Electronics

The 10 Best Soundbars to Get the Home Theater Feel

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Lea Kuscer Avatar
Lea Kuscer
24 August, 2020 • Updated 6 days ago
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The 10 Best Soundbars

Do you want a home theatre system without the expense and clutter of all those surround sound speakers?

If you answered yes, then you need a sound bar.

What exactly is a sound bar? Think of it as a middle ground bridging the gap between the built-in speakers of your television and the high-quality stereo of 5.1 surrounds.

Sound bars are small, portable, relatively inexpensive and easy to hook up. They eliminate the messy look that a lot of stereo speakers can produce, and they’re also a lot cheaper than having to buy a full sound system.

If you’re like me and listen to music through your TV, some soundbars also come with a separate subwoofer to ensure your bass tones come through loud and clear.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Bose Soundbar 700

Sound bars aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking to streamline your entertainment or don’t want the expense and hassle of setting up a surround sound system, a sound bar makes an excellent compromise.You may also like reading our 10 Best Home Bluetooth Speaker Reviews.

Things to Consider

As with any speaker system, there are several things you may want to keep in mind before you go out and buy. Depending on your individual preferences, not all of these points may be a concern, but they’re all worth noting just in case.

1. Price

Like your television, soundbars can vary in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. When deciding how much you want to pay, consider the various features the soundbar offers and weigh it against how much you’re going to pay for those features.

2. Length

Soundbars often correspond directly to the size of the television. As a general rule, the larger your television, the larger the soundbar needs to be. Smaller TVs work well with a 12” soundbar, but bigger models need better soundbars to match the sound adequately.

3. Storage

Another thing you need to consider is where you’re placing the soundbar. What does your television setup look like? Do you keep your TV on a stand, or is it wall-mounted? How and where you store your TV will influence not just where you put your soundbar, but how big it should be as well.

4. Wireless Compatibility

Many soundbars have built-in support for Bluetooth or other wireless technology. Not all soundbars enjoy compatibility, however, and they’re not always compatible with your device either. These are things you should investigate before you buy.

5. Subwoofer

This is one of the first things you should look at before you buy a soundbar. Some models include a subwoofer and others do not. Although buying a soundbar individually is less expensive, you’re not going to get a good bass sound out of it.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Soundbars


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.4
520+
520+
  • Alexa built-in
  • SimpleSync technology
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
  • Alexa built-in
  • SimpleSync technology
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.5
2,360+
2360+
  • Alexa built-in
  • Soundbar-only
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Alexa built-in
  • Soundbar-only
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.5
5+
5+
  • Alexa built-in
  • Soundbar-only
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $900
  • Alexa built-in
  • Soundbar-only
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $900
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.5
1,095+
1095+
  • 7 sound modes
  • 320W total power output
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • 7 sound modes
  • 320W total power output
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.5
250+
250+
  • Improved bass
  • 320W total power output
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Improved bass
  • 320W total power output
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Check price
at Amazon
EDITOR’S PICK
Bose Soundbar 700
True high definition sound

While there are a lot of great soundbars, we believe the Bose Soundbar 700 is the best soundbar on the market currently.

4.4
520+
520+
  • Alexa built-in
  • SimpleSync technology
  • Excellent sound
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800

Best Soundbars Under $300

Sony HT-S350 Soundbar

Sony HT-S350 Soundbar

Features

  • 7 sound modes
  • 320W total power output
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

While some soundbars are independent units with a self-contained subwoofer, most of them come with a dedicated subwoofer instead. Although this makes them less compact than a standalone soundbar, it also means better low frequencies. However, you can wall-mount the bar to save more space.

Although The HT-S350 Soundbar from Sony doesn’t offer 5.1 ch surround sound, it is capable of decoding into 2.1 ch front sound that seeks to emulate the audio qualities of stronger models. It does this with the S-Force Pro front surround technology.

In addition to its having a digital amplifier S-master, it has one-cable out HDMI and audio ports. Moreover, the soundbar is set up for Bluetooth connections, letting you stream your music wirelessly with zero effort. The only downside of this soundbar is that the sub is just average. But at this price range, you can’t get a better soundbar with a subwoofer.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Great soundbar sound
Cons
  • Average subwoofer

JBL Bar 2.1

JBL Bar 2.1

Features

  • Improved bass
  • 320W total power output
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

Soundbars are an excellent way to enjoy high-quality for your TV without having to buy an expensive and bulky surround sound system. If you’re looking for a good quality introductory soundbar and don’t care about having a subwoofer, the JBL Bar 2.1 is a nice, affordable option. 

It doesn’t have the volume strength of more expensive models, but it has excellent sound quality. Although it may not look like it, there is a powerful bass coming out from the 6.5-inch transducer subwoofer. On the other hand, the soundbar had four 2.25-inch racetrack drivers and two 1.25-inch tweeters that produce impressive crystal clear sound. 

