Best Soundbars To Buy in 2017

Televisions nowadays provide superb video output with sharp contrasts and vivid colors, but they still haven’t been able to satisfy many people with their built-in speakers, which often have low volume and low bass. To get a proper home theater experience or simply to enjoy good surround sound, people invest in surround sound systems, or if they don’t have space, then in soundbars. We’re going to take a look at options for the best soundbar 2017 has for people who are looking for a more enriching audio setup.

#1 Sonos PLAYBAR TV

best soundbar 2017Sonos is one of the leading manufacturers of audio technology and our first bar; the Sonos PLAYBAR TV comes from them. This bar has a variety of features that make it an excellent choice for people who want a seamless home theater experience without having to go through the trouble of setting up and maintaining a surround sound system and only costs $699.00. Its 9 amplified drivers, 6 sub-woofers, and 3 high range tweeters enable it to provide crisp and loud sounds, the PLAYBAR is designed to complement HD television and is also incredibly easy to setup, requiring only two cords to be plugged in.

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The sleek and stylish body of the Sonos PLAYBAR TV has a pretty amazing sound projection; it also can wirelessly sync with any other Sonos speaker in your home, making it an excellent choice for people who already own Sonos’ products. Other than syncing with Sonos speakers, the PLAYBAR can also connect with other devices wirelessly through Wi-Fi, ensuring a seamless streaming experience without any interruptions or delays. Another feature which makes this model so perfect for use with a TV is that it makes use of Sonos’ speech enhancement system which directs dialogue to the center channel to make it more audible.

If you want to listen to something or watch a movie during the night, then simply switch to the speaker’s night sound mode, which makes all louder sounds softer. The Sonos PLAYBAR TV is a great device and the most excellent with wireless Wi-Fi, making it ideal for any home theater setup.

Top 15 Soundbar Reviews

#2 Samsung HW-K450

Samsung is a brand that produces a broad range of tech products and manages to make almost all of them quite satisfactory, the Samsung HW-K450 is one of the many successful products manufactured by Samsung and is pretty affordable too, costing only $169.99. This model has plenty of features that make it worth getting in place of a home theater surround system. This 35-inch bar lets you immerse yourself in Dolby Digital sound and provides a pretty great surround sound experience once you connect it to a wireless sub-woofer, it makes use of Bluetooth connectivity to let you enjoy HD audio in a clutter free environment.

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It makes use of TV SoundConnect, a feature available in a few Samsung TVs that allows the device to instantly connect to the TV and provide clear and crisp sounds. Its Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to be controlled with the same remote as your TV makes the Samsung HW-K450 bar pretty easy to use, and if you have a Samsung smartphone, then you can control many of the basic functions of this device with the Samsung Remote Control app. It also doubles as a wireless speaker, just connect any device with it through Bluetooth and stream your favorite music.

If what the Samsung HW-K450 has to offer isn’t enough for you, then you can purchase Samsung’s SWA-8000S Wireless Surround Kit and turn it into a proper surround sound system. Overall, the HW-K450 is an excellent device for people who already have other Samsung products since this device functions best with other Samsung devices.

#3 Bose Solo 5 – The Best Soundbar Under $300

bose solo 5 amazonBose is a brand with which every audiophile is well acquainted, they provide quality and practicality with every product, and the Bose Solo 5 is no exception. At $249.00, it’s a great option if you aren’t satisfied with your TV’s built-in speakers and want better sounding audio that is more crisp and clear. The Bose Solo 5 packs all the speakers that you need for a satisfactory sound solution, its small body can be set up almost anywhere and easily blends in with a variety of interior designs.

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One of the reasons why the Bose Solo 5 is so great is the fact that it is simple, it doesn’t have any additional features that add to its price and make it bigger. It’s designed for people who want to replace the audio setup of their TV’s speakers and provides them with just that. Its already crisp and clear dialogue quality can be further enhanced by turning on the device’s dialogue mode; you also have the option to activate its bass, which is pretty great considering the bar’s size.

