While sound bars may not win any awards in audio resolution or bass performance they are a great step-up from the yucky speakers built into razor thin flat screen TVs. There are many types of sound bars out there from a myriad of manufacturers, so where do you start and how do you choose a sound bar that best cater to your needs?
First decide on the connectivity options you need. Do you want just a simple connection from your TV audio outputs, or HDMI connection for better sound. Another consideration is whether you have space for a subwoofer in your room.
Next decide on your budget and how good you want your movies to sound. Generally sound bars below $100 are not worth looking into. The old adage that you get what you pay for applies here. You’d get dismal performance perhaps just slightly better than the TV speakers.
Stepping up to the $100 to $200 will get you some meaty sound and perhaps even decent bass with a subwoofer. The next price bracket from $200 to $400 is where the real action is. You can get all of the connectivity options available, possibly a wireless subwoofer, and audio performance that will satisfy.
Go with reputable brands that have been in the sound bar segment for a long time like Yamaha, Sony and Sharp. If you have a bigger budget and no compromise in sound quality go with specialty audio brands like Martin Logan, Atlantic Technology or Polk Audio.