You can choose between a set of speakers and a soundbar if the audio provided by your television isn’t up to par. Soundbars are becoming more popular as they are less expensive and have a more elegant appearance.
Because there are fewer alternatives, soundbars are easier to purchase than speakers. However, if you’re new to audio equipment, it can be more difficult than you’d want. So, what is a soundbar exactly, and what should you look for when purchasing one?
What Is a Soundbar, Exactly?
A soundbar is a loudspeaker with numerous small speakers built into it that is typically rectangular in design. They’re made to be placed directly beneath a television or other display device. The sound quality of soundbars varies greatly, and the more you spend, the better the audio experience. They don’t provide true surround sound, but they do spread audio out further than a television. They are usually self-contained, but soundbars with a separate subwoofer that may be placed nearby are also available.
How to Choose a Soundbar: Eight Things to Consider
Although soundbars appear to be the same, there are significant variances across models. If you’re looking to buy a soundbar, here are eight things to think about.
A subwoofer is a type of loudspeaker that produces low audio frequencies, sometimes known as bass. Although most soundbars lack a dedicated subwoofer, you can discover ones that do, either built-in or as an extra speaker.
- Soundbars without subwoofers are frequently less expensive. However, the difference in audio quality is typically audible.
- If you want all of your audio to come from one source, a soundbar with a built-in subwoofer is excellent. Built-in subwoofers are also comparable to standalone models in terms of performance.
- If you want to experiment with placement and don’t mind having another speaker in the room, a soundbar with a separate subwoofer is a good option. It’s worth noting that subwoofers are frequently wireless, making them simple to conceal.
The majority of soundbars use an HDMI cable to connect to a television. Simply connect your input devices to your television, then the soundbar to your television. Optical cables can also be used to connect soundbars to televisions. It is also possible to connect devices directly to the speaker, but you will need a soundbar with additional HDMI connections. If your television doesn’t have a lot of input ports, this is a good option.
3. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Wireless connectivity is available on several soundbars. If you want to be able to play music directly from your phone or computer, this is crucial. Bluetooth or Wi-Fi can be used to do this.
Bluetooth is suitable for most tasks, but you must be within a 30 foot range to use it. Wi-Fi may thus be more convenient depending on the size of your home. You can also listen to music in multiple rooms at the same time via Wi-Fi.
You may have observed that every soundbar has a fixed amount of channels. This simply refers to the number of speakers present. Even though a soundbar with only two channels sounds better than your television, you should choose for more.
- Two Channels: This soundbar has two speakers, one on each side.
- Five Channels: This is a soundbar with five speakers, left, right, center, and two rear speakers. Three Channels: This is a soundbar with three speakers, left, right, and center.
- Seven Speakers: There are seven speakers in this soundbar. It’s a five-channel soundbar with the exception that the two rear channels are cut in half, giving you four channels instead.
Three numerals are used to describe some soundbars. The first number indicates the number of channels, the second indicates whether or not there is a subwoofer, and the third indicates the number of upward-facing speakers.
5. Are you more active or passive?
The vast majority of soundbars are active soundbars. This means they feature a built-in amplifier and can function without the use of any additional audio equipment. Active soundbars are more popular because they don’t require any additional purchases or cords.
However, passive soundbars are also readily accessible. There is no amplifier in a passive soundbar. As a result, you’ll need to invest in an amplifier or a receiver. Passive soundbars offer the advantage of having better speakers and giving you more control over what you connect them to.
Soundbars are available in a wide range of lengths. You don’t have to match the length of your television with a soundbar, but you generally don’t want one that is. You should also think about how much room there is beneath your television. If your TV isn’t placed on the wall, your new soundbar must be short enough to avoid blocking the screen.
7. App or Remote
The majority of soundbars come with remote controllers, but many of them may also be operated by the remote control on your television. If you already have more remote controllers than you need, this is a good option. Many soundbars come with apps that let you control them with your smartphone.
8. Voice Assistant
Voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are available on some soundbars. If you want to communicate to the soundbar or use it to manage other elements of your home, such as smart lights, this is beneficial. It’s worth mentioning that voice assistants come with their own set of privacy issues. If you buy a soundbar with this feature, you’re effectively installing a microphone that listens to what you’re saying.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money.
If you want better sound without spending a lot of money, a soundbar is an excellent choice. They can considerably improve the audio on practically any television, despite their tiny, minimalist design.
If you’re not sure which one to choose, make a budget first and then shop from a respected company. The more you spend on a soundbar, the better it sounds, but even a hundred-dollar soundbar may deliver surprisingly fantastic sound.