Raise your TV-audio game with this 2.1-channel soundbar, now just $80 at Amazon

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Built-in TV speakers make ears cry. Enjoy much-improved audio with a soundbar like this. (Photo: Amazon)
Built-in TV speakers make ears cry. Enjoy much-improved audio with a soundbar like this. (Photo: Amazon)

There are two things every modern TV owner should know. The first is how to disable the dreaded soap-opera effect that seems to be the default on all new TVs. The second is, your TV's built-in speakers are either mediocre or downright terrible and should be replaced.

Don't worry, you don't have to rip open the cabinet and pry them out; you just need to add a soundbar — basically an external speaker that provides more audio power and, just as important, points the sound directly at you instead of down or to the rear.

You could easily spend hundreds of dollars on one of these, but I'll argue that you don't have to. Even an inexpensive model can deliver a big improvement to your listening experience.

Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Kmouk 2.1-channel soundbar for $80 with the on-page coupon, down from $100.

As per usual, Amazon Prime members get free shipping. Not a member? Let's fix that. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. In addition to occasional extra discounts, you'll get free one- or two-day shipping on nearly everything. (Of course, even those without Prime get free shipping on orders of $25 or more).

$80 $100 at Amazon

The Kmouk Soundbar helps you hear it the first time! (Photo: Amazon)
Turn off those distracting subtitles and hear it clearly the first time! (Photo: Amazon)

Why this soundbar over the countless other off-brand models out there? For starters, it incorporates a total of six speakers: four drivers and two subwoofers. The latter won't give you quite the same bass response as a separate, standalone subwoofer, but it's certainly better than none at all.

I also like that it has an alphanumeric LCD facing the front, one that lets you see which mode is selected, the volume level and so on. Most budget soundbars lack that.

You can connect the Kmouk to your TV via Bluetooth, optical, HDMI or line-in. That covers all the important connectivity bases. What about controlling its power and volume using your TV remote? Although Kmouk says you can't, there's anecdotal evidence from some reviewers that you can. And it should, assuming your TV has an HDMI-ARC output and you plug the soundbar into it.

By the way, that Bluetooth option I mentioned? You can also pair this speaker to your phone or tablet and use it for music. So, yep, it's two speakers in one.

I haven't yet tried it, but I've tried similar models; they've all made a big difference in overall TV audio quality. At this price, I definitely recommend giving it a listen.

$80 $100 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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