The Bose Solo 5 is also incredibly easy to setup, all you need to do is place it somewhere and then connect it to your TV via an audio cable, the device detects which type of cable you’re using and starts working right away. It also comes with a universal remote that can operate your TV, the bar itself and any other device that you’ve connected with the Bose Solo 5 via its Bluetooth connection.

#4 VIZIO SB3821-C6 – The Best Soundbar Under $200

While the Bose Solo 5 is an excellent choice for a simple sound solution, it isn’t exactly cheap, if you have a budget of 200 dollars and are in search of a simple yet powerful sound solution to improve your TV’s existing sound quality, then the VIZIO SB3821-C6 is a great choice. This device packs more than enough power to provide HD sound and has plenty of features that make it practical and easy to use, it also looks pretty good and is sleek enough to blend in with a variety of interior designs.

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The VIZIO SB3821-C6 has a 38-inch body which is capable of producing sound as loud as 100dB; it also comes with a wireless sub-woofer that can be connected to the device via Bluetooth to enhance its sound quality further and provide a richer listening experience. Having a separate sub-woofer for bass definitely improves this device’s bass capabilities and allows it to truly fill your room with sound, making your HD viewing experience far more immersive. Other than pairing up with its sub-woofer, the VIZIO SB3821-C6 can also connect with any other device via Bluetooth and can be used to stream your favorite music without having to connect any wires or interact with it physically.

The streamlined and stylish body of the VIZIO SB3821-C6 manages to pack a lot of power and provides superb sound and bass, in fact, it’s the best option for the money value, providing you with a fantastic sound solution at an amazing price.

#5 Sony HT-CT660

Sony has a number of great TVs that provide amazingly vivid HD video output, but unfortunately, just like every other HD TV out there, Sony’s TV’s have mediocre built-in speakers that take away all the fun of watching an HD movie or gaming since the sound quality fails to match the video quality. For anyone who wishes to liven up their entertainment setup, the Sony HT-CT660 is a superb bar that comes with a wireless subwoofer and provides you with a genuinely high definition sound solution that does justice to your TV’s video output; it can take your HD experience to a whole new level.

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The Sony HT-CT660 has a 46-inch hexagonal body with 2.1 channels and 330W of power that allow it to produce loud sounds and distribute them evenly throughout the entire room. The wireless sub-woofer can be connected via Bluetooth to add further to its rich audio and provide it with a heart thumping bass without having to deal with any cables. Apart from its Bluetooth connectivity which is pretty fast and allows seamless streaming, there’s also an option to sync devices via NFC, which provides an even faster and smoother streaming experience.

If you have a 3D setup with devices that support 3D, then the Sony HT-CT660’s S-Force Front Surround 3D feature can further add to the immersive experience by adjusting the sound according to the depth of the image on the screen. The Sony HT-CT660 is a superb device that provides exceptional sound quality and is one of the best options in the market for pairing up with a 3D TV.

#6 Insignia NS-SB316

insignia soundbar ns-sb 316 reviewsThe Insignia NS-SB316 is by far the simplest model on our list, it has no extra features and does not have any added functions and won’t provide you with HD surround sound, but it still beats that audio quality of almost any TV’s built-in speakers. This bar won’t appeal to audiophiles or people looking to perfect their entertainment system by equipping it with high-end speakers with immersive surround sound, but it’s an excellent choice for people who simply want better sound for their TVs.

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The Insignia NS-SB316 has a nominal power consumption of 38W and provides dynamic sound with a decent range, its sleek and compact body fits in with almost any HDTV without requiring much space. It has three input options; you can connect it to your TV through RCA Stereo, analog studio or optical digital audio. On the front of the Insignia NS-SB316, you find all the buttons that you need to operate it, but it also comes with a remote that allows you to interact with the device from a distance without having to move. The Insignia NS-SB316 also has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair it with other devices to listen to music from anywhere in your home.

