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While TVs are becoming bigger and flatter, it’s no secret that the built-in speakers in most flat-panel TVs are less than stellar. After all, flat TVs give you flat sound. But while installing a home surround system can transform your living room into a mini home theater, many are reluctant to pull the trigger for varying reasons – costs of the system itself and the trouble it takes to set one up are just a few.

Enter the sound bar – the perfect upgrade to your TV’s default speakers. In fact, these compact pieces of equipment pack a major improvement in dialogue clarity while providing more vibrant, full-range sound. The kicker is that they also take up minimal space and are designed to flow with modern décor.

With the vast number of available options out there, shopping for a sound bar can be slightly overwhelming. No worries, we have sized up the most important things to know before purchasing a sound bar.

1. GET CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT

Sound bars come in all different shapes and sizes. Some can be mounted directly onto the wall, while others sit beneath your TV or rest right on top of your TV console. The last thing you want is unpacking your sound bar to find that it does not suit your TV or stand. The wise thing to do would be to measure the length, width, depth of your TV and console before shopping for a sound bar. Then proceed along.

2. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACTIVE VS PASSIVE SOUND BARS

Sound bars can be broken down into active or passive ones, and each kind comes with its own unique perks. Active sound bars tout an all-in-one setup, meaning that the speakers, amplifiers and the components that process the killer surround sound are all housed in one sleek bar. This naturally lends itself to a streamlined, compact look. Setup-wise, simply plug-and-play. If clean and easy installation is what you are after, an active system might just be the better option for you.

Passive sound bars are those that do not come equipped with built-in amplifiers, and hence require a separate amplifier or receiver to drive them. This means that they will have speaker wires running to and fro, and the setup may get a bit more complicated. The end result is a more crisp sound, control to play around with different crossover settings and the ability to connect to more sources.

3. CONNECTIVITY

When shopping around, wireless connectivity (Bluetooth / Wi-Fi) would be one of your considerations. Is it a deal breaker? Not necessarily, but it sure is awesome to be able to play your favorite tunes straight off your smartphone (or any other smart device for that matter). This is a pretty attractive perk for your get-togethers and dinner parties.

 4. WHAT SUB?

If you want the full cinematic experience with the deep, intense hums from your movie explosion scenes, a subwoofer can make all difference. It’s an external bass module that requires additional connection, but the good news is that the newer ones can be sleek, discreet and not ginormous. Moreover, wireless subwoofers are becoming more commonplace nowadays to make the setup process less cumbersome. At the end of the day, a subwoofer is not the linchpin to a sound system, but if space is not an issue for you, your action movies will sound much cooler and better with the added bass.

Raise the bar on your movies and sound right now. Browse our sound bars right here.

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