Best computer soundbars – SoundGuys
Let’s face it, the speakers in your computer monitor are probably not made for much beyond watching a low-quality YouTube video from 2009. While the idea of improving desktop audio quality can be nice, computer speakers take up quite a bit of real estate and can clutter up your workspace with a mess of wires. That’s where soundbars come in. Soundbars aren’t reserved just for TVs, they work well with computers due to their compact size and the fact that they often include a separate subwoofer for enhanced bass. Here are the best computer soundbars if you’re looking to listen to music, watch movies, or play games.
Why is the Creative Stage V2 2.1 the best computer soundbar for most?
The Creative Stage V2 2.1 is the best soundbar for computers because of its sleek and compact design, good sound quality, and many connection options. This no-frills soundbar does exactly what you need for a computer speaker setup. The external subwoofer and built-in dual midrange drivers deliver good and loud audio output.
Creative Stage V2 2.1 Soundbar
Creative Stage V2 2.1 Soundbar
The soundbar fits easily under any monitor, as it’s only 68cm long and 7.8cm tall, and the subwoofer can comfortably fit next to your monitor, since its footprint is only 11.6cm x 25cm. The soundbar is also wall-mountable, making it take up even less space on your desk. You can connect to it using HDMI, optical, 3.5mm aux, USB-A, or Bluetooth using the SBC codec.
Gamers should look at the Razer Leviathan
The Razer Leviathan is the best soundbar for gamers. The Leviathan is a virtual 5.1-channel speaker setup with two full-range drivers, two tweeters, and an external subwoofer for great sound quality. Using Dolby Digital, it converts audio from your sound card, console, or other sound source to create a virtual surround sound stage. From footsteps to explosions, you can always hear what’s going on in your games.
You can connect the Leviathan to your computer or other devices through 3. 5mm or optical connection, or you can connect over Bluetooth, using the SBC or aptX codecs. For only $199 USD, this soundbar has it all for your gaming PC setup.
The Creative Stage Air is the best portable and compact soundbar for computers
The Creative Stage Air is a small desktop soundbar that’s perfect for anyone on a budget. For under $50 USD, the Creative Stage Air has two dynamic drivers and a passive radiator, producing a decent bass response.
Creative Stage Air
It connects to your devices through Bluetooth using the SBC codec, or through a wired connection over USB-A or 3.5mm. The Creative Stage Air has a 2,200mAh battery, and it lasts about six and half hours. It uses the older microUSB port to charge, and it does take some time to complete a full cycle—no fast charging here.
Smart speaker-enthusiasts should look at the Sonos Beam (Gen 2)
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a great option if you want a smart soundbar for your computer. It connects using HDMI eARC, WiFi, and Apple Airplay 2. It fits easily under your monitor, or you can mount it on your wall instead. It has built-in Alexa and Google Assistant support for hands-free voice control, and Dolby Atmos support.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2)
Sonos Beam (Gen 2)
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) features four full-range woofers, one tweeter, and a five-microphone array for voice control. If you’re looking to add to your smart speaker ecosystem, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a great choice, though it’s quite pricey at $549 USD. Such is the price of Dolby Atmos and voice control, so you’re getting what you pay for here.
The budget-friendly Monoprice SB-100 is the best cheap computer soundbar
Monoprice is known for delivering high-quality products for a fraction of what the competition costs. If you want simplicity from your soundbar, the Monoprice SB-100 is just that. It’s a 2.1-channel soundbar that fits conveniently under your monitor or mounts onto your wall. It has two full-range and two low-frequency drivers, with the option to add a subwoofer if you want even more bass from it.
The Monoprice SB-100 connects to your devices using 3.5mm, optical, or coaxial connections. You even get Bluetooth connectivity if you want to go wireless. Monoprice makes budget-friendly tech with great quality, so for $55 USD (and often even cheaper), this can be a great entry-level soundbar or just a great upgrade from your monitor’s speakers.
How is the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 for computers?
Bose This is a bit too big for a computer monitor.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is mainly recommended for TVs since its focus is more on making your living room sound like a home theater. It has Dolby Atmos support to make movies more immersive from your couch. You also get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect support to make streaming much easier. If you want to customize your experience, go ahead and download the Bose Music app.
Consider the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 if you want your computer to double as your movie screen, but for everyone else, save some money and grab something else. Most readers probably won’t need to bother spending this much on a soundbar that does more than they’ll need it to.
The best computer soundbars: Notable mentions
Switching between inputs on the Katana is easy to do whether you’re using the button up top or the remote.
