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.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the sound bar that’s right for your viewing and listening experience.
What is a sound bar?
A sound bar is an all-in-one speaker system that provides premium quality audio without taking up the space or expense of a traditional surround sound speaker system. It’s easy to set up because there are models that connect to your television via a single HDMI cable or stream wirelessly over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Once connected the TV audio signal is transmitted via the sound bar rather than the inferior speakers in the TV itself.
Depending on the type you choose and its connections, you will likely be able to wirelessly stream music from a mobile device or connect to a wired audio player. If you have extra equipment like a cable box, streaming device or game console you’ll need to be aware of the different inputs and outputs available on different models.
Why do you need a sound bar on a new TV?
Advancements in TV technology mean our consumer electronics are becoming thinner and lighter. While that’s great because it makes placing or moving the TV easier, it does come with some compromises.
For the newest TVs, the compromise is in the built-in speakers. A stunning 65-inch 4K screen that is easily mounted to a wall simply isn’t capable of providing audio that even comes close to complementing the visual of the screen. With the addition of a sound bar, you can dramatically upgrade your audio and will now be able to lose yourself in your favourite movies and TV shows.
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. 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.
Sound bars with external subwoofers and speakers
Some sound bars include additional components, such as an external subwoofer unit. The addition of a subwoofer 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.
If you want to take it a step further you can choose a 7 or 9-channel sound bar with additional rear speakers. These can really help to create an even more immersive surround sound experience.
Keeping your setup sleek and tidy
Luckily, many external subwoofer or speaker units including those mentioned above are wireless, so you’ll have no extra cables to deal with. If you are going for as minimal a setup as possible, you may not wish to incorporate 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! If you don’t mind extra speakers you can also opt to pair extra wireless speakers to your setup so you can enjoy multi-room audio.
If you are willing to pursue a higher-end bar, you can still have the best of all 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
Bose sound bars are an example of a truly powerful unit in a solitary package. Some models include ADAPTiQ audio room calibration that fine-tunes the system’s sound specifically to your room. This is just one way that users can achieve higher-end audio without necessarily having to commit to additional components.
Samsung also has excellent options for immersive audio in a single unit. You can find 4 channel units with two inbuilt subwoofers and two tweeters to generate great sound across an entire room. Some models also feature 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 brands have compatible wireless products such as subwoofers or rear surround speakers. 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 your 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. It’s 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 an 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.
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! Check out the full selection of sound bars available at Best Buy.