While there are many things to celebrate about the shift from hulking CRT televisions to sleek LCD and OLED TVs, sound quality is not one of them.
Having so little bodywork for audio engineers to work with has all too often led to today's glorious TV picture quality being joined by audio so wafer-thin that it pretty much forces AV fans to partner their TVs with some sort of external sound solution.
One TV brand, though, has consistently found innovative ways of bucking this flimsy audio trend. From its very first plasma TVs in the 1990s through to its brand new LCD and OLED models, Dutch brand Philips has done everything it can to ensure that its TVs consistently sound as good as they look.
We're not just talking about Philips' most expensive, high-end TVs here either; even its relatively affordable models go the extra audio mile - as proved in impressive fashion by the 'Visible Sound' feature of its new 6000 series of televisions.
Visible sound: Because speakers have to be seen to be heard
Most TVs these days seem to be almost embarrassed by their speakers, hiding them from view, even if that means they have to fire down or backwards rather than straight out towards the viewer. Philips new Visible Sound concept, though, recognises that when it comes to sound, direct is best.
Visible Sound TVs all use front-facing speakers to ensure that you experience a much more crisp, detailed and impactful sound that's especially good at making voices sound believable and clear.
Even better, their sleek dimensions and metallic finishes prove without doubt that front-firing speakers can actually enhance a TV's design rather than spoiling it.
Triple Ring sound: Making a little go a long way
One of the biggest challenges to getting good sound from slim TVs is bass. Slim cabinet designs just don't usually provide enough 'air movement' space for the delivery of convincing bass lines.
But Philips has managed to come up with an ingenious solution to this problem in the shape of the triple ring speaker design.
Triple ring technology - found in 2017's Philips 7000 Series and up - involves creating a subwoofer speaker using three foam rubber suspension rings instead of the typical single ring construction, with a weighted ‘cap’ placed in the centre of the diaphragm. This proprietary approach enables the speaker to achieve much greater extension within a relatively confined space, and thus hit much deeper bass levels than you could ever hope to achieve from a single suspension ring design.
Detachable poles: Awesome sound never looked so good
While Philips has worked hard to make sound innovations such as Visible Sound and Triple Ring speaker design available well down its latest TV range, it's also got some special audio treats in store for people who buy its more premium models.
The most visually striking of these audio innovations has to be the detachable speaker 'poles' featured in Philips' 8000 series of televisions. These gorgeous looking speakers are hewn from seamless dark chrome, and can be attached to the left and right sides of the 8000 TVs' metallic bodywork via built-in magnets. Or you can wall-mount them away from the screen - even place them into floor-standing bases.
These speakers are wireless too, so if you decide to separate them from the TV screen you don't have to worry about ugly speaker cable trailing all over the place.
Tucked inside those gorgeous towers are no less than 18 speakers (16 micro drivers and two neodymium subwoofers) all working together to pump out 50W of beautifully detailed, well-separated and powerful sound.
As if all this wasn't already enough, the optional floor-stand attachments for the detachable pole speakers are equipped with built-in powered subwoofers to give your bass a boost.
Built-in Multi-channel sound: Because the best pictures deserve the best sound
Philips rewrote the TV picture quality rule book with its spectacular 901F OLED TV. But this incredible TV's cutting edge abilities don't end with its stunning contrast-rich pictures. It also boasts one of the finest sound systems ever built into a TV.
Responsible for the 901F's stunning audio are an integrated multi-channel soundbar and a triple-ring subwoofer built into its rear.
The soundbar uses six incredibly compact but also powerful and precise micro drivers to deliver a huge but immaculately controlled soundstage tailor-made for action movie soundtracks. And the triple-ring subwoofer underpins the front-firing soundbar with the sort of deep, well-rounded bass you'd normally only expect to hear from a separate bass speaker.
Philips: Putting the A into AV
Philips' unique devotion to improving TV sound as well as picture quality is delivering ever more impressive results. In fact, since Philips is managing to deliver its sound benefits without compromising the designs of its consistently beautiful TVs, it's starting to make the apparent decision by many rival brands to treat audio as a second-class citizen look increasingly hard to sustain.
Check out the Philips 55POS901F OLED TV and other excellent Philips televisions with Ambilight and superior sound at Philips.co.uk.