Best Soundbars

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 20, 2018
Is there any simple way to enhance the sound of your TV set and turn your living room into the movies? Yes! Sound bars are compact speaker systems that incredibly improve the sound quality of your TV. Read our brand-new review of the best soundbars and take your pick. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Sound system
Power output
Frequency
Sound enhancing system
Equalizer settings
Interfaces
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The DTS Virtual:X technology is capable of virtualizing the most immersive 3D surround sound. Simulating and reproducing sound effects that travel around and move above the listener, YAS-207 entangles you in the most authentic listening experience that could make you question whether what you're hearing is actually occurring in reality.

CONS

Both handheld remote and onboard controls are relatively basic. 

OUR VERDICT

The Yamaha YAS-207 is easily one of the better options on the market if you're looking to build the most impressive home cinema system. Whether you're interested in authenticity or you would rather enjoy the audio stream that is as dynamic as it is vibrant, there's really not much of a reason to go with a different model.

detailed parameters
Type

Tabletop / Wall-mount

Sound system

2.1

Power output

200 W

Frequency

48 Hz - 23 kHz

Sound enhancing system

Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Digital Surround, Compressed Music Enhancer, Bass Extended

Equalizer settings

DTS Virtual X Surround Mode: Music, TV program, Movie, Sport, Game

Interfaces

Bluetooth, 1 x HDMI in, 1 x HDMI out, 1 x RCA-stereo in, 1 x Optical in

Dimensions

Center Unit: 36.6"W x 2.4"H x 4.25"D

Subwoofer: 7.1"W x 17.25"H x 15.75"D

Warranty

1 year

PROS
The remote (that comes with this sound bar) is truly multifunctional, so you can use it for controlling your TV, DVD player or a sound console.
CONS
No control buttons on the front panel.
OUR VERDICT
Bose soundbar is perfect for people who like watching movies and wish to hear every single word properly.
detailed parameters
Type

Tabletop / Wall-mount

Sound system
2.0
Power output
Not specified
Frequency
Not specified
Sound enhancing system
Dolby Digital® multi-channel sound, TrueSpace® technology for surround sound
Equalizer settings
Standard, Dialogue mode
Interfaces
Bluetooth, 1 x Optical audio input, 1 x Coaxical audio input, 1 x AUX input
Dimensions

2.6"H x 21.6"W x 3.4"D

Warranty

1 year

PROS

DTS TruSurround provides the soundbar with the ability to deliver the most realistic surround sound environment. DTS TruVolume delivers an equally comfortable and consistent volume level, offering a far more pleasant and enjoyable multimedia experience. The number of interfaces secures a lot of payback options.

CONS

The quality of the optical cable isn't particularly impressive. 

OUR VERDICT

If you don't really care as much about the video part of the whole audio video experience and you always thought of yourself as more of an audiophile, we couldn't recommend this soundbar highly enough. With all of its high-end technologies, you will be able to enjoy a completely different audio experience.

detailed parameters
Type

Tabletop / Wall-mount

Sound system

2.1

Power output

300 W

Frequency

50 Hz - 19 kHz

Sound enhancing system

Dolby Digital®, DTS Studio Sound™, DTS TruSurround™, DTS TruVolume™

Equalizer settings

Movie, Music

Interfaces

Bluetooth, 1 x Stereo RCA in, 1 x 3.5mm stereo mini-jack in, 1 x RCA (Coaxial), 1 x Optical in, 1 x USB (for .WAV Audio Playback)

Dimensions

Center Unit: 38”W x 3”H x 3”D

Subwoofer: 8.3”W x 9.1”H x 8.3”D

Warranty

1 year

PROS

AccuVoice, a built-in hearing aid solution will provide the individuals with all kinds of hearing impairments the ability to distinguish voices even at lower volumes. It separates voices from the rest of the audio stream and makes them as clear and understandable as possible. PhaseCue adds a layer of vibrant, three-dimensional sound to your favorite films or songs.

CONS

Comes without a Bluetooth interface. 

