What is a Soundbar?
Well first things first let us answer the first primitive question posted above. Soundbar is essentially a slim piece of equipment housing a speaker or a few of them that are meant to accentuate sounds from a TV set. Naturally TV i.e., LED and OLED are slim and do not have the space or the depth to accommodate high performance speakers that can go toe to toe with enhanced and pristine video performance.
This where soundbar comes in and saves the day. Soundbar come in various sizes and different powers to give the kind of oomph you need.
For instance soundbars start as low as 2000 Rupees and can cost over one lakh rupees too, depending on the brand, model and setup you choose.
Which Soundbar is for me?
You have to take a call on the basis of your budget, requirements, aesthetic needs so on and so forth. For example you could either want a heavy and many driver setup to recreate a plausible surround experience or you may be humbly satisfied with a smaller soundbar consisting of a couple of drivers only.
Then comes the size factor, you could want the soundbar as same or similar size as TV, or larger or smaller as per your own preferences.
Similarly if you want extra bass or solid punch a dedicated subwoofer is a must, thereby that will also influence your decision.
Do you want surround setup?
Certain class of soundbars are pseudo 5.1 setups while some have dedicated rear speakers which take the surround sound to the next level. It all boils down to your budget or preferences. However this kind of soundbars usually cost above 10000 rupees in India.
Also it is important to note that the soundbar should have Dolby Decoding for best audio performance and compatibility.
Often a soundbar system will come with a wireless subwoofer or a wired subwoofer. These don’t need to connect physically with the soundbar itself, but they’ll need a power source only to reproduce sound.
But here’s where it can get a confusing: A soundbar can claim to be 2.1, 3.1. or 5.1 , even if it doesn’t come with a subwoofer. It happens probably because the soundbar itself may have a small dedicated driver for the same.
If there’s a third digit for example 5.1.4 that would mean the soundbar supports discrete Dolby Atmos decoding and surround sound and/or DTS:X. Moreover certain Dolby Atmos model soundbars are incredible at recreating such effect.
Soundbar can have various connectivity options such as HDMI e-ARC, Toslink, Coaxial, Bluetooth, RCA etc. It all boils down to your requirements and needs. Having said that more the connectivity options the better it is.
Read more about Soundbars here.