In this video we’re checking out the five best sound bars you can buy right now. I made this list based on my personal opinion and hours of research and I’ve listed them based on sound quality, ease of use, size and price. I’ve included options for every type of consumer so whether you’re looking for a budget option that gives you solid audio with some customization options or a luxurious sound bar that delivers a true surround sound cinematic experience all of the product for you.
Now everyone wants to spend hundreds of dollars for a quality sound. If you’re on a tighter budget, you’ll likely want to take a look at the Vizio 36” 2.1 Sound Bar which is our pick for the best budget sound bar on the market right now. The Vizio 36” 2.1 Sound Bar is a solid choice if you’re not looking to break the bank and costs around 100.
You get surprisingly powerful audio performance for the price along with Dolby audio and DTS virtual x support as well as Bluetooth capabilities in an easy-to-use sound bar. This 2.1 soundbar is small enough to fit underneath most TVS and it comes with two wall mount brackets as well. It gives you four main drivers with two 2.6-inch full range woofers and two subwoofers for increased bass response to deliver frequencies down to 50 hertz.
The subwoofers are complemented by two extra passive radiators that further enhance low frequencies. It comes with a remote control that gives you a few different options and I like that you can adjust the EQ to adjust the bass and treble to customize your soundscape, plus it comes with presets for music and movies.
There’s a good selection for connectivity including Bluetooth optical and three-and-a-half-millimeter audio inputs and a USB port to play stored music. While I would have liked to see an HDMI port the economical price makes up for this minor oversight.
I think the support for Dolby audio and DTS virtual x makes this a terrific value. Virtual x adds surround sound effects without needing expensive hardware. This feature should really enhance your experience watching films by adding some depth and timbre to create a better sense of movement.
The maximum volume is suitable for most needs, and it has plenty of bass presence. This sound bar is mainly geared towards cinematic sounds and the overall music performance is still respectable. Although bass heavy tracks can get somewhat distorted at high volumes.
The Vizio 36” 2.1 Sound Bar provides excellent value for the money and is the best budget sound bar on the market. You get solid base levels respectable maximum volume and the inclusion of DTS virtual x gives you virtual surround sound at an affordable price.
If you’re looking for a really solid sound bar that is still rather affordable, that has some of the best performance per dollar that you can find, the Yamaha YAS-209 is easily one of the best soundbars for the money. Priced at 350 the Yamaha YAS-209 gives you solid bang for the buck. You get a big and diverse soundstage integrated amazon Alexa support and clear and comprehensible dialogue.
The 209 has a sleek and thin design that comes with integrated screw holes for easy wall mounting. And it gives you four 1.75-inch drivers and two one-inch tweeters. It comes with a dedicated six-and-a-half-inch wireless subwoofer which adds versatility to your sound by enhancing the low-end frequencies.
You get a comprehensive range of connection options with Bluetooth and wi-fi support: a single 4k and HDR compatible, HDMI input arc, enabled HDMI output, along with optical and ethernet inputs. I think including Alexa support is a useful feature and adds to the value, but you need to download the companion app to enable it and to use the music streaming options.
The app offers a few different modes to adjust your soundscape including movie music, sports tv program and game modes. Well, I think some competitors get a bit louder and while it lacks the music cast feature the overall audio performance is respectable with adequate power.
You also get DTS virtual x sound here which uses psychoacoustic processing to simulate surround sound to deliver a bright and wide soundstage with solid dimensionality. I think the base extension mode is another important feature which noticeably boosts the bass performance without being overpowering so it blends nicely with the decent mid-range frequencies.
You even get the clear voice feature to enhance dialog projection which should enhance your viewing experience. Even though the overall music performance is solid you should switch it to stereo mode to avoid noticeable processing.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is a soundbar that gives you solid value for your money. You get good audio, adequate power and some helpful features that enhance your experience. This is a good bet for anyone looking for a cost-effective sound system.
Next up if you’re looking for something with great quality getting more into the home theater range the Samsung HW-Q800A is our top choice for a high-end soundbar for movies. The Samsung HW-Q800A is a great choice if you’re looking for an immersive movie sound experience and it will cost you around 750 dollars.
I think this is one of the best all-around powerful detailed and well-performing sound bars you can get in this price range. The Q800A is powerful with a total audio output power of 330 watts. You get a two-piece system with the main soundbar and a large eight-inch subwoofer to enhance the low-end response.
It provides a 3.1.2 channel system with three forward-facing channels where the left and right consist of a tweeter along with a mid-range and bass racetrack driver while the center is a single wide range tweeter. The sound is further enhanced by Samsung’s acoustic beam technology which directs sonic waves upwards to give you a bigger and more dispersed sound stage although the height can lack precision.
