While high-quality smart TVs may feature stunning visuals full of detail and color, the audio quality can only reach a certain level. Those seeking an immersive, theatre-like experience at home will want to invest in a soundbar that can complement both the TV and content of choice.
Samsung is one of the TV industry leaders, and a new purchase likely should be paired with a soundbar. For those who own a more recent QLED TV, investing in a quality soundbar, like Q950A 11.1.4 Channel Soundbar, will create an unparalleled audio experience. However, price, number of channels and even brand are factors when deciding how to best support a Samsung TV with a new soundbar.
It’s essential to determine how comprehensive you want your sound to be immediately and what potential there is for growth in the feature. Basic soundbars feature two channels, denoted by the number ‘two’ in the model name on the left and right.
Higher-end options feature a third channel in the center, indicated by a ‘three’ in the name. These options cost more but tend to provide more value. They also typically allow for matching side or rear speakers to be purchased simultaneously or later to create a surround sound system that features five or more audio channels.
Recent and new Samsung TV offers multiple connection points for a soundbar, notably HDMI and optical inputs. The ideal connection is an audio return channel HDMI port that allows for high-speed, faithful sound transmission. This input lets the soundbar play audio from the TV and any connected devices, such as a gaming console or Blu-ray player. Some soundbars can be controlled by voice as well.
Most soundbars are compatible with most TVs, provided they have a matching connection, such as HDMI or optical port. That means that just because you have a Samsung TV doesn't necessarily mean you have to have a Samsung soundbar. Some consumers may prefer to stick with a brand they trust, while others may simply want the best value or deal.
However, those who have invested in Samsung’s QLED line of TVs from 2020 or 2021 may prefer a matching Samsung soundbar. Most QLED TVs support Q Symphony, a trademarked Samsung technology that creates spatial sound by playing sound from both the soundbar and the multi-directional TV speakers. The Samsung soundbar buying guide at BestReviews provides more detail about what they offer to Samsung TV owners.
Seeking out soundbars that come with a subwoofer will enhance the deep bass of the content you’re enjoying. Some options include a built-in subwoofer, though most feature a separate unit that connects wirelessly to the soundbar. The presence of a subwoofer in a soundbar, whether it is built-in or external, is denoted by a ‘one’ after the first number in the name. If there is a ‘zero,’ no subwoofer is present.
While the ideal connection between the soundbar and TV is through an HDMI cable, the option to connect devices wirelessly to the soundbar appeals to many users. Most soundbars feature a Bluetooth connection. However, WiFi capabilities offer more convenience and quality, particularly when it comes to playing music through apps.
These two audio formats are among the highest-quality options available. Higher-end soundbars support these two industry leaders. However, you’ll want to make sure the content you are enjoying offers it. That means you’ll need a compatible console, player or subscription to a streaming service that offers it.
While you can purchase a two-channel for under or around $200, those seeking high-fidelity with three or more channels can expect to pay anywhere from $300-$1,000.
A. The length of the soundbar should complement the TV. A mid-range TV from around 55-65 inches is well-served by a soundbar between 30-40 inches in length. Those with more than two channels tend to be bigger and are ideal for supplementing larger TVs serving as a home entertainment hub.
A. A quality soundbar will provide better audio than most new TVs; most feature a handful of presets to optimize content as well. They can harness more power to deliver crisp sound and enhance dialogue clarity. The soundbar also is the first step in creating a surround sound system: a 3-channel model with a pair of rear speakers will dramatically alter the audio experience.
What you need to know: This expensive, comprehensive set is designed to pair with a QLED Samsung TV for a theatre-quality experience at home.
What you’ll love: This unparalleled surround set features 11 channels, including four upward-firing speakers for immersive audio. It’s compatible with Q Symphony, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It also optimizes sound based on content.
What you should consider: This large set comes at a prohibitive cost.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: For those seeking a simple audio boost to their Samsung TV, this two-channel Sony soundbar provides quality at a low price.
What you’ll love: Two channels are supplemented by a built-in subwoofer offering crisp, clear audio. It simulates a seven-channel surround sound system and caters to the latest audio formats while offering Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
What you should consider: The depth of bass is limited and though upscaled, the surround sound stimulation isn’t close to the real thing.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: From a trusted name in audio comes this bold and powerful soundbar that can supplement a new or recent Samsung TV.
What you’ll love: This Bose soundbar offers immersive sound, crisp dialogue and deep bass to fill every room. It features Bluetooth, WiFi, Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay. Easy to control and features Alex and Google Assistant compatibility.
What you should consider: The Bose 700 comes in at a higher-than-average price. Some users may feel compelled to purchase matching speakers for better coverage.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.