Sound is the ugly duckling of televisions. And it is that except for the high range and the occasional exception, the evolution that has taken place in image quality has not found a replica to match in sound. After all, and despite the advances that have occurred, the increasingly compact chassis do not make it easy. Fortunately, sound bars mitigate this problem without large space requirements or considerable investments… if we know which one to choose. What are the sound bars with the best quality-price on the market?
Choosing a good soundbar
A compact design with its advantages and disadvantages
Compared to more ambitious proposals such as bases and projectors, which differ in design and the way sound is projected, sound bars are the most popular audio solutions due to their simplicity and compactness.
Thus, under their generally long and slim shape, they hide a variable number of speakers. Its placement is not very complicated either: next to the base of the television, slightly in front of it.
Of course, its compact design also plays against it, since unlike the bars, its interior is more limited to accommodate speakers with a larger diameter and/or capable of covering a greater range of the frequency spectrum.
To extend its bass frequency response, some models use an external subwoofer, an especially interesting addition for cinema .
What sound formats does it process?
Another factor to take into account is its ability to process surround sound formats, as well as compressed music with and without quality loss.
The simplest bars are capable of processing Dolby Digital audio, while the most advanced ones are compatible with more advanced surround sound formats such as Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Atmos, a feature that we will appreciate in our cinematic experience, perceiving a more spatial sound and delighting ourselves with greater sonic precision in soundtracks.
And if we are going to use them for music, it is worth betting on those that can process high-resolution formats such as FLAC or ALAC, the two most used to distribute high-resolution music on the Internet as they offer a very interesting and lossless compression rate. quality.
How many virtual channels
Hand in hand with the formats that the sound bar is capable of processing, we find the number of virtual channels that it is capable of recreating.
In sound bars, the usual thing will be to find 2.0 or 2.1 channels, although thanks to surround sound technologies it is possible to recreate more complex configurations such as 5.1 or 7.1.2, topologies that result in a more successful immersion in the sound content.
The least that we are going to find in a sound bar is an EIAJ/TosLink optical digital input and another analog line input, however, there are quite a few models that lack HDMI sockets and S/PDIF electrical digital inputs.
For convenience, it is increasingly common for them to implement wireless connectivity: some have Bluetooth, others only Wi-Fi and the most advanced have both.
Best price-quality sound bars: featured models
Very tight price for the Hisense HS218 ( 108 euros ), a simple and easy-to-install sound bar with a 2.1 configuration, 200W of power, and compatibility with Dolby Digital. It has Bluetooth connectivity, HDMI ARC/Optical/Aux/USB, and three sound modes
JBL Bar 2.0
The JBL Bar 2.0 ( 179 euros ) is a compact, simple, and very easy-to-use bar, with 2.0 channels and delivery of up to 40W per channel. It features a single HDMI ARC or optical jack, plus Bluetooth, to make connecting your TV or devices quick and easy. With Dolby Digital sound.
This ultra-thin bar is the Denon DHT-S216 ( 151 euros ) inside which there are two 3-inch woofers for low frequencies, accompanied by two other drivers for the midrange and two 1-inch tweeters for the treble. It supports DTS Virtual:X surround sound and is capable of decoding Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks
The bar has a digital optical input and HDMI-ARC for the TV, as well as a Bluetooth interface and an RCA output to connect an external subwoofer to complement the low-frequency response.
With several default listening modes (film, music, and night mode) and a system to enhance dialogue with three different options or intensities depending on the content we are viewing.
Polk Audio MagniFi Mini
The Polk Audio MagniFi Mini ( 196 euros ) is an original 2.1-channel soundbar with a wireless subwoofer and a compact design.
With Polk’s Voice Adjust technology for greater dialogue clarity, it has integrated Chromecast and Wi-Fi connectivity, it is compatible with Dolby Digital.
Samsung 2022 HW-B450
The Samsung 2022 HW-B450 bar ( 211 euros ) from Samsung is a good way to improve the sound of your television with a simple but effective proposal with a wireless subwoofer. With a 2.1-channel configuration and 300W power, it supports Dolby 2.0 and DTS Virtual:X sound, One Remote Control for unified operation, and Bluetooth connectivity. Watch out for its night mode to enjoy the movies without disturbing those who sleep.
Bose TV Speaker
The Bose TV Speaker ( 231 euros ) stands out for being very successful in home theater applications such as listening to music with that dynamic punch characteristic of the brand.
It has the “essentials”: optical and coaxial digital inputs, a 3.5mm jack analog input, and Bluetooth connectivity to send music from your phone or tablet. Taking into account that it has a width of 549 mm, it is suitable for very small spaces.
Very good value for money and perfect for small spaces the compact LG QP5 ( 284 euros ), is made up of two elements: the bar and a wireless subwoofer to achieve a 3.1.2 sound system with a power of 320W. It offers high-resolution sound, is compatible with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and its connectivity proposal is versatile, with Bluetooth, HDMI, and optical.
For most gourmet people looking for a truly immersive experience, the Sony HT-S40R ( 310 euros ) is one of the most attractive. With 5-1 channels with S-Master digital amplifier, Bluetooth connectivity with NFC in one touch, and ClearAudio+ technology for clearer sound
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.