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What is the Best Soundbar for Dialogue/Voice/Speech Clarity in 2020?

which is the best soundbar for dialogue

How annoying would it be to spend hundreds of dollars on a soundbar that promises great features but makes dialogues on your favorite tv show incomprehensible?

We’re saving you from hours of research as we’ve tested and listed soundbars that actually deliver clear voice, speech, and dialogue that won’t make you rely on subtitles alone.

Easy Setup
Bose Solo 5
Best Overall
Sonos Beam
Great Surround Sound
Samsung HW-R450
Bose Solo 5
Sonos Beam
Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450
The distinct and clear voice quality that Solo 5 offers come in with its simple setup that even a beginner could easily do. You’ll be pleased with its compact design, connectivity, and auto shut off feature, too.
Tuned by Oscar-acclaimed sound engineers, the Sonos Beam ensures you’ll hear every word of any human voice more clearly in your TV. Its compact build, voice control feature and simple setup are great bonuses as well.
This soundbar’s smart sound technology optimizes clear dialogues while making sure you get the whole home theatre experience with an amazing surround sound, thanks to its wireless subwoofer.
Easy Setup
Bose Solo 5
Bose Solo 5
The distinct and clear voice quality that Solo 5 offers come in with its simple setup that even a beginner could easily do. You’ll be pleased with its compact design, connectivity, and auto shut off feature, too.
Best Overall
Sonos Beam
Sonos Beam
Tuned by Oscar-acclaimed sound engineers, the Sonos Beam ensures you’ll hear every word of any human voice more clearly in your TV. Its compact build, voice control feature and simple setup are great bonuses as well.
Great Surround Sound
Samsung HW-R450
Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450
This soundbar’s smart sound technology optimizes clear dialogues while making sure you get the whole home theatre experience with an amazing surround sound, thanks to its wireless subwoofer.

Reviews of the Top 3 Soundbars
for Dialogue & Voice Clarity

1. Sonos Beam – Smart TV Soundbar with Alexa Built-In

For music and movie lovers out there, this might be the best soundbar for dialogue that we’ve tested. Sound bars for TVs should have certain standard features, and with the Sonos Beam, you can control what matters to you – dialogue clarity.

What makes this soundbar the best for dialogue is the fact that it’s specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers. As such, it’s made to enhance human voices and bring the level of clarity to the next level when you play games, watch movies, or TV shows.

With Amazon Alexa built in this soundbar, you can use voice control to manage everything hands-free! But if you want, you can also control it with a compatible app or with an old-fashioned remote control. Our experts liked that the smart device automatically checked the remote, making everything else easy to set.

This product is also easy to set up, similar to Yamaha.  So despite the high price tag for those with a set budget, it’s reasonable since you really get to upgrade your TV sound.

The Sonos soundbar connects to the HDMI ARC port and it comes with the HDMI cable ready. If there’s no HDMI ARC port on your TV, you can use an adapter. It also uses Bluetooth Low Energy, but you can’t use it to stream music.

If you want a 5.1 sound system, Sonos also offers one with their Playbar 5.1 model. However, you can also add a set of rear speakers to the Sonos Beam for a greater audio experience. Adding another set of speakers ups the quality even more.

The only downside is that the Beam still doesn’t support DTS or DTS:X virtual surround sound to boost the speaker power. DTS:X virtual would’ve taken the audio experience up a notch.

Still, this sound bar works for those just looking to improve voice clarity in movies and TV shows. If you want a product comparison, you can check this product VS the Bose Solo 5.

Pros

  • It enhances dialogue voice clarity, thanks to Oscar-winning engineers
  • Use voice control features with Amazon Alexa voice assistant, remote, or app
  • The Beam soundbar has an easy setup with just two connections for convenience and ease
  • The overall review of the sound bar speaks for itself, it’s a great soundbar for improving voice quality
  • You can also buy a rear speaker to add more depth to the soundbar
  • Connect the soundbar via HDMI, or use the adapter if there’s no HDMI ARC port

Cons

  • Price is a bit steep
  • User interface could be better

2. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System

In our tests, the second best soundbar for dialogue clarity is the Bose Solo 5.  It has a relatively low price compared to others in these reviews.

The dialogue mode makes the voices stand out so you can hear every word and detail. With this soundbar, TV sound would be much clearer.

Also, this lightweight Bose Solo 5 soundbar includes wireless Bluetooth technology, which works seamlessly when streaming music via Bluetooth. You can also connect the soundbar to your TV with options such as optical digital cable, coaxial audio, and 3.5mm aux inputs.

With a universal remote, you can control everything, including the TV, bass levels, soundbar connections, and more.  Many soundbars have remotes included, like some Yamaha models.

Aside from good functions, this Bose soundbar has a compact design that can be easily placed anywhere. You can either mount it on the wall or you can just lay it flat on your entertainment system. 

All things considered, it’s one of the best soundbars for dialogue that’s offered in the market.

Pros

  • Dialogue mode enhances the full voice clarity of the dialogue
  • Powerful bass — great when you watch movies or play games
  • This Bose soundbar features a compact design and easy setup
  • Features music streaming support via Bluetooth
  • Connects through optical cable, coaxial audio, or aux inputs
  • This sound bar is a great TV speaker replacement for a low price

Cons

  • Clunky remote
  • Customer service might not be that responsive at times

3. Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450 with Wireless Subwoofer

Not all of the best soundbars for voice clarity have a wireless subwoofer, but this one has it if you like a deep bass. Our experts agree that the wireless sub is powerful enough to give that oomph in voices and TV sounds in general.

