If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

The Best Soundbars to Buy in 2021

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 soundbar options today. Take a look at our top list below.

Best Premium Choice
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
Best Overall
Sonos Arc
Best Value For The Money
Sony ST5000
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
Sonos ST5000
Sonos ST5000
For audiophiles that don’t want to settle for great sound but want something out of this world, the Sennheiser AMBEO will deliver a fully immersive experience with the help of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
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.
Complete with Atmos Dolby, S-Force PRO, DSP, built-in Chromecast, and connectivity features, ST5000 gives the best overall soundbar experience.
Best Premium Choice
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
For audiophiles that don’t want to settle for great sound but want something out of this world, the Sennheiser AMBEO will deliver a fully immersive experience with the help of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
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.
Best Value For The Money
Sony ST5000
Sonos ST5000
Complete with Atmos Dolby, S-Force PRO, DSP, built-in Chromecast, and connectivity features, ST5000 gives the best overall soundbar experience.

Reviews of the 7 Best Soundbars

1. Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc can be tasked to bring your content to life, thanks to the coveted Dolby Atmos technology. The 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 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. Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

The Sennheiser AMBEO is a 5.1.4 soundbar all on its own. This makes it the most compact and fully immersive soundbar on our list. There is no need for a subwoofer or satellite speakers to experience surround sound.

Not only does the AMBEO have Dolby Atmos, but it also has DTS:X audio technology. It also features room calibration technology that will optimize the audio to suit your room layout.

One of the best things about the AMBEO is you can tailor your listening experience with the built-in equalizer and setup and connection has never been easier with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Pros

Cons

3. Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer

With a wireless subwoofer included, this Sony soundbar delivers quite the muscle when it comes to delivering deep bass without sacrificing the subtle nuances in TV shows, movies and music.  The result is a full and well-balanced cinematic quality sound. 

The DTS:X virtual surround sound capability enhances audio as well, giving you a solid three-dimensional sound that easily fills your living room.

With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the Sony HT-ST5000 doesn’t brush off the small sounds, letting you hear the whispers and tiny audio elements in the content you’re playing. In our tests, Dolby Atmos strikes a good balance without losing any audio quality, and this shows from the sound system to the screen.

Aside from Atmos, the Sony ST5000 reviewed here supports Bluetooth for you to easily stream music or movie soundtracks from your phone or tablet. Plus, you get one optical and HDMI connectivity inputs for the wired connections. 

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 effect, giving great quality. 

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 one HDMI ARC connection over the optical. There’s also a USB input for updates, but not music playback.

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.

Some 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 of up to 100 dB of sound. Compared to other deals in this price range, Vizio soundbars do really good job.

A great alternative 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 great soundbar systems. 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. 

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 surround sound modes (like game mode), good audio reproduction, and 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 light in weight 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 a 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. 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, the Samsung HW-Q90R has eARC.

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 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 is the Sonos Arc. It has everything you need in a soundbar, either 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.

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.
Willie Greer

Latest posts by Willie Greer (see all)