Tips for choosing a soundbar?

We had a mail this week from a very pleasant lady who was seeking advice on a soundbar suitable for a 50″ TV. She had been told that for a TV of that size that two Soundbars would be required. One for each side. Unfortunately this sort of misinformation is quite common, but don’t worry – its not true. You do only need one Soundbar but for a larger TV you want to make sure to get a larger soundbar to keep things in proportion.
Heres what we suggest!

Firstly – there is no hurry for you to dash out and buy anything. Its worth spending some time with the tv first and making sure that it fits comfortably in the space you have available. If you already have a stereo system in the living room it may also be possible to connect to that with the right cables and a bit of experimentation.

There are quite a lot of things to think about but just gather the information listed below and don’t panic! You can also take a look at our soundbar buyers guide.

Firstly go grab a bit of paper and a pen and make a quick list of the following;

1) How much space do you have? Normally a soundbar fits on the tv stand in front of the tv just below the bottom of the screen but sometimes this can block your vision. If you have a wide tv stand with shelves then the soundbar can often fit on a shelf below the TV but you need to make sure the legs of the stand won’t be in front of the soundbar

2) How many extras do you have that you might want to plug in? For example a DVD player or XBOX. Make a note of how many you have and how they connect. It most cases it will be HDMI.

3) How much budget do you have? Soundbars range from just 100$ (though at that price don’t expect much volume or quality) all the way up to over $1000

4) How will you connect everything together? You essentially have two options – you can either connect all your peripherals like the xbox to the TVand then the TV sound output to the soundbar or you can connect all your devices to the soundbar (if it has the right connectors) and then connect the TV to the Soundbar via HDMI.
Generally the more expensive Soundbars have more connectors and greater flexibility.

Now you have your information gatherd take a browse on Amazon and form a shortlist of units that match your criteria. Look to see if the advert lists how wide the soundbar is and what size television it is suitable for. Technically there is no reason the soundbar can’t be smaller or larger than your TV, you just don’t want it to be massively different as it would visually look a little odd to have a very large TV with a small soundbar or vise versa!

One soundbar that might be worth a look at to start your search would be the Samsung 46 soundbar which is for 46″ or larger TVS, has HDMI input/output and is only  2.2″ high.

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