How do “surround” sound bars work

Surround Sound Basics

The main thing that sets a home theater apart from an ordinary television setup is the surround sound. For a proper surround-sound system, you need two to three speakers in front of you and two to three speakers to your sides or behind you. The audio signal is split into multiple channels so that different sound information comes out of the various speakers.

The most prominent sounds come out of the front speakers. When someone or something is making noise on the left side of the screen, you hear it more from a speaker to the left of the screen. When something is happening on the right, you hear it more from a speaker to the right of the screen.

The third speaker sits in the center, just under or above the screen. This center speaker is very important because it anchors the sound coming from the left and right speakers — it plays all the dialogue and front sound effects so that they seem to be coming from the center of your television screen, rather than from the sides.

The speakers behind you fill in various sorts of background noise in the movie — dogs barking, rushing water, the sound of a plane overhead. They also work with the speakers in front of you to give the sensation of movement — a sound starts from the front and then moves behind you.

But how do all these sounds get split up? This is the job of the audio/video receiver, which is the real heart of a home theater. In the next section, we’ll see what this component does.

  • About
  • Podcasts
  • Privacy Policy
  • Ad Choices
  • Terms
  • Sitemap
  • Careers
  • Contact Us
  • Help
  • Reprints
  • Do Not Sell My Info


Get the best of HowStuffWorks by email!

Keep up to date on: Latest Buzz · Stuff Shows & Podcasts · Tours · Weird & Wacky

Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

Do not sell my data

  • Type of browser and its settings
  • Information about the device’s operating system
  • Cookie information
  • Information about other identifiers assigned to the device
  • The IP address from which the device accesses a client’s website or mobile application
  • Information about the user’s activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used
  • Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application

Sound bar connection and setup made easy.

How do “surround” sound bars work

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

How do “surround” sound bars work

  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

When it comes to getting better sound for TV viewing, the soundbar option is a definite favorite. Soundbars save space, reduce speaker and wire clutter, and are less hassle to set up than a full-on home theater audio system.

However, soundbars aren’t just for TV viewing. Depending on brand/model, you can connect additional devices and tap into features that can expand your entertainment experience.

How do “surround” sound bars work

If you are considering a soundbar, the following tips will guide you through installation, setup, and use.

Soundbars can be used with televisions from a variety of manufacturers including, but not limited to, those made by LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, and Vizio.

Sound Bar Placement

” data-caption=”Wall Mounted vs Shelf Placed Sound Bar – ZVOX SB400″ data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

If your TV is on a stand, table, shelf, or cabinet, a soundbar can be placed just below the TV. This is ideal since the sound will come from where you’re already looking. You’ll need to measure the height of the soundbar versus the vertical space between the stand and the bottom of the TV to make sure the soundbar doesn’t block the screen.

If putting a soundbar on a shelf inside a cabinet, place it as forward as possible so that sound directed to the sides is not obstructed. If the soundbar features Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or DTS Virtual:X, audio capability, placing within a cabinet shelf is not desirable as the soundbar needs to project sound vertically for overhead surround sound effects.

Most soundbars can be wall-mounted. A soundbar can be placed under or above a wall-mounted TV. It is best to mount it under the TV as the sound is better directed to the listener.

Many soundbars come with hardware and/or a paper wall template so you can find the best spot and mark the screw point for provided wall mounts. If the soundbar does not come with wall mounting hardware or a template, check the user guide for more on what you need, and if the manufacturer offers the items as optional purchases.

Unlike the photo examples above it’s best to not obstruct the front or sides of the soundbar with decorative items.

Basic Sound Bar Connections

” data-caption=”Basic Sound Bar Connections: Yamaha YAS-203 Used As Example” data-expand=”300″ data-tracking-container=”true” />

Yamaha Electronics Corp and Robert Silva

Once the soundbar is placed, you need to connect your TV and other components. In the case of wall mounting, make the connections before permanently mounting the soundbar.

Shown above are connections you may find on a basic soundbar. The position and labeling may vary.

From left to right are Digital Optical, Digital Coaxial, and Analog Stereo connections, with their corresponding cable types.

The digital optical connection is best for sending audio from the TV to the soundbar. If you find that the TV does not have this connection, you can use the analog stereo connections if the TV provides that option. If the TV has both, it is your choice.

Once you have your TV connected, make sure it can send audio signals to the soundbar.

