The Ultimate Guide to Enhancing Your Home Audio Experience With Soundbars

As a tight-knit family of four, I can't even recall the number of times we've gathered around the TV; Saturday nights were spent huddled around the TV to try and catch the big game.

But when our trusty TV sound started to falter and come out all muffled, we knew we needed to upgrade the speakers. We dashed out and got ourselves a soundbar.

With crisp highs and lows coupled with deep bass, the audio quality on our TV speakers is better than ever. All balance has been restored and we've got back to having movie nights—fuss-free.

If this sounds at all like what you might be going through or have experienced, keep reading!


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Are Soundbars worth it?

There’s been much talk about best soundbars, budget soundbars, and everything in between. If you’re looking for immersive sound formats, soundbars provide a convenient and effective way to upgrade your home audio experience. It offers cinematic sound quality over standard speakers, with most models featuring stereo-quality or higher fidelity sound.

Soundbars also look slick and take up very little space being able to fit neatly into tight spaces whilst still proving to be aesthetically pleasing. This makes them an exceptional TV stand accessory for apartments that might be a tight squeeze or if you’re the type of person that likes wireless, smart speakers that give audio inputs that result in great sound. Additionally, most models come with many features that allow remote control navigation, and multiple audio channels, enabling you to control spatial audio. You essentially get all the bells and whistles that come with a set of smart speakers—without having to install additional hardware.

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos technology helps bring a cinematic experience into your living room by using multiple speakers arranged in thoughtful positions around the room; including overhead and rear speakers to create a surround sound system experience.

If you’re looking for the best Atmos soundbar, then you must consider checking out the Sonos Arc. This offers state-of-the-art audio with 11 built-in speakers, you get to experience realistic, enhanced audio—some of the best Dolby audio has to offer. You also get Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound technology with its enhanced audio return channels, and HDMI eARC support which is a huge advantage when transmitting high-quality sound modes from your TV to other devices, it also works with AirPlay2 and supports voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Dolby atmos soundbars provide a sleek design and crystal-clear playback, the Sonos Arc is easily one of the best Dolby atmos soundbar speakers available on the market today.

You can take a look at this video to learn more about HDMI inputs like an enhanced audio return channel (eARC) and a regular HDMI arc port.

A close contender is the Bose Smart Soundbar is a great option for those who want a stylish and affordable soundbar, with tried and true immersive, quality sound. It just offers a different set of features aimed at a whole other audience. All in all, it just doesn’t offer the same features or performance as the Sonos speakers.

The Sonos Arc not only utilizes Dolby Atmos 3D technology and 11 built-in speakers to create immersive audio formats for listeners to experience, but it also offers superior volume output, crystal clear playback, AirPlay2 support, and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It quite literally puts the ‘smart’ in smart speaker.

The short of it is that if you’re looking for the best soundbar to bring your home theater system to life, which checks all the makings of a great surround system, then look no further than the Sonos Arc!

This leads us to the differences between Atmos and DTS:X.

Dolby Atmos vs DTS:X

There are a few things to get into when debating between Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

1. With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, you can achieve a highly realistic audio experience, as if you’re right there in the throws of all the action. Imagine a car zooming by, whispers, and footsteps approaching; with this level of simulated surround sound, you’ll hear each of these without the slightest hindrance. These are achieved with surround speakers designed to simulate a theater environment, with sound coming from all directions to create an incredibly immersive atmosphere. With the right setup of speakers and woofers, sounds can come from above and below as well as the sides.

2. Dolby Atmos uses dedicated surround speakers, up to 11 to create a more realistic soundscape, while DTS:X can be used with as few as 5 channels making for a truly captivating cinematic experience

3. Dolby Atmos can be used to stream music and is supported by major streaming services such as Spotify Connect, Netflix, and Disney+, while DTS:X is not currently supported on these platforms.

4. With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, sounds are precisely placed within the room to create a true “sound around you” experience for movies and shows alike. Additionally, you haven’t got any extra hardware to think about in terms of speaker layout, you could arrange your home theatre system to your liking.

5. Both formats offer enhanced bass performance for thunderous explosions and deep rumbles, and heavy bass, creating a heightened sense of realism and immersion whether it be watching action-packed content on your audio system or listening to music.

You’ll have the pleasure of deciphering each melody that makes up a bed of music as a whole, making going on Spotify connect a whole lot more worth it. Not only that, but it can extend into other spheres like gaming, given its excellent bounce sound you’ll be greeted from strategic angles within your device, albeit with a little clever processing. This way, you’ll be able to hear your opponent before seeing them, which is a huge leg up as far as competitive gaming goes.

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So which one is for you?

