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DISCLOSURE: The author, Ellen Parker, has commercial partnerships with the brands mentioned and linked to in this post. See disclaimer for more information.
A good quality sound bar can cost as much as a television, but in doing so it produces wonderful audio that surpasses anything produced by a TV. Whether you’re watching your favorite movie, the big game, or footage from a concert you went to in your younger days, a good sound bar will take your experience to the next level.
Sound Bar? What Exactly Is a Sound Bar?
A sound bar is a bar-shaped speaker that is usually paired with a television, resulting in a TV sound bar. Because of this pairing, sound bars will always be vertical, short and thin — perfect for under or over the television placement.
They come with three channels that come together to create wonderful sound: a center channel directs the soundtrack and dialogue, and left and right speakers enhance the atmosphere and ambiance by producing the musical score and sound effects.
With their placement below or above the television, sound bars will direct the sound right at you, the listener, for optimal experiences. Sound bars also come in two varieties, wired and wireless. If you go for a wired sound bar, you’ll have to plug it into the TV. If, instead, you go the the wireless route, you need only pair it with the TV.
And as we’ll soon see, sound bars can be very cheap or very expensive; so much so that a good quality sound bar can cost as much and even more than a TV! This is why you should get one.
Do I Need A TV Sound Bar?
Many people fall prey to the belief that their TV’s built-in speakers are perfectly fine as-is. Unfortunately, they’re sorely mistaken. The thing is, as TVs increasingly become thinner — and they’re getting thinner by the model — less and less room is left for the speaker drivers. In other words, while the end product is a wonderfully thin TV with good visuals, audio quality is regrettably sacrificed.
Even worse for audio, TV makers want to use up the whole front as a screen to enhance the viewing experience. This is bad for those who place high value in sound because it means that instead of the audio being sent your way and into your ears, it ends up being directed down and away from you. As if that’s not bad enough, TV speakers also lack the range that a TV sound bar can produce, such as deep rumbling lows and high-pitched highs.
What About Price? Why Should I Get an Expensive TV Sound Bar?
Just like some believe their TV’s speakers are good enough, others believe that they’re in the clear as long as they get a sound bar, no matter the quality. While it’s true that you can get an inexpensive sound bar, sound bars on the cheaper end of the spectrum often produce audio that’s equivalent to that of the TV’s; the only difference is direction. In other words, it’s true that viewing experience will be improved with these cheap sound bars, but if you’re sure enough in your resolve to improve your audio that you’re getting a sound bar, why stop at one that improves your viewing experience solely by pointing the audio your way?
The better route is a high quality sound bar that will take your experience to its zenith. In fact these higher-end sound bars actually go above and beyond their role as a TV sound bar to become an audio streaming solution for your home.
What Else Can I Do with a TV Sound Bar?
By opting for a higher quality sound bar, albeit a more expensive one as well, you can use it as an audio streaming solution for your home. For example, you can stick with a single sound bar that produces 3.0 sound and add a subwoofer for 3.1 sound, or add a subwoofer and two other speakers for full 5.1 surround sound. So instead of getting three separate speakers for the initial 3.0 sound, you can replace them with a single sound bar, resulting in an overall cheaper setup with more than comparable sound.
Choosing a sound bar like those of Denon also allows you to connect it with other speakers around your house for multi room sound, something that comes in handy for parties or similar gatherings. You can either coordinate audio throughout your home for synchronized sound, or play different songs in different rooms to create varying moods.
It’s Time to Get a Sound Bar
To conclude, you have a couple of options when it comes to improving your TV viewing experience. From worst to best, you have your regular TV speakers that point the audio away from you, cheap sound bars that send the audio your way, but sacrifice quality for price, and finally you have high quality sound bars that produce crystal clear sound and also function as an audio streaming solution for your home.