What are the best soundbars 2021?
Movie theaters make for an incredible movie-watching experience, thanks to their enormous screens and larger-than-life sound systems. Watching an explosion, high-speed chase or fight scene becomes much more immersive when the bass hits just right.
You don’t need to leave your home to experience theater-quality audio. Soundbars provide the perfect way to achieve high-end audio at your house without setting up a complicated, multi-speaker surround sound system. Most soundbars are thin, rectangular speakers that fit right under your TV, but choosing the right one can be intimidating.
The best thing you can do before committing to purchasing a soundbar is to compare the most popular models. Once you’ve taken a moment to differentiate the models and brands available to you, choosing the suitable soundbar for your home will be a breeze.
Considerations before buying a soundbar
How big is the room?
You’ll want to make sure your speaker can provide adequate sound for the room you’ll be using it in. Some cheaper soundbars only have two or three speakers in them and may not be as loud as you’d like if you have a large entertainment room.
Higher-end models with eight or more speakers, and powerful subwoofers, are capable of filling your room with crystal-clear sound.
Soundbar connectivity options
Many soundbars are equipped with Bluetooth or Apple AirPlay, making them more accessible than ever to connect to your mobile devices and smart TVs without the hassle of excessive wiring.
Wired speakers can be a hassle, but they are great if you don’t have a Bluetooth-capable TV, and you can efficiently deal with unsightly bundles of wires using a cord organizer.
Do you have room for a subwoofer?
Many soundbars include a small-to-medium-sized subwoofer, but some high-end models can produce good bass tones without them. Soundbars like the Bose Soundbar 700 produce rich bass without the use of a subwoofer, although you’ll still notice a huge difference if you decide to add a complimentary subwoofer to your setup.
Subwoofers with Bluetooth capabilities take up the same amount of space as their wired counterparts, but they offer you significantly more freedom regarding where you place it.
What to look for in a quality soundbar
Virtual surround sound
Soundbars with virtual surround sound technology have several internal speakers that face different directions. These speakers are capable of bouncing sound off of your walls and simulating a surround sound experience.
A virtual surround sound system isn’t quite the same as actual surround sound, but it is a significant step up from the speakers that come with your TV.
Easy control options
Most soundbars at least come with a remote control, but many have multiple control options. Many smart soundbars are Alexa-compatible or have other voice-control features that remove the hassle of keeping up with a remote.
Soundbars like the Sonos Arc have companion smartphone apps that allow you to control your device from anywhere in your house.
If you’ve been using your TV’s built-in speakers, you’ll almost definitely be impressed with your new soundbar. Still, you may want to upgrade your sound system somewhere down the line. Many soundbars can pair with surround sound systems or larger subwoofers to get the most out of your movie-watching experience.
How much you can expect to spend on a soundbar
You can get a capable soundbar for between $200-$400. High-end models with virtual surround sound may cost you $800 or more.
Where do I put my soundbar?
A. Soundbars are often best if placed directly under your TV and out in the open. If you can’t put your soundbar directly under the TV, try to set it as close to your TV as you can.
Can I connect my soundbar to more than one device simultaneously?
A. Many soundbars have multiple inputs and allow you to switch between them freely. Those with Bluetooth or WiFi capabilities may even allow you to connect several devices via wired connections like HDMI and others wirelessly.
Best TV soundbar
What you need to know: The Sonos Arc is a stylish soundbar with top-notch, theater-quality sound.
What you’ll love: The 3D Dolby Atmos sound is alluring and realistic. This soundbar is capable of easily streaming music from your mobile devices, in addition to your TV. You can control this high-tech speaker via remote, voice, Apple Airplay 2 and a convenient mobile app.
What you should consider: At nearly $1000, this speaker is far from affordable.
Best budget TV soundbar
What you need to know: This inexpensive option is easy to use and produces impressive sound, no matter how you set it up.
What you’ll love: You can set up this soundbar using the traditional wired method or its simplistic Bluetooth pairing option. The equipment is significantly more durable than many models in the same price range.
What you should consider: The Bluetooth range is only about 10 feet, and the volume isn’t as loud as other models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Best TV soundbar under $200
What you need to know: Setting this system up is a cinch, and the soundbar fits right beneath your TV.
What you’ll love: The subwoofer has a 300-watt amplifier, and the speakers feature two dome one-inch tweeters for superior sound. The built-in Bluetooth makes it easy to connect to new devices.
What you should consider: Some users reported connectivity issues when using the HDMI port.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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