10 Best Sound Bars
Living in a world where there is no presence of music can be super boring. Since ancient times people tend to become creative when it comes to producing music by making improvised instruments. Thankfully, we are in an era wherein technology is advanced, which also made our music listening more promising and much easier.
When it gets difficult for you to listen to your TV from across the room due to low sound, a quality sound bar comes in handy. To lots of people, sound bars are the best way to get excellent sound quality from a TV. They are slim and unobtrusive, simple and inexpensive, and quite easy to set up.
So what exactly is a sound bar? In simple terms, one can argue that it is a long thin rectangular bar with speakers. It aims at making sounds crystal clear. With it, voices come through crisp and distinct. Sound bars make whispered dialogues clear to all.
There are tons of sound bars in the market today, and although some are of exceptional quality, others will only end up disappointing you if you spend your hard earned money on them. Every sound bar comes with different features and thus the need to pay extra attention if you want to get the best.
Now that shopping for sound bars has proved to be a difficult task given the diversity of options, we’ve come up with this guide to ease your worries. You’ll not only get the chance to select the best sound bar for your home but also get to know what you need to look out for when going for one. You’ll also learn about the benefits you’ll enjoy for purchasing a sound bar. In thsi article, we have provided you with all the information such as sound bar vs sound base, FAQ and we have provided our top 10 recommendations for you to check it out.
10 Best Sound Bars
Best bass quality
Best budget sound bar
Best premium soundbar
Best sound bar for surround sound
Best wireless soundbar
Best easy to use the feature
Best for multiple connectivity
Best easy connectivity feature
Sound Bar Vs. Sound Base
Sound bars and sound bases perform the same function. The major difference is that sound bases are deeper and generally smaller in length than sound bars. They are designed to sit under the TV or on a shelf directly below your TV.
Sound bars, on the other hand, can be mounted on the wall under the TV or sit in front of your TV if the TV is placed on a table. It can also sit on a shelf below or above your TV if the TV is in a shelving system.
If you have enough space to place, you can get a larger sound base for your home, which is quite advantageous. The larger the speaker cabinet of a sound base, the greater the depth of the sound it can produce lessening the need for a subwoofer.
Benefits of Sound Bars
Ease of system set up and use
All the components of a sound bar come in an easy to assemble package. You won’t have to worry about setting up the speakers, running a maze of confusing wires, or solving technical issues. It will only take you a few minutes to set it up.
Sound bars produce much richer sounds than any other speaker can replicate. The reason for this is that they feature two precision technologies (amplification and audio processing) that set them apart from other speakers. The features are built into the system and carefully configured for outstanding performance.
When compared to home theatres, sound bars are way less expensive. You’ll spend less on them but still get the satisfaction you seek. Beware, however, that the best sound bars from famous brands like Yamaha and Bose can be expensive as well.
Occupy less space
Sound bars are slim and take very little space. That’s why they fit under mounted TVs or in front of table placed ones without obstructing your view. Even if you have a small living place, you won’t have to worry about where to set a sound bar, which is a great advantage.
Gives you full control
Most sound bars come with a remote control that allows you to operate it from across the room. You can, therefore, adjust the volume to your liking or lower it without moving from the comfort of your couch.
Buyer’s Guide for Sound Bars
The following are the things to consider when going for a sound bar for your home.
Sound bars vary in size, and you, therefore, need to know the size required for your TV. To get the right size, take the measurements diagonally as a sound bar size doesn’t relate to that of your TV screen. To get the correct size, you can also check the sound bar’s details online or read from the user manual.
You need to be careful when getting the size of a sound bar at it also helps determine where it’ll be placed. Whether directly below the TV or to be wall mounted.
Always go for a sound bar with a variety of connectivity options. The first thing you need to ensure is that it supports Bluetooth. This feature enables you to send music from different devices such as tablets, smartphones, and computers to your soundbar, making it possible for you to play it on your TV.
Another connectivity feature you need to look out for in a sound bar is the HDMI ARC. It allows you to connect the soundbar to your TV’s audio return channel. It is especially useful for multi-channel sound bars.
