HDTVs come with good sound quality. So, if you have a FullHD TV or even a 4K TV, its sound quality should satisfy you. That is if you’re watching the news or a talking-head movie.
What if you want to watch action movies with all the cool sounds?
Get a soundbar for your TV.
- 1 What is a Soundbar?
- 2 What are the Advantages of a Soundbar for Your TV?
- 3 Types of Soundbar
- 4 What to Consider When Buying a Soundbar
- 5 Soundbar Buying Ideas
What is a Soundbar?
As its name suggests, a soundbar is a rectangular bar with speakers built-in. In short, it’s an all-in-one speaker system.
Its purpose is to help output a better sound quality than the ‘tinny’ one you usually obtain from a device such as an HDTV.
Voices are sharper (useful when watching movies). Also, soundbars throw sound farther than your TV’s built-in speakers.
With the latest soundbars, you get HDMI inputs that support 4K. It should take care of the audio needs of a 4K TV, Blu-ray player, and game consoles.
Though a soundbar can’t rival the sound quality of a dedicated home theater system, you can get close to it, somewhat.
What are the Advantages of a Soundbar for Your TV?
If space is a problem in your living room, a soundbar will address the problem. A soundbar can address almost any space constraint related to your TV viewing area.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to set up a dedicated home theater system, then a soundbar is the first step towards enjoying better sound quality from your TV set at an affordable price.
Even if you’re technically challenged, you can easily set up a soundbar by following simple instructions.
You don’t have to pull your hair handling a bunch of wires when setting up a home cinema system.
Types of Soundbar
There are two types of soundbars – passive and active.
This is a basic soundbar for your TV that comes minus a built-in amplifier. To get the most out of it you would need to set it up with an amplifier or an AV receiver.
But then if you want sound slighter better than that of your TV, then you can make do with this basic unit.
This type of soundbar has all the bells and whistles packed into it. You have built-in amplifiers. Then there are the channel processors. They separate sound into the middle, right, and left.
As a result, you’ll not need a receiver. Also, you’ll not have to deal with all the cables during setup.
What to Consider When Buying a Soundbar
Soundbars come with varying features and costs. The first question to ask yourself is, “What will I be using the soundbar for?’
Will you be just watching Freeview shows? Then you don’t need one with the bells and whistles. You can settle for a passive soundbar
However, if you want to enjoy premium streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime in 4K HDR quality, then you should go for a quality soundbar.
Here’s a quick list of what you should consider before buying a soundbar.
Number of Audio Channels
If you want decent sound, don’t settle for anything less than 3 channels. There are still 2-channel soundbars out there. Don’t be ‘tricked’ into buying them because they’re affordable unless you just want a basic soundbar setup.
If budget permits, go for a 7-channel soundbar or a Dolby Atmos soundbar.
Dolby Atmos soundbars can reflect sound off your ceiling for an immersive audio experience.
If your TV comes with HDMI ARC (audio return channel) or e-ARC then choose a multi-channel soundbar that supports this feature.
This is important if you want to stream music from your smartphone or tablet. Bluetooth connectivity is a given in most soundbars.
Otherwise go for one with Wi_Fi capability so that you can listen to music from such streaming services as Spotify, TIDAL, and Pandora.
An optical port would come in handy too if you’re looking for an easy and reliable connection between your TV and your soundbar.
USB inputs are available in most soundbars. You would need it to update firmware and also to play back music through your pen drive or external hard disk.
Apart from offering good sound quality, you would also want your soundbar to look good with your home theater setup. So, choose a soundbar with your TV width in mind.
Just make sure your soundbar isn’t wider than your TV.
Soundbar Buying Ideas
Let’s take a look at some good soundbar buying ideas.
VIZIO 2.0 SB3620n-H6 Home Theater Sound
Vizio claims to be America’s No.1 soundbar brand. Vizio 2.0 Home Theater Sound comes with Bluetooth connectivity.
This 36-inch wide soundbar can produce audio of up to 91dB of total SPL output for a pleasant listening experience.
The 2.0 channel sound is good enough if you want to improve on your TV audio. If you’re satisfied with stereo sound with Dolby DTX Virtual:X then go for this model.
There’s also a port available for you to add a subwoofer should you desire one.
Check out the Amazon’s Choice VIZIO 2.0 Home Theater Sound.
LG SN6Y Sound Bar
This 3.1 soundbar with DTS Virtual:X comes with a subwoofer. The subwoofer is powered separately.
Connectivity includes Bluetooth, optical, and HDMI ARC. An optical cable is included.
Enjoy up to 24-bit/96kHz audio resolution with this LG soundbar.
You can expand the system to 5.1 if you wish by getting the SPK8-S Rear Speaker Kit separately.
Check out the LG SN6Y Soundbar.
Bowfell Small Soundbar
If you would like a multi-use soundbar, check out this Bowfell soundbar. Apart from your TV, use it with your phone, tablet, and even computer.
This soundbar comes with Bluetooth, optical, USB, and RCA connectivity. There’s also an AUX port.
If you’re on a tight budget, start off with this soundbar which comes with a built-in subwoofer.
If you’ll be doing all your listening in a small room, its compact design (15 inches wide) would suit you.
There are 3 equalizer settings – rock, jazz, and flat – that you can access with your remote.
Check out this bestselling Bowfell Soundbar.
Bose TV Speaker
Check out this Bose soundbar if you need a compact but powerful soundbar.
It comes with HDMI ARC with Bluetooth version 4.2. Rest assured you can get good-quality clear dialogue when watching movies.
An optical cable is included to get you started connecting this soundbar to your TV.
Height is at 2 inches and width is 23 inches.
Take note that the Bose TV Speaker supports HDMI-CEC. When connected with an HDMI cable to your TV, the soundbar will be automatically turned on. In this way, you can use your TV remote to control the soundbar volume.
Check out the Bose TV Speaker.
YAMAHA SR-B20A Soundbar
This soundbar features built-in (dual) subwoofers.
DTS Virtual:X 3D surround sound is supported.
Additionally, there are 4 sound modes you can choose from – Stereo, Standard, Movie, and Game.
Bluetooth streaming is available. USB connectivity is only for firmware updates only.
Check out the Amazon’s Choice YAMAHA SR-B20A Soundbar.
Also, check out more options to choose the best soundbar for your TV.