TruSurround technology, you can opt for a virtual surround-sound experience.
Make no mistake: this isn't intended to rival a full-on surround system -- but you can bet it's a vast improvement over your TV's built-in speakers.
That's my takeaway from reading a ton of user reviews, which average out to around 4 stars out of 5 on TigerDirect. That said, I don't have any hands-on (ears-on?) experience with the VSB200, so my stamp of approval is based solely on the price.
But what a price! Sixty bucks out the door for a vast improvement in your TV's audio quality -- well worth the investment, in my humble opinion.
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