Gone are the days of giant televisions that take up an entire room. Nowadays, TVs are sleeker and thinner than ever before with better color, higher resolution, and a plethora of other smart features. It’s fun to think back to the early days of the television knowing how far we’ve come.
But the idea of “thinner and thinner” comes at a price. Speakers are generally better the bigger they are. You can’t fill a living room with quality sound from a tiny speaker. And as TVs get thinner and thinner to look better in your living room, they run out of space for built-in speakers that are halfway decent.
This is where the soundbar comes in. It’s a great solution to this problem. The soundbar has just enough bulk to it (and often comes with a connected subwoofer that can be hidden somewhere else in the room) to create good quality sound. But it’s small enough to sit below your TV and not create an eyesore.
If you’re looking for soundbars, here’s three tips to get you started.
1. Size it for your setup
Soundbars have a typical shape: a long and short rectangle that can sit on the shelf of your TV stand below your tv. But they do come in many different variations on that shape. Length and height vary, so it’s good to familiarize yourself with what’s out there and make a plan for your specific setup.
Before buying anything, do your research on best brands, read consumer reviews on various bestselling soundbars and learn what people like about them. Here’s a great article with a list of The 10 Best Soundbars You Can Buy according to Digital Trends.
One tip for a good aesthetic is to keep your soundbar less wide than your television.
Consider a new TV stand
As you can tell, the furniture paired with your tv is more important than you may have thought. If you’re still using an old tv stand that doesn’t have great shelf space or the right size requirements, maybe it’s time to look into a new tv stand! Realcozy has a ton of handcrafted, real solid wood and veneer tv stands with soundbar shelves built right in! Plus, our tv stands have great modern styling that will pop in your room, no matter your décor. And, we have units with built in electric fireplaces that create an ambiance in your room for less money and less environmental impact than a real fireplace.
2. Swim downstream
Soundbars are also great for listening to music. If you’re vacuum dancer or a cleaning singer you’ll love how easy it is to play music from your phone on your soundbar. Simply get one with the right Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities (most of them have these features) and you can connect your phone’s Spotify, Apple Music or other music apps to the soundbar and play music all day long. The soundbar’s sound quality will be as good or better than most portable speakers, and it’s already setup in the room, just waiting to be played! No need to remember where you last used that hefty speaker and go find it when you’re in the mood for tunes.
Another great use for this is entertaining guests. It’s super easy to play calm jazz or soft party music when you have people over and the television isn’t on. Then when the game is on or it’s time to start the movie, you switch it right back!
3. Surround yourself
Soundbars simulate surround sound through driver placement and complex audio processing. And they do this pretty well. Most of the time, you won’t remember that you don’t have surround sound speakers placed all over the room. However, the ones that do this best like Dolby Atmos speakers can have a high price tag. So make sure to do your research to find out if the extra dollars are worth it for you, or you’re okay with a still-great-but-not-top-of-the-line soundbar. You can get a decent stereo-enabled soundbar at a reasonable price these days.
Think about a subwoofer.
As we mentioned before, some soundbar setups include a subwoofer that can be place somewhere else in the room. Cheaper subwoofers will be connected via cable and you’ll have to find a way to hide the cable (often, the cable is small enough to run under your rug and you’ll barely notice it there). But if you’re willing to spend a little more, get a subwoofer that’s wireless and you’ll be able to hide it behind the couch or put it anywhere else in the room.
4. Shop for your room
When all is said and done, you’ll want to make the right choice for the living room setup that works for you. Be sure to take measurements of the television and stand that you’ll be pairing your soundbar to. Make sure to do your research and find out what people say about the models you like as you do your shopping. Another thing to take into account is the flooring and room shape of your living room. Carpet and hardwood affect the sound quality of your entertainment setup in different ways, so make sure to do research depending on what you have in your home.
There’s more to it than looks, but it’s fine to start there! If doing all the research is overwhelming to you, find a soundbar that you like the look of, and then just check to make sure it will work in your setup!