This can be done via the TV’s audio or speaker settings menu and turning off the TV’s internal speakers (don’t get this confused with the MUTE function which would also affect your soundbar) and/or turning on the TV’s external speaker or audio output option. You may also have the choice of choosing digital optical or analog (this may be detected automatically depending on which is connected).

Ordinarily, you only need to make the external speaker setting once. If you decide not to use the soundbar for watching certain content, you need to turn the TV’s internal speakers back on, then back off when using the soundbar again.

The digital coaxial connection can be used for a Blu-ray Disc, DVD player, or another audio source that has this option available. If your source devices do not have this option, they will most likely have a digital optical or analog option.

One other connection that you may find on a basic soundbar, that is not shown in the photo, is a 3.5mm (1/8-inch) mini-jack analog stereo input, either in addition to, or replacement of, the analog stereo jacks shown. A 3.5mm input jack is convenient for connecting portable music players or similar audio sources. However, you can still connect standard audio sources via an RCA-to-mini-jack adapter that you can purchase.

If using a digital optical or digital coaxial connection, and the soundbar does not support Dolby Digital or DTS audio decoding, set your TV or another source device (DVD, Blu-ray, Cable/Satellite, Media Streamer) to PCM, or use the analog audio connection option.

Devon Dean
March 12, 2020

Sound Bars vs Surround Sound: The Break Down

Trying to decide between using a sound bar or a home theater system for your home? We’ve listened to your requests and put together this overview to ease your mind and open your ears to the difference in set up and sound quality.

As you know, sound bars are all the rage with their sleek design, easy installation process, wireless set up, and ability to produce a form of surround sound. Does this mean you’ve found a replacement for a separate-piece surround sound system with front, rear, and center speakers? No, of course not. Nothing can replace a full-blown Klipsch home theater setup. BUT a sound bar can be the ideal solution for those seeking an upgrade to their wimpy TV speakers.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of each so you can decide what’s best for you.

Sound Bar Overview

  • Easy installation and connectivity
  • Minimal wires
  • Modern design
  • Great for small-medium living spaces
  • Excellent virtual sound, which simulates the surround sound experience
  • May need to buy separate subwoofer (although most Klipsch sound bar systems come equipped with a subwoofer, including the Bar 40, Bar 48, and R-4B II)
  • The placement of the sound bar creates specific “sweet spots” in your listening experience
  • May not produce complete surround sound, especially in larger living environments*

*Newer sound bars do offer surround sound options, including the Bar 48 Surround Sound Home Theater System. This sound bar and wireless subwoofer combo also comes with a set of Surround 3 speakers to create an immersive, high-quality home theater experience.

Surround Sound System Overview

  • Full range surround sound
  • Able to place speakers in multiple stations for optimal acoustics
  • Maximum bass
  • Audiophile theater system presentation
  • Most quality systems require running wires from the receiver to each individual speaker
  • Takes up more space
  • More involved installation process
  • More expensive

Read our comprehensive surround sound guide here.

Question: Does Bigger = Better?

Big speakers may provide the look of a major sound-producing machine, but remember, looks can be deceiving. While it is true large speakers have the ability to produce eardrum pounding sound and are an excellent choice for a large room, sound bars and smaller speaker systems are more than capable of producing quality sound. Make an informed decision and learn how to ensure a quality set up by reviewing the following section.

How Do I Compare a Sound Bar to a Surround Sound System?

As with any audio product, there are varying levels of quality and associated performance depending on the device. The best sound bars will overpower and outperform the run-of-the-mill surround sound system. So, the question is, what performance standards do you look for? We’ll make this part easy on you. Just refer to the below list on how to understand the specs to find the quality speaker system you desire.

  • Sensitivity

The speakers’ effectiveness of converting power (watts) into volume (decibels). The higher the sensitivity, the less power the speaker needs to deliver the effective sound. To put it quite simply – a higher sensitivity rating = loud, clear, high-quality sound.


Sensitivity Rating

Power Needed To Produce High Volume

*less power to produce higher volume is key for speaker longevity

  • Frequency Response

The range of frequencies that are audible to humans lies between 20 and 20,000 Hert (Hz). Some of the lowest frequencies (below 35 Hz) are more felt than heard (like an earthquake in an action movie), and are produced by the subwoofer. Review the frequency response range to understand what kind of listening experience you will gain with the associated highs and lows that the speaker produces.