Optical Port happens to be one of the most straightforward, easiest, and most reliable connections available for a sound bar. It gives you a stable, best case scenario connection between your TV set and the sound bar. The only problem, however, is that it doesn’t have the bandwidth to carry over 5.1 signals.
Channels and Dolby Atmos
The sound bar you go for should have three or more channels. The more, the better. Sound bar channels can be said to be sound sources or individual speakers. When buying a sound bar, you’ll see numbers such as 3.1,2.0,5.1, among others. These numbers relate to the number of channels the sound bar has and if it comes with a subwoofer or not.
Take for example, in a sound bar with numbers 3.1, the first number (3) coincides with the number of drivers while the one after the dot (1) indicates that the sound bar comes with a subwoofer. Where the number after the dot is 0, it means that the sound bar doesn’t have a subwoofer.
Where you come across a sound bar with three numbers, for example, 5.1.4, it means that the sound bar features Dolby Atmos surround sound. The last number (4) is the number of drivers of the sound bar that shoots up towards the ceiling and then spring back to create an encompassing sound.
A remote control gives you the chance to enjoy and control your entertainment without having to walk near the soundbar from time to time for volume adjustments. Most sound bars come with remote controls but to ensure that you have one, check that it is indeed in the sound bar of your choice. Also, ensure that the remote of your sound bar has easy to press buttons.
Ease of use
Of what use is it going for a sound bar that you can barely use or one that subjects you to difficulties every time you want to use it? Get one that you can use with ease as this makes a tremendous long-time investment if you can get a sound bar with a display and controls, the better.
Great speech quality
The most common reason for going after a sound bar is to make a speech on your TV and films sound clearer. Some TV’s often make dialogues and sound muffled and unclear, making it difficult for you to tell whatever is going on. Always go for a sound bar with a voice enhancement setting that helps in sharpening dialogues enabling you to hear clearly.
Attractive and practical design
Always look for a well-designed sound bar now that it’ll sit in front of your TV in your living space. Also, check to ensure that the sound bar doesn’t stand out much as it can become a distraction.
Sound bars with a voice assistant
Although this isn’t a must, sound bars with built-in voice control stand out. They are becoming increasingly popular. A sound bar with built-in Alexa allows you to use voice control to play, rewind, and even pause your TV. The voice acts as an alternative to a remote.
Always consider your budget before you buy the sound bar of your choice; ask yourself whether you are willing to spend a specified amount on a sound bar or not. You also need to ask yourself whether you are ready to spend all your savings on it. If you find that you can comfortably get it without straining your budget, go ahead and get it.
Always ensure that any electronic item you get for your home comes with a warranty. Remember that most come at a high price and you don’t want to risk spending all the money on an item, then it fails to work after a few days of use. If without a warranty, there’s nothing that you can do. All your money will go into the drain. If with a warranty, then, you are sure to get a replacement.
It gives you the privilege to use the soundbar directly with an application on your phone so that you can listen to your playlists that are saved into it.
Active/passive soundbar –
Passive soundbars are composed of one or more speakers on every front channel, and at the back of it, you can find a connection wherein you need to link to a receiver. While an active soundbar, are typically the more expensive one between the two as it provides more enhanced sound quality. It also gives you the privilege to have a notion of rear and side surround sound without putting up extra speakers on your room.
Top 10 Best Sound Bars
1. Yamaha YAS-108 SoundBar – Our pick
First on our list is this sound bar from Yamaha that comes with a built-in subwoofer for deep bass. The bar produces clear voices and ensures that you can hear everything from your TV. With it, you won’t have to strain your ears for clarity anymore.
To ensure that you enjoy your favorite music, the sound bar comes with Bluetooth version 5.0 that allows easy switching between devices. It also comes in an improved design and will make your living look lively at all times. The device’s clear mode brings the dialogue and sound of narration to the fore while maintaining the overall sounds.
It also comes with HDMI optical or AUX connection for your TV and also extremely easy to assemble. Set up is a breeze with just a simple cable to your TV. It comes with simple wall mounting key holes and a built-in gyroscope to optimize sound. This, however, depends on whether you position the sound bar vertically or flat.
