Sound bars are the best option for those looking to upgrade their home theater audio setup. They are ideal for television because of their impressive sound quality and their relatively small footprint. So if you know someone who you want to indulge in immersive, high quality audio, this is the place to buy these soundbars.
What to look for in a soundbar
There are a few general things to look out for when considering a soundbar:
- Sound quality: There is little point in having a poor quality soundbar, so we̵
- Size: Soundbars can get quite large, especially at the top. It is definitely worth considering the size of the entertainment stand or surface that the soundbar will be placed on.
- Subwoofer: A soundbar alone is a significant improvement in a person’s audio setup, but do you know what could be even better? A subwoofer. Many soundbars come with their own wireless subwoofers that improve bass. It’s a great bonus to keep in mind when comparing soundbars.
- Connectivity: Most of the sound bars you can find today give you the option of wired and wireless connection. Some may offer additional features like Chromecast support, which is useful. But the main thing to look out for is the standard cable and WiFi options.
- Assembly: We already discussed how soundbars can take up a lot of space, but what if it’s all on the wall instead of the surface? Many people wall mount their soundbars to save space on their entertainment booths. However, you need special assembly parts for this. Fortunately, all but the Roku Smart Soundbar on this list come right away with mounting hardware. We’ll cover your options for this when we get to it.
Overall best: TCL Alto 9
As a general option, the Alto 9 should meet most people’s audio needs. It features Dolby Atmos for great surround sound compatibility, can be connected via bluetooth or wired, has a 3.1 channel system, and comes with a wall mount kit to make your life so much easier. It also comes with a wireless subwoofer for pumping up the bass and measures at 41.3 inches in length. Unless you or the person you’re shopping for have any special needs, this is the soundbar you need to get.
Best budget: Roku Smart Soundbar
The Roku Smart Soundbar not only offers good audio quality for the price, it also has a built-in Roku streaming box. That means, after you have simply connected this bar to your television and connected to the internet, you have set up a two-channel soundbar and central streaming box. It’s a unique feature of this soundbar, and while some more tuned in to the audio quality may be disappointed with the lack of a subwoofer, the low price should make it bearable.
You can connect to the soundbar with a wired connection or via Bluetooth, and you can even use voice assistants (either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant). A separate wireless subwoofer is also available separately if you need that functionality, but it’s not cheap. (It’s about the same price as the soundbar itself.) There is no official wall mount for this soundbar, but Roku recommends this setup from EXCEL LIFE. The soundbar also measures 32.2 inches in length.
Best with Dolby Atmos: SAMSUNG HW-Q70T
For a soundbar that specializes in Dolby Atmos (a high-end surround sound system that also works with DTS: X) and general surround sound, the Samsung HW-Q70R is a great option. This 3.1-channel speaker offers management through Samsung’s SmartThings app (Android / iOS), Bluetooth and wired connectivity, easy wireless support for the wireless surround sound kit (which adds about $ 170), and a great wireless subwoofer straight out of the box. It also has some smart audio features like automatically adapting to each scene of a movie or show.
The HW-Q70R offers an impressive sound experience like no other. If the person you are shopping for fully appreciates this, it is a great soundbar to get them. Wall brackets are also included for easy setup.
Preferably with Dolby Atmos
Best compact option: Polk MagniFi Mini
To get a better sound, most sound bars are extremely long – some might say too long. If the person you’re shopping for wants to have a soundbar on their desk with their computer, or just doesn’t want to take up that much space, the Polk MagniFi Mini is the best option.
This stunning speaker is 13.4 inches long and features a 3.1 channel layout for a sound that doesn’t compromise on immersion. The supplied wireless subwoofer is as compact as possible with a size of 14.4 x 7.4 inches. You can connect to this soundbar via bluetooth or standard cable and have Chromecast support which allows you to easily play music from your devices.
Best compact option
Best smart option: Sonos Beam
The Sonos Beam offers a smarter experience than other soundbars because Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are instantly built into the soundbar. This means you can use voice commands to manage your music or the useful Sonos S2 app, which allows you to bring all of your music services into one place. As you’d expect at this point, the Beam connects via bluetooth or cable and delivers great sound quality to support its price. While it may not come with a subwoofer, it’s easy to connect the Beam to other Sonos speakers via WiFi for a surround sound experience.
With a 5.4-channel array, it delivers impressive sound on its own, and at just 25.3 inches in length, it doesn’t even take up that much space on the entertainment booth. The Sonos Beam is available in black or white.
Best smart option