1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 – what does the number of channels in the amplifier mean?

If we were to place the speakers somewhere, they would be placed between the regular speakers built into TVs and home theater systems. It can be considered that this device is much better than the factory amplifiers. They provide better sound quality and louder playback. While it’s not a replacement for a high-quality home theater system, that doesn’t mean it’s a lose-lose. Soundbars are a more practical solution (they take up less space), but most of all – much cheaper. Moreover, they work best in small rooms, because they work by bouncing the audio signal off the walls. In other words, even if we decide to buy an expensive home theater system, but put it in a small room – we will not know all its advantages. Soundbars are also a recommended option for people who don’t want to invest in complex sound systems and the value of simplicity. Here, however, the seemingly confusing signs: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 or other may be somewhat contradictory. We are looking for something that is easy to understand, and we come across a few meaningful numbers? Let’s not be discouraged! It is actually very simple.

The above numbers, which can be found in the technical specifications of each speaker, determine the number of speakers included in the bar. So Soundbar 1.0 will have one speaker, Soundbar 2.0 will have two, and so on. You can also often find amplifiers, for example 2.1. This, in turn, means that a particular model, in addition to two standard speakers, also has a floor-standing speaker, referred to as a subwoofer. It is responsible for reproducing the bass. Why do manufacturers choose such a solution? Since the other two speakers only process high and mid frequencies, and thanks to the subwoofer, the sound emitted is of better quality.

Likewise, the 3.0 amplifier has three built-in bar speakers, and 3.1 or greater – allowing for processing of digital audio tracks. In this case, the device also supports newer formats, such as Dolby Atmos or DTX. The popular model in this benchmark is, among others, the Sony HT-ZF9.

The situation becomes a little more complicated when we come across a three-digit specification, for example 3.1.4. In this case, the first of them indicates the number of primary speakers in the tape (that is, three), the second informs that the set includes a subwoofer, and the last (four) – about the additional upper speakers, which improve sound quality even more. There are a very large number of icons of this type in different combinations: 5.1.4, 7.1.2 and many others. One of the most technologically advanced sound bars currently available in stores is the Harman Kardon Enchant 1300, a 13-channel device.

The number of built-in channels goes hand in hand with the price. Soundbar 1.0 or soundbar 2.0, that is, fairly standard amplifiers, cost in the range of PLN 100-200. The low-priced device is still a sophisticated audio system that gives us a much better experience than the built-in TV speakers. An example of this could be well-received Trust Lino users.

Some speakers, such as the LG SL6YF, have a radio. The presence of amplifiers with FM radio is a rarity, but it shows how well the producers of this type of device meet the expectations of modern consumers. There are more options: support for DTS Virtual: X cinema technology, the ability to stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth or a number of recent auxiliary ports. An example of how technologically advanced these devices are today can also be Bose speakers and models such as the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 or the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. Here, however, you have to calculate a slightly higher cost.

Soundbars are often called a cheaper alternative to home theater i.e. traditional speakers and tangled cables laid throughout the room. However, these are still advanced audio devices that provide great sound quality at a reasonable price. Moreover, it remains easier to install (all you need is an HDMI cable or Bluetooth wireless technology) and configure. And let’s not be fooled by the “puzzling” numbers placed on the technical specifications of the speakers.

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