top tv soundbars

Best Soundbars for a Small TV in 2018

Looking for a TV Soundbar?

Anybody would love to own an 80” 4K HDTV but what if you don’t have the room or budget for large screen television? If your television screen is 45” or smaller you can still get a quality sound bar including features found on larger and more expensive sound bar systems. You can enjoy Bluetooth music, virtual surround sound, multiple channels, subwoofers and budget prices in our list of the best soundbars for small TVs in September 2018.

Sound Bars for 30” to 35” Televisions

Televisions between 30” and 35” should be paired with a sound bar less no greater than 30” long to maintain a visual balance. It looks weird to have a sound bar longer than edges of your television. Sound bars fewer than 30 inches in length are ideal for televisions with a screen size of 32” or larger. These sound bars are usually single unit meaning they do not include a subwoofer or satellite speakers and usually lack multiple channels. That doesn’t mean they won’t get the job done and provide great sound for your small TV.

HDMI Notice: Smaller sound bars may not support HDMI connections. You should ensure your television supports an optical cable or coaxial cable output if the sound bar does not support HDMI. We’ve noted the sound bars in this article that require optical cables but if you shop on your own please be aware before ordering.

VIZIO SB2920-C6

The VIZIO SB2920-C6 is a 29” sound bar which pairs wonderfully with any television 32 inches or larger. This is a 2.0 channel sound bar delivering 95dB through two full-range stereo speakers, which is perfect for television and live sports but you shouldn’t expect theater quality sound. Customers on Amazon report the bass tones are respectable for a two speaker sound bar but it does lack a subwoofer.

Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music from your smart phone or preferred music player. Please note the SB2920-C6 sound bar does not support HDMI and requires and optical cable connection. Overall, we think this is a solid sound bar for small televisions and priced well at $80!

ZVOX 350

This compact sound bar from ZVOX easily made our list of the best soundbars for a small TV. They have packed so much into this tiny unit you’d think it was made by BOSE! This sound bar offers three 2” full-range main speakers a built in 5.25” subwoofer along with 40 Watts of power. Automatic audio leveling and “AccuVoice” technology ensures dialog is easier to hear while loud annoying commercials are automatically turned down. The sound bar also dims the front display when you aren’t using the remote control, which is a nice feature in a dark room.

The ZVOX 350 measures only 23” long and should be paired with a 32” to 42” television. We choose the ZVOX 350 over the smaller 16” ZVOX 220 because it offers Bluetooth connectivity. If your television is smaller than 32” and you don’t want or need Bluetooth for wireless music then choose the ZVOX 220. Please note the ZVOX 350 does not support HDMI and requires and optical cable connection which is provided.

Sound Bars for 35” to 45” Televisions

When you have more room you can get a lot of features into a sound bar and there are some really great options for 35” to 45” screen televisions. You should be able to get multiple channels, surround sound and built-in or external subwoofers. We’ve included three of our favorite sound bars in this class to complete our list of the best sound bars for small TVs in September 2018.

BOHM

This sound bar from BOHM has a lot of nice features packed into a stylish 31.5” frame. The unit has four speakers including two 1.5” and four 2.5” full-range drivers. It produces 60 watts of power, can be wall or pedestal mounted and offers virtual surround sound. BOHM programmed this unit with three audio modes you can use to tailor the sound output to your activities such as watching a movie, playing music or a quieter night mode.

The sound bar supports Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music playback and for less than $100 you get a lot of sound in a small package. This sound bar does not support HDMI but does provide optical cables and supports coaxial connections.

Samsung HW-K450

Now we are starting to get into the really good stuff with the Samsung HW-K450 sound bar. This unit is a 2.1 channel 35” sound bar with a wireless subwoofer and 300 watts of power. The sound bar supports Bluetooth and offers a USB port for devices that do not support Bluetooth connectivity. If you own a Samsung television you can connect the HW-K450 to the television using TV SoundConnect and ditch the cables, which is very cool, but if you need a wired connection it does support HDMI. You can also expand this sound bar with satellite speakers and really take advantage of the onboard Dolby Digital sound.

Harman Kardon SB26

If space and not budget is your problem the Harmon Kardon SB26 is the best sound bar on our list. This company has been creating high-end audio products for decades and the SB26 is no exception. This sound bar is 35” long and ideal for 32”-44” inch television screens. The SB26 offers 2.0 channels, Bluetooth connectivity, virtual surround sound and two HDMI inputs. The sound bar unit contains 4 woofers, 2 tweeters and wirelessly connects to a 100 watt subwoofer.

The frequency response curve on this sound bar ranges between 38 Hz and 22 kHz providing clarity and solid deep tones when the movie gets intense. We are huge fans of Harmon Kardon at Best Sound Bar Guide and we believe this one of the best soundbars for small TVs you can buy in September, 2018.

