Before you dive into research for the best soundbar speaker for you, brushing up on the different types of sound bars and their features is a great idea. What sound bar is best for your home, what features are most important, are you better off with another stereo system like bookshelf speakers or floor speakers? These are all questions you should be asking before you commit to purchasing a sound bar.

Pedestal v. Traditional

There’s two common types of sound bar designs: pedestal and traditional. Traditional sound bars are exactly what you’d expect: a long, thin bar with speakers. Some come as a package with a subwoofer, others have a full surround system package, and some just come with the sound bar itself. This type of sound bar can be mounted on a wall, placed on your TV stand, or any other convenient area. They’re typically low maintenance and easy setup. The most frequent complaint about this type of sound bar, depending where you place it, is that it can block your TVs remote signal.

Pedestal type sound bars are designed to sit underneath your TV. They typically end up looking like they are a part of your TV stand. Most pedestal sound bars lack a separate subwoofer and don’t keep up with the low end frequencies too well. But, since they are always placed below your TV, it’ll never block the remote signal. Make sure that you measure your TV stand so that it fits on top of the pedestal sound bar if you decide on this style.

Active v. Passive

Another important topic we think is important to understand is the Active v. Passive sound bar. They’re typically broken down as one of these two. Each come with their positives and negatives.

Active sound bars are an all inclusive package. It comes with speakers, amplifiers and all of the necessities in one sleek bar. This gives the unit a bit more of a streamlined look and it’s easy to install and setup. Plug and play, easy mounting, these are all benefits of an active sound bar.

Passive sound bars don’t come with built-in power and require you to purchase a separate amplifier or receiver and run wires to the bar. They are a little more difficult to set up, but many people like this type of sound bar because it gives them control of the type of amplifier and amount of power they’d like to have. It gives a bit more customizability to the buyer. But, in many cases passive sound bars produce better sound because they do not have to cram other devices in the bar.


When you’re shopping for the best sound bar, make sure you check for Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth simplifies installation and setup exponentially and gives you the option to play tunes directly from your smart device, computer, or other music device without having to turn on the TV. 

Other Features to Consider:

  • Remote
  • Size
  • Power
  • Frequency Response
  • Package inclusions (Subwoofer, Speakers, etc)
  • Mount-ability