Ever felt like your TV audio experience wasn’t up to the visual experience? Do you want to bring your audio experience to a whole new level?
IfIf that’s the case, then investing in a soundbar will go a long way into making your movies sound and feel even more visceral. However, if you’re going in with no idea what to look for, you’ll be quickly overwhelmed with the amount of choice available.
Worry not, though, as this article is a cure for your confusion and will help you quickly figure out how to choose the perfect soundbar.
Choosing the Right Soundbar Type
In your search, you’ll come across soundbars that vary wildly in price. You’re just as likely to find a 100-dollar soundbar, a $300 soundbar, or even a 2000-buck one. This is where you need to ask yourself some questions to figure out what you need.
Do you intend on having the ultimate home theatre experience, or is it just so you can hear your TV better? Will you be using it to listen to music or to watch movies? And, of course, where will you be putting the soundbar?
Answering those questions will help narrow down your search by quite a bit.
What to Look for in a Soundbar
Even though sound quality should be of the utmost importance, it is not the only thing you need to take into account.
Wide Listening Angles and High Maximum Volume
Every soundbar has a ‘sweet spot’, this is where you’ll be able to hear it at its best. It’s relegated to a certain range and angle that varies from one soundbar to another. This is where you need to ask yourself where you’re going to put.
Your best bet would be to get a soundbar with wide listening angles and that’s also capable of sounding great even at high volumes. This will guarantee that everyone in the room is going to have the same audio experience no matter where they might be.
Good Dialogue Quality
For most people, the main reason behind getting a soundbar is to hear dialogue better when watching a movie or TV show. This is where you need to pay close attention to your soundbar’s sound and its specifications.
The majority of the best soundbars come with a built-in subwoofer that increases bass. However, you need to make sure that it doesn’t add too much bass otherwise it could have the opposite effect and make things harder to hear.
Luckily, most soundbars you’ll come across come with a designated voice enhancement setting. Keep in mind that they don’t all work as well as advertised so you’ll have to test them out before making up your mind.
Most soundbars feature Bluetooth along with wired connections. This will allow you to use your soundbar without having to turn on the TV. It is mostly used for listening to music.
Speaking of music, the majority of soundbars you’ll find will be equipped for wireless multi-room music streaming. What this means is that you’ll be able to pair together speakers scattered around the house so you can seamlessly access your music library in any room.
Furthermore, some soundbars have Wi-Fi. However, if you intend on using them as part of a multi-speaker music system, you’ll have to make sure to use compatible speakers of the same brand.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is a very important factor as it can help you get a lot more out of your soundbar. Being able to easily access your soundbar’s features and make use of it can also save you a lot of time and frustration.
Make sure that the soundbar you’re looking to get has an easy to use remote and clear and big buttons. There is also the size factor to take into account. Some soundbars can be so big they obstruct the signal between your remote and TV. Some soundbars remedy this by having an IR (infra-red) repeater.
Any soundbar must have a digital connector. This can be in the form of an optical, coaxial, or HDMI one. Some soundbars have multiple of those. These digital connectors will drastically decrease interference and offer a substantially superior sound quality than a 2.5mm audio jack.
We recommend going for a soundbar that has an HDMI digital connector. Such a connector will allow you to use the same remote control for both your soundbar and TV.
Attractive and Practical Design
Since soundbars sit in front of your TV, you’ll probably want them to look elegant and not stand out too much. This is mostly up to personal preference. However, the only piece of advice we can give is to go for something that fits in without being a distraction.
Dolby Atmos Technology
Dolby Atmos is the talk of the town at the moment. It is one of the most desired soundbar features. This is mainly because Dolby Atmos drastically improves surround sound, making it perfect for a multi-speaker home cinema set-up.
More and more soundbars are implementing some sort of built-in voice control. You can think of this feature as an extra remote control. Now, instead of fiddling with the remote, you can just speak to your soundbar and perform most functions that a regular remote control can do.
Nowadays, most soundbars you’ll come across will have a built-in subwoofer. This makes them a complete package when it comes to improving your TV’s audio. However, some soundbars don’t have a built-in subwoofer. You can still pair them up with a subwoofer, but you’ll have to make room for one more piece of equipment.
With that said, having the ability to mix and match a soundbar with different subwoofers can amount to a better sound experience if you really know your audio equipment. However, the difference won’t be anything outlandish, but will still be noticeable.
There’s also the issue of having too many wires and getting things all twisted up together. However, most subwoofers and soundbars have some sort of wireless connectivity feature to help alleviate this issue.
A soundbar on its own won’t do much in terms of audio quality, but it should still be an integral part of your home theater system. If you want to get the most out of yours, you must make sure it fits your needs and suits your budget.
Which specifications do you think are the most important when choosing a soundbar? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!