Top 3 best soundbars in 2023

If you’re a movie and music lover, or even an audio enthusiast looking for amazing wireless surround speakers, in your home entertainment setup, the top 3 best soundbar options of 2023 you can consider are The LG SN11RG 7.1.4-Channel Soundbar, Denon HEOS HomeCinema HS2 Soundbar, and the Sonos Arc. These are all premier, affordable soundbars that offer excellent performance and features to create an immersive yet flexible surround sound experience.

The LG SN11RG provides an unbeatable 7.1.4-channel audio setup, with 11 built-in speakers, WiSA wireless surround technology, Google Assistant & Alexa voice compatibility, Hi-Res Audio playback, 4K ultra HD passthrough, and Bluetooth support for streaming from compatible devices providing exemplary spatial audio experience, making engaging in a TV show or movie all the more enjoyable.

The Denon HEOS Home Cinema HS2 is one of the best soundbar options out there, as it delivers impressive 5.1 channel audio with six independent drivers and advanced DSP processing with support for Dolby Atmos & DTS: X formats for cinematic film sounds. The Denon home sound bar also offers easy integration with other HEOS-compatible products such as the HEOS Bar or AVRs for additional listening options including 2-channel stereo mode or multiroom streaming audio content. Its rich optical audio inputs as well as optical digital audio make receiving high-resolution sound, upwards of 8K a cakewalk.

Finally, the Sonos Arc is a great choice if you’re looking to create a perfect home theatre atmosphere with its powerful virtualized 3D Dolby Atmos Technology. This falls under the preview of one of the best soundbars, given its trademark Dolby atmos sound featuring 11 dedicated speakers delivering stunningly clear sound up to 115 dB volume levels without any distortion whatsoever. It supports AirPlay2 and voice control via Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant. It’s also got touch controls and remote control syncing with your TV to make sure that your viewing and listening experience is an awesome one. To complete your ultimate media room setup, pair it with the Sonos Subwoofer & Two Play:3/One SL speakers.

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Soundbar with woofer

Have you ever dreamt of having the perfect movie theater experience in your own home with a soundbar and woofer setup? well, that dream can become a reality by adding a woofer to your soundbar system, you can get amazing clarity and power. In terms of volume as well as rich, deep bass and superior audio processing that just can’t be achieved without a woofer. You will lack the kind of depth only this duo can provide and trust us, once you hear it, you can’t go without.

This dynamic set-up delivers music with strong basslines, and clarity that offers an extra level of intensity that is sure to leave you and your friends mesmerized long after the show’s over.

Plus, a woofer allows for true-to-life, surround sound effects to be felt in all directions, giving you the ultimate cinematic experience right in the comfort of your own home.

So if you’d like your music system to support surround sound, and if you’re the type of person that genuinely enjoys stepping into the scene, you’ll definitely not be disappointed.

Wireless subwoofer

Installing a wireless subwoofer to your home entertainment system can not only help you avoid getting all tangled up in them but also add a sleek and modern look to your drawing room.

Wireless subwoofers get connected directly to the soundbar instead of a separate set of speakers, providing exceptional sound, without the delay and clearer and deeper sound without having an excess of cables draped around the room. This elevates the decor in any given room and keeps it looking tidy, giving it a slick and elegant appearance.

A wireless subwoofer is a great choice for those who want to upgrade their audio experience while still keeping their space looking good. Or those who are perhaps renting a space and moving around quite often, a wireless subwoofer will be a quality-of-life improvement without the added stress of having to pack away several wires, every time you might need to be on the move. It’s truly made for the modern and fast-paced lifestyle most of us are inclined towards.

Now that we have a fair bit of knowledge about Soundbars, let’s have a quick look at the channels they have to offer.

Sound bar channels

Soundbars are often equipped with a number of channels. Stereo (L/R), three-channel, five-channel, seven-channel, and eleven-channel are the most common channels.

A stereo system has two main channels, whereas a three-channel system has sound in the left, center, and right speakers. For an immersive audio experience, five channels provide left, center, and right speakers, as well as left and right surround channels.

Seven and eleven-channel soundbars can improve audio quality by adding additional rear surround sound speakers or a subwoofer to the arrangement. Some soundbars may additionally have unique features like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X for a more cinematic virtual surround sound experience.

What’s the difference between a 2.1 and 3.1 sound bar?

The key difference between a 2.1 and 3.1 soundbar is the number of speakers included in each setup.

A 2.1 soundbar includes two full-range speakers and a built-in subwoofer, while a 3.1 soundbar adds an additional center channel speaker the set-up. This extra speaker can help enhance clarity and basslines whilst making your home theatre experience more captivating and immersive. The two setups also differ in terms of power output, with 3.1 soundbars providing up to 25% more power than their 2.1 counterparts due to the addition of the center channel speaker.

