Yes, You can use a soundbar as your center speaker. To do this, you will need to connect your soundbar to the rest of your system. There are two ways to do it: in a single or three-channel format.
Optimizing Your Audio: Soundbar as Center Speaker
People who love to enjoy music to the fullest always try to build the perfect home theater system. In that home theater system, you will find a left and a right speaker channel that are used to handle sound effects and music. You will also find a center channel as well from where all the dialog comes out. Because of the size and location of the soundbar, you may think that a soundbar will be best for you to use as a center channel to make the dialogue clearer. So can you really make your soundbar to work as a center channel?
If each of the connections of your soundbar matches up with your receiver, then the answer is yes; you will be able to use a soundbar as a center channel speaker. But if you ask that, Should you hook up your soundbar to the center channel? Then, unfortunately, the answer is: NO.
If you use a soundbar as a center channel, it will not only ruin your sound, but also it can cause several damages to your equipment. If you are curious to know why using a soundbar to substitute for the center channel is a bad idea, at first, you have to know how soundbars work.
How Soundbars Accomplish High-Quality Audio?
Most people think that soundbars are just like a normal speaker. The appearance and positioning are also mostly the same. Whatever soundbars use a few audio tricks, they can amplify sound and reproduce the immersive experience of a surround sound system.
The speakers that a soundbar uses to accomplish the surround sound environment are positioned in such a way that it is not suitable to work as a center speaker. A soundbar has its own left, right, and center channels as with a basic audio system.
In order to create the impact of surround sound, the left and right channel speakers are actually placed towards the sides of the soundbar. They use the walls of the room in order to create the theater-quality sound that everyone likes. The left and right channels actually bounce off the walls so that you can feel like the sound is really coming from your left and your right rather than in front of you where the TV is located.
Why Soundbar Won’t Sound Good as Center Channel?
A soundbar usually has three channels (the amount is four, actually if you want to count the subwoofer), and you can use the soundbar in two different ways in your surround system. If you want to use the soundbar as the true center, then you have to connect all three channels of the soundbar with the center channel of your receiver. Again you can also take advantage of the three channels and hook up a left, right, and center signal into the soundbar. But you should know that both of these approaches have significant disadvantages.
If you use a soundbar as a center channel, the angled left and right speakers will amplify your center signal around the room that will ruin the full home theater experience. The left and right speakers will mix up your center sound with your left and right channels, which will make both the dialogue and the sound effects less clear.
Because of the three-channel approach, the left and right speakers will be out of phase with the surround sound system, causing areas in the room where the sound is significantly quieter. You know that sound travels as waves, and when waves meet each other, they cause interference. And the interference results in patches of space where there is sound cancellation and other patches where the sound is amplified.
So I am telling you again that hooking up your soundbar to your surround sound system is not a good idea. If you hook your soundbar up as a single channel on all of its speakers, then it will amplify the center channel to the left and right of your room and ruin the real surround sound experience. If you hook up your system to give the soundbar three channels, it may cause sound interference and make your sound quiet in some areas of the room and loud. With both settings, you will lose sound quality with little reason.
Active Soundbars: Amplifying Problem
The issue of signal strength makes the problem more compound. When the sound comes out from your television, it comes out as a line-level signal. This signal is very low voltage so that it can save your television the power of emitting speaker-level sound. If you want to hook up your line-level signal directly into a speaker, you should know that it would only create a low buzzing sound if it creates any sound because the wattage is not suitable enough to move the speakers significantly.
Most soundbars do not face this problem because they generally come with a built-in amplifier. An amplifier can add electricity to the signal and boosts the line-level signal to make it strong enough to move your speakers and give you the output of a beautiful theater-quality sound. This is the reason why most soundbars have a power adapter or need to be plugged into a wall outlet.
A surround sound system also works in the same way. As with the soundbar, the surround sound system also boosts the line-level signal that comes from the TV and powers the speakers connected to your receiver. So if you hook up the amplified sound of the surround sound system to the already amplified soundbar, you will really face significant problems.
The speaker that can amplify the sound internally is known as an active speaker, and it requires an external power source to function. It is just the opposite of passive speakers that need an external amplifier like the ones in your surround sound system. Passive speakers are the most popular type of speakers, and they are less costly also.
Why Connecting an Active Soundbar to a Receiver is not a good idea?
As With speakers, there are mainly two types of soundbars available. Active and passive. As we have mentioned above, most soundbars are active soundbars, so they obviously come with their own amplification. If you want to hook this kind of soundbar directly to a surround sound receiver, you would be first amplifying the line-level signal with the receiver and then further amplifying the sound with the soundbar. To get through this, you can use a line-out converter that you can easily find on Amazon.
