As TVs have gotten thinner and cheaper, their speakers have gotten noticeably worse. These days, most TVs just have bottom-firing or back-firing speakers that sound quiet and tinny, which isn’t going to do justice to that 65-inch behemoth of a TV you spent $1000 on. If you don’t have the money—or living room space—for a full-fledged speaker system, consider a soundbar, which provides a huge boost in quality, without the hassle.

Let’s get this out of the way first: a soundbar is a huge upgrade over your TV’s built-in sound, and can even provide some surround sound features—but it isn’t going to be as good as a true, full-size set of quality speakers. The laws of physics are still at play here, and soundbars are a compromise, offering a balance between sound quality, aesthetics, and space efficiency.

That said, soundbars have come a long way in the past few years, and you might be surprised at how immersive they can be. Here are some things to look for as you shop, along with a few recommendations from different manufacturers.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Author: By Whitson Gordon