Best Soundbar (By Category): Top Soundbars You Will Love

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Are you tired of lackluster audio from your TV? A soundbar can give your home theater far superior sound. This guide will help you find the best soundbar for your space and budget.

I’ve researched the top models and categorized my recommendations based on performance, features, and price. Read on to discover the ideal soundbar to boost your TV’s audio and create an immersive entertainment experience.

Which Is the Best Soundbar to Buy?

The good news is that soundbars have never been so popular. Therefore, you have many to choose from. The bad news is that soundbars have never been so popular – so you have many to choose from… πŸ˜‰

So, to make things easier, I have placed the following soundbars in several categories, with a recommended model for each. This will make it easier for you to find your ideal soundbar quickly – and better understand your choices.

Remember, you don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive model. Take your time to consider the features you need, and you will find the best choice for your room.

If you want more detail on the different features, check out the in-depth soundbar buying guide: How to Choose a Soundbar.

Best Budget Soundbar

While you can buy cheaper, I would start looking for soundbars around $200.

At this price point, you are more likely to get a small wireless subwoofer as part of the package, adding extra weight to the overall sound you just won’t get from TV speakers.

At this level, you start to see entry-level models from some of the big players in the world of home audio, like Yamaha and Samsung. But you also find higher-quality soundbars from lesser-known brands with more speakers, power and features.

If you are sure you want a soundbar for better TV sound but still don’t want to spend a fortune, this is probably the best place to start.

Best Budget Soundbar
Samsung HW-B450 Soundbar
What Is It: A good value 34-inch soundbar from a respected brand.
Pros:
  • Stereo soundbar with separate subwoofer
  • Optional wireless rear speakers are available
  • Supports stereo Dolby Digital and DTS
  • Low height makes it suitable for placing under a TV
Cons:
  • No HDMI inputs
  • No voice control
  • Limited inputs
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Top Pick: Samsung HW-B450 Soundbar

Samsung HW-B450 Soundbar

The choice for the best soundbar under $200 is the Samsung HW-B450 2.1-ch Soundbar. Samsung is well-known for its home theater and hi-fi speakers, so buying from a trusted brand is often an excellent way to go.

This model is a reasonably slim design that measures just over 2 inches in height, which might be helpful if you place your soundbar on the same surface as your TV.

A soundbar mustn’t block your screen, so this might be a good choice if you are tight on space – or can’t wall-mount the soundbar.

It’s a standard stereo soundbar that supports Dolby and DTS 2-channel audio – and it also comes with a subwoofer to help fill out the sound.

Another plus of this model is adding wireless rear speakers for a more immersive surround sound experience – check out the SWA-9200S wireless rear speaker kit for this.

Knowing you can upgrade your soundbar system later without replacing everything can be good. The main disadvantage of this soundbar is the limited connection types.

For example, you don’t have an HDMI ARC connection, so you should ensure your TV has an optical audio output before buying this soundbar, as this would be the best way to connect everything.

Samsung HW-B450 Specifications
Channels 2.1
Center Speaker No
Included Speakers 1x Soundbar, 1x Subwoofer
Optional Add-on Speakers SWA-9200S Wireless Rear Speaker Kit
AV Connections 1x Optical, 1x USB, Bluetooth
Other Connections No
Dolby Atmos No
UHD/HDR Support N/A
Voice Control No
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby 2-ch, DTS 2-ch
Dimensions: Soundbar (W x H x D) 33.8 x 2.3 x 3 in | 858 x 58 x 76 mm
Weight: Soundbar (lbs/Kg) 3.1/1.4
Dimensions: Subwoofer (W x H x D) 7.2 x 13.6 x 11.6 in | 183 x 345 x 295 mm
Weight: Subwoofer (lbs/Kg) 11.2/5.1

Under $500

If you can afford a soundbar around the $500 mark, you will get some excellent speakers that sound great for movies and music.

You can expect to find soundbars with an additional center speaker, which will help to make the voices clearer when watching movies and TV shows – also known as a 3.1 system (or 3.0 if there is no subwoofer).