It also comes with an integrated microphone and Alexa support. I’m impressed with the functionality of the microphone which adjusts the clarity of dialogue based on ambient background noise. With the smartthings companion app you can choose between three different sound profiles including standard game mode pro and surround mode along with a customizable 7-band equalizer.
You get support for DTS X and Dolby atmos decoding. It also comes with a treble boosting voice enhancement for dialogue, a bass boost and a night mode that compresses dynamic and sub frequencies.
The overall sound stage is bright and detailed, the bass is booming and it gives you a solid sense of space. While it can sometimes struggle with cohesive rhythms this is typical of sound bars. Additionally, you can enhance the quality with features like space fit and automatic sound optimization by pairing it with a newer Samsung TV.
The Samsung HW-Q800A is the best soundbar for movies at this price. It’s a powerful system that gives you dynamic sound plenty of customizable settings, an intuitive companion app useful features to enhance your audio and it should bring your more immersive cinematic experience to a whole new level.
If you want something with great smart features and amazing overall performance the Sonos Arc may be a perfect option for you. The Sonos Arc is a top-end option and one of the best smart sound bars on the market and retails around 800.
The ARC features high quality audio output, a wealth of useful features and Dolby atmos support in an intelligently designed build. It gives you a total output power of 600 watts with eight elliptical woofers to deliver outstanding bass and mid-range response and three silk dome tweeters to deliver crisp highs.
While the physical unit might stand a bit high it comes with a built-in IR repeater to avoid blocking your remote signals. Plus, you can add additional Sonos speakers to enhance your experience. I think one of the standout abilities is the true play tuning feature which is their proprietary adaptive soundscape tool that analyzes your room to deliver the most optimal sonic output.
You can control it directly with the Sonos S2 app which also lets you adjust bass and treble levels to customize your soundscape. You can also get immersive Dolby atmos soundscapes that draw on Dolby true HD and digital plus sound codecs to provide you with high quality lossless audio by bouncing sounds off the walls of your environment; it provides convincing 3d surround sound from the bar itself.
The ARC also has a speech enhancement feature that bolsters dialogue. Along with a night sound feature that flattens dynamics and reduces the bass. Overall, the sound stage is precise with exceptional tonal evenness, powerful bass and clear treble, outstanding height and nice left right soundscape movement.
While I would have liked for music to be projected forward the overall music performance is stellar. It also works with google and Alexa voice assistants and supports music streaming services. The Sonos Arc is perfect for anyone who wants a high-quality listening experience. It has powerful drivers, excellent sound quality built-in voice assistance and a host of software features that make setup a breeze. Plus, the ARC is versatile and super convenient where you can control it via remote the app, your voice and apple airplay too.
Last up we’ve got the JBL Bar 9.1 with top notch true surround sound, a nice design, high end build quality and it’s earned the title the best sound bar for true surround sound. For 1000 dollars you get powerful audio, a balanced sound stage, wireless speakers for true surround sound and lots of bass depth.
JBL gives you a 400-watt sound bar that houses four racetrack style drivers, two up-firing full-range drivers and three one-inch tweeters. You also get a wireless 300-watt 10-inch subwoofer and 260-watt wireless surround sound speakers that deliver audio with up firing drivers and these have a battery life of 10 hours although this varies with usage.
You can charge the speakers directly from the bar which takes about three hours. Setup is simple with the automated audio calibration feature. It lacks a companion app but there’s a remote that makes it easy to switch between sources along with Chromecast airplay 2 and Bluetooth support.
While I would have preferred more than one HDMI input it passes ultra-HD 4k video with Dolby vision right to your display. It can also accept and decode Dolby atmos and DTS X for high quality processing and when combined with the wireless speakers you get an immersive true surround sound experience.
You can also toggle between two modes, smart mode which automatically applies. A movie eq setting to enhance surround effects, you’ll hear up mixed height cues in addition to the music eq preset that dials down the bass. And standard mode which has a normal eq preset that’s better for dialog heavy content.
While it lacks more advanced equalizer customization like treble volume adjustments, I think the night mode feature can help you in a pinch which dampens the audio’s dynamic range.
The JBL Bar 9.1 is an impressive sound bar that gives you true surround sound for a captivating viewing experience. You get a powerful system with a total output of 820 watts wireless speakers and overall impressive audio quality that has a powerful and refined bass clear dialogue and an overall balanced soundscape. While it can perform admirably with music it’s best suited for movie viewing.