Sound bars

Does price make a difference to sound quality?

A sound bar is a middle-of-the-road option if you want to improve the sound of your TV but not fork out for a home theatre system.

We've gathered information on 15 sound bars.

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What's a sound bar?

A sound bar is an array of speakers set into a long bar which sits below or above your TV (some are wall-mountable).

Sound bars trick your ears into believing that sound is coming from all around you, eliminating the need for annoying speakers and cables. The speakers are angled so that the sound will bounce off the walls of the room and create a virtual “surround sound” environment.

Obviously the effect won’t be as good as what you’d get from a real home-theatre system. However, the sound’s much better than from a TV by itself.

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Because of their shape, sound bars are perfect for placing in front of your TV. You should get a good stereo “image” and reasonable surround-sound simulation in a room of 4 to 5 metres square. (Your viewing and listening position should be no more than a few metres from the TV screen and sound bar.)

Tip: Sound bars won’t work if you have large open area. While it’ll still give you good sound, the virtual-surround-sound effect will be less. A subwoofer should give you decent bass sounds.

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