Saturday, September 26, 2009

How To Make Your HDTV Sound Better

Now that you have your new flat panel high definition TV mounted on your living room or bedroom wall and you see how great the picture looks, it’s time to consider improving the audio quality to make the whole experience complete.Don't forget a good sound system not only makes TV sound better but CDs or iPods can be played through them not to mention the fact that games on your PS3 or Xbox will sound better too.

Of course you can spend big bucks on a home theater system that might include a receiver and set of high end speakers but you'll have to place speakers around the room and run wires to them.  There's no question, you'll be getting the best sound possible, but if you don't want the hassle and expense of running wires to speakers and don't want to invest in an expensive receiver you still have some options that will get you part of the way to movie theater sound.Your choices include buying a sound bar or wireless speaker devices and just in case you don't mind stringing a few wires around the room, you can also buy a decent HTiB (home theater in a box) for a reasonable cost.

What is a Sound Bar?
Sound bars are designed to fit under or in some cases, over your screen. They consist of a set of speakers and in most devices, bounce sound off the walls or use DSP chips to create sound that simulates a surround experience.Sound bars don’t offer quite the spatial separation that individual side or rear speakers produce but they can offer a dramatic improvement over what comes with the average HDTV. Sound bars typically cost from $200 to over $1,000 and some come with separate subwoofers.

Vizio VSB210WS
Vizio, a leader in flat panel HDTV sales has recently released the Vizio VSB210WS sound bar. It comes with a wireless subwoofer which makes it easier to find the optimum location for it in the room. Expert reviewers say it does an adequate job of opening up the sound while users say they generally feel they got their money's worth.

Sony HT-CT100
This sound bar from Sony also comes with a subwoofer, and even though it only simulates a 3.1 channel surround sound system, reviewers say it does an impressive job of delivering a lot of sound for the money. Users say the good selection of inputs makes the Sony HT-CT100 able to serve as a receiver in many ways which makes this sound bar a very good value at $299.

For a Few Dollars More
If you're willing to up the ante to the $700 - $1200 range the quality gets better and the number of choices increases. One of the more popular and higher rated sound bars in this price range is the Polk Audio SurroundBar 50 which contains nine drivers, three tweeters, and inputs for all five primary surround channels. The SurroundBar uses patented signal processing to simulate surround sound. It gets good marks from reviewers and costs around $750. It doesn't include a subwoofer.

ZVOX, a company known for home theater systems just introduced two new sound bars. The ZVOX 430 and ZVOX 440 both have wood cabinets and include three speakers and a four inch powered subwoofer The 430 will retail for $449.99 while the 440 will retail for $549.99.

Wireless Transmitter Kits and Speakers
Another option that will save you the trouble of running wires along the walls of your living room to the rear speakers is a wireless transmitter that sends the signals from two speakers to a receiver that drives the speakers. Rocketfish offers a transmitter with a 100' range for around $200. Users say it generally does what it's supposed to do while some reviewers complain that it's underpowered and exhibits a hum when not in use. Boze offers the SL2 Wireless Surround Link for $249. It includes one transmitter and one receiver and is based on 5.8HHz transmission technology that make it less susceptible to interference from other devices. The Kenwood RFU-6100 Wireless Module for Surround Speakers costs $250, has a 100' range and offers 50 watts of amplification per speaker.

Surround Yourself with Retrevo
Whether you think one of these sound bars is for you or you think a home theater in a box might be more to your liking, you can research all the latest gadgets and gear including digital cameras, HDTV, laptops.

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