Do Magnets Affect LED TVs (Explained For Beginners)

By Robert Anderson •  4 min read •  Televisions

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  • Magnets and speakers do not affect modern Smart TVs.
  • Magnets, often found in speakers, affected old Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs by interfering with the magnetic fields that controlled the position of the electron beams.

If you’re old enough to remember the old Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs like me, then you may have heard that it’s not such a good idea to place speakers anywhere near them, or any sort of magnet for that matter!

But why not and does that apply to modern LED/LCD TVs?  Well that’s what you’re about to find out:

Here’s whether magnets affect LED TVs:

Magnets, particularly the ones found in speakers, can affect older CRT televisions but do not adversely affect modern, flat-screen TVs such as LED, LCD, Plasmas, or OLED TVs.

The reason magnets don’t affect modern LED TVs is that they are built using completely different display technologies than the old CRT TVs.

LED TVs aren’t affected by magnets contained within speakers because the images aren’t produced using electron beams guided by magnetic fields, like what happens in CRT televisions.

Instead, LED TVs produce images using Liquid Crystals that either allow light to pass through or block it.

The light that passes through the liquid crystal layer is generated from an LED backlight, hence the term “LED TV”.

In other words, LED TVs are in fact LCD TVs powered by an LED backlight.

Do magnets affect OLED TVs?

OLED TVs don’t use magnetic fields and electron guns to produce images.  So they aren’t affected by magnets or the magnetic fields produced by speakers, even if they are unshielded.  

Instead OLED TVs use Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) which illuminate when a voltage is applied to them.  

Thousands of individual OLEDs can be turned on and off individually to produce fantastic quality images with great contrast between light and dark colors..

Do magnets affect plasma TVs?

Magnets do not affect plasma TVs because they don’t use magnetic fields or electron beams to produce images.

What TVs are affected by magnets?

Any television that produces images using a CRT tube is affected by magnets that are close by, such as those found inside a speaker.

Modern TVs such as LED, QLED, LCD and OLED are not affected in any way by magnets.

How CRT televisions are affected by magnets

CRT TVs use an electron gun to fire a beam of electrons at a screen coated in phosphor.  On impact, this would light up the screen to produce the image.

Rapidly changing magnetic fields are then used to guide this stream of electrons to illuminate the phosphor (the pixels) where it’s needed.

It is precisely this magnetic field that can be affected by magnets.

Placing a magnet nearby affects the magnetic field that the TV uses.  This changes the path of the electrons and diverts them away from where they were intended to go.

This can result in visual distortion or prevent the electrons from reaching the phosphor.

Whilst it’s unlikely that users would take a magnet directly to the screen, magnets can be found in speakers.

So if speakers are placed too close to one of these TVs, then the magnets can cause temporary distortion to the image on the screen.

If CRT TVs are placed in a magnetic field for too long, it can become permanently magnetized causing the beam to be diverted and the image will always be distorted.

More modern CRT TVs had a degaussing coil built into them to help remove or reduce any interfering magnetic fields.

The degaussing process was often triggered when the TV was switched on but there was often a “degauss” button too so you could degauss the screen manually.

Check out the video below to see how CRT screens work:

Do soundbar speakers affect a TV?

The magnets in soundbar speakers do not affect modern TVs because modern TVs don’t contain electron beams guided by magnetic fields.

So it’s perfectly fine to place a soundbar speaker next to a TV.

Nevertheless, soundbar speakers should be placed below the TV and pointing directly at you.  

This is so that the sound waves will travel towards you without being blocked, giving you the best possible sound.

Do magnets affect TV remotes?

In general, magnets do not affect TV remotes.  But a strong enough electromagnet can affect the electrons in electronic components such as transistors.

Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson, the founder of Tech Parasol, had a keen interest in tech from a very young age. He studied Electronic Engineering at University and then went on to become a Software Developer. He launched Tech Parasol in 2021 to share his knowledge with the aim of making tech easier to understand for everyone.