- Yamaha YAS-209: A pricier option, if you like to watch movies on your computer, this soundbar has DTS Virtual:X support for cinematic sound, a wireless subwoofer, Spotify and Amazon Music integration, and built-in Alexa assistant capabilities for voice controls.
- LG SL5Y: This 2.1 channel soundbar also has DTS Virtual:X support, a dedicated subwoofer, and a minimal design. This one is also great if you like a cinematic movie experience at your desk.
- Panasonic SoundSlayer: Gamers might also enjoy this soundbar, which has three different sound modes for gaming, whether you’re playing a role-playing game, a first-person shooter, or want to hear the great dialogue of your game the most. It also has Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X support for cinematic gaming sessions.
- Creative Sound Blaster X Katana: This soundbar is a great option for those who want an RGB speaker to go with the rest of their gaming PC setup. It sounds great and can get pretty loud, and the dedicated subwoofer helps games sound even better.
- Vizio M21d-H84: If you want DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Atmos for cheap, this sub-$150 soundbar has just that. It’s easy to set up and looks great too.
What you should know about the best computer soundbars
Who should get a computer soundbar? Who shouldn’t?
Underneath the speaker is subtle RGB lighting that you can turn off, or change the colors if you want.
You should consider getting a soundbar for your computer if you want a better speaker than those built into your monitor. Soundbars work well because they don’t take up too much vertical space, and fit conveniently on your desk. Dedicated subwoofers take up more room, but you can place them beside your monitor or even on the floor.
Does surround sound matter when choosing a PC soundbar?
The large size of the Ambeo Soundbar means you need a large area for setup.
If you just plan on using your soundbar to casually listen to music, and watch movies and videos on your computer, surround sound probably doesn’t matter much. Those who are really into gaming might enjoy the effect of surround sound. Still, surround sound isn’t a necessity for games, but is more just a fun feature. It’s also worth noting that surround sound from soundbars can’t quite match up to a physical surround sound setup with separate speakers around the room.
Is bass good on soundbars without subwoofers?
This soundbar has two speaker drivers hidden behind the grille.
Soundbars can have good bass sound without a separate subwoofer, but smaller drivers in more compact soundbars will not play as loud, so a subwoofer will help if you want louder bass. If you’re just using a soundbar as a casual listening speaker, and you don’t care a ton about hearing all the nuances of your music, you probably don’t need a subwoofer. If you’re using your soundbar on a gaming PC, you may find that a subwoofer helps the experience of the game, especially in games with gunshots and explosions, or cinematic sound design.
What does a smart soundbar do?
A smart soundbar can connect to other smart speakers in the same ecosystem and use voice controls so you don’t have to get up or use a remote to control it. This can be convenient and fun, but it comes at a cost of handing over a lot of your personal data to a speaker and, by extension, a corporation. You’re better off without a smart speaker if you care a lot about privacy and protecting your personal information. They also tend to be pricey, so those on a budget probably shouldn’t consider a smart soundbar.
How we choose the best computer soundbars
On top of the speaker are the touch controls for switching inputs and controlling volume.
At SoundGuys, we want to make sure we’re recommending the best products, and with so many soundbars to choose from, we take time to narrow the options down to the ones that will serve you and your needs best. It’s important to understand the differences between soundbars for computers and those intended for TVs. Soundbars for computers will generally have fewer frills like surround sound or smart features. We want to recommend things you will actually need without spending a fortune on a soundbar made with home theaters in mind. Not everyone will value the same things, and we take that into account. We not only want to test soundbars out ourselves but listen to others’ experiences to understand what people need.
Our team then confers with one another regarding the best products for a given category and we present our list to you. It’s not over after we hit publish, though. Instead, we treat every article as a living document that we update as new and worthy products are released.
Why you should trust
We state of the art equipment, like our Bruel & Kjaer 5128 artificial head, to test audio products.
Each writer at SoundGuys has accumulated years of experience reporting on the consumer audio market, and our staff adheres to a strict ethics policy. We don’t use sponsored content on the website at a time when doing so is the norm. SoundGuys’ survival depends almost exclusively on readers enjoying their purchases. We pride ourselves on transparently outlining objective facts, while accounting for the subjective experience to contextualize an audio product’s performance. When we do misspeak, we correct and own up to it.
Frequently asked questions about the best computer soundbars
Soundbars for computers should generally go under your monitor, so the sound can be directed at you without any obstructions. Subwoofer placement is less critical, and should be beside your monitor, but if you don’t have room, you can put it on the floor, or on a surface beside your desk.