The reason why it’s one of the best soundbars for dialogue clarity is because it automatically checks and analyzes the content to figure out the best settings. So no matter the content, this Samsung smart soundbar adapts to produce the best sound.

Aside from the impressive full voice clarity, this good sound bar also comes with a game mode. If you’re a gamer, you’d surely appreciate the sound improvement this soundbar provides.

As for the setup, this soundbar offers a wireless option like other models do in our reviews. Similar to other soundbars like Yamaha, you can connect to this soundbar via Bluetooth, eliminating the wires and clutter that usually come with sound bar purchases. Plus, Bluetooth allows for streaming music and movies from your phone.

All these features are available in this smart soundbar, at an affordable price that fits the budget.

Pros

  • This Samsung sound bar analyzes the content automatically to ensure you enjoy movies or games with improved clarity
  • This 2.1 bar comes with a wireless subwoofer to enhance not only the bass, but also the dialogue clarity for an enjoyable home theater experience right in your living room
  • The Bluetooth connection on this compact sound bar supports streaming and eliminates clutter
  • Low price for upgrading your TV sound to a good piece of technology

Cons

  • Wireless connectivity might be unstable when there’s a considerable distance between the soundbar and your wireless gadget
  • Remote is not easy to work with

Soundbar for Dialogue Clarity Buying Guide

With the focus on dialogue clarity, there are also one or two factors to look for in reviews before buying a soundbar in a store or Amazon. This differs from buying a small soundbar just to enhance the sound, although a few factors do overlap. Without further ado, let’s hop right onto the list of what to look for.

Sound Modes

The sound modes on a soundbar are different settings that provide the best quality of sound depending on the content.

soundbar for clear dialogues

They’re not new technology to home theater sound, but they’re an excellent improvement over a regular speaker system. Vizio, Yamaha, Bose, Sonos, and others have sound modes. There are a few standard ones we know as well, including: 

  • Standard – This is the original state of the audio with nothing enhanced.
  • Music – This one is great for Bluetooth support and playing music videos. It enhances music and beats.
  • Dialogue – It’s what you should be looking for if speech and clear voice are crucial to you. They make every uttered word incredibly clear and pronounced for that voice clarity you’re looking for.
  • Sports – Great for watching sports channels and events.
  • Movie – The sound effects are all brought to the surface with this mode for watching movies and tv shows.
  • Night – This sort of dumbs and deafens the loud sounds of the content for night time.

Channels

The channels in a bar just improve the overall sound quality. The more channels your soundbar has, the better the delivery of great sound. Channels refer to where the audio is pumped out of your soundbar. In many reviews, channels range from two to seven.

For your reference, 5 is the industry standard for surround sound simulation on a great soundbar. Many brands like Yamaha and Sonos usually have a 5.1 soundbar system in their line, commonly for Dolby Atmos support.

The more channels, the more you will feel the audio.

Subwoofer

Soundbars can have a separate subwoofer for enhanced bass. Some soundbars even have the sub built in, while other soundbars are so small and compact in size that they have wireless ones. Wireless subs usually have better sound as they are much bigger compared to the one embedded inside.

soundbar with audio clarity

If you want enhanced lower-pitched tones, a subwoofer is necessary to make the dialogue good and clear. Though they may come at a higher price in a store or in Amazon,  stretching the budget is worth it.

Do Soundbars Help with Dialogue?

It really depends. Soundbars like Yamaha, Sonos, and others built with clear voice and good dialogue mode will undoubtedly improve the dialogue because it was made to do so.

However, dialogue might not be the first consideration for a soundbar built for music or heavy bass. But if you find a soundbar that enhances the overall audio quality of TVs, then the dialogue will improve as well.

Atmos is not even really a necessity if you only want to improve the voice clarity aspect. But if you think rear-firing speakers and upward-firing speakers will give the support you want like in some Yamaha models, then go for it.

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Conclusion

Although speakers are large in size, they’re still around and they still get a ton of reviews from those who buy them. But soundbars are a great way to maximize the sound of your TV speakers at a lower cost. In turn, they can also boost your overall experience and may even simulate home theater speakers.

Soundbars with Amazon Alexa built-in are extremely easy to use as these voice assistants handle everything on command — good for those who fancy smart features. These may come at an additional price, though.

soundbar for clear speech

But mostly, even new soundbars are relatively cheap for such essential pieces of technology. Not everyone can afford a home theater system with surround sound speakers, but a soundbar could be the next best thing.

You can turn off your captions because you can now hear the conversations much easier on the screen with the best soundbar for dialogue.

Our Top Pick for the Best Soundbar for Dialogue & Voice Clarity: Sonos Beam

If a soundbar for dialogue clarity is what you are looking for in reviews, nothing beats our best soundbar – the Sonos Beam. The voice clarity is set to impress, especially with Oscar-winning sound engineers tuning this device.

The black/white options of the Sonos Beam works well aesthetically, too. If that doesn’t close the deal for you, the setup and control of this sound bar should.

You can use the remote or do it hands-free, and the soundbar setup only takes a few minutes! You can also upgrade this with one or two excellent rear speakers to improve the sound of voices. Overall, this is the best soundbar for dialogue that we’ve tested. 

Want a versatile soundbar that can be connected to your DVD player or your gaming console? Check our roundup of the best iLive soundbars, next!

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

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