TV Sound Bar

TV Sound Bar

Get Great Sound from today’s super thin TV


TV Sound Bar

What is a TV Sound Bar? It replaces the TV’s built-in speakers and is usually placed underneath the TV.

TV Sound Bar

Leon Speaker

Why would you want to invest into a good Sound Bar for your TV?  If your setup is not a full blown home theater with multiple front and surround speakers, then the next best sound is from a really good Sound Bar.  Of course, you can use your TV’s built-in speakers. But there’s a trade off. Today’s modern TV’s are extremely thin, some as thin as a 1/4 inch.  It is just not possible to produce natural from such a physical constraint. So today, we are have TV’s with better and better picture with poorer and poorer sound.  So why would one settle for a fabulous picture in which the dialog and music sounds like they were produced by a tin can?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good for what little real estate the manufacturers give for sound; but it lacks dynamics and realism.  How many times have you not understood what someone said while watching TV?

How do you decide on the best Sound Bar

If a sound bar is the right solution, how do you select the right one?  Yes, there are TONS of models to choose from. So here is some information to get you started on your decision. First, there are two major types of sound bars, Active and Passive.

  • Active sound bars – All inclusive design with a single speaker array that is self- amplified with DSP (Digital Signal Processing).  This is generally the easiest to set up and enjoy.  In most applications, this will have a single audio input from your television.
  • Passive sound bars – A passive sound bar is a single array of speakers that require an external receiver that will do the DSP and amplification.  This will require speaker wires between the sound bar and receiver and the audio signal from your components (i.e. Cable/satellite box, Bluray Disc player, etc.) to the receiver for processing.

Active Sound BarTV Sound Bar over Fire Place

High quality active sound bars take the guess work out of the setup and will incorporate superior Digital Signal Processor (DSP) that will help the surround effects perform better than those with a subpar DSP.  The only downfall of an active sound bar is the ability to do minor upgrades. In this day in age, audio and video performance advancements are happening frequently. Protocols for audio/video connections will change from time to time, as engineers find better ways of transferring high quality audio/video signals.

Passive Sound Bar

TV Sound Bar GoldenEar SuperCinema3DArray

GoldenEar SuperCinema3DArray

Passive sound bar systems will give you the capability to upgrade and grow over time.  This can be a bit more time consuming as you will need to choose the sound bar and a receiver to accompany it.  The selection of a receiver to match your sound bar is also critical, but the end result (if done correctly) will result in a much more magical presentation. A high performance receiver will give provide sufficient power for your speakers and high quality DSP and adjustments that most active sound bars do not, such as “speaker distance”, “delays” and “crossover controls”. These settings will allow you to fine tune your sound bar to your room.  In the event of changes in audio/video protocols, you do not have to start over again.  You can be back up to date with the latest and greatest by simply replacing your receiver and/or associated components. Passive sound bar systems will also give you the capability for connection upgrades like higher quality interconnects and speaker cables, giving you a custom tailored entertainment system that you can grow with.

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