- Comes with Bluetooth version 5.0 that makes it easy for you to stream your favorite music from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- Has a built-in subwoofer for deep bass that offers a clear voice for enhanced dialogue clarity
- Comes with simple wall mounting key holes that make it easy to position it on the wall.
- Has a built-in gyroscope for sound optimization depending on the positioning of the sound bar
- Has excellent voice clarity
- Easy to set up and mount
- Connectivity with Bluetooth is a breeze.
- Comes with a built-in subwoofer
- Highly Priced
2. Boat AAVANTE Bar Soundbar – Best bass quality
This sound bar is robustly made with a sleek and cool touch. It comes with 120 Watt RMS sound and with a beautiful sub-woofer. It is premium finishing will complement the furnishings in your home and make the place to look great at all times.
Its 2.1 channel surround sound will provide you with a somewhat cinematic experience. It will enhance the way you receive entertainment every time you watch your TV at home. It has multiple connectivity modes, all of which ensure that you get thoroughly entertained by your favorite music, movies, or TV programs.
This soundbar utilizes high-end equalizer technology that optimizes the sound output according to the source of your audio and entertainment needs. If looking for a soundbar that will enable you to enjoy watching your TV, consider giving this one a try.
- Comes in a sleek design with premium finishing to complement your home’s furnishing
- Comes with a built-in bass subwoofer
- Has multiple connectivity modes like Bluetooth, Optic, USB, and AUX
- Utilizes high-end equalizer technology optimizing the sound quality according to your source of entertainment
- This soundbar is versatile because it can fit almost all kinds of the environment, which makes it perfect to use on various occasions.
- Has great bass quality
- Premium finishing that makes it perfect home décor
- Long enough to match your 42-inch TV
- Reasonably priced
- Attracts dust with ease
- Doesn’t have the HDMI cable
- Substandard remote build quality
3. Portronics POR-891 Sound Bar – Best budget sound bar
If looking for a portable, versatile and easy to connect sound bar, give this soundbar from Portronics a try. It comes with two 5W powerful speakers that offer fantastic sound quality. With this sound bar, you won’t have to move your chair near your TV for clarity anymore.
Should power get lost, you won’t have to worry when you have this soundbar with you. It has a 2500 mAh lithium battery that provides playtime for more than seven hours. It has different connectivity modes like Bluetooth 4.2, AUX, and USB, which enable you to connect your latest devices to this sound bar with ease.
The sound bar has a powerful grill body of around 930 grams that packs to punch around the spectrum. It comes with a mode button that you can press when you want to change the mode. Itwill orally announce the current mode.
- Has cool looks and a robust design that makes it durable
- Comes with a 2500 mAh lithium battery that provides playtime of more than 7 hours
- Has two 5W inbuilt speakers that offer fantastic sound output
- Comes with a pressing mode button that makes it easy for you to change the modes
- Comes in a robust design thus long lasting
- Offers premium sound quality
- Easy to connect and use
- Comes at an affordable price
- Buttons are a little confusing and hard to navigate
- Poor FM connectivity
4. Bose Solo 5 Sound Bar Speakers – Best premium soundbar
You’ll never hear of the best soundbar brands with the name Bose not in the list. Bose sound bars are well known for their high-quality and efficiency, and you’ll, therefore, most probably never get disappointed by one from them.
This single soundbar will provide you with the better sound quality compared to TV. It makes every word and detail to stand out once set up. It’s Bluetooth enabled as well to allow you to stream your favorite music from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
This soundbar comes with a universal remote control that gives you full control to your TV, bass, Bluetooth connections, and more. It comes engineered in such a way that helps to reproduce everything from dialogue to details.
The sound bar is versatile enough, making it easy for you to place it anywhere, in front of your TV or mounted on the wall.
- A single soundbar that provides better sound quality than your TV
- Comes in dialogue mode that makes every word and detail to stand out
- Bluetooth connectivity helps you to stream music from your devices wirelessly.