Dolby Atmos is a coding and decoding technology for surround sound that includes height information. This is more noticeable when you have a physical speaker above you than with a soundbar.
Wired connections will always get you the lowest latency possible. So if you’re bothered by lag in your audio, you should go with a wired connection. This is especially important if you’re gaming, since time is of the essence.
Using a soundbar with your PC or laptop
Soundbars are most commonly used to improve the quality of TV sound, but they can also be connected to your PC to provide high-quality sound for movies and gaming. We explain when using soundbars with your desktop computer or laptop can be useful, and what you should consider when thinking about buying a soundbar for this reason.
Are soundbars too big for your PC?
One of the main arguments against using a soundbar with your computer is their size. Most commercially available soundbars designed for TV sets are often about 1 metre wide. These soundbars are just too big, both in terms of the space you might have on or under your desk and how they look in your living space, to be placed in front of or under a 21-inch monitor (approx. 50 cm). You should therefore definitely consider the size requirements, as well as your available space, when looking at soundbars.
The next important aspect concerns the interfaces and connection options in the combination of PC and soundbar.
When connecting external speakers or soundbars to a PC, it is important to distinguish where the audio information is processed. There are two possible constellations, the first being much more frequent: Usually the processing is done by the sound card installed in the PC; alternatively the external audio device can be equipped with a sound card (and D/A converter).
- ➨ 1. The connection can be made via common analogue and digital audio interfaces such as AUX, TOSLINK or HDMI. Depending on whether the data was transmitted analogue or digital, the D/A converter of the computer or the external audio device will be used.
- ➨ 2. The interface with which the external sound card is controlled is crucial for it to be used at all. As a rule, USB is intended for this purpose.
An obvious question in connection with sound cards is: what good is an additional sound card if it is already installed in the PC? The answer depends on the quality of sound cards and converters used on computers (usually a sound chip on the motherboard). This can be an important factor that means that high-quality speakers on PCs can perform significantly poorer than their technical capabilities.
Read more about the importance of sound cards in our article “Sound cards: How to get the most out of computer sound”.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as wireless connection standards are a standard feature for many soundbars and especially practical for external players such as smartphones. In principle, an external sound card can also be controlled for the wireless transmission of audio data. Read more here about Bluetooth soundbars.
Sound requirements for network audio
The actual performance requirements for PC soundbars can sometimes be low, as often only a small listening space needs to be provided with sound. However, this of course does not mean that film and game sound on computers should settle for a poorer quality. For good quality audio, clean playback even at high levels and over a wide frequency range is essential. Spatially differentiated sound effects can also add a new dimension to gaming fun.
Soundbars offer particularly large possibilities for the reproduction of surround sound. Multi-channel transducer architectures can be implemented in soundbars, and can do far more than provide a neat stereo panorama. Modulation techniques and targeted tuning of the transducers allow for a authentic, virtual surround sound to be created. This is exactly what Teufel’s stereo-widening Dynamore® Ultra technology achieves.
Cinebar One – tailor-made for strong PC sound
This soundbar can be connected to PC, consoles, TV and mobile devices.
Even though it is only 35 cm wide, the Cinebar One is a real sound giant. We have not only integrated four innovative full-range speakers with side-firing speakers into the compact soundbar, but also all important interfaces and a powerful sound card.
- ▶ Virtual surround sound from a soundbar with Dynamore® Ultra technology
- ▶ Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX transmission standard for streaming sound in CD quality
- ▶ HDMI 2.0 (CEC), Line-In, TOSLINK and USB for versatile integration into home entertainment systems
- ▶ Can be extended to a Cinebar One+ with an external subwoofer for stronger bass
Always unblock YouTube
Our solutions for PC and gaming sound
Conclusion: Combining soundbars and PCs
- Compactness is an important factor when it comes to soundbars that will be used on a desk for PC sound.
- Soundbars are usually compatible with a PC/laptop via various interfaces.
- An additional soundbar can significantly improve the computer sound.
- Soundbars are particularly well suited for creating surround sound simulations.
my way / DIY (DIY) / iXBT Live
This guide is primarily interesting because it uses non-standard approaches in design, use of materials and manufacturing method – the final product is completely made on a 40w CO2 laser cutter.
