Some people want to make the audio experience as good as possible whenever they watch movies, TV shows, or play video games. While built-in speakers are decent options for TVs, you may want to improve the sound by adding a soundbar. These devices contain multiple speaks for better audio!
However, it can be difficult to find the best one for your needs. Because of this, we wanted to make a list of the 10 best soundbars on the market. We liked JBL's Bar 5.1 the most since it offers surround sound, removable side speakers, and an easy setup process. By going through our list of the 10 best soundbars along with the corresponding buying guide, you can find a great soundbar to improve your audio experience!
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As you choose a soundbar, you should think about the size, connection types, system types, and other sound options to pick the most ideal option for your home!
Soundbars vary in length to match different types of TVs. Even though size affects standard speaker quality, the same doesn’t apply to soundbars due to their slimmer shape.
Instead, you want the soundbar to be about the same length as your TV so that the sound can match the screen. For example, a short soundbar will make the left and right sounds come from the middle of the TV rather than the sides of the TV. The same applies for wall-mounted options.
A soundbar between 12 and 20 inches will work for any TV under 40 inches, but anything above 40 inches should have a matching soundbar length. As long as the TVs are within five to 10 inches of the soundbar, the sound will match the visuals.
Soundbars vary in the ways they connect to devices, so you should look into wired connections and wireless options.
Some soundbars connect to the TV through wires to maintain a stable connection. However, you may be limited on where you can place the soundbar since it needs to be connected. On the bright side, this connection limits lagging or the possibility of disconnection.
Wired connections usually use HDMI cords, but others may use RCA, optical, coaxial, auxiliary, or USB cables. HDMI cords are universal, so you can easily replace them if a wire breaks. RCA is the yellow, white, and red wires used with older devices and TVs. Optical and coaxial wires are also older ones used to connect TVs to the soundbar and other speakers.
Auxiliary wires go into headphone jacks for computers and phones. You can also use USB cords to connect your soundbar to a computer.
If you want to avoid wired connections, go with a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi soundbar. You can connect multiple speakers to experience surround sound without wires. Many TVs, computers, and phones support Bluetooth, making it easy to connect them to your system. However, these soundbars may need to be recharged periodically.
You can also connect multiple Bluetooth devices to your soundbar and swap between them. For example, you could connect your soundbar to your TV and switch to your computer whenever you feel like it. You can also do the same with Wi-Fi soundbars.
Both wireless and wired soundbars can have different power sources. Some may need to be plugged into outlets, while others can run on a battery. Wireless ones may need to be charged on occasion.
Soundbars use a number to let you know what they include. The first number references the number of speakers included with the system, while the second refers to the subwoofers.
2.0 systems have two speakers built into the soundbar to offer stereo sound. Stereo sound is when the audio is split between the left and right speakers. Stereo soundbars keep things simple since they don't require extra setup or connections.
On the other hand, you won't have any devices dedicated to the bass, so you won't be able to adjust it. However, this is still a good option for people who want an easy way to improve their TV audio without worrying about the fine details.
5.1 systems have five speakers and a subwoofer for surround sound. A subwoofer is a speaker dedicated to the bass, giving you more control.
Surround sound involves placing speakers around the room so that you can hear the sound from different directions. For example, some people will place two speakers next to them and three near the TV. Other systems may have three of the speakers inside of the soundbar so that the bar can play left, middle, and right audio.
This system will give you the best audio experience since you can hear the sound around you and fine-tune the subwoofer to meet your bass needs. On the other hand, surround sound systems take a while to set up since you need to place each speaker.
Some systems will have a 2.1 setup with two speakers and a subwoofer, while 3.1 configurations have three speakers and a subwoofer. 2.1 systems have stereo sound, but you can adjust the bass separately with the subwoofer. 3.1 systems have three speakers in the soundbar with a subwoofer alongside them.
While they aren't as easy to set up as 2.0 systems, 2.1 and 3.1 systems are easier than 5.1 systems. They don't provide as good of a sound experience as 5.1 systems, but they're better than 2.0 options. Consider a 2.1 or 3.1 system if you want to improve the bass without dealing with more speakers.
You should look through the subwoofer types and inputs available on devices to make sure that you choose the best option for your needs.
As you look at 2.1 or 5.1 systems, you will notice some have subwoofers in the soundbar while others have separate subwoofers. Built-in subwoofers allow you to adjust the bass without worrying about a separate speaker's placement. They also take up less space than a separate subwoofer.
A separate subwoofer gives you more flexibility since you can move the bass and have it play from any spot. Separate subwoofers also tend to be more powerful since they're larger than built-in subwoofers.
Whether you have a wired or Bluetooth soundbar, it will have multiple inputs. For wired connections, the inputs are the number of HDMI, RCA, and other ports on the soundbar.
Wireless soundbars will let you connect TVs and other devices equal to the number of inputs they support. For example, if you have a soundbar with three inputs, you could connect three different devices.
You can find out how many inputs a soundbar has on its product page. It never hurts to have more inputs, but you should make sure it has the right ones. For example, some soundbars may have an auxiliary input while others have a USB one. Others will have multiple inputs, sometimes including Bluetooth and wired options.
