What is How to Live it?

How To Live It is your guide to the newest and best home-entertainment and mobile tech. The experts at Stuff.tv and Whathifi.com, with support from LG, will show how it can enrich your life - and how you can make the most of now. It is a place to escape, to learn and, simply, to make life good.

Return to other articles
  • Author LG
  • Published May 1, 2014

How to buy a SoundPlate

You’ve heard of soundbars, but have you heard about the soundplate? To put it simply, it’s a plate instead of a bar (hence the name).

Soundplate

You’ve heard of soundbars, but have you heard about SoundPlates? To put it simply, it’s a flat plinth with speakers for your TV to stand on, instead of a bar (hence the name).

 

The aim is the same: to boost the sound quality of your TV for a home-cinema experience in the most convenient way possible. Where the slim soundbar needs to be placed in front of your TV, products like the LG SoundPlate™ can be placed discreetly underneath your TV. Simple and brilliant.

 

Some units are all-in-one designs, but the LG LAB540 and LAP440 SoundPlates use external subwoofers for even more bass power – great for those blockbuster moments. So where do you start if you’re in the market for a SoundPlate? Read on…

 

Size
SoundPlates tend to be slim and discreet, and some of LG’s models even include a built-in Blu-ray player for an even neater set-up. You might think that bigger equals more bass, but you’d be surprised at how much boom and oomph can be packed into a ’plate that looks as slender as a neoprene laptop case.

 

As flatscreen TVs are getting slimmer and lighter, most SoundPlates are sturdy and large enough to support all screen sizes. But do glance at the weight limit if you own a gigantic screen (older TVs tended to weigh a lot more than their modern counterparts).

 

Placement
The joy of a SoundPlate is that you can plonk your TV right on top. But there are things to consider: will it fit on your TV rack? Will it match up with the TV you own? On the other hand, a compact SoundPlate suits TVs with small stands or if you have limited space on your TV rack. You can always place it on the floor or in the shelf underneath – but make sure it’s not too far from the TV screen if you want a seamless, direct sound.

 

Connectivity
So how do you connect your brand new SoundPlate to your TV? The most popular (and widespread) input is the optical one – which links up nicely with the standard optical socket of your TV.

 

The range of inputs you get vary from one base to the next: it can be as minimal as a single optical input or it can have a generous complement of HDMI, coaxial, and analogue inputs. Make a note of your TV’s connections and decide which connection you’ll set aside for the SoundPlate. If you’re opting for a soundbase with HDMI inputs, double check that it supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) to feed the sound from your TV.

 

Bluetooth streaming
A SoundPlate isn’t solely reserved for TV use; it can be your home audio system, too. Want to play music from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to get a dinner party into full swing but no stereo system to flaunt your tunes? A SoundPlate with Bluetooth streaming built-in takes care of that no fuss. It’s worth putting Bluetooth fairly high on your checklist – while a 3.5mm input for plugging in various music players is also useful.

 

Do you need a display?
You might also want to think about whether a proper large display (with wordy information) is crucial for your everyday use, or if you’re happy with just a single colour-changing LED blinking at you to indicate what input or sound mode setting is currently on. A simple display with easy-to-understand LEDs is often less distracting than one that crams too much information into a tiny screen.

 

 

Find out more about LG’s LAB540 SoundPlate™ here. If you want a great picture to go with your new sound system, see LGs LB730V Smart TV with webOS™ – seriously amazing screen quality and colours. Find out more here >>>

Return to the top