Surround sound bar is making a comeback as manufacturers are promoting it to be the equivalent of a wireless 5.1 surround sound system. Sony for example, has been rather aggressive in marketing its latest range of surround sound bar equipment and saying they are the perfect replacement for the traditional surround sound system. The latest in this range is the HT-ST9 sound bar.
What is a surround sound bar
For beginners, it is advisable for you to understand how a surround sound bar works before committing to the purchase. Basically, the speakers in the sound bar are all line up at the front. In order to emulate the surround sound effects, what it does is to delay the background sound and then bounce them off the wall. How well it can do this determines if you think a surround sound bar is a good replacement for a real 5.1 wireless surround sound system.
Benefits of a surround sound bar system
We all know that if you really do a detail comparison, the sound quality of a surround sound system will always edge out a surround sound bar. The difference might not be noticeable for the casual sound buff but for the audiophile, you can hear the difference quite clearly.
However, despite this sound quality difference, there are some real benefits to buying a surround bar system relative to a 5.1:
- Less clutter in your home: A surround sound bar system comes typically with a sound bar and a subwoofer. If the sound bar can be wall mounted, it means less clutter for the home, compared to the 5 audio equipment piece you need with a 5.1
- Easy setup: A 5.1 sound system needs set up time, especially if you want everything to sound right. A surround sound bar, on the other hand, is easy set up since you don’t need to work with multiple devices
- Better than your TV speakers: Nuff said
Best surround sound bar in 2015?
So, if you prefer the convenience and the ease of set up for your home’s sound system, which is the best surround sound bar you should consider? In my opinion, only Sony is currently offering sound bars that are trying to mimic the 5.1 surround sound effects. Most of the other sound bars in the market are still relying on the satellite or rear speakers so they are not true surround sound bar.
Sony HT-CT660 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
As mentioned, Sony has been actively marketing its surround sound bar so it is not surprising to know it has a pretty solid product. Its audio quality is solid especially the voices in movies and games. You can even adjust the loudness of the voice if you find them to be too soft or lound. The wireless subwoofer makes a great base but you need to turn it down as it is too loud right out of the box. Overall, the sound quality is excellent for movie watching and games. For music, it is probably better in stereo mode.
The sound bar itself boasts an excellent sleek design that can be mounted on the wall to avoid cluttering your TV setup. However, do note there is no wall mounted hardware provided so you need to get your own. The wireless subwoofer doesn’t require any wiring so it makes the whole set up easy and non cluttering.
In terms of pairing the sound bar to your earphones or mobile devices, it is easy to do so via your bluetooth or NFC. It is great to be able to play music straight from your phone to the whole room without going through any complicated set up. Just set up the bluetooth connection and your sound bar is ready to play whatever you want from your devices.
With the advance in technology, companies like Sony are trying to give us equivalent quality of sound without the complication set up and clutter. It might not have achieve it yet but the results are pretty close and the benefits it is offering can be hard to resist,