If there isn’t decent sound, watching your favorite movie or a thrilling sports match on a huge TV can be a let down. It might seem incredible, but here’s the snag: the sound on even the biggest TV might not be good enough to compliment your entertainment. Home theater systems would solve the problem, but they are often expensive and complicated to install. What if there was a much simpler and cheaper solution available? A sound bar for TV is precisely that.
What are the Advantages of a Sound Bar?
Sound bars are a great alternative to a home theater system. Key advantages to consider are that sound bars are:
Easy to Install
Instead of having a huge number of components that are trickier to fit together than flat pack furniture, sound bars are easy to install. They require just one power connection, and a connection to your TV. That’s it! To quote Gordon Ramsey: Done.
Easy to Use
As with the installation, sound bars are really easy to use. General-purpose cables like HDMI connect to the audio input, and most sound bars are Bluetooth-enabled as well as having button controls and a remote for longer-distance control. You can even control some of the devices via mobile apps, for that full Internet-of-Things home experience.
Sound bars require very little space and can be installed pretty much anywhere (…provided the cables are long enough). Wireless ones don’t even have this requirement; simply place somewhere stable and safe, like installing them above or below your TV, and you’re good to go! In comparison, home theater system requires a whole room to be altered, or at the minimum, a vast area around the TV dedicated to them.
Cheaper than a Home Theater System
Home theater systems can cost – brace yourself – upwards of $50,000, depending on how customized you go. And really, if you’re going to spend the money, why not go fully customized?! The price of sound bars is much, much lower, with $50 to $100 being a reasonable price for a decent system.
Precision Designed to Boost TV Audio
Don’t be fooled by the sleek design and lower price; sound bars are a great boost to the built-in speakers of your TV set. The majority of TVs come with inferior sound systems that have superficial bass and narrow range of frequencies. Add a bar and potentially a subwoofer to hear a whole new audio soundstage.
Great Regular Speakers
With the inclusion of Bluetooth and Audio mode features, sound bars aren’t just for your TV. If you need some amazing speakers to blast your music at a party, or even to play some soothing music while you concentrate, they’ll be a fantastic addition to your home.
Create an Immersive Sound World
We get that sound bars and a whole home theater system might seem like an absurd comparison. But these smaller devices are more than capable of creating a magical auditory experience.
Firstly, sound bars are easy to install anywhere in your room so you can find the prime position for acoustics. Impact everyone watching TV and optimize the sound for you anytime, wherever you sit. What’s more, if the primary audio input is Bluetooth-enabled, you don’t have to worry about the connecting cables.
Forget about needing a tabletop or TV cabinet to rest it on – easily mount your lightweight bar on a wall. This is also great if you want to use them as a regular speaker. You already know the best place to blast your music, or their portability means you can move them to the next room and reposition them as you need. Adding the subwoofer also compliments this by amplifying frequencies, creating a superior auditory experience.
Sound bars also come with different channels, like home theater systems speakers, depending upon the number of built-in sound sources they contain. While home theaters have multiple units for the channels, bars can contain multiple channels within one device. Typical channels consist of left, right, center and rear sound sources. With more channels, you can enjoy a more immersive audio experience in multiple dimensions. 7-channel sound bars are common today that offer great depth to the audio.
Buying Guide: How To Choose the Best Sound Bar to Re-create the Audio Magic of Home Theater Systems
Since it is pretty clear why sound bars are a great choice for a great audio experience, it is time to go shopping. But there are few things you need to be aware of before buying…
Decide the Location
This must be done before you buy! While most sound bars are versatile, some are optimized for certain spots, or created for certain tech (like a computer sound bar). Don’t accidentally buy the wrong one!
The size of the bar completely depends on your own needs. However, from an aesthetic point of view, choose a device no longer than your TV.
Active or Passive?
A sound bar for TV comes in two varieties, active and passive. Active bars have all components within them, including amplifiers. Passive bars require external amplifiers but compensate by having superior speakers. Basic users should go for the active one while those looking for heavy customizations might prefer the passive bar.
Explore the Channels
As mentioned earlier, sound bars come with “channels”, which simply indicate the sources of audio. More channels mean a more immersive sound experience – but they are also more expensive.
Check for Connectivity
The more connectivity options a sound bar has, the better. Almost all come with HDMI ARC support and some provide a port for an optical cable, which results in better sound quality. Also, avoid those that only have manual buttons as they are a hassle. A remote is good, but Bluetooth connectivity features are even better!
Sound Bars Are the Future
If you were skeptical earlier about comparing whole home theater systems with a single device, you shouldn’t be now. Sound bars might look like the underdogs but they sure pack a punch of their own. These tech filled wonders create an incredible audio soundstage and offer an immersive sound experience in your living room. Who needs to spend $50,000 on a home cinema when you can spend $50 for a supreme experience?