  • Power Handling

How much power, in watts, a speaker can handle before it is damaged. Simply put, the higher the power handling, the more likely you are to piss off the neighbors.

  • Impedance

How much electrical resistance is presented against the current flowing from your outputs? Impedance will fluctuate since the speaker will produce sounds at varying frequencies, but all manufacturers will publish a nominal impedance figure. 8 ohms is the norm, though some speakers can handle a 4ohm load (just make sure your receiver matches this load).


“Some of the Klipsch new sound bars have an option to add two surround speakers,” says Klipsch Director of Technology and Innovation Matt Spitznagle. “A sound bar can provide a simulated surround effect for a limited seating area. When you add discrete left and surround speakers in locations to the side or behind you, you get a much better surround effect over a much larger seating area.”

While a sound bar, even with surround sound, won’t necessarily produce the monster noise of a full home-theater set-up, they are a fantastic option if you live in close quarters with your neighbors and don’t necessarily want to get a noise complaint filed against you. You still get amazing, crystal-clear quality and won’t have to resort to placing your drink on a speaker because you can’t fit any furniture in your living room.

Think of sound bars and surround sound speakers like chocolate and peanut butter – they are great alone, but when together – they are better.

Matt Spitznagle is the Klipsch Director of Technology and Innovation. Spitznagle has been with Klipsch for 15 years, serving in various engineering roles. He has an Electrical Engineering degree from Purdue University and holds a patent for signal processing in wireless speaker tech.

How do “surround” sound bars work

Assembling a sound system can leave consumers struggling with a tangle of cabling and speakers, but hassle-free surround sound doesn’t always have to be difficult. Soundbars simplify the process by replicating surround sound through single amplified speaker technology.

How do soundbars work?

Essentially, soundbars consist of seven speakers in one – with each speaker fitted inside the ‘bar’ and positioned in such a way as to achieve surround sound. A psycho-acoustic effect means sound literally bounces off the walls.

“The technology messes with your senses – it’s tricking them into believing the sound is behind you when it’s not,” Sound and Image director Carmelo Arena says. Sound and Image is the Australian distributor of Anthony Gallo Acoustics and Soundmatters. “It’s similar to an optical illusion.”

The soundbar does not sacrifice quality for convenience: the sound quality is comparable to that of a conventional sound system.
“They certainly do produce a great effect, so there’s no real loss of sound,” says Dale Moore, a product manager for Yamaha. “If anything, some of these systems have more technology on board because of their ability to produce multiple channels of sound through the one sleek unit. Some of the latest technology is built into soundbars and you’re not missing out on a lot of things that you get out of a home theatre receiver.”

Carmelo agrees that soundbars provide high-quality sound. “In conventional systems, most of the sound comes from the front,” he says.
“With conventional surround sound I don’t believe you hear the rears interacting as much as they should, whereas with soundbars the full effect is top quality.”

“Basically they send around different ‘beams’ of sound, so there’s a unique beam for each channel – front left, front right, centre, surround left and surround right. “They are designed to bounce sound off the wall to give you a proper surround sound effect. They produce five discrete channels of sound rather than just a virtual sound effect.”
Carmelo’s products use a different technology. Developed in Japan, it does not require reflective walls to function. “It still decodes things like Dolby Digital Surround and DTS, but our system features surround processing without the need for that type of technology,” he says.
“Essentially, with our soundbars you don’t need rear speakers, reflecting walls, an AV receiver or sub-woofer.”

Good for smaller setups

Because everything is contained in one piece of equipment, soundbars are perfect for renters or those who move house often. The units are not light – most models weigh more than 10kg – but the set-up is minimal and the cabling limited. “Setting up a home theatre with cables running around the room is a bit difficult for renters,” Yamaha product manager Dale Moore says. “And if you move house there’s a lot of work setting it up again.”

Other popular applications include small apartments and single rooms in which a full sound system is bordering on overkill. Aesthetics also come into play. “Soundbars are good for people who don’t want extra speakers and cables in the house,” Dale says. “Having a single unit at the front of the room makes the aesthetics of the home theatre system unique.

“One of the big benefits is that if you’re hanging a plasma on a wall, soundbars are shallow enough that they can also hang on the wall – so it’s a complete, neat system.” Carmelo concurs, adding that our preference for smooth, streamlined plasma TVs has created a demand for aesthetically pleasing sound systems.

