There are few things worse than sitting down to watch a movie and finding that the sound is barely audible or that the sound doesn’t do the movie justice. Thankfully, as technology has improved over time, the sound that we have available for our viewing and listening pleasure has also improved. With TVs today, as they have become more compact and slim lined, we’ve also lost some of the sound quality as the manufacturers have to squeeze speakers into a pretty small space. To combat this, there have been a number of sound solutions that have been created by brands – and my favourite one of these is the sound bar. I have friends come round to my house and many of them are very interested in what my sound is like for my TV and whether I’m happy with my sound bar. My answer is, of course I am, but I wanted to do a bit of a comparison article to answer some questions that I’ve been asked in the past.
Let’s get started.
First of all – what is a Sound Bar?
A sound bar (also sometimes called a speaker bar) is a wide and thin speaker with multiple drivers. They can range in price from under $100 to over $2,000 and they connect to your TV and work to produce a higher quality sound than is provided by standard TV speakers.
Aren’t my TV speakers sufficient?
Depends. If you don’t mind the fact that your TV speakers may potentially be tiny and weak, then you’ll be fine. As I mentioned before, as TVs have become thinner, there’s less space to fit the speakers. To add insult to injury, the speakers sometimes point down or away from you, further serving to reduce the sound quality. You might be thinking, ‘My TV isn’t that bad’ – but if you’ve ever had to crank the volume on your TV to hear a movie, then things mightn’t be all that great, and you might need additional sound help.
So what are the benefits of Sound Bars?
The speakers point directly at you – and that’s a great start. That’s a huge step up from TV audio, and most sound bars also have tweeters and woofers which make easy the high and low sounds. The sound bar is also a great investment as it has one function and one function only: to provide excellent sound. You know that with one of these, you’re not going to need to pump up the volume.
What kinds of Sound Bars are there?
There are two main kinds: active and passive. The active sound bar has a built-in amp which means that all you need to do is plug in your TV and the sound bar does the rest. Some of the active ones even have advanced surround sound which allows for exceptional features and sound panorama. The passive sound bar acts like a traditional speaker and requires a separate receiver which can cost more, but which acts as a central hub for your audio/visual system.
What are the drawbacks?
The sound bar itself can be quite wide; about the width of your TV. This is only a drawback if your TV setup isn’t very modifiable, so providing that you have the ability to move things around, it won’t be an issue at all. You can actually mount your sound bar above or below the TV – and provided you have the space available, it won’t be an issue. You can also choose from various types of sound bar that act as stands – which means that you can put your TV on top of them.
In short, and to finish up, I believe that the sound bar is a great investment for anyone who likes to have movie nights at home, or for anyone who watches TV and demands a higher quality of sound, and to be honest, that’s pretty much all of us! Good luck with your sound bar purchase!