There’s no doubt about it, the technology in TV displays has gotten incredibly advanced in recent years. You can now purchase a flat-screen panel with darker blacks and the most vibrant color than ever before, like the new Sony OLED (on display at Century!). Oh and it’s as thin as your fingertip! But what type of quality speaker do you think you can get that’s merely the size of your fingertip?
As TVs have gotten thinner, so have the drivers for the speakers. Plus, the speakers usually point sideways or downward, reducing sound quality even more. Have you ever had to playback a scene because you couldn’t hear the dialog? Or do you wish you had surround sound to get that theater-like feel on movie night? Your TV may be crystal clear but those tiny speakers faced in the wrong direction aren’t able to reproduce dialog, much less provide convincing explosions or the car chases that captivate us viewers. You’ve invested a lot in your TV – don’t sacrifice the whole experience with substandard speakers.
A soundbar is a wide, (vertically) short, all-in-one speaker system that provides high-quality sound without taking up as much space or expense as a full home theater setup. A soundbar usually contains two or more speakers and delivers stereo or surround sound. While your TV’s brand may manufacture a soundbar that aesthetically matches your TV, it’s usually best to choose a model from a dedicated audio company, such as GoldenEar, Sonos, or Paradigm.
Hear The Dialog
There is nothing worse than missing an important line that impacts the rest of the movie. With TV speakers, a common phrase “Wait, what’d he say?” later becomes “Wait, what’s going on?!” You can either read subtitles the whole time, playback the scene, or move on hoping it wasn’t important. Or you could get a soundbar and actually enjoy the movie, the first time. With wide-set speakers faced toward you, a sound bar will naturally bring more volume and fullness to your TV’s sound so you can hear greater clarity, especially with human voices. Plus, most soundbars feature dialog enhancement features so character voices are more distinguished.
Enjoy Consistent Volume
We’ve all been there before. You adjust the TV volume to hear Neytiri’s line when suddenly a battle breaks out between Humans & Na’vi people, and your TV speakers seem like they’re about to blow up. Once again you have to rush to turn the volume down before your speakers (seemingly) burst into tiny little pieces or your kids wake up from the sudden volume shift. As opposed to your TV speakers, soundbars use volume leveling technology to ensure dialog and sound effects are both clear while remaining at the same level.
Simulate Surround Sound
While a multi-speaker system setup is ideal for the ultimate theater experience, not everyone has the room (or budget) for it. Instead, multi-channel soundbars contain five or seven audio channels with multiple angled discrete drivers to produce a three-dimensional effect. You can also create realistic surround sound by intentionally placing reflective pieces throughout your room so the sounds can bounce off them, tricking your ears into believing there are speakers all around you.
Use As A Music Player
Many newer soundbars have built-in Bluetooth so you can easily stream music from your phone, tablet, or computer. Some soundbars even have Wi-Fi capability so you can stream music straight from online. If your soundbar has a USB input, you can load music from a thumb drive or your phone and leave it plugged in to listen to music anytime.
It’s Worth It
Soundbars are definitely better than your TV speakers. They are affordable, face forward, enhance dialog, provide even volume, create stereo or surround sound, and double as a music player. Soundbars are an excellent alternative in place or with your theater system setup.
Want to explore the options for a soundbar for your home? Come into the Century Stereo showroom to compare brands and work with a consultant to get the best soundbar for your budget.