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JBL Bar 5.1｜JBLBAR51BLKAM
Easy to Setup System With Removable Side Speakers
Universal TV Soundbar and Wired Subwoofer System
A Soundbar and Subwoofer Designed for Smaller Rooms
2.0 Channel Soundbar｜SS01
Small Soundbar With Multiple Connection Types
Automatic Soundbar With Clear Sound
Excellent Sound Quality and Easy Setup
Dolby Atmos Soundbar｜HTZ9F
Plug-and-Play Design With Wired and Wireless Options
Excellent Surround Sound With a Solid Bass
Cinema 600 Sound Bar
A Rumbling Subwoofer and Three Speakers
Home Theater Sound Bar｜M21d-H8R
Excellent Bass With Reliable Bluetooth Connection
A Straightforward Soundbar for TVs and Computers
This long soundbar has two detachable speakers on each side so that you can place them around the room. Each device has about 10 hours of battery life. This system also works with TV remotes so that you can adjust the TV and soundbar volume with one controller.
A few reviewers said these speakers cracked and buzzed at times. On the bright side, many reviewers liked how the side speakers can be removed and placed around the room. They also found it easy to connect the speakers to their devices! Plus, they were impressed with the power of the bass.
This soundbar has lights on the front that make it clear which input you're connected to. It focuses more on older devices since it uses RCA and similar cords, but it also supports Bluetooth. It even includes movie, TV, and music modes for you to switch between as needed.
A couple of reviewers noticed this soundbar sounded fuzzy after a few months. Nevertheless, numerous reviewers said it sounds great in small rooms, noting its impressive volume and power. They also liked that the subwoofer makes quite a bit of noise!
This is one of the smaller soundbars available, making it great for small TVs. It includes movie, music, and news modes to adjust the sound based on what you prefer. It has Bluetooth connection capability along with mounting holes to easily attach the soundbar to a wall.
Some reviewers didn't like how this soundbar has a built-in voice that loudly talks when they turn it on. However, many reviewers loved that it offers Bluetooth and multiple wired connections. They were also impressed with how loud it gets with minimal cracking.
The soundbar is designed to work with 4K and UHD TVs for people who want the ultimate experience. It also connects with smartphones to play music. The subwoofer is wireless so that you can place it anywhere around the room.
Some reviewers said the soundbar wouldn't work when they tried to connect it to their TVs through an HDMI cord. On the bright side, many reviewers said the sound is crisp and clear. They also liked how the soundbar detects devices and automatically activates.
This soundbar maximizes the space in your living room by putting the subwoofer inside of the bar. It has three wired inputs along with two Bluetooth ones you can switch between. It even includes an additional port to add an external subwoofer if you wish to do so.
A few reviewers had problems with the remote control, saying the volume buttons sometimes stick. Despite that point, plenty of reviewers said they found this soundbar easy to connect to their TV and attach to the wall. They also said that its sound is crisp and loud.
This soundbar allows you to connect through HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth to give you versatility. It can also connect to your Amazon Alexa to play the audio from your device to your soundbar. It even includes a wall-hanging bracket to put your soundbar on the wall.
A few reviewers noticed the subwoofer sometimes doesn't connect to their soundbars. Despite that point, a lot of reviewers said the audio sounds clean when they use a wired connection. They also loved that it's plug-and-play and offers immersive sound!
This soundbar can connect to your TV and work with its built-in speakers to add to the surround sound. You can connect the soundbar through an auxiliary cord, HDMI, or Bluetooth. On top of that, you can connect Alexa, Siri, or Google to your soundbar and use the mic to ask questions.
A couple of reviewers struggled to connect the soundbar to the subwoofer. On the other hand, most reviewers loved the sound, saying the bass booms and thunders. They also felt the soundbar worked well with surround sound, noting they can hear audio from all directions.
This soundbar has three speakers inside of the soundbar along with a separate subwoofer. It keeps things simple by having you connect to your TV through a wired connection. However, the subwoofer is wireless, and the system includes a remote.
A couple of reviewers didn't like how they couldn't connect Bluetooth devices to the soundbar. On the other hand, numerous reviewers commented on the bass' thundering and rumbling sound. They also liked how the remote lights up, letting them see the buttons at night.
This soundbar keeps things simple by including HDMI, Bluetooth, and built-in subwoofers. When you connect it through the HDMI, it supports 3D sound that plays above, below, and toward you. It even comes with many input wires, meaning you don't need to buy your own.
A couple of reviewers said the soundbar has a bit of audio lag. However, more than a few reviewers said the Bluetooth connection is consistent and doesn't disconnect. They also said the built-in subwoofers produce a booming and clear bass.
This smaller soundbar includes a remote, older wired connection types, and Bluetooth. It's designed for TVs under 30 inches, making it great for smaller spaces or bedrooms. It even has a game mode to maximize quiet sounds like whispers and footsteps.
Some reviewers didn't like that this soundbar doesn't have any bass, saying the sound feels flat. Nevertheless, many reviewers said it's easy to set up and connect. They also said this soundbar is a good replacement for TV and computer speakers.
Once you get your soundbar, consider improving your viewing experience with other handy items! These lists will help you find useful equipment for a fun movie night.
No. 1: JBL｜JBL Bar 5.1｜JBLBAR51BLKAM
No. 2: Saiyin｜Universal TV Soundbar and Wired Subwoofer System
No. 3: Topvision｜2.0 Channel Soundbar｜SS01
No. 4: Polk Audio｜Signa S2｜AM6214-A
No. 5: Yamaha Audio｜Soundbar｜SR-B20ABL
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