Its maximum SPL is 99 dB, so if you want anything louder than that, you’ll have to look elsewhere. It has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can hook up to it directly from your phone and enjoy high-quality audio. The soundbar includes a variety of inputs, including HDMI for connecting to your television, as well as digital optical and analog audio inputs. 

The only real mark against this is that the remote control is a bit flimsy and you have to make sure not to drop it.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Excellent soundbar sound
Cons
  • Flimsy remote

Best Soundbars Under $400

Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar

Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar List

Features

  • X virtual 3D surround sound
  • Alexa built-in
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400

The Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL is the next step up from the less expensive YAS-207BL. It’s only slightly larger than the 107BL, but it has a better frequency response and better stereo dynamics than its predecessor.

Another major change from the 209BL is that it works via the Yamaha Sound Bar Controller app, whereas the 207BL worked via Yamaha Home Theater Controller. This means that you can use the app on 209BL as a remote and that you can control all soundbar settings directly from the app. You can also control it with the help of Alexa.

It connects with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and HDMI to your devices, which means that you’re even able to listen to podcasts or and through Spotify Connect, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. The soundbar also uses DTS Virtual:X, a new type of virtual “3D” sound that creates an illusion of moving, surround sound. This is a fun, exciting soundbar, and it’s available at a reasonable price.

Pros
  • Alexa built-in
  • You can control all soundbar settings within the app
  • Excellent 3D surround sound
Cons
  • No multiroom streaming

Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam

Features

  • Alexa built-in
  • Soundbar-only
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400

If you thought of getting something with a better sound but are afraid you don’t have enough space in your apartment, you need to downsize, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a poor quality soundbar. This soundbar from Sonos Beam is small and you can mount it to a wall. 

It has different specs than the previous models and can deliver a crisp sound with deep bass, but comes without a subwoofer. With one tweeter, four full-range drivers, three passive radiators, and five class-D amplifiers produce a vibrant, and clear sound that is sure to fill an entire room despite its compact size. The soundbar is 25.6 inches long, but it manages to pack in great features.

The Beam is compatible with Wireless technology so that you can stream your music directly from your phone. Plus, it can play music from virtually anywhere; Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, Tidal, Apple Music – you name it. What’s best about it? It works with Alexa.

Pros
  • Alexa built-in
  • You can control all soundbar settings within the app
  • Crisp sound
Cons
  • No subwoofer

Klipsch R-10B Bluetooth Soundbar

Klipsch R-10B Bluetooth Soundbar

Features

  • aptX Audio Coding Technology
  • Powerful bass
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400

If you want something with a little bit more sound than the previous soundbars, you need to upsize a little. This sound bar from Klipsch is a little larger than the previous two soundbars, with a beefier subwoofer and far more power.

Prepare to be blown away. With 250 watts of power, the dual drivers and subwoofer combine for a vibrant, loud sound that is sure to fill an entire room. The soundbar is 40 inches long, and it uses all of that room for good use, with an eight-inch driver that offers excellent sound quality. It has an independent cabinet for the woofer, which helps to deliver quality bass sounds as well.

Like most soundbars, the Klipsch R-10B is compatible with most Bluetooth technology so that you can stream your music wirelessly directly from your phone. The cabinet is fairly large, so you’ll need an area with a lot of room to set up this soundbar.

The only real downside is that the Bluetooth connection isn’t very good and sometimes cuts out randomly for no reason. But if you’re using this with your TV, it delivers excellent performance.

Pros
  • 250-watt speakers
  • Connects to Bluetooth
  • 8-inch driver
Cons
  • Poor Bluetooth connection

Best Soundbars Under $500

Bose Solo 15 Series II TV Sound System

Bose Solo 15 Series II TV Sound System

Features

  • Single speaker
  • Universal remote control
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $500

Bose has been a respectable name in electronics for decades, and their Solo 15 Series II is a good example of why. Their TV sound system is more than just a soundbar: it’s a base for your television stand.

The most important quality in a soundbar is its audio performance, and the Bose Solo 15 performs admirably. The sound system runs at 50 watts and has several speakers situated at different angles along the box for better sound delivery. Although it does not deliver 5.1 surround sound, it can process 5.1 signals and play them back as stereo.

The sound system comes with both optical and analog audio cables, as well as a universal remote. It does not have Bluetooth capabilities. While it is not the best soundbar in the market, it has much higher quality than television and is one of the more affordable soundbars on the market.

Pros
  • 50-watt speakers
  • Has optical and analog ports
  • Includes universal remote
Cons
  • Does not have Bluetooth

Best Soundbars Under $600

Sonos – Playbar Soundbar Wireless Speaker

Sonos - Playbar Soundbar Wireless Speaker

Features

  • 9 drivers
  • Alexa built-in
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $600

If you’re looking for a nice, high-end soundbar, you’re going to have to spend a little bit more. If that’s what you’re looking for, however, you’re likely to find that the Sonos PLAYBAR is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

The Sonos PLAYBAR is powered by nine drivers, including six mid-woofers and three tweeters, delivering powerful, convincing sound throughout the room. The PLAYBAR features both speech enhancement and night sounds technologies.

