Have you recently upgraded to a new 4K or 8K TV? Congratulations on the amazing video quality you’re now enjoying—but now let’s make sure your sound system is holding its weight. Sound bars require little setup and fit seamlessly into any room, making them the easiest way to get a new TV sounding as good as it looks.
If you’re wondering if a sound bar is the right gift for anyone with a new TV, here are a few things to consider.
Setting up a sound bar is incredibly easy to do. In most cases, all you need to do is connect one HDMI or optical audio cable to the TV, plug it in to your new device on the other end, and that’s it! There’s no tricky setup or installation. Plus, because these long, thin speakers often fit right underneath your TV on the same media console, you won’t need to reorganize or purchase special shelves, either.
Smart TVs make the setup even easier. Certain models can recognize new speaker connections automatically and let you use your TV remote to control your speaker audio as well.
If you haven’t been using a sound bar, you (or your gift recipient) might not even have noticed that your TV’s sound quality is lacking. Once you’ve experienced a movie using a sound bar, however, the difference is clear.
As TVs have gotten thinner, built-in speakers have also shrunk. Users sacrifice sound quality and depth for a slim, portable design. It works out great for the visual components of your television, but because of this shift, the speakers inside of a new TV can be as small as the ones in your laptop. So, as you turn up your TV volume, the sound gets tinnier.
In order to create great, deep bass sounds, speakers need to have enough space to move air around in them. Slim TV speakers don’t have the luxury of that space, but sound bars do. More space, more sound, more power.
Smart features & music listening
As you search for the perfect sound bar to give as a gift, you’ll realize that there are many features to look for beyond just sound.
Some of these speakers come equipped with a streaming player, like the Roku Streambar or they are accompanied by a subwoofer and speakers for a more immersive home theatre experience like the Polk Audio React system. You can also find versions that automatically improve dialog clarity or can automatically even out the volume of your programming to prevent hearing damage. Other models offer offer digital voice compatibility with Google Assistant or Alexa, and they can also work as music speakers for simple audio listening. Check out Shelly’s review of the Sonos Ray sound bar, which has the smart assistant feature.
Another great thing about sound bars is their price. It isn’t hard to find a great-sounding sound bar for just a few hundred dollars—a lot less than you spent on your new TV. Yes, there are pricey options available out there, but for the sound quality that they deliver, even high-end designs can feel like a steal.
If you’re uncertain about your new home audio purchase, I recommend considering starting small. With just one component and set of cords and an ultra-minimalist design, it’s easy to swap out a sound bar for an upgrade in the future. Consider moving the older model to your kitchen or workout room so it doesn’t go to waste—because sound bars don’t need any special installation, they can really be used anywhere despite being optimized for the TV room. (Just imagine all the holiday music you could play from your kitchen sound bar, or the workout beats you could pipe into your home gym to give it that workout-montage atmosphere.)
Every TV can benefit from the addition of a sound bar. If you’re searching for the perfect gift for a movie or TV lover, then a sound bar should be at the top of your list!
Shop sound bars at Best Buy.