OUR VERDICT

The hearing aid technology obviously makes the ZVOX AV200 the best soundbar for individuals with hearing impairments. But if you're not one of them, the compact design and the rich sound of this model make a pretty convincing case all on their own, so you might want to give a try after all.

detailed parameters
Type

Tabletop / Wall-mount

Sound system

2.0

Power output

Not specified

Frequency

68 Hz - 20 kHz

Sound enhancing system

Dolby Digital®, PhaseCue™ virtual surround sound, Output Leveling technology, AccuVoice™ technology

Equalizer settings

N/A

Interfaces

1 x Optical in, 1 x stereo mini jack in, 1 x Headphone/subwoofer jack out

Dimensions

17"W x 3.1"H x 2.9"D

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The soundbar is capable of connecting to the TV via wireless technology which makes it convenient in terms of the matter of placement. You can have control over the entire thing using a mobile application on your phone.

CONS

The majority of the functions will only work paired with a Samsung device. 

OUR VERDICT

The new and improved sound system provides a great combination of quality and power with a more than decent functional. If you already happen to possess other Samsung devices this model is something you should not miss.

detailed parameters
Type

Tabletop / Wall-mount

Sound system

2.1

Power output

200W

Frequency

45Hz - 20 kHz

Sound enhancing system

Dolby Digital® digital multi-channel sound, DTS Digital Surround® for high-quality cinematic surround sound, Crystal Amplifier digital sound amplifier 

Equalizer settings

5 Sound Modes (DSP), Surround Sound Expansion

Interfaces

Bluetooth, 1x 3.5mm stereo mini jack, 1x Digital Audio In (Optical), 1x USB

Dimensions

Center Unit: 2.1"H x 35.7"W x 2.8"D

Subwoofer: 13.9"H x 7.0"W x 11.8"D

Warranty

1 year

Yamaha YAS-207

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

It is always difficult to describe an experience that encompasses any of the five traditional senses but especially the hearing one. Which is why you can't really very well say whether a particular model is the best soundbar on the market or simply an average, decent product. Having said that, if we had to pick one of them, we would probably go with Yamaha YAS-207BL.

Though the model has quite a lot going for it, it is DTS Virtual:X that allows this media bar to stand head and shoulders above the majority of the competition. Advertised as the world's first sound bar with the said technology, the model is capable of virtualizing the most immersive 3D surround sound. Simulating and reproducing sound effects that travel around and move above the listener, YAS-207 entangles you in the most authentic listening experience that may make you question whether what you're hearing is actually occurring in reality.

And while this technology is mostly associated with content designed in object-based immersive formats, that doesn't mean that DTS Virtual:X comes up short working with stereo and multichannel content. Paired with the latter, the technology essentially upmixes some of the less immersive soundtracks in order to produce a sound that is both spacious and more lifelike. So, while you're enjoying your favorite movies and music, watching sports, or gaming, this wireless soundbar works its magic to provide you with a sound worthy of your beloved hobbies.

Review of Yamaha YAS-207 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer Bluetooth & DTS Virtual Black

Simple Controls

While the audio is obviously the most important characteristic of a soundbar, no model would be worth much if it didn't have the right components and elements of design to back the audio up. With the YAS-207, it is mostly the latter that does all of the talking. Striking the right balance between aesthetics and functionality, the model boasts a slim, understated design that will prove to be a pretty good addition to any living room, all while providing the user with convenient touch-sensitive buttons and discreet LED indicators. Using the latter, you'll be able to operate this piece of audio equipment with effortless ease and a strange sense of pleasure. Though it does include a remote, if that doesn't sound like something that would be quite up your alley, there's always the free, downloadable Home Theater Controller app with its intuitive and user-friendly design.

Other than that, the soundbar includes six speaker drivers and an acoustically-engineered cabinet, so you'll be able to enjoy an audio stream that is as dynamic as it is clear. And though it may not be the loudest option on the market, the model's subwoofer provides a deep, impactful bass that will allow you to experience your favorite music in a completely different light.

All things considered, the Yamaha YAS-207 is easily one of the better options on the market if you're looking to build the most impressive home cinema system. Whether you're interested in authenticity or you would rather enjoy the audio stream that is as rich as it is vibrant, there's no reason not to give this soundbar a try.

Yamaha YAS-207 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer Bluetooth & DTS Virtual Black in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Its bass extension boosts low bass levels for a remarkable powerful sound.

Size & Weight

I am very pleased with the sound production from this bar based on the price and size.

Features

Easy, straightforward setup. Simple update procedure via USB stick.

