Your speaker setup is integral to delivering the audio experience you need when you watch movies at home. One of the areas of advancement in home entertainment systems is the soundbar. But what is a soundbar? Is it just another speaker, only thinner?
Well, yes and no. They are quite thin, being candybar-shaped. That’s because they’re designed to sit below the television in a low profile. Yes, they are speakers, but the technology inside is quite different from a normal speaker cabinet.
Soundbar systems aim to provide an immersive audio experience at a price point that’s typically less expensive than a full 5.1 speaker system. You get movie theater sound that’s easier on the wallet. Add to that, they are much easier to deploy and get running. This is why soundbars could well be the most convenient way to build or upgrade your home theater.
Surround Yourself with Audio
So what makes a soundbar so different from a typical run-of-the-mill speaker? Soundbars are designed to give you a surround sound experience from a simple speaker enclosure. Newer soundbars typically have at least 5 speakers fitted inside that elongated chamber, with each pumping out a separate audio channel for you.
In days not so long ago, we would’ve had 5 separate speakers, and a mesh of cables for each one. They’d have to be physically positioned in different parts of the room in order to give you the effect that just one soundbar can bring. Today, it’s clear dialogue coming to your ears from the front, with sound effects sweeping across from different sides. All from something sleek and stylish, just sitting under the TV.
PhaseGuide and QuietPort
The SoundTouch 300 employs Bose’s patented PhaseGuide technology, and it works by pumping out audio through an array of speakers at different intervals so that you get surround sound. It’s all about timing, direction and the way soundwaves work. The sound follows the onscreen action. Think of a horse galloping closer to you, and having the sound follow as it moves across the screen. This technology lets you hear sounds where you wouldn’t normally expect it to be.
In order to reduce port turbulence and to keep distortion to the least, Bose has the QuietPort technology. It has folded bass reflex ports so that you can clearly hear audio tracks at any volume you choose.
Use the Right Connection to your TV
So what’s next after purchasing your soundbar? Getting the world’s best soundbar will not matter if you are not utilizing the correct connection to your television. Hence, the Bose SoundTouch 300 is a start in the right direction as it supports two of the best connectors in the market; HDMI and optical audio. Both allows you to get the most out of your new addition, regardless of what your setup is.
Optical audio supports a wide range of televisions, which means an older set will work with the new soundbar while HDMI, a current standard supports DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD.
Next to keep in mind is the positioning of your soundbar. It needs to have its back close to a wall so that the bass levels sound good yet do not have too many walls to reflect off as it will amplify the bass.
The SoundTouch 300 comes with Bose’s proprietary ADAPTiQ so that your audio setup is close to flawless in every room, as every room is different. This is a breeze and only require the following steps:
It's that easy!
This process essentially tweaks the EQ to prevent the accumulation of standing waves.
Do I Need Anything Else?
Admittedly, what may be lacking when you get yourself a soundbar to use for your home theater would be some bass or two. That’s not a deal breaker though, as most of the soundbar systems available these days have a separate bass unit attached to it. The SoundTouch 300 from Bose, for example, have an optional wireless Acoustimass 300 bass module. The soundbar can support up to two bass modules. You can place them out of sight and yet still feel the rumble in your chest when watching movies with explosions. In addition, you might also want to add on the Virtually Invisible 300 wireless surround speakers to complete the ideal home theater setup in a small space.
*All images courtesy of Bose Corporation, unless otherwise stated