There was a brief period of time — think 2011 to 2015, where the pedestal-like soundbar was convenient for TV owners. TVs had gotten skinnier and sound had gotten crummier as a consequence. Functioning as both speaker and stand, the pedestal was an appealing soundbar-style ideal for TV owners who had no plans to mount a set on their wall, but didn't have space for a giant sound log resting precariously in front of their set. Sonos' new Playbase is one of the best pedestal-style sound bars you will be able to buy right now, but, uhh, it's also way late.
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Soundbars are great. They don't add to the bulk of your home entertainment system, since they can easily hide away underneath your TV, but they add a huge boost in sound quality over your TV's tinny integrated speakers. If you want surround sound, some have wireless rear speakers. If you want Dolby Atmos for overhead surround sound, though — you need something special. And that's where the Samsung K950, a slim soundbar that can bounce sound off your ceiling, comes in.
In Australia, we love soundbars — they're compact, but offer sound quality that's a massive step ahead of even the best TVs' integrated speaker systems. New advances in surround sound like Dolby Atmos don't play well with all-in-one soundbar designs, though, which is why Samsung's new K950 soundbar has wireless rear speakers, and 15 different internal speaker drivers across the surround setup, some of which bounce sound off your ceiling.
Sony's new HT-RT3 5.1ch soundbar system is a simpler and more affordable alternative to the full home theatre, promising 600W of power through the combined soundbar, subwoofer and rear speakers. Though the speakers still have to be wired into the system, it also boasts Bluetooth connectivity to stream audio from all your devices.
If you have a curved TV, buying a straight soundbar or flat external speakers kinda misses the point; you want something that matches your screen not only in style but in shape. There are a few different models out there, but LG's HS8 curved soundbar looks just about as good as all-in-one sound systems for your TV can.
Buying a new TV is a great feeling. Your new TV looks great whether it's mounted on a wall or sitting on a home entertainment unit, and whether it's switched on and displaying beautiful video or switched off and looking all fashionable. But does it sound good? Perhaps. But it can sound a lot better if you hook it up to a sound system — whether it's a compact soundbar or a larger surround sound home theatre setup.
Some great specials this week! Available online at DickSmith.com.au today and in-store on Saturday. Deals include $100 off every $500 spent on Samsung TVs, up to 20% off Panasonic and Sony TVs, 25% off select soundbars and 12% off Apple Computers. Here are the details.
Pioneer's new SB-PS23W is a soundbar the way most people want it: A simple, relatively inexpensive way to make a television sound louder. In that way, it's cut from the same cloth as the fantastic AirPlay speakers the company made last year (actually, they've got the some LA-based designer). It wasn't the first AirPlay speaker, but its design made it a winner.
It’s a strange feeling to spend the night in a hotel when you’re looking out over your own city. But there I was listening to the new digital audio line-up that Samsung first previewed at CES in January. The HT-F9750W 7.1 channel home theatre system; the HW-F751 vacuum tube Sound Bar; and the $299 DA-F61 portable Bluetooth speaker. Updated industrial design, warm sound and a distinct lack of wires are this year’s audio hooks. Here’s why that’s fine by me...
Audiophiles unite! Gizmodo has teamed up with Aussie retailer, Encel Stereo, to dish out more than $5,000 in fantastic home audio gear over the next two weeks. We're talking high-end AV brands like Polk Audio, RHA, Oppo, People of Lava and Pro-Ject. All you have to do is enter here for your chance to score some top-notch sound.
Sound bars don't immediately benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity the way music systems do, because you usually use them with your TV, and your TV isn't something you need to put in your pocket and walk around with. But that doesn't mean that Sonos' wireless music features don't benefit from its first sound bar. Just the opposite, in fact.
Sonos is aiming to revolutionise home theatre audio by taking all the high-quality sound you need and want, and cramming it all into one big ol' soundbar you can drop at the bottom of your TV. Sure, it will work with other Sonos units you have hanging around, the Sonos Playbar is also a starter piece that can stand alone. And for a soundbar, this sucker sounds good.