Connectivity

You have to connect to Bluetooth and then you can fire up the app and select Clear Voice and 3d Surround and you will be all set!
 

Bose Solo 5

Space-Saving Design

We decided to include a soundbar from the famous company Bose. This unit is rather compact, just 21.6 inches long. The audio system includes a couple of built-in speakers for powerful and surround sound. The speakers aren't visible, they are hidden inside an elegant black casing. Moreover, the device looks even more compact, than it is in reality, thanks to the rounded corners on the casing. Thus, this soundbar with Bluetooth fits any interior. Of course, Bose soundbar is lightweight and can be mounted on a wall for saving space. No need to mention, you can place the bar on the shelf where your TV is placed on - and it's really convenient! As for the connection, it's simple as this: use a single cable to connect the sound bar to the TV! Several connection options are available: coaxial, analog, or optical input, so choose any of them. Surely, Bose Solo 5 TV will automatically define the type of connection.

Review of Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System

Hear Every Single Word

This Bose soundbar has one peculiar feature - a dialogue mode. And if you think it's useless, you are quite mistaken since this mode will be utterly helpful when you're watching TV shows or movies. Basically, it enhances the sound in such a way that you can listen to the dialogues well enough, catching every single word you hear. The dialogue mode reduces the lows, making the sound clearer. You can switch the mode by pushing an appropriate button on the remote. Moreover, you can set the remote for controlling other video playback devices. This is extremely handy since you can use a single remote for controlling all devices of your home theater.

Bose Solo 5 is a great choice for those who want to improve the sound quality of the TV set. Another awesome advantage - you can play soundtracks right from your mobile device, using Bluetooth connection.

Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Best Soundbar 2016 ? | Bose Solo 5 Review

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

Bass response is rich and deep.

Size & Weight

Just the right size. Great sound. Very easy to setup.

Features

Compact and easy to install, good sound, and of course the Bose price tag!

Connectivity

Great sound for a small room. Bluetooth connection is a plus.
 

VIZIO SB3821-C6

Blast the Music

If you don't really care as much about the video part of the whole audio video experience and you always thought of yourself as more of an audiophile than anybody else, the VIZIO SB3821-C6 is the model to go for. First, there's the model's power output. Equipped with 300W of raw power, this piece of audio equipment is capable of delivering up to 100 dB of room-filling sound. And despite the fact that the latter numbers make this model one of the loudest options on the market, the audio stream that it produces comes with less than 1% total harmonic distortion, meaning that you'll be able to enjoy a much clearer sound than you would normally get out of such a powerful unit.

As it usually is the case with high-end soundbars, the manufacturers have equipped their product with all kinds of audio technologies. There's Dolby Digital, the standard for cinema, Blu-ray, and streaming content, with a surround sound system that adds a dramatic spatial dimension to each and every soundtrack, enhancing the audio definition in order to provide you with an engaging listening experience. There's also the DTS TruSurround technology, which is a virtual surround sound technology that provides the soundbars with the ability to deliver the most realistic surround sound environment. Finally, the people behind this model didn't forget about DTS TruVolume, a remarkable solution when it comes to providing an equally comfortable and consistent volume level. As you would imagine, the latter technology is the main culprit behind a far more pleasant and enjoyable multimedia experience.

Review of VIZIO SB3821-C6 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer

Interfaces Galore

Moving on from the audio features, we reckon it wouldn't hurt to briefly mention some of the other elements of this product. For instance, one of the things we liked most about it is the ridiculous number of interfaces. Thanks to the fact that the model supports a wireless Bluetooth and comes equipped with a Stereo RCA input, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, coaxial RCA, Optical, and a USB input for WAV audio playback, you will not be limited in your playback options.

And, of course, no soundbar would be complete without a subwoofer. In this case, a wireless sub with the ability to deliver rich and powerful bass. With the help of this powerful unit, you will be able to transform your average Netflix session into a truly explosive experience. Plus, the wireless part means that you will be able to enjoy great sound without cluttering your home with wires, which is always great whether you're looking to put this unit in a large room or in a small one.

Now, to reiterate our earlier point, if you don't really care as much about the video part of the whole audio video experience and you always thought of yourself as more of an audiophile, we couldn't recommend this soundbar highly enough. With all of its high-end technologies, you will be able to enjoy a completely different audio experience.

