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Do You Need To Have The Same Brand Soundbar As The TV
Part of having a home is creating a comfortable space to relax and enjoy the recreational activity you enjoy most. Many of us would like to have a fully kitted out home theatre system with the best visual and sound quality so we can truly immerse ourselves in sport, movies, TV series and documentaries. Having an ideal home theatre setup that suits your space available, the acoustics and lighting of the room, as well as the budget, leaves many homeowners with tough decisions and research to do.
Also, as new products come to market, it only adds to the complexity fo picking the right setup that is value for money. One of those new additions has been the launch of soundbars, a complimentary home theatre product that many consumers are opting for as part of their entertainment setup.
What is a soundbar
As modern TVs continue to become skinnier, the space for speakers inside them has shrunk, and due to the pursuit of sleek design, this requires smaller built-in speakers on our TVs. Depending on the slimness of your TV and the size of the room, it could be a major auditory mismatch, and you'll need additional sound amplification, this is where soundbars come into play.
A soundbar is a slim, oblong-shaped device that contains several individual speakers placed side by side. It can be mounted on the wall beneath your TV or placed flat on your TV stand in front of your telly. It connects to your TV via a single cable, so there aren't loads of trailing wires to worry about.
While some opt for the full surround sound experience with the 5 or 7 speakers set up, the soundbar offers improved audio with virtual surround sound – without the need for wires and multiple speakers.
How does it improve my TV's sound?
Most TV programmes are recorded with two-channel sound, left and right, and in the past, you'd need speakers to match to get the full effect. However, with a soundbar creates perfect stereo sound. So if you want to hear deep bass and other low-frequency sounds, then opt for a model with a separate subwoofer. Soundbars create virtual surround sound, using clever vibrations technology to create a surround sound-like effect.
Things to look for in a soundbar
If you are in the market for a soundbar and want to know what options you have available, then you need to consider the following.
The subwoofer can either be built into the soundbar or is in a separate box. Opting for a separate subwoofer, consider a wireless one so you won't have a cable trailing from your soundbar to your subwoofer. If not you'll have to contest with more wires or give up that additional base, which is up to you.
Bluetooth for music
This is not a must-have, but having Bluetooth support can be pretty convenient for those who want to listen to music from various devices via their soundbar. Opting for a model with built-in Bluetooth will give you more versatility but can add to additional cost. If you're not that keen on Bluetooth, you can always use your TV or something like a media centre such as an apple TV to run the connection but still use the soundbar as the output.
Some soundbars can be connected to wireless multi-room systems – where different speakers are dotted around the house. These speakers are all controlled from a single app and can be used to play different or the same music. So you can either link it up to your music system or create your own true cinema surround-sound system. This is ideal for those wanting the full surround sound experience without the wiring and is willing to spare no expense to get it.
Selecting a soundbar
Now that you see all the considerations of a soundbar, you can do a quick google search or head down to your local electronic store to see the various options avialable in your budget. Some consumers may opt for the same brand as their TV, out of convenience or brand loyalty.
- Samsung has soundbars for Samsung TVs
- Sony has soundbars for Sony TVs
- LG has soundbars for LG TVs
- HiSense has soundbars for HiSense TVs
Others may opt for those on the lower end of ultra high end regardless of the brand. Many brands want you to stick with their ecosystem and try to encourage you to buy within the same brand, but is it really necessary? Well here's what buying in the same brand can offer you, and you can decide if it's worthwhile.
Brands tend to allow for certain conveniences to sway customers, and one of them is usually the single-remote syncing feature between some brand devices that allows for one easy setup remote control for your entire home theatre.
So if one remote to rule them all is your weakness, then perhaps stick to the same brand.
Regardless of whether or not a soundbar will match a television, it is important to consider what kind of connection you want between them. One thing to consider is HDMI ARC and HDMI eARC. ARC stands for Audio Return Channel. Many modern televisions will have an HDMI port that is labelled as an ARC or eARC HDMI port. So depending on your TV's port connection, you may be limited to a certain range of soundbars.
Curved TV's are a niche of the flat-screen TV sector and offer different features and a look that you won't see in every home. Besides, curved TV's have seen the launch of curved soundbars to match. In some instances, the curved soundbar also can act as a stand for the curved televisions. Understandably, these soundbars will only match the curve of specific televisions.
Look and feel
Brands often have the same designers on a product and try to create products that visually complement one another. If you are a sucker for aesthetics, then remaining in the brand could be the better option for you.
Brands tend to their homework on how much customers are willing to pay as a premium to remain brand loyal and push this to the max without adding additional features. This premium can be anything from a single-digit percentage to high teens for tech products. If you're cost-sensitive and want the best value for money, perhaps remaining in the brand is not for you.
On the flip side if the best quality is all you care about, then remaining in brand could mean you lose the best sound as high-end soundbars are built by manufacturers who specialise in this product and can therefore provide you with a better product.
Serious about sound
There you have it a guide to branded and non-branded soundbars and how to pick the right one for you. We hope this guide helps you and that you've found the soundbar to match all your needs. Let us know which one you went for brand loyalty or brand agnostic, we'd love to hear which you chose and the combinations in the comments below.
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If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on home entertainment.
- How To Never Pay Full Price At South African Cinemas
- Netflix Shows About South Africa & The First African Original Series
- The Benefits Of Owning A Smart TV
- 4 Benefits of A Pad Locked TV Mount