A soundbar, just as the name suggests, is an enclosure of speakers that looks like a bar. When you plug in the soundbar to the TV, it will bypass the internal speakers of the TV, allowing you to enjoy higher quality sound from the speakers. It also helps to keep everything neat and tidy, increasing the aesthetic appeal of your entertainment unit. You can consider a soundbar to be a compact alternative to a home theater system. Some of the terms you will encounter as far as learning how to choose a soundbar are listed in alphabetical order and explained below.
Analog Audio Inputs
Analog audio refers to the old method used to connect the soundbars with analog inputs, which were the white and red connectors and phono sockets. The analog inputs are not universal as they used to be, as many soundbars nowadays do not have the analog inputs and outlets. That is because there are better ways to connect and get better audio quality.
Compatibility refers to whether the soundbar can work with particular televisions, irrespective of brand, size, or any other factor. Most soundbars are designed to be compatible with nearly all televisions. However, they are more for TVs with larger screen sizes, if aesthetics are to be considered.
The analog inputs and outputs have been phased off in some televisions. Digital audio outputs and inputs are more popular now, though some models feature both. Digital optical, also known as Toslink, is what has replaced the analog outputs. It does not have all the conveniences of HDMI, but it works quite effectively with regards to sound and stereo quality.
HDMI ARC is found in almost all the newer models of TVs. Spotting the HDMI ARC socket is quite easy, as it is usually labeled. In case you are unsure, or the outlet does not work, you can check the manual. Another advantage of using HDMI arc, other than quality and speed, is that it allows you to use a single connection to deliver digital audio as well as provide CEC remote control.
Multi-room refers to the ability of different soundbars to connect using Wi-Fi and play the same audio simultaneously, forming a multi-room music system. In most cases, multi-room works with soundbars that are of the same brand. That means that if you intend to buy more than one soundbar, you should consider purchasing the same brand to enjoy the multi-room feature.…