VIZIO SB3821-C6 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

ZVOX AV200

AccuVoice for Hearing-Impaired

Though the ZVOX AV200 is a seemingly unassuming and one of the more affordable options in its category, the model actually has quite a lot going for it. Of course, as you could infer from the name of the product, the model's most defining characteristic is AccuVoice, a built-in hearing aid solution. The company's very own patent-pending technology will provide the individuals with all kinds of hearing impairments the ability to distinguish voices even at lower volumes. Utilizing a high-end processing unit in conjunction with a series of advanced algorithms, the technology basically separates voices from the rest of the audio stream. After that, it manipulates and modifies those voices to make them as clear and understandable as possible. By essentially lifting the voices out of the soundtrack, AccuVoice allows the listener to hear every word loud and clear, even if you're watching or listening to some of those poorly mixed programs.

That said, just because the aforementioned technology is the soundbar's most defining characteristic, doesn't mean that it has nothing of value to offer customers without hearing impairments. Again, in the company's trademark fashion, we would be remiss to forget about PhaseCue, the proprietary virtual surround processing technology that adds a layer of rich, three-dimensional sound to your favorite films or songs.

Review of ZVOX AV200 Sound Bar TV Speaker With Hearing Aid Technology

Aluminum Cabinet

Most customers refer to power output, frequency, and other technical characteristic and specifications when looking for the best soundbar. And while that isn't necessarily a bad approach, a lot of people forget about the importance of the right housing as it is often the deciding factor that determines the end result of the model's performance. Fortunately, the housing is easily one of the better parts of this unit. Without trying to reinvent the wheel, the manufacturers decided to go with a good old-fashioned aluminum cabinet that is as strong as it is acoustically correct. The thin walls of the cabinet open the proverbial door for maximum internal volume, all without sacrificing acoustic quality.

In terms of controls and installation, the soundbar in question is wall mountable and both the center unit and the subwoofer are fairly compact, so you should easily be able to find some space for them. It works with the majority of infrared remote controls. The disappearing four-digit display located behind the speaker grille is as useful as it is sleek.

All in all, the hearing aid technology obviously makes the ZVOX AV200 the best soundbar for individuals with hearing impairments. But if you're not one of them, the compact design and the rich sound of this model make a pretty convincing case all on their own, so you might want to give a try after all.

ZVOX AV200 Sound Bar TV Speaker With Hearing Aid Technology in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Samsung HW-M360/ZA

A Samsung Solution

Let's face it, we would all prefer our sound quality to be as close to realistic, surrounding and expansive as possible. Some employ the services of a home theater sound system. And while on average they do provide the best sound in terms of overall quality, those systems also tend to take up a lot of precious space which is the kind of luxury that some of us are simply unable to afford. Others tend to concede to the sound quality of their TV which at times can be lacking, to say the least. But if you really want the perfect balance of comfort and quality, a tabletop soundbar is the kind of solution you should be looking for. The Samsung HW-M360/ZA is the newest soundbar from Samsung that should be capable of meeting all of your demands. It has a slim, sleek and minimalist design but the model packs quite a punch and delivers that rich sound you’d expect from a home theater. Up to par with the usual Samsung quality, the 2.1Ch soundbar system is guaranteed to give you a better sound performance than ever before, thanks to the active subwoofer, 130W power output, and 5 separate sound modes.

Review of Samsung HW-M360/ZA Wireless Audio Soundbar

Powerful Sound

The Samsung HW-M360 gives you a dynamic home audio experience with 2.1 Channel surround sound system. With the addition of the wireless 6.5" 130W subwoofer, this model will be able to elevate your entertainment level to a new height. Four built-in speakers that deliver 200W of crisp and clean high notes will prove to be a source of a viewing and listening experience more enhanced than ever before. The soundbar includes Surround Sound Expansion that will provide the kind of immersive experience that will make you think you are in the front row at your favorite rock concert or sitting right next to an active volcano.

The TV SoundConnect feature allows you to watch your favorite movies and TV shows or listen to your favorite music wirelessly if you happen to own a compatible Samsung TV. It is rather easy to control thanks to the Audio Remote App that is compatible with most Android phones. Furthermore, the Bluetooth technology allows you to connect to any compatible Android device with relative ease.