“Installation is relatively simple. A lot of the plasmas now have an ‘optical out’, and all you need to do is run an optical cable out of the table and filter all the sound coming out of the TV into the soundbar.”

How do “surround” sound bars work

When it comes to home theater, a lot of people think big — a big picture and lots of sound coming from a widescreen TV and an array of speakers. But the typical home-theater setup, with its surround-sound speakers and subwoofer, won’t work for every home. Some people don’t have enough room for all of that equipment. Others don’t want their living rooms cluttered with cables, or they don’t want the hassle of adjusting the placement and height of lots of speakers.

That’s where virtual surround sound comes in. It mimics the effect of a multi-speaker surround-sound system, but it uses fewer speakers and fewer cables. These systems come in two primary varieties — 2.1 surround and digital sound projection. Most of the time, 2.1-surround systems use two speakers placed in front of the listener and a subwoofer placed somewhere else in the room. These recreate the effect of a 5.1 surround-sound system, which has five speakers and a subwoofer. Digital sound projectors, on the other hand, tend to use a single strip of small speakers to produce sound. Many digital sound projectors do not include a subwoofer.

Regardless of their exact setup, these systems work on the same basic principles. They use a number of techniques to modify sound waves so that they seem to come from more speakers than are really there. These techniques came from the study of psychoacoustics, or the manner in which people perceive sound. In this article, we’ll explore the traits of human hearing that allow two speakers to sound like five, as well as what to keep in mind if you shop for a virtual surround-sound system.

Virtual surround-sound systems take advantage of the basic properties of speakers, sound waves and hearing. A speaker is essentially a device that changes electrical impulses into sound. It does this using a diaphragm — a cone that rapidly moves back and forth, pushing against and pulling away from the air next to it. When the diaphragm moves outward, it creates a compression, or area of high pressure, in the air. When it moves back, it creates a rarefaction, or area of lower pressure. You can learn more about the details in How Speakers Work.

Compressions and rarefactions are the result of the movement of air particles. When the particles push against each other, they create an area of higher pressure. These particles also press against the molecules next to them. When the particles move apart, they create an area of lower pressure while pulling away from the neighboring particles. In this manner, the compressions and rarefactions travel through the air as a longitudinal wave.

When this wave of high- and low-pressure areas reaches your ear, several things happen that allow you to perceive it as sound. The wave reflects off of the pinna, or external cone, of your ear. This part of your ear is also known as the auricle. The sound also travels into your ear canal, where it physically moves your tympanic membrane, or eardrum. This sets off a chain reaction involving many tiny structures inside your ear. Eventually, the vibrations from the wave of pressure reach your cochlear nerve, which carries them to the brain (brain.htm) as nerve impulses. Your brain interprets these impulses as sound. How Hearing Works (hearing.htm) has lots more information about your ear’s internal structures and what it takes to perceive sound.

Your brain’s interpretation process allows you to understand the sound’s meaning. If the sound is a series of spoken words, you can put them together into an understandable sentence. If the sound is a song, you can interpret the words, experience the tone and rhythm, and decide whether you like what you hear. You can also remember whether you’ve heard the same song or similar songs before.

In addition to allowing you to interpret the sound, your brain also uses lots of aural cues to help you figure out where it came from. This isn’t always something you think about or are even consciously aware of. But being able to locate the source of a sound is an important skill. This ability helps animals locate food, avoid predators and find others of their species. Being able to tell where a sound came from also helps you decide whether someone is following you and whether a knock outside is at your door or your neighbor’s.

These cues and the physical properties of sound waves are central to virtual surround sound. We’ll look at them in more detail next.

One method for creating a virtual surround-sound environment is . is a set of rules and algorithms that re-create multi-channel sound for devices that have only two ordinary speakers. It’s a feature found in certain TVs, stereo systems, and computers rather than a separate, physical component of a home-theater system. A similar technology is Dolby Headphone, which uses sound-processing algorithms to let a normal set of headphones mimic a set of surround-sound speakers. You can learn more about other Dolby technologies in How Movie Sound Works.

How do “surround” sound bars work

If you’ve bought a TV in the past few years, more than likely you’ve seen (or been offered) a soundbar.

These thin speakers sit in front or below a TV, and promise higher fidelity audio than is possible with just the TV’s speakers.

But do they? Are they worth the money?

The What?

Just so we’re on the same page, a soundbar, also called a speakerbar, is a wide, typically thin and short (vertically) speaker with multiple drivers. They range in price from under $100 to over a $2,000. They connect to your TV (or cable box), and claim to improve the sound.

