Technology is enhancing at a significant rate: video displays are thinning, picture quality is becoming as crisp and clear as real life, and now complete sound systems are available in one manageable bar. Because exterior devices are used so often to enhance the quality of sound, television manufacturers are placing less and less emphasis on sound performance. This fundamentally means that to attain decent cinematic sound quality, you need an external device.
Sound bars are the latest revolution in the industry. They take up little living room real estate and have all of the speakers in one system. They are designed to be placed on table tops or display units and often come with external subwoofers. This allows them to deliver a full range of response in one, inconspicuous package, rather than spreading multiple speakers around the room. However, while they’re smaller and easier to setup than their 5.1 counterparts, it can be difficult to unleash their true potential.
Connecting a Sound Bar
Most sound bars will have both HDMI and RCA Analog connectors. Only use the RCA if you have no other option – HDMI is superior in quality. Run a single cable from your sound bar “OUT” to your television’s HDMI “IN”. This will allow you to switch inputs directly from your television. Otherwise, you will have to change the connection whenever you use a difference source: Blu-ray player, sat box, games console.
Finding the Right Space
Mount your sound bar on a wall or place it on a table either on top or underneath your television. Place the subwoofer in an inconspicuous position, away from walls and unobstructed from furniture. A subwoofer will emit omnidirectional sound; therefore, they should be in a relatively open area. Either link the subwoofer to the sound bar with a cable or connect it wirelessly (depending on your setup). Most wireless sound bars and subwoofers have a “find” button that will link them together automatically.
Adjusting the Settings
When you first switch on the sound bar, play a piece of music you are familiar with that has both high and low frequencies. Listen to all of the instrumentation, levels, background noise and any intricate details that only an avid listener would notice. If you can hear everything clearly and evenly, leave it. If, however, you feel the need to equalise the settings, start making adjustments.
Just remember, while you won’t have to struggle to balance five or more speakers with a sound bar, you’ll still be competing with the acoustics of your living room. The structural layout will still have a significant impact on the quality. If you aren’t happy using the conventional setup, feel free to experiment and move your sound bar to a different location.
There’s no substitute for a full surround sound system; however, a decent sound bar can come very close. With all of their inputs, Bluetooth audio capabilities and visual qualities, they are generally more suitable for casual viewers than bulky, costly speaker systems.
Be sure to contact us for any help with all your audio visual installation needs.