Things to Consider When Buying a Soundbar
Not that long ago, all movie aficionados dreamed of a surround sound system. Nowadays, more and more people are turning their heads to a soundbar instead, due to its compact size and lower price. It's important to bear in mind that a soundbar is technically meant to serve as support to floorspeaker set and subwoofer, rather than a standalone item. If you're looking for a cinema level quality, a soundbar will not cut it. However, if you're on a budget, or if you're looking for that system support, there's a list of things you need to think about before you can pick the right model.
1
How much power do you need?
Usually, the best way to check the sound of a soundbar would be to test it right in the store. However, as most of the shopping is now done online, that is rarely an option. What you can do instead is look for a soundbar that has at least 80-100 Watts (not including the subwoofer) if you have a medium-sized room. If it's less powerful, the sound will be distorted on higher volumes.
2
Do you want an active or a passive soundbar?
An active soundbar has a built-in amplifier and connects directly to your TV while taking up less space. It's also a good choice if you want to avoid all the hassle that comes from dealing with an amplifier and the additional cables that come with it. On the other hand, a passive soundbar requires a separate receiver. However, if you go with this option, you'll get to enjoy clearer, higher quality sound.
3
What kind of interfaces do you need?
A lot of modern soundbars are equipped with several interfaces that allow you to widen the range of usage of this device. Depending on which gadgets you want to connect to it, search for options that include a disk drive or a USB port in addition to an HDMI port that is dedicated to your TV and 3.5mm audio cable jack.
4
Do you want to go wireless?
If you've grown tired of having to deal with several cables and are searching for a smaller, tidier option, consider buying a wireless soundbar instead. Bluetooth technology will allow you to connect your smartphone to be able to play music, while your Wi-Fi can be used to connect the soundbar to the TV and entertainment center, rather than an HDMI cable. Bear in mind that soundwaves tend to get compressed over wireless connections, so if you are a true audiophile, wired is always the way to go.
5
How much does it cost?
The sad reality is that the price of an item doesn't always reflect the quality of the device itself. It often turns out that you've paid for the brand and packaging, instead of getting a superior model. Thus, instead of going for the most expensive option, make sure that you are basing your decision on the actual characteristics of the soundbar, regardless of the brand of your TV or entertainment system. A high quality soundbar will have sufficient connection options to be able to work across brands.
Conclusion
Having a high quality sound system at home can help you enjoy a movie or a song the way that it was meant to be enjoyed - as if it were playing live right in front of you. Pretty much every speaker is an upgrade from the built-in speakers in your TV, but for true high quality sound, it's essential to approach the process of choosing you sound system with care. Your ears will forever be in your debt.

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