Your HDTV picture is awesome for sports, concert videos of your favorite band, and action-adventure movies. But no matter how good the picture, your television can’t deliver the immersive sound of a system built exclusively for audio.
In an ideal world, every HDTV would be complemented by a surround-sound system. But true surround sound requires wiring, space (and funding) for multiple speakers, precision placement, and—unless you’re very handy—an audio professional’s help. Plus, if you don’t own your own place, your landlord might not welcome the prospect of installation.
Luckily, you can achieve fantastic, realistic sound with a sound bar system. Sound bar systems generally comprise a narrow amplified sound bar and a subwoofer. But these modestly sized packages contain powerful audio capabilities, which enable you to:
- • Immerse yourself in action and adventure. In the deep jungle of an action movie or at the top of a mountain with an extreme snowboarder, you want to hear every nuance of the machete cuts or snow crunches that put you in the middle of the experience. A sound bar system enriches what you hear to give you more realistic sound. The Samsung AirTrack’s 3D Sound Plus even matches the location of every sound to its visual source on screen.
- • Hear the concert as if it were live. Wish you were there? A sound bar system helps put the band in your living room. But be careful of the sound bar system you choose, as digital audio can sound harsh, which can ruin the pleasure of watching a concert video. The Samsung Model F750 (U.S.)/F751 (Europe) VT AirTrack uses patent-pending vacuum tubes, so from bass to high pitches, every note coming through sounds round and full.
- • Experience the game in all its glory. Sure, you want to hear the sportscasters’ commentary—but you also want to hear every grunt on the playing field, and every note in the half-time show. A high-quality sound bar system can get you closer to the real thing. For example, the Vertical Surround Sound of the AirTrack fills your room with dynamic, natural sound quality for every critical play.
To get the full benefit of a sound bar, when considering a system, make sure to choose one that you can:
- • Install in minutes. In addition to greatly enhanced audio, one of the main advantages of a sound bar over a surround-sound system is the ease of setup. Sound bars are relatively simple to install. (The AirTrack even has an Install Sensing feature that automatically detects the speaker’s position and then calibrates the system to quickly optimize sound quality.)
- • Enjoy (not) looking at. By their nature, sound bar systems should blend into the background. Get one that gives you the option to wall-mount or rest on a surface, and make sure it has Bluetooth connection capability so you don’t have to look at unsightly wires. You might also want to look for a system that gives you a choice of finishes so you can pick one that nicely blends with your décor.
- • Tone down quickly when you need to. Your sound bar system should come with a remote control so you can adjust the sound without having to get up and fiddle with the unit. Handily, the AirTrack can be controlled by your TV’s remote control. If the neighbors complain about the awesome thumping bass, you can lower the volume without having to find the right remote first.
Of course, the audiophile in you might want to go all-out for surround-sound installation. But if you want great audio for your TV with much less hassle, you should seriously consider a sound bar system instead.