Can’t fully enjoy your Netflix binge watching shows with all the warbling noise coming from your flat-screen TV? When it comes to getting better sound for TV viewing, the soundbar option is a definite favorite. Sound bars save space, reduce speaker and wire clutter, and are less a hassle to set up than a full-on home theater audio system. A soundbar is an exciting entertainment option that provides an immersive viewing and listening experience. In this guide you will learn about all the different types of home audio systems including sound bars, stereo speakers, and full-blown, amped-up, surround speakers. Find out which one best suits your needs.
The sound bar is the most convenient and popular way to improve sound quality beyond your TV’s build-in speakers. It only usually involves plugging in just a single cable. There are three broad types of a sound bar: single sound bar, sound bar with wireless subwoofer and separate surround speakers, and pedestal sound bar or sound base. Sound bars are better for wall-mounted TVs and sound bases are better suited for housing smaller TVs. Between sound bars and sound bases – sound bars are the most popular option for your TV.
Putting together your own system with an AV receiver and surround-sound speaker will sound better than a sound bar. A standout option of AV receivers is one that features 7.1 channels and six HDMI inputs, as well as packed with wireless connectivity, including built-in WiFi, Chromecast, Bluetooth and Airplay. If you don’t need all the extra features there are more affordable options with less features. AV receivers can be complex, intimidating devices, but choosing one doesn’t have to be.
Speakers come down to sound quality and design. Home audio has usually been known to be excessively expensive – it’s not uncommon for a pair of speakers to cost $2,000 or more. But as expensive as they can be, good speakers for sound quality will last you a decade. Whatever you do, don’t spend extra money on cables. There’s no difference between a cable that costs $5 and one that costs $500. The same can be said for speaker cables. Invest in a set of banana plugs that can also help make connections easier.
A solid two-channel system, plus a subwoofer, can be surprisingly effective with movies and music, even without the immersive elements of rear speakers. The main benefit is a simpler system that can sound better than a more elaborate one for the same price. No need to run wires to the back of your living room or positioning a center channel speaker. Since you’ll be buying two speakers instead of five, you’ll have two killer front speakers, rather than five average ones. Another benefit to going stereo is you can opt for a compact integrated amplifier, rather than a full-size AV receiver.
Although home-theater-in-a-box systems used to be the go-to option for home audio, this option is no longer recommended. You get the downside of multiple speakers and tangles of wires, but you don’t get better sound with a good sound bar. Also, unlike AV receivers and speakers, an HTIB isn’t upgradable. A full-size system or settling for a good-enough sound bar would be the best options for home audio.
A sound bar that I would highly recommend at an affordable price is the Sonos Playbar. This sound bar not only offers theater quality sound, but it also expands with you. You can easily add more speakers to fill every room with sound. It’s powerful speaker array fills any size room with theater quality sound. With nine amplified speaker drivers – six mid range and three tweeters, Playbar replaces your TV’s built-in speakers with deep, rumbling lows, crystal clear dialogue, and immersive waves of sound. You can even connect your Sonos Playbar to your Amazon Echo. Easily connect Sonos speakers in different rooms over WiFi to create a home sound system that brings every room and everyone together.