Are you tired of straining to hear dialogue during movies or TV shows? Do you find yourself constantly adjusting the volume because the music is too loud and the dialogue is too quiet? You’re not alone. This is where soundbars come in handy. Follow along in our comprehensive guide to find the best soundbars in 2023.
What is a soundbar, you ask? Well, a soundbar is a compact audio system that is designed to enhance your TV’s audio. It is a long, slender speaker that can be mounted on a wall or placed on a table in front of your TV. It contains multiple speakers that work together to deliver clear, balanced sound.
Gone are the days when you needed a massive home theater system to enjoy high-quality sound. With a soundbar, you can enjoy immersive audio without the bulk of traditional audio systems. Soundbars are perfect for anyone who wants to improve their TV’s sound quality without spending a fortune.
Soundbars are easy to set up and use. Most models come with an HDMI or optical cable that you can connect to your TV. You can also connect your soundbar wirelessly using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Some soundbars come with a separate subwoofer, which adds depth to the sound.
- Polk Audio React — Best budget soundbar
- Roku Streambar — Best budget soundbar, runner-up
- Vizio M-Series M512a-H6 — Best mid-range soundbar
- Sonos Beam (2nd gen) — Best mid-range soundbar, runner-up
- LG S95QR — Best high-end soundbar
- Vizio Elevate — Best high-end soundbar, runner-up
- Samsung HW-Q990B — Best high-end soundbar for Samsung TV owners
- Sony HT-A5000 — Best high-end soundbar and wireless speaker package
- Soundbar features you should look for when buying a soundbar:
Polk Audio React — Best budget soundbar
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to improve your TV’s audio, the Polk Audio React soundbar might just be the perfect option for you. It’s one of the best budget soundbars on the market that delivers quality sound without breaking the bank.
The Polk Audio React comes with two full-range drivers, a dedicated center channel, and a wireless subwoofer that helps to create a powerful and immersive sound experience. The soundbar is also equipped with Polk’s Voice Adjust technology, which lets you customize the voice levels and make them clearer and more distinct.
Another great feature of the Polk Audio React is its compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This allows you to control the soundbar with your voice and access other smart features such as setting reminders, checking the weather, and even controlling other smart home devices.
In terms of connectivity, the Polk Audio React has HDMI ARC, optical, and Bluetooth connectivity options. This gives you the flexibility to connect to a variety of devices such as your TV, gaming console, or smartphone.
Overall, the Polk Audio React is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly soundbar that delivers quality sound and some great features. It’s perfect for small to medium-sized rooms and provides a solid upgrade to your TV’s built-in speakers.
Roku Streambar — Best budget soundbar, runner-up
If you’re looking for a soundbar that can double as a streaming device, the Roku Streambar is an excellent choice. Priced at around $130, it’s a great option for those on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice sound quality. The Streambar is easy to set up and comes with a simple remote that makes it easy to navigate your favorite streaming apps. It’s also compact and won’t take up too much space in your entertainment setup.
In terms of sound quality, the Streambar packs a punch for its price. It has four 1.9-inch full-range drivers and a 3.5-inch woofer, which deliver clear and dynamic sound. The built-in Dolby Audio technology helps to enhance the overall audio experience, making it easy to hear dialogue and sound effects clearly. Additionally, the Streambar has a “speech clarity” feature that can further enhance dialogue clarity, which is especially useful if you watch a lot of TV shows and movies.
The Streambar also offers a range of connectivity options. It has Bluetooth, so you can easily stream music from your phone or tablet, and it also has an HDMI port that supports 4K HDR content. This means you can use the Streambar as a hub for your entire entertainment setup, connecting your TV, gaming console, and other devices to it for a seamless audio experience. Overall, the Roku Streambar is a great choice for those who want a versatile soundbar that won’t break the bank.