I renovated my daughters room, bought a new PC, connected UPS. The matter remained for the small – for the columns. Of course, you could go to the store (no, you can’t anymore, COVID, however) or order online, but the requirements for size, design and sound quality were such that you would have to take at least either Harman Kardon Soundsticks 4, or something from Bose or Bang & Olufsen. Simply put, at least 300 bucks would have to be laid out, or even many times more. But then I thought, am I my own engineer or what? And I decided to build a 2.1 system from scratch, which will fit into the updated design of the room, will have a decent sound, but at the same time, not cost an indecent price. During the design process, the columns were given the working name “Santa Barbara”, but this is not at all in honor of the famous series, but more in honor of the visual, which I managed to make quite interesting and atypical, being based on my impressions after getting acquainted with the architecture of the above city, 10 years ago.
Why 2.1 and not “full” 2.0 speakers? The reason, as always, is the size. My daughter’s computer desk is small, only a meter wide, and I didn’t want to litter it with large speakers. Therefore, I decided to make compact, but high-quality satellites, and hide the subwoofer under the table (although I originally planned to make a subwoofer for desktop placement). In general, initially I did not plan a 2.1 system, but I wanted to make something like a sound bar, and I wanted so much that I developed two different designs and even began to implement them in a tree, but upon mature reflection, I nevertheless made a choice towards a 2.1 system, since in order to get a decent sound from the “soundbar” form factor that would fit on the desktop, it would be necessary to install a good DSP and use very expensive speakers, and in this case, at the cost of all materials, I easily “fit” in $ 50, while saving space on the table.
Soundbar frame, which never went into the “series”
And this is how the finished system already looks in the “assembly”. (Yes, I am aware that the monitor is a little old, and the color does not fit the room. The replacement is already in the process of being manufactured, and there will be a separate review on it)
Structurally, the system consists of two satellites measuring 120x85x65mm, in which there is a 50mm full-range speaker with a neodymium magnet and a 50mm passive radiator with a rubber suspension. The subwoofer has dimensions of 300x200x100mm, it uses a bass speaker with a diameter of 75mm, and the subwoofer itself is made according to the Band Pass acoustic scheme. Also, in the subwoofer case there is a 2.1 class D amplifier, on two TPA3116 microcircuits, a 17V 3A toroidal transformer, a rectifier and other little things. The satellite cases are made of 3mm plywood, with additional impregnation and damping, and the subwoofer case is made of 10mm plywood, also with gluing and damping. The dimensions of both the speakers and the subwoofer are dictated by the maximum working field of my K40 laser cutter, which is 30x20cm.
A little note about photos at different stages. Don’t be embarrassed that the speakers in the photographs slightly change shape and appearance during the manufacturing process – several different prototypes were made, and each manufacturing stage was documented on separate prototypes, hence the possible “discrepancies”.
When designing satellites, I was guided by several requirements at once.
- The design should be subdued, modern-minimalistic, in the so-called “Apple” style (which was actually created by Braun designer Dieter Rams back in the late 60s).
- At the same time, the design should be original, not copy anyone or anything in particular, and use simple geometric shapes to make it easy to make at home.
- Home conditions also dictated the choice of a method for manufacturing speaker cabinets – “normal” and photopolymer 3D printing was discarded for obvious reasons, I don’t have a Meta * l Sinthering 3D printer yet, just like I don’t have a 5-axis CNC milling machine, so it was decided to make a cabinet out of plywood, and cut everything on a laser cutter.
- Waste disposal is my strong point, so I decided to finish the speakers not with a vulgar wood-like film or wood veneer, but with the remnants of wallpaper from the children’s room, which have a fine-grained stone structure and are great for the chosen geometry. (Although initially I considered (and even made prototypes) options using leatherette or alcantara. But I decided that it would be better to use such materials where they belong – in a car, and at home and ordinary wallpaper will do).
The drawing for the satellite housing was created in semi-automatic mode on the makercase.com website – we enter the required dimensions, material thickness, select the shape and the site will generate. An SVG file that can be directly sent to a laser cutter, or, as in my case, slightly modified and cut out for mounting speakers and a passive radiator in Corel Draw.
The front and rear panels of the speakers were made of 3mm cream-beige plexiglass with 3mm plywood inserts covered in brown acoustic fabric. Also, holders for passive radiators were made of plywood.
Initially, I planned that one of the speakers would have volume and tone controls “on board”, but due to the complexity of manufacturing and wiring, I decided to abandon it and make both speakers the same. I also had to abandon the decorative nameplate – it turned out to be visually too small and did not fit into the overall design.
Similar to the speakers, the subwoofer enclosure was also created in Corel Draw. Practice has shown the redundancy of so many mounting holes – the idea was to use them to ensure that the body parts are pressed tightly against each other when gluing, since I do not have a clamp or vise of the right size. But as it turned out, the number of holes can be safely reduced by half.
