The Sound Bar Has Arrived!

A sound bar in brief summary is a type of powered speaker (or completely passive in rare cases) that reproduces your tv sound or any other source connected to it. The sound bar can be very simple in cases where it is only duplicating a left and right channel of sound or in the more sophisticated cases it can simulate a surround sound system.

Sound bars go by many names these days such as tv sound bar, tv speaker bar, speaker bar, soundbar speaker system, soundbar speakers or even 5.1 sound bar but they are all referencing the same type of speaker.

Soundbars are a single speaker or they can be sold with a subwoofer or even a wireless subwoofer. The speaker itself will contain two or more tweeters or midranges and will vary from a single left and right to as many as a dozen in the more sophisticated high end models. Most require a power source and quite frankly, don’t waste your money on anything that doesn’t.

A video is worth a thousand words.  Check this out:

Yamaha YSP-3300 Digital Sound Projector with Wireless Subwoofer

What to Look for When Purchasing a Sound Bar

Speaker Volume

As you compare various products you will notice each has a power rating in watts. This is the overall loudness of the sound the speaker will produce. What it can’t tell you however is the quality of the sound coming through the speakers as you crank up the volume. Some speakers handle power very well and if the power is clean the sound remains very clear through higher volumes. Others will tend to distort as you approach the top end of the knob. Lower quality units will distort before you even begin to get close. Don’t put too much weight into this category so long as these ratings on the soundbars you are looking at are relatively close.

Frequency response

The frequency response of the speaker provides you an indication of how low or how high it can go when reproducing the source sounds. Generally, the wider the range, the better the quality of sound that can be heard. The only issue is that many of the manufacturers don’t provide the decibel variance of the limits, meaning a +/- XX decibels. So even if it can go higher than all the others if it’s doing it at –40 decibels for example, it will vibrate but will barely be audible. We don’t believe this is common practice especially from the more well renown and better manufacturers but you should be aware of it.

Functionality

As far as soundbars go this may or may not be the more important category. You need to buy a product that can do what you are looking for it to do, no question. Take into account how many components you plan on hooking up to it. A tv, a bluray player or maybe a gaming system. In this case you need three inputs. But also realize that you could hook all these things up to your tv and then your tv to your soundbar in which case the inputs are not all that important, a factor that can save you some bucks!

Soundbar Placement

Be sure you have an idea of where you will put it before you buy it and if you have the right dimensions available. Also note that if you plan on putting it right in front of you tv, it may block the tv’s remote sensor unless you buy a soundbar with a repeater on the back which is not a common feature.

What is the Best Soundbar Speaker for the Money?

In the realm of audio speakers, this is a tough question for anyone to answer and comes down to personal preference and how much of an audio nut you are. Those with a more refined ear and a need for the absolute best in sound quality will want more of the high end sound bar system from a more renowned manufacturer. Others can find their sweet spot without breaking the bank. So in essence, you must define where you are personally in this spectrum then find the class of speaker that is right for you.

You may have heard of never picking the absolute cheapest item or service when shopping around right? Well choosing the right sound should be approached in similar manner. You will get what you pay for in sound quality, performance and functionality. If you go with a cheap sound bar, chances are the audio quality will not exactly be top notch. Of course if you are really strapped for cash then anything will be an upgrade from your drab old tv speakers.

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