Vizio M-Series M512a-H6 — Best mid-range soundbar
If you are looking for the best mid-range soundbar, then the Vizio M-Series M512a-H6 is a great option to consider. It has a sleek design that fits seamlessly with any TV and can easily enhance your audio experience.
One of the standout features of this soundbar is its immersive sound quality. With Dolby Atmos technology and DTS:X support, you can expect a true surround sound experience. It has a 5.1 channel system that can produce sound in every direction, including overhead, which gives you a cinematic audio experience from the comfort of your own home.
Another notable feature is the built-in Google Chromecast. With this, you can easily stream your favorite music and podcasts directly to the soundbar from your phone or tablet. The Vizio M-Series also has Bluetooth connectivity, which lets you connect your devices without the need for wires.
The Vizio M-Series also has an intuitive remote control that is easy to use. It has dedicated buttons for popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, allowing you to quickly and easily access your favorite content.
When it comes to connectivity, the Vizio M-Series offers several options. It has an HDMI input, an HDMI ARC output, and an optical input, giving you flexibility in how you want to connect the soundbar to your TV or other devices.
Overall, the Vizio M-Series M512a-H6 is a great mid-range soundbar that offers impressive audio quality and a range of features that make it a great addition to any home entertainment setup.
Sonos Beam (2nd gen) — Best mid-range soundbar, runner-up
If you’re looking for a mid-range soundbar that provides a great sound experience, the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) is an excellent choice. This soundbar is an upgrade to the original Beam and has improved upon its predecessor in several ways. One of the most significant improvements is the processing power. The second-generation Beam is equipped with a more powerful processor, allowing it to deliver even better sound quality.
Another notable improvement is the addition of Dolby Atmos, a surround sound technology that creates a 3D sound experience. With Dolby Atmos, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the action when you’re watching your favorite movies or TV shows. The Sonos Beam (2nd gen) also has a wider soundstage, creating a more immersive experience.
In addition to the excellent sound quality, the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) has a sleek and modern design that looks great in any room. The soundbar is compact, making it a great choice for those who have limited space. The Beam also has Alexa built-in, allowing you to use voice commands to control your TV and other smart devices in your home.
One of the best features of the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) is the ability to expand your sound system with other Sonos speakers. With the Sonos app, you can add two Sonos One speakers to create a 5.1 surround sound system. This is an excellent option for those who want a more immersive sound experience.
Overall, the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) is an excellent mid-range soundbar that provides great sound quality and a modern design. With its powerful processor, Dolby Atmos, and the ability to expand your sound system with other Sonos speakers, the Sonos Beam (2nd gen) is a great choice for those who want a more immersive sound experience.
LG S95QR — Best high-end soundbar
If you are looking for a high-end soundbar that can deliver an exceptional audio experience, you should consider the LG S95QR. This soundbar has a sleek and elegant design that can complement any home entertainment setup. The S95QR is equipped with advanced technologies that make it one of the best soundbars in the market today.
One of the key features of the LG S95QR is its 7.1.2 channel sound system. This means that the soundbar has seven speakers, one subwoofer, and two up-firing speakers that create a three-dimensional soundstage. The soundbar also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies that can create an immersive audio experience that makes you feel like you are in the middle of the action.
The LG S95QR has a total power output of 520 watts, which is sufficient to fill a large room with clear and detailed sound. The soundbar is also compatible with high-resolution audio formats like FLAC, WAV, and AIFF, which can deliver superior sound quality compared to compressed audio formats like MP3.
Another impressive feature of the LG S95QR is its AI Sound Pro technology. This feature can automatically optimize the sound settings of the soundbar depending on the content that you are watching. For instance, if you are watching a movie, the soundbar can adjust the sound settings to deliver a cinematic experience. If you are watching a sports game, the soundbar can adjust the sound settings to enhance the commentary and crowd noise.
The LG S95QR also has built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support. This means that you can control the soundbar using voice commands. You can ask the soundbar to play music, adjust the volume, or control other smart devices in your home. The soundbar also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to stream music wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet.
