As music use in TV shows gets more interesting,
more people want better sound from their televisions
You're watching Stranger Things on a great TV. But are you listening to it?
Remember when The West Wing handed narration duties over to Dire Straits, who played out the end of the second season to the entire seven minutes of 'Brothers in Arms'?
It was 2001, and in some ways a seminal year for modern TV and the way it used music; not in frenetic snatches, but to slow down and play entire tracks to expand on mood and action. It was when we realized that our home "movie" setups needed to be just as good for TV shows, but too many of us focused on the picture and not the sound. We bought better and better TVs, not realizing how much we were missing out.
Sound, Then Light
Most home cinema setup experts will tell you that great sound and an okay image is far more immersive than okay sound and a great image. Sales associate Chris Landfield, feels strongly about this. "Many people buying TVs today do not realize that new sets come with extremely poor audio systems."
As televisions get thinner and thinner, there's less space in there for speakers. Your TV in the age of The Wire was thick enough to still have decent speakers in it. Your new razor-thin, lockdown treat "PandemiSony," though, comes with afterthought speakers just thrown in there so your purchase works out of the box.
Add to all of that the fact that TV manufacturers are prioritizing video functionality and not audio in products with razor-thin budgets, and you're left with an undeniable fact.
External speaker systems are pretty much essential these days.
Getting Good TV Sound
Even if you're not watching Stranger Things, you can't have missed the buzz around the resurgence of Kate Bush and Metallica, thanks to the use of 'Running up that Hill', and 'Master of Puppets' in the show. As a result, more customers are writing in, asking about good sound from their TVs.
Adding higher fidelity to your video system doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Chris has put together a list of products that'll let you experience favorite music tracks in the context of your beloved TV shows, without itching to re-hear them on the main system.
Chris' List: Get Great TV Sound Without "Running Up That Bill"
Chris Landfield (above), one of our digital sales experts, has worked out a list of products that can easily integrate with a TV, and offer a great movie and music listening experience in a compact media system.
NAD C 700 and M10 V2
With beautiful displays, great interfaces, and hybrid technology amps, these NADs deliver lots of power but stay cool and composed. They use the same excellent BluOS app as Bluesound products, and are also Roon Ready. Or just say "Hey Alexa/Siri/Google". The C 700 delivers 80 W, and the M10 V2, 100 W.
Some Great TV Music Moments
We asked around the office for people's favorite lingering music moments in TV shows, and wow, we got a real range of responses.
First, here's a Stranger Things moment that's not Kate or Metallica: Mike and Eleven reconnect at the Snow Ball to The Police, 'Every Breath You Take'.
Again, The Police. This time mashed up with Henry Mancini ('Every Breath You Take/Peter Gunn Theme') for surveillance and intrigue in The Sopranos.
Jesse and Mike driving around to Ana Tijoux's '1977' in Breaking Bad.
AC/DC opening an episode of Cobra Kai with 'Back in Black'.
The eponymous character of Longmire treasure hunting to Lord Huron's 'Ends of the Earth'.
David and Farouk sing the Noah Hawley/Jeff Russo arrangement of The Who's 'Behind Blue Eyes' on Legion.
The living go separate ways to Sharon Van Etten's 'Serpents' in The Walking Dead.
We finally see Nick of Freaks and Geeks play drums, and he's going at it to 'Spirit of the Radio' by Rush.
'Far From Any Road' by The Handsome Family opening True Detective.
Jace Everett opens True Blood with his gritty 'Bad Things'
With the exception of The Sopranos mash-up, all of these tracks are available on Qobuz, our favorite streaming service!