But don’t TVs sound OK?

Well, no, they don’t. As TVs have gotten thinner, there’s less and less space to fit the speaker drivers. With such limited real estate, the drivers are often tiny and weak. Worse, on most TVs the speakers either point down or away from you, further reducing sound quality.

What do I mean by sound quality? Well, because the speakers are small, they’re not capable of reproducing deep, low, bass sounds. Because they’re not facing at you, they’re less able to accurately create high-pitched treble sounds. So most TV sound is simultaneously muffled, and tinny. Not a good combination.

Many of you are probably thinking, “but my TV doesn’t sound that bad.” Maybe not, but have you ever had to rewind a TV show or movie to hear something someone said? One of the most common issues with TV sound is not being able to hear the dialog. I get emails about this all the time, enough so that I wrote an article over at CNET about it. Poor sound quality doesn’t just mean it’s not “hi-fi,” it can be something as simple as being unintelligible.

And don’t you want better, more “movie theater-like” sound? Maybe not all the time, but what about for family movie nights? Most new TVs can stream music (either from Pandora or from a smartphone). Having a decent speaker for music playback is awesome.

The Good

At the very least, soundbars point their drivers towards you. That’s a big step up over TV audio. Most decent soundbars also have separate tweeters and woofers, which handle the high and low sounds respectively.

There are two main types of soundbars: active and passive. Active soundbars have built-in amplifiers. So all you need to do is plug in your TV (or cable box/Blu-ray player/web streamer, whatever), and you’ll get sound. Some of these models even feature advanced surround processing that can create a faux-surround sound from the one soundbar.

How do “surround” sound bars work

Passive soundbars are more like traditional speakers. They require a separate receiver, which itself can cost $250 and up, but acts as a central hub for your entire audio/video system.

Price wise, there are expensive an inexpensive versions of both passive and active soundbars. There are good and bad ones of each, too.

Almost every soundbar comes with a subwoofer, usually wireless. This box sits somewhere in the room (either near the TV, in a corner, under a table, wherever), and creates the really low sounds (the deep rumble like you get in a movie theater).

The Bad

There are two main downsides to soundbars.

The first is size. Generally they’re not tall or deep, but they are wide, about the width of your TV. For most people, it’s not an issue to place the soundbar in front of their TV. Depending on how you have your TV set up, placement might be an issue.

Most soundbars can be wall mounted (above or below the TV), if that’s required. So if you have the space for them, then this isn’t an issue, but they do require some space. There are a few models, like those from Zvox, that act as small pedestals: you put the TV on top of them.

The second downside is, ironically, sound quality. Though some soundbars sound very good, and pretty much all sound better than every TV, they don’t sound as good as most real speakers (even small “bookshelf” models). This is because there are too many concessions for size to allow for the kind of fidelity possible with separate speakers. CNET’s Audiophiliac Steve Guttenberg describes why in his great article Before you buy a sound bar speaker, read this.

For those of you looking to really step up in sound quality, I’d recommend a decent subwoofer/satellite system for 5.1 audio, or even a decent pair of bookshelf speakers with an inexpensive integrated amp. This latter pairing won’t offer surround sound, but will offer incredible sound quality.

The Rest

Some TVs have audio processing designed to help their mediocre sound quality. They’ll have features that boost the frequencies where most voices are.

This certainly helps intelligibility, but this doesn’t mean the TVs actually sound good. It just makes the dialog a little easier to understand.

So. yes. Yes they are.

Soundbars are definitely worth it. They’ll give you better sound than is possible with your TV. In some cases, they offer excellent fidelity for movies and music. There are great options for every budget. I recommend checking out TheWirecutter for a place to start your research. They have an inexpensive pick and a high-end pick, with a few thousand words explaining why they chose each.

About sound bars. And fixing the one thing your TV fails at: sound.

Here’s the deal: a wafer-thin TV only has room for a wafer-thin speaker inside. And maybe a small speaker is fine for a cell phone or tablet, but if you’re watching “Wonder Woman” on one of today’s amazing 4K HDR TVs with breathtaking picture technology, you’re going to want some serious audio to go along… because Wonder Woman should sound like Wonder Woman, not Minnie Mouse. And a good sound bar will take care of that. After all, its full-time job: making your TV sound awesome, particularly with respect to dialogue.