There you have it, our picks for the best sound bars for small TVs in September 2016. We’d love to know what you think about our picks in the comments below. Do you agree? Do you already own one of these sound bars? Tell us what you think in the comments below and thanks for visiting IPMRadio.com!

ZVOX SoundBase 350

ZVOX Soundbase 350: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

ZVOX isn’t a brand you may be familiar with but don’t let that dissuade you from giving them a try. The company was founded in 2003 and ran by a team of speaker industry veterans with experience at Tweeter, Apple, Cambridge SoundWorks and Boston Acoustics. ZVOX is a pure-play audio engineering firm dedicated to building products that are simple, affordable and perform exceptionally well for their price points. In today’s article we will look at everything you need to know before buying a ZVOX SoundBase 350.

In a hurry? >>> Click here for the lowest online price at Amazon.com

Product Summary

ZVOX packs a lot of smart features into the Soundbase 350 for under $200 at Amazon.com. We have a hard time calling this product a “sound bar” because it’s really designed to be placed on a dresser, entertainment cabinet or similar flat top surface under or near your television. The enclosure is built from a sturdy medium density fiberboard (wood) which is both stylish and stronger versus the plastic enclosures typically used by other sound bar manufactures. You’re not going to mount this product on the wall or attached to the flat screen television mount but you can use it as a stand for any television weighing less than 50lbs.

The ZVOX 350 is designed for 27” to 42” inch televisions.

Speakers and Amplifiers

The ZVOX Soundbase 350 has three 2” full-range speakers covering left, center and right audio channels with a built in 5.25” subwoofer. The unit is bi-amplified and powered by a 40-watt class D amplifier using a digital power supply. The frequency range is wider than other sound bars in this price point thanks to the onboard sub woofer, which is usually an option on other products.

Surround Sound Support

Unless you have five speakers and a 5.1 channel sound bar you shouldn’t expect true surround sound but the SoundBase 350 does a decent job with virtual surround sound technology called PhaseCue from ZVOX. The unit takes full advantage of having three speakers and a built in sub-woofer to isolate sounds on the far left or right channel signals producing a decent surround sound effect.

Dialogue Enhancement

Enhancing dialogue is probably the number one reason people buy a sound bar for their regular television shows. The SoundBase 350 takes advantage of a center channel speaker and points the dialogue channel sound right at you but if you still need help hearing what’s being said you can engage AccuVoice. Every ZVOX sound bar uses a proprietary feature called AccuVoice that reproduces voices with technology derived from hearing aids. The system decreases the volume of non-vocal signals to sharpen the dialogue and vocal tracks allowing you to clearly hear what is being said. You control AccuVoice by pushing the “ACCU” button on the remote control.

Bluetooth Support

The Soundbase 350 supports Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to stream music wirelessly from a phone, tablet, computer or any Bluetooth enabled device. You can also stream music from Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud or any other service through your Bluetooth connected device. Pairing your device with the Bluetooth receiver is easy and remains connected up to 40 feet.

Other Smart Features on the ZVOX Soundbase 350

Last but not least in our round up of smart features are the “Output Leveling” and “Disappearing Display”.

Output Leveling is a feature that lowers the volume of commercials by compressing the louder sounds and enhances soft sounds. Output Leveling allows you to transition from show to commercials and back to show without being blasted out of your chair by the latest OxyClean commercial. You turn it on by pressing the “OL” button on the remote control.

What’s the worst thing about watching a move on your television in dark room? How about bright LED lights on your sound bar or television shining in your eyes while your trying to watch a movie? We hate that and that’s why we love ZVOX’s disappearing display. The Soundbase 350 has a bright, large and easy-to-read display behind the speaker grill but when your done controlling the sound bar it disappears a few seconds later, genius!

>> I want a ZVOX 350! Click Here for the lowest price on Amazon.com! <<

 

ZVOX Soundbase 350 Product Images

  • ZVOX 350 Front Display
  • ZVOX 350 Sound Bar Back
  • ZVOX-350-installed

 

ZVOX SoundBase 350 Technical Specifications

  • Size: 23.7” wide x 11.5” deep x 3.5” high
  • Weight: 12 pounds (17 pounds for shipping)
  • Color: Black
  • Amplifier: 40 watts
  • Channels: 2.1
  • Speakers: Three 2” full-range drivers.
  • Subwoofer: One 5.25” subwoofer enclosed in the sound bar
  • Surround Sound: Virtual surround sound using ZVOX’s PhaseCue system.
  • Frequency Range: 55 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Television Size: 27” to 42” inches
  • Enclosure: Wood (MDF)
  • Power Support: 100 – 240 volt power systems
  • ZVOX SoundBase 350 Connectivity
  • Digial Audio Input(s): 1 Optical (TosLink), 1 Coaxial
  • Analog Stereo Input(s): 2 Left / Right RCA jack pairs

Who Should Buy a ZVOX SoundBase 350?