The subwoofer driver was a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound ($1200 RRP) smart speaker bass driver with a 3-inch cone size. In satellites, I used 50mm speakers from JBL bluetooth speakers (Charge 3, if I remember correctly). I will immediately answer the logical questions – “Where did I get it and how much”, I took it for money, and where I took it, they are no longer there and are unlikely to be again).
After all materials are prepared, proceed to assembly. First, glue the speaker case – it must be airtight to get a decent sound. The rounded part of the speaker has many slots, due to which the necessary flexibility is provided, so I will seal them in the first place. To do this, it is better to use PVA glue – first you need to glue the part that will be on the inside with glue, bend it in the desired shape and insert the rest of the parts into the grooves so that the body “gathers”.
We wrap the satellite body with masking tape, and depending on the ambient temperature, let it dry, at least for half an hour, or even more. The next step is to coat the assembled structure with PVA glue from the outside. You don’t have to immediately pour a lot of glue, it will dry longer, and bumps will appear on the surface, and cleaning PVA with sandpaper is not an easy task. I applied 4 thin coats, at 15 minute intervals, drying the structure on the battery between coats, making sure that all the grooves were securely filled with glue. After that, we leave the speaker to dry in heat for at least 12 hours, and at this time, you can glue a passive radiator to the back of the case, and the speaker itself to the front. For gluing the emitter, urethane sealant was the most suitable – silicone and “moment” with “nairite” did not stick to the rubber part of the emitter, and cyanoacrylic glue fell off from vibrations. For greater hardness, when gluing, I used a plywood washer, which presses the emitter to the panel. In the process of gluing, after all the screws are tightly tightened, it is necessary to carefully clean off the excess sealant that has leaked into the emitter.
The speaker can be glued to the front panel in the same way. But since it will be additionally pressed with screws, strong glue is not needed here, and it is quite possible to get by with a simple silicone sealant, which dries faster and is more convenient to use, compared to urethane.
After the individual components have dried, you can proceed to the assembly of the body itself. First, we connect the front panel and the main body together. For this purpose, I used a “5 minute” epoxy glue. You should not waste time sealing all the cracks with epoxy – it’s better for her to make a couple of other “tacks”, keeping an eye on the evenness and geometry, and when it dries, coat the seams from the inside with either silicone or urethane sealant – both work equally well, but I prefer silicone – as I wrote above, it’s easier to apply, it dries faster, and in which case, you can help yourself in the right places with your finger.
Since the speaker (and, accordingly, the center of gravity in our upper part) and the speaker itself will be tilted back, the first prototypes were very unstable, and easily overturned from powerful bass. To improve stability, a metal plate was fixed at the bottom of the column. In my case – a piece from ********* (the first one who has read so far, and guessed what this plate is from, will receive 500KR from me).
As practice has shown, the weight of one plate turned out to be insufficient – although the speaker did not tip over anymore, it jumped fervently on the table from the bass, therefore, a second plate had to be added.
After the sealant between the front and sides has dried thoroughly, you can glue the sides and front panel from the inside with sound-absorbing felt – this will help to remove cabinet resonances that would otherwise give the sound “out of a cardboard box”. Felt should also be glued to the back panel – after assembling the column – this will be problematic.
Glue the rear panel “dotted” with epoxy glue along the contour, and coat the inside with silicone sealant. But the bottom is already glued only on silicone, not sparing the sealant so that there are no air leaks (of course, before that you need to solder the wire to the speaker and lead it through one of the holes that was used to attach the pressure washer of the passive radiator, and drown out the other 3).
For reliability, we wait a couple of hours (or better – a night), and start the air leak test. It is done very simply, we rhythmically press the passive radiator and look at the speaker cone – it should move in time with the pressings, and with approximately the same amplitude as the radiator itself. If the movements are noticeably weak, and even so, just for control, it is worth checking the body for cracks. To do this, we wet our lips, bring the speaker to the lips in places of joints and rhythmically press the emitter – if there is a leak somewhere, we will feel a chill on our lips. After the place of the leak is localized (and it is quite possible that there will be several of them at once), we slightly expand the place of the leak with a clerical knife, and pour in the silicone – so that a slide is formed 2-3 mm high. After the silicone dries well, we cut off everything protruding with a clerical knife, in no case tearing it off – this way you can pull out the “cork”. So, let’s do a leak test again.