However, not all soundbars in this price bracket will have a center speaker, so check the features carefully if this is important. Many of these soundbars will easily fill the room with powerful sound, so for many people, they can replace a modest hi-fi setup if required.

However, a decent hi-fi amplifier and passive speakers will commonly sound better if you are picky about sound quality.

Soundbars in this range generally have more connections, which is essential if you want to connect an external device like a DVD player, Blu-ray player or HDMI streaming stick.

If the soundbar has two HDMI inputs, and you have a modern TV and a source with UHD video, check if the soundbar will pass 4K video with HDR to the TV. If not, you must connect your device directly to the TV and pass the audio to the soundbar from the television.

Best Soundbar Under $500
Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Compact Soundbar

A high-quality 25-inch soundbar that will work well in small to medium-sized rooms.

Pros:
  • Top-quality Sonos speaker technology
  • 3.0.2 channels – center & Dolby Atmos upfiring speakers
  • It supports high-resolution audio formats
  • Compact 25-inch soundbar
  • You can create a 5.1 system with additional Sonos speakers
Cons:
  • It might be too small for a large screen and room
  • Limited inputs
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Top Pick: Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Soundbar

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Soundbar

For the best soundbar under $500, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) soundbar is a good choice. You get fantastic features and sound quality in this soundbar – plus access to the Sonos eco-system of wireless speakers and streaming content.

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) has a five-channel speaker array and supports advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-Master Audio.

It is a compact model, measuring 25 inches wide and 2.7 inches high, so it might not suit you if you have a large TV and a big room to fill. If so, you might want to consider the Sonos Arc soundbar instead or one of the other soundbars in this category, which are much larger.

Another advantage of the Sonos soundbars is adding extra speakers and creating a larger 5.1 surround sound system.

You can add a Sonos wireless sub for more bass or a pair of their wireless speakers for surround sound duties – like the Sonos One or SL.

Like other Sonos products, the core integration is Ethernet or Wi-Fi to connect to your local network. Of course, this allows you to access several online streaming services and create a network of other Sonos speakers throughout your home.

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant allow for voice control, and the Sonos Voice Control system can be accessed via the app. A downside of this soundbar is the limited connections available, so it might not be the best choice if you want to connect more devices.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2) Specifications
Channels 3.0.2
Center Speaker Yes
Included Speakers 1x Soundbar
Optional Add-on Speakers Subwoofer: Sub (all versions), Sub Mini | Surrounds: Sonos One (including SL), Sonos Five, Play:1, Play:3, and Play:5 (Gen 2)
AV Connections 1x HDMI (eARC), 1x Optical (via adapter), Wi-Fi, AirPlay2
Other Connections 1x Ethernet
Dolby Atmos Yes
UHD/HDR Support N/A
Voice Control Sonos Voice Control, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM (Stereo & Multichannel)
Dimensions: Soundbar (W x H x D) 25.6 x 2.7 x 3.9 in | 651 x 69 x 100 mm
Weight: Soundbar (lbs/Kg) 6.2/2.8

Under $1000

You are spoilt for choice if you are in the market for a soundbar around the $1000 mark. This price bracket offers several top-quality soundbars, but you must still understand the differences.

You will find quite a range of different speakers with varying layout options. Some models only have a soundbar – although you can pay extra for additional speakers like a subwoofer and surround sound speakers.

Other systems come with dedicated surround speakers, providing a more complete package. So you need to decide what type you want in your room.

Aside from this, all soundbars at this price point provide excellent sound and extra features, like connecting external devices and streaming online content.

Best Soundbar Under $1000
Sonos Arc Premium Soundbar

A high-quality 45-inch soundbar that is perfect for larger TVs and rooms.

Pros:
  • 5.0.2 speakers built-in
  • Center speaker for clear dialogue
  • Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support
  • Sonos streaming services included
Cons:
  • Expensive to add extra speakers like a subwoofer and surround speakers
  • Limited inputs
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Top Pick: Sonos Arc Soundbar

Sonos Arc Soundbar

The pick in this price range is the Sonos Arc, the successor to the hugely popular Sonos Playbar.