- KICKER 46KISLOC KISLOC 2 Ch Speaker Wire-to-RCA Converter w/ LOC For OEM Radios, Perfect for 2-Channel and Monoblock Amplifiers
- Take as much as 50 watts of input and deliver up to 8 volts of output, OFC wire for superior bass response and signal clarity
- Flat frequency response from 20 - 20,000 Hz, World's first micro surface mount. line-out converter
- Two channel Speaker to RCA, K-Grip dual-mold connectors offer sure grip, Split pin RCA with silver tinned OFC wire
- Dimension (L x W x H): 3 inch x 3 inch x 3 inch, Weight: 1.5 lbs
But you should know that the amount of power is more than your soundbar is designed to handle, and that can even cause permanent damage to the speakers. If you really want to make the mistake of hooking up your receiver to a soundbar, you have to be sure that you are using a passive soundbar. However, you will still face sound quality problems, including sound cancellation or sound dilution noted above. Just because you know how to hook up your soundbar to your center channel does not mean you should do that.
So What is the Solution?
If you ever ask about ”Should you integrate a soundbar into your surround sound system?” the answer will be a big ”NO” as now. It ruins the quality of the sound and also can damage your equipment. So now you can ask that how you can give your center channel a boost without sacrificing the sound quality?
If you have an extra soundbar laying around and you want to hook up that one to your audio system, then we would recommend you hook that up to a different TV. Hooking up a soundbar to your audio system will make your sound louder than a standard center speaker, but you will lose the overall sound quality. Moreover, there will always remain a risk of damaging your equipment altogether.
- The Reference Premiere RP-440 center Channel speaker provides clarity and accuracy to your home theater system with a stylish brushed baffle and four cerametallic copper woofers
- 1-Inch linear travel Suspension titanium tweeter. Quad 4-Inch Spun Copper Cerametallic Cone Woofers
- 90x90 Hybrid Tractrix Horn, All New Tractrix Port, Strong, Flexible Removable Grille.
- MDF Cabinet with Brushed Polymer Veneer Baffle Finish.
- All New Tractrix Port
However, if you like the sleek appearance of a soundbar and its placement right under the TV, you should know that you can easily find different kinds of speakers that look just like a soundbar, and they can also give you a soundbar true center sound. If you ask for any recommendation, we would like to recommend you the Klipsch RP-440C (on Amazon) and the Polk S35 (on Amazon). Both of these speakers may cost more than your basic soundbar, but they will give your center channel the boost without ruining your sound at all.
- Ultra-Slim 4" tall speaker built to deliver BIG, RELIABLE SURROUND SOUND. Featuring Dynamic Balance acoustic array, with (6) 3" drivers and a 1" Terylene tweeter dome giving you a CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME
- STRIKINGLY BOLD, DRAMATIC LOOKS and DYNAMIC HEART-THUMPING SOUND — Polk's PATENTED POWER PORT TECHNOLOGY delivers deeper bass response with its turbulence-smoothing diffuser that minimizes distortion, giving you rich sound for movies, TV and music
- DESIGNED TO DELIVER – The iconic rounded edges and the detailing are conceptualized from the best acoustic guitars, giving these bookshelf speakers a completely thought-through, performance-oriented stylish look
- VERSATILE AND PERFECT FOR VARIOUS HOME THEATER SETUP COMBINATIONS – add a center unit to your existing arrangement or create an all-inclusive home theater setup with Signature series for a clear, crisp and room-filling sound. Offering full compatibility with 2.0, 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 7.1 and 9.1 setups
- The Signature Series has earned the hi-res certified rating and redefined the REAL AMERICAN HiFi SOUND with Polk's UNWAVERING COMMITMENT, RELIABILITY, AND CRAFTSMANSHIP, making it one of the most trusted names in audio speakers
In the event that you need to dump the beneficiary and get a sparkling new soundbar, at that point, look at our article on the best soundbars for the cash! We go inside and out on the best soundbars available at different value focuses.
-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.
Best Seller List of Speaker Soundbars:
- Straight from the theater to your home: easy set-up, built-in tweeter, 2-ch speaker with simple Bluetooth connection
- Deep sound with Bass Reflex speaker
- High power with a slim design that matches any room and is perfect for small living spaces
- Voice enhancement feature is great for TV content with hushed dialogue, or to make conference call participants easier to hear
- Easy TV set up with HDMI ARC
- 【Ultra-Compact Design】The 17-inch soundbar is a compact and sleek audio device that great for desktop space especially small to medium-sized living room or bedroom.Our sound bar takes up less space and is effortlessly moveable, making it an ideal TV speakers sound bar!
- 【Loud and Clear】 This soundbar is built with 2 full-range speakers that provide a more realistic, spatial audio experience to make movies and music truly come to life, allowing you to enjoy all details of music and movies.
- 【Multiple Input Connections】 Our small sound bar has various connectivity options, including Bluetooth, optical,and auxiliary input, which allows you to connect it to your TV, smartphone, PC ,tablet, or other devices to stream music or watch movies. Besides, the home audio sound bars has a "SUB OUT" port, which supports the connection of an active subwoofer.(Press the M button on soundbar can switch the three connection modes of Optical /AUX/ Bluetooth)
- 【Optimize Entertainment With Different Sound Modes】The sound bar can be switched to three equalizer modes (Music, Movie, News) with remote. This soundbar not only produces clear and detailed sound regardless of the content you're watching or listening to, but also enhances the dialogues, bass and treble of music, movies, and TV shows,and makes them sound more realistic and engaging.（Remote control is not compatible with universal or TV remotes ）
- 【Set Up In Minutes】You can put the soundbar on desktop or mounted on the wall directly with rovided wall mounting kits. The TV soundbars size is: 17" * 3.5" * 2.5". What’s inside: soundbar, remote control, wall mounting kit, optical cable, 3.5 to 3.5mm audio cable, Power adapter and user manual.