6 details to consider when buying a sound bar:

  1. Where will it live?
  2. What size should you get?
  3. Active vs. Passive
  4. Sound bar channels
  5. What connections do you need?
  6. How will you control the sound bar?

# Sound Bar Buying Guide Cheat Sheet

If you read anything, read this.

In a hurry? Here are the most important things to know (or do) before buying a sound bar, in bitesize form:

  • Choose a sound bar with 3 or more channels – at a minimum. There are still 2-channel sound bars out there, and they’re no more than glorified mini-stereos. With 3 or more channels, you can simulate surround sound for a more immersive experience.
  • Go with an active sound bar. Active sound bars come with built-in amplifiers (passive sound bars do not). We say it’s worth it, especially if you’re trying to save space or want a 2-for-1 solution.
  • Consider where you want to place your sound bar. Are you hanging it on a wall or laying it on a table? Aesthetically speaking, your new sound bar shouldn’t be any wider than your TV. And in a perfect world, whether hanging on a wall or sitting on a shelf, the perfect spot for your sound bar: centered beneath or above your TV. Just make sure you have enough space!
  • Pay attention to connectivity. Most sound bars come Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth-enabled , so you can easily stream music from any computer, phone, or tablet – making your sound bar a stereo, too. And check for HDMI-switching, which makes it easy to switch audio sources without having to re-route HDMI cables.
  • Buy your new sound bar from an authorized dealer. Do this, and you get the manufacturer’s warranty, service, and support. (In our case, guaranteed support even long after the sale. Not to brag, but we did take #2 in Customer Service by USA Today. Just sayin’.)
  • Or just skip the rest of this and buy one of these listed here:The Best Sound Bars of 2020. Then give yourself a standing-O. You now have what our experts are calling one of the best sound bars anywhere, at any price. Any questions? You’re welcome to call and speak to one of our experts – anytime.

Wait, time-out: Are sound bars worth it?

Most folks buy sound bars because they just don’t have the space necessary for real home theater surround sound . Sound bars are slim, low-profile space-savers. Real home theater sound comes in many variations, but typically, home theater sound requires a separate amplifier and at least 5 speakers (one center, one left, one right, two rear) and a subwoofer. (All of which typically costs more than a sound bar alone.)

The point? If you have the space and the budget, you might want to consider authentic home theater sound because it’s amazing in so many ways. Put it this way: If a good sound bar improves your TV audio 100-fold, then a real home theater improves your TV audio — and the overall experience — 10,000-fold. But if you’re just looking for a simple solution, a sound bar will be a definite upgrade from your TV’s audio.

The two types: Sound Bars and Sound Bases.

What’s a sound bar?

A sound bar is a long, thin rectangular-shaped bar filled with speakers and a lot of technical wizardy. A good sound bar does for the spoken word what a good pair of glasses does for making things crystal clear. The result: voices come through crisp and distinct — and so much so, even whispered dialogue can be heard clearly. (No more turning on subtitles or raising the volume to hear what’s being said.) And since sound bars are wider than sound bases, they throw sound further afield (left and right) and to a degree (albeit a very small degree) get closer to a real home theater effect.

As for where they go, sound bars either A) mount to the wall under your TV, B) sit in front of your TV if your TV is on a table, or C) sit on a shelf below or above your TV if your TV is in a shelving system. Many sound bars these days come packaged with a separate wireless subwoofer, and the extra thumpa-thumpa kick really does round out the experience.

What Does a Subwoofer do with a Soundbar?

In this article, I have explained in detail about the subwoofer that comes with a soundbar. Latest versions of soundbars feature high-quality subwoofers that are either built-in or are available for attachment. I love to watch movies at my home, thanks to the latest technology, home cinema is a reality with these soundbars.

If you are planning for a powerful and deep bass from the soundbar, you will need to connect a subwoofer with it. Soundbars that come with a subwoofer deliver high-quality music. It is the only source which upgrades your music to an optimum level and you will definitely enjoy it. It will make you feel happy and contented if you truly love music,? we know that music is the food for the soul.

I do every possible activity to satisfy your musical hunger. There is a bundle of variety available in the market for the subwoofers which can get connected to the soundbar easily.

Subwoofers for a Soundbar

If you love heavy deep base then the sound bar is a must choice for you because it is the only which gives you the differentiating sounds of different sorts of music. It will not only enhance music experience but also a source of your amusement and fun. It definitely makes me happy.