We think this sound bar is a good option for medium sized rooms and people who need clearer dialogue and a little more bass with a lower price. The ZVOX Soundbase 350 would also make a good gaming console sound bar because it doesn’t take up much room, has an onboard subwoofer and three full-range speakers vs. other sound bars in this price point. It’s a good entry-level unit for your living room, exercise room, office or guest room. If you’re looking for theater quality surround sound you need a 5.1 channel sound bar and this is not the right product for you.

Pros and Cons of the ZVOX SoundBase 350

  • Pro: Three full-range speakers are hard to find in a sound bar this size.
  • Pro: One dedicated center speaker enhances dialogue and voice sounds.
  • Pro: The built-in subwoofer is a great feature for this size sound bar and price point.
  • Pro: Study enclosures built with wood or aluminum versus plastic.
  • Pro: LED display disappears when not in use which is great in a dark room.

 

  • Con: This ZVOX model does not offer HDMI input.
  • Con: This sound bar cannot be mounted on the wall.

 

What’s in the Box?

The ZVOX Soundbase 350 includes the following items in the box:

  • One 2-meter long RCA to RCA connecting cable.
  • One 2-meter long Stereo RCA to Stereo Mini-Jack connecting cord.
  • One 2-meter long optical (toslink) digital connecting cable.
  • One power adapter and cord.
  • One remote control.
  • ZVOX’s signature one-page easy installation instructions.

How Easy is it to Install?

Installing a ZVOX product is very simple and should take you less than five minutes. ZVOX includes a one-page installation guide that makes the process clear and easy to understand. If you’d like to see for yourself we’ve included a copy of the one page installation guide below:

ZVOX 350 Sound Bar One Page Setup

You can place the unit on any flat, stable surface near your TV or use it as a stand if your television weights less than 50 pounds. Connecting the sound bar to your television is done with optical, coaxial or RCA input cables. We recommend using the optical or coaxial cables to get the best digital sound from your television. If your television does not support digital output use the RCA analog jacks. Connect the power cord and your done installing a ZVOX SoundBase 350.

One caution about connecting power to your ZVOX SoundBase 350; make sure a light switch does not control the power outlet. If your sound bar is connected to a switched outlet and the switch is turned off you may erase any user preferences you have saved. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people but some users like to control everything with one switch and now you’ve been warned.

Finally you need to teach the SoundBase 350 to use whatever remote control is being used to control your television to avoid using multiple remote controls. ZVOX provides easy instructions to help you “teach” the sound bar and setup volume, mute, power and sound output controls using your preferred remote control.

ZVOX explains the entire installation process on one single page of folded paper included in the box. It’s easy, fast and should be no problem even if you’re not a technical person.

How Long is the Warranty?

ZVOX provides the original purchaser a one-year warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship. To make a warranty claim you’ll need to contact ZVOX and obtain a return authorization and ship the unit to ZVOX using the address provided in the return authorization. You’ll be responsible for the shipping charges to ZVOX as usual with these sound bar warranties. ZVOX doesn’t make any distinction between personal and commercial use like VIZIO so it appears one-year means one-year regardless of how you’re using the product.

ZVOX support is also based in the United States with trained technicians who understand their products. Their support hours are pretty convenient unless you live on the West Coast because they close at 7:30pm Eastern but they are available on Saturday. Customers we’ve seen on Amazon.com seem pleased with their support experience and our impression is ZVOX is a smaller company that takes pride in their products and support team.

What’s the Bottom Line?

We really tried to find something we could dislike about this entry-level sound bar from ZVOX but came up empty.

We like the wood or aluminum body versus plastic, we like the North American support team, we like the center channel speaker, on-board subwoofer and Bluetooth. It also has a lot of smart features like dimming the front LED displays after you’ve stopped using the remote control.

It’s not going to provide true 5.1 channel surround sound but it has a lot of nice features for its size and price.

When you need a sound bar for a small to medium sized room and don’t care about hanging it on the wall this is a really solid choice for the money. We also like the companies small size, history and focus on audio engineering, North American support team and commitment to making simple products that produce quality results.

What Do You Think About the ZVOX SoundBase 350?

Do you own a ZVOX SoundBase 350? What do you like about the product? Have we missed something important in our article? Tell us what you think in the comments below and thank you for visiting IMPRadio.com!

