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Add cheap external speakers to a small HDTV

For as little as $7, you can add a pair of PC speakers to your TV and enjoy vastly improved audio.

Tired of tinny sound? These $15 Altec Lansing speakers are designed for PCs, but they can also work with your LCD TV. Wal-Mart

I just picked up a 22-inch HDTV for the bedroom. It's a Viore LED22VF60, which Wal-Mart had on sale for the rather awesome price of $198.

Just one problem: the speakers suck. I mean, they're terrible. I've heard better audio coming out of tin cans. Guess I should have paid closer attention to the user reviews, several of which warned about the shoddy speakers.

Still, having researched the issue a bit more, I've learned this is a pretty common problem with small TVs. They typically have weak speakers that point down or even back. Thankfully, there's a cheap fix.

The LED22VF60, like many modern LCD TVs, has a USB port at the rear. It's intended primarily for firmware updates, but you can use it for another purpose: to power a pair of speakers.

For example, you can get the Dell AX210 Stereo Speaker System for just $6.99 shipped. It has no external power supply, but instead draws power from a USB  port. Plug the audio cable into the TV's headphone jack and presto, you've got bigger, more powerful, front-facing speakers that should provide considerably better sound.

Dell's speakers are obviously designed to flank the screen. If you want something a little less visible, consider these Altec Lansing BXR1220 speakers (pictured), which Wal-Mart has for $14.63 (plus sales tax and 97 cents shipping). They're compact enough to sit below and just behind the screen.

That's what I went with, and they're a huge improvement.

Obviously this works only if your TV has a USB port. If it doesn't, you can always go with a set of powered PC speakers. Nothing wrong with that.

Bonus deal: Shoot 720p video on the cheap with Creative's Vado HD pocket camcorder, currently on sale for $69.99 shipped (after applying coupon code HAZGEBJP). The cam also comes with an AC power adapter, which is normally sold separately.