TV Sound Bar Buying Guide

The flat panel televisions of today have beautiful picture displays, but, often, their sound quality is quite poor. There simply isn't room in the flat body of these televisions to add quality sound systems. One solution to this dilemma is to add a television sound bar to your television to get improved sound quality.

Types of Sound Bars

Traditional Sound Bars are long, thin speakers that sit on the TV stand underneathor in front of your television. These sound bars are often paired with wireless subwoofers to produce deep bass sounds. It can be challenging to find a place to put the subwoofers, but because of their design, they can be placed almost anywhere, even hidden behind a plant. When looking at this type of sound bar, you will need to be sure that it is not longer than the television or the television stand. The biggest disadvantage to this type of sound bar is that some are just tall enough to block the sensors for the remote control rendering it unusable. While finding the right size for your set up can be a challenge, some television manufacturers make sound bars that pair perfectly with their televisions.. A potential drawback to these sound bars is that television manufacturers do not tend to be the best at producing audio equipment. Audio product manufacturers often produce better quality sound bars.

Wall mounted sound bars are similar to the traditional sound bars, but they are typically used for wall mounted television sets. These often look well-paired and sleek, however hiding the wires can be a challenge with this type of sound bar. Different types of brackets are available and can help deal with these issues.

Pedestal sound bars are speakers that actually sit under your television. They look like they are a part of your television instead of a separate item. Their sleek design makes them popular with those who find the decor of their room to be an important feature. The biggest disadvantage to this type of sound bar is its lack of bass tones. It does not have a subwoofer to produce the deep sounds associated with this type of product.

Pay attention to

Depending on the sound bar you choose, sound quality can be very different. If you are looking for a surround sound type of experience, you should look for a sound bar that is multi-channel, typically five to seven channels. Different sound types will emerge from different channels, and this will produce a three-dimensional sound effect. Some sound bars will even be able to bounce sounds off of your walls to make your ears believe that you are hearing sounds from speakers all around you. However, if price is a big factor in your buying choice, you need to know that if you are only using the sound bar to listen to your television, then a lower end model will likely suffice.

A sound bar that is Bluetooth enabled will allow you to wirelessly connect your phone, tablet or computer, so you can listen to your favorite music through the sound bar. In addition, some even have a USB port so that you can load music onto a thumb drive and listen to your music from that. And, if you have CDs, you can listen to them through your connected Blu-Ray player.

Audio and television manufacturers both make sound bars. If you are looking for style over sound, you may want to choose a sound bar that is made by the same manufacture as your television. You will get adequate sound and an aesthetically pleasing d?©cor. For even better sound quality, however, choose a sound bar that is made by an audio company such as Bose. They are well known for quality sound systems including sound bars.

Consider whether the sound bar has a subwoofer. Most traditional sound bars have wireless subwoofers to produce the low bass sounds while pedestal sound bars often lack this type of deep sound. Still, some of the pedestal sound bars do produce adequate sounds, depending on your tastes and needs.

Sound bars come with different types of connectivity. They may have HDMI ports, TOSlinks, USB ports, and/or RCA ports. You will need to take into consideration the types of devices that you will want to plug into your sound bar. You may want to plug in a game console and a Blu Ray player, or you may want to plug in more devices. Be sure that the sound bar you choose can accommodate the number and type of devices that you are planning to use.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Bose has a variety of sound bars in the upper price ranges.

Boston Acoustics is a mid-priced audio manufacturer that is well-known for its speakers.

Harmon-Kardon manufactures sound bars and systems in the mid to upper end price ranges.

Insignia, the house brand of Best Buy, is marketed as a value product and sells sound bars with decent features at a reasonable price.

LG Electronics sells sound bars at many mass merchandise stores in the lower to mid-price point ranges.

Onkyo, which acquired Pioneer Audio sells sound bars and sound systems in the mid price range though some with more features rise to the upper ranges.

Panasonic is a major consumer brand that produces a wide variety of sound bars and systems that are competitively priced.

Polk Audio is well known for their speakers and offers sound bars in the mid to upper price ranges.

Samsung is a major electronics company that offers sound bars among many other products. They tend to be moderately priced though some can be expensive.

Sharp produces sound bars that complement the televisions they sell. They are in the middle price range.

Sony is a major consumer electronics brand that offers sound bars through all price ranges.

Toshiba offers sound bars to complement their televisions. The sound bars are value priced.

Vizio offers sound bars to both complement its televisions and for other brands. They are in the lower to middle price ranges.

ZVox pioneered the platform sound bar and sells a variety of sizes in the mid to upper price ranges.