While it is quite difficult to enhance the video quality of a television, the audio quality can be enhanced by using various gadgets. One of these is the soundbar. Soundbars can be used to boost the overall audio experience of a television. It is a long bar with speakers that can be paired with a television. These gadgets are easy to pair, use and require less space compared to traditional home theatre systems. If you are planning to buy a soundbar for your home, here are a few things that you should keep in mind.
First things first: Identify if you need a soundbar or soundbase
Soundbar: A soundbar is a narrow bar that can be mounted on a wall or it can be placed on a shelf in front, above or below your television. Few soundbars are even designed in a way that they can fit in between the TV stands. Soundbars usually come packaged with subwoofers that can be placed in the room to enhance the listening experience.
Soundbase: If you do not have a place to mount a soundbar, you can buy a soundbase. A soundbase is placed underneath the television but make sure the device is strong enough to support the weight of the TV. As a soundbase is bigger in size when compared to a soundbar, most of them come with built-in subwoofers. Users can still connect multiple speakers and subwoofers with them.
Check if it offers surround sound
Soundbars work best when connected with multiple speakers and channels. The device can assign the speaker to a particular channel and when these speakers are placed around the room, the soundbar delivers an immersive surround sound experience. While buying a soundbar, you should check the number of channels and subwoofers that it can support. The number of channels and subwoofer is directly proportional to the overall sound quality.
Go through the connectivity options it offers
Before finalising on a soundbar, you should make sure that it has the connectivity options to pair with your TV or other gadgets such a set-top box, DVD player, Blu-ray player, media player, gaming consoles and others. If the soundbar is connected to a TV through an HDMI cable, you can connect any other devices to the TV and the sound will be played through the soundbar. If you want to pair the various devices directly with a soundbar, you need multiple ports such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Optical, HDMI, Aux and more.
When it comes to connectivity, soundbars have two major categories – Active soundbars and Passive soundbars.
Passive soundbars: Passive soundbars are devices that do not have a built-in amplifier so they need to be paired with an external amplifier or a home theatre receiver. A passive soundbar usually costs less because it lacks connectivity options as the other devices are paired with the main amplifier. But the overall setup of a passive soundbar can be quite expensive.
Active soundbars: Active soundbars feature an in-built amplifier and can be paired directly with a television or any other gadget. These are usually more costly than the passive soundbars but they give full value for money.
How the soundbar can be controlled
You should always look at the options available to control a soundbar. Most of the soundbars that are sold in the market today come with a separate remote control. You can also program most TV and cable remotes to control your soundbar. There are also soundbars from various brands that can be controlled through a dedicated smartphone application. A few soundbars can also be controlled through various voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.. You should keep your preferred control options in mind before buying a soundbar.
If you are planning to buy a soundbar for your home, here are a few options that you can consider:-
Sony HT-S20R 400 Watt Real 5.1 Channel Wireless Bluetooth Soundbar
Sony HT-S20R is a 5,1 channel wireless Bluetooth soundbar. It is equipped with Surround Sound technology and comes with Dolby Digital support. The soundbar can deliver an audio output of 400watt and comes with HDMI Arc and optical connectivity.
JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass, Dolby Digital Soundbar
JBL Bar 2.1 soundbar comes with 300-watt max output power. It delivers Surround Sound from a 2.1 Channel Soundbar with a wireless subwoofer. The device offers HDMI ARC and Optical cable connectivity.
Infinity (JBL) Sonic B200WL soundbar
The Infinity (JBL) Sonic B200WL soundbar is a 2.1 channel system which also includes a wireless subwoofer. It can give a maximum output of 160 watts. The connectivity options are Bluetooth, optical Input, USB and AUX cable.
F&D E200 Soundbar Speaker System
The F&D E200 Soundbar is a 2.0 channel soundbar with a power output of 3W. The soundbar is not very loud considering the power output but it has a balanced sound output. The connectivity options are USB and a 3.5mm audio jack. It has got an LED on the side of the volume knob.
Zebronics Zeb-Juke Bar 5
The Zebronics Zeb-Juke Bar 5 comprises a 2.1 channel setup in which there is a 5-inch subwoofer. It has a total power output of 45 watts. The soundbar comes with an LED display.