You can use a soundbar as a center channel speaker for your home theater room. Every enthusiast wants to build up a perfect home theater system. Sound effects and music are typically controlled by the left and right speaker channels and through the center channel, we obtain our dialogue.
Can I Use a Soundbar as a Center Channel Speaker? Yes, you can use a soundbar as a center channel speaker by using HDMI, AUX cables, RCA cables, and by using an optical cable. You can also directly connect a soundbar as a center channel.
When the soundbar is in its best size and best position, it will emphasize the center channel. When you are using soundbar as your center channel speaker, then your receiver must have the RCA or 3.5mm input, along with RCA and 3.5mm input. And your receiver should also have the pre-out for the center channel. RCA cable will be according to your receiver and soundbar.
- 1 Can I Use a Soundbar as a Center Channel Speaker?
Can I Use a Soundbar as a Center Channel Speaker?
Different speakers and soundbars are available in various sizes. So their sound varies from size to extent, and the clarity of the sound will also depend on the receiver you connected to the speaker.
Like, if you are watching any war movie, then the film will be filled with lots of gunfire and other eruption. Therefore, the voice or the audio system will be performed according to that sound. This is because of the sound moves.
Sound travels from the front right speaker to the soundbar. And after traveling to those positions, sound moves from the front left speaker to the soundbar. In this way, sound moves, and you will feel the difference intones.
Like which type of receiver and soundbar you have, you will connect RCA according to that receiver. RCA will be connected to the pre-out links of the receiver, and after that connect your 3.5mm or RCA to your soundbar.
One thing while comparing, you should keep in your mind that on the receiver don’t forget to authorize the pre-out center channel.
In case if your receiver doesn’t have the pre-out, than to resolve this issue, there is another method. You should have an adapter or a converter so you can easily connect the adapter to the soundbar or RCA input.
Use Optical cable
In this method, you can use Optical cable as a connection between soundbar and receiver. The optical cable will be used as a connection between the soundbar and the receiver. We will connect the one end of the cable to the receiver and the other end to the soundbar.
But for this point receiver should have the digital optical port. After connecting the port, you will need to adjust the receiver settings. One more important thing is that the receiver and the soundbar should match to the digital encoding standards. If they are not matched, so you will have to face the odd sound problems.
Connect with HDMI
In this method, you will use the HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) for the connection of the soundbar to a receiver. HDMI ARC is not a very good option because it is not reliable.
We cannot 100% rely on it as it is not friendly to all components. But if the receivers don’t have any digital optical connection, then you can follow this method.
In this method, you will simply connect the HDMI cable to the receiver’s ARC connection. After connecting it, you will join the HDMI of the receiver to the TV.
If all your devices don’t have proper ARC support, then this method will not work correctly. You can also use this method to set up a media server for home theater.
Use HDMI Switcher with AUX and RCA Cables
It is another method for using the soundbar. In this method, you will simplify the receiver to an HDMI switcher. For this method, you should have the optical, aux, and RCA cables. All these cables will be connected from TV to the soundbar. You will not be able for all the audio functions of the receiver even though keeping all the HDMI connections. You must have to handle all the connections through the receiver.
In this method, the sound comes from the soundbar, and HDMI delivers the video and audio signals to our television. This type of method will not be used for every type of receiver because it will need lots of settings and arrangements. And all receivers are not able to handle this method.
Direct connect soundbar as a center channel
In this method, you will connect a passive soundbar to the receiver. This method is straightforward and can easily use as it can merge with a different type of channels. So this system can also combine with the single one. This facility depends upon the passive soundbar. For this method, you simply connect the speaker wire from the receiver to the soundbar.
If your soundbar is only a single channel so you will connect the leads directly to the soundbar, but if the soundbar has different channels so you will go towards another method. Like if soundbar has three channels,
Thus there will be a connection of 3 speaker cables from the receiver to the soundbar. It is because one will be for the front left, another will be for the center, and the last one will be for the front right. You can connect a 3.1 channel soundbar with this method.
You also have the facility to merge all the channels into one. But this is only possible if your receiver or amplifier has this much ample power. If your receiver and amplifier don’t have much power compatibility, it will not be possible.
The epitome of the above method is that this method is really simple because it can easily connect the passive soundbar to the receiver as it is made to do this.
We just cannot deny the worth of the center channel speaker. But in a few cases, when you have a small room and speakers are near to the audio availability, then you will try to give a space with the shadow of speakers.
But this is rare, while in other cases, it will occur that you will try to stay away from the center point of the right and left speaker. Moreover, when the room is enormous, these speakers will work in their best version.
