Finding the right soundbar that won’t overwhelm your tiny space and can utilize the acoustics of the room can be difficult. You could be left with a device that does little more than your TV speakers. To help you out, our experts have tested the best soundbars for small room settings.
Reviews of the Best Soundbars for Small Room
1. Yamaha YAS-108 Soundbar
The Yamaha YAS-108 soundbar is the ultimate solution for lovers of deep bass that do not have the space to spare. The soundbar incorporates built-in subwoofers and features Clear Voice to fully accentuate all dialogue spoken on screen.
DTS Virtual :X Virtual 3D surround sound technology is used to unlock previously inaudible sound by simulating a immersive sound experience right in your living area.
You can even enjoy content from your mobile devices using Bluetooth connectivity or connect other external devices to the smart soundbar via HDMI inputs, digital arc optical or aux connection.
2. Bose Solo 5 Soundbar
The Bose Solo 5 is a soundbar with a remote control and stylish design that can match up to any Sony HT series or Polk Audio soundbars.
The small Bose Solo 5 soundbar can produce crystal clear speech, good sound effects, and music all at once without the need for sound modes. You will hear what you’ve been missing with the ability to customize the bass.
The Dialogue Mode setting enhances all speech spoken onscreen so you never miss a conversation essential to the plot of the movie. Bluetooth can be used for a wireless connectivity to other devices so you can enjoy improved sound on all content.
3. Sonos Beam Soundbar
The soundbar Sonos Beam with a wall mount excels in the sound department, having been specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers. It has the ability to relay any content to ideal sound standards and emit clear audio to fill the area via Apple AirPlay 2.
Amazon Alexa is built right in for easy control. The help of a voice control like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, similar to Sony HT and Polk Audio soundbars, can allow you to control the soundbar completely hands-free.
The setup is simple for the Sonos Beam, and the system is a buildable one that can connect to other smart home devices and Sonos Speakers via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to create a multi-room system.
4. Polk Audio MagniFi Mini Home Theater Surround Sound Bar
The Polk Audio MagniFi Mini is the definition of a little soundbar that packs a punch. The tiny bar measures in at 13.4 inches in length and comes with a wireless subwoofer. For those with space limitations, this tiny sound bar is the best buy for pulsing sound.
The miniature soundbar comes with Polk’s patented SDA audio technology and 5.1 Dolby Digital coding. It even comes with Voice Adjust technology that allows you to customize voice levels and other audio modes.
The soundbar is compatible with Google Cast and can become a multi-room system. It’s very easy to set up and can be controlled with a universal TV remote control.
5. Sony HT 200F Soundbar
This Sony soundbar brings the theater home with you. Just like HTCT180, the HT200F is a 2.1 Channel soundbar with a built-in subwoofer. The mini soundbar has a compact profile that fits well with a smaller TV and won’t obstruct the screen.
The HT200F also features Voice Enhancement, a form of Clear Voice that will improve speech heard on the screen. It’s an excellent feature for hushed conversations and can elevate conversations when used as a computer soundbar for meetings.
The Sony soundbar is also easy to hook up with Bluetooth connectivity for external smart home devices and HDMI ARC or USB to your TV.
Soundbar for Small Room Buyer’s Guide
You might be a little nervous about looking for the best soundbar for small rooms. Other than the size, what other features will guarantee expansive sound even from a smaller soundbar? Our experts have a detailed guide that will help you out.
Soundbar Size that’s Great for a Small Room
To produce room-filling great sound for any room size, you would want powerful sound bars with multi-directional drivers. A big soundbar is not necessary to achieve this. Soundbars anywhere between 20-30 inches, the 23-inch Yamaha SR-C20A, for instance, would suit a small living room setup, but the size also depends on your TV screen.
Our experts advise going for soundbar sizes as close to the screen length as possible, with a few inches, give or take. You generally won’t have a very large screen in a small room, so it will be easy to find a sound bar that fits and is wall mountable.
A smaller sound bar also has a slim profile that makes it lighter than larger sized ones. This will make wall-mounting and finding the perfect placement easier. In a small room, it’s important to save space and to have a clean setup free of unsightly wires – especially if you plan on building on the system.
All soundbars on the market come with many forms of connection and are easy to use. The more connection methods your sound bar has, the more smart home devices it’s compatible with. The connection you choose to use must be available on your Fire TV as well.
