In the media industry, great strides have been taken in optimizing the quality of audio delivered with streamed services. From multichannel surround sound to simulated binaural audio, the realism and immersive experience on offer is astounding. At the same time, the drive to ever thinner flat-screen Smart TVs limits audio engineers from providing the full-bandwidth experience the source audio deserves.
For many, the solution is to augment or replace the internal speakers with an external speaker system. This is often, for aesthetic reasons, a compact device known as a soundbar containing an array of smaller speakers with associated equalisation and DSP (digital signal processing) to optimise the frequency response. They can even provide virtual surround sound effects by aiming some of the active elements at the ceiling or walls to add height or width to the sound field.