Sound bars are the perfect marriage of the beloved stereo and the effective but complicated surround sound system. It’s a convenient option, that is not too heavy on the pocket either. Sound bars work great for all spaces and flow seamlessly with modern décor. It can be wall mounted, or be placed in front of the television. So yes, sound bars are your go-to option if you want to take your TV’s built-in speakers a notch higher.
However, before you take the plunge to buy a soundbar, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to tick off the list before you buy a sound bar.
1.Your Sound Bar Should Not Block Your TV Remote Sensors
Before you invest in a sound bar, measure the length, width and depth of your flat-panel TV. While a lot of sound bars can easily be wall-mounted right below a TV, a lot of them also require to be placed on the stand. This can get tricky as longer sound bars can end up blocking the TV’s remote-control sensor. So, you will need to stand up, and adjust your remote constantly if you want to change a channel, increase volume or perform any other function. That can be quite a task. Instead, check carefully where your TV’s remote sensor is and then make sure your sound bar is not of a height that it covers the remote sensor.
However, you want a higher sound quality and like the idea of a big sound bar, opt for one that can obliterate this problem. There are a few sound bars available in the market that have certain advanced controls that allows them to accept remote commands and transmit it to the TV behind it. And then of course, there are a few sound bars that are designed to sit below your TV in a way that they never block the remote sensors.
Take your pick informed about your placement and requirements.
2.Your Soundbar Must Have a Front-Panel Display
While many buyers did not attach a lot of importance to the front-panel display in a sound bar earlier, of late it is becoming increasingly important. True, you don’t need a lot of visual feedback from a soundbar, but to know what the volume your favorite song is playing in, or if you can still max it out in a dance party are perks you don’t want to let go. While there are sound bars with basic LEDs on the front, opt for higher and recent versions of sound bars that have proper front panel displays.
3. Bluetooth Connectivity in a Sound Bar is Must
Opt for a soundbar that comes with Bluetooth connectivity. Pairing your sound bar with your audio device is an easy process that can enhance your sound bar experience immensely. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to play your shows, songs, etc. straight off your smartphone or tablet. It will also enable you to stream music directly from your computer. Tech savvy or not, most of us will agree that this is a feature you don’t want to let go of. When you buy a soundbar, check this feature out.
4. A Sound Bar with a Remote is a Good Idea
Few sound bars come with their own remote, while few don’t. Always opt for the former. When you are using the TV remote to adjust your remoteless sound bar’s volume, the TV will receive the volume commands, and might show an onscreen message that flashes that the volume commands won’t work as you disabled the speakers. This happens because during the setup process, you will be asked to disable your TV’s internal speakers, so that you are not getting sound from both the TV and the sound bar.
This is not the case with every TV, but it happens with quite a few. To prevent this from happening to you, make sure you get a sound bar with a remote of its own.
5. Be Clear About Your Choice of Active and Passive Sound Bars
When you go shopping for a sound bar, you need to be very clear about the kind of sound bar you want, right from the beginning. Sound bars are either active or passive. Active soundbars are an all-in-one setup where all the components that process surround sound are included in one. Speakers, amplifiers come in-built with the sound bar. This makes the device extremely compact, and follows a simple plug and play connectivity. Opt for an active sound bar for hassle free installation and a great sound quality.
What are passive sound bars and why should one opt for these? For starters, they provide extremely high clarity in sound, and you gain more control to play around with various crossover settings and connecting it to more resources. On the downside, though, they require separate amplifier or receiver, which means your sound bar area will be a mesh of wires.
If it is primarily for personal use, we recommend, go for an active sound bar.
Finally, Look for the Following When You Buy a Sound bar
Check carefully to find a soundbar that produces the maximum ‘virtual surround’, which is basically high quality surround sound effects, has a cleaner setup and installation process, and has good connectivity options. And of course, soundbars come at a range of prices. Check out reliable price comparison websites like Idealo to get a good deal. While these are the absolute must you need to take care of while buying a soundbar, we suggest you do a little research yourself. Find out the best soundbars of 2016, added features in the latest models, most recognized manufacturers and more before making your purchase.
Korie Cantor moonlights as a freelance web designer. A tech-enthusiast and a fitness freak, she is always eager to share her expertise through her blogs. She is a travel enthusiast. Follow her @koriecantor