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Buying Guides

Don't know your LCD from your LED? Our buying guides make choosing your new TV set-up simple.

Sound Technology Buying Guide

Soundbars

Soundbars

Soundbars are a discrete option that save on space yet still pack a punch when it comes to sound. They fit alongside your TV stand and some can even be mounted onto your wall depending on where your TV is mounted. There are wireless models too, so no messy cables are needed, providing a compact solution for both movie and music lovers alike.

One thing to consider is whether to go for a soundbar with an internal or external subwoofer. An internal subwoofer will make the soundbar a bit bigger, so you’ll need extra space. An external subwoofer will give you a bigger and richer bass but it also means you’ll have an extra box in your room - most people just hide this behind their TV cabinet.

Another feature to look for is Wi-Fi, which will come in handy if you want to stream music straight from your smartphone. Some soundbars also have Smart features – like the BBC iPlayer and Netflix – built-in, which is perfect if your telly doesn’t have those extra features already

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Soundboards

Soundbases

These ultra-slim devices take the simplicity of soundbars a step further, by placing speakers in a base pad that's designed to sit under your flat-screen TV. The unit houses speakers, a subwoofer and an amp to give you a more responsive bass. It also uses the natural reverb provided by the surface that your TV sits on for a richer sound. They look pretty neat and tidy sat under your telly, almost like they're part of the set.

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Surround Sound

Surround Sound

Surround sound systems are the ultimate way of creating high-quality audio and the closest you'll get to a cinema-sound experience. Multiple speakers are positioned around your room, carrying different sound channels so you get noise from all angles! There’s also a separate subwoofer for extra bass, giving you a truly immersive experience.

If you're fanatical about action flicks, you’ll know they deserve big sound too and the popular 5.1 format will give you just that. This set-up has three front channels positioned to the left, right and centre of your TV. There are also two speakers positioned behind – usually in the corners of your room.

For a surround sound system that'll get your heart beating that little bit faster, 7.1 models will add two more speakers either side of your main sitting position.

Finally, 9.1 takes this even further, placing two speakers overhead allowing you to pick out the authentic acoustics of a live gig or the sound of a helicopter in the air above.