- Comes with a universal remote control
- Easy to set up
- Sturdy design and thus durable
- Compact in size
- Dedicated dialogue mode
- Not for wide open living areas
- No HDMI connectivity
- Lacks in stereo effect
5. SONY HT-CT290 2.1 Sound Bar – High-quality
You can never go wrong by selecting a sound bar from Sony if your TV keeps disappointing you with low sound. This 2.1 channel wireless cinematic sound bar will help you a great deal by ensuring that you have an easy time when listening to your favorite music or watching your favorite TV programs.
Now that this soundbar is Bluetooth enabled, you can enjoy listening to your favorite music from any of your devices with a lot of ease. Drivers at each end of this sound bar always deliver a clear mid-high range while the wireless subwoofer it comes with fills in the rumbling lows.
Its S-force PRO front surrounds technology places you at the heart of movies you love by emulating the cinema-style surround style. The sound bar also gives you the chance to enjoy your USB content now that it comes with a USB slot. All you have to do is plug in your USB into CT290 USB slot and enjoy high-quality audio.
It has a 300W rated power output and will connect to your TV over a single cable and with ease. It comes with an elegant tabletop and wall mount design and will always look great in your living space.
- Has a CT290 soundbar USB slot that makes it easy for you to enjoy music from your USB
- Has a 300W rated power output and supports Dolby Atmos
- Comes in an elegant tabletop and wall mount design that makes your living space lively
- Connects to your TV over a single cable with HDMI ARC
- Easy installation and Bluetooth connection
- Produces high-quality and crystal clear sound
- Acts as décor to your living space
- Comes with a wireless subwoofer
- No HDMI cable
- The subwoofer gives low bass
- Highly Priced
6. Rhythm&Blues SB100 Soundbar – Best sound bar for surround sound
If looking forward to enjoying rich cinematic music experience from a sound bar, consider trying Rhythm&Blues out. It has powerful 120W output and with bombastic bass capabilities. With it, you’ll probably never regret making it your perfect choice.
The sound bar comes with multiple connectivity options like Bluetooth 5.0, AUV, Toslink, HDM(ARC) and RCA. It is compatible with both Android and IOS devices and will thus give you full access to your favorite music. It also gives you a chance to enjoy watching your favorite movies and TV programs.
The sound bar is aesthetically designed and comes with built-in wall brackets for easy wall mounting. You can also choose to place it on the TV unit as it is unobtrusive. Its classy and premium design will always make it appear as an additional décor to your room.
This sound bar also comes with a remote control that gives full control over the sound. With it, you’ll never strain your ears in a bid to hear the dialogue on your TV anymore.
- Comes with multiple connectivity options for your soundbar and TV as well
- It is aesthetically designed with built-in wall brackets that make it easy to mount it.
- Comes with a remote control that makes it easy for you to access its music settings
- Compatible with Android and iOS devices giving you full-time access to music
- Can easily hang on the wall
- Gives you complete control
- Comes at a reasonable price
- Has a sleek and premium design
- Bass not up to the mark
7. Mi Sound Bar 8 Speaker Driver – Best wireless soundbar
This sound bar features eight sound drives that will help to improve your movie viewing, music playback, and gameplay. It takes the sound from your TV, computer or mobile device and transforms it into a theatre like an experience. With it, watching your TV will always be a lot of fun.
The sound bar connects your mobile device effortlessly via Bluetooth, Optical, AUX-in, and SIPDIF connections. You will, as a result, get the chance to listen to your favorite music at all times when relaxing at home. It has enhanced base with passive radiators for top-notch entertainment.
It comes in a minimalistic design and in a modern gray tone that sits well with any décor scheme. This no-fuss design makes it easy for you to set it up; it’ll only take you a few minutes. It has a fabric mesh overlay that makes a perfect match for your TV.
You can mount the soundbar on the wall with screws or place it on a table top in front of your TV has rubber grips that keep it firm on any surfaces, is lightweight and also easy to use.