The Insignia NS-SB316 is a decent bar and has enough power to provide people with loud sound, but if you’re looking for something with more power or something that’s supposed to be part of a home theater system, then this isn’t the right bar for you.

#7 Polk Audio AM1500-B

The Polk Audio AM1500-B is designed to fit in with any modern flat screen TV seamlessly; its super shallow body design ensures that the device doesn’t take up a lot of space and conforms to the slim profile of your TV. Having a thin and shallow body doesn’t mean that the Polk Audio AM1500-B has a shallow sound, the bar has some pretty great speakers which make it a significant upgrade over any TV’s built-in speakers, and it also comes with a compact subwoofer that enables the bar to deliver some astonishing bass. At Out of stock, it’s a pretty great option for a satisfactory home theater experience.

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The sleek 21-inch body of the Polk Audio AM1500-B is easy to install and setup, once connected to the TV it adapts to the signals of your TV’s remote controller, meaning that after a little bit of use you’ll be able to interact with the bar with the same remote as your TV. It makes use of Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly connect to its subwoofer, reducing cable clutter, you can also connect other devices to the bar to play music. Polk Audio makes use of aptX audio coding which makes their equipment’s Bluetooth connection incredibly smooth and lets you enjoy CD quality music.

The Polk Audio AM1500-B also has onboard Dolby Digital processing, making it great not only for HD movies but also for gaming. It is designed to provide people with an easy to install and easy to use home theater system.

#8 LG NB3532A

3D TV’s require 3D content to be properly enjoyed, while a lot of the 3D television’s provide superb image quality and a great 3D experience visually, they fall short when it comes to sound. The first 3D friendly model that we discussed was from Sony, the second one on our list is from LG. The LG NB3532A is a powerful bar that provides great sound, loud and clear highs and has a wireless subwoofer that adds a further sonic kick to its audio. The LG NB3532A is also capable of improving your 3D experience with its 3D surround processing feature.

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The LG NB3532A has a sleek body with an LCD on the front that shows you the time and gives you a few other details related to it, its wireless sub-woofer is also quite compact and provides a satisfactory bass that significantly improves your viewing experience. The most distinguishing feature about this bar is its 3D surround processor which enables the bar to provide a pretty immersive audio experience, it’s a pretty great feature and is bound to make your 3D experience better but don’t expect it to outdo Sony’s audio adjustment according to the depth of the image.

Bluetooth connectivity is used by the LG NB3532A to connect with its sub-woofer and other devices, the connection is pretty decent and provides a smooth listening experience. It’s a pretty great device to add to your 3D home theater setup.

#9 JBL Cinema SB100

JBL is well-known for making quality audio tech, they’ve produced a number of portable speakers and have made a name for themselves by doing so, the JBL Cinema SB100 is a compact wall-mountable bar which provides fantastic sound quality and is bound to make your TV watching experience a lot better. JBL knows how to pack power and quality into a small frame, and this is exactly what they have done with the JBL Cinema SB100, it’s a great option if you’re looking to upgrade your TV’s existing built-in speakers.

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The JBL Cinema SB100 has a sleek and minimalistic looking body with a slight curve to it, giving it a nice and elegant touch which makes it a great addition to any living room entertainment setup. It has a 32-inch body and is ideal for small to medium sized screens, the bar only requires around 70W of power and has a pretty decent output, providing clear sounds and satisfactory audio. The JBL Cinema SB100 doesn’t have the best bass in the world since it isn’t a high-end bar, but you do have the option to connect a sub-woofer to it through a wired connection to improve its bass output.

The JBL Cinema SB100 is another device that isn’t designed for people who are looking for a proper home theater setup with immersive surround sound, but it’s a great option for individuals who are looking for a satisfactory sound experience.

