There can be many reasons that you would want to make your TV louder. Perhaps you are tired of straining your ears to hear over a pesky whisper from your beloved family member. Or, maybe you just want to experience enhanced sound. In this case, will a Soundbar make your TV louder?
A Soundbar works as an external speaker which means it can provide audio that is louder and more robust in comparison to built-in TV speakers. Soundbars also improve sound quality and can play streams through multiple speaker channels.
Much less, Soundbars are sleek in appearance and are incredibly easy to install, especially when you consider the number of speaker channels that these devices come with.
Soundbars will allow you to watch your movies at a louder volume, but they will also provide audio effects you might not have even realized that you were missing. Let’s take a closer look.
Also read: Can a Soundbar Replace a Receiver?
How Will a Soundbar Make Your TV Louder?
So you are sitting there sharing a bowl of popcorn with your friends or family when all of a sudden someone decides to crack a joke.
While it could have been funny, you are confident that it did not surpass the comedic level of the joke that was cracked on your favorite film that was streaming- but you will never know because you could not hear the TV. Sound familiar? Then, it might be time to install a Soundbar.
So, how will a Soundbar make your TV louder?
Technically, when using a Soundbar, it will become the outsourced speaker option that your TV will use as opposed to the standard TV speakers.
With this said, the Soundbar is able to stream audio through its various channels, and some devices even have surround sound and Bluetooth capabilities.
The number of channels that you get on your Soundbar will play a large role in the ability for the Soundbar to transmit more robust sound, though. If you are not familiar, the more channels a speaker system has, the more speakers the audio can be transmitted to.
Instead of one speaker (like the TV speakers) being responsible for the high pitched sounds as well as the deep bass, these different audio waves are “split” (in a sense) through multiple channels, and the speaker that this pitch is assigned to can transmit the fullest possible sound.
This is a watered-down version of how a home theater system can look. In a home theater system, you will notice various speakers strewn throughout the entire media room.
And, while these arguably will produce more robust sound than your standard Soundbar, a Soundbar can work as an easier solution for those who are looking for a simple solution to make their TV louder.
Along with the number of channels, the Soundbar has been designed specifically for the audio production quality that it can produce.
Instead of using the built-in TV speakers that are only capable of producing moderate sound quality, a Soundbar boasts the spatial design and overall capacity to take your audio experience from subpar to over the top.
How Many Channels Should You Get on a Soundbar?
So, now that we have talked about the important role that the number of speaker channels can play in your overall sound quality, you might be wondering how big of an impact this can make on your Soundbar.
After all, a Soundbar is designed to take your audio to the next level, but how many channels does it require to do so?
So, how many channels should you get on a Soundbar?
While there are plenty of options to choose from, you should consider getting a Soundbar with at least 3 channels and 1 subwoofer.
While the subwoofer can be optional in considering the minimum, anything less than 3 channels might not produce the sound quality that you are looking for.
A soundbar with 3 channels will have a minimum of a left, right, and center channel. These will each act to take the audio and distribute it beautifully throughout your media viewing room.
Additionally, adding a subwoofer to your minimum criteria will allow those deep bass tones to carry out throughout your home.
You can note this typical setup in a Soundbar description as a 3.1 model. The number “3” in this case refers to 3 channels, and the number “1” that follows the decimal point refers to the one subwoofer that is included.
Of course, the more channels your Soundbar is, the more advanced it will likely be.
You might even find Soundbars with a third number after a second decimal point that indicates the presence of Dolby Atmos surround sound speaker effects. (This number will likely be 4 and refers to the 4 speakers that can send audio upward and around your room.)
However, if you are not yet looking to invest in a surround sound speaker system for your home and are looking for a simple way to improve the sound quality (loudness, robustness, clarity, etc.) of the movies and shows you watch on your TV, then a 3.1 Soundbar is a great way to go.
You should be able to tell a very noticeable difference in the sound experience that this type of Soundbar can produce.
Does a Soundbar Replace Your TV Speakers?
As you excitedly search for the perfect Soundbar to fit the acoustic needs as well as your budget and style within your home, you might still be wondering about a few of the technical aspects of your Soundbar and TV combination. For example, what happens to the TV speakers after you begin using the Soundbar?
Does a Soundbar replace your TV speakers?
Soundbars are connected to your TV with an HDMI ARC cable, Bluetooth, or Wifi. In selecting the Soundbar as your TV’s audio output option, your Soundbar will replace your TV speakers. This device was not intended to run alongside the TV speakers but replace them entirely.
But, just in case you were wondering, this will not cause any damage to the TV speakers themselves. In essence, it is as if the TV speakers will be muted while the audio is sent to the Soundbar instead. Really, this is a one or the other option as opposed to a combination option.
Interestingly, it is not in your best interest to try to run a Soundbar with the TV speakers in the first place anyway. These two speaker options would collide and could potentially lead to distorted audio quality- the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve first of all.
With that said, you can always revert back to using your TV speakers if you decide that you would like to upgrade your Soundbar, for example, and might temporarily not have one installed during your search for a new one.
Or, if there is any other reason that you simply would like to turn your Soundbar off, you can still use your TV’s speakers as a backup.
To do this, all you would have to do is to adjust your TV’s audio settings to revert to the TV speakers for the output.
Instead of defaulting to the HDMI cable or the other input option (depending on how you have connected the Soundbar to your TV in the first place), you will select the TV internal speakers as the default speaker option instead.
Of course, this means that your Soundbar will no longer be the output option that has been selected, so it is important that you only do this if you are intending to revert back to your TV speakers for any reason.
Either way, you should not have to disconnect the Soundbar to do this but instead can simply adjust the settings on your TV.
Should You Turn Off TV Speakers for a Soundbar?
Once you have your Soundbar installed, it is likely that you will be anxiously awaiting the moment that you can begin using the device. With that said, you might want to know what you have to do to the TV to make the Soundbar work correctly.
So, should you turn off the TV speakers for a Soundbar?
Most likely, the TV will select the Soundbar input as the default speaker output option once you have connected this device. You will switch from one device to the other but should not have to adjust the volume of both simultaneously.
If for some reason, the TV does not automatically select the Soundbar input as the default audio output selection, then you can adjust the TV default option to the Soundbar connection as opposed to the TV internal speakers.
Again, in this way, you will not have to turn off the TV speakers but, instead, change the preferred settings on the TV to the Soundbar.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.