Sound bar-When buying a new PC or simply expand it, we usually look at three, maybe four factors: processor, graphics card, RAM and storage. If we talk about consoles, the thing is even simpler: we look at the one with the exclusives that we like the most and we go for it. The sound, unfortunately, is usually the great forgotten. And it is a serious mistake if you consider that good audio is practically half of the experience.
The options to configure the sound section of a PC or a console are numerous, and maybe that’s why many people settle for what they already have. Whether those old Sound bar that came with their Pentium or those of the TV itself. Fortunately, today it is very easy to get a movie sound to fully enjoy your games. And if you follow our advice, you will not spend more money than you really need.
Sound bar and headphones: PC or console? Proximity is important
No, it is not the same to play on PC than on console. And we do not just talk about controls, graphics or load times. Having the screen and the Sound bar more or less close to our ears can significantly modify the sensation of immersion. But also the space needed to transmit a broad and well-defined sound.
If we are PC players, we will usually find that there is very little space between the sound emission point and our face. In the case of consoles, the opposite happens. The TV and the wall are several meters away. Which opens up great possibilities when it comes to installing all kinds of solutions. The more space, the greater the capacity to install more Sound bar.
Given the lack of space if we play with a PC, to enjoy a proper separation of channels we must use a minimum of two independent Sound bar with a good distance between each one. And if we have a room that allows it, even a 5.1 team. If on the contrary we are going very, very space-less. We should use headphones. There are specific gaming models that incorporate microphones for group games.
Be that as it may, sound bars are not the most recommended option. They sound great, but there is not enough space between them and the user to guarantee a good separation of channels left and right Much less simulate a surround effect of the highest quality. Yes they are a great alternative for the living room, and more specifically if there is no space to install a 2.1 or even a 5.1 with its six speakers.
In first or third person?
Although it may not look like it, the surround sound is not appreciated the same depending on the type of camera used by a game. Although it is not a question of perspective in itself. But of design. Generally speaking, games in the third person have much shorter distances of vision with the action almost always in a central position. The player is rarely harassed by enemies from the back, so it is not necessary to have a great spatial awareness.
In first-person games, on the other hand, the player observes the virtual universe as if it were inside. It becomes more important to be able to place objects, enemies. And elements of the scenario more naturally. Which together with the greater distances and the possibility of being ambushed in the back makes it advisable to make the leap to a 5.1 sound system. Only then we can know with certainty if someone is stalking us or if those squeaky hinges are from that door we have just crossed.
As always, there are exceptions. But as a rule the authentic surround sound is much more important in first-person games. Now, if you can afford it and you have the space, any game (even the golf ones) will be much more immersive with a correctly installed 5.1 to ensure a well separated audio for each channel.
Action, sports, mystery … each genre has its own sound
As with perspective, each genre and each game has a differentiated acoustic setting. The action games usually require the user a greater awareness of the environment. So it is interesting to have a 5.1 sound equipment. Or if we are console players and can not fill the speaker room, a good sound bar .
Only thanks to the spatial audio and the correct separation of the back channels can we hear footsteps behind us. Or the tinkle of a grenade thrown at our feet from behind. In fact, in the multiplayer FPS a 5.1 can even be a competitive advantage.
In contrast, a flight or driving simulator, sports games and strategy games do not require a large sound display. A sound bar or even good headphones can be enough. And if you are looking for something extra “punch” to feel at the controls of a V 8 or hear the chutes as in the stadium, you can opt for a small team with sub woofer.
Others, such as Resident Evil or future Man of Medan, advocate creating an oppressive and gloomy atmosphere. The 5.1 can be important to detect the presence of enemies behind our backs, but mystery games make more emphasis on the general environment and scares. So it is more recommended than indispensable.
In fact, not a few players prefer to enjoy them with good headset headphones. Since that way they can isolate themselves from the outside and get fully into the stage. Turn off the lights, put on your helmets and get ready to enjoy dying of fear.
Before deciding on one or another type of speaker, assess which genres and titles you play most often. Do you like especially sports and strategy games? With two sound bar (PC) or a sound bar (console) you have enough. Bet on quality and you’ll enjoy to the fullest. Does the action go pure and hard? Rate a bar with a good surround, a set 2.1 or even a 5.1. Is yours the mystery or you just do not want to bother anyone? It’s clear, you need good headphones.
Finally, you should make sure that your sound equipment is correctly configured. No, we are not kidding: you do not know how many people use the wrong cables or do not have the necessary parameters activated. There is nothing embarrassing about looking at the instruction manual.
Launch an optical cable from the TV to the bar and configure the television so that the sound sends it digitally to the external playback media. All in all, you should look at the instructions.
In the case of the PC, the analog audio plugs usually have different colors. Make sure the green connector goes to the green hole. The orange to the orange and so on in the future. If you use 5.1 equipment, in addition. You should make sure that the control unit is set to 5.1. Press the mode selection button. Because you may only be listening to the front sound bar or have it configured as a surround stereo.
Finally, Windows incorporates a panel to verify that each speaker works correctly. Use it to verify that all the Sound bar are well connected and are being heard. If for a case you have a sound card that requires your own software, also check that the number of speakers (two, 2.1 or 5.1) is the same as in Windows to prevent the PC from going crazy.