What is a soundbar?
Amplify your TV’s sound without breaking a sweat with a simple soundbar…
27 Apr 2017
A soundbar is the easiest way of improving the sound on your TV. They take up very little space and are really easy to set up. Sound-wise, they’re much better than TV speakers. Get one with a subwoofer for a cinematic surround sound effect.
Soundbar and home cinema – what’s the difference?
A soundbar is a slim, oblong-shaped device that contains several individual speakers placed side by side. It can be mounted on the wall beneath your TV or placed flat on your TV stand in front of your telly. It connects to your TV via a single cable so there aren’t loads of trailing wires to worry about. With home cinema several speakers are positioned around the room, with cables trailing back to the TV.
Home cinema gives you true surround sound, but a soundbar offers improved audio with virtual surround sound – without the need for wires and multiple speakers.
How does it improve my TV’s sound?
As modern TVs have become increasingly skinny, the space for speakers inside them has shrunk. Naturally this has led to smaller built-in speakers on our TVs.
Stereo sound is divided between 2 channels – one to the left, the other to the right. Most TV programmes are recorded with this type of sound. With speakers to the left and right, a soundbar creates perfect stereo sound.
If you want to hear deep bass and other low-frequency sounds then opt for a model with a separate subwoofer. Soundbars create virtual surround sound, using clever vibrations technology to create a surround sound-like effect. So you feel as though the speakers surround you.
Buying a soundbar – things to look out for:
1. External subwoofer
the subwoofer can either be built into the soundbar or is in separate box. If you opt for a separate subwoofer, consider a wireless one so you won’t have a cable trailing from your soundbar to your subwoofer.
2. Bluetooth for music
want to listen to Spotify through your soundbar? Opt for a model with built-in Bluetooth. Then you’ll be able to listen to music through the Spotify app on your phone or tablet through the soundbar. The same goes for music stored on your phone, tablet or laptop.
some soundbars can be connected to wireless multi-room systems – where different speakers are dotted around the house. These speakers are all controlled from a single app, and can be used to play different or the same music. So you can either link it up to your music system or create your own true cinema surround-sound system.
Great audio to get you started
Ready to start building your own immersive speaker system? Here's a few options to get you started:
Sonos is a byword for high-quality wireless audio. And its PLAYBASE is no different.
A flat, rectangular speaker, the PLAYBASE sits inconspicuously underneath your freestanding TV and calibrates to suit its immediate surroundings.
- 10 amplified internal drivers for room-filling sound
- Set up with just one cable and the Sonos app
- Create 5:1 home cinema by connecting compatible Sonos Play: 1 speakers
- Control the PLAYBASE through your phone or TV remote
- Stream Apple Music, Spotify Premium, Deezer, Tidal and Google Play around your home via Wi-Fi
Samsung TVs are among the best so it makes sense their soundbars would also be just as good. They introduced the premium Sound+ series featuring the HW-MS650 at CES earlier this year.
The HW-MS650 has 9 speakers with 96kHz/24 bit high resolution audio, preserving the depth and power of your TV’s sound.
- Distortion Cancelling technology for clearer sound
- Wide frequency range with Samsung's Wide Range Tweeter
- Use the Sound? seamless mount solution and one cable can power both your TV and soundbar
- 4K Pass-through adds rich sound to your crystal clear 4K picture quality
Bose SoundTouch 300
Bose has long been at the forefront of audio innovation, using research to investigate the way we perceive sound and creating stunning-looking headphones and speakers for decades.
If you love your film and TV as much as your music, the Bose SoundTouch 300 soundbar is the perfect way to deliver left and right stereo sound.
- Sleek contemporary look with a glass top and perforated wrap-around grille
- Enhanced sound clarity from QuietPort, PhaseGuide and ADAPTIQ technologies
- Stream audio directly to the SoundTouch 300 from your smartphones or tablet
- Get 5:1 home cinema surround sound by adding 2 Bose Virtually Invisible 300 speakers
Don’t just take our word for it - see our full range of soundbars.