They will provide the best and clear sound that there are no more gaps in the music. But if it gets fail, then the sound will be low or weak; also, the dialogs will not be understandable.
This point is crucial in the surround sound setup, but when we move towards the conclusion, so we will see how you will set your system of center channel speaker.
Anyhow, we will ignore some points in this scenario, like whether you are going to set up the new or try to upgrade the old system.
Role of Center Channel Speaker in Home Theater
Center channel speaker is most commonly used in the home theaters. We will have a look at the essential functions of the center channel.
What precisely the center channel speaker is, and what are the significant functions that center channel performs
Best for Audiovisual Dialog: It is also best for creating movie dialogue for the home theater. It will be a huge mess when you are not able to listen to the conversations.
Watching movies in clear print is not enough until you will not hear the dialog. For this scenario, the center channel speaker generally duplicates the dialog of the film. In the setup of 5.1, it replicates the effects of sound. It has the same frequency as other speakers have in the configuration of 5.1.
It balances the sound: It is used to balance the sound. The logical sound over the speakers will be created by building up the right and left speakers in a proper balance.
It can also make your setup down, but it will enhance the quality of the music. You will receive a transparent and natural class of sounds with the setup.
Shifts of listening positions: Sweet pops help listen to flexible music. We can hear the best sound of the music while sitting in the sweet pops. It is also best for creating sweet pops.
It makes the listening position possible to move from one to another location. Vocals will come from the central point, but it will be helpful in the shifts of listening positions.
Vast Soundstage: The extensive soundstage is possible only by the center channel speaker in home theater. It has the quality of having a wide variety of woofers and tweeters.
These woofers and tweeter are used as a source of the best sound stage. It is also best for the advancement of localization sounds.
CCS has Independent controls: In every setup, central channel speakers act as independent units. These speakers won’t depend on any other group in the structure. Because of this facility, we can easily change the volume levels.
We don’t need to change the setup of volume levels. We can just directly modify the volume of the speaker channels.
Why use a soundbar as a center channel speaker?
The soundbar duplicates the right-left effect of stereo sound, it is a type of audio system which is helpful in the duplication of right-left sound effects. Considering this feature, you can easily use the soundbar in your home theater.
Comparatively, they are spacious and short. Because of its shortness and spaciousness, it is helpful in stereo sound effects. During the saving space, side space generates the stereo sound effect. And this stereo sound interprets that how many sound channels should be offered.
For example, if the soundbar has a capacity of 2.1, which shows that it has the right and left channels (2 channels). Whereas the efficiency of a soundbar with the ability of 5.1 will be higher. It will be used to deliver a more surround sound than the previous one. Below are some important reasons to use the soundbar.
It is very easy to use the setup: When you buy the soundbar system, it makes you tension free from the different issues like puzzles of different wires, confusion of structuring the individual speakers, and all other technical problems.
You don’t need to worry about the signals that if signals are not reaching the definite system or, likewise, speakers.
Soundbar helps to resolve all these technical issues as well. Soundbar makes your life easy regarding the home audio system. All the things like different components, subwoofers, and speakers, get together at the same place.
It is made with precise engineering: The soundbar is best for creating a more vibrant and precise sound than any other single speaker. Let’s see how this can happen.
The soundbar is manufactured with the two best technologies, like amplification and sound processing. Both of them help enhance the best quality of sound and any music. These two features use advanced techniques and make the sound best than any other single speaker.
Before highlighting the benefits of the soundbar, I would like to tell the story of a personal experience when I bought my first home theater sound system. It’s about two decades back when I took my Digital 5.1 system.
In these sound system subwoofers, two audio speakers, a mid-channel or a center channel, and also the left and right first speakers were included.
At that time, there was the only option which was about the 5.1 channel surround system, but these days the wide variety has been introduced. Today 7.1 channel surround systems are also available in the market.
These systems have more options as they are more advanced like they have the capacity of two more side speakers. You can use the same wire that is used to run the power to a ceiling-mounted projector.
The 5.1 surround system has been in my personal use, and I use to indicate my friend about this system. How this system works and how you hear a clear voice not only while watching movies but also for listening to music.
By the passage of time, I moved towards advancement. I used to upgrade my surround system and enjoyed the best quality of sound. After about five years, my first baby came into my house.
After six months, I used to think of moving the wires of a surround system. When she starts crawling, so what we would do with the cables of the surround system.