Reasons for attachment of subwoofers with a Soundbar

  1. The depth of music:

Subwoofers are a sort of music enhancer. I mean you are watching TV and enjoying your favorite program. I am sure you want to increase your experience of music which is not possible with the home TV sound bars available. I mean you want to enjoy the bone wrecking loud sounds and at the ultimate bass effect which makes your room rumble around. This music is deep and wonderful this is a major reason for increased sound quality.

  1. Look and feel:

It is the device which does not occupy much space and present at very small space. They have wireless connectivity too. So aesthetically and looks wise it is the perfect match with your TV set and soundbar.

  1. Size:

It is the enhancement of your sound system which is not very big in size and it is very small in its appearance and size. They keep the looks of your TV smart and do not require much larger space for its placement.

Advantages of Soundbar Subwoofers:

Now, for a better understanding of today’s question, What Does a Subwoofer do with a Soundbar? Let me explain the advantages of Soundbars Subwoofers.

  1. Produces sounds and feelings which is extraordinary: It is the most important feature that subwoofers are able to produce the sound effect which is optimum and also pitches, low and high frequencies, loudness and other features are easily reproducible in this kind of speakers.
  2. Distortion free loudness: You can play louder sounds without any kind of disturbance and distortion and this will definitely become the cause of your enhanced musical journey and you will be unstoppable which listening to it.
  3. Accurately reproduce low frequency: Loudness is not only the dependent feature of the subwoofers. Subwoofers also get active by the reproduction of the louder sounds and you may be able to listen to it very easily and conveniently at the lower sound too. The musical effect of the subwoofers is too magical.
  4. Reveals the audio potentials of speakers: All these speakers are able to produce the maximum sound effect and the quality of sound is great for these speakers and they are surely the source of enjoyment for you.
  5. Blends sound perfect: These are the speaker which has got the ability to reproduce sound at the best level and you enjoy it at your maximum. The blending of sounds in this kind of speakers is also very good and you surely enjoy them.


These are the speakers of the ultimate choice and can produce the ultimate sound experience. As I have managed a movie party for my friends and that was an awesome experience for me. I enjoy watching movies with my friends but I was a bit disappointed as we want to watch Jurassic Park as the sound of my speakers were so terrible.

Thankfully my friend told me to add subwoofers to my music system. It has created a magic spell and I enjoyed the music a lot on these speakers and they created the awesome experience for the listeners and my party was awesome I loved my subs a lot that they increase the level of fun in my party.

How do “surround” sound bars work

Roku’s audio expansions continue with a soon-to-launch software update that gives its existing line of Roku Smart Soundbars the ability to offer a surround sound experience when paired with Roku TV Wireless Speakers. The soundbar had already worked with Roku’s Wireless Subwoofer to add bass to the listening experience, but now they can pair with the wireless speakers or the newly added onn-branded wireless speakers sold by Walmart, also announced today.

The onn Roku Wireless Surround Speakers will be available on and in stores in February.

Like the Roku TV Wireless speakers, these can be paired with the soundbar for surround sound. However, the onn-branded speakers will have some cosmetic differences to better match the aesthetics of soundbar and subwoofer, Roku says. Acoustically, they’ll be just about the same.

The onn speakers also won’t be bundled with different remotes the way Roku’s version is — today, Roku’s version comes with both a voice remote and tabletop remote. The onn Roku Wireless Surround Speakers won’t include a remote, because they’re meant only to pair with the soundbar, which has its own remote. However, this helps to bring the price point down, as the onn Roku Wireless Surround Speakers will be $149 while the Roku TV Wireless Speakers retail for $199.99 (but are frequently on sale, as they are now).

The goal with the software update and new onn wireless speakers is to give Roku customers a way to continue to expand their home entertainment system over time. And because all of Roku’s products are designed to be simple to set up, customers may opt for Roku products because they know the process will be quick and painless. In addition, Roku’s speakers and soundbars are aimed at those who want a more affordable system.

“We want to simplify home theater the same way we simplified streaming and we’re taking a big step towards that vision by expanding our Roku Smart Soundbars to support surround sound capabilities,” said Mark Ely, vice president, Retail Product Strategy at Roku, in a statement. “We want customers to be able to expand their system over time without having to spend a lot of money or run wires throughout the home. The Roku Smart Soundbar is an incredible two-in-one device that adds exceptional sound and powerful streaming to a TV and when Roku TV Wireless Speakers and a Roku Wireless Subwoofer are paired with the Smart Soundbar you get truly immersive surround sound without breaking the bank.”

