There are many soundbars on the market these days. From a standalone basic soundbar to soundbars that can be connected to the internet and incorporate all the bells and whistles of a full home theatre system. However, selecting the correct one to suit your lifestyle can be confusing, so which is the right one for you.
A basic soundbar will consist of the soundbar itself and a remote control, very basic indeed. Prices usually start from $369 for a quality basic model like the Boston Acoustics TVee 10, but you will find other “no frills” brands cheaper. How they work is a fibre optics cable out of the TV and straight into the soundbar. To adjust the volume on the soundbar, the remote control that came with the soundbar is used. The next model up will come with a subwoofer to give you better sound effects, some more oomph to the movie. The subwoofers are wireless from the soundbar itself, so only a power point is required.
Soundbars with processing power
Next, in the list are soundbars with some kind processing. They will incorporate features like Bluetooth or NFC (near field communications), HDMI inputs, USB inputs and different sound effect settings. They will also start boasting about all the technologies behind them like audio beaming, auto lip-sync and even Dolby Atmos, as well as other technologies alike. You would expect to pay around $500 and more for a quality brand, of course, less for “no frills” brands.
For those that want a flexible soundbar that can do just about everything except wash the dishes. A networkable soundbar like the Denon Heos HomeCinema is what you might need. They incorporate everything above including networking capabilities. What this means is the soundbar can be controlled off a smart device like an iPhone/iPad, Android device. They can access internet radio as well as directly stream music from your device. Volume from the TV can be controlled directly from the TV remote so no second remote control is needed. The Heos soundbar is $1499, other equivalent brands with will vary in price around this figure.
Depending on your budget and requirements, there is a soundbar that will suit all situations. There are many different brands; they come in many different sizes as well. They can also come custom built to suit your TV perfectly if you are willing to spend the money. However, do not think for a second that a soundbar is as good as a home theatre system. Do not get sold on the idea that a soundbar will sound as good as a proper full home theatre system. They never will, for example, a Dolby Atmos soundbars will never work properly because the room it will live in will never be the right shape for the audio to bounce off. There has been a few article from ACA is an excellent demonstration of retail store attitude is to only SELL SELL SELL. A soundbar is an excellent solution to a common problem and should only be used as a substitution for TV speakers only. The reason being is that TV’s now lack the depth for decent size speakers and, as a result, they lack sound quality. A soundbar will always entirely fill that position. So next time when your shopping for a soundbar, consider what you want to achieve first before purchasing one.