After the tightness test has been passed, it would be nice to test for resonance and rattle – we connect the speaker to an amplifier, the amplifier to a computer or a low-frequency generator, and apply a sinusoidal signal in the range of 100Hz-10kHz, gradually increasing both the frequency and power, while listening to overtones. If a rattling appears at any frequency, then by poking (or rather, squeezing and pressing), we determine the resonating place. If such a place is found, then we make a small (2-3mm) hole in it, and fill in a little bit of silicone. Let dry and check again. If the rattling could not be defeated by external mechanical action, then the column can be disassembled, or rather, cut to pull out the speaker and emitter – the case will have to be made anew.
If everything went well, then you can start finishing, and later – false panels. For pasting the column with wallpaper, I tried several different methods – wallpaper glue, PVA glue, Moment glue, epoxy glue, double-sided tape, and it was the latter that proved to be the best – both in terms of ease of repetition, and in terms of the quality of the final result.
We will need a thin double-sided adhesive tape – this is usually used for gluing carpets and other utensils. They glue the body of the column around the perimeter. A small life hack – such adhesive tape sometimes starts to make wrinkles after gluing. To avoid this, before gluing the roll of adhesive tape must be thoroughly warmed up, for example, by putting it on the battery for an hour, and sticking it on the case in an interference fit.
We also glue the perimeter of the ends with 2-sided adhesive tape, but this time with narrow tape, it is not worth completely covering the ends with adhesive tape, since then we will get problems with fastening the false panels.
From the wallpaper roll, cut off a piece long enough to wrap the column in an overlap, and 2-3 centimeters wider than the depth of the column. We start pasting the column from the bottom, stretching the wallpaper in the process of gluing. After the entire perimeter has been pasted over, we make cuts along the protruding edges of the wallpaper, approximately as shown in the photo.
Sipping on these “ears”, glue them to the ends of the speaker. Don’t overdo it with stringing, I tore off a couple pieces in the process and had to start all over again.
If the adhesive tape or wallpaper comes off the ends, then you can warm them up a little on the spot – with a heat gun, iron, and so on. After the process is completed, you need to cut the wallpaper a little along with adhesive tape around the perimeter – we will have false panels made of plexiglass, we will glue them, and it is not so easy to securely glue plexiglass to plywood, you need epoxy, and not every one is suitable. As practice has shown, epoxy adhesives with a weak or sulfurous odor do not glue plexiglass well, and those that have a very sharp, “chemical” smell glue well.
The next step is the production of the front false panel. It is made of plexiglass, with plywood inserts and, again, plexiglass.
Lay an acoustically transparent cloth over the plexiglass contour and insert the corresponding parts into the corresponding slots. The acoustic fabric should be stretched a little – it is better if you have someone to help and hold it.
We check how well the fabric is stretched, and cut off the protruding excess first with scissors, and then “go through” the joints with a soldering iron – the fabric melts and fuses into the plexiglass, thus providing a reliable connection.
After processing with a soldering iron, if you do not cut the fabric into a butt, you may get uneven edges, as in the photo above. Carefully cut them off with a knife, and again go through the edges with a soldering iron.
The rear false panel does not require such tricks, since everything is simple there – just cut it and that’s it.
Before gluing the panels, sand them lightly with 80-100 grit on the inside. This will improve the strength of the adhesive line. For gluing we will use epoxy glue, I wrote about the choice of type a little higher. We apply the panel, center it relative to the body and let it dry well – despite the stated curing time of 5-10-15-30 minutes, the real hardness of the gluing site is ensured after 12 or even 24 hours.
This is what the finished front speaker looks like.
Moving on to subwoofer assembly. As already mentioned, it is made of 10mm thick plywood, and uses a band pass box acoustic circuit. It also houses the amplifier and power supply.
The photo shows an almost finished case with a short phase inverter installed. As practice has shown, the phase inverter turned out to be tuned to a very high frequency, so that the resonance, by ear, was somewhere in the region of 200-300 Hz. Therefore, the bass reflex tube was lengthened with a piece of PVC pipe, to a length at which the sound was perceived most pleasantly. Of course, this extreme lengthening of the pipe caused a typical problem with the sound – it became a little fart. But this happens only at such volumes at which this subwoofer will never work – the volume control knobs are not brought out, and during the assembly process they are set so as not to cause any side overtones, even when a signal is applied with a maximum level to the input.
