But all is not lost: you can improve the sound of your Smart TV by purchasing a soundbar, so as to have the desired sound effects and finally enjoy movies and TV series. In this guide you will find some of the characteristics that soundbars must have and finally some of the best soundbar models commercially available for purchase online.
Advantages of a Soundbar to improve TV sound
Traditionally, a TV's 5.1 surround sound setup of speakers involves placing five speakers around the viewer, which works well, but only really works if you're sitting in the same seat all the time. It also requires a lot of cables running through the room. Soundbars offer a better audio experience with fewer cables.
A soundbar contains several speakers that send the audio into the room from the same position as the TV, but also improve the spread of the sound to the sides, so that you can hear the sound well from any part of the room.
Another reason to buy a soundbar is that modern TVs have gotten thinner and thinner, so the built-in speakers have gotten smaller and they don't sound good even on $ XNUMX or more TVs.
Location of the Soundbar
Soundbars are usually placed under or in front of the TV; you can put the soundbar on top of the TV only if there is space or mount it on the wall if the TV is also mounted on the wall. The key when choosing where to place a soundbar is to place it so that it fills the room with sound as much as possible, without locking it behind books or other objects. If you place the soundbar in a cabinet, it should be as far forward as possible so that the sound is not blocked at the sides. When using a surround sound capable bar such as Dolby Atmos, you should avoid placing it in a cabinet as you need vertical space to get the best effects.
In order for the purchase of the soundbar to be advantageous, I recommend that you choose only models that have these characteristics:
1) Subwoofer: with the presence of the subwoofer the bass will be reproduced faithfully, so as to make the audio even more engaging. So choose only models with built-in subwoofer or with external unit, no matter with which technology it is connected to the soundbar (wire or Bluetooth).
2) Number of cases: the soundbar might seem a "single" component but in reality it integrates the speakers in the upper or front part. Make sure there are at least 2 speakers, so that you can correctly reproduce the stereo effect
3) Power: choose a soundbar with at least 120 Watts of power, so as to always have an excellent sound performance on any occasion.
Obviously the more powerful the soundbar (200 or 300 W) the higher the volume and the audio performance.
4) connection: Most soundbars connect via optical cable, with much better sound than 3,5mm audio cable, but on more advanced models you can also find Bluetooth connection (useful for connecting the soundbar to your phone or computer as well ) and HDMI.
5) Design: the eye wants its part too, so choose only soundbars that match the color of the TV or living room it will be placed in (a white soundbar would clash in an all-black or metallic gray living room).
6) Effects: some soundbars also allow you to adjust the sound effects with an equalizer or with predefined profiles, so as to obtain a different and personalized sound for each room.
Better a soundbar or a home theater system?
You may already be asking yourself this question, ever since we talked about soundbars! The answer is simple to give, just understand in which scenario the equipment will be placed:
1) Large environment: in these cases it is always advisable to focus on a Home Theater system, so as to be able to enjoy multi-channel audio (5.1 or 7.1).
2) Small environment: if the room is less than 40 square meters, I recommend you focus on a soundbar, in order to obtain a good stereo sound, since the Home Theater does not sound well if the satellite speakers are too close.
3) Television content: If you often watch digital terrestrial channels, having multi-channel audio may be useless as few transmit in Dolby Digital 5.1. In this case you can choose a soundbar to reinforce the sound coming from the TV channels.
4) DVD/ Blu-Ray o satellite: if you often use this type of discs or access Sky satellite channels, a Home Theater system is preferable to take advantage of the multi-channel audio in a more decisive way than a soundbar.
The combination of these 4 scenarios will allow you to choose wisely when to buy a soundbar and when to buy a Home Theather system. If you find a contrast (such as a large room and television content) always focus on a soundbar, it will allow you to maximize your expense and avoid buying expensive systems that will never be exploited properly.
Best Soundbars to Buy
After seeing some of the features to look for in a soundbar and how to choose the right system, below you will find the best soundbars you can buy online. The choice of the soundbar to buy also depends on the brand of the TV used; as a matter of compatibility (for example to make sure that by lowering the volume of the TV you lower that of the soundbar without the need to use another remote control), it is advisable to buy the sound bar of the same brand as the Smart TV.
Samsung Soundbar HW-T400/ZF
Among the best soundbar models for quality and price I recommend you focus on Samsung Soundbar HW-T400/ZF from 90 Euro. This soundbar boasts 40W of power with 2 channels, has a built-in subwoofer, connects via optical or bluetooth cable to any TV and has a 3,5mm AUX jack input.
You can view this model from here -> Samsung HW-N300/ZF (80 €)
Soundbar con subwoofer Panasonic
One of the best soundbar models with an exceptional quality / price ratio is definitely that of Panasonic from 160 Euro. This soundbar has an effective power of 120W with subwoofer, has Bluetooth functionality to also connect smartphones and tablets (useful for playing music), has an HDMI 1.4 port and supports Dolby Digital 2.0 and DTS 2.0.
Sony is one of the leading companies in the entertainment industry and offers one of the best soundbars around, the Sony HT-S350.
The equipment of this device is truly complete: wireless subwoofer, 300W power, Bluetooth connectivity, device pairing via NFC, HDMI port, USB port and support for S-Force PRO Front Surround technology for truly enviable bass performance.
This powerful soundbar you can see from here -> Sony HT-S350 (150 €).
Spending over € 200 is not a wise move, since at these figures you can buy a valid Home Theater system, even small ones; but if you are looking for the most powerful soundbar you can go for the Samsung HW-R550 / ZF. This soundbar offers the ultimate in sound technology for your TV: 320W of power, active wireless subwoofer, DTS and Dolby Digital support, Bluetooth connection, optical and coaxial outputs and Surround Sound Expansion technology, for bass as if you were in the cinema!
This technological gem can be viewed here -> Sony HT-S20R (200 €)
Other models to consider, all without subwoofers, there are Soundbar of:
- Soundbar LG a 150 Euro
- Bose a 215 Euro
- Creative, from 40 Euros.
Enhance your TV sound with a Soundbar