What are TV Soundbars
The thickness of modern flatscreen TVs are made as thin as possible and in the process they sacrifice on their sound output. The standard sound output of large flat screen TVs are only 10 Watts per channel and for these big TVs this sound is totally inadequate.
So an external audio amplifier and many speakers were required to give surround sound effects of 5.1 channel Dolby and DTS surround sound. The setup of these audio systems were complicated with finding place to keep the big speakers all around the room and to connect them up with wires. A good soundbar for TV will completly eliminate all those speakers cluttering the room and give at least as good a sound as the old 5.1 surround sound.
How do TV Soundbars work
Sound bars combine the sound waves from many small diameter speakers to give an audio output quality which is even better than the conventional large multi-speakers. Soundbars project sound beams in different directions to reflect them off walls around to reach the ears of the TV viewer from different directions to give real 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound effect. Only one long soundbar speaker placed just below the TV is all that is required to give real surround sound effects.
Yamaha best soundbars for TV and Music
Yamaha has the best TV soundbars. It was Yamaha Audio of Japan who invented this unique new category of sound system and called it the 'Yamaha Sound Projector or YSP’ and all Yamaha Sound Bars have the prefix YSP. The Yamaha YSP-1 Soundbar was first introduced in the market in December, 2004. Soundbars are very convenient to use because there is minimal wiring to be done to the just one speaker cum amplifier, called the sound bar. The sound bar is a long thin bar like speaker that fits comfortably in front any modern day widescreen flat TV. Only one soundbar speaker is require per TV and you do not have the trouble of placing and wiring multiple speakers for a 5.1 surround system.
The sound bars projects focused beams of sound that are reflected off the walls of the room and the sound reaches the listener from different directions to produce total ambience and to create a perfect surround system even better than those produced by many speakers in a 5.1 or 7.1 surround system. The sound beams are actually coming to you from the rear, being reflected of walls or furniture and it is real sound from the back, not a virtual surround sound which appears to come from the back.
Yamaha Soundbar projects focused sound beams
Yamaha sound bars achieve their superb surround sound by the use of focused beams of sound produced by many small diameter speakers with each speaker having its own audio amplifier, placed close together. The principle behind the focused beams of sound is that the sound from the many small speakers mounted close together, side by side, combine the sound waves from all these speakers to produce a focused beam of sound as is depicted in the image here.
The working of the sound bar sound waves is similar to the water ripples formed in a pond when you throw a stone in it, with one stone you get concentric circles of water waves or water ripples moving outward from where the stone was dropped. If you throw many stones close together side by side, many concentric water ripples are formed side by side and the ripple effect of some of these ripples cancel each other, but most of the ripples combine to produce stronger ripples going away from the stones. It is possible to throw the stones simultaneously into the pond to pre-determined spots calculated to give maximum effect of projecting the water ripples in one direction.
Yamaha engineers researched about the effects of sound waves produced by many speakers placed close together, side by side. Just like in the case of throwing many stones into a pond to produce strong unidirectional ripples of water going in one direction, Yamaha engineers were able to get the sound from the many small speakers to combine and produce a strong unidirectional focused beam of sound. This beam of sound behaves like beams of light which can be reflected of surfaces like walls, windows, furniture, etc. The image here shows how the sound beams of a soundbar can be reflected off walls to reach the listner from different directions after being reflected off the walls. This gives the effect of perfect surround sound effect with just the one soundbar placed under the TV.
Yamaha IntelliBeam Microphone
Since each of the many speakers in a Yamaha sound bar has its own individual amplifier, the Yamaha engineers were able to adjust slightly the loudness of the sound from each individual speaker and able to control the directions of the sound beams. This way they were able to totally control the direction and intensity of the projected focused sound beams with just electronic controls, without physically moving the direction of individual speakers. This enabled Yamaha to be able to automatically control the direction of the focused sound beams to adjust to the different settings of the walls of different rooms and the position of the listener to give the best possible surround sound to the audience.
They actually have a unique directional microphone called "IntelliBeam Microphone" as shown in the image on the left. The IntelliBeam Microphone is placed in the position of the listeners head, and with this microphone connected to the sound bar, is able to automatically calibrate the sound bar by fine tuning the sound bar’s focused sound beams to get reflected of the right places and to reach the listeners ears to give the best possible surround sound. How the IntelliBeam Microphone is setup is shown in the image below.
There are many other manufacturers of Sound bars, but most of the important patents for Sound Bar are held by Yamaha and understandably Yamaha Sound bars are the best to date. This can change in future when other manufacturers get newer technologies. So Ymaha sound bars are the best and understandably Yamaha Sound Bars most expensive sound bars.