Do You Need a Soundbar for a Smart TV?

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Do You Need a Soundbar for a Smart TV?

A soundbar could be a great addition to a smart TV, they offer superior sound quality compared to the base loudspeaker installed in the smart TV, so it could be great if you watch movies, shows, or listen to music.

And it doesn’t stop there, there are many features that come with soundbars such as surround-sound technology. Before, we had to physically set up surround sound, but now we can have it in a box.

Objectively speaking, a soundbar isn’t necessary for a smart TV, but for a greater experience, a soundbar would offer an immersive surround sound experience which would be advantageous if you’re looking to build a home theater.

What Is A Soundbar

Soundbars are pretty much easy-to-install speaker systems that look like a bar, they’re typically placed underneath a TV, or they can be wall mounted for aesthetic purposes.

The job of a soundbar is to replace the internal loudspeakers that come with the smart TV as external speakers usually perform better in terms of loudness and many other features.

Soundbars also have the role of providing surround sound capabilities that come with high-end surround sound configs, so soundbars are pretty much an affordable version of surround sound setups.

Do I Need A Soundbar For My Smart TV?

home theater with soundbar

A soundbar will always be a personal preference, you do not need a soundbar to be able to watch TVs, however, soundbars have the potential to massively improve the cinematic and immersiveness of your smart TV experience.

  • Surround sound performance
  • Subwoofer
  • Dolby Atmos & Other Surround sound formats
  • Room Correction Capabilities
  • Dialogue Enhancement Capabilities

Surround Sound: The standard speakers in your smart TV probably do not have surround sound capabilities, but some soundbars do, and they can be pretty good at it.

You can find soundbars with many different surround sound configs, for example, a soundbar can have 5.1 channels or 7.1 channels for Dolby Digital. Or a soundbar can have 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 channels for Dolby Atmos.

The purpose of surround sound is to completely encapsulate the viewer in whatever they’re watching or listening to, this has the potential to improve the immersion of movies, and is a crucial component if you’re building a home theater.

Dolby Atmos: Certain soundbars will come with features such as Dolby Atmos, these are usually high-end soundbars, but they add 3D sound capabilities which do not come with your standard smart TV.

Dolby Atmos isn’t the only surround sound format either, there is DTS, DTS:X, and Dolby Digital which all effectively do something similar to what Dolby Atmos does.

Dolby Atmos is the best surround sound format because it uses 3D sound technology for sound-based objects. Imagine a plane flies over in a movie scene, it will actually sound like it flew over you due to the 3D sound coordinate system it uses.

Subwoofer: Also, your TV probably doesn’t come with a subwoofer, well soundbars do, and subwoofers are able to enhance the listening experience of action movies and can make listening to music more enjoyable.

A subwoofer works by reproducing low-frequency noises also known as bass, so it helps get those low rumbly noises when you’re watching an action movie or listening to music.

Room Correction: Your soundbar could have the ability to scan the environment and apply settings based on the parameters it scanned. This will massively improve the listening experience of the soundbar.

The goal with room correction is to make sounds sound more natural and enjoyable, it will also help immersion if you’re watching TV shows or a movie.

Dialogue Enhancement Features: Your soundbar could have the ability to enhance the clarity and loudness of vocals in the TV show or movie you’re watching.

TV shows and movies have dialogue that can often be difficult to listen to, and this can be a huge problem to someone with poor hearing, so this can help the viewer grasp and understand what they’re watching.

Where Do I Place My Soundbar?

smart tv with soundbar
Soundbar should be placed underneath the TV in this manner

Soundbar positioning is crucial, but the general rule of thumb is to place the soundbar just underneath the TV, this helps give the clearest listening experience that isn’t inhibited by any objects.

Some soundbars will allow for wallmounting for aesthetic purposes, and the wallmounted soundbar will usually be below a wallmounted TV.

Always ensure you do your due diligence and read the manual as they will have the best information about positioning for that specific soundbar.

You don’t want to place a soundbar too far into a cabinet as this can inhibit how the soundbar projects sound. The soundbar is designed to bounce sound off walls so you get the best listening experience possible.

Should My Soundbar Be The Same Size As My Smart TV

The soundbar should closely match the width of your smart TV screen, this is for aesthetic purposes, but it also helps improve the audio and experience you’ll get from the soundbar.

The goal isn’t to get a soundbar that has the exact same width as the TV, that just narrows down you options, just finding a soundbar that is marginally smaller is enough to be immersive and aesthetically pleasing.

It’s always better to have a soundbar that is slightly smaller rather than slightly larger, but it mostly comes down to personal preferences, but the soundbar should seamlessly slot underneath the display.

The positive effects of having a soundbar that’s the same width as your smart TV is that the soundbar produces a clear rich experience without being too distracting or becoming an eyesore.

Screen Size(In)Screen Width(In)Ideal Soundbar Size(In)
42″36.6″30-40″
50″44″40-50″
55″48″40-50″
65″57″50-60″
75″65″60″

How To Find My TV Screens Width?

finding the width of a tv screen.
Omnicalculator Screen Width Calculator

Theres two ways you can find the width of your TV scree, the first way is to use Pythagoras’ theorem to find the hypotenuse or width of the smart TV.

The second way is a lot easier, just measuring the TV physically if you have access to it should be a lot quicker, just use a measuring tape to do this.

The easiest way yet is to head to a popular screen width calculator online, and all you have to do is enter the diagonal length of the display, and it should output the width.

Also Read: What Size Soundbar Do I Need For TV

How Do I Connect My Soundbar To My Smart TV?

You can connect your soundbar to your smart TV with a few methods, the easiest way yet is to use an optical cable. The optical cable connects to the output of the display and inputs data into the soundbar.

The downside of using an optical cable is that it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, or Dolby TrueHD, these are popular surround sound formats that you’ll me missing out on.

The best wired option is to use HDMI, the data transfer is higher in quality compared to optical, and most importantly, it supports the surround sound formats such as Dolby Atmos.

Your soundbar should also have BlueTooth as this makes it easier to connect devices such as your smart phone, tablets or remotes to it, and you can also use BlueTooth to connect to your smart TV.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it all comes down to personal preference, but there’s many reasons for someone to select a soundbar. The first reason is that they want something that’s better than the standard speakers that comes with their smart TV.

The second reason is that they may be building a home theater, and may have a high end OLED smart TV, and they want a high end Dolby Atmos soundbar to compliment it with surround sound technology.

But if you’re asking if your smart TV needs a soundbar to merely work, then the answer is no, your smart TV will come with loudspeakers pre installed, and they’re usually enough for most individuals.

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