You people will think why we did not go towards the option of hanging wires on the wall. This was not the permanent solution as we have to work correctly over this issue; also, we were in the rent house. So, we thought of moving towards buying the wireless system.
Wireless systems look cool, but they are not actuality. Sometimes they show the disturbance in back sounds, but for our child, it was the only option we had to adopt. However, the wireless system was worthy of kid safety.
Then After a few years, we moved to another home, and that house was almost 100 years old. It was a very complicated situation for running all the systems in this house. Because wireless signals were not functioning correctly, these systems were unable to travel from one place to another.
Moreover, tablets, phones, etc., need separate adapters and subwoofers adapters. Everything was running on the Wi-Fi bandwidth. The speakers were not performing best as the voice was regularly cutting off.
Subwoofers also are not able to connect with the wireless system. For me, the final option was to look at another solution. Finally, I decided to move towards the route of a soundbar. You can also use a 4k soundbar with your system.
Easy to use and easily adjust anywhere: Soundbars are the long and narrow type speakers. They used to place under the TV, and they are exactly as it is as they sound like.
Soundbars have different amplifiers or receivers. This ability of soundbars makes them unique and refreshing. Because of this ability, your table will not be filled with so many wires. These soundbars will make your schedule less equips.
Variety of soundbars according to your desire: They have a different range of speakers, which helps them to develop different channel sounds. Mostly they are different in types. Some of them have separate subwoofers, while others have speakers that are wireless rear.
Mini but multiple speakers facilities: Some soundbars also have the facility of numerous but mini speakers, while others have subwoofers which facilitate the buyer with light bass. I also went for the one soundbar, which also has this facility along with front right and left speakers.
Development of 5.1 sounds: The soundbar can develop the 5.1 sound, which helps to make them deliver dynamic sound. It helps in rebounding audio to the walls so the more compelling music can occur. Buying the soundbar was the right decision for me because it was making the real sound.
These soundbars are more beneficial for those who have small space cause they can easily adjust to the small spaces.
They are beautiful but straightforward also they immediately improve the quality of TV’s sound. You can also attach a projector with your soundbar, it is recommended that you keep your projector clean from dust.
Recently, I used to set up the man cave. I have been the older system of 5.1 surrounds, so I reconnected it with that, and it created a big difference in sound.
These speakers not only enhance the quality of the movie, but also if you have dedicated rear speakers, then they will also improve the sound quality.
You have an optimal sound, which is not always the ideal one for a specific room setup. In the end, I realized that having a soundbar that will provide the best quality sound is the best decision ever.
If you are looking for the best quality sound which can adjust according to your room, environment, and sound level, then you must try the soundbar system.
One important thing I would like to tell you all that whenever you are connected with the external sound system. So don’t ever forget to turn off the TV volume completely.
Everything has some pros and cons, and we have to accept the thing with all of its kind and somehow disadvantages. Likewise, the soundbar, along with its unlimited benefits it also has some problems.
The soundbar is based on three channels. And for connecting to a sound system, there are only two options to link with the sound system.
If we are going to use it on the base of the exact center, then we have to link all the channels to the center channel. We will connect all three channels with the center channel of the receiver.
In other words, by connecting all three channels with the center point of the receiver so you will be able to take advantage of the right, left, and center signal of the soundbar. But both of them have remarkable disadvantages.
If you want to take full advantage of the center approach, then you have to face some other disadvantages. Like the right and left speakers will boost up the center signal. In this way, the center signal around the room will not effectively work.
That’s the reason effect of these two speakers will be the cause of blending the center sound. Hence the result will be in the form of lousy sound and unclear dialogs.
Three channels approach will cause the sound unequal in the room. Cause the speakers will not be in the control of the surround sound system.
The left and right speakers will affect the surrounding sound system, and in the result, it will cause the voice in the quiet areas of the room. As we all know how sound travels, it travels as waves.
When the waves meet at a single point; thus, the result will be in the form of interference. These interferences cause the sound abolition and also louden of sound in the patches of space.
Generally, it’s not a good idea to hook up your soundbar to your sound system. The sound experience is nullified by hooking your soundbar as a single channel on all its speakers.
In this way, the center channel to the left and right is amplified. On the other hand, if the system is designed for three channels of the soundbar, interference of sound may be produced.
It results in variable sound intensities in different areas of the room. In some areas of the room, the sound appears louder while quieter in other regions. Both of the above setups, i.e., single-channel and three channels, result in destroying the sound quality for little gain.
Therefore, it is not recommended to use the soundbar as the center channel speaker. However, if there is no other option, then proper instructions must be followed to connect the soundbar.