Nowadays, even the cheapest TVs rock high-definition displays. However, in the age of HDR color and 4K Ultra HD, there is still one part where contemporary televisions don’t make the cut – sound.
It is actually not surprising that the new ultra slim TVs don’t have adequate room for high-grade speakers due to their typical thin construction.
But, what is the most ideal solution? Buying the best sound bar.
Soundbars offer the best way to obtain superior sound from a television. They are simple, affordable, and don’t come with all the annoying wires usually seen with a genuine surround sound system.
Furthermore, soundbars are usually unobtrusive, slim, and seamless to set up.
The best soundbars are capable of emulating a full surround sound system. Besides, soundbars are perfect for smaller houses that cannot really accommodate a 7.1 channel speaker system.
In spite of the fact that most soundbars feature front-facing speakers only, they’re capable of projecting sound as if there is a blasting audio being emitted from your back.
However, it can be difficult to figure out how to choose a soundbar, considering the extensive varieties of options on the market and the attached puzzling numerical suffixes.
In this guide, we will be taking a profound look at everything you need to know about the best sound bars out there, and we’re confident that you will have known exactly how to choose the right soundbar for your needs by the end of these guide.
How To Choose A Soundbar?
Before you go in search of the right soundbar for your needs, there are many things you have to define. Probably the best place to begin is by determining your budget. With this, you will be able to narrow your choices down and make a quicker decision.
Surround Sound Or Stereo
One of the first things you need to think about when trying to choose a model for your home is whether you need a soundbar only, or you want something more.
Normally, home theater systems consist of a standalone subwoofer cabinet, asingle soundbar, and two satellite speakers or more.
While this sort of arrangement will provide you with a surround sound, it is usually very expensive. Most times, less expensive systems will be comprised of a soundbar with a subwoofer or a soundbar only. These will most probably be 2.1 systems.
Before going to the market to make your purchase, you first have to figure out the size of the soundbar that can perfectly fit above or under your television. You can’t just purchase a 40-inch soundbar for a TV that is only 30-inches in length.
Therefore, make sure you properly measure each one and then decide based on the size of the soundbar.
While real surround sound systems, where there is a soundbar at your front and satellite speakers at your back, is the best choice, stereo systems can also work well.
Transducer or speakers configurations has much to do with thus. There are models that come with freestanding tweeters and mid-range drivers, alongside a freestanding subwoofer.
While these aren’t real surround sound systems, they can produce an impression of a surround sound, depending on the speakers’ quality. In the end, it all boils down to the amount you’re willing to invest.
One of the aspects often overlooked by people when buying a soundbar is connectivity. While some soundbars are made with everything from optical inputs to HDMI ports, some models have limited connections.
You must find out which ports your TV is equipped with as they will hugely affect your eventual choice of soundbar. Ensure that the model you’re looking has complete compatibility with your television set.
If your Tv has bluetooth connection, then you should be happy as most soundbars support this type of wireless connectivity.
One of the most popular and most recent options of soundbars are models with wireless subwoofers.
Choosing this kind of soundbars comes with many essential advantages, which we will comprehensively discuss.
Simply put, not being restricted by the cable enables you to fine-tune the subwoofer’s setting in relative to your room. In turn, this provides you with much superior acoustic results.
As we’ve already mentioned, contemporary soundbars are engineered to enhance television audio as much as possible. What that means is that a host of features will be available for your usage.
Although the features in question can include different modes like Voice Control or Night Mode, they can also include various types of surround sound or stereo processing.
Add multiple room usage, Bluetooth connectivity,and things become confusing in no time.
Probably the best approach you can take is learning what each feature means and does and determine what you require afterward.
Narrowing the features down can have an impact on the cost of the speaker, so people on a budget need to invest some time looking into this.
Another important thing you need to take into consideration is your budget. Before you head to the market or an online store at all, specify your budget and then find a soundbar that is within that specified budget.
It’s fairly easy to find a product with your budget in mind. If you are shopping online, you can easily search for the best soundbar under 200, and a lot of results will pop up. Thus,it’s always better to stay within a budget if you don’t want to spend unnecessary money.
Top 3 Recommendations
If you’re looking to buy a soundbar for your TV, you might take a look at our top 3 recommendations below.
While we haven’t reviewed them in-depth, we ensured every important detail about each one has been included.
Yamaha YAS-203 Soundbar
The Yamaha YAS-203 Soundbar is equipped with great sonic capabilities, particularly when put in comparison with other models in the same range.
As a result of this, this soundbar is one of the best options under 500 dollars.
The capabilities of the soundbar are particularly obvious when watching movies,mainly due to its audio performance which is extremely clear just like its surround sound capability.
To put it plainly, movies sound as though they are being played back on a bigger sound system.
Keeping that in mind, the YAS-203 soundbar effortlessly ranks as a high-quality soundbar, especially considering the fact that it comes with a remote subwoofer that measures around 12 inches square and offers enormous bass.