(For those who want to repeat – the length of the pipe turned out to be approximately 18cm)
When assembling the subwoofer, I decided to play it safe and cut an additional hole in the side to improve heat dissipation from the transformer and amplifier. As practice has shown, this was superfluous – one vent on the back of the case is enough for cooling. Class-D amplifiers have quietly made a big revolution in audio – forget about bulky heatsinks and fans, complete with huge power transformers.
The pain of choosing a place for a side hole (as practice has shown, it is superfluous)
All joints are well sealed, and the insides are pasted over with acoustic felt. It seems nothing special, but the difference is noticeable by ear.
Subwoofer in the process of drying – all screws will subsequently be removed, and sealant will be poured into the holes.
The amplifying and feeding part is located in a separate compartment isolated from the acoustic part. It consists of a class D amplifier board 2.1, on TPA3116 microcircuits, a 16 volt, 3 amp toroidal transformer and a rectifier board with 35 volt filtering capacitors – 4700uF + 2200uF. Two more 2200 microfarad capacitors are installed directly on the amplifier board (in the photo one of them had to be pulled out a little, because the transformer interfered).
The amplifier board is shown in the photo. All connectors were removed from it, power electrolytes were replaced with Rubycon YXA, op-amps were installed instead of the “regular” NE5532, proven, low-noise NE5532AN from Signetics. To be honest, the difference is not very noticeable, but if there are parts and a minute replacement, then why not?
The whole structure is mounted on stainless steel elbows and 3mm threaded pins. On the reverse side of the panel, there is a network connector, pads for connecting satellites, a ventilation grill in the same style as on the satellites.
In the photo – an attempt (unsuccessful) to wallpaper the panels using double-sided tape.
After everything is assembled, checked for normal sound and the absence of chatter, you can paste over the body with wallpaper. The option with double-sided tape did not work here – on large surfaces, the wallpaper began to make wrinkles, therefore, I had to glue it on PVA glue.
This glue is very tricky – it’s easy and pleasant to work with, it’s also easy to wash your hands, but after it dries, it’s very difficult to work with it – it turns out to be a very viscous and poorly processed mass – when pasting the sidewall, the glue went beyond the edges, I didn’t clean it in time, as a result, I got ugly protrusions on the sidewall that I had to cut off, and by that, bury the idea of \u200b\u200bfull pasting with abwoofer wallpaper.
So, if you repeat my thorny path, it is better to work together – one of them drives out the excess glue with a scraper, and the other immediately cleans up these excesses with a damp cloth. And I had to “invent” false panels for the subwoofer. It turned out not as beautiful as planned, but the sub will stand under the nightstand, behind the printer, and it will practically not be visible, so it will do anyway 🙂
Finally, everything is assembled, configured, and even installed on the “workplace”. It turned out pretty nice, fresh and unusual, and the sound is generally class. Small, final touches to the sound were given by the system equalizer settings (a small dip of -3db in the range of 100-400Hz to remove room resonances), and by adjusting the level of the subwoofer relative to the satellites – I had to muffle it a little so that the sound was even, and not the classic “boom-boom, tsyk-tsyk” ohm.
In conclusion, a little advice-warning to all audiophiles, lovers of Till and Small, the BassBox program, warming up the ears and so on, who will have quite expected objections and advice about design, shapes, internals and, in general, the meaning of life. The author of this article, that is, I know about all this splendor and is generally well versed in acoustics. I worked as a sound engineer for 10 years, and mixed many different tracks, including those that later got into the Billboard TOP 20. So I have a sufficient idea of the right sound, and the design of the entire system was calculated and selected so that in a particular room, in a particular place, to provide the most decent sound. I won’t boast much (why?), but in terms of the overall sound quality (loudness, detail, stereo panorama, bass, mids, highs), this solution corresponds to branded bookshelf acoustics with a price tag of around $300 and is head and shoulders above any Microlab / Sven / Defender / Edifier and other similar configurations.
Since the blog format does not provide for the possibility of “attaching” files, I can’t post the drawings for this reason, but if you want to repeat, write in the comments, I will send everything by mail.
And here is the topic of the next DIY review — Clock on seven-segment displays, in the same visual style as the reviewed columns, but with some unique properties — the color of the symbols changes depending on the time of day, and the control is done with gestures (for example, you can turn off the alarm clock without getting out of bed — just waving your hand)
- * — Social networks Instagram and Facebook are owned by Meta and banned in Russia. Meta is recognized as an extremist organization in the Russian Federation.
Bar, Café and Restaurant Speakers
Sonos speakers are designed to create a pleasant ambience no matter where you place them. High-quality sound, ease of use and extensive functionality – these can be called the main laws that Sonos follows.
