for your TV
TV sets used to be fat, cube shaped boxes with room for a fairly good
speaker but today are flat and wide with less and less room for
speakers as the TV displays get thinner. This means the flat screen's
speaker is not the best at producing quality audio. One solution to the
less than stellar sound from TV speakers today is the soundbar. These
wide, elongated speaker systems often match your TV style and lessen
the wiring around your room for surround sound speakers.
Soundbars are available with all kinds of features and options. They
can cost more than your TV. Soundbars often come with a remote control
and many can be mounted on a wall. Most soundbars contain multiple
speakers and some models come with a subwoofer, often wireless, for
really boosting your audio enjoyment.
A good sound bar will have a front panel display so you can see which
input you are on and what the volume level is set to and other status
Don't expect a soundbar to give you the audio quality of a full
surround setup (audio/video receiver plus six full-sized loudspeakers)
because full surround systems have higher quality loudspeakers and
better electronics and connections. The soundbar can produce what is
known as Virtual Surround Sound which can be quite good but not as good
as a full surround system. The benefit of a soundbar is that you get
better sound than from the TV speakers without the more complex wiring
and space requirements of a home theater setup.
The soundbar you choose should have all the inputs you may want to use,
including HDMI, optical, analog RCA, coaxial digital audio, USB and
ideally, multiple inputs for each.
When choosing a sound bar you really have a wide range of choices from
many manufacturers including:
Sony Black 3D Sound Bar Home
Theater System With Wireless Subwoofer - HTCT550W/ 400 Watts Total
Power/ 2.1-Channel Sound Bar/ Wireless Subwoofer/ Three HDMI Inputs/
HDMI 3D Pass-Through/ Dolby TrueHD And DTS Master Audio Decoding/ 3D
Surround Sound/ BRAVIA Widget Control/ Audio Return Channel/ HDMI
Standby Pass-Through/ BRAVIA Sync Capable/ Black Finish
Dual Mono: Yes
(2CH/5.1CH/7.1CH) thru HDMI:
Analog Audio In(Inc TV CEC)/Out(excl. tuner)/TV(CEC): Single Line In
Coax.: 1 Input
HDMI In/Out: (Front input): 3 In / 1 Out
Opt. In/Out/TV(CEC): incl Front input & TV
(CEC): 2 In
LG LSB316: $300
Bluetooth - stream music from your Smartphone.
2.1 channel virtual surround sound
Two optical inputs
Stylish, low profile sound system for your TV and smart devices.
Diagram - Sound Bar connections
Soundbar Hookup FAQ
Q: Can I use my TV as a switch? So hookup everything to the TV; PS3,
cable box, Blu-ray player and run an optical audio cable from TV audio
output to the soundbar input?
A: Yes, but only if your TV supports this. Some TVs may only allow the
built-in tuner audio to be sent out and not other HDMI inputs.
Q: I have a soundbar with HDMI input. If I connect a Bluray player with
built-in decoding using HDMI to the soundbar, will I get surround
A: Soundbar systems do not have the left surround or right surround
speakers located around the listener. So although they come close, by
definition a soundbar setup cannot provide the 6 channel effect even if
provided the input. At best you could get 4 of the typical 6 surround
sound audio streams available.
Q: Can I connect an older TV to a soundbar?
A: Any older TV with a headphone jack or RCA stereo audio output can be connected to a soundbar with 3.5mm or RCA stereo inputs.
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