Best TV Soundbar For The Money (2021 Reviews)

best soundbars

Upgrading the audio in your home theatre is so easy nowadays, especially with plenty of soundbars to choose from. However, researching about every model can be too time-consuming, and without proper research, you are bound to waste hundreds of dollars on a substandard soundbar.

Don’t worry, we’re saving you from both dilemmas and did the hard part for you. We have researched, tested, and listed the best TV soundbar options today. Take a look at our top list below.

Best Overall
Sonos Arc
Editor’s Choice
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar
Best for Budget
Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar
Sonos ST5000
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
Sonos ST5000
If you are looking for an exceptional all-in-one soundbar, then the Sonos ARC is the one for you. Outfitted with advanced audio technology such as Dolby Atmos to bring your content to life, the Sonos Arc is tuned to perfection.
The Yas-209BL is a trustworthy soundbar that has multiple forms of wireless connection and Amazon Alexa for your convenience. The DTS Virtual:X decoding gives the YAS-209BL the ability to produce encompassing sound.
Looking for a budget option? The Polk Signa S2 offers excellent value for the price. It’s an ultra-slim soundbar with its own subwoofer for upgraded bass notes. The soundbar comes complete with Polk’s Voice Adjust technology for speech.
Best Overall
Sonos Arc
Sonos ST5000
If you are looking for an exceptional all-in-one soundbar, then the Sonos ARC is the one for you. Outfitted with advanced audio technology such as Dolby Atmos to bring your content to life, the Sonos Arc is tuned to perfection.
Editor’s Choice
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
The Yas-209BL is a trustworthy soundbar that has multiple forms of wireless connection and Amazon Alexa for your convenience. The DTS Virtual:X decoding gives the YAS-209BL the ability to produce encompassing sound.
Best for Budget
Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Sound Bar
Sonos ST5000
Looking for a budget option? The Polk Signa S2 offers excellent value for the price. It’s an ultra-slim soundbar with its own subwoofer for upgraded bass notes. The soundbar comes complete with Polk’s Voice Adjust technology for speech.

Reviews of the 7 Best TV Soundbars

1. Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc can be tasked to bring your content to life, thanks to the coveted Dolby Atmos technology. With this kind of audio tech, this soundbar will bring previously inaudible sound to the forefront of the soundstage to give you an all-new listening experience.

Tuned to perfection, the Sonos Arc has clear and precise audio relays that are projected from a very sleek profile. Enhanced TruePlay tuning technology from Sonos will optimize the audio of your content to suit the unique acoustics of your room.

For your convenience, the Arc also offers streaming services such as Apple Airplay 2. You can also control everything with the sound of your voice with Amazon Alexa built-in.

Pros

Cons

2. Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar

Yamaha is known for its great products and reliability all around. The YAS-209BL is equipped with clear voice enhancement that will turn previously muddled speech into crystal clean dialogue.

For your convenience, Amazon Alexa is embedded in your device for easy hands-free voice commands. The YAS 209-BL supports multiple forms of wireless connections, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Spotify Connect. There is also a soundbar controller app for control just in case you lose the remote.

Although it isn’t a full 5.1 channel soundbar system, the Yamaha YAS-209BL can produce virtual 3D surround sound with the help of DTS Virtual:X for upgraded sound.

Pros

Cons

3. Polk Audio Signa S2

The Polk Audio Signa S2 is an affordable soundbar subwoofer combo that is powerful enough for medium to large rooms. It’s an ultra-slim design with 5 powerful drivers and a subwoofer to boost the bass.

The Signa S2 comes complete with Polk’s Voice Adjust Technology that clarifies speech and Dolby Digital decoding. It’s a larger soundbar at just over 35 inches, but at only 2 inches tall, the S2 is great for placing under your TV.

The soundbar works with most HD and 4K TVs and comes with all the necessary cables, including HDMI.

Pros

Cons

4. Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar

Yamaha is another big brand in the home audio industry, and their YAS-207 model is the first soundbar with DTS:X 3D virtual surround sound. That makes this soundbar system the pioneering sound bar on true surround sound effects, giving great quality and performance.

To connect the soundbar to your TV, you can use an optical cable for 4k or the HDMI ARC cable for HDMI input. We recommend you use the HDMI ARC connection over the optical. There’s also a USB input for updates, but not music playback.

Furthermore, you’ll find music streaming to be a breeze every time, particularly because this Yamaha YAS-207BL soundbar uses built-in Bluetooth. You can also access services like Spotify Connect. 

