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Video: How to choose a sound bar

Make sure you get one that fits your needs

Sound bars are a great way to get better sound from your TV. In this short video, we'll help you sort out your sound bar options so you can find the one that's best for you.

Video Transcript

There are a wide variety of sound bars and sound platforms available these days. In this video, we'll ask four questions to help you choose the sound bar that's right for you. Where will you place the sound bar? What kind of sound do you want? Do you also want to play music from your smartphone through the sound bar? And how will you connect your sound bar to your existing TV and components?

First, where will you place the sound bar? Sound bars come in two different styles-bars and platforms. Bars can be placed in front of your TV or mounted on the wall below your TV. And there are even curved sound bar models to match the styling of curved TVs.

Platform models sit below the TV and act as a base. A couple tips from our experts: if you're planning to place the sound bar in front of your TV, make sure the sound bar doesn't block the remote signal to your TV or the TV's picture. If you're planning to wall mount your sound bar, make sure to select a model with keyhole slots on the back. We also carry specialized sound bar brackets that connect to your TV's wall mounts.

Next up, what kind of sound do you want? The stereo models are great for getting better sound from your TV, but if you're interested in coming as close as you can to big home theater sound check out the models with simulated surround. These models use more drivers and special audio processing for impactful sound from movies and games. Many models offer a wireless sub that you can tuck into a corner or other out-of-the-way places.

Another tip from our experts: even though a subwoofer is considered wireless it will still need power from the wall. If the sound bar you're considering doesn't come with a sub, some models have a subwoofer output so you can add a separate subwoofer.

Do you also want to be able to play music from your smartphone through your sound bar? Many models feature Bluetooth which lets you stream music from your phone, tablet, or compatible computer.

One last thing to consider is how you plan to connect the sound bar in your system. You can hook up a sound bar using a digital audio connection, an analog audio connection, or an HDMI port. Be sure to check the audio outputs on your TV and components as well as the sound bar's audio inputs before you buy. If you have any questions about sound bars or connecting them to your TV, give Crutchfield a call.

  • Jimmy Merritt from Goose Creek, SC

    Posted on 1/30/2017

    I have a Sony TV (KDL 48R510C. what sound bar should I buy that will enhance the dialogue? its difficult for me to hear the dialogue when there is background noise.

  • Roy from Nj

    Posted on 7/9/2016

    What are your thoughts on the Sonos playbar and Samsung 7100 series on a tabletop. Trying to figure out if the playbar will block the picture. Any experience with that combo?

  • Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/7/2015

    Tom, many sound bars have a dialogue "boost" or "enhance" mode, so you can clearly hear speech without having to crank the volume up too high. I've forwarded your comment to one of our Advisors. We'll follow up with you directly to discuss some options.

  • Tom from Lake Crystal

    Posted on 8/6/2015

    I am hard of hearing and shows with background noise are very difficult for me to hear the dialogue