How to Choose Your New Sound Bar
So you just hooked up your new TV and you’re looking to match the quality of sound to picture. Or maybe you want a discrete all-purpose stereo for entraining. Let us help you invest in the best sound bar for your needs based on location and port needs.
What Are Your Connection Needs?
Strictly audio versus matching visuals.
The most vital part of your selection is considering the ports you need available (the TV, DVD player, your kid’s gaming system, or wireless connectivity).
Say your sound bar is in your living room. It has to be compatible with multiple devices. Ensure the sound bar has an HDMI port (preferably two). It’s the most versatile port that can connect to your TV, gaming system, among others. An optical port is the most simple and reliable connection to your TV. You might need an analog RCA (red and white cables) if you have any older devices, such as a DVD player.
If you’re using a sound bar as an alternative to more serious sound systems… it’s a great (and less expensive) companion to your music subscriptions and amplifying podcasts. Wireless connectivity is a must for Spotify, Pandora, Sirius, and other audio apps. Most come with Bluetooth, but Wi-Fi sound bars do the trick as well.
Consider the Space.
Measure to ensure your sound bar fits as well as it sounds.
If you want your sound bar on your TV stand, measure the height to ensure it doesn’t block the screen or remote receiver.
The length of your sound bar should match that of your TV, or the shelf you plan on placing it on. Anything longer will distract from your audio/visual set-up.
Width is important distinguisher between mounted and standing. You don’t want a mounted sound bar’s width to extend further than your TV. Same as the space underneath the standing TV. If the sound bar is placed on a separate shelf under the TV width may not be a factor, but it the TV is raised above eye level, you may wind up with your sound bar obstructing your view.
How Many Speakers Are There Within the Sound Bar?
How many speakers you’d like within your sound bar affects your purchase choice.
The most common sound bars range between two to five-plus speakers within the bar itself.
Channel numbers are labeled either 2, 3, or 5 with a decimal after that denotes whether or not it has a subwoofer. For example, a 2.0 speaker has two channels and no subwoofer whereas a 5.1 speaker has 5 channels and a subwoofer. A 2 channel speaker has a left and right channel. Three channels means that there are both left and right channels and a center channel. Five adds channels for surround sound speakers a serious boost in sound quality without having to invest in separate speakers. As for the subwoofer, you can buy a sound bar with a subwoofer that is wireless and can be hidden anywhere in the room.
Slim Silhouette for Big Savings
With the consideration of connection, size and speakers your sound bar is a major upgrade to your TV speakers bundled into one sleek package.