- Features 8 sound drives that improve your movie viewing, music playback and gameplay
- Easy to connect to your phone or laptop via Bluetooth 4.2 for your favorite songs
- Comes in a minimalistic design that makes it easy to set up
- Comes in a modern gray tone that sits well with almost every décor scheme
- Brings a cinematic experience to your home
- Connects to your laptop or phone with ease
- Stylishly designed and easy to set up
- Lightweight, sturdy and easy to use
- Since it is compact, expect that it will not consume too much space on your home.
- No return policy
- No remote control
- Sound quality not up to the mark
8. JBL Bar Studio Wireless Sound Bar – Best easy to use the feature
This all in one sound bar by JBL comes with a built-in dual bass design and surround sound to help you enjoy your moments in front of the TV. With it, you’ll never have to worry about the low sound that your TV produces anymore as it’ll get you covered.
The soundbar enables you to stream your favorite music from your phone or tablet since it is Bluetooth enabled. It is slim and perfectly designed to provide you with the satisfaction you seek. It is also effortless for you and your kin to use.
It comes with a remote control that makes it easy for you to control it in the way that you want to. Should this remote fail to work, you can use your TV remote as the soundbar can work with it too. It is easy to set up using only one HDMI cable to connect it to your TV.
This soundbar is very compact, and light in weight and also comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Supports Bluetooth making it easy for you to stream your favorite music at all times
- Works perfectly with your TV remote control
- Requires only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV
- Includes optical cable and AUX cable
- It only consumes 30 watts of electricity, that is why it will surely save you a lot of money from your electricity bills.
- Extremely easy to use
- Comes with a warranty
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to set up
- Sound not enough for larger living spaces
9. Instaplay INSTA500BT Sound Bar – Best for multiple connectivity
If looking forward to a cinematic experience from a sound bar without having to spend much on it, try this soundbar from Instaplay. It comes with an integrated 4.0 channel output and 60W powerful sound to provide your home with the experience you seek.
This sound bar offers an essential feature and input for a digitally clear and enhanced sound. It comes with a 3.5mm AUX cable to connect whether with or without Bluetooth. The good news is that it supports 5.0 Bluetooth that enables seamless and wireless streaming with a wide range of devices.
It has four built-in drivers that provide you with the ultimate surround sound environment and a heart-thumping rich bass. It adds a whole new experience of watching TV programs and movies as well as listening to music. It is easy to mount on the wall or place it on a table top when using it.
- Has 60W powerful sound and integrated 4.0 channel output to provide your home with a cinematic experience.
- Comes with a 3.5mm cable to connect to your TV with or without Bluetooth
- Comes with multiple connection options that allow you to stream your favorite music from your phone, tablet, and other devices.
- Has four built-in drivers that provide heart thumping rich bass and an ultimate surround sound environment.
- Provides astonishing cinematic experience
- Has multiple connectivity options
- Comes in a sleek and stylish design
- Easy Bluetooth connectivity
- Treble quality not up to the mark
10. Samsung HW K350 Sound Bar – Best easy connectivity feature
Last on our list is the soundbar from Samsung that will transform your home to a haven for fulfilling entertainment. It comes with a powerful subwoofer and can easily replace a powerful home theater. It comes with options for bass, treble and subwoofer sound adjustments and thus the best.
This sound bar comes with five sound modes allowing you a chance to select one that suits you best and to your convenience. When it comes to Bluetooth connectivity, this sound bar connects with ease enabling you to stream your favorite audio from your phone. It also comes with a USB slot that also makes audio streaming easy.
The sound bar has two speakers that offer superb sound quality and bass. It has 150W power output and also comes with remote control. It is easy to set up and use and will also look great in your living space. You can also mount it on the wall with ease or choose to place it on a tabletop when in use.
- Has 2.1 channels and 150W total power
- Comes with a remote control that gives you complete control
- Has a USB slot that gives you a chance to listen to your favorite music
- Allows you to stream music via Bluetooth wirelessly
- Comes with a USB slot
- Easy connectivity
- Gives you complete control
- Compact and stylish
- No HDMI connectivity
- Accumulates dust with ease
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I add speakers to a sound bar?
