Surround sound adds an exciting dimension to home theater. However, sometimes it’s just not possible to accommodate the five to seven speakers needed to create the full surround effects. There might be a problem running the wires to the speakers, or maybe there’s simply not enough space to put them all. But without surround sound, you’re only getting half of the experience. What are you supposed to do?
All this from a single speaker?
A single sound bar takes the place of multiple speakers. In a typical surround sound speaker system, there are three speakers in the front (the left, center, and right channels) plus two or four speakers in the back (the surround effects channels). A three-channel sound bar replaces all three front speakers, but you still need the rear speakers.
A five-channel sound bar does it all—full surround sound from a single easy to install speaker. This kind of sound bar uses multiple speaker arrays and sophisticated electronics processing to simulate the surround effects, including the rear channels. I’ll be the first to say that a well-designed separate speaker surround sound system is clearly superior. The way you sense sounds coming from all around you is more realistic and engaging. That being said, I’ve also heard sound bars that are truly remarkable. How they can make that much sound from a single speaker is amazing, but true.
Powered or un-powered?
A powered sound bar is a totally self-contained surround sound system that is connected directly to your home theater television, DVD and Blu-ray player, and video game. There are two big advantages of a powered sound bar. First, there’s no more equipment to buy and install. Everything you need comes in one box. That’s a pretty strong advantage. Second, the built-in amplification and processing is specially tuned for the particular sound bar, increasing its sound performance to much higher levels.
An un-powered sound bar connects to a home theater receiver, just like regular speakers, but there’s only one of them. If you already own a home theater receiver, an un-powered sound bar might make more sense. And even if you don’t already own a home theater receiver, an un-powered sound bar lets you purchase a separate receiver that may accommodate your room and your components better than a powered sound bar.
Does a sound bar make sense for me?
Maybe, but your home theater room should be enclosed with four walls. A sound bar in an open floor plan room doesn’t work very well. That’s because to simulate the rear effects sounds, the sound bar reflects sounds off of the wall surfaces. No reflective wall surfaces—no surround sound. But that’s where Sound Advice comes in. During your Free In-Home Consultation a Sound Advice system design expert will survey the room to see if a sound bar is an option. So call us or click to make an appointment today. Great home theater sound might be a lot simpler than you ever imagined.