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The Best Soundbar For Your TV & Home Audio

Soundbars have become commonplace in many homes and offices thanks to their premium sound quality, ease of use, and sheer aesthetic appeal.

But what is a soundbar? How do you know which size to get, and where’s the best place to put one?

Learn more about soundbars and how to choose one and place it in your home.

What is a soundbar?

A soundbar is a long, low-profile loudspeaker that amplifies your music, television, or even your gaming setup.

Their long, rectangular shape means that they can fit a number of internal speakers, including a subwoofer, for much higher quality sound than you would find in your standard television speakers. This is because television speakers are often good quality but not exceptional quality, given the compact depth of modern TVs.

The additional speakers also mean you get something akin to a surround sound effect, without needing to set up speakers around the room. This can help you to save space and avoid unsightly cords running around the room, as a soundbar will usually have just one cord connecting it to the television.

You'll find this functionality in soundbars such as the Bar 5.0 Multibeam which combines virtual Dolby Atmos® and JBL MultiBeam™ technology for a fully immersive sound system

The JBL MultiBeam™ technology allows you to calibrate the soundbar to your own home and room layout, so it can flawlessly project sound to every corner. Meanwhile, the Dolby Atmos® system uses internal drivers to literally bounce sound around the room for a 3D listening experience.

Avoiding a full sound system also makes a soundbar a good choice for those looking for excellent sound quality without the higher price tag.

Another option is a soundbar with a subwoofer combination, such as the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround system . This system incorporates the best of a soundbar, including JBL MultiBeam™ technology, with a separate powerful 10-inch subwoofer unit, for the ultimate surround-sound experience and enough bass to make movie night at home feel like you're at the cinema.

The overall result is a premium sound experience in a sleek and aesthetically pleasing piece of hardware, all without breaking the bank.

What size soundbar do you need?

There is no specific technical requirement for your soundbar size, but there is a good rule of thumb that can help you decide the best soundbar size for your space: it should be more or less the same width as your television.

This is largely for purely aesthetic reasons; a soundbar that’s the same size as your TV is likely to look more pleasing than one that is significantly larger or smaller.

Historically, some experts would recommend avoiding a soundbar that was significantly smaller than the television, to ensure the sound didn’t seem like it was coming from just the ‘middle’ of the TV. With modern soundbars that are much better at projecting their audio, this is no longer such an issue.

That’s why the compact design of the Bar 2.0 All-in-One can be the perfect solution when you’re looking for something less noticeable.

And if you prefer your soundbar to be larger than your television, that’s entirely up to you and your personal preference. This can also be a good option if you are planning to upgrade your TV to a larger model in the future. Just be sure to measure your TV cabinet first so a soundbar won’t hang over the sides.

Note: It may pay to check the connection on your television before considering your soundbar options. Many soundbars will connect with an HDMI cable, and some will require support for HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC). Older televisions may not have this feature, in which case you may need to rely on optical cables.

Where to position your soundbar?

The best place to position your soundbar is just under your television. However, if there isn’t space below your TV, you can also mount the soundbar to the wall above the television.

As you’ll usually be sitting in front of your TV, placing a TV soundbar so it is facing in the same direction makes the most sense.

What is essential is to read the instructions that come with your soundbar, as they are not all the same.

For example, if you have a soundbar model such as the JBL BAR 9.1 True Wireless Soundbar , it includes technology that is designed to bounce sound around your room for a more immersive listening experience. If the bar is set back into a TV cabinet or is underneath something that hangs over the unit, it will not be able to work as designed.

This wireless model can also be a practical option, as you won’t have to take cords into account when finding the best position for your soundbar.

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