Home cinema or sound bar – which is right for me?
You can host a movie night like no other with the latest in home cinema sound, but what will suit your setup best?
05 Feb 2019
For film fans, a home theatre kit takes you straight from the sofa to the scene, making you feel as though you’re in the thick of the action.
But depending on how your movie room is laid out, you might benefit from a certain setup. See what’s right for your home...
What is a soundbar?
The easiest way to give your TV the audio it deserves is by adding a sound bar.
Soundbars are slim, oblong devices that contain several speakers, placed side-by-side. They produce a much better sound than your TV speakers, that’s for sure – and crisp, detailed sound is beamed across the room for the perfect movie night ambiance.
Crucially, they take up minimal space, and there are no trailing cables cluttering up your room. The clever, compact design can usually be wall-mounted below your TV or placed beside it on a unit or stand.
Want the best possible sound? Look at models with virtual surround sound that bounces sound off the walls to create an immersive surround sound effect. You can also opt for a model with a separate wireless subwoofer to create deep bass sounds.
You can even stream Spotify from your phone or tablet if you go for a soundbar with Bluetooth.
Which soundbar should I try?
Bose, Sonos and Samsung offer some of the best models, with crystal-clear sound quality to bring sport, films and games alive. Here are 3 of our favourites:
1. Bose Soundbar 500
Bose is well respected when it comes to home audio, with decades of innovation behind the brand. This sound bar is an excellent option. Combining wide, detailed sound with chic and compact design – it looks and sounds great.
2. Sonos Playbar
Sonos is known for its multi-room speakers but its Playbar sound bar is excellent – with many 5-star reviews to its name. And it’s easy to set up, connecting through an optical cable to your TV.
3. Samsung All-in-One Sound Bar
Along with its sleek good looks, this Samsung gives you powerful and clear sound from wherever you’re sat in the room. It boasts 9 speakers and a subwoofer for a deep bass sound, plus has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Get the Samsung All-in-One Soundbar and pair it with this Samsung wall bracket so it can be mounted directly below your TV.
4. LG SK8 Wireless Soundbar
This soundbar will give you the top-quality sound that even the professionals would be envious of. It gives you hypnotic, 3D sound that adapts its levels automatically to what you’re watching, so you won’t get too much base during those tense, dialogue-heavy scenes.
Show films like a pro with the stunning sound of the LG SK8 Wireless Soundbar
5:1 home cinema set up
The most common surround sound option is a 5.1 system – that’s 5 speakers plus a subwoofer, to boost the bass. And you can build 5:1 home cinema around your Bose, Sonos or Samsung soundbar.
How a home cinema setup works
- Stereo speakers (2): sit to the left and right of your TV for accurate sound effects and action in stereo
- Centre speaker (1): sits between the left and right speakers and is dedicated to dialogue, so you’re not saying ‘eh?’ all the time when people are speaking on the telly
- Rear speakers (2): are positioned behind the sofa at either side for atmospheric, suspenseful sound - perfect for horror movies
- Subwoofer (1): delivers deep bass sounds – and can be placed anywhere
How to turn your sound bar into home cinema
The sound bar acts as the left and right stereo speakers in a 5:1 home cinema set up. To create true surround sound, you need to add rear speakers and a wireless subwoofer.
With Bose you can create a network of connected speakers around your home, controlled through an app on your smartphone. The Soundbar 500 is compatible with these wireless speakers.
Take the Virtually Invisible Surround speakers. Small (under 10cm tall) but loud, these can be hooked up to your soundbar to create the rear right and left channels in a 5:1 home cinema set up.
For deep, room-shaking bass add the Bose Bass Module 500. Setting up is super-easy too – they connect wirelessly to your sound bar in a few simple steps using the Bose app.
Sonos is a pioneer of connected audio. Take your Playbar and add a pair of small Sonos One speakers and a Sub subwoofer.
Experience every twist, kiss and shock in crystal-clear detail, as you host your own film night.
Pair your Sonos One speakers with the Sonos Sub
Although the All-in-One sound bar already has a subwoofer built in, you can get even deeper, richer sounds by adding the Samsung Wireless Sub to it. It connects via your home Wi-Fi network so you can position it where it sounds best.
The sound bar is also compatible with Samsung’s rear speaker kit. This compact gear packs a powerful punch, giving you brilliant atmospheric surround sound. The wireless receiver plugs into your sound bar and connects easily with a single cable to each of the rear speakers.
Get the Samsung Wireless Subwoofer and wireless rear speaker kit
Ready to beef up your TV’s speakers? Find the right home cinema solution for you