sound bars

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 Powerâ„¢ 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.

What TV should I buy on Black Friday?

Episode 1340

Rusty from San Diego, CA
Samsung UHD TV

Rusty is seeing ads for TVs on Black Friday and it's time to get him a new TV. Leo says that Black Friday deals are often house brands, cheaper models and sometimes last year's model that they're clearing out. If he is OK with that, then it comes down to how large a TV he needs. It comes down to how far away he will be sitting and how immersive he'll want it to be. If he wants to get 4K, then he'll have to look past the door busters. Moving forward, he'll want to get a TV that is UHD Premium. Samsung's SUHD TV predated UHD Premium, but it's pretty close to the standard.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1275

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk about the new Dolby Atmos Soundbar. The idea of superior sound is to get a greater sense of immersion and Atmos adds to the effect of surround sound. It puts the sound above you so that it comes at you from every direction. Atmos does this by bouncing the audio off the ceiling. Then, using DSP, it can create a simulated surround sound effect. Leo wonders if it would be better to have two really good stereo speakers, rather than 7 surround sound speakers that may not be as good. Scott says that is a good argument. But the center channel is where the voice should be.