I've Got a Question: Flat-Screen TV Audio, Part III


I just got a new flat-screen TV over the Holidays. Should I consider some kind of sound system for it?

Answer Part III:

Our last post was about several of the choices available to add better sound to your flat screen. Here are some more details: Choice 1 – Connect the TV to your already existing stereo system. This is a pretty easy option. You won’t get the involvement of surround sound but you should get substantially better sound and the price is certainly right. If you need help doing this, give us a call and we can talk it over with you.

Choice 2 – Add a “soundbar” to your TV. Soundbars can be broken down into a few categories.

The simplest are called “passive” designs and only contain speakers and their crossover networks (internal filters that direct the different frequencies to the correct speaker elements). A subset of passive soundbars try to simulate surround sound using extra side firing drivers or specialized internal crossover circuitry. You’re pretty much locked into a small sweet spot in front of them in order to get the benefit of the semi-surround sound these create.

Next come active soundbars that contain amplifiers for the drivers inside and possibly Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to create a better representation of surround sound than you can get with passive designs. It’s still not as good as a true surround system but it can be pretty enjoyable none-the-less.

Add-ons that can enhance the soundbar experience include external subwoofers (some wireless), built-in iPod docks and more.

We’ve got several choices in soundbars here at Gramophone so you can stop in and give’em a listen. As always, we promise no sales pressure and knowledgeable advice from people who truly enjoy helping you get what you want.

More details about Choices 3 & 4 (HTIB & Full Surround Sound) in the next posting…