The latest TVs are so thin, mounting one on the wall is a lot like hanging a picture or painting. While the thin profile is pretty fantastic, you may feel the need to bump up the volume a bit. That’s where sound bars come in, and the new sound bars announced at CES 2022 are sure to be a great addition to your new TV.
New sound bars announced at CES 2022
LG Sound Bar
LG announced some of the best new TVs of the year, but the LG Soundbar, previously known as LG S95QR, is definitely going to be a hit. It has 810W output, 9.1.5 channels of audio, and supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and IMAX Enhanced.
It also features the first center upward-firing speaker. It adds to the left and right up-firing speakers to boost dialogue and create the feeling that sound is coming toward you from the center of the TV itself instead of beneath it where the sound bar sits.
The LG Soundbar has three upward-firing channels in the soundbar itself and two in individual wireless rear speaker channels. Rear speakers have six channels with four front drivers and they spread sound across 135 degrees. This is the perfect soundbar for gamers thanks to the variable refresh rate and auto low latency mode, as well as HDMI-eARC and HDMI 2.1 inputs.
The LG Soundbar will also support AirPlay 2 and works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Audiophiles who enjoy lossless wireless audio can add the LG Wowcast Wi-Fi dongle, and they may find that one of the most interesting upgrades is the redesign and increased size of the drivers and woofers to boost sound.
Samsung Q950B Soundbar
Samsung took home innovation honoree awards for their TVs this year, and they’ve also added one for their flagship soundbar. The Samsung Q950B Soundbar has 11.1.4 channel sound and supports Dolby Atmos. It uses Q-Symphony 2.0 technology to sync the sound bar with your Samsung TV in a unique way.
Samsung’s Q Symphony feature offers up to 22 channels of audio. It can do this because it syncs with the speakers of a Samsung TV to utilize all of the speakers in the TV and the sound bar. This is a switch from sound bars that turn off TV speakers when they turn on. It works automatically so you don’t have to turn it on every time you want to use it, and the Q Symphony feature will also optimize your sound based on your TV.
Samsung has said that the best experience will be when your Samsung Q950B sound bar is paired with a 2022 Samsung Neo QLED display. When you link the two together your sound bar will analyze its surroundings and build a profile specifically for your room. It can even optimize the output of the TV speakers and the sound bar so everything sounds unified.
Hisense U5120GW+ sound bar
Hisense announced a few new sound bars at CES 2022, but it was the premium Hisense U5120GW+ that’s really building hype. For home theatre fans, this sound bar has 570W of power across 12 speakers plus two speakers dedicated for overhead audio. With support for Dolby Atmos, the Hisense U5120GW+ features 7.1.2 channels, has HDMI eARC, and offers Hi-Res Audio for rich, clear sound. It will be available in the spring of 2022.
Hisense also offers a lower-priced sound bar that’s a great option too. The Hisense U5120G has 489W power, 12 speakers inside the sound bar, and support for DTS:X. It may be a lower-priced option, but from all reports, it still has great sound quality and it could be the perfect sound bar for your bedroom or kid’s TV if you have one.
Sony adding new feature to sound bars
Sony sound bars have always been a great choice for home theatre fans or gamers. At CES 2022 Sony announced they were upgrading the Sony HT-A7000 and the HT-A5000 sound bars to offer 360-degree audio mapping.
The feature is called 360 Spatial Sound Mapping, and it combines Sound Field Optimization and built-in microphones to measure both the height and position of the sound bar in your room. If you have added rear speakers, it will include them in your room profile. It then positions sound waves to create virtual speakers based on the location, and the end result is that you have spectacular room-filling audio. Every spot in the room will be the sweet spot, experiencing the same sound quality across the board.
To access 360 sound you’ll need to add a pair of wireless rear speakers to your Sony sound bar, and Sony just released the SA-RS5 wireless rear speakers as a complement to the Sony HT-A7000 and the HT-A5000. Not only does it boost the sound of the sound bar, but the SA-RS5 is battery operated so it’s completely cord-free. It offers an incredible 10 hours of use before you need to charge it again.
TCL Alto Soundbar
Over the past few years, TCL has established itself as a major player in the TV market. This year at CES 2022 they were awarded for their 8K TV, so it’s no surprise they are making bigger moves into the sound bar space with the TCL Alto Soundbar.
TCL announced two Alto sound bars – the TCL Alto 7-Series and the TCL Alto 9-Series. The TCL Alto 7-Series has both 3.1 and 5.1 channel sound, supports DTS:X, and is ready for Roku TV. The TCL Alto 9-Series has 5.1.2 and 7.1.4 channel audio, supports Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, DTS Play-Fi, and TCL RAY·DANZ technology. RAY·DANZ technology essentially creates a sound stage in your living room, making it a completely natural surround sound environment.
One of the best features of both sound bars is Master Sound Calibration. It analyzes the acoustics of your room and adjusts the sound for the space. This room customization feature is showing up on a lot of sound bars lately, so it’s definitely a feature you’ll want to focus on when choosing your new sound bar.
Catch up on all things CES 2022
It’s shaping up to be a great year to add a sound bar to your home. Looking for all of the latest news coming out of Las Vegas? You can catch up on all of the CES announcements from your favourite tech brands on the blog. Just follow this link.