Samsung HW-M360/ZA Wireless Audio Soundbar in the use

Time to Get One

You can mount the Samsung HW-M360 on the wall or have it sitting on the table; the stylish black design will look incredible regardless of its background and surroundings. Given the kind of quality this model provides compared to the amount of space it takes, the Samsung HW-M360 will turn out to be a great purchase to anyone looking to improve his sound quality without taking up too much room.

Detailed review of Samsung HW-M360/ZA Wireless Audio Soundbar

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

It’s definitely got enough power to fill a large great room for cinema entertainment. Great system at an appropriate price!

Connectivity

Nice that you can connect directly, or via bluetooth.

Size & Weight

Very pleased with the quality! Perfect size with my 55" TV

Features

One of my favorite features is that you can link this to your tv remote, so you can use the tv remote to control volume and mute.
 

What Is a Sound Bar?

Soundbars are the best solution for people who wish to improve the sound of their TV set without spending too much money. Unlike home theater sound systems, sound bars are much more compact. A typical soundbar is a small panel with built-in speakers. The sound bar is placed really close to the TV set, so it requires no additional space or pieces of furniture. Actually, soundbars are designed to be used with widescreen TVs. We have selected the most popular sound bars on the market to make your choice easier.

If you wish to change the way your laptop or computer sounds, you're welcome to read our up-to-date review on computer speakers. You may also be interested in taking a look at our review on headphones which can be paired with your laptop or just used as an accessory with your tablet or smartphone.

What Features to Compare

Type and Design

If you want to place a soundbar right in front of a TV, you should get a tabletop bar. Some sound bars are wall-mountable and, therefore, can be attached to the wall. Keep in mind that a soundbar doesn't block a signal from the remote. There is another type of sound bars - TV stands. They are larger and wider and TVs are usually placed on top of such bars. However, you should still check the dimensions of the stand so that it can withstand a widescreen TV (52'', for example). A TV stand must be steady and durable enough.

Sound Settings

The next issue to consider is the sound settings since a soundbar is intended to produce a high-quality sound. If you like the bass, choose the soundbars with built-in subwoofers or those supporting the connection of subwoofers. Don't forget to find out such important features as the power output, sensitivity, and frequency - they determine the maximum volume and sound clarity. However, the following features aren't sufficient for deciding if the soundbar is good or not. We strongly recommend checking all the sound enhancing system each soundbar has. For example, any top sound bar has a Dolby surround technology support for producing the multi-channel sound. Also, most sound bars are capable of creating a 3D sound effect, giving you an impression of full immersion in the world of sound. Lots of manufacturers develop their own sound enhancing technologies that maximize the performance of their sound bars. If you want to set your own sound parameters, make sure to choose the soundbar with adjustable equalizer settings. This way, you will be able to enjoy the sound you like the most.

Connections and Control

When making the final decision, don't forget to find out what interfaces a soundbar has. Apart from standard audio ports, some devices allow for other types of connection. For example, an HDMI port ensures the high-quality sound in Blu-Ray movies. The availability of the USB port allows for playing media files stored on your smartphones and flash drives. Bluetooth makes it possible to stream the music wirelessly right from your mobile device. Some soundbars even have Wi-Fi, which is used for connecting to online music services. Finally, check out the controls - you should be able to set the device and enable different modes without any troubles. The best soundbars have a remote for controlling the unit without leaving a couch. Moreover, certain sound bars can be controlled via mobile apps, so you need no remotes, just your smartphone or tablet.

Sources:

1. Deia Z Soundbars buying guide, Crutchfield. July 28, 2016.

2. Adrienne Maxwell Five Tips to Pick the Right Soundbar, Home Theater. July 8, 2013.

3. Andy Clough Soundbar Buying Guide: How to choose the right soundbar, What Hi-Fi. June 18, 2014.

4. Adrian Diaconescu How to shop for a soundbar, Digital Trends. February 23, 2013.

5. Jon L. Jacobi How to pick the right soundbar, TechHive. December 18, 2014.

6. Joe Roberts Best Soundbar 2016: 17 best soundbars for your TV, TrustedReviews. January 18, 2016.

7. Chris Heinonen, Dennis Burger The Best Soundbar, The Wirecutter. June 14, 2016.

8. Jamie Carter Best soundbar: boost your TV's audio and get music streaming, too, The Gadget Website. March 18, 2016.

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