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Soundbars Buying Guide

Not every television blasts out premium sound. This can make the viewing experience a less than satisfying one, given that the audio aspect is just as important as the visual one when you’re watching a movie or tv show, or playing your favourite game. A sound bar can give you a boost in the audio department and make the entire experience a fully-rounded one.

Thankfully, you only need to consider a few key factors to ensure the soundbar you select is the right one. The first thing to look for is the number of channels. A sound bar with three or more channels will give you more of a surround sound experience than a two-channel soundbar which gives you stereo sound...and stereo is so last century!

While you're shopping around, you'll come across active soundbars and passive sound bars. Active sound bars come with built-in amplifiers while passive soundbars must be attached to a receiver or amplifier. Passive soundbars usually have better speakers but if you don’t want to attach to an amplifier or receiver, and need a space saving solution, an active soundbar might be a better bet.

Your sound bar shouldn’t be any wider than your TV and if you decide to hang it on a wall, or sit it on a shelf, the optimum position will see your sound bar centred beneath or above your TV. Dimensions vary, so measure your preferred space before you buy.

Most sound bars are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled so they can stream music from any computer, phone, or tablet. Some offer easier connectivity than others, so make that part of your checklist and look for HDMI-switching so you can switch audio sources without having to re-route HDMI cables.

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