For our full assessment of this soundbar, reviewed here is the Yamaha YAS-207BL.

Pros

Cons

5. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar

You’ve probably read blogs about Bose, as it’s also one of the best brands out there. Bose is known for its superb headphones and speakers, and now we introduce this Bose Solo 5 soundbar.

The sleek and compact Bose Solo 5 soundbar is light in weight and delivers good sound quality, especially with stereo content. This is due to the TV audio technologies the soundbar system possesses.

In terms of connections, the audio inputs include optical digital, coaxial digital, and analog inputs. If you’re a total newbie and you need help with the inputs,  you can read and check the manual for specific instructions. The soundbar has no HDMI, though, which can be a dealbreaker for some since HDMI cable is the easiest form of connection.

Pros

Cons

6. VIZIO SB3821-C6 38 inches 2.1 Channel Soundbar

Next in our list, we’re going to review the VIZIO SB3821-C6. For under $200, this soundbar provides a rich bass at a reasonable price. Our audio experts agree that for those looking for a good upgrade, this soundbar is a solid choice.

Even as a budget model, this sound bar can fill up a living room with up to 100 dB of sound. Compared to other deals in this price range, Vizio soundbars do a really good job.

A great alternative for this is the Vizio SB36512-F6. Compared to this system, the Vizio SB36512-F6 has upward-firing drivers, so it’s great-sounding for a budget soundbar at its price.

Pros

Cons

7. Sonos Beam – Smart Soundbar

Smart home technology has quickly become popular, so it was only a matter of time before it was incorporated into soundbars and the Sonos ecosystem. So aside from giving you better sound than what your TV speakers can provide, this Sonos Beam soundbar gives you the convenience of Wi-Fi, ethernet, and Alexa built-in. 

Design-wise, Sonos Beam has a modern look that may earn the desire of people who like an aesthetic setup. Coming in two color options, you can choose between black or white depending on your preference.

As a smart soundbar, this audio system is cheaper than the Sonos Playbar and the Sonos Arc, but you can expect excellent sound and an impressive listening experience. 

Pros

Cons

8. WOHOME 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar

WOHOME is an excellent sound bar for value-seekers looking for a good price. For this review, we chose the 34 inches, 3-driver speaker at 60W, but they also offer a bigger choice with their 38-inch model which has 4-driver speakers at 80W.

For the 34 inches, you can already experience immersive lows in the audio atmosphere with its built-in, 3-inch subwoofer. This sound bar costs under $100 only, and the performance is not bad.

Other big features in this Wohome 2.1 Channel Bluetooth soundbar include a mount kit, a one-year guarantee, a 45-day money-back guarantee, and lifetime support.

Pros

Cons

9. Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450 with Wireless Subwoofer

Samsung soundbars are among the best in the game. If you have a solid Samsung home theater speaker system, this sound bar would be a great match for that.

A notable feature of the Samsung R450 is its smart sound mode. It automatically detects and analyzes the best setting depending on the content. 

If you decide to add satellite speakers, you may build on this music system through the Samsung wireless surround sound kit. The sounds and surround effects would be comparable to multi-room Dolby Digital. Just remember that these speakers pair best with Samsung TVs so if you have one, this will create a great soundbar system. Alternatively, you can try the Samsung HW-Q90 which sounds better since it’s tuned by Harman Kardon.

Pros

Cons

What to Look for When Buying the Best Soundbar

You might have read a lot of soundbar reviews, but user efficiency, performance, and sound quality are what you should look for when buying a new soundbar on Amazon or in-store.

Price is an important factor too, so if you’re looking for cheaper soundbars and the best price deals that fit the budget, you can check out our list of the best budget soundbar under $150. If your budget is a bit higher, you can take a look at our list of the best soundbars under $200.

what to look for in the best soundbar

Channels

The more channels a sound bar possesses, the more immersive the sound performance will be. We suggest looking for products with more than three drivers if you want to simulate surround speakers.

One of the best deals in the market is the Sennheiser Ambeo 3D sound bar, which is a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos soundbar set up with HDMI 2.0 output, HDMI ARC, optical, ethernet port, and Bluetooth support. It’s in the premium spectrum, though.

A lot of the best budget soundbar models provide 2.1 channels, where the front drivers get you close to surround sound (with DTS Virtual X and Dolby Audio) but it’s not quite up there in the Dolby Atmos audio experience. Still, some like the Yamaha YAS-209, Sonos Arc, Samsung HW-Q90R, and Samsung HW-Q950T provide good audio reproduction and surround sound modes (like game mode and other EQ presets).

