6 Oscar-winning movies that are better with a soundbar
Grab the popcorn, sit back, and let your home cinema tech take you on a journey.
05 May 2021
When you think of the best way to get stuck into a film, the first thing you likely think of is a big screen. After all, why watch a big budget epic on a display that can’t do it justice? But the same goes for the sound, too. That’s why we believe a great soundbar is an essential for any movie night – it’s like 4K for the ears.
There’s a lot of work that goes into every element of movie audio, from the stirring soundtrack, to the dialogue, to the subtle atmospherics that place you in the protagonist’s shoes. That’s before you even get to the way they’re mixed together. We’ve picked six movies that have won an Academy Award for Best Sound, that must be watched with a soundbar for the full experience.
You’re gonna need a bigger soundbar. Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic shark tale had some huge names behind the music and sound alone, including none other than movie score legend John Williams.
This movie is made for the home surround sound treatment. A theme tune that became the blueprint for all suspense music in film, some golden one-liners, and a soundscape that makes you really feel like you’re in the water, battling to escape a great white shark. Crank up the volume!
This 1997 epic romance is one of those films that grabs your attention right from the opening credits, and the sound plays a major role. The stirring soundtrack that captures Jack’s excitement to be on the voyage gives way to the rush of water and sheer sense of panic as the legendary cruise liner meets its fate.
At the time, this was the most expensive film ever made, and it still looks and sounds it. It’s as much a masterpiece now as it was 24 years ago, and watching it with a soundbar elevates it to new heights. Go easy with the subwoofer though – there are moments that’ll shake your living room!
King Kong (2005)
The sound design of Peter Jackson’s King Kong paints as much of a picture as the epic CGI. Every encounter on Skull Island is as new to the intrepid crew as it is to us as viewers. Every sound, from the pounding of drums to Kong’s roar, to the bristle of leaves and crunch of bones underfoot remind the crew that they’ve gambled their lives to capture the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ on film.
If you’re squeamish, you may want to cover your eyes and ears for the scene with the giant insects. But if not, grab your snacks and get ready for an incredible journey.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Feel the rumble of the War Rig as it races down the Fury Road, escaping the wrath of Immortan Joe and his army. This post-apocalyptic action movie makes a big deal about big noise. Petrol guzzling armoured bikes, cars, and 18-wheelers, the clash of weapons and the cries of War Boys all play a big part. And that’s before we mention the warrior whose flame-throwing guitar and wall of amps make the soundtrack to the chase.
It’s the sheer cacophony of motors, explosions and guitar riffs against the vast barrenness of the desert wasteland that makes the audio stand out here. And as the War Rig whizzes across the screen, only a cinematic soundbar can do it true justice.
A good soundbar doesn’t just make a movie’s sound design more prominent, it also brings that edge-of-your-seat feeling to those eery moments of silence. Sam Mendes’ WW1 movie 1917 tells the amazing story of Lance Corporals Blake and Schofield, as they race against time to deliver a vital message to their Colonel. It may gets heaps of praise for the flawless acting and ground-breaking ‘single-take’ cinematography (and rightly so), but it wouldn’t be as epic without the sound (and moments of fear-inducing silence) to match.
Don’t believe us? Hook up your home audio system and set aside a couple of hours. It's breathtakingly good.
The Sound of Metal (2021)
This year’s Oscar winner for Best Sound is about sound itself. How does a touring drummer adjust to new realities as his hearing rapidly deteriorates?
Riz Ahmed puts everything into the starring role, but it’s also the amazing sound design that fully puts you in protagonist Ruben’s perspective – a world without sound. The contrast between dialogue as an onlooker, to the muffled noise that Ruben hears makes the situation all the more vivid for those who are not hard of hearing. We won’t give away more, but what we will say is that The Sound of Metal’s use of sound hits home.
Those are six award-winning movies to add to your ‘must watch’ list ASAP. Need to add some more oomph to your movie marathons? Check out our full range of soundbars.