Soundbar or a Pair of Speakers?

Soundbar or a Pair of Speakers?
Soundbar or a Pair of Speakers?

Soundbar or a Pair of Speakers?
Sometimes technological advances applied to design have a price beyond the economic one. The trend for televisions to be increasingly flat and narrow in thickness makes it difficult for the audio to maintain the same levels of sound.

The soundbar system design addresses that problem in a compact, simple, and most affordable way. Without being bulky it can integrate well into the aesthetics of the television, allow a fidelity and volume that deliver a richer sound than that of the standard TV.

In addition, as often happens in this sector, they are in the market for increasingly cheaper prices since technological advances are unstoppable and constant renewal. The composition and layout of this audio plugin are usually common. An elongated shape that accommodates multiple individual speakers.

Although they do not reach the fidelity of the most advanced stereo systems made up of amplifiers and speakers, among their important ‘pros’ are the ease of configuration and installation and, of course, their smaller size.

It must be remembered that soundbar system design is known as ‘home cinema’ requires a more complex system both in the number of components and in installation. If the place is also small there is no doubt about the convenience of the bar.

Technological advances in soundbars for television have made it possible that, in those with the best features, the quality is very similar and even superior to the most basic home cinema. Their versatility is also remarkable since they can be used to listen to music from different devices.

What to Keep in Mind?

The Size

Although it may seem obvious, it is important to be clear about where the bar will be located before choosing a model. In this way, the size will adapt well to the site whether it is on the TV table, on its own stand, or hung on the wall.

The Power

Higher power does not always mean better quality. Sometimes it is even detrimental to her. First, you have to take into account, as mentioned, the square meters of the room where the television is located so as not to acquire a bar that we cannot take full advantage of.

The clarity of the sound and that it does not distort when it is raised are factors of great importance in this section.

In technical terms, in this type of apparatus, the power cap is less illustrative of its quality than the so-called RMS power (Root Mean Squared), which is the formula used to calculate the average that an amplifier can generate continuously and the loudspeaker can safely consume.

Number of Speakers

Variable between two and up to nine. That it has more does not always mean that it sounds better. A good stereo of two (the most basic with 2.0 and 2.1 systems) is more recommended than a mediocre one of seven.

A bar with 5 speakers is usually more than enough for movies to resemble surround cinema sound as far as a front unit goes, which, therefore, does not have rear speakers as standard.

This requires accessories that some brands sell (Samsung, for example, has the Surround kit that includes two rear wireless speakers). The greater the extension of the bar, the better the difference between the extreme bass and treble tones is appreciated.

Connection Options

Obviously, the generalization of wireless connectivity has also carried over to soundbars. Thus, Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology developed to share files between various devices are in common use.

Of course, the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connection is essential. It is the one that allows you to connect the different high definition devices you have (the most common example is a TV with your computer).

Through it, and with a single cable, the audio signal from the TV is sent to the bar. It is the simplest option to configure this amplifier. Basically, the process is to remove the sound from the TV, access the audio output control menu, and choose HDMI as output.

It is the advisable connection if the TV does not have an HDMI input since its introduction is earlier and older receivers have it (it was introduced in the 90s).

The Bluetooth wireless route has a great advantage as it removes the cables, but also a disadvantage that affects the quality of the sound.

It loses fidelity since the audio signal through this connection undergoes considerable compression and is reproduced at a lower bit rate than if it is done through cable. The bit rate is the speed in data transmission.

In any case, these objections are always subject to rapid technological advances that make the sound increasingly reliable also with these wireless connections.

With or without a Subwoofer?

The function of the subwoofer (or subwoofer) is twofold. On the one hand, eliminate distortion in frequencies that other speakers do not reach and, on the other, reproduce the sound stored in the audio tracks.

Its practical mission is that the bass is heard with more quality and, therefore, it is an effective complement to improve the quality, especially if what you most commonly see are series or movies.

Obviously, the soundbars that include this device in a separate unit are more expensive, but, in the long run, it will surely be worth it. The fact that a soundbar does not have a subwoofer is not synonymous with the fact that its purchase is not recommended.

Read more on Forbes Magazine


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