It’s no secret that today’s ultra-thin TVs tend to lack in audio quality—this is an unfortunate side effect of their shrinking profiles. So, in order to get the most out of movie night, some sort of supplementary speaker system is just about mandatory. A surround sound system greatly improves the cinematic experience, bringing the feel of the theater into your own home. Unfortunately, setting up and subsequently using a high-tech audio system can be expensive, not to mention just kind of a pain in the butt. That’s where soundbars come in, filling the gap between a TV’s weak integrated speakers and a more complicated multi-component system.
Soundbars are easy to set up—usually connecting to your TV with just one cable—and their simple controls make them easy to use. But they add the oomph to your viewing experience that flat panels can’t provide. The only real downside is that, for serious critical listening, soundbars won’t beat a dedicated multi-channel home theater system. But they’re getting pretty close. In this video, we compare two of the best high-end soundbars on the market: the LG SL10YG and the Samsung HW-Q80R. They’re both good choices for those of you who are serious about sound but, for one reason or another, don’t want to go with a full-blown surround sound system. Check out the video below to see the key differences, and find out the small details that might push you to choose one or the other.