#10 Philips CSS2133B/F7

TVs aren’t exactly cheap, a good one with an HD screen and other features can easily cost several hundred and even several thousands of dollars. Naturally, when you buy something so expensive you would want it to provide you with a wholesome and entertaining experience, but unfortunately, while many TVs do provide superb picture quality, they all have pathetic built-in speakers. If you feel like you want to upgrade your TV’s audio setup without having to spend too much money on it then the Philips CSS2133B/F7 is a great option and can beat any TV’s built-in speakers any day.

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The Philips CSS2133B/F7 is a compact and sleek looking device that is designed to enhance any TV’s current audio capabilities. Its two dedicated tweeters make sure that every word of dialogue is loud and clear while the device’s double bass and surround sound give it a dose of power and enable it to provide you with an amazing listening experience. The Philips CSS2133B/F7 also comes with a compact subwoofer that connects with the bar through a wired connection, the woofer adds a whole other level of power to the audio and provides a truly immersive listening experience.

You also get a remote with which you can control the device without having to get up, and if you want to enjoy music from some device out loud, just connect it to the bar via Bluetooth. The Philips CSS2133B/F7 is a pretty great bar given its price and is definitely going to provide anyone with a more than adequate audio setup.

#11 Yamaha YAS-201

The Yamaha YAS-201 is a bar for people who don’t kid around with their home theater setup; this bar is engineered to be slim and sleek and to pack more than enough power to provide users with the perfect fully immersive surround sound experience that makes whatever is going on the screen come to life around them. Its expansive, high-quality surround sound system is further enhanced with a wireless sub-woofer, which offers excellent bass with flexible positioning. The Yamaha YAS-201 is a really great option as a bar for a home theater setup.

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Its glossy black body looks great in any setup; the Yamaha YAS-201 supports all types of sound systems that are found in HD movies and gaming. Its air surround extreme feature enables it to produce 7.1 channel surround sound, which when coupled with Yamaha’s A-YST II technology’s enhanced bass, provides outmatched audio performance. It has plenty of features which make it pretty TV friendly, such as its ability to provide clear dialogue output and its UniVolume function which keeps the volume level same for commercials and TV shows.

The Yamaha YAS-201 has a low profile body which makes positioning it easier, even if it does obstruct TV signals, the device has a signal repeater which doesn’t cut off your TV from your remote’s signals. The Yamaha YAS-201 is a high-end device that is designed for people who want superb audio quality that fully immerses them in whatever they watch.

#12 Harman Kardon SB26

Another bar with wireless subwoofer support, the Harman Kardon SB26 is a powerful and stylish device that can add a whole new level of fun to any entertainment setup for only $499.95. This bar is more expensive than most and should be considered as a high-end option for users who want to not only upgrade their TV’s audio solution but who also want to transform their entertainment setup into a small sized home theater. The Harman Kardon SB26 packs enough power to provide crisp clear sounds, and its wireless subwoofer adds a layer of deep and satisfying bass.

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The 35-inch body of the Harman Kardon SB26 requires 120W of power to provide quality sound, it has a 2.0 channel configuration and is designed to be used with medium to large-sized TVs. It has a pretty low profile body that not only integrates into almost any interior but also keeps it from obstructing your TV’s remote reception; you can place this bar in front of your TV or have it wall-mounted instead. One of the best things about this bar is that it has 2 HMDI ports, allowing you to connect this device with up to two different devices at a time, for example, with your TV and your gaming console.

The Harman Kardon SB26 can also be connected with via Bluetooth, allowing you to stream music from other devices. It’s a pretty good device, not as powerful as the one Yamaha has to offer, but it still packs quite a punch and is capable of providing plenty of satisfaction.

#13 Dell AC511 USB

Dell is a well-known manufacturer of computer peripherals and hardware, and their soundbar, the Dell AC511 USB is also designed for use with computers. This bar is extremely small and makes use of a USB port to connect to your computer; you can use it with a desktop or hook it up to your laptop to instantly improve your audio output. You shouldn’t take the Dell AC511 USB lightly just by looking at it, while it is small it provides pretty great sound, easily outdoing the built-in speakers of almost every laptop out there.