The former prioritizes spoken dialogue over other audio on TV, whereas the night sounds setting equalizes the volume of louder and quieter sounds for a fuller experience. Rather than connecting to your Bluetooth device, which can be kind of spotty, the Sonos connects directly to your WiFi network so that you can stream your tunes directly from your computer or phone through your wireless network.

This means no interrupted signals. Plus, this wireless connection makes it easier to connect your PLAYBAR with other Sonos devices in other rooms, so you can enjoy the same audio no matter where you go. The Sonos PLAYBAR isn’t cheap, but if you want high-quality audio, it’s a great choice.

Pros
  • Connects to WiFi instead of Bluetooth
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Nine drivers built-in
Cons
  • Does not have an HDMI port

Best Soundbars Under $700

Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar

Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar

Features

  • Alexa built-in
  • Waveguide technology
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $700

If you like what you read about the Sonos PLAYBAR but you want another option, the Bose SoundTouch 300 is available for the same price. Like the Sonos, it is compatible with Amazon Alexa and connects directly to your wireless network.

Like the PLAYBAR, there’s a lot to like about the SoundTouch 300. It uses waveguide technology to project sound away from the speakers. Like so-called 3D sound, this creates the illusion that the sound is coming from a source other than the speakers.

The soundbar can be used by itself or combined with a dedicated subwoofer and other Bose speakers for a true 5.1 surround sound experience. Unlike the PLAYBAR, the SoundTouch connects via Bluetooth as well as WiFi, and it also has HDMI connection cables.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have standard 3.5 mm analog audio cables; you can’t connect it directly to your computer for PC speakers. All said and done, this soundbar produces beautiful audio and is well worth the price.

Pros
  • Connects to WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Uses waveform technology
Cons
  • Does not have a 3.5 mm port

Best Soundbars Under $800

Bose Soundbar 700

Bose Soundbar 700

Features

  • Alexa built-in
  • SimpleSync technology
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $800

The Bose Soundbar 700 is quite a bit more expensive than the cheapest soundbars, but far from the most expensive either. It is quite a bit larger than a lot of soundbars, with a width of 38.5 inches.

Soundbar 700 incorporates the woofer directly into the cabinet and it’s compatible with Alexa. It connects to the TV with Wi-Fi. The Soundbar also supports Bluetooth technology, letting you stream music from services lie Spotify wirelessly. If you want stronger bass, make sure to activate the Bose Bass module and Bose Surround Speakers.

And with 125 watts of power, the speakers get plenty loud. The 700 can be programmed to work with the universal remote, making it easy for you to adjust the volume without needing a bunch of different controllers. The Bose SimpleSync technology will let you pair the Soundbar 500 or 700 with the noise-canceling headphones if you want to avoid distractions.

Pros
  • Alexa built-in
  • Excellent sound
Cons
  • Issues with the setup

Best Soundbars Under $900

Denon DHT-S716H Home Theater Soundbar

Denon DHT-S716H Home Theater Soundbar

Features

  • Alexa built-in
  • Soundbar-only
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $900

Longer, louder, and larger than life Denon DHT-S716H Home Theater Soundbar brings you the HD surround sound quality with two dual 5-inch drivers, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master and two 1-inch tweeters. It produces clear sound, it’s equipped with the Dialogue Enhancer to help you perceive the more complex audio, and the width of 43.4 inches disperses the sound all throughout your room.

Although this is a soundbar-only device, so you can add an additional DSW-1H wireless subwoofer to get a richer bass. Moreover, it has HEOS; a multi-room audio platform that enables you to play what you want on other HEOS-enabled devices. 

The perfectly-designed DHT-S716H has 4 HDMI inputs, 4K Ultra HD pass-through, HDR10, optical and analog inputs, as well as multi-source AV connectivity. Also, it comes with HDMI and optical cables, so you won’t have to worry about buying those to connect it to the device.

Pros
  • Alexa built-in
  • Excellent sound
  • Sleek design
Cons
  • Quite big

Conclusion

A soundbar has a lot of uses, and there are a variety of reasons to buy one. Some people use it to enhance the audio coming from their TV. Others want a Bluetooth speaker that’s minimalist and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Some may want something that is compatible with their smart home, perhaps on the way to connecting their whole house with a single audio network. Whatever your needs, you’ll find what you’re looking for here on this list. Good luck, and happy shopping!

Lea Kuscer Avatar
Written by
Lea Kuscer
Lea Kuscer is a marketing maniac enthusiastic about testing new products and gadgets. Her new mission is to share her passion with those who want to know which product is the best on the market.