- Soundbars provide a richer audio experience than built-in TV speakers, often including features like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
- Soundbars are available in a wide range of prices, making them accessible for various budgets without sacrificing sound quality.
- The compact size of soundbars makes them space-saving and a great match for ultra-slim TVs.
As good as televisions have gotten over the last few years, their built-in speakers are still not what anyone would consider exceptionally great. For many people, they are good enough and that’s okay, but for anyone who wants even slightly better sound, the answer very well may be to buy a soundbar.
Between LG, Samsung, TCL, Sony, and Hisense, just to name a few, not all sound quality is created equal. However, with the addition of a soundbar, you can give yourself a whole new listening experience, be it for movies, games, or binging a new show on Netflix.
Let’s take a look at 6 reasons why you should buy a soundbar today.
What is a Soundbar?
Before jumping into the reasons why you should buy a soundbar today, it’s important to understand what a soundbar is. Essentially, a soundbar is a horizontal speaker system that can sit below your television and provide a much richer audio experience. A soundbar is basically a piece of equipment that includes a number of speakers, often with a separate or included subwoofer, to provide extra options like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. By including these features within a soundbar system, you can get a far more immersive sound than you would normally get with just your television.
6 Reasons to Buy a Soundbar Today
Setting Up is Easy
One of the best reasons to buy a soundbar over a surround sound system is that it’s super easy to set up. All you really have to do is put the soundbar underneath your television, plug it into power, connect with the included HDMI or optical cable, and set your television to use the soundbar for audio output. All things being equal, you can probably accomplish all of these steps in under three minutes and then immediately enjoy better music or sound effects from movies.
Alternatively, many soundbars can also be installed on walls through a variety of available wall mounts, which is great if you have more of a free-standing television setup. Ideally, a soundbar should be placed center under your screen but if circumstances require you to adjust your placement, there is no harm in doing so and this is one of the best aspects of a soundbar.
No matter your budget, there is a soundbar out there for you that can work for your family room, bedroom, living room, or even your RV camper setup. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest soundbar pros as can you buy a soundbar for around $100, sometimes even less. Of course, you can spend over a thousand dollars if you want every soundbar bell and whistle, but you absolutely do not need to do so.
Available soundbar options from the likes of TCL, LG, Samsung, Vizio, and more all cross through the pricing spectrum so there is truly an option for everyone. You shouldn’t think that a lower price means sacrificing sound quality either. On the contrary, you might not get features like wireless or a standalone subwoofer, but even the least expensive soundbar offers far better audio than your television.
The best part is that you don’t need to go super expensive to get the most requested features like Dolby Atmos, which can be found in budget-friendly price ranges.
Where soundbars really stand out from the surround sound competition is the size or lack thereof, to be more exact. When it comes to surround sound, even if you choose a smaller system of speakers, they take up more space around a room and need to be configured in a very specific way to work well. This is not the case with a soundbar as it’s a much smaller and therefore easy experience to configure.
The small size means a soundbar will be space-saving, which is a great thing for anyone looking to add a big sound to a smaller room. More importantly, soundbars match really well with today’s ultra-slim TVs and can blend right into the decor of your home. You can easily hide the cords and make it super easy to forget a soundbar is even there.
While not true of all soundbars, one of the biggest reasons to buy a soundbar is the inclusion of Dolby Atmos. Without Dolby Atmos, when you have sound coming out of a speaker, it just pushes out in one direction into the space around you. Add a Dolby Atmos-powered soundbar and all of a sudden you can hear audio all around you. This means a helicopter flying around on screen might sound as if it’s directly overhead or a race car might sound as if it’s zooming right past you.
The difference with Dolby Atmos included is night and day compared to built-in TV speakers that don’t have this technology. The bottom line is that including Dolby Atmos technology can lead to a crisper and sharper sound than you can ever get from a current TV set. One other notable Dolby Atmos benefit is that its technology can support more than 100 different 3D objects. This number easily eclipses what most surround sound systems can do, so you feel as if you now have a 3D audio system playing right from your soundbar.
Best of all, Dolby Atmos is supported by major streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, and more.
As good as some of the sounds can be from the newest LG and Samsung televisions for gaming, if you want a significantly more engaging audio experience, you need a soundbar. This is even more true when you consider TVs like the LG C2 or Samsung S95B that can run 4K games at 120Hz over HDMI 2.1. As both of these TVs have outstanding picture quality and dedicated gaming modes, it’s only right the strong gaming content onscreen is matched with better sound output.
Some game genres, like first-person shooters, almost demand the addition of a soundbar as it creates such a unique experience as you engage with enemies all around you. There are soundbar models that also include gaming modes that create an even better audio experience while in the midst of a battle royale. Let it be a strong takeaway that gaming is definitely one big reason to buy a soundbar.