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Its stereo speaker system is incredibly easy to setup, all you need to do is plug the device in and it will start working without the need of any software at all. It also has an integrated T-hook which allows you to strap the device onto your desk or screen and keep it in one place, it has an integrated volume knob as well and also gives you a headphone jack for more private listening. Since it is more likely to be used with laptops, power consumption is important to note, the two speakers in the bar consume 1.25W of power each, which is pretty acceptable given the audio quality which it provides.

The Dell AC511 USB is an excellent device that will bring a feeling of completion to the desktops of many, the device provides superb sound quality and is small enough to keep your desk clutter free at all times. It provides audio performance and simplicity.

#14 Denon DHT-S514

The Denon DHT-S514, is another model that gives you all the features that you need to enjoy a quality surround sound system without having to deal with excessive clutter. Its sleek body packs multiple kinds of speakers to provide a range of sounds while its wireless subwoofer can add deep bass and can be placed anywhere. This bar is larger than most with a length of approximately 40 inches and is ideal for entertainment setups with larger screens; you probably won’t notice its extra size since the bar is well-designed and looks great in almost any kind of setup.

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The Denon DHT-S514’s body contains one and a half-inch tweeters that make dialogue crystal clear and mid-woofers that when coupled with its wireless subwoofer ensure that the audio from it is loud and gets evenly distributed throughout the entire room. You get an HDMI port to connect the device to your TV while its subwoofer gets connected with the bar through Bluetooth, the Denon DHT-S514 makes use of aptX coding that allows it to provide seamless Bluetooth connectivity with whatever device you connect it to.

This model makes use of Dolby Digital and DTS encoding to provide exceptional surround sound, allowing it to bring any movie or game to life. The bar has multiple listening modes, each optimizing the bar’s performance to match the type of audio, you can switch between modes and control the device with its remote controller.

#15 MartinLogan Motion Vision Gloss Black 5-Channel Soundbar

The MartinLogan Motion Vision Gloss Black 5-Channel bar is the most expensive bar on our entire list, it is a premium device that not many will consider getting. However, it does manage to justify its price tag for some by providing them with superb audio and a really great product design. The Motion Vision makes use of a variety of advanced technologies which enables it to provide an astonishing all in one surround sound experience that can transform any entertainment center into a proper home theater. Not to forget that the device’s sleek and sculptural shape gives it a unique exquisite look which can complement any TV setup out there.

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One of the most notable features about the Motion Vision are its three Folded Motion Tweeters that squeeze air and require 90% less excursion time than conventional tweeters, allowing it to provide a lightning fast response with minimal distortion. These tweeters distribute sound evenly in all directions and allow the Motion Vision to provide high-quality audio that is loud and clear; you also have the option to pair the device with MartinLogan subwoofer if you own one with the press of a button.

The Motion Vision is easy to install and easy to use, just place it in front of your TV or mount it on the wall, it has a large variety of input options, all of which are made to be compatible with HD formats. The Motion Vision is something that not everyone will want to buy, but it does provide a superb audio experience.

The Best Soundbar Mount

A lot of bars are designed to be aesthetically pleasing so that they make your lounge or wherever you’ve placed your entertainment system to look good. There are many ways to setup bars, you can put them on separate shelves or in front of your TV, but the best option is to either mount it on a wall or an adjustable mount. For a bar to operate at its best, it needs to be placed in a way that lets it project sound in an optimal manner. The Sewell Direct SW-33025 Veranda Glass Elevated Shelving System is a mount that provides you with the functionality and the practicality to properly setup your bar and get the most out of it.

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This stand can support up to 30 pounds of weight, making it compatible with every model on our list, it’s also pretty easy to setup, all you need is a tape measure and a Philips screwdriver, the rest of the hardware is included in the mount’s packaging. Once setup, the Sewell Direct SW-33025 looks great, the stand of the mount is designed to have excellent visual appeal and integrates into most interior designs; the stand is also pretty well balanced, so you don’t have to worry about it toppling over.

