Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Sound Bar

Televisions are flatter, lighter, and better than ever before, but often need a sound bar to help kick out better sound.

Soundbar in front of a flat screen TV with a surfer
A quality sound bar will improve the sound quality of anything you’re watching, especially movies and sports.Samsung

TVs have gotten flatter and flatter, and that’s great for the way one fits in your living room, but unfortunately thinner TVs mean smaller speakers, too. TV sound just doesn’t pack the punch that most people want it to have, especially if it’s broadcasting a big, epic movie or TV show. They look great, and they should sound just as great, right? Sound bars are generally the simplest and most-affordable way to level-up your TV’s sound. Here are three things to know when you’re looking for one.

Sonos Beam Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in
This sound bar produces excellent sound, and can sync with other speakers.Sonos

Your speaker isn’t going to help your TV sound any better if you can’t figure out how to connect it to your TV. A good sound bar should be simple to set up and pair. A smart sound bar will likely have Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use it to play music off your phone, or sync it with other speakers around your house. Some even have digital assistants built right into them, so you can use voice controls.

Samsung Harman Kardon 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Soundbar
This setup comes with additional speakers to make it a one-stop surround sound setup.Samsung

What’s the point of buying a sound bar for you TV if it doesn’t sound any better than the built-in speakers? TV speakers are small and lack bass, so when looking for a sound bar, you want one that’s going to move some air and give you that movie theatre rumble. A great way to do that is with an external subwoofer that packs a punch. Many sound bars come bundled with them and it’s just the thing for filling out the sound. Some even come with two satellite speakers to give you the full surround sound experience.

Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar
A minimalist design looks sleek and modern, and it sounds as good as it looks.Bose

Not to be shallow, a sound bar is going to be prominently featured in your TV viewing area, so you want to make sure it looks good. Obviously, there’s no accounting for taste, but look for bars that are similar to the other components you have at home. Or, let the bar set the tone, and just get one with sleek lines, and an aesthetic that matches your tastes. Also, take measurements and make sure it will fit under your TV without obstructing the screen.