You can also choose surround speakers like the Denon DHT-D718, which has Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master audio — high-quality audio codecs that are used on Blu-ray. 

And if you want true stereo sound and streaming player compatibility, the Roku Streambar is great. It has a great feature set like the Yamaha YAS-209, YAS-109, Polk Signa S3, Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar, Sonos Arc, Bose Soundbar 500, and the Roku Smart Soundbar, including 4k HDR support.

The JBL Bar is also a great 5.1 surround sound system. This company also has other surround speakers including the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass and the JBL Bar 9.1 which also has a dedicated center speaker. This center channel speaker provides extra audio support for a clear voice output. The JBL Bar also has EQ presets aside from the center channel.

If you want more easy-to-use units, some of our alternative top picks include the Dali Katch One, LG SN11RG (which has Dolby Vision), Roku Streambar, Klipsch Bar, JBL, Roku Smart Soundbar, Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar, Polk Audio Command Bar, Polk Audio Signa S3, and the Sony HT-X8500 which has a vertical surround engine.

Placement

Before you make a final decision and buy a new soundbar package, think about the product size and location. A small and compact soundbar is great if you have limited space for a setup. Devices that are lightweight are also good if you want to wall-mount rather than place the soundbar on a TV stand. After all, not every room offers a large space for sub or satellite speakers. The front drivers may be enough if you’re okay with DTS sounds.

And if you don’t want to disturb the neighbors, having a night mode set up like in the Klipsch Bar sounds good.

Connection

Sometimes you may have Wi-Fi and ethernet on some expensive models like the Sonos Arc soundbar, which also supports Dolby Digital Plus. 

For wired connection options in a surround system, soundbar inputs could include optical audio, coaxial, USB, 3.5 mm stereo analog input, or HDMI arc cable for HDMI input. The optical connection is common, and most soundbars already include the cable. ARC, optical, USB, and analog inputs plus wireless may not all be in the same unit. And if you want to use HDMI eARC, not many models have it. If you’re looking for a soundbar with eARC, the Samsung HW-Q90R has one.

best soundbars

Subwoofer

The subwoofer is where the bass power comes from. While some soundbars have built-in bass drivers aligned with the front drivers to make the bass sound punchier, the best TV soundbars, like the Yamaha YAS-209, JBL Bar 5.1, Vizio SB3821-C6, and Vizio SB362An-F6 have a subwoofer included along with the option to connect a media player. 

Interested in soundbar package with wireless subwoofers and rear speakers? Check our review of Samsung HW-Q67CT here

Remote Control

Even now, the remote control remains a convenient part of gadgets, not just TVs like LG, Vizio, and Roku. Being able to control and optimize the home theater speaker settings with a simple TV remote or a compatible app saves you a lot of trouble. 

Voice Control

This is a nifty function for those who still can’t be without that extra something in their new device. Some new soundbars support voice commands from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

best soundbar features

Then again, there are those who can do without a voice remote or assistant integration as long as they buy a low-end sound bar that works. But if you want Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, we’ve featured some of the best soundbars that have them. 

Conclusion

Many an audience will agree that the soundstage and dynamic range that the best soundbars provide is better than AV receiver packages. 

Some of the best soundbars you can get include Sennheiser, Vizio, Yamaha, and Sonos. If price point rather than performance is a much more important consideration for you, read our options for the best sound bar under $300. Each company has its own range of prices, so the soundbars available fit every price tag one can afford.

One extra tip before you buy a sound bar from any company: measure your TV for the best size. You wouldn’t really need a speaker that exceeds your TV by too much, so the length of your flatscreen is the best starting point. Compatibility is also vital, as some TVs like the Fire TV and Apple TV may have trouble connecting to certain soundbars compared to Vizio and LG units.

Our Top Pick for the Best Soundbar: Sonos Arc

Our experts’ top pick for the best soundbar for the money is the Sonos Arc. It has everything you need in a soundbar, whether you’re a picky audiophile or a regular listener. The Dolby Atmos embedded inside will allow the soundbar to fully immerse you in the content. What also impressed us is the reasonable price tag for all these features. 

The Sonos Arc comes in both black and white to suit any interior design. Also, to make sure you have the most seamless and hassle-free experience, you can utilize the built-in virtual assistant to implement voice commands.

Get Exclusive Discounts on Audio Gadgets For the Holidays on Our Facebook Page & Newsletter!

Writer

Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.