Roku itself doesn’t sell the other audio accessories you’d need to mount your wireless speakers in the room, but its website points to various Sanus-branded products, like swivel mounts and stands that can help to complete the setup.

Along with the software update, Roku OS is adding new sound settings to enhance the stereo experience, including one for Movies & TV that offers a surround-like experience; another for Music that synchronizes audio across all speakers; and a third for normal stereo where sound will come from the front speakers only. (However, any Surround content will always be heard in surround, says Roku.)

How do “surround” sound bars work

The setup process has also been made easier with tools that now let you set up multiple devices at once or identify which speaker is the left one and which is the right.

How do “surround” sound bars work

The Roku OS software update will begin rolling out to devices in February, allowing owners of the onn Roku Wireless Surround Speakers and Roku TV Wireless Speakers to pair their devices to their Roku Smart Soundbar.

Every TV comes with factory speakers, and of course, they work just fine. But if you walk through any electronics store and hear the sound quality that you could have for your sports, movies, and TV shows, you’ll realize you’ve been missing out.

Once you’ve decided to upgrade your sound system, you have two main choices: a sound bar (also called a speaker bar) or a surround sound system. Both have pros and cons, which we’ll review here to help you decide which one is best for you.

What Is a Sound Bar?

Sound bars are speakers, usually around two to three feet long and about three inches high. They’re easy to install—just plug in one or two cables—and fit nicely in front of your television or on the wall.

Sound bars are usually more affordable than a surround sound system. If you’re shopping on a budget, you can find models for $40–50; if you’re looking for a higher-end sound bar, you’ll pay almost $2,000.

Sound bars are great for smaller living rooms or bedrooms. They don’t project as much as a surround sound system, but they’ll do the trick in smaller spaces, which makes them a perfect replacement for regular TV speakers.

Some sound bars come with an additional subwoofer to boost the audio quality and add a bit of a surround sound experience.

What Is Surround Sound?

If you want to feel like you’re actually inside your favorite TV show or on the field with your team, invest in a surround sound system. This type of audio system consists of multiple speakers and subwoofers, and you can get optimal sound quality by placing the speakers around your room. The downside is that many speaker systems require a cable to connect each one.

Surround sound systems used to be costly, but now you can get a budget-friendly speaker system for around $100. They go all the way up to $4,000, and the higher price point gets you sleeker speakers, more options, and better sound. Depending on your needs and finances, you can start with a couple of speakers at first and then add subwoofers or rear speakers as you build your system.

Surround sound is the best choice for bigger rooms or if you’re looking for a theater experience. The standard 5.1 surround sound system uses six channels (and six speakers), while 7.1 surround sound uses eight speakers and offers greater audio depth. It’s also more expensive.

Other Considerations

Four technical specifications can also help you decide whether to get a soundbar or surround sound system—and how to choose between the options once you decide:

  • Frequency response . This term describes a speaker’s range of sounds. A full frequency system covers the full range of human hearing, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. These systems are usually expensive and large. Most systems fall between the 45 Hz and 20 kHz range. Look for the system’s variance number, usually +/- 3 dB (decibels), which means the sound is accurate within 3 dB. So if a system lists 34 Hz – 20 kHz +/-3 dB, and you want to reach the lowest bass sounds, you’ll need an additional subwoofer.
  • Sensitivity. Sensitivity is how speakers convert electric energy into acoustic energy. The higher the sensitivity (measured in decibels), the more efficient the speaker is and the better sound quality it will have.
  • Wattage. If you’re looking to provide sound in a big house, you’ll want a speaker system with more power, or more watts.
  • Impedance. This measures the speaker’s resistance to the electrical voltage and is expressed in ohms. Most speakers come in 4, 6, or 8 ohms. Lower impedance (4 ohms) is found in high- end equipment because the lower the impedance, the more easily sound can flow through the speaker. Just make sure your amplifier is rated for your speakers so you don’t blow them out.

If you’re looking for sound a step above your TV speakers without breaking the bank, get a sound bar. If you want a serious theater experience, invest in a surround sound system. To really maximize your home sound system, enjoy your new audio system with a 4K Ultra HD TV, a DVR that can record and stream in 4D quality, and On-Demand service to catch all your favorite shows and movies.