Also, the YAS-203 comes with an advanced Bluetooth connectivity, which utilizes more advanced compression when compared to regular Bluetooth sound to deliver clearer sound.
In addition to that, this Yamaha unit also called with another remarkable feature called Uni Volume.
This feature enables the unit to decrease the music or TV sound considerably, which is great for night use when the family members or children are sleeping.
Nothing comes without a shortcoming, and the lack of HDMI ports is the shortcoming that comes with the YAS-203.
So, you can’t use HDMI output from tv to soundbar. Read more about HDMI audio output here.
Also, this soundbar is a bit long, which means it could obstruct a tiny part of TV screens.
However, those are the only shortcomings you’ll find on this model, which makes it one of the best soundbars for the money.
- Smooth and clear treble
- Powerful, rich bass
- Wide field of sound
- Clear vocals and dialogue
- HDMI ports are missing
- A bit too tall
Vizio SB3851-C0 Soundbar System
If you are in search of an option that offers more than only a soundbar, you might want to consider the Vizio SB3851-C0.
This model comes with a wireless subwoofer and surround speakers, which means it is capable of producing a real surround sound and is therefore different from other similarly priced models.
Furthermore, the soundbar comprises of three speakers, thus when you add the 10” subwoofer and the 2 rear speakers, the Vizio SB3851-C0 delivers 5.1 surround sound (Dolby Digital and DTS support).
Nonetheless, the speakers will have to be connected to the soundbar with the aid of a wire, although they will be connected to the wireless subwoofer. This should make it a little easier to achieve proper positioning.
In addition, the wireless subwoofer that comes with the system measures around 10”square and offers thumping and full bass.
Other features you will find on the unit include a Bluetooth connectivity with aptX and HDMI port, with the former providing the highest quality in wireless streaming from a tablet or iPhone.
- Sleek, sophisticated design
- Tons of accessories
- Comes with a great remote
- Great value-for-money
- Easy to install and use
- Somewhat average sound.
- Unfocussed bass.
Definitive Technology W Studio
Definitive Technologies is a company renowned for the high-quality speakers it manufacturers, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their Definitive Technology W Studio Soundbar offers the sound quality and a lot of high-end features you would expect from a speaker system from the higher end.
The W Studio soundbar measures about 43” in length, which makes it one of the largest units on our list. Measuring 14 x 12.5 x 12.8 inches, the wireless subwoofer included in the kit is not small either.
The unit capitalizes on its large size, offering 3 tweeters and 2 mid-range drivers to offer an impression of a surround sound.
Add in the remote subwoofer,and the unit delivers 7.1 surround sound, which becomes noticeable when watching movies.
The unit provides an incredible impression of a surround system. The manufacturer even equipped the unit with 3 HDMI ports for optimum versatility.
One remarkable feature you will find on the unit is its Play Fi support, whichallows for sending music signals to several speakers in several rooms.
The Play Fi feature can be operated via a smart app. However, you will have to pay a lot of money for this system.
The Definitive Technologies W Studio Soundbar is probably the most expensive option we have recommended. But it offers great value for money, as it allows for similarly remarkable sound from TV and music shows.
- Warm and full midrange
- Rich bass
- Play-Fi multi-room technology
- HDMI switching.
- Comes with 3 HDMI ports
- Very expensively priced.
- Could do with a better remote.
Best Cheap Soundbar
If you are looking fort he best budget-friendly soundbar for your needs, you look to pay attention here. Below is a review our pick for the best cheap soundbar.
Vizio SB3621N-E8 Sound Bar
For more than 15 years, Vizio has been improving the art of manufacturing high-quality home entertainment systems. On the evident of this unit, the renowned company flourishes on brilliance.
Despite being one of the least inexpensive models on the market, the Vizio SB3621N-E8 offers stunning value for money despite being very cheap.
This soundbar will immensely enhance the sound of your television and provide awide range of goodies which include the DTS TruSurround and DTS TruVolume.
Besides, you will find it remarkable to find that it features a massive 100dB output. While that is nothing compared to the one provided by more expensive models, you can rest assured that it is sufficient to fill your abode with quality sound.
This unit is capable of connecting with your smartphone or laptop for greater versatility. Consider it as a soundbar that enables you DJ right from the comfort of your sofa.
The total harmonic distortion of the unit stands at below 1 percent. Color wise, the unit comes in either silver or black so you can select the color that best matches your interior décor.
Most buyers appreciate the stunning sound quality and affordability of this sound system.
- Easy to assemble
- Affordable cost
- Clear vocals and dialogue
- High versatility
- Has mounting holes
- Doesn’t synchronize with some remote controls
Regardless of whether you are gaming or watching a movie, soundbars offer an excellent way to enhance the way your television delivers audio.
However, that does not mean that you need to compromise on quality – you still need to find the most ideal model for your needs.
Our detailed guide, which offers several tips you might need when looking to buy the right soundbar and includes reviews for our top 3 recommendations, provide you with everything you have to know before shelling your money on a particular model.