//Hitting the Bar: Pros and Cons of Smart TV Sound Bars

Hitting the Bar: Pros and Cons of Smart TV Sound Bars

The right audio makes the difference in your home entertainment. After all, high-quality audio is what makes giant companies like Netflix do so well. 

There are over 209 million audio devices connected around the globe. Some of these are TV soundbars, some are home speakers. It’s up to you to find the right audio device to turn up the dial on your home entertainment. 

What will it be? Are TV sound bars the right choice for high-quality audio? If you want the real answer, read on for a comprehensive guide. 

Audio Explained

Before we dive into the pros and cons to a sound bar for tv, let’s explore the audio spectrum. Audio exists on a line that contains the frequencies audible to most people. 

On this spectrum are 7 frequency bands. As you scale up this line, your sound range increases. For example, the first band is sub-bass and the last band is brilliance. 

Bass describes heavy vibrations. This band gives listeners deep rumbling feelings in their core. If you’re watching an action movie, the bass would present itself in explosions and banging sounds the most. 

The higher-bands such as upper-midrange and brilliance describe slight details in sound. These areas of audio pick up minor changes in harmonics and movements in pitch. 

Ideally, a good sound system should pick up as many audio bands as possible. If you’re building a home theater you’d want the whole space to pick up multiple frequencies for higher immersion. 

It’s also important to understand that all sound exists in waves. For higher-quality audio, you need to ensure that sound waves can move freely in your living area. before you try expanding your audio-systems, figure out the acoustics of a given room. 

Know Your Dynamic Range

Dynamic range pertains to any known speaker or soundbar. This measuring tool accounts for the actual dB (decibel) range of a speaker. 

If you have a broader dynamic range you can hear overall more sound. For example, a low dynamic range would make it hard to hear the difference between soft indistinct sounds and booming noise. 

The speaker you use determines the dynamic range. However, it’s more likely that a digital file type defines how much range you end up with. 

Soundbars and Audio 

Soundbars often contain multiple speakers. This is useful to know as the speaker type stored in a soundbar determines your audio quality. 

A soundbar is a way to convert audio into a room-level dispersion. Once you’ve established the basic tenants of audio, it’s time that you weigh up how essential a soundbar is to your home audio entertainment. 

TV Sound Bars

If we’re going to define the pros of a sound bar we need to establish what a sound bar actually is. 

Soundbar Explained

A sound bar or media bar is a form of a loudspeaker, or a combination of smaller speakers, that disperses audio into a room. This speaker type is wide and typically lightweight. A small soundbar can fit beneath a desktop computer or a mini-sized tv. 

One of the nicest things about a soundbar is how fittable and positionable they are relative to a video-source. Yet, they’re often manufactured in the same shape. This can make it challenging to fit one in an unconventional space. 

This all-in-one audio source boosts audio-quality in a space. Most are connected systems, meaning you’ll have to physically connect the combined speakers to your television or computer. 

The Pros 

Typically a soundbar is a good option for straightforward audio entertainment. All modern soundbars include driver types that modulate frequencies. As mentioned earlier, a soundbar relies on a proper dynamic range to get sound across. 

Since a soundbar is a form of a speaker, it has drivers for balancing high and low sounds. This takes care of your dynamic range. 

Before we go further into pros, it’s good to address the two main forms of soundbars. 

Active and Passive Soundbars 

First, let’s start with passive soundbars. 

  • Includes many speakers with compatible channels 
  • Has backend connections for each audio channel 
  • Does not include power amps 
  • Requires connected receivers and amplifiers 
  • Results in worse audio results 

This works fairly opposite to an active soundbar. 

  • Active soundbars include amplifiers 
  • They do not require connected receivers and amplifiers 
  • More expensive 
  • Includes all necessary connections with minimal setup 

Each of these soundbar types delivers surround sound. The main difference lies in the available technology each has when it comes to your door. 

Combined Soundbars 

You can buy soundbars that add together visual and audio components. For instance, if you want a projector that includes audio, you can buy a combined soundbar for this purpose. 

Moreover, you can buy soundbars that come in woofer packages. This allows you to increase the overall bass in an area while also providing good audio. 

The Pros Expanded 

An active soundbar is like a speaker with none of the fuss of loose wires or connections. If you choose a high-quality soundbar you’re guaranteed solid amplification and good audio. 

Most modern soundbars come with subwoofers. These act as separate amplifying speakers for your main audio-source. 

Some bars also come as full audio systems that you can program from a separate device. Therefore, if you want to connect your smart bar to the rest of your technology, you can do this from a third device. 

In short, the pros of a soundboard require that you get a fully outfitted active model. This spares you the fumbling of a traditional speaker yet costs you more. If you choose a soundboard you’re assured high-quality audio, strong reception, and a long lifespan. 