There are those sound bars that you can add to and others that you can’t. Some modern soundbars come with additional speakers as part of the system. Getting one with speakers gets you much closer to real home theater sound.
You can also add wireless rear speakers if your sound bar is multi-room capable like in Bose and Sonos brands. It’s always a great option if you want to set up a multi-room audio system in your home.
2. Must I use the remote that comes with the sound bar?
Most sound bars come with a remote, some great while others are pretty grummy. Check the remote first before you pay for the sound bar to ensure that it is in good quality. You also need to ensure that you can get replacement batteries from local stores if you don’t want to find yourself in a tight spot in the future.
The good thing, however, is that nowadays, most manufacturers enable you to use your TV’s remote by making Soundbars that are compatible with them.
3. Should I get a sound bar with a front panel display?
Most sound bars don’t come with a true front display. As a result, you won’t get much visual feedback as to how loud the volume is. A front panel display would be excellent, especially where it is well hidden. However, this is not necessary as all you need to do is adjust the volume to a level you are most comfortable with.
4. What is the difference between active and passive speakers?
Soundbars with active speakers are those that come with a built-in amplifier that powers everything. This amplifier also powers the channel’s processors that generally separate right, left and center speaker.
A sound bar with passive speakers, on the other hand, is one that comes without the built-in amplifier and thus requires an amplifier or receiver to work. Such speakers have a better sound meaning that they are also useful as well.
Passive speakers are way more expensive than the active ones and also require you to connect more components with them.
5. Does a subwoofer make a difference in a sound bar?
Subwoofers make a huge difference. If you want your sound system to vibrate with intense hums or get the full effect from a movie scene, a subwoofer is a sure bet as it will make all the difference. Most sound bars nowadays come with subwoofers, which is a great thing.
If you can get a wireless subwoofer for your soundbar, the better as these are less cumbersome.
6. Is a soundbar worth it?
A sound bar is worth it. It will give you better sound than ever possible with your TV and can even turn the experience to a cinematic one. At times, sound bars offer excellent fidelity for movies and music.
7. Can I use any sound bar on my TV?
Yes, you can. Most theater gadgets nowadays use HDMI, but that doesn’t suggest that you necessarily need HDMI ports on your soundbar. Instead, you can connect your home theater devices directly to your TV and then use the TV’s audio output to connect to the sound bar.
8. What is the purpose of a sound bar?
A sound bar is an all in one speaker that helps to deliver high-quality TV sound without requiring the complexity, space, and expense of a home theater. With it, you don’t need a surround sound speaker at all.
9. Does a sound bar need a receiver?
A soundbar doesn’t require a receiver. It comes with several speakers and the electronics to power them all in one thin enclosure that you connect to your TV. Some come with separate subwoofers that are usually wireless. Others come with rear speakers to create a full surround sound system.
10. Can I put my TV’s sound bar on the floor?
But why would you do that? The most obvious place to place your sound bar is always on the wall directly under your TV if your TV is wall mounted. Not on top or behind it. If you’ve placed the TV on a tabletop, place the soundbar in front of the TV. It won’t obstruct your view since sound bars are extremely thin.
One thing to note is that you should never place anything in front of your sound bar as that might obstruct the sound.
If you’ve been struggling with the sound of your TV, it’s high time you got yourself a sound bar as it will make all the difference. Our favorites from the list include; Yamaha YAS 108 Sound Bar ranked; first, Sony HT-CT290 Dolby Digital Sound Bar ranked 5th, and Instaplay INSTA500BT 60W Bluetooth Sound Bar ranked 9th.
Yamaha YAS soundbar, though highly priced has a clear voice mode that brings the sound of dialogue and narration to the fore enabling you to hear every speech from your TV with ease. Sony HT-CT290, on the other hand, is easy to install and also connects with Bluetooth easily giving a chance to enjoy your favorite music. Instaplay INSTA500BT 60W Bluetooth Sound Bar comes at a reasonable price but will still provide you with an extraordinary cinematic experience.
All the soundbars on the list work great and will bring a whole new experience to your home. Select the one that suits your home best and enjoy a thrilling entertainment experience.