sound bars

Can I hear Dolby at Home with a Sound Bar?

Episode 1498

Tom from New Hampshire
Vizio Sound Bar

Tom heard about Dolby Atmos at Home coming to the Apple TV. Is there a sound bar that will support it? Leo says that Atmos at Home works by bouncing sound off the ceiling. This simulates speakers mounted from above. But a sound bar would only give him a hint of it. It won't really give him the same experience as an Atmos at Home Theater system. There is a listing of sound bars over at the Dolby site though, and Leo likes the Vizio.

What's the best sound bar for an OLED TV?

Episode 1452

Earl from Alpine, CA
VIZIO SmartCast™ 38” 3.1 Sound Bar System

Earl is buying an LG 55" OLED TV. What's a good sound bar to go with it? Leo says that TVs have speakers, but they're largely an afterthought and they sound terrible. The TV manufacturers expect people to invest in a home theater system. An AV Receiver with surround sound and subwoofer is the best option, but if he needs to go with the sound bar option, then Leo says that Scott Wilkinson really likes Onkyo, Vizio, and Yamaha.

How can I get my sound bar to work with my TV?

Episode 1416

Kent from Irvine, CA
Denon AVR-S510BT

Kent bought a sound bar for his older Samsung TV. He uses a Chromecast and Roku Stick with it, but he can't get audio to work. Scott Wilkinson says that the optical out for the old Samsung is probably only for the TV's internal tuner since it's older than the advent of streaming media. There could be a setting in the menus, but he's better off going with HDMI input.

Do I need a digital to analog converter to use a sound bar with an HDTV?

Episode 1403

Harvey from Pahrump, NV
J-Tech Digital Digital to Analog Audio Converter

Harvey wants to get a sound bar for his TV so that dialog will be easier to hear, but his TV doesn't have any analog output. Leo says that since HDTVs are all digital now, there's not much of a reason for manufacturers to put a digital to analog converter inside. The good news is that most sound bars have digital inputs. Harvey already got a J-Tech Digital to Analog Converter.

What's the best sound bar?

Episode 1402

Vin from Corona, CA
Vizio Smart Cast Sound Bar

Vin wants to know if Bose makes a good sound bar for home theater. Leo says the benefit of Bose is that it has a wireless subwoofer. It sounds great, but he'll pay for it. It will also have to simulate surround sound, which will never be as good as a real home theater system. If he has a space challenge, a sound bar is a good alternative.

What's the best TV with good speakers?

Episode 1392

Paul from Orange County, CA
Sony OLED A1E

Paul would like to know what's a good TV with on board sound. Scott says there aren't many, but Sony's OLED XBR-A1E is the best. It uses the screen itself as the speaker and it sounds surprisingly good. But at 55", 65", or 75", it's not cheap. Absent that, Paul should plan on buying a good sound bar or home theater system because most TVs have terrible on board sound.

Why is my sound bar volume so low?

Episode 1387

Ryan from Pittsburgh, PA
Energy Power™ Bar One Soundbar

Ryan connects his sound bar to his TV through the headphone jack and over time, it gets harder to hear. He can have it turned up to 90% and it sounds like it's barely on. Leo says that he should try changing the sound on the TV, not the sound bar. It should raise or lower it.

There may be a setting in the TV's sound settings to treat it as a line out. That could fix it. Connecting to the optical jack is the solution, if he can, because it's a fixed level.

Scott Wilkinson ... Stuck on a wall

Episode 1368

Scott went to a recent LG TV event and he saw some really great TVs that LG calls darn near perfect. And they're super thin too, with Wallpaper TV is 4mm from the bezel to the wall. So it's almost like a painting. So thin, that it requires a separate box for all the electronics, and the W7 model incorporates a sound bar into that electronics box package. Leo says he'd rather have a monitor that he can bring his own party to. Scott does says to be fair the Soundbar does sound pretty good though.