Sound bars are typically purchased to either enhance the television speakers or to provide a surround sound effect. Although some manufacturers of sound bars state that they will provide a “surround sound” experience.
A genuine surround sound experience, with sound moving from different areas of the room can only be obtained from several speakers generating sound from different areas.
Once you decide how your sound bar will be used, then you have to decide the quality of the sound being produced. Many sound bars are available with accompanying speakers or subwoofers. These additional speakers allow the user to position them in different areas of the room for a more genuine “surround sound” experience.
A stand-alone subwoofer provides a source for lower frequency sounds. These sounds typically accompany action sequences with explosions or the deep frequencies of an engine or bass drum. Sound bars are available in many different prices and you usually find that the higher priced systems contain more features and inputs as well as Bluetooth connectivity for use with wireless music sources.
Best Sound Bars to Buy
VIZIO manufactures several different configurations of sound bars ranging from a 2.0 channel system with a single speaker (S3820W-C0B) to a 5.1 channel system with a subwoofer and surround speakers (SB4051-C0). These different packages range in price and are quite affordable.
The higher priced systems which include the additional surround speakers provide users with a higher quality sound experience with sound originating from multiple speakers positioned around the room and a dedicated subwoofer for low-frequency sound generation. Users of the VIZIO systems reported high quality sound for the price, as well as simple thorough set-up instructions and all of the necessary hardware to properly mount the speakers.
Users also stated the wireless connectivity between the speaker and subwoofer allowed the subwoofer to be placed in the back of the room and the remote speakers were wired into the subwoofer. The VIZIO systems also include Bluetooth aptX allowing users to stream music from a cell phone or tablet to the speaker.
Best Sound Bar for the Price
The LG Electronics LAS551H Sound Bar features a wireless subwoofer, 320W and 2.1 channels of sound. It has a price point under $200 while still providing users with many features.
Some of these features include Bluetooth connectivity, “Sound Sync Wireless”, and a wireless subwoofer. The Bluetooth connectivity allows streaming of music from tablet or other compatible device directly to the speaker. Sound Sync Wireless allows users to link the sound bar directly to their LG television reducing the unsightly clutter caused by wires.
Finally the wireless subwoofer provides the additional low frequency sounds to enhance the audio experience. Users reported ease of set up as well as quality of produced sound as some of the best features. Users stated that the supplied directions provide pictures to ease the installation process. The sound quality was described as clear and the subwoofer provided adequate room filling sound while not over-powering.
Best Sound Bar with Built-In Subwoofer
Sony manufactures a sound bar for less than $300 the Sony HT-XT1 features 2.1 channels of sound and a built in subwoofer. It has 3 HDMI, 1 Optical, and 1 Analog input as well as Bluetooth connectivity. This unit features a slim design that allows it to be placed under televisions providing a sleeker appearance. This design is also capable of supporting up to 66 pounds.
The sound bar features s 170 watts and two down firing subwoofers to provide room filling sound. Users reported that the design of the system allowing for a television to be placed on top of the unit as opposed to having to place the unit in front or below the television one of its best features, creating a less cluttered appearance.
User reviews stated the design is adequate sound for a smaller room, and the bass supplied is adequate relative to its size. The reviewers also stated that this particular sound bar is best used to provide sound better than the built in television speakers.
Choosing the correct sound bar to fit your needs doesn’t have to be a daunting task, begin by determining your needs, installation type, and budget.
Then take a look at some of the above products to provide examples of sound bars receiving high reviews and determine which one will provide the best experience for your particular needs.