How to Choose a Sound bar for Your TV – Ultimate Guide

Soundbars

It is important to have the soundbars for TV to get better-sounding performance. When compared to the home theater, soundbars deliver a few benefits: they generally occupy less space and are easier to set up and are affordable. Whether you’re looking for a smart soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos, there are many models out there that’ll do what you need. However, not all soundbar has the same quality and features, some offer a better experience of sounding and listening.

When you watch more TV shows, sports, or listen to music often at home, you’ll need something that sounds good and is compatible with your existing devices. Don’t compromise with the built-in speakers of your smart TV. Investing the money to the best soundbars for TV will carry your TV shows, films, and games to get better-sounding performance.

Soundbars have always been an easy way of upgrading the audio quality on your TV. But they can do a lot more these days than obviously boost the sound of TV shows and movies. Want some help over the designs, features and control options? We will cover what’s in the sale to help you find the perfect fit.

See also: Best Soundbars for TVs to get better performance

What’s a soundbar?

A soundbar or media bar is a form of loudspeaker transmitting audio from a large enclosure. It is much broader than tall so that it can be placed above or below a device, e.g. above a computer monitor or under a home theater or TV screen. Basically, in a soundbar, multiple speakers are placed in a single cabinet, which helps to create surround sound and/or stereo effect. A single subwoofer is usually included with a soundbar or may be used to support it.

What is a sound base?

A sound base is a specific loudspeaker device equipped for being on a TV. This produces a realistic stereo effect from a single cabinet and was designed to replace the relatively poor sound quality of flat-screen TV loudspeakers. Sound bases are identical in nature to soundbars, but the latter is designed to be mounted independently from the TV on a stand, or on the wall below. The sound base design usually helps them to have stronger bass than soundbars; therefore, soundbars often have a separate subwoofer to cover for.

Tips:

  • Sound bases don’t do stereo as well as soundbars.
  • Just like TVs, soundbars are becoming skinnier and thinner. And while slim makes for a great look, slim is not good when it comes to the quality of the audio. To get the finest performance out of your soundbar, you should really try adding the subwoofer.
  • A soundbar will block the signal from your remote to your TV, depending on your configuration and how you’re arranging things.

See also: Best TV to get Better Sounding 

What to consider when buying a soundbar.

When manufacturers compete to make the sleekest TVs, it is the TV speakers that are impacted. Of the squeezed-out TV speakers, you can not get the best sound. While most people prefer full-on home theater systems, soundbars are designed to produce amazing sound while taking up as few spaces as possible. But what does it take you to know before you buy a soundbar?

You need to know exactly what to look for when you’re looking for the best soundbar for your home. You don’t want to have an audio system that won’t suit your house or one that probably won’t match your style and quality.

1. Where should it be placed?

How you position your TV and how much space you have around your TV will decide which type (soundbar or sound base) should go best for you— and where you place it, the type can impact. When it comes to design, soundbars are more flexible-they are designed to hang on the wall or lie behind (and in front of) the TV.

It is easy to set up. If your Television is on a table, simply place the soundbar immediately below the television on the same shelf. Just make sure you have enough room between the bottom of your TV and table-check the details of the soundbar and weigh the place before you buy it. If your TV is wall-mounted, install the soundbar immediately behind it onto the wall. Even some soundbars come with mounting kits to allow DIY a cinch build.

2. What size soundbar should you get?

The new soundbar shouldn’t be any wider than your television — and in an ideal world, both are almost the same distance for an even look. However, technically a soundbar can be paired with just about any size TV. And use your choice when it comes to mounting. Only make sure your television has the correct connections to link up your new soundbar, particularly if your television is 8 years old or older.

3. What are active or passive soundbars, and why is that important?

Passive implies that the soundbar has no built-in control adapter, and therefore allows a receiver or amplifier to operate. They do have better speakers too— and better speakers mean better performance. A passive soundbar will cost you a little more, and you will have to attach more components together. If you want extra bass, you’ll need a typical subwoofer attachment too.

Active ensures the soundbar comes with built-in amplifiers to power up everything, as well as channel processors that isolate speakers in the soundbar from left, right and center.

Our recommendation: When you just want to boost the audio from your TV, go with an external soundbar. Passive soundbars are best suited for custom installations for example if you want your soundbar to go as part of the TV, or you want a full-blown Dolby Atmos system.

4. What are soundbar “channels” and how many do you need?

In short, channels are sound sources or individual speakers. Most of the shows and movies nowadays offer 5 different audio channels and in few cases, more for surround sound embedded digitally: center, left, right, plus two in the rear. What makes a soundbar different from a typical home theater setup? The answer is simple, all channels/speakers are contained in one unit.

So the logic follows:

2-channel soundbar: 2 speakers: left and right.

3-channel soundbar: 3 speakers: center, right and left.

5-channel soundbar: all 5 speakers discussed above: center, right, left, and two rear speakers. 5-channel systems have been the home theater model for close to 20 years now.

7-channel soundbar: 7 speakers. Essentially, 7-channels is the same as 5-channels with a bonus: By splitting surround and rear channel information into 4 channels, you get 7 total.

5. What connections do you need?

The latest soundbars of today come with a range of connectivity options — and more than one way to do things. A few main connections to keep an eye out for:

HDMI ARC

So easy. Just connect your soundbar to your TV’s audio return channel (ARC) input with an HDMI cable, and you’re all set. HDMI is especially good for multi-channel soundbars.

Wireless Connectivity

Would you like the ability to stream audio directly from your soundbar, or through your phone or tablet? Here is what you should look for:

Bluetooth: Many soundbars today come with Bluetooth built-in, making it easy to stream music from your computer, smartphone, and tablet.

Wi-Fi: There are wireless soundbars, which come with Wi-Fi so they can hop on your home’s Internet network and stream pretty much anything from anywhere (Spotify, TIDAL, Pandora, you name it).

Optical Port

An optical patch cord gives you a solid, best-case scenario connection between your TV and soundbar. It’s also one of the easiest, simplest and most reliable connections available. However, it does not have the bandwidth to carry over a 5.1 signal.

USB Inputs

Normally, USB inputs are only included for firmware updates. But most soundbar updates today are done through software updates. We say you don’t need this — unless you’re looking to plug in a thumb drive with your songs on it.

6. How will I control the soundbar?

Does a new device mean you have to use yet another remote control? Yes and no. Meaning, yes, your new device will come with its own remote control, but you can usually program your existing TV remote to also work with your soundbar. (A cocktail table full of remotes? We all hate that. We can show you how to simplify with just one remote that controls everything.)

What type of soundbar is right for you?

Soundbars vary considerably in the price — from less than $150 for a simple plug-and-play device to more than $2,000 for a custom design.

Are you looking for a full-on home theater experience, or do you just want to be able to hear the TV more clearly? Will you be using your soundbar to play music? Would you like for it to be part of a multi-room audio system? Is voice control important to you? And a simple but vital question you need to answer — where is it going to go?

Placement options

Placement options

Many soundbars have a low enough profile that when placed on a stand they will not block your TV (or the remote control on your Pc), but always check the height to be sure. If you want your soundbar to be wall-mounted, ensure that it has keyhole slots or alternative brackets.

Conclusion:

It’s always essential to have a checklist to purchase anything before going out to the shop. Before having one that fits your style and quality, make sure you can actually afford it. Please ensure you check the few points mentioned in this article before you go out and get a soundbar for your home. I’m really sure you can make a better decision.