Many of the models on our list are intended to be wall mountable, and this stand is bound to go along nicely with each and everyone, providing you with a guarantee of satisfaction.

Soundbar VS Surround Sound – What to Buy

A lot of people wonder that what sets sound bars and surround systems apart, many people assume that bars are advanced versions of surround systems, but the truth is that both have their pros and cons in various situations. The first thing to note is that the amount of space in which the audio system needs to be set up, surround systems consist of multiple speakers and need wiring to be run throughout the room, so they require more space than bars. Sound bars are more suitable for smaller rooms since they take less space and have minimal wiring, also, they perform better in smaller spaces and provide quality audio.

The next thing to consider is the type of surround sound each setup produces; surround systems make use of multiple speakers that can be setup in multiple stations to provide an even distribution of sound from all angles, providing superb surround sound. Soundbars on the other hand simulate surround sound by projecting sound in a particular manner, some even make use of subwoofers that can be placed in other parts of the room to improve the surround sound feel, the downside to bars is that they have certain “sweet spots” where the surround sound seems the best.

The last thing to consider is expense, surround sound systems are way more expensive than soundbars since they have more components. They are also harder to setup, but the plus point is that you get more flexibility with placement and the overall setup’s configuration. If you don’t have space or the budget for a proper surround sound system, but you want the customizability factor of it then you can opt for a passive bar, these bars provide you with an individual connection for each speaker, making them more customizable.

Overall, what setup to go for depends on where you want to set it up and what are your preferences, if you want a simple solution for better audio then go for a soundbar, but if you’re an audiophile looking for the best sound quality possible then stick to surround sound.

How to Connect a Soundbar to TV

The biggest plus of having a bar is that they are incredibly easy to setup, all you need to do is plug in the right cables, and you’re ready to go, but sometimes cable plugging can be troublesome since many bars have multiple ports on their back for audio input. When you want to connect your bar to your TV, the first thing that you need to do is identify the audio input ports. Basic bars have optical and other standard ports that are acceptable for normal input, but if you own an HDTV, then you should look for an HDMI port on the back of your bar. Every modern bar has at least one HDMI port on its back, these ports can transfer larger amounts of data and are faster, making them suitable for HD content.

Another thing to consider when connecting it to your TV is placement since bars simulate surround sound, they need to be able to project sound properly so that they perform at their best. You should make your bar face where you plan on sitting while you watch your TV, to make sure that all of its audio is projected towards you.

Some models make use of Bluetooth to connect to your TV. For such bars, it’s best to follow the manual of your bar and your TV so that you can find the appropriate Bluetooth settings of both devices, and if you feel like there’s still something wrong, then you can always go to YouTube and find a tutorial video for the setup.

Now that you’ve read all the reviews for the best soundbars currently available in the market, there are a few more things to consider before you go ahead and buy your bar. The first being that while most of the bars on our list provide superb audio quality, none of them can be compared to a proper surround sound setup, simply because that comparison won’t be fair. Sound bars have multiple speakers in a compact body and use these to simulate surround sound, having smaller speakers and sub-woofers means that they cannot be expected to provide incredibly powerful sounds, however, small speakers aren’t all bad; a smaller speaker is often able to produce finer sounds better than a large speaker.

Also, if you plan on setting it up in a large room, then the audio quality will drop significantly since a bar is designed to perform in smaller areas. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have a TV from Sony, Samsung, LG or any other brand that also produces bars, then consider going for their bar since these companies often design their products to be compatible with one another. A prime example of this is Samsung’s bar; it makes use of features found in Samsung TVs to provide better performance.

Lastly, before purchasing a soundbar, make sure to carry out a bit of your own research, go for one that suits your needs and fits in with the rest of your devices the most.

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