Want to enhance the sound of your TV, but not sure where to start?
It's not always easy. There are many options to choose from, with many specs to decipher, and plenty of technologies to weigh.
But don't fret. We've put together a few of the best sound bar upgrades you'll want to get amazing home theater audio.
Why Upgrade Your Sound Bar?
Ok, one quick pit stop before we dive into the specific upgrades you should consider. Let's first discuss why upgrading your sound bar is so important!
A sound bar is the simplest and easiest way to help you hear your TV better—full stop. It can also provide a more immersive and dynamic audio experience compared to your TV's built-in speakers.
Upgrading to a sound bar can enhance your overall viewing experience, making movies, TV shows, live sports, and video games all sound more realistic and engaging. The best sound bars can also improve the clarity of dialogue and make action scenes more impactful. There is a range of benefits to a sound bar that cannot be understated:
Better Sound Quality
This is an obvious one, but a big reason to get a sound bar is naturally to improve sound quality!
As technology advances, newer sound bars offer better sound quality than older models, bringing advanced features like DTS Virtual: X, which creates a 3D sound experience. Advanced features like this makes you feel like you're in the middle of the action! We'll dive more into DTS Virtual: X in just a minute.
More Connectivity Options
Another reason to upgrade your sound bar is to have more connectivity options. Older sound bars may only have a few input options, limiting the devices you can connect to it.
Newer sound bars, on the other hand, come with a variety of input options, including HDMI, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity, so that you get more flexibility and can even stream music to the sound bar wirelessly.
If you're looking to upgrade your sound bar, you may also want to consider the design. Older sound bars tend to be bulkier and may not fit seamlessly into your home entertainment setup.
In addition to sleeker designs, TCL's newest models are all wall mountable for an even more streamlined appearance in your home theater.
Sound Bar Upgrades That Can't Miss
Now that we've discussed just a few of the benefits of upgrading your sound bar, let's explore five specific upgrades that are worth considering.
A subwoofer is a speaker responsible for producing low-frequency sounds, such as bass. A sound bar setup with a wireless subwoofer like our compact 2.1 Channel Sound Bar can significantly enhance your audio experience by delivering deeper and more powerful bass to make action scenes and music sound more realistic.
A wireless subwoofer is also a great option for those who want to keep clutter to a minimum. With its wireless connection, you won't have to worry about running cables from your sound bar to the subwoofer, so you'll have plenty of flexibility in where you place it.
Tip: the bass a subwoofer reproduces is by-and-large, non-directional. What that means is that you could put the subwoofer just about anywhere in the room and still get great performance!
A center channel speaker reproduces dialogue and vocals in movies and TV shows. It is designed to provide clear and accurate sound reproduction, making conversations and speech more natural and intelligible.
By adding a center channel to your sound bar system, you can achieve a more immersive audio experience. The center channel speaker creates a balanced soundstage, where the dialogue and vocals are localized to the center of the screen. What that gets you, the viewer, is a sense of directionality and makes it feel like the sound is coming directly from the on-screen characters.
In fact, In fact, as much as 80% of movie sound comes from on-screen action, and having a center channel speaker to anchor that sound to the screen is one of the best ways to improve your experience.
In addition to improving dialogue clarity, a center channel speaker actually separates the sound effects and background music from the dialogue. This ensures that the various audio elements are properly balanced, so they won't overpower each other and create a muddled sound.
A sound bar with a dedicated center channel such as both 3.1 Channel S Class and Q Class Sound Bars will give you a more realistic and immersive soundstage, ensuring that you don't miss any of the action.
In short, DTS Virtual:X creates a three-dimensional sound experience, regardless of your source. It uses advanced processing algorithms to simulate the effect of multiple speakers placed around the room—even if you only have a sound bar!
With DTS Virtual:X, you can enjoy immersive audio that seems to come from all directions. It creates a wider soundstage, making the sound feel more spacious and realistic. This technology is especially beneficial for movies and music that are natively encoded with DTS Virtual:X.
By incorporating DTS Virtual:X sound bar into your home theater, you'll enjoy added depth and dimension to your audio and enhance the overall viewing or listening experience. Whether you're watching an action-packed movie or listening to your favorite music, DTS Virtual:X can bring your entertainment to life—all around you.
And perhaps the best part about DTS Virtual:X is that this great effect can be heard on even older stereo or even mono TV shows or movies.
Surround Sound Speakers
Adding surround sound speakers within a 5.1 Channel Sound Bar system is designed to create a more immersive audio environment by providing sound from different directions. In a 5.1 channel system, there are five main speakers, including a center speaker, front left and right speakers, and rear left and right speakers, along with a subwoofer for deep bass.
Surround sound is particularly beneficial for movies and video games, as it can make you feel like you're right in the middle of the action. More speakers around the room means sound can be moved from front-to-rear as the action happens in the movie. So, the audio will feel more spacious and expansive.
Fun fact: in most cases, our users like to put their subwoofers out-of-the-way, behind a couch or end table in the back of the room. That’s why we designed our 5.1 systems so that the rear speakers connect directly to the subwoofer. No need to worry about running speakers from the back to the front of the room. Going from unboxing to listenting literally takes just a few minutes.
Smart Controls & Connectivity
Smart sound bar controls, such as Bluetooth and app compatibility, can also elevate your sound bar game.
To start, Bluetooth connectivity allows you to easily connect your sound bar to your mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. This means you can wirelessly stream music, podcasts, or other audio content, directly from your device to the sound bar. It provides convenience and flexibility, as you can control the audio playback from your device without the need for additional cables. Plus, it lets you enjoy the sound bar even when you're not watching TV!
Select TCL Sound Bars can also be controlled from the TCL Home app. This gives you the option of controlling power, volume, input switching, effects, and more from your smartphone. It's just one of the ways we try to make home theater easy!
Bonus: A little help from AI
I know what you're thinking, but trust me. This is magic.
AI seems to help everything these days, and yes, it applies to the best sound bars too. TCL's AI Sonic-Adaptation technology found on Q Class Sound Bars adjusts the audio to your unique space.
Using the TCL Home app and the mic on your phone, this technology lets you enjoy optimal sound quality no matter where you are in the room. In only a few minutes, your phone "listens" to a series of test tones from the sound bar, then automatically equalizes the sound and adjusts the various levels of each speaker so that everything sounds balanced.
More clarity, booming bass, a wider soundstage, and better control. These are just some of the upgrades you'll want to consider to make movie nights—or couch concerts—more enjoyable.
Look no further than TCL's S Class and Q Class sound bars to unlock some of these amazing features. With the perfect partner to your TCL TV, you'll finally enjoy a cinema experience from your living room.