Soundbar Cons 

One of the main problems facing soundboards is its size. If you don’t have much room to store an audio-source, this device can make it quite difficult. If you’re trying to upgrade your home theater, a soundboard can tack on extra room and costs. 

The other issue is audio. Some people find that a soundbar has poorer audio than most traditional speakers. You can narrow down the source of this problem by thinking of audio in stages. 

In the first stage, audio must travel from an original source to a listener. If you have a focused speaker with good specs this stage goes over smoothly. In some cases, a soundboard experiences interference right out the gate. 

In the second stage, audio must adapt to the shape and noise of a room. If the room you’re sitting in has tons of weird objects, it’s difficult for sound to travel naturally. If you have a soundbar, it might be a challenge to position it where sound can travel well. 

One last con for soundbars. They sometimes require that you pay more money for extra parts. If you buy an active soundboard then you have to buy amplifiers for example. 

At the end of the day, it’s important you have the right place for your soundboard if you want good sound quality. 

TV Soundbars vs Speakers 

Soundbars, in recap, are super sleek audio machines. They disperse sound through a room and look good doing it. But, they sometimes lack the abilities traditional speakers have. Let’s take a look at speakers. 

How Normal Speakers Compare 

Right off the bat, you’ll notice speakers don’t come with much wiring. This is partly due to how simple a speaker is compared to other audio options. They tend to act as simple amplifiers or receivers. 

This means if you need a simple audio setup, a speaker will deliver sound no problem. However, dynamic range and audio-detail might be lacking. 

A speaker costs less than a soundbar. This is because a soundbar combines multiple speaker abilities, that formally required several additional pieces of tech. 

Subwoofers and Tweeters 

A subwoofer is like any loudspeaker that converts digital sound into physical sound waves. Yet, a subwoofer specifically serves bass production. This is a piece of tech that makes a low-frequency sound.  

Subwoofers are a container filled with a simple woofer. The housing around it helps sound travel easier and prevents breakage from heavy vibrations. 

You can use a subwoofer as a replacement for your bass needs, however, it is a simple fix to a larger need for articulate bass. 

Tweeters perform the opposite function. As the name suggests, a tweeter generates high-frequency sound. This piece of audio-tech amplifies high frequencies to compliment bass bands. 

When you combine both of these types of speakers, you end up filling great portions of the audio spectrum. 

Smart Speakers 

In the debate of soundbar vs speakers, a smart speaker is a valid opponent for a top of the line soundbar. These are small digitized speakers that cover most of the audio spectrum. 

Alexa, by Amazon, is a good example of a smart speaker. This product responds to voice commands and generates fairly good audio as well. 

Compared to a smart soundboard, smart speakers don’t function as complete sound replacements for home entertainment. Though, it’s technically possible to hook up your smart speaker to your woofers and tweeters to create a complete audio replacement. 

Speakers Expanded

Speakers do not come as complete home entertainment systems. Soundbars get closer to that mark and have the ability to make your smart tv smarter. Every speaker type relies on another piece to complete an audio system. 

For example, woofers need tweeters to fill in a range of frequencies. It’s possible to buy tweeter and woofer stacks, but they often cost quite a bit. 

However, speakers can fit almost anywhere. This solves the problem most soundboards bring up. You can place speakers anywhere in a living space, making your entertainment more dynamic and easy to set up. 

Speakers are the simpler predecessors to soundbars. You need to combine all of their properties to make a complete audio-entertainment system. If this is not a problem for you, then give this piece of tech a chance. 

The Final Note 

If you understand the very basics of sound you can decide is soundbars are worth it. Once you’ve done proper research you’ll see that speakers are simplified versions of soundbars and crafting your home entertainment system requires fixing a budget and planning around a living space. 

To reiterate, soundbars are often assemblies of basic speakers. If you buy an active processing bar, then you won’t have to buy extra components. Buying a passive bar requires that you buy more equipment. 

Furthermore, you do not have to buy one piece of equipment to solve all your audio problems. If it makes it more convenient, you can buy soundbars and speakers separately. This would allow you to have a main speaker below your smart tv, and several amplifiers around the room for better sound quality. 

In any case, all soundbars meet the requirements of the audio spectrum and make your smart home more sound efficient. If you’re interested in buying, always keep an eye on both of these qualities. 

Raise Your Bar 

TV sound bars are great additions to your smart home. They regulate audio in a given space and don’t cost an arm and a leg. 

It can be tricky to optimize your house. If you’re looking for the best in security, or you want better lighting, it takes some serious research. 

Still, it’s important that you don’t overlook the power of a reliable home-entertainment system. All great movies need beautiful audio. Now you can make that a reality through buying a great soundbar. 

Don’t stop there. Keep searching for other solutions to your growing smart home. No matter what you’re looking for, there is always a way to make your home a better place to live. 

By | 2019-06-03T10:39:26-04:00 June 10th, 2019|Audio and Home Theater|0 Comments

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