Televisions continue to get thinner and thinner, which is a very appealing factor for consumers. However, the only problem with a thin TV is that it can only accommodate a thin speaker system. The solution? Consider adding a sound bar to your home theatre setup.
If you’re going to be watching movies and more on a great HD TV with incredible picture, you likely want incredible sound to match. Not everyone wants to spend the time (or money) outfitting their room with multi-component stereo or amplifier units, speakers, and all the cables to match. Sounds bars are the perfect hybrid solution that pair amazing sound with sleek and compact design.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the sound bar that’s right for your viewing and listening experience.
Choosing the right size sound bar
You’ll want to make sure the size of the sound bar you pick makes sense for the configuration of your room. Aesthetically speaking, your sound bar should not be longer than your television. Don’t forget—TV screen size is measured diagonally.
If you are looking for a comparable size between the two be sure to reference the width of your TV.
You might assume that a larger unit will deliver better sound. After all it has more room for speakers, drivers, and all that good stuff, right? Truthfully, this isn’t always the case. High end sound bars can pack amazing sound into small packages. Sometimes a larger bar really just means a larger case.
Take for example this Sonos Beam model. At just over 26 inches long, it’s among the smaller options available. Yet at the same time, it still delivers exceptional audio with four elliptical full-range woofers and one tweeter that harmonize low and high frequencies for a full spectrum of sound.
Sound bars with external subwoofers and speakers
Some sound bars include additional components, such as an external subwoofer unit. The addition of a subwoofer (like the one that comes with this Sony 3.1 Channel Dolby Atmos Sound Bar) can really add an extra element of sound. The extra punch of a subwoofer is ideal for booming cinematic scores, explosive action films, or even listening to bass-heavy tunes.
Others like this LG 7.1.4 Channel Sound Bar take it a step further, with additional rear speakers as well. These can really help to create an even more immersive surround sound experience. Of course, the (potential) downside is that this adds extra speaker(s) which need a place to live.
Keeping your setup sleek and tidy
Luckily many external subwoofer or speaker units including those mentioned above are wireless, so no extra cables to deal with. Still, if you are going for as minimal a setup as possible, you may not wish to incorporate the additional speakers. The reason many choose the sound bar route in the first place is to eliminate the “busier” setup of a traditional stereo + speakers!
Of course, if you are willing to pursue a higher-end bar, you can still have the best of both worlds. Many manufacturers work hard to improve technology and fit higher performance speakers and drivers into the primary unit itself. Those on the cutting edge can deliver a listening experience that matches or even exceeds that of multi-speaker systems.
Immersive multi-channel sound bars
The Bose Soundbar 700 Smart Speaker is one example of a truly powerful unit in a solitary package. It includes ADAPTiQ audio room calibration fine-tunes the system’s sound specifically to your room. Not to mention that BOSE products are already quite well-known for sophisticated design and exceptional sound. This is just one way that users can achieve higher-end audio without necessarily having to commit to additional components.
This Samsung HW-S60T 4.0 Channel Sound Bar is another excellent option for for immersive audio in a single unit. It’s 4 channels (two inbuilt subwoofers and two tweeters) generate great sound across an entire room. It also features an Adaptive Sound technology that lets you hear voices clearly at low volumes so that you catch every bit of dialogue.
Of course, if you still wish to gain the benefits of deeper bass or authentic surround sound, both of these models are compatible with additional wireless products such as subwoofers or rear surround speakers. In this case choosing the right sound bar for your home simply means weighing the options of a single, powerful bar vs. the benefits of adding in extra components.
Sound bars with additional features and compatibility
When choosing which sound bar is right for you, you may also want to consider which additional features or built-in support will suit you needs. There are a number of options that go far beyond simply acting as an audio source for your television. Many models include amenities such as Bluetooth compatibility, voice control and smart home integration, and much, much more.
This category includes systems such as the Roku Streambar 4K Media Streamer. The Roku Streambar is a great option for bolstering your TV audio to be sure, but it’s also capable of a vast number of other functions. It’s not just an audio solution—it’s also a smart media streaming device.
With the Roku Streambar you can stream all your favourite apps for TV, movies, music, sports, and live events with up to 4K Ultra HD resolution. You can also cast directly from Apple devices via AirPlay2. It even includes voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in.
If you’d like to find out more about the Roku Streambar, you can check out Erin Lawrence’s full review right here.
How to choose the right sound bar for your home
As you can see, there are plenty of options when considering the most ideal sound bar to suit your needs. Selecting the right size and shape to match your entertainment center is a great start. Beyond the aesthetic factor however potential buyers will want to weigh everything from single bar vs. surround sound/subwoofer setups to integration with Bluetooth, voice assistance, and even media streaming capabilities!