Squeeze even more out of your TV with the right sound bar
Flat screen TVs are something of a marvel. Cheaper to run, lighter to carry and stylish in their own right, they’ve replaced their chunky CRT cousins just about everywhere. As they grow slimmer and slimmer though, there’s less and less space for quality integrated speakers. This means that muted dialogue and even annoying vibrations at higher volumes can spoil your viewing.
The right sound bar can add some much needed punch to your movies, TV programmes and games, without the fuss of installing a whole home theatre system. In fact, some go way beyond just taking over from your TV speakers, and can create cinema-type surround sound, all from a compact box just under your TV set.
We’ve turned the spotlight on some of our favourite offerings from this season to help you make sense of the features on offer, from easy music streaming to separate subwoofers.
Sonos have made a name for themselves as pioneers in wireless music, and with good reason. Easy to set up and use, their wireless music systems can push out deep, reliable audio all over the home in moments.
The Sonos Playbar marks the company’s first venture into the world of sound bars and the results are predictably stunning. A streamlined 9-speaker build lets the Playbar indulge every detail of a soundtrack (or album track). Naturally, because it’s a Sonos device, it’s ready to network (wired or wirelessly) with other Sonos speakers around the home. This allows you to extend its home cinema capabilities, or work as another part of your music-streaming network. It even adapts intelligently to its position for the best sound anywhere. View our video about the Sonos wireless system
Orbitsound M12 Sound Bar
Dabbling in quirky Great British design and powerful sound output, Orbitsound bring a fresh take to any project - and their M12 sound bar is no different. Its 2.1 setup creates a surprisingly large soundstage that’s boosted even further by a separate wireless subwoofer.
The M12 also enhances your music listening through easy Bluetooth streaming. Instead of sitting around and waiting to be manually paired with your phone, laptop or tablet, the M12 can ‘grab’ your Bluetooth signal and continue playing seamlessly.
With all the same features as the bigger M12, the M9 is right at home in smaller living rooms, studies and bedrooms. It’s still made from instrument grade wood too so sound stays fluid and natural, without unwanted distortion. Thanks to its low profile (and the fact that the wireless subwoofer can easily be moved out of sight); it won’t draw attention away from the onscreen action either.