It can be tricky to say precisely how many surround channels soundbars support because they don’t often have the dedicated speakers of larger systems. However, you could say that this is a 5.0.2 channel soundbar.

It has a front left, front right and center channel, with one speaker at each end for a surround effect and two at the top for up-firing Dolby Atmos. In total, it has eight mid-range drivers and three tweeters.

A center speaker is ideal for separating the dialogue from the music and effects – perfect for those who constantly struggle to hear the talking in films and TV shows.

The surround and up-firing speakers add extra surround sound magic, effectively giving a 3D effect in your living room. This is especially true for height effects when rain or helicopters appear above you.

It doesn’t come with a subwoofer, but you can add the Sonos Sub later. Many people prefer the deep bass to be reproduced by a dedicated subwoofer speaker, but if you aren’t used to having a subwoofer, this soundbar should provide plenty of low end for you on its own.

Of course, buying a Sonos soundbar also gives you access to the Sonos world of wireless streaming. You can access a wide range of streaming services, and adding multiroom speakers from their wide range of products is easy.

You can even use a pair of wireless speakers – like the Sonos Five or One – as proper surrounds, which you can place in the room behind you. One downside is this soundbar has limited inputs, and you only get a single HDMI input for wiring to an HDMI ARC/eARC port on your TV.

Learn how to connect a soundbar to a TV with HDMI in the soundbar wiring guide.

If your TV doesn’t have one of these connection types, you can use the supplied adapter to connect to a digital optical audio output. If the Arc is too big for your room, you can get the smaller Sonos Beam instead.

Sonos Arc Specifications
Channels 5.0.2
Center Speaker Yes
Included Speakers 1x Soundbar
Optional Add-on Speakers Subwoofer: Sub (all versions), Sub Mini | Surrounds: Sonos One (including SL), Sonos Five, Play:1, Play:3, and Play:5 (Gen 2)
AV Connections 1x HDMI (eARC), 1x Optical (via adapter), Wi-Fi, AirPlay2
Other Connections 1x Ethernet
Dolby Atmos Yes
UHD/HDR Support N/A
Voice Control Sonos Voice Control, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM (Stereo & Multichannel)
Dimensions: Soundbar (W x H x D) 45 x 3.4 x 4.5 in | 1142 x 87 x 116 mm
Weight: Soundbar (lbs/Kg) 13.78/6.25

Compact Soundbars

One of the main reasons why many people are attracted to soundbars is that they are discrete. You can improve your living room’s sound without filling your living area with big ugly speaker boxes.

So, if you want a discrete speaker, it makes sense that you would be interested in a small and compact soundbar. While most soundbars are relatively small compared to traditional speakers, some models are easier to hide than others.

This section highlights the smaller soundbars that won’t look too intrusive in your room. However, you shouldn’t just think about how wide the soundbar is; you might also need to consider the height.

If you place the soundbar directly underneath your TV on the same surface, you must ensure it won’t block the screen. If that is a problem, you must consider wall-mounting the soundbar or installing it above the television.

Best Compact Soundbar
Sonos Ray Soundbar

A top-quality small stereo soundbar from Sonos that will quickly improve your TV's sound.

Pros:
  • Compact 22-inch soundbar
  • Great quality for a small speaker
  • Part of the Sonos eco-system
  • Can create a 5.1 system with additional Sonos speakers
Cons:
  • No center speaker for clearer dialogue
  • Limited inputs
  • No high-resolution audio formats
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Top Pick: Sonos Ray Soundbar

Sonos Ray Soundbar

The Sonos Ray soundbar is a recent addition to the Sonos family of soundbars and wireless speakers. It may be the smallest soundbar by Sonos, but it still delivers good sound to improve your experience of any TV show or movie.

The Sonos Ray is a simple stereo soundbar and only 22 inches (559mm) wide and 2.8 inches (63mm) high – so it’s perfect for people who want a discrete speaker that doesn’t overpower the surrounding decor.