Soundbar for TV vs Soundbar for PC

Soundbar for TV vs Soundbar for PC

Here are five main differences between a soundbar for TV and one for PC:

1. Connectivity: Soundbars for TV typically come with an HDMI input cable that allows easy connection to a television, while soundbars for PC often feature Bluetooth and USB connectivity, allowing you to connect wirelessly. This tends to work exceptionally well for a PC setup as there’s almost no hassle around having to deal with additional wires.

For example, by taking advantage of the invention of Bluetooth, you can wirelessly connect your soundbar to your PC or other device. Additionally, understanding what receivers are used for can help you make the most of your soundbar experience.

Let’s go to the next one.

2. Setup and compatibility: TV soundbars are designed to be simple and straightforward, plugging straight into the television without any need for extra setup or configuration. The configuration of these is made up of multiple speakers in the position of a bar, hence its name. This helps deliver a clear-sounding, lifelike, immersive audio output. On the other hand, soundbars for PCs require more troubleshooting and compatibility checks as they may need additional drivers to work properly.

3. Audio features: Soundbars for TVs often come with several pre-set audio modes like movie, music, cinematic, or standard mode which provide optimized listening experiences tailored towards particular genres or media types, depending on what you’re consuming. Conversely, soundbars for PCs usually offer fewer audio settings and configurations most likely given that PC users have streamlined preferences tailored to their usage which may vary from person to person.

4. Size and design: Soundbars marketed towards televisions tend to be much larger than their PC counterparts which cater to a more compact soundbar; this is likely due to the fact that larger speakers produce richer audio quality when used in a home theater setting. Additionally, their designs are often more centered around blending into your TV stand setup or appearing in line with the home decor, as a result, they’re slicker and subtly designed to give equal parts functionality as well as aesthetics.

5. Price: Ultimately, the cost is likely the biggest difference between these two types of soundbars; depending on your budget, PC versions are usually much more affordable and there are many budget soundbars on the market that are significantly easier to get a hold of than those designed specifically for TVs.

For a soundbar for TV, consider the Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar. For a PC, consider the Logitech Z906 Surround Sound Speaker System. While these offer different features, you can still get a utilization of satellite speakers out of them, depending on your specific usage.

Before you make an investment in a soundbar to transform your home theatre experience, don’t forget to double-check that it’s compatible with your TV, There’s nothing worse than purchasing a device only to find out that you need adapters and converters to make it work. To avoid such a grave and tedious error, make sure your TV and soundbar have all the right connections and are compatible.

Frequently Asked Questions : Soundbar

Can you use any sound bar on any TV?

To get the best audio experience, make sure your TV and soundbar have compatible connections. If not, you may need adapters or converters for a successful connection.

What are some common soundbar terms?

There are a few terms associated with soundbars that may be helpful to understand before you make an investment in one. The most common are: audio format, frequency response, output power, THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), signal-to-noise ratio, and HDMI inputs/outputs.

How do I choose the right soundbar for my home?

Choosing the right soundbar for your home can be an overwhelming task. Here are a few key things to consider when selecting the perfect soundbar for your space:
-Size and Design – Be sure to get one that fits your budget, lifestyle, usage preferences and of course, your home decor style.
-Connection Options – Look for HDMI inputs/outputs, Bluetooth compatibility, and optical input capabilities.
-Sound Quality – Check the frequency response, signal-to-noise ratio, THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), output power, and audio formats supported.
-Additional Features – Consider adding extras like voice control or gaming modes.

What are the benefits of using a soundbar?

A soundbar can provide a range of benefits for your home entertainment setup. Some of the most common advantages include:
-Improved sound quality compared to traditional stereo speakers
-Enhancing the overall audio experience, making it captivating, and immersive given its satellite speaker features that provide a robust surround sound system
-Enhanced surround sound capabilities as mentioned above
-Easy installation and setup
-Affordable, budget soundbar options available compared to other audio equipment, making getting your hands on a quality product all the more accessible.

Will a sound bar work on a non smart TV?

If you’re looking to get the most out of your non-smart TV, a soundbar is an excellent option. Connection is easy and hassle free – simply use either an optical audio cable, ARC or HDMI cable from your soundbar to the television for improved sound quality with access to all its features. For those wanting something extra special in terms of performance however, switching over to streaming speakers connected via HDMI may be worth considering!

Now It’s Your Turn

You know that with a soundbar, you can enjoy a better, improved, and immersive surround sound experience, enhanced spatial audio capabilities, and an easy installation process.

We want to know your thoughts and experiences, let us know in the comments section which of these benefits stood out to you the most and what you look for when investing in a soundbar. As always, we love getting a dialogue going so please sound off below.

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