If you love music but would rather dodge the mud, tents and portaloos, flicking on live footage and creating that festival feeling in your living room might just be the answer.
Having incredible, immersive sound can really put you in the moment. So, whether you’re a pop princess, a fan of folk or a sucker for some soul, you’ll truly feel like you’re there, in the crowd.
But, there are so many choices and different bits of tech that’ll improve your telly’s sound, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Small but mighty, soundbars are super-slim. They look incredibly sleek sat on a TV stand, and some will even fix to the wall underneath a mounted TV. Nowadays, lots of soundbars are wireless and connect to a telly via Bluetooth or stream music from your phone. So, you can rock around your living room to the playlist of your choice!
Before you buy, check whether it’s got a subwoofer (a separate component that produces the bass.) If it has a separate wired or wireless one, just bear in mind the subwoofer might have to sit on your floor. You’ll find some kind of Dolby technology at each price point too. Cheaper ones are likely to have Dolby Sound Technology or Dolby Digital, that’ll effortlessly improve your TV’s sound.
Some of the more expensive models are super-clever, like this one from LG, and can detect what you’re watching, automatically adjusting the sound settings to suit. Others have tech – like S-Force PRO on this Sony model – that creates that full, amazing surround sound experience. So, whether you’re sat in awe watching your favourite musician, or you’re dancing around the room to this week’s top hits, incredible audio will immerse you right in that festival feeling.
When you’re following the festival circuit from your living room, you need to make sure you’ve got a sturdy sound system that’ll go the distance. That’s where a soundbase comes in.
Strong and powerful, soundbases are designed to go underneath your telly and hold its weight, giving your setup a streamlined finish that’ll look stylish in your living room. If your telly’s wall-mounted, opt for a soundbar instead.
Soundbases are often slightly bigger than soundbars so there’s no need for a subwoofer – saving floor space and giving you more room to boogie.
They can have some great tech packed in there too. Although most are simply wired and connect to your TV using a HDMI cable, some have Bluetooth so you can play songs from them through yourphone, like this Panasonic model.
Before you buy, remember to check the weight of your TV and the gaps between its feet, to make sure it’ll stand comfortably on the soundbase.
To get that true festival feeling, a surround system could be the best solution. By using multiple speakers and subwoofers, it wraps you in cinema-quality, crystal-clear sound from every angle.
Speakers are dotted around the room to make sure you catch every boom and whisper. So, you’ll hear every word an artist mumbles, and you’ll never miss those catchy basslines. In fact, you’ll hear as clear as if you were stood huddled in a raincoat amongst the screaming crowd!
Surround sound systems come in various formats, including 5.1, 7.1 and 9.1. The first number in the pair refers to the number of speakers, and the second is the number of subwoofers. So, a 5.1 system has 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer.
The more speakers and subwoofers you use, the more depth, detail and clarity you’ll enjoy from your TV audio.
Whatever the setup, these systems can project a better range of treble and bass audio than other speakers, and they tend to have a higher Watt output too. This means you can turn it up much louder than a soundbar or soundbase without compromising on the sound quality, letting you host your own living room concert.