Recently I watched Avatar on a friends 50″ TV with several thousand dollars of surround sound technology.
I was very blown away and started asking how much he had spent and what had been involved in setting it all up.
When I picked myself up of the floor (It had cost him nearly 5000$ and involved pulling off the skirting boards to run the cabling) I decided to do some research on what other options might be available to improve the sound of my TV system without the massive cost. The following quick guide shows some of what I discovered!
Flat screen televisions and advances with LCD and high def have given us breathtaking picture quality. Unfortunately a flat screen TV just can’t generate the sort of sounds to really match the screen.
One option is to setup an amplifier and surround sound speakers. This will definitely give you great sound, but its normally expensive and will involve rearranging your living room, pulling up carpets (or skirting boards!) to lay cables and dealing with the clutter of five or six speakers and an amplifier.
If that sounds like far too much hassle then a soundbar may be just what you have been looking for!
A soundbar looks like a wide shallow speaker, normally chosen to approximately match the width of your TV. It can either sit on your TV stand just below your screen or be wall mounted.
Dependent on how much money you want to spend you can get up to 5.1 surround sound in a single enclosure!
A soundbar is easy to setup, typically needing a mains plug, and sound in/outputs from whatever gadgets you need to connect.
Many soundbars even come with an automated setup program that uses an onboard microphone to tune the system for your environment.
To get the right soundbar for your home make sure it has enough inputs and that they match your equipment (Maybe you need an HDMI input for your xbox for example).
Also some systems (such as BlueRay) will almost always require HDMI.
Check also that the unit you fancy will fit on your TV stand!
Most of the ‘big names’ in audio produce one or more models of soundbar so shop around and find one that fits your requirements and budget. If you want a recommendation we can tell you that typically we find that Yamaha soundbars receive glowing reviews!
Copyright © 2011 Richard Kennard