Even as many devices offer voice assistance, many soundbars include support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, making them even easier to control. With this functionality built-in, you can easily control aspects like controlling other smart devices in your home, volume adjustments, setting timers, checking the news, and more. Many soundbars will include some type of LED light to let you know when your voice assistant is active so you know when it’s okay to use voice commands.
Brands like Sony, LG, and Sonos all integrate nicely with Google and Amazon while Samsung includes support both for their own assistant, Bixby.
Best Soundbars Available Today
- Features Dolby Atmos
- Enhanced Trueplay tuning technology
- Support for AirPlay 2 as well as many favorite music streaming services
- Blends in beautiful underneath a TV
When it comes to Dolby Atmos soundbars, there are few soundbars that can recreate a home theater experience as well as the Sonos Arc.
Sonos comes complete with a 3D sound that feels as if you are completely immersed in whatever is taking place on the screen. The same goes for music playback as the sound fills the room around you, whether it’s a classical piece or the latest EDM album. Support for Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2, as well as Sonos’ downloadable app just adds to the feature set and helps distinguish the Sonos Arc as one of the best soundbars available today.
Eleven total speakers fire in all directions alongside crystal-clear dialog on two dedicated height channels, all of which combine to help give Sonos its excellent sound. Most notable is that Sonos only requires two cables and easily blends in right beneath a television for a surround sound experience without multiple pieces of hardware.
- Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- 360 Spatial Sound adapts to your environment
- 8K and 4K/120 passthrough to enhance your gaming experiences
- Use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to integrate with other connected devices
Gamers will find a whole lot to like with the Sony HT-A5000 and its excellent sound combined with 4K at 120Hz passthrough.
Along with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio engines, the Sony HT-A5000 will also find excellent use of features like Vertical Surround Engine, S-Force Pro Front Surround, and 360 Spatial Sound Mapping. This might be a lot of big technology terms but the result is an audio experience that outpaces many other soundbars. This is especially true with Sony’s inclusion of a 360-degree spatial sound that adapts to the size of a room and calibrates itself to deliver the best possible sound.
For gaming, the combination of up-firing speakers and side beam tweeters help you really feel as if you are in on the action. PlayStation 5 owners, in particular, will get even more benefits as Sony connects seamlessly to the BRAVIA TV lineup which includes specialized features for PS5 owners.
- Tweeter built in, with 2-channel speaker
- Bluetooth enabled
- USB port
- Bass Reflex style speaker for an especially deep sound
- S-Force Pro Front Surround sound feature included
The budget-friendly crowd will love the price tag and sound that comes from the Sony S100F soundbar.
While the Sony S100F lacks Dolby Atmos, it still packs a punch as a 2.0-channel soundbar that integrates a bass reflex speaker set and integrated tweeters. The reflex speaker assists with the deeper/lower audio while adding plenty of bass alongside the tweeters that provide a room-filling sound. Using S-Force Pro Front Surround sound technology, the Sony S100F enables a pseudo-cinematic experience as if you are watching a movie in a theater.
Better yet, Sony’s slim design makes it all but disappear under a television so it’s out of sight but definitely still providing room-filling sound. Even with its thin size, there is still plenty of bass along with clear dialog that sounds much better than any built-in television speaker can deliver. While there are no extras like voice assistance or Wi-Fi, Bluetooth is available so you can sync up to your smartphone or tablet for musical playback.
- 18 high-performance speakers
- Adaptive Height Speakers automatically rotate to optimize your audio experience.
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- 4 upfiring speakers
Vizio has long been a staple name in the soundbar world and the Vizio Elevate shows exactly why they have become such an industry player.
Complete with 18 total speakers, you will undoubtedly find the Vizio Elevate as close to a home theater experience as a soundbar can offer. Of course, everything centers around the inclusion of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound that lives all around you. The everywhere sound is amplified by adaptive height external speakers that will automatically rotate to ensure you have a standout soundbar experience.
As part of the 18 speakers total, the Vizio Elevate includes 4 upfiring speakers that bounce off your ceiling creating a virtual surround sound. The 8-inch wireless subwoofer provides all of the low-end sound you can hope for all the way down to 30Hz. Great low-end sound aside, you also get plenty of bonus features like built-in support for Chromecast, Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Apple’s Siri.
When you want to add better sound than what your television can provide without adding a large number of external speakers, a soundbar is the perfect solution. With room-filling sound, plenty of features, and lots of available options for all types of budgets, there is little reason not to consider a soundbar. Better yet, consider a soundbar because they help make movies, games, and TV shows all the more immersive.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©ronstik/Shutterstock.com.