However, if you have a huge screen or sit some distance from the screen, you may find this small soundbar doesn’t give enough punch. If so, you might want to consider the Sonos Beam or Arc soundbars, which are bigger.

The Ray only has an optical audio input for receiving audio from your TV, so ensure that your TV has the necessary audio output before buying this speaker.

The lack of inputs is a limitation that might prove a problem for some people. If so, this might not be a suitable soundbar for you, and you’ll need to consider the other options suggested in this section.

Like other Sonos products, the core integration is Ethernet or Wi-Fi for connecting to your local network. This allows you to access several online streaming services and create a network of other Sonos speakers throughout your home.

This soundbar also has voice control from all the major players – Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant – or you can use Sonos Voice Control, which is available via the Sonos app.

Finally, don’t forget that you can add a Sonos Sub and surround speakers to create a 5.1 system – with the Ray at the center.

Sonos Ray Specifications
Channels 2.0
Center Speaker No
Included Speakers 1x Soundbar
Optional Add-on Speakers Subwoofer: Sub (all versions), Sub Mini | Surrounds: Sonos One (including SL), Sonos Five, Play:1, Play:3, and Play:5 (Gen 2)
AV Connections 1x Optical, Wi-Fi, AirPlay2
Other Connections 1x Ethernet
Dolby Atmos No
UHD/HDR Support N/A
Voice Control Sonos Voice Control, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS Digital Surround, Stereo PCM
Dimensions: Soundbar (W x H x D) 22 x 2.8 x 3.74 in | 559 x 71 x 95 mm
Weight: Soundbar (lbs/Kg) 4.29/1.95

5.1 Soundbars for Surround Sound

The top soundbars offer a fantastic array of different speaker configurations, and many have surround sound and up-firing Dolby Atmos speakers built into the soundbar itself.

However, for the best surround sound performance, installing dedicated speakers around the room is best, giving a better immersive experience. Therefore, most of the best 5.1 soundbars have separate rear surround speakers.

Some 5.1 soundbars create a virtual surround sound experience using front speakers alone. So, if you don’t want to install more speakers around your room, you must compromise and look for soundbars only with built-in surround speakers.

The result isn’t as good as using dedicated speakers, but it can still be pretty effective at opening up the sound field and creating a more exciting viewing experience.

Best 5.1 Soundbar System
Polk Audio MagniFi Max SR Soundbar System
What Is It: A good value mid-range 5.1 soundbar system from a respected home audio brand.
Pros:
  • Wireless subwoofer and rear speakers included
  • Center speaker for improved dialogue
  • Plenty of inputs including four HDMI ports
  • 4K/60Hz pass-through for HDMI inputs
Cons:
  • It doesn’t match the sound quality of more expensive systems
  • No Dolby Atmos
  • No voice control
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Top Pick: Polk Audio MagniFi Max SR

Polk Audio MagniFi Max SR Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
Polk Audio MagniFi Max SR Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
Image Credit: Polk Audio

While there are a few good options in this category, the choice that offers an outstanding balance between price and features is the Polk Audio MagniFi Max SR home theater soundbar.

This system has a large 43-inch soundbar, an 8-inch down-firing subwoofer and two wireless rear speakers. At 2.09 inches (53mm), this soundbar is also the lowest profile here, which might be helpful if you place the speaker under your TV.

There are numerous input connection options: four HDMI ports (3x inputs and 1x HDMI output), optical, 3.5mm stereo analog, Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect.

The primary HDMI connection for your TV only offers HDMI ARC and support for Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound audio, but this soundbar will pass through 4K/60Hz video from the other HDMI inputs.

Other suggestions in this category offer slightly better sound and build quality. But for the price, this is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a good value 5.1 soundbar system with rear speakers and plenty of input options.

