How to Choose a Soundbar? A Complete Guide

How to Choose a Sound Bar A Complete Buying Guide

Do you want an active or passive sound bar? Do you want a 3-channel soundbar or a 5-channel one? Are they difficult to connect?

These are the most common questions we hear. So, this guide will help you clear all such questions about soundbars.

These are the most important details about how to choose a soundbar you should keep in mind.

How to Choose a Best Soundbar? 6 Tips

1). It will live where?

Depending on where your TV is placed and how much space there is around it, the sound bar or sound base that you choose will determine which type of sound bar or sound base you need. The type will also affect where your TV is placed.

Sound bars can be installed on any surface, including the wall. All sound bars are easy to set up. You can place the soundbar on top of your TV, if it is placed on a table or credenza. You should make sure there is enough room between your TV and the table.

Before you buy, check the specifications of the sound bar and measure the space. Mount your sound bar directly to the wall if your TV is wall-mounted. Many sound bars come with mounting kits that make DIY installation easy.

Sound bases on the other hand are designed to be placed under your TV (which is also why they’re so bulky), or on top of a shelf or table.

Our experts share their tips

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  • Of course, we are often asked if it is possible to place a sound bar above TVs. Our answer? You can, but it won’t sound as good. It will still be superior to your TV’s built in speakers.
  • A sound base placed under your TV will raise it a few inches. It may seem trivial, however it is important to know this information now in order to measure the space available.
  • Some sound bars look very sharp, while others are more subtle to blend in with the surroundings. Others are made specifically for TVs, so they can be used together.
  • You can go this route if you check with your TV manufacturer to find out if they make sound bars specifically for your model. For example, some Sony 4K TVs look stunning with their low-profile sound bars.

2). Which sound bar size should you choose?

Your new sound bar should not be wider than your TV. In order to look even, they should be the exact same width. Technically, you can pair a soundbar with almost any size television.

Use your discretion when it comes down to the size of your sound bar. Make sure that your TV has the correct connectivity to connect your sound bar, especially if it is older than 8 years. 

3). What is the difference between passive and active sound bars?

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Passive refers to the sound bar not having a built in power amp and therefore requires either a amplifier or receiver. However, they have better speakers.

Better speakers equals better sound. Passive sound bars will be more expensive and require more connections. If you need extra bass, you will also need to connect a traditional subwoofer.

The sound bar is active if it has built-in amplifiers to power everything and channel processors to separate the left, right, and center speakers. An all-inclusive receiver means you don’t need an extra receiver or purchase one. Plus, there are fewer wires.

We recommend that you choose an active sound bar if your goal is to upgrade the TV’s audio. Passive sound bars work better for custom installations, such as if your sound bar is to be hidden from the TV or if you need a Dolby Atmos system.

Also read: Global Sound Bar Market Size 2022 Scope

4). What are sound bar channels and how many do you need?

Channels can be thought of as individual speakers or sound sources. These days, most movies and shows offer five audio channels, and sometimes more, for surround sound.

A sound bar is different than a typical home theater setup in that all channels/speakers are contained within one unit. The logic is as follows:

2-channel soundbar: 2 speakers, left and right.

3-channel soundbar: 3 speakers: Center, Right and Left.

5-channel soundbar: All 5 speakers mentioned above, center, right and left, as well as two rear speakers. For close to 20 years, 5-channel systems have been the standard in home theater.

7 speakers are required for a 7-channel soundbar. The basic concept of 7-channels is 5 channels with a bonus: You can split surround and rear channel information into 4 channels to get 7 total. The newest and most advanced standard.

Dolby Atmos soundbar: This is the “Holy Cow”, 5- or 7-channel version of the Dolby Atmos soundbar. It has upward-firing speakers that are located within the sound bar. This allows for enhanced, three-dimensional soundstage and reflects sound above your head.

Channel numbers such as 5.1.2 and 7.1.2 are Dolby Atmos upward-firing speakers. The first refers to traditional channels, while the second refers to a subwoofer.

The sound bar is best suited for rooms with flat ceilings of up to 11 feet that are made from hard, reflective material.

Let’s sum it up: The more channels you have, the better the experience.

5). What connections do you need?

The newest soundbars of today offer a wide range of connectivity options, and many ways to do things. Here are some key connections to watch out for:

  • HDMI ARC

It’s so simple. It’s as simple as connecting your sound bar to the TV’s audio output channel (ARC), and then you’re good to go. HDMI is particularly useful for multi-channel sound bars.

  •  Wireless connectivity

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You want to stream audio directly from your soundbar or through your phone or tablet. Here are the things to look out for:

Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a feature that many sound bars have today, allowing you to stream music from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Wi-Fi: Wireless sound bars are available with Wi-Fi. You can connect them to your home’s Internet network, and stream almost anything (Spotify. TIDAL. Pandora.

  •  Optical Port

An optical patch cord provides a reliable, best-case connection between your TV set and sound bar. It is also one of most reliable, simple and reliable connections. It does not have enough bandwidth to transmit a 5.1 signal.

  • USB Inputs

USB inputs are normally only available for firmware updates. Software updates are the most common way to update sound bars today. This is not something you need unless you want to insert a thumb drive containing your music.

  • Our experts will give you a tip

A wireless soundbar can double as a stereo, such as the Sonos Arc and Beam. You can stream music from your phone, tablet or computer directly to the sound bar and transform your TV into Party City.

6). How do I control the soundbar?

Is it necessary to purchase a remote control for a new device? Both yes and no. Yes, your new device will have its own remote control.

However, you can program your existing TV remote so that it works with your sound bar. A cocktail table stuffed with remotes.

That is something we all hate. (We can help you simplify your life with one remote that controls it all.

We hope you understood how to choose a soundbar through this article. In case you want more tips on soundbars, be sure to drop a comment with your requirements.

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