April 17, 2017

Soundbars and Sounddecks: The best TV speakers in the test

Soundbars and Sounddecks: The best TV speakers in the test

The trend towards ever thinner televisions has too often a thinner sound. Especially the bass remains on the track, so that even high-priced flat- screen devices such as Samsung and Philips sound extremely flat. A soundbar can help: The long sound bars are mostly in the package with a subwoofer - they bring home theater sound into your living room. Likewise, sound decks, which have already integrated the subwoofer and serve as TV support. COMPUTER BILD has tested current devices and reveals which models are worth their money.

Soundbar or Souddeck - what can it be?
The slim soundbars fit in front of or under the TV. Often a separate subwoofer box for powerful basses belongs to the package. But not always: the Bose Solo 5 and the Yamaha YAS-306 sound even without an extra bass driver much more powerful than a TV. If the space is very short before or under the TV, the new Philips B1 , which is hardly bigger than a milk bag, is particularly suitable. Sounddecks, on the other hand, protrude so far that a TV can be placed on it. So they are big enough for a full bass, a subwoofer does not need the sound decks. No matter whether soundbar or sounddeck: What is good for the movie sound is also good for music. The tested sound specialists also fulfill their purpose as stereo systems. All have a Bluetooth interface to play music from your smartphone, tablet or computer. Some are also networkable and can play music directly from Internet radio stations or streaming services such as Spotify.

Philips Fidelio B8 - Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
The Philips Fidelio B8 belongs to a completely new generation of TV speakers, which can reproduce realistic room sound from just one box. With Dolby Atmos, the Fidelio B8 dominates even the sound effects from above - the overall impression of the room is beneficial - even for effects from the back and the side, the positioning with appropriate footage is easy. Directly from above coming noises, such as a helicopter flying over the spectators were, in the test, however, less clearly locatable. The B8's voices are easy to understand, but they could make a nuance clearer. In the music business, the Fidelio B8 is less focused on the sound of the room, instead it enjoys a great stereo image and balanced sound - if you want the rich and deep, A little grumbling bass restrained by two steps. On the Fidelio two players can be connected via HDMI, music is available here via USB and via radio via Bluetooth. Important: If you really want to play Dolby Atmos material, you must connect the Atmos-compatible Blu-ray player directly to the soundbar - and not on the TV. Otherwise, it does not work.

Polk Magnifi Mini - multi-tone and equipment
The Polk Magnifi Mini proves impressively that the good sound of the TV and the full sound of the music can not be expensive. The extremely compact soundbar comes with a wireless bass loudspeaker and sounds very powerful and much more adult than the small case can be expected. Practical for movie junkies, where cola and chips are not to be missed at the film evening: The top of the clear remote control is fully rubberized and easy to wipe clean. At the operation you get used to quickly - despite missing display at the soundbar. Operating status and volume show only three LEDs on the front of the TV speaker.

Sounddecks: Space-saving TV coaster
If the installation of a soundbar in front of the TV or mounting on the wall is not an option, Sounddecks offer an adequate alternative. They are flatter than soundbars, but offer much more space and serve as a TV-support with an integrated bass-box. They are only slightly understated in a set consisting of a soundbar and a separate bass loudspeaker. Sounddecks have the advantage that they need far less space and appear more subtle than soundbars, which stand in front of the TV and conceal the noble frame or even the picture.

Nubert AS-450: Swabian steam hammer
The powerful nuPro AS-450 is the proof that great sound already requires a slightly larger box. No other Sounddeck tested so far gives movie sound and music so brilliantly and detailfully with precise, powerful basses. This is enough for the exception sound predicate "very good". Nubert also pursues the philosophy of a hi-fi manufacturer with its XXL sounddeck AS-450: radio connections such as Bluetooth or WLAN are only offered as accessories. As WLAN and Bluetooth interface as well as HDMI connections are missing, the nuPro AS-450 is not quite as flexible as most competitors. The TV sound is played on the other hand via optical digital cable.

JBL Cinema Base
Simply good: With a minimum of equipment JBL shows the Cinema base of competition, how to throw the right parties. It sounds very full and powerful, absolutely precise. If it has to be, it can also be loud, without straining, and spreads the mood. The JBL does not come close to the fine and superior sound of a Nubert sound deck, but it costs only a fraction of it, making it the right choice for low-cost footers.

Top image for top sound
In order to complete the cinema experience, you need not only good sound but also a sharp, detailed picture. For top-of-the-range 4K TVs, you no longer have to spend thousands of Euros today: Good equipment is already under 1,000 euros. COMPUTER PICTURE has tested the best 4K TVs for you. Click through the overview.

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