A soundbar is a slender, low profile speaker system that will radically improve the sound quality of your television’s thanks to its long, slim design that allows it to house more sound drivers inside. However, there are a lot of soundbars available for sale that it will be hard to settle on just one if you really are unsure of know what to look for. There are so many factors that make a great soundbar and that is precisely what we will be discussing in this guide.
What to Consider When Buying a Soundbar
A soundbar you choose will be a significant enhancement to the TV sound but the same can’t be said about the bass. If you are interested to add that extra punch for a booming sound experience, then ensure that the soundbar comes with a subwoofer. This can either be in-built or wireless.
Which choices are available to link the soundbar to your audio sources? Lots of soundbars come with optical cables and RCA but the addition of HDMI functionality is a welcome feature that will give you an even better quality sound because of the many audio formats compatible with the HDMI. In case your TV doesn’t have these ports then a simple auxiliary cable will do. Likewise, check for wireless connections that allow you to link your laptop or smartphone to the soundbar. This can either be through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections.
Number of channels
Ever come encounter numbers like 2.0 or 5.1 when looking for a soundbar and wondered what the heck it means? The first number tells the number of channels/drivers while the second number tells whether or not it has a subwoofer. (1) Stands for subwoofer present while (0) means none. If there is a third number say 5.1.3, it tells the number of drivers that support Dolby Atmos Surround sound. A technology that lets the soundbar to simulate the surround sound of a genuine home theatre.
Size and general outlook of the soundbar
The soundbar is designed to be placed mounted on the wall or somewhere in front of the TV. Therefore for a balanced style, it is advised that the soundbar is not wider than the TV. But this is subjective and you can match your TV with any soundbar as long as the connection is right.
Ease of use
How convenient will it be to control your soundbar. A remote control will greatly streamline the work for you but it would still be awesome if the soundbar has on-bar buttons that you can use in case the remote is missing or not working.
To guide you more with this whole process we have also tapped into some of the most common questions that both buyers and users have.
Can I add more speakers to the soundbar?
Yes but mostly no. The only time you can add another speaker on the soundbar is if it has a multi-room sound capability in which case the extra speakers will be used to service your other rooms. But new soundbars are coming out that include extra speakers in the packaging.
Can I add a subwoofer to the soundbar?
Yes. Some of the soundbars come with wireless subwoofers but for those that don’t, they include a port where you can connect another subwoofer to complement the inbuilt subwoofer.
Do I need a receiver for the soundbar?
It depends on whether you buy an active or passive soundbar. Active means that the soundbar has an amplifier to power everything and channel processors to distribute the sound to various drivers. However, for the passive soundbar, you need a separate amplifier.
What is Virtual sound surround?
You will probably encounter this term as one of the features of a soundbar. It typically means the sound bar can imitate an actual home theatre surround sound. It does not match up to it wholly, though, but you will see a difference from the normal stereo sound.
Can the soundbar be used as a center speaker?
Yes, you can but it is not recommended for a good reason: the soundbar is built to serve as a complete audio channel and not a center speaker.