Radio on an iPod

How to Use Radio on an iPod

The iPod, being the premier portable music player, is known for its cool features and add-ons. With its large capacity, you can call it a handheld music library, as it plays mp3 and m4a files. If you think that’s enough, you can now use the iPod to listen to the radio. How? Just purchase an iPod FM tuner.

Using the iPod Tuner

The FM tuner is an add-on that catches radio signals and broadcasts them through your iPod. With the iPod’s current popularity, the device is pretty abundant. You can purchase it in most electronics stores at a fairly affordable price. To use the gadget, just follow the procedure:

  1. Connect the peripheral to the dock connector and switch your iPod on.
  2. A “Radio” option will appear on the music menu once the tuner is hooked up.
  3. Delve into the setting and from there, you can search for radio stations.
  4. Program your favorite stations, by clicking on the center button, to eliminate search times during succeeding uses.
  5. Be sure to set the correct radio region in the settings, otherwise your iPod won’t be able to pick up radio stations.

The tuner is compatible with the more recent iPod models, given their technological advancements. It won’t run on the early generation iPods, since the devices’ programming and interface can’t support the tuner’s requirements.

Remote Control and Connectible Antenna

The developers of the iPod tuner added extras to make the device even more convenient to use. The device normally comes with a remote control and a connectible antenna. From a distance, you can switch stations and play music using the remote control. It is supported only by the iPod Nano and fifth generations iPods, so better take note. As for the antenna, it is connected to the headphones port, where it can pick up radio signals clearly.

Tune In

The iPod tuner adds another dimension to your iPod listening experience. You can finally listen to the hippest radio stations whenever you get tired of listening to your music library. You can even pick up more ideas for music downloads while tuning in. Just plug in the tuner and you’re in-tune to the best music.

Low Power FM Radio Station

How Do I Build a Low Power FM Radio Station?

A low power FM radio station offers individuals or small groups the ability to go on the air and communicate with the general public using FM radio waves which can be picked up with any FM radio receiver. While a low power FM radio station can refer to a small commercial radio station, the term usually used refers to micro-power broadcasting, where individuals or small groups build their own small radio station that can only reach a limited area. In many cases, low power FM radio stations or micro-power broadcasting can transmit FM radio signals from distances of a few feet to a few miles in radius.

Generally speaking, most low power FM radio stations require a license issued by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in order to broadcast, especially if their message is commercial in nature and if they transmit for a distance greater than several meters.

However, many radio hobbyists can transmit FM signals legally, as long as they keep their transmitter’s output power to within stated legal limits. Contact the FCC for complete information on low-power FM stations, licensing procedures and regulations.

Equipment Needed to Start a Low Power FM Radio Station

You don’t need a lot of equipment to start a low power FM radio station. With today’s electronics, the quality and ease of use will be much simpler and more reliable than equipment was just a couple of decades ago.

For the most part you will the need the following equipment:

  • An antenna (the size will depend on how far you would like to transmit your signal). However it can range from a few feet to over 30 feet high.
  • A transmitter. A transmitter is the actual technology that transmits the FM radio waves on the frequency you desire. Transmitters range in power. It should be noted that the more power a transmitter has, the further the distance an FM signal can travel. In addition, the cost of a transmitter rises as power output increases.
  • An audio source for those that would like to transmit music such as an MP3 or CD player and a microphone to transmit voice.
  • Coaxial Cable to carry your signal from the transmitter to your antenna. Most hobbyists use RG-8 or RG-58/U (52-ohm coaxial cables).
  • A compressor/limiter. A compressor/limiter is a piece of equipment that keeps the sound level of your transmission even. You don’t want your audience to receive transmissions that are very low, while intermittent sounds that are very loud are transmitted. A compressor/limiter ensures that your volume level will remain constant.

Putting Your FM Radio Station Together

Typically, every radio station’s equipment is different and will require a customized installation. However, if you purchased equipment as a kit, instructions will be provided. For newcomers, you can easily contact the manufacturer of your equipment or a local amateur radio club to receive the help you need.

How Much Power is Necessary in Order to Get a Certain Transmission Distance?

This is a question that is often asked, and the answer depends upon many circumstances including the height and quality of your antenna, the power of your transmitter, the region you are transmitting from, what kind of signals you are transmitting, the sensitivity of the listener’s radio equipment, and whether or not there are any building or structures blocking the signal.

Selecting an FM Radio Frequency to Transmit On

Please note that it is extremely important to transmit on the proper radio frequency. Transmitting on the wrong frequency can interfere with emergency services and air traffic systems that use radio frequencies to communicate with mobile and hand-held units.

Generally speaking, FM radio is transmitted on frequencies ranging from 88.1 to 107.9 MHz. Each FM station is separated by a 0.02 MHz frequency interval. Remember to check with the FCC or your local government to determine which, if any FM frequencies you are allowed to transmit on.