The Blog
15th Jan 2013Posted in: The Blog 0
January is Soundbar month

The Soundbar has come a long way in a few years. Likewise, flat panel TV’s have gotten thinner and the sound quality has suffered tremendously. The soundbar is a great option for rooms that are already set up with a flat panel TV and you want to upgrade the sound and you don’t want to go through the trouble and expense of traditional speakers and running new wires. The soundbar is also a great option for a smaller room (den or conference room) or if you don’t have the space or the budget for floor-standing speakers or in-wall/in-ceiling speakers.

There are several choices when it comes to the soundbar. The first is whether it is active or passive. An active soundbar needs AC power and usually connects from the digital output from your TV so there is no need for an AV receiver to power the sound bar. The passive soundbar does not need AC power but does need an AV receiver and connects just like any other speakers.

The next decision is whether you want a 3-channel soundbar with the front three channels; left, center and right (LCR), or one that has an array of speakers and uses the walls and ceilings in your room to simulate surround sound. If you choose the first option, you may want to pair it with some surround sound solution such as on-wall, in-wall or in-ceiling speakers. Using it without surround speakers is perfectly fine. Either way, you will definitely need a subwoofer with all but one of the soundbars we offer.

Let’s start with the most traditional approach. The passive bar like this Episode 50″soundbar requires the use of an AV receiver to operate. There is no surround simulation here, just the three front channels. The reason for the 3rd channel or the center channel is that this is where the vast majority of dialogue comes from when watching TV. This is especially important when watching movies and you want to hear the dialogue very clearly.

This 50" sound bar is passive and needs a traditional AV receiver to operate

This Episode 50″ sound bar is passive and needs a traditional AV receiver to operate
(view without included black grill cover)
Also comes in 30″ and 40″ models

 

The next approach is a powered, simulated surround model. Polk makes an active Soundbar, the Surroundbar 6000 that comes with a wireless subwoofer. There are multiple connection methods but if you already have a TV setup, the easiest option is to connect it via the Optical audio output from the TV.

 

This thin, active soundbar comes with a wireless sub for easy placement

This thin, active soundbar comes with a wireless sub for easy placement

 

Yet another option is another active soundbar with an integrated subwoofer like the PB-235 H-PAS by Atlantic Technology. It is not as thin as other soundbars but it alleviates the hassle of finding a place to hide a separate subwoofer. When you give up size (compared to floor-standing or bookshelf speakers) you almost always give up sound quality so even though this unit is a little larger, the sound doesn’t disappoint.

The Atlantic Technology HPas sound bar has an integrated subwoofer

The Atlantic Technology HPas sound bar has an integrated subwoofer

No matter what solution you choose or we recommend for your particular situation, we will come in and professionally install and train you on how to get the most out of your new audio setup.

This month we are offering special pricing on many sound bar models. Please call us to arrange a no cost consultation: 770-319-9865

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