Polk Audio MagniFi Max SR Specifications
Channels 5.1
Center Speaker Yes
Included Speakers 1x Soundbar, 1x Subwoofer, 2x Rear Speakers
Optional Add-on Speakers No
AV Connections 4x HDMI (ARC), 1x Optical, 1x 3.5mm Stereo Analog, Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay2, Spotify Connect
Other Connections 1x USB (for updates), 1x Ethernet
Dolby Atmos No
UHD/HDR Support 4K/60Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Voice Control No
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Digital, DTS, Stereo PCM
Dimensions: Soundbar (W x H x D) 43 x 2.09 x 3.78 in | 1092 x 53 x 96 mm
Weight: Soundbar (lbs/Kg) 6.05/2.74
Dimensions: Subwoofer (W x H x D) 14.6 x 14.5 x 12.1 in | 371 x 368 x 307 mm
Weight: Subwoofer (lbs/Kg) 13.5/6.12

Dolby Atmos Soundbars

When you reach a certain investment level, you can get an excellent soundbar system that can compete with an AV receiver and surround sound speaker package.

Maybe not the top-end products, but certainly the budget to mid-range models.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are relatively new audio formats that create a 3D sound in your room, taking 5.1 surround sound to another level.

If you place the speakers correctly, you will get sound from overhead – and effects moving around the room.

The beginner’s guide to Dolby Atmos audio explains more about this.

Newer soundbars are slowly adapting to this audio format and have upfiring Atmos speakers installed within the soundbar. 

This can sound OK, but dedicated speakers installed behind you will give the best Atmos effect.

Therefore, most models in this category have separate Dolby Atmos surround speakers. However, some rely on in-built upfiring drivers if you don’t want more speakers in the room.

Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar System
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC
Pros:
  • A powerful soundbar-based Dolby Atmos system.
  • Four adjustable surround speakers and two subwoofers.
  • More inputs than most comparable systems, including HDMI 2.1 eARC.
  • Support for all the main movie audio formats, including Dolby Atmos.
Cons:
  • Not the best-looking system.
  • With two subwoofers, it might be too big for smaller rooms.
  • No voice control.
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Top Pick: Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 EARC Soundbar System

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 EARC Soundbar System
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 EARC Soundbar System
Image Credit: Nakamichi

The choice for the best Dolby Atmos soundbar is the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 EARC soundbar system.

Nakamichi is a brand that has made some waves recently, and its systems come stacked with features. They blur the lines between the best soundbars and a full home theater audio system.

The Shockwafe Ultra soundbar is aimed at those who want a complete surround sound system in the room.

It offers 18 speaker drivers across the package, including four 2-way rear satellite speakers – and not one, but two 10-inch subwoofers.

Two subwoofers might be too much for a small room, but if you have space, it can help create a very even bass response for everyone.

Of course, having two subwoofers will also be a treat if you love to crank up the bottom end and rattle the windows.

This system has full support for the popular surround sound formats of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which is relatively rare for a package based around a soundbar, although it is becoming more widespread.

With the four surround speakers installed around your room, you will get a fully immersive surround sound experience.

There are an impressive three HDMI inputs for connecting external devices – plus an optical, coaxial and 3.5mm mini-jack, almost as many options as some AV receivers.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC Specifications
Channels 9.2.4
Center Speaker Yes
Included Speakers 1x Soundbar, 2x Subwoofer, 4x Rear Speakers
Optional Add-on Speakers No
AV Connections 3x HDMI (eARC), 1x Optical, 1x Coaxial, 1x 3.5mm Stereo Analog, Bluetooth
Other Connections 1x USB (updates only)
Dolby Atmos No
UHD/HDR Support 4K/60Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Voice Control No
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS, PCM Stereo & Multichannel
Dimensions: Soundbar (W x H x D) 45.5 x 3.6 x 3 in | 1156 x 91 x 76 mm
Weight: Soundbar (lbs/Kg) 6/2.7
Dimensions: Rear Speakers (W x H x D) 5.6 x 8.1 x 4.8 in | 142 x 2.6 x 122 mm
Weight: Rear Speakers (lbs/Kg) 2.9/1.3
Dimensions: Subwoofer (W x H x D) 12 x 20.2 x 13.6 in | 305 x 513 x 305 mm
Weight: Subwoofer (lbs/Kg) 23.8/10.8

High-End Soundbars

For many people, buying a soundbar is a simple choice because they want an easy way to improve the sound of their TV.

