Stereocheck Reviews:
How to buy a soundbar in 2024
How to buy a soundbar in 2024
How to buy a soundbar in 2024

Guide to purchasing the perfect soundbar in 2024

Soundbars provide a practical solution for improving the sound quality of your home theater without the hassle of having multiple speakers taking up space. Yet, finding the right spot for the soundbar can be challenging, as it may need to be placed near the TV, which could clash with limited space or design preferences. This guide aims to help you choose the appropriate size and location for your soundbar.

Soundbar with subwoofer
Soundbar with subwoofer

Brief Overview

A soundbar is essentially a long speaker containing multiple drivers designed to produce a broad range of sounds and simulate surround sound through sound reflection. The choice of a soundbar involves weighing its benefits against potential downsides, detailed further in our comprehensive analysis on soundbar pros and cons. Soundbars vary in size, from discreet models that blend into your TV setup to larger units capable of rivaling the output of an orchestra. While smaller soundbars can be easily concealed, they often lack the sound depth provided by larger models.

Size Matters

There’s no strict rule for matching a soundbar’s width with your TV, but aesthetically, it’s common to choose a soundbar whose width doesn’t drastically deviate from that of the TV. Manufacturers sometimes offer slim soundbars designed to act as a base for the TV, though these models are becoming less common.

The size of the soundbar matters
The size of the soundbar matters

An informal guideline suggests the soundbar should be within 5 to 15 inches narrower than the TV’s diagonal. Larger TVs might limit your options, as soundbars exceeding 60 inches in width are rare.

Sound Quality and Technology

Bigger soundbars can house more diverse speaker types, enhancing sound range, especially in bass. Yet, size alone doesn’t guarantee superior sound quality. The inclusion of technologies like Dolby Atmos has expanded soundbar capabilities, offering immersive, 360-degree audio experiences, albeit with limitations compared to traditional multi-speaker setups.

Subwoofers and Space Considerations

Choosing a soundbar might also mean deciding on additional components like a subwoofer, which requires thoughtful placement due to its impact on sound perception. The location of both the soundbar and the subwoofer is crucial for an optimal listening experience.

Installation Challenges

Many opt to mount the soundbar on the wall beneath the TV for optimal sound projection. However, this and other placement strategies, like positioning above the TV or within a TV cabinet, come with their own set of challenges, including potential obstruction of the TV screen or remote sensor.

Be sure to check the size specifications before buying a soundbar
Be sure to check the size specifications before buying a soundbar

Innovative Solutions

To overcome these issues, creative solutions like mounting the TV above the soundbar or using infrared extenders can be considered. Adjustments to furniture or custom stands may also be necessary for ideal placement.

Conclusion

When integrating a soundbar into your home entertainment setup, consider the size, sound quality, and placement carefully. While a soundbar significantly enhances audio experiences, it cannot fully replicate the immersion of a complete surround sound system. However, with thoughtful selection and placement, a soundbar can substantially improve your viewing and listening experience.

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