How Do A Soundbar Works? – Science Behind A Pleasing Gadget!

Are soundbars really just a hype of the last few years?

Whether trend or classics, we can’t really tell if we don’t dig a little deeper. To understand the reason, we can begin by proposing an answer to that question.

They have been around us for a long time…they just had a different shape.

Sound enhancing systems are not a thing of this century. Although sound has been a part of human history, it hasn’t really been that long since people started transmitting and enhancing it.

The second radio frequencies that started traveling around was the birth of the notion that we could actually reproduce acoustics. Scientific progress allowed developing ways in which sound was not only reproduced but enhanced.

Soundbars are just a specific type of sound-enhancing system. Like others, they’re made of elements that permit audio signals or radio frequencies to be outputted into what we hear.

So…what’s A Soundbar?

We said that a soundbar is no more and no less than a loudspeaker. However, even though it’s just a single piece of machinery, soundbars are not a single speaker, but many.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of soundbar we refer to. A soundbar is an elongated device that possesses multiple speakers integrated into its internal structure. These speakers are called channels, and they’re in charge of delivering sound.

How soundbars work

Let’s recap.

A soundbar is a sound-enhancing system made that possesses multiple speakers inside of it. Each one represents a channel.

Knowing how many channels your soundbar has will tell you about the definition and the direction of its sound. Keep these two pivotal elements in mind as we take you through each of them.

Why Are Channels Important?

The channels of a soundbar are the number of places where the sound comes from. Fundamentally, the number of speakers that output acoustics.

The more channels you have, the more attention the sound receives. The fewer channels, the more “condensed” the sounds that come from each.

There is no need to tear apart a soundbar to find out how many channels it has. When looking to purchase a soundbar, or if you already have one, you can check the number of channels by focusing on the pair of numbers in their description.

You might’ve seen combinations like “2.0”, “2.1” “3.1”…What do they mean?

This is one of the most relevant pieces of information you want to have when analyzing a soundbar. These numbers represent the combination of internal and external channels of any sound system.

The first digit of the combination represents the speakers or channels. The second digit represents the subwoofer, the channel dedicated solely to very low frequencies.

Let’s give a couple of examples so you can get the hang of it. A 2.0 system has two audio channels, but it doesn’t have a subwoofer. Basically, it doesn’t have a channel dedicated to lowering sounds.

Now, if we speak about 3.1 channels, there are three channels or speakers where the sound comes from. In addition to that, there’s also a subwoofer to output very low-key sounds.

Directional Sound

After the previous explanation, you might’ve noticed already. The more channels, the more detailed the sound. You might also remember we mentioned the direction of the acoustics.

Let’s talk about that one.

Channels are not only important because they are dedicated to paying more attention to sound. They also hold the key to the direction in which sound travels.

This is such a simple concept that we don’t need to get too technical. Sound is made of waves. These waves travel across space, and that is how sound is spread.

Just like anything that travels, sound has a direction. You might be wondering when it is that channels come in.

The number of channels determines the clarity of each traveling sound wave. Just like it, the position of each channel determines the direction the sound is traveling towards.

Direction plays a fundamental role. It determines how the sound will be scattered around the room.

How soundbars work-Directional Sound

Because of the elongated shape of soundbars and how the speakers inside them are positioned, the acoustics released will spread horizontally.

Usually, a central channel directs sound towards the listeners. Meanwhile, the side channels fire the sound outwards. The sound will bounce on the walls and simulate a surround system.

How Do Soundbars Work?

Now that you’ve got the hang of what channels inside a soundbar do, we can explain the basic functioning of this type of sound system.

Soundbars take audio frequencies or signals and transform them into sound.

The elements of soundbars are engineered to translate the signals the electric board of the soundbar receives. It converts an incoming signal into sound waves that will come out of each speaker. And, this mechanism is utilized at its best in some of the best gaming soundbars on the market.

Yes! This is why knowing about speakers is essential.

The speakers inside a soundbar are the ones in charge of outputting the sound waves. This is why having multiple channels makes such a difference.


1. How does a soundbar connect to a TV?

There are multiple ways of connecting a soundbar to a TV. They will not depend solely on the soundbar but on your TV screen as well.

Most soundbars connect to a TV by a single cable. This can be an HDMI cable or an optical one. Other soundbars can connect to screens wirelessly via Bluetooth. The type of connection will depend on the connectivity supported by each device.

2. Do soundbars work with any TV?

Virtually, yes. Most times, the connection is carried out through either HDMI or optical cables. These are usually supported by all TV screens. Some newer soundbars and TVs also support wireless connectivity.

However, it’s safe to say that connectivity, especially when the connection is wireless, can be more stable if your TV and soundbar belong to the same family brand.

3. How do surround soundbars work?

How the sound is directed outwards creates a simulation of a surround system. It happens when sound waves bump into walls and spread around the room. This is not an actual surround system but a recreation of it.

More Than Sound-reproducing Gadgets

4. Do All Soundbars work the same way?

Well, it depends on the manufacturer to manufacturer. But, most of the process of designing and manufacturing soundbars depend on a similar aspect mentioned in this article. And, hence we could say that science behind a soundbar’s working remains same in all the soundbars. May be in some cases, parts and components are designed and manufactured for different purposes but still it works the same way.

Wasn’t this simple?

Understanding how soundbars reproduce and emit sound will give you just enough perspective. This will come in handy when deciding to upgrade your acoustics or even position your existing sound system around your house.

Now that you know about channels and how they influence sounds, you can make actual informed decisions when buying a soundbar. This will save you time, effort and will definitely cost less.

Bear in mind that although soundbars can simulate home-theater surround systems, they are not the same. But if you’re looking for a more accessible option that doesn’t compromise quality, you might have found your next purchase.

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