However, if you want the simplicity and flexibility of a soundbar but want something approaching audiophile or hi-fi sound quality, then it’s not so easy.

While soundbars have many advantages, most can’t offer the performance of a traditional amplifier and speaker system.

However, some leading audio brands have tried to bridge that gap by releasing soundbars with top-notch audio engineering inside.

These soundbars don’t come cheap, but they offer an alternative to those who want excellent sound quality.

Most of the models in this category consist of a standalone soundbar.

If you want a subwoofer and rear speakers, some models have optional speakers you can add to make a complete package – while others have audio outputs for adding your own speakers, like a subwoofer, for example.

Consider the type of system you want before choosing the best model.

Best High-End Soundbar
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
What Is It: A high-end soundbar with 13 speakers including two upfiring Dolby Atmos drivers.
Pros:
  • 5.1.4 speaker layout
  • Large 50-inch soundbar with a powerful sound
  • Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Atmos audio support
  • Plenty of connections, including an RCA output for any subwoofer
Cons:
  • Expensive for a standalone soundbar
  • You will need plenty of room to install this
  • No voice control
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Top Pick: Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max
Image Credit: Sennheiser

The choice for the best high-end soundbar is the Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar.

The Ambeo soundbar is a monster, and you must consider where to install it before buying.

The unit holds an impressive thirteen speaker drivers – six 4-inch woofers, five 1-inch aluminum dome tweeters and two up-firing full-range drivers.

The six woofers and three tweeters are placed along the front of the bar, while the other two tweeters are at each end to create width and surround effects.

There is a pre-out for connecting a subwoofer for extra deep bass, but it doesn’t come with one.

An eARC HDMI connection will handle all the audio from your TV, and there are three more HDMI inputs for external devices.

As you would expect with a high-end audio system, it supports all the audio formats you should need.

Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD for movies – plus LPCM 2.0 to 7.1, DSD and MPEG-H.

Sennheiser Ambeo Specifications
Channels 5.1.4
Center Speaker Yes
Included Speakers 1x Soundbar
Optional Add-on Speakers Any subwoofer using the RCA out
AV Connections 4x HDMI (eARC), 1x Optical, 1x RCA Stereo Analog, 1x USB, Bluetooth, AirPlay2, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect
Other Connections 1x RCA Sub Out, 1x Ethernet
Dolby Atmos Yes
UHD/HDR Support 4K/60Hz, HDR10
Voice Control No
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS, PCM Stereo & Multichannel
Dimensions: Soundbar (W x H x D) 49.8 x 5.3 x 6.7 in | 1265 x 135 x 171 mm (with feet)
Weight: Soundbar (lbs/Kg) 40.7/18.5

Which Features? How to Pick the Ideal Soundbar

Numerous soundbars are available in the market, making it hard to select the right one.

To help you choose a suitable soundbar for your listening requirements and setup, here are some essential factors to consider when shopping for one:

  1. Price: the quickest way to simplify your choice is to set a budget – and stick to it. The amount you are willing to spend will quickly narrow your choices. There are simple budget stereo soundbars – but the best soundbars can compete with high-end home theater systems.
  2. Number of Speakers: stereo only? 2.1 with a subwoofer? 3.1 with a center speaker? Dolby Atmos or dedicated surround sound speakers? There are many different types to choose from. Some soundbars have optional add-on speakers for surround sound and Dolby Atmos, which you can upgrade to later – but not all soundbars can do this.
  3. Connections: how does the soundbar connect to your TV – and will you be able to hear all the audio formats you need? Also, do you want to improve the sound from your TV or hear the audio from other external devices, too? If so, you’ll need more input connections.
  4. Other features: do you want to connect via Bluetooth? Or Wi-Fi and Ethernet for internet access? Do you want to be able to access streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.? All these little extras can make or break your choice.
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About The Author

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.

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