Searching for the best sound on the TV: The speakers to the bars and home cinema

Sound Bar

Jumping CRT TVs, traditional tube to LCD and plasma TVs (although the latter have already virtually passed away) has given us many advantages. LCD technology allows us to enjoy much thinner, lighter and larger diagonal screen devices. In addition, the image quality has improved greatly over the past decade, allowing TVs that can buy today offer a fantastic overall quality.

But not everything is advantages. There is a section that has come to pass unfavorably technology CRT to LCD panels: the sound. It really does not depend on the audio system used to restore images but is closely linked to the characteristics of the chassis of the TV, which acts as a sounding board. And LCD TVs is extremely thin, which imposes impossible to overcome physical limitations that clearly impoverish their sound.

Sound Bar
Credit: Google Image

A lack of resolve difficult

The strange thing is that the minimum volume of the chassis of modern TVs does not sound alike conditions throughout the entire frequency spectrum. Impact of a much more damaging to play the bass at higher frequencies materializes way. And that is to build a strong bass, punchy, which are what we like at all, you need to move a lot of air, which requires the use of at least a speaker with a very respectable diameter. However, to reproduce the acute we need a speaker with a relatively small aperture with a diameter that often does not exceed one inch.

Major TV manufacturers have spent many years researching to find a way to equip its Tele quality sound. While it is true that its performance in the field of audio have improved in recent generations, still without offering serious that requires a good movie experience. When we see a television sound quality is usually sufficient, but no TV currently offers a comparable quality audio to your image when you want to enjoy a movie.


One of the most important innovations in this area, in my opinion, has made ​​Sony. And it is that its engineers have developed a magnetic fluid that has allowed them to place the diaphragm of the speaker much closer to the coil, which facilitates the manufacture of the finest transducers latter element is supported directly by the magnetic fluid. According to the Japanese company, this innovation also has allowed them to reduce distortion and more accurately control the movement of the diaphragm pistonic.

Today we find this technology in speakers that incorporate the latest televisions UHD / 4K Sony, which also include other innovations, such as glass fiber cones reinforced with mica. All this engineering effort, not only by Sony, but other manufacturers, has caused the LCD TVs that can buy today sound much better than those sold three or four years ago. But, as I said, but the upper half of the frequency spectrum is convincing, the lower half still is not.

No LCD TV of the many I’ve had occasion to prove, or at least hear some latest generation, offers a truly cinematic sound. If we improve our experience and get an audio live up to the images offered by these new TVs, we have to get hold of a sound bar, audio base, or, better yet, a multi-channel system. In addition, we have published an article about three key ideas that you have to consider when purchasing your home cinema, you should read this if you want to buy home cinema this Christmas.

Sound bars and bases

These two devices are the audio response TV manufacturers to shortcomings in the field of sound of their imaging devices. We start pondering what we can expect of a sound bar. If we observe a certain quality check that its chassis is sleek, but its thickness is clearly higher than the TVs, allowing speakers receive therein a substantially larger. Still, the volume of a sound bar cannot be overstated that are designed to be placed next to the TV stand, which also imposes certain restrictions.

On the front panel of the sound bar we can find several speakers, whose number varies depending on the number of channels that is capable of generating. Acute and means of the best bars I have had occasion to hear are compelling, but the bass are not at all due to the same problem with the TVs is impossible to enter into the bar speaker to the diameter required to move the air requires a sufficiently serious punch. For this reason, most sound bars are accompanied by a subwoofer that is responsible precisely to restore the lower frequencies, which are the bars that resist them.


Another interesting feature of sound bars is its ability to play multichannel audio. They come in very different settings: 2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 7.1, etc. The more channels you want to simulate surround sound, most speakers will incorporate the bar, and the more complex your audio processing software. Our auditory system incorporates two essential and distinct parts: our ears, which could encompass the ear itself and the inner ear and brain. The ears act as sensors because their function is to capture the vibrations caused by changes in air pressure, and redirect into the ear. And the brain is the organ to which the essential task of receiving the information gathered by the ear in the form of stimulus is entrusted, and process.

If we want to have the feeling of being immersed in the surround field when we just several small speakers placed just ahead of us, we need to get “trick” our own brain. Without going into gory details, broadly speaking our brain you are able to locate a sound source in space that surrounds us assessing their intensity and time from a sound stimulus arrives at one of our pinna, until it is received by the other.

If manipulate this gap with sufficient precision we believe we can make the small computer we all have in mind that the source that has issued the sound is hosted on a different place than actually occupies. Naturally, doing this is not easy either. A good sound bar must be able to analyze the acoustic characteristics of the room in which we installed, to thereby be able to use the wall reflections, which sound waves are reflected on the walls and ceiling, to fool our brain.

The sound bars manufacturers resort to very complex algorithms and hosted speakers on the front panel of the bar itself to generate sound waves with intensity and precise direction to make us believe that we are surrounded by speakers. Yes, it is a complete illusion. But the amazing thing is that some sound bars, more sophisticated, they do really well, getting create a pretty convincing surround sound. To achieve control with great precision the signal delay that projects each speaker, and even the position of our ears and the shape of our head.

Some companies also sell sound bases, which are very similar to the bars, but, unlike these, are designed for the TV to be placed directly on them. The technology of sound bars and the basis is essentially the same, but the latter, having a larger enclosure, be incorporated within a subwoofer with a larger diameter, for improved response in the lower area of the spectrum, but still, not often match the performance of a subwoofer dedicated.

A multi-channel system: The optimal solution

And finally, we come to that, no doubt, is the best choice if you have enough space and our budget allow us: a set of speakers 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 or higher. The purpose of this post is not to investigate the desirability of choosing a distribution 5.1 or 7.1, for example. This theme is played while another entry in this. What interests us now is to analyze the reasons that cause is the best experience that offered a multichannel set consists of at least six speakers (5.1).

The advantages offered by a team of this type are fairly obvious. The more weight that is its ability to generate a stable completely surround sound field with a well focused and very precise image allows us to accurately determine the spatial position of each sound, and in which the acoustic characteristics of the room did not have much weight as when using a bar or a base sound. These two devices are forced to process the audio and use the wall reflections, as seen above, to generate the surround sound, while a team with several speakers immerses us in a more realistic way into action.


From a strictly qualitative, as we have seen, the best option is to opt for a multi-channel system consists of at least six speakers (five discrete channels and the subwoofer). But it is not always possible to install as many speakers in a room, especially if its size is reduced. Furthermore, if we choose a wireless system we will have to install a roll of cable to connect the rear speakers, which is not always viewed with “good eye” for all family members, especially if it interferes with the decoration.

In any case, if the infrastructure is not a problem, the best we can do to accompany the images of our TV with a sound to your height is us with an A / V receiver and a good acoustic boxes 5.1 or higher. Moviegoers in demanding home that have a large budget may consider replacing the A / V by a set of multichannel pre and power amplifiers, which guarantees maximum flexibility and can offer sound quality comparable to of the best showrooms.

If our budget or the physical limitations of the room in which we have our television keep us opt for a multi-channel system as described above, it is a good idea to opt for a bar or a base sound. The bars that include a subwoofer dedicated usually offer a convincing response across the frequency spectrum, so I choose the detriment of sound bases. The latter is attractive if we opt for a less aggressive solution as possible, and therefore prefer to sacrifice the subwoofer. You have the last word.

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