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Soundbars--A Definite Upgrade in Your Home Theater's Acoustics

Samuel Gilmour

How Should You Choose a Sound Bar?

Just as with televisions and phones, sound systems have become sleeker and slimmer with time. Sound bars are the easiest and least expensive way to add or rather enhance the quality and output of sound in your living room. Soundbars can be attached to your television screen or music system for more enjoyable sound quality. Some sound bars can even create a “surround sound” effect without having to deal with frustrating wires. Installing sound bars in the living room is the cheapest and most convenient way of getting better sound from the television. They are quite simple and inexpensive and often wireless. However, not all sound bars are of good quality, and they may not deliver the desired output. After going through thousands of reviews, we have put together a few pointers to make it easier for you to choose the perfect sound bar.

Types of Soundbars

What is the difference between a soundbar and a speaker?

A soundbar is all-in-one speaker system and it’s essentially just a plug-and-play operation.It is more affordable than a speaker system, it's simple to use and it's easy to set up. However, a soundbar has limited features and you cannot upgrade its components. In contrast, a speaker is the best option for home theatres since it provides a sound experience that a soundbar simply cannot compete with. It is very flexible since you can upgrade either the receiver or speakers. A speaker, however, cost more than soundbars, takes up more space, has lots of wires and more complex to set up.

There are primarily two types of soundbars:

  • Active soundbar: It is recommended that you buy an active soundbar that has built-in amplifiers if you would like to save space and wants an all-in-one audio sysyem.
  • Passive soundbar: This design requires an amplifier to function. Although they require a more complicated installation process, many people still use them because they produce better sound quality.



What reviewers say

What are the advantages of buying a soundbar?

One of the most popular solutions for people who are looking for a home cinema system but don't want too many speakers in the room is the soundbar. Here are some benefits of adding a soundbar to your home:

  • Compact: The primary advantage of using a soundbar is its compact size. As the design is sleek and minimal, they have fewer switches and wires. They are not only easier and less stressful to use, but they also maintain the aesthetics of the room.
  • Less expensive: Soundbars are also often less expensive than large home cinema systems with a lot of speakers. The more expensive sound bars however come with more HDMI inputs, better speakers and wireless connectivity. Soundbars are cheaper than home cinema speakers because they don't require AV receivers and other audio equipment to boost its sound
  • Simple setup: The setup process is simplified and straightforward with most soundbars that come with wireless speaker components. They are often compatible with smart home devices, which makes it more convenient to use.
  • Powerful: With the soundbar, you will have much more power than the speakers built into your TV. It has an all-in-one compact design. boasting a high quality audio system.

Important Features

What should you consider before buying a sound bar?

Unlike a television, the size of a sound bar may not have much to do with the sound quality it produces. Since most sound bars are paired with a television, you should ideally look for one that has a setting to enhance dialogue. Other factors to keep in mind include:

  • Look at the types of sound bars: Select the right type of sound bar that would suit your needs. The most common design is a bar with a long and thin appearance equipped with a speaker that comes with a subwoofer. Today, you can even buy wireless subwoofers to use with your sound bar. 

  • Check the design: Opt for sleeker designs if you love aesthetic looks. Go for sound bases, which are thin and space-effective than traditional bar design. They serve to be the pedestal for the television for which they never cause a blockage on the remote sensor.

  • Channels: Choose a soundbar with 3 (3.1) or more channels - this means that there is a center channel along with left and right speakers to provide an immersive surround sound experience.

  • Check the size: Decide on the size of the soundbar as the sound bars are available in a variety of shape and size, which range from a few inches to feet together. Even though the larger sound bars tend to come with more drivers and great sound impact, at times, you will have to pay higher prices for the bar size. A soundbar can be as small as a foot-long or as large as a big-screen TV. Large soundbars typically have more drivers and a louder sound. You will want to pick a size that fits your preference and maintains the aesthetics of your home

  • Stereo or surround sound?The basic sound bar models all have stereo sound. As the price increases, so do the number of channels that the sound bar provides. While three-channel sound bars are the most common, a high-end sound bar can have up to 7 channels. If you are looking to simply enhance the sound quality, a simple sound bar would suffice, but for a cinema hall-like sound experience for watching movies, a surround sound feature is quite essential. 

  • Connectivity: Choose a sound bar that allows users to stream music from devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Also, in order to avoid having to re-route HDMI cables when switching audio sources, pick a soundbar with an HDMI switcher or even better, one that has multiple HDMI inputs

  • Decide what devices will use the soundbarBesides television, sound bars can be connected to music players, tablets, and even smartphones. Compatibility is a consideration here, as not all types of sound bars may work well with all TVs.The type of connectors your sound bar needs depends on the devices you need to connect it to. Choose a sound bar with built-in Bluetooth and USB ports, as well as digital audio inputs.

  • Mounting: There are two main methods of mounting a sound bar. Some sound bars are intended to be wall-mounted, whereas some are placed on a stand near the TV sets.  

  • Look for additional features: Ensure HDMI input jacks are available and look for additional built-in features like compatibility with wireless and Bluetooth streaming and streaming from Internet radio stations. Wi-Fi streaming is a more advanced feature that overcomes the few hassles involved with Bluetooth-streaming.

Tip: These tips would help you to choose one of the best soundbars that will make your entertainment time worthwhile.

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