Bose Solo 5

10.0 Best Overall
  • Top reputation, highly regarded brand
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Super easy set up
  • Very high sound quality, especially for the price

Yamaha YAS-207

9.5 Excellent
  • Includes a wireless subwoofer
  • Can use their app to control it
  • Easy setup, uses HDMI connection

VIZIO SB3821

8.8 Great
  • Wireless bluetooth option
  • Includes a subwoofer for better sound
  • 2.1 sound bar, 100db of sound
  • Not top of the line, but a good option

Sonos Beam

8.5 Very Good
  • Amazon Alexa capability
  • Specially tuned by Oscar winning sound engineers
  • Just two cords and automatic remote detection
  • Very good quality, but comes with a high price

Taotronics Soundbar

7.9 Good
  • Best budget option
  • Very economical. No extra features
  • Inexpensive, but you get what you pay for

Your Guide To Buying a Soundbar in 2019

How Should You Choose a Sound Bar?

Just as with televisions and phones, sound systems have become sleeker and slimmer with time. Sound bars are the easiest and least expensive way to add or rather enhance the quality and output of sound in your living room.

Soundbars can be attached to your television screen or music system for more enjoyable sound quality. Some sound bars can even create a “surround sound” effect without having to deal with frustrating wires.

Installing sound bars in the living room is the cheapest and most convenient way of getting better sound from the television. They are quite simple and inexpensive and often wireless.

However, not all sound bars are of good quality, and they may not deliver the desired output. After going through thousands of reviews, we have put together a few pointers to make it easier for you to choose the perfect sound bar.

What should you consider before buying a sound bar?

Unlike a television, the size of a sound bar may not have much to do with the sound quality it produces. Since most sound bars are paired with a television, you should ideally look for one that has a setting to enhance dialogue. Other factors to keep in mind include:

  1. Look at the types of sound bars - Select the right type of sound bar that would suit your needs. The most common design is a bar with a long and thin appearance equipped with a speaker that comes with a subwoofer. Today, you can even buy wireless subwoofers to use with your sound bar.
  2. Check the design - Opt for sleeker designs if you love aesthetic looks. Go for sound bases, which are thin and space-effective than traditional bar design. They serve to be the pedestal for the television for which they never cause a blockage on the remote sensor.
  3. Check the size - Decide on the size of the soundbar as the sound bars are available in a variety of shape and size, which range from a few inches to feet together. Even though the larger sound bars tend to come with more drivers and great sound impact, at times, you will have to pay higher prices for the bar size.
  4. Stereo or surround sound? – The basic sound bar models all have stereo sound. As the price increases, so do the number of channels that the sound bar provides. While three-channel sound bars are the most common, a high-end sound bar can have up to 7 channels. If you are looking to simply enhance the sound quality, a simple sound bar would suffice, but for a cinema hall-like sound experience for watching movies, a surround sound feature is quite essential.
  5. Decide what devices will use the soundbar – Besides television, sound bars can be connected to music players, tablets, and even smartphones. Compatibility is a consideration here, as not all types of sound bars may work well with all TVs.The type of connectors your sound bar needs depends on the devices you need to connect it to. Choose a sound bar with built-in Bluetooth and USB ports, as well as digital audio inputs.
  6. Mounting: – There are two main methods of mounting a sound bar. Some sound bars are intended to be wall-mounted, whereas some are placed on a stand near the TV sets.
  7. Look for additional features - Ensure HDMI input jacks are available and look for additional built-in features like compatibility with wireless and Bluetooth streaming and streaming from Internet radio stations. Wi-Fi streaming is a more advanced feature that overcomes the few hassles involved with Bluetooth-streaming.

What's the best soundbar for the money?

We can't stress this enough: when it comes to soundbars, there’s a lot of choice. Despite being called soundbars, they tend to come in different shapes and sizes. They also range in price from under £100/$100 to over £1,000/$1,500.

The cheaper the model you go for, the more basic the connections are likely to be. Whereas more expensive ones add superior HDMI inputs (including 4K/HDR passthrough), wireless audio streaming (e.g. Bluetooth and AirPlay), better power, more refined speaker drivers, and decoding of Blu-ray sound formats.

Of course a full surround setup is the premium solution to bad sounding televisions, but if you're short on space (as well as budget) then a soundbar offers a good compromise. More than that, these days higher-end soundbars will also include the latest and greatest audio technologies like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. So it’s not like you’re getting a sub-standard experience, just a different one.

Design is also important, with some models able to sit in front of your TV on a stand while others may need a separate shelf, or to be mounted up on the wall. But whatever your budget, there are some cracking good acoustic upgrades to be had that can give your TV the sound it deserves.