Overall, the LG S95QR is an excellent high-end soundbar that can deliver exceptional sound quality and a range of advanced features. If you are looking for a premium soundbar that can enhance your home entertainment experience, the LG S95QR is definitely worth considering.
Vizio Elevate — Best high-end soundbar, runner-up
If you are looking for a high-end soundbar that can deliver immersive sound for your home theater setup, the Vizio Elevate is an excellent option to consider. It is our runner-up pick for the best high-end soundbar, and for a good reason.
The Vizio Elevate is a 5.1.4 channel soundbar with a sleek and modern design. It has a built-in Google Chromecast, Bluetooth connectivity, and can be controlled via a remote or the Vizio SmartCast app. The soundbar also features two up-firing speakers that can create an overhead sound effect, adding to the immersive experience.
One unique feature of the Vizio Elevate is its rotating speakers. The two speakers at the ends of the soundbar can rotate upward to deliver the Dolby Atmos sound effect. This feature is not only impressive but also effective in delivering a more accurate and immersive sound. The soundbar can also deliver clear dialogue, thanks to its center channel, which separates speech from other sounds, making it easier to hear and understand what is being said.
When it comes to performance, the Vizio Elevate is excellent. It delivers clear and well-balanced sound across different frequencies. The bass is powerful, making action movies and music sound great, and it can go very loud without any distortion. The soundstage is also wide and immersive, making it feel like you are in the middle of the action.
Overall, the Vizio Elevate is a great soundbar that can deliver an immersive and impressive audio experience for your home theater setup. Its unique rotating speakers and Dolby Atmos support add to the immersive experience, and it performs well across different genres of music and movies. Although it is slightly more expensive than some other high-end soundbars on the market, it is still a great investment for audiophiles looking for an exceptional audio experience.
Samsung HW-Q990B — Best high-end soundbar for Samsung TV owners
The Samsung HW-Q990B is a high-end soundbar that offers an impressive audio experience for Samsung TV owners. It is a premium soundbar that is designed to deliver immersive, powerful, and crystal-clear sound quality that takes your TV viewing experience to the next level.
The HW-Q990B has a 7.1.4 channel system that comprises 17 built-in speakers, including two wireless rear speakers and a subwoofer. It has a powerful output of 512 watts, making it one of the most powerful soundbars available in the market. The speakers are strategically positioned to deliver a surround sound experience that fills the room and makes you feel like you are part of the action.
This soundbar is built to work best with Samsung TVs, and it has a host of features that make it easy to use and integrate into your home entertainment system. It comes with Samsung’s Q-Symphony technology, which syncs the soundbar’s audio with your Samsung TV’s speakers to create a more cohesive and immersive audio experience.
The HW-Q990B also has various connectivity options that allow you to connect it to your TV and other devices with ease. It supports HDMI eARC, which allows for lossless audio transmission from your TV to the soundbar. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to connect your smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices to the soundbar and play your favorite music wirelessly.
The Samsung HW-Q990B also comes with a sleek and modern design that blends well with any living room decor. The soundbar has a slim profile that does not take up much space and can be easily mounted on the wall. The wireless rear speakers are also easy to install, and you do not have to worry about unsightly wires cluttering your space.
In conclusion, if you are a Samsung TV owner looking for a high-end soundbar that delivers a premium audio experience, the Samsung HW-Q990B is an excellent choice. It is a powerful and versatile soundbar that offers exceptional sound quality, easy integration with your TV, and a sleek and modern design. With this soundbar, you can take your TV viewing experience to the next level and enjoy immersive and powerful sound quality like never before.
Sony HT-A5000 — Best high-end soundbar and wireless speaker package
If you’re in the market for a high-end soundbar that doubles as a wireless speaker package, the Sony HT-A5000 is a fantastic choice. This soundbar is equipped with several cutting-edge features that make it stand out from the competition.
