large tv installed on the wall in front of a sofa

Why use a sound bar?

With more and more people wanting that home cinema effect & investing in their new TV’s (especially larger ones), then the audio has to also be good. Many modern TV’s are very thin and although they look  audio is fine, they’re never going to be amazing as they just can’t fit larger speakers in there, no matter how hard they try. One of the easiest and quickest ways to improve the audio is by using a sound bar which is a row of speakers, placed side by side and tends to sit below the TV. Sometimes they may come with a subwoofer, or you can easily add a sub too later if you think you’d like one.

Choosing your sound bar

  • Obviously the size will affect your choice – be aware of the size of the TV and try to match a similar size of bar. If you have a huge TV and a tiny sound bar then the effect will be lost. Also a huge sound bar and small TV will swamp the audio. How will it be fitted? Do you want it to sit on a unit below or mounted on the wall underneath the TV? Don’t put it in a cupboard with closed doors as this will muffle the sound and if it’s sitting on a stand make sure it’s well fitted to it and not overhanging the edge as this will also negatively affect the audio.


  • Do I want a separate subwoofer?

If you want that rumbling, big audio effect then a sub is definitely worth considering. Some sound bars come with a subwoofer and if not, you can add one yourself so if regret not getting one with the bar, then don’t worry, you can easily add on. If the system comes with a sub, try to install it near the sound bar as it generally improves the audio.

  • Features

As well as a subwoofer, you could have Bluetooth, 4K HDMI inputs and Dolby atmos sound. Check that it’s got exactly what you need before you buy. Think about what you’ll be connecting to it and what you’ll be watching. If it’s for watching movies then you’ll want more bass so a subwoofer is worth adding into the mix. If it’s day to day stuff then that might not be so relevant.

  • What is the rough cost?

It varies enormously – some TV manufacturers have their own range to go with the TV’s (eg the Samsung Q series) and there are others such as the Sonos Beam which are more expensive. A general cost is £300 – £1200 although there are others out with that.

Here are some great Sound Bars we’ve installed and think you’ll love! If you want more information re purchasing or fitting, just contact us and we’ll help. 

SONY HTX8500 – 2.5 channel Dolby Atmos Sound bar – a steal at £349

Sony sound bar htx8500

This is a simple and effect sound bar with Dolby atmos and features which are normally seen in a more expensive sound bar. It’s got an integrated subwoofer and Bluetooth and WiFi connection along with 1 HDMI input. Vertical Surround Engine, Sonys latest surround technology, lets you enjoy the thrill of Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X® from a single slim unit. No matter what type of room you’re in, advanced DSP technology allows just two front speakers to reproduce full, cinematic sound from all around you, including from above.

Dimensions: 890 x 64 x 96 mm (35 1/8 x 2 5/8 x 3 7/8 in)


Sonos Arc – £799

sonos arc sound bar side view

Dimensions: 1141.7 x 87 x 115.7mm (W x H x D)

Sonos only Dolby atmos sound bar is one of the best sound bars on the market at the moment due to its array of features and the Sonos Arc is a formidable sound bar. It has a selection of front mounted and up-firing speakers behind the grill. It features Dolby Atmos, TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus. It fits well in most rooms and is simple to install so a great choice. The speakers work by bouncing audio off your walls and ceiling to provide a 3D audio system so it will sound a bit different depending on the room although Sonos Trueplay technology will tailor it to your room.

It’s a decent size so works well with TV’s from 49″, generally around the 55″ size but can be fitted with larger TV’s too. If going on the wall, then we can provide a Sonos Arc bracket but to be honest, there are cheaper alternatives to cut the overall cost down.


Denon DHT-S716H  – £799 

Denon sound bar side image

Denon DHTS716

Dimensions: 72x1100x148 mm

Previously known as the Heos Bar, this sound bar works well as a TV sound bar as well as integrating well into a multi zone system for listening to music. Thanks to it’s 9 drivers, the sound is fantastic so it’s useful for sitting listening to tunes as well as putting it on with a movie. You can sit in underneath the TV or wall mount it and it will look great either way.

You can stream your music from Amazon, Spotify and Tidal with Heos Technology, and if you like a nice option is to add a subwoofer to create a 3.1 system or also add in a couple of Heos 1 HS2 speakers to the rear an create a 5.1 home cinema.

The only issue we could see is that the USB is at the back which, if it’s wall mounted, means it’s pretty much inaccessible.


Denon DHTS516  – £699

Denon dhts sound bar and sub woofer

An example of a simple, good quality sound bar and sub is the Denon DHTS516 2.1 channel sound bar with Heos technology at £699. It’s a easy to add system with great features such as Dolby digital, Hi-Res audio and the sub is wireless so a simple set up in the room. The Denon DHT-S516H features bi-amplified mid-woofers and tweeters with advanced DSP processing, Hi-Res audio playback support, plus a powerful wireless subwoofer.

Try to position it near the sound bar as this tends to improve the overall sound

4K HDMI with ARC Support
The HDMI input and output features Audio Return Channel (ARC) for single cable connection from the soundbar to your TV. Supports 4K with HDCP 2.2, Dolby Vision and HDR10.

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