The latest flat screen TVs are getting slimmer with visuals popping with vibrant colour. But one important trade off means sound bars are picking up the sonic slack.

The tiny speakers on modern skinny TVs can lack grunt and clarity. They often face down or towards the back wall behind your system, making it hard to discern dialogue or “feel” like you’re part of the action in your favourite blockbuster!

This is where the sound bar comes in. It’s the all-in-one speaker solution designed to enhance the audio of your entertainment experience. And you can see why they’re growing in popularity. They squeeze into small spaces and are better bang for buck than a multi-speaker surround sound system.

If you’d like to pull the trigger on a new sound bar, here’s a few steps to get you on your way:

Step 1: Get ready to shop

  • Like most things, a bit of research will inform your decision. Get to know the well-known audio brands and models so you don’t pick a dud the first time around.
  • Check your connections. Consider how your sound bar will link to your TV, including cables you may need. Also think about Bluetooth, wi-fi, USB and whether you’d like to connect your other devices so you can play music.
  • Take some snaps of your current TV set up using your smartphone. This will be a handy reference point for the shopping trip. You’ll want your sound bar to look like it’s the right size for the room and be aesthetically pleasing to your personal taste.
  • Measure your space, TV size and cabinet/stand dimensions (if applicable), so you can match the right size sound bar to your set up.

Step 2: Prize placement

Option 1

Will your TV rest on a cabinet or entertainment stand? Sound bars come in a variety of sizes so it is a good thing you took those measurements! Yours can probably be placed in front of the TV but still on the cabinet. Just make sure there’s enough room to spare and it’s not blocking your precious screen picture or TV remote sensor!

Option 2

Is your TV proudly hanging on the wall? Complete the look by professionally mounting your sound bar below the TV as well! If you’re a neat freak you might want to hide the cables for a clean appearance.

Step 3: Eliminate echoes

During the sound bar set up, you might hear a distinct echo from your equipment. What’s the deal? You’ll want to make sure your TV in-built speakers are turned all the way off using the TV menu, so you’re only hearing the sound bar. The two sounds will otherwise compete with each other and cause an annoying echo effect! Configure your settings so you can control the sound bar’s volume using the TV remote (note: most sound bars don’t have a remote control).