For centuries, people, sitting in a tavern with a glass of alcohol or enjoying a gourmet dish at a table in a restaurant, loved to listen to music. The melody differed depending on the era and geographical location of the institution.
In pre-revolutionary Russia of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, gypsy groups were popular in good restaurants. Visitors could not only taste culinary masterpieces, but also enjoy wonderful vocals, musical arrangements, and sometimes even look at a dancing tame bear.
After the Revolution, everything changed somewhat. Most of the restaurants were converted into public catering, live music was considered vulgar, corrupting, and therefore undesirable. The maximum that could be heard at that time was a gramophone record with revolutionary songs.
Live music began to return to cafes and restaurants in the 60s and 70s of the XX century. In those days, vocal and instrumental ensembles became popular, touring in several or working in one institution.
With the advent of affordable music players, many bars, cafes and restaurants have moved away from live music. It is much easier to collect a musical collection from different genres than to invite a band capable of playing the classics, Queen and Murka.
But music centers or a console with a laptop connected are not always convenient. Discs get lost, scratched, etc. You need to know how to use audio equipment, otherwise there will be more harm than good. Nobody wants dissatisfied visitors. And without music, any institution will be insipid and boring, despite the efforts of cooks and bartenders.
And yet, in spite of everything, there is equipment that does not require professional skills in handling – Sonos audio systems. In this review, we will talk about which bar columns are best suited and which system should be installed in restaurants.
Sonos Audio Systems
The hallmark of all Sonos audio systems is the ability to control all multi-room systems from a single application. Play one track to all audio systems installed in the premises or broadcast a separate song to each speaker.
Sonos wireless multi-room speakers don’t need much: an outlet, Internet access via cable or Wi-Fi. Embedded systems will need to run an audio wire and a Sonos AMP amplifier.
There are different types of bars: classic drinking establishments with fatty snacks and draft foamy drinks, wine, cocktail. Each plays music that is consistent with the atmosphere of the institution. However, no matter what musical works sound, the tracks should be well audible. Sound quality affects visitors no less than the amount of alcohol consumed.
Bar speakers need to be not only loud, but also comfortable to use. For small establishments, audio systems that require minimal attention are suitable.
Sonos wireless speakers are designed for more than just home use. For example, a pair of Sonos Five speakers is enough for the main room in a bar. Six speakers deliver rich and clear sound. Visitors will be able to enjoy not only the contents of glasses and communication, but also high-quality sound.
Bars with private rooms or themed rooms should install Sonos One. Speakers of lower power compared to Five, but not inferior in sound purity. Create a playlist for each room, or give attendees access to the audio system and let them play their favorite tracks. Such a service will appeal to many customers.
Cafes, like bars, are different: a snack bar with a minimum set of dishes, a teahouse with many varieties of coffee and tea, etc. People come to such establishments for a quick meal, a cup of an invigorating and tasty drink. During the lunch break, cafeterias are visited by employees of nearby offices and students. In the evening, couples in love and single people walking around the city drop in.
Whatever cuisine is presented in the establishment, background music is needed to create the right atmosphere. It is always more pleasant to dine to a light shimmering melody than in the silence of a cemetery. Cafe speakers should work in such a way that visitors enjoy more than just food.
Café speakers are not much different from those installed in bars. The difference is that the cafeteria does not need much power. Just attach two or three Sonos One SL speakers around the perimeter to create a cozy atmosphere. Multiroom systems that adapt to the area of the room, so that the owner of the establishment does not need knowledge in acoustics.
Restaurants are not only haute cuisine, rare wines and waiters in bow ties. People go to such establishments not so much for food, but for the atmosphere. While waiting for an order, the client examines the interior of the room, inhales the aromas of dishes, enjoys light music.
In the interior of establishments of this level, every detail is important: from the pattern of the flooring to the uniforms of the waiters. The quality of the acoustic systems must be appropriate, otherwise it cannot be.
On the one hand, restaurant speakers need to blend in with the interior and not stand out. On the other hand, the sound should be clear and precise. Sonos built-in acoustics will cope with this task.
In-Ceiling and In-Wall loudspeakers are installed in the ceiling and walls, so before creating the interior, you need to pay attention to where the acoustics are installed. However, after that, the audio system will delight both the owner of the restaurant and the guests.
White protective grilles are easy to paint. This allows you to hide the presence of the audio system in the hall. Light classical music will flow from everywhere, which will create a pleasant atmosphere.
Sonos loudspeakers are designed to create a pleasant ambience no matter where they are installed.