Articles

Everything to Know About Soundbars Before Buying One

by Tarun Sharma Web Blogger

Much more practical than a home theater set, the soundbar is a serious alternative to simply improve the sound quality of your television. This article brings together a wide variety of frequently asked questions about buying soundbars to help you make the right choice.

What size (s) / dimensions for a soundbar?

Before buying your new soundbar, first think about its location. Most bars incorporate a wall-mounting system to accompany televisions already hung. In the event that it will be installed in front of your television, the question of the maximum height available between your furniture and the bottom of the image of your television arises. Manufacturers are often aware of this problem and are now marketing relatively compact soundbars, whose height does not exceed 6 cm.

With or without a subwoofer?

Some of the best soundbar under Rs. 15000 are sold with a subwoofer (wired or wireless), and it must be said that this is a good idea. If the latter is the least efficient (and this is certainly not the case), it allows to gain in sound quality. It is a hybrid solution which is also practical: the footprint is reduced and the presence of the subwoofer makes it possible to limit the cost of the set compared to a 2.1 home cinema kit. Some bars, sold alone, are also capable of more than respectable audio performance in this area. You are free to add an optional subwoofer if they can.

With or without surround sound?

Many models of soundbars attempt to reproduce a 5.1 or 7.1 home theater listening experience. To do this, some products keep the practical and easy-to-use aspect of the soundbar by offering virtual surround spatialization without additional speakers to install. Other “hybrid” soundbar models rely on a true pair of rear-channel speakers: think about the space and layout of your listening room before choosing this kind of product.

What means of connection to expect on a soundbar?

Soundbars are by definition designed primarily to accompany a television. The vast majority of them incorporate at least an optical input and / or an HDMI ARC (or eARC) port to connect to the television. The variety of wired connections depends on the goodwill of the manufacturer: additional HDMI inputs, mini-jack input, RCA subwoofer output, RJ45, etc. On the wireless side, Bluetooth is very often offered, and Wi-Fi is only present if the soundbar has connected features.

What is HDMI ARC (or eARC)?

The acronym ARC that we almost always see affixed to the HDMI output of soundbars means Audio Return Channel. It means that the cable connected to this HDMI port can be used to transmit the sound signal from the TV to the soundbar. It is thus not necessary to use an additional audio cable to carry out this transmission.

What features can you find on a soundbar?

The range of features available on soundbars expands with the rise in range (and in price). All products have at least one equalization mode which is sometimes accompanied by several presets, such as Voice mode (improved speech intelligibility) or Night mode (low frequency attenuation and dynamic compression). There is regularly a virtual spatialization mode, the automatic acoustic calibration option is however rarer. The so-called connected soundbar models (connected to a box via Wi-Fi or RJ45), more and more present on the market, offer features such as playing files on the local network (UPnP / DLNA), multiroom (proprietary protocol and / or compatible with Chromecast, Airplay 2, DTS Play-Fi for example), access to music streaming and web radio services (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, SoundCloud, TuneIn, etc.) or even the integration of the “intelligent” voice assistant Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant. When this is the case, a companion mobile application is present to configure the soundbar and manage all these possibilities.

Dolby Atmos, DTS: X: what is it, and is it really useful?

Dolby Atmos and DTS: X are "3D" surround encoding formats, that is, they contain spatialized sound elements not only horizontally all around the listener, but also vertically, over his head. Both appeared in 2015 in domestic versions, these two formats are now found very regularly on video streaming services (Netflix, Hotstar Disney Plus, etc.), Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray discs, and even some video games. Compatible soundbars are very numerous today and can be found in all price ranges, from 5000 to several thousand INR. Obviously, as for horizontal spatialization, not all of them render 3D spatialization with the same success.

Conclusion

The soundbar is the ideal solution for those who want to easily improve the sound of the TV without investing in a bulky system.


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About Tarun Sharma Innovator   Web Blogger

10 connections, 0 recommendations, 50 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 1st, 2020, From Delhi, India.

Created on Nov 24th 2020 05:44. Viewed 114 times.

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