Viral Audio – What You Need To Know About Sound Bars
As our TVs have become increasingly slimmer, their audio output has diminished correspondingly with the size of their chassis’. Where once the manufacturers would try and coax you into buying a 5.1 system, to deal with the shortfall in sound, most of their efforts are now concentrated at selling you packages with greater convenience and less unsightly wires to conceal.
True multichannel audio is now seen as the preserve of the enthusiast and the rise of the soundbar or, more recently, the speaker base goes on relentlessly. A major benefit of the soundbar is that it presents a swift and virtually effortless upgrade to your TV’s audio, requiring virtually no specialist knowledge.
Sound bars are an excellent compromise between shelling out for an expensive surround-sound system and settling for the tinny sound from your TV’s built-in speakers.
A sound bar is a speaker enclosure that’s designed to sit in front of (or underneath) your TV. If your TV is a wall-hanger, many sound bars come with mounting kits so you can hang the speaker cabinet right below it. Virtually every audio company—and just about every TV manufacturer—offers one these days.
Despite the “sound bar” name, they actually come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. Prices vary wildly from a couple of South African Rands (ZAR) to the thousands, as do the features they offer: faux surround, real surround, HDMI inputs, digital and analog audio inputs, USB ports, Bluetooth support, subwoofers, and more.
Choosing exactly the right one for your needs isn’t a no brainer and it does require a lot of research in order to find the best solution for your home audio requirements.
Make sure you know how much room you have for your sound bar. This is super important if your TV is in an enclosure; otherwise, it’s simply a matter of aesthetics. A sound bar that’s narrower than your TV is one thing, but one that sticks out beyond the TV’s bezel will look odd.
If you care more about looks than about sound, stick with a sound bar that’s made by the same company that built your TV. Samsung’s HW-H7500/ZA sound bar, for example, is designed specifically to match the flow of its curved TVs.
This is a good solution if you want your audio solution to be heard and not seen; just bear in mind that TV builders don’t always produce the best audio products.
If you settle on the conventional sound bar form factor over the pedestal type, you should consider buying one that comes with a subwoofer (unless the sound bar has one built in). The small speakers that can fit inside a sound bar just aren’t capable of reproducing the low-frequency effects in modern movie soundtracks that give you that rumble and shake feel you get in the movie theater.
Now this will mean you’ll need to accommodate what could be a large, boxy, and somewhat conventional-looking speaker, but you won’t regret adding a subwoofer to your audio configuration.
And since low-frequency effects are non-directional—meaning it will be difficult for your ear to locate where the bass is coming from you can plop a subwoofer behind a plant or even behind a piece of furniture. You’ll need an AC cord to power it, but most subs make wireless connections to the sound bar.
If you’re a considerate apartment dweller (headphones anyone?) or just don’t like sub woofers, you can often increase the amount of bass produced by a conventional sound bar by “coupling” it with a denser object, such as a wood cabinet.
Remember the first time you heard a tuning fork placed against a wall or other solid object? Same deal, except with low-frequencies.
If you see a sound bar touting its surround-sound capabilities, it’s likely simulated surround. Less-expensive speakers use psychoacoustic techniques designed to fool your brain into hearing things that aren’t actually present in the audio stream.
Fire up Windows Media Player and turn on SRS Wow and TruBass to see what we mean. Faux surround can add a sense of stereo depth or spaciousness, but the quality varies between brands and don’t for a second think that it will sound like true surround.
Viral Audio is South Africa’s top online shop that specialises in high end home audio systems and audio visual products. Based in Pretoria, the company enables end consumers to safely shop online in addition to free delivery of all products purchased.
While most worry about the implications of safety when it comes to shopping online, some consumers are under the impression that if they don’t have a credit card, they are unable to shop online even though many websites offer alternative forms of payment.
At Viral Audio we offer the best alternative methods of payment that will undoubtedly suit any consumer of quality home audio products.
All sound bars purchased from Viral Audio are transported and delivered for free. Viral Audio’s mission is to exceed your expectations in product matching and service delivery.
Orders made with us are fulfilled efficiently and securely and our customers are always happy about the services we offer by constantly placing orders one after the other.