One of the most impressive features of the HT-A5000 is its 3D audio capabilities. This soundbar uses Sony’s unique Spatial Sound Technology to produce immersive 3D sound that puts you right in the middle of the action. Whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, the HT-A5000 will give you an experience that truly feels like you’re part of the scene.
Another standout feature of the HT-A5000 is its wireless connectivity. With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, this soundbar makes it easy to stream music from your phone or other devices. And if you have other Sony speakers in your home, you can connect them to the HT-A5000 wirelessly to create a complete surround sound system.
Of course, sound quality is always a top priority when it comes to a high-end soundbar, and the HT-A5000 doesn’t disappoint in this area. With seven built-in speakers, including two up-firing drivers, this soundbar delivers crisp, clear sound that fills the room. And if you want even more bass, you can add on the optional wireless subwoofer for an even more immersive experience.
Finally, the HT-A5000 has a sleek and modern design that looks great in any home theater setup. With its slim profile and minimalist design, this soundbar won’t take up too much space in your living room, and it can be easily mounted on the wall for a seamless look.
All in all, the Sony HT-A5000 is a top-of-the-line soundbar that offers incredible features and outstanding sound quality. Whether you’re a serious audiophile or just someone who wants the best possible audio experience when watching TV or listening to music, the HT-A5000 is definitely worth considering.
Soundbar features you should look for when buying a soundbar:
When shopping for a soundbar, there are a few key features that you should look for to make sure you get the best possible audio experience for your TV.
First and foremost, consider the size and shape of the soundbar. It should be wide enough to match the width of your TV, or even slightly wider, to ensure that the audio is properly balanced with the visuals. Additionally, the shape of the soundbar can make a difference in the sound quality. Some soundbars are designed to be mounted on the wall, while others are meant to sit on a table or entertainment center. Consider your space and preferences when choosing a soundbar shape.
Another important feature to consider is the number and type of audio inputs on the soundbar. Most soundbars will have at least one HDMI input for connecting to your TV, but you may also want to look for options with additional inputs such as optical or RCA. This can be particularly useful if you have multiple devices that you want to connect to your soundbar, such as a gaming console or Blu-ray player.
Next, consider the type of audio processing and sound enhancement features that the soundbar offers. Many soundbars come with various sound modes, such as cinema or music mode, which can enhance the sound quality depending on the content you are watching. Some soundbars also come with advanced features such as virtual surround sound or Dolby Atmos, which can provide a more immersive audio experience.
Finally, pay attention to the included remote control and any additional features that the soundbar may offer. Some soundbars come with built-in voice assistants, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, which can allow for hands-free control of your soundbar and other smart home devices. Others may come with a mobile app that allows you to adjust the sound settings or stream music directly to the soundbar.
In conclusion, when buying a soundbar, consider the size and shape of the soundbar, the number and type of audio inputs, the type of audio processing and sound enhancement features, and any additional features such as voice assistants or mobile apps. By paying attention to these key features, you can ensure that you get the best possible audio experience for your TV.
In summary, a soundbar is an excellent way to enhance your TV’s audio experience. With the numerous options in the market, it can be challenging to pick the right soundbar for you. The best soundbar for you will depend on your needs, budget, and the features you require.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Polk Audio React and Roku Streambar are the best budget soundbars. The Vizio M-Series M512a-H6 and Sonos Beam (2nd gen) are the best mid-range soundbars, while the LG S95QR and Vizio Elevate are the best high-end soundbars.
For Samsung TV owners, the Samsung HW-Q990B is the best high-end soundbar, and the Sony HT-A5000 is the best high-end soundbar and wireless speaker package. When shopping for a soundbar, you should also consider the features, including connectivity options, audio formats, and built-in smart assistants.
Investing in a soundbar is a smart move that can transform your home entertainment experience. With the best soundbars on the market, you can immerse yourself in your favorite movies, shows, and music in a whole new way. Choose the soundbar that suits your needs, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your audio experience.
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