- ALL-IN-ONE: Everything you need in a single soundbar with two woofers and tweeters built in, so you can enjoy rich sound that will fill your room
- DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 / DTS VIRTUAL:X: Dolby Digital 5.1 capable creates realistic surround sound by projecting it from all around you, while DTS Virtual: X expands your listening experience without having to add extra speakers
- Q-SYMPHONY: Perfectly synchronized, fully immersive audio floods your room all at once, using every speaker in compatible Samsung TV and soundbars*
- BUILT-IN CENTER SPEAKER: The built-in center speaker is dedicated to delivering enhanced dialogue, so you won't miss a word, no matter how faint the conversation or how intense the background music or action is
- ADAPTIVE SOUND LITE: Enjoy dynamically optimized audio with enhanced voice clarity so you can follow along with action-packed games and blockbuster films
- Amp up your audio - Fire TV Soundbar enhances TV audio with dual speakers for fuller sound, clearer dialogue, and deeper bass—all in a compact design.
- Immersive sound - Enjoy a three-dimensional virtual surround sound experience with DTS Virtual:X and more detail with Dolby Audio.
- Easy setup - Just plug in the included HDMI cable to the HDMI eARC/ARC port on your TV to instantly enjoy audio that's always in sync.
- Compact design - With a length of 24“ and a height of just 2.5", Fire TV Soundbar fits most entertainment consoles and TV stands.
- Stream audio with Bluetooth - Connect your phone or tablet via Bluetooth to fill the room with your favorite music.
- Low-Profile Modern Design - Clean silhouettes, subtle textures, and matte finishes seamlessly blend into any environment.
- Powerful Performance - Brilliant clarity, thunderous bass, and Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround support combine for performance beyond its size.
- Simple Setup, Streaming & Control - Get setup and listening in minutes with HDMI ARC and Bluetooth connectivity for unparalleled ease of use, control, and access to your content.
- 5.1-Channel Sound - Experience a powerful room-filling, surround sound experience.
- 6 Total Speakers - Full-range drivers deliver coherent sound and brilliant clarity.
- 🍀Premium 360° Stereo Sound TV Sound Bar: Unleash powerful 50W dynamic audio, 4 drivers for crystal-clear sound reproduction, experience the thrill of cinema at home. Feel the action, drama, and suspense as if you're right there.
- 🍀Unmatched DSP Technology: Indulge in a captivating audio-visual journey with our top-notch DSP technology. Experience every note and beat with our advanced sound technology, meticulously designed to replicate each sound accurately, ensuring minimal distortion.
- 🍀lnnovative Design Sound Bar: Soundbar boasts aninnovative detachable design that that can be easily transformed into two compact tower speakers.offering you the flexibility to your audio setup.Place the two tower speakers on either side ofyour TV to create a dynamic and immersive surround soundeffect that puts you right in the middle of the action.
- 🍀4 Ways to Connect : Our soundbar supports an extensive array of connections including Optical, hdmi-ARC, AUX, and the latest Bluetooth 5.0, compatibility with nearly all devices.We provide illustrated instructions, videos, and all the necessary mounting accessories to make the setup process a breeze.
- 🍀Responsive Customer Support: Our team is committed to resolving any issues within 48 hours, offer 36 months warranty and support 60 days unconditional replacement. ensuring you enjoy a hassle-free audio experience. The package comes complete with the TV Soundbar, a user-friendly Remote Controller, a reliable Power Adapter, and versatile hdmi/Optical/3.5mm audio cables for seamless connectivity.(Tips: This Version not include the rca cable)
- [Clearly & Powerful Sound]: Soulion sound bar is driven by the exclusive booster technology and with 2 full-range speakers, to make the sound be more stunning, crisp and mesmerizing even at low volumes.
- [Easy Control & Connect]: Just plug in the USB port for power and 3.5mm jack for sound. Rotate the knob for volume to start the oomph. A small switch button to turn ON/OFF the RGB lights power.
- [Slanted Design]: The 30-degree micro-inclined design allows the sound to be better conveyed. There is a layer of breathable cloth on the outside of the speaker to avoid the dust. The material of the whole soundbar provides a comfortable and slippery touch.
- [Brilliant Lights Effects]: The soundbar adopts RGB rainbow lights on both sides. It provides a more attractive atmosphere when listen to music or watch movies. There is a small button behind the sound bar that controls the light switching on and off.
- [Wide Compatibility]: The sound bar supports most of the devices with standard 3.5mm jack. Compatible with PC, Computer, Laptop, Tablet, Smartphones. (Note: Need USB Powered).
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Last update on 2023-11-30