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The Best Sound Bar

1
VIZIO SB3820-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar

Best Overall
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Pros:

  • Doesn’t need a subwoofer.
  • Works with Bluetooth.
  • Can be controlled by remote control from a distance.
  • Powered by Dolby Digital (cinema-grade sound).
  • Very easy to install, sleek design.
  • Great rich, balanced sound. High range of volume with crisp clarity of sound.

Cons:

  • Remote control back design flaw. The back can easily fall off and get lost.
  • Doesn’t come with feature to isolate dialogue.

2
Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black

Best Audiophile
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Pros:

  • Easy to install and use.
  • Can be voice controlled with Amazon Alexa (and others).
  • Can be used in conjunction with other Sonos speakers.
  • The Sonos sound can’t be beat. Powerful sound for such a compact size.

Cons:

  • Not as much sound depth on the low end.
  • No Bluetooth
  • Price

3
Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim Universal TV Sound Bar

Richest Sound
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Pros:

  • Includes mini jack and optical digital audio.
  • Easy to use and install Bluetooth.
  • Excellent price.
  • Rich all-around sound with included subwoofer.

Cons:

  • Remote control doesn’t work well from a distance.
  • Set up instructions are a little confusing.

4
Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450

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Pros:

  • Soundbar produces crisp, clean sound.
  • Great for smaller rooms.
  • Easy to install (wired or Bluetooth)

Cons:

  • Subwoofer doesn’t produce as much low end sound as we would expect.
  • Doesn’t fill a large room as well as others we reviewed.

5
120Watt Sound bar, BYL 2.1 Channel SoundBar Subwoofer

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Pros:

  • Built in subwoofer.
  • Comes with 1-year warranty.
  • Well balanced sound.
  • Stable Bluetooth connection.
  • Easy to set up, user friendly.
  • Excellent price.

Cons:

  • Remote can’t be used to control TV volume.
  • Audio isn’t as crisp as some of the alternatives.

What is a Sound Bar

A sound bar is a speaker that works with your television (typically right underneath) to boost the built in sound of your TV set. Prices on sound bars range drastically. In our analysis, we tried to consider units that wouldn’t break the bank, but would dramatically improve overall cinematic and TV-viewing enjoyment.

When considering what sound bar to buy, think about your room size, ease of install, how important it is that you can control it with your voice, and whether it will be part of a bigger home theater system (or work in conjunction with a subwoofer).

Shopping Guide for Best Sound Bar

A sound bar is one of the easiest ways to enhance your home theater. They’re easy to install and will add a level of sound depth and richness to whatever you’re watching. There are plenty of sound bars on the market at every price point, so in order to make the best choice, you’ll have to consider what features are most important to you. We’ve considered almost everything-- from sound richness, to ease of installation, compatibility with voice-activated systems like Alexa, and overall value.

Tip

To get the most out of your sound bar, turn off your television’s internal speakers. As TV sets get thinner, their speakers become more of an afterthought. The competing sound from the TV’s subpar internal speakers and your sound bar won’t be as appealing to your ears.

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