If possible, our experts always suggest opting for an HDMI ARC connectivity. It’s an excellent choice for high quality content and sound. HDMI is in fact good at processing 4K, 8K and Blu-Ray content. It’s also the most reliable as it is easy to set up and offers virtually no delays or distortion.
The next best soundbar setup option would be digital optical inputs or digital auxiliary cables. Soundbars with optical digital inputs like the Bose Solo 15 Series II still support digital content, but not up to the standard of HDMI. They are compatible with 4K but HDMI is still needed for anything higher in quality than that.
The analog options are the last on the list because they do not support digital content, which is unfortunately the form of what most of our movies are in. Analog connectivity can still be found on many devices and is important when hooking up a subwoofer or other wired surround speakers.
For wireless options, a sounding bar can either come with Bluetooth, Wireless Fidelity , or both. Both Bluetooth and WIFI will allow you to stream content wirelessly from external smart home devices. With WIFI available, you can also take advantage of virtual assistants and set up a multi-room system.
These features allow you to enjoy your favorite content with enhanced sound from any device. Just make sure that both devices have Bluetooth pairing and a strong connection. In general, our experts say not to place the two devices more than 30 feet apart.
If you have a smart home entertainment setup, wireless connection via both Bluetooth and WIFI can integrate your soundbar into your smart home setup. This allows you to control the device from the app or through your virtual assistants.
Wireless features are also important when adding an external wireless subwoofer and rear satellite speakers. You can easily setup your soundbar with speakers such as the Harman Kardon Onyx 2 or Onyx 3 using this vital feature.
Some soundbars can even be connected wirelessly to the TV, which can improve your entertainment center’s aesthetics.
A sound bar for small spaces still has to meet room filling sound quality standards. The power output and drivers need to be at least 20W each. This will provide enough power for the sound bar to propel high quality TV audio around the area.
Upward firing speakers or multi-directional drivers are also imperative when it comes to driving the sound. Speakers positioned upward or in different directions can take advantage of your living space walls and ceiling to bounce sound off of and create surrounding audio.
Channels also affect sound quality and sound emission. 2 channel soundbars are the most basic, while 5 channels and above are the industry standard for true surround sound. However, that’s not to say that a 2 channel soundbar cannot simulate surround sound. For example, based on our review of Klipsch Cinema 400, a 2.1 Channel soundbar, our experts were surprised by how strong and echoing the audio it produced.
With the right advanced audio technologies, your 2-channel soundbar will be able to achieve a close effect. Dolby Digital and DTS technologies are industry leaders in advanced audio technologies. Soundbars with these embedded audio formats will excel in sound.
Then, we also have sound modes that can help enhance your content audio. Many high quality soundbars come with preset sound modes that are optimized for certain content. Some of the most common modes we see are movie, music, news, sports, and game.
Even a small soundbar can feature a sub. A wireless subwoofer is less preferable for a small area because it can be quite large and take up a lot of space. A way for a high quality soundbar to save space would be with built-in subwoofers.
Our experts suggest 1 to 2 built-in subs to really pump out the deep bass in a tight space. There is no harm in adding a wireless subwoofer if you have space, as they do provide more power and enhanced bass notes.
A soundbar without a subwoofer won’t be able to produce certain deep bass notes so our audio team suggests at least one with built-in subs for lovers of deep bass.
Strategically placing an external subwoofer can also help you maximize the powerful bass tones. In general, our team advises not to place the sub too far from the TV screen or soundbar so there won’t be any delays.
If the sub is connected wirelessly, the connection will be less stable than a wired setup. In this case, our team suggests placing the subwoofer as close to the soundbar as possible to minimize lag and interference.
Soundbar Channels Suggested for a Small Room
Generally speaking, you don’t need to purchase a full surround sound system to get expansive room filling sound for a tight space.
Depending on how tight your space is, 2 channels is the most basic. Our experts advise a 2.1 Channel soundbar as a good baseline. You can pair it with average-sized subwoofer like SVS SB-1000, JBL, Roku or Samsung models for a good surround sound. The first number is the number of sound emission points within the soundbar and the while the number after the decimal indicates the number of subwoofers.
A 3.1 channel soundbar has three points of sound emission and a subwoofer. A 3.1 soundbar will have a dedicated center channel for crystal clear speech, which will have a great effect in a confined area.
A soundbar with 5.1 channels or higher will most likely be bigger in size, but if you find one that can fit into your living space, then those are the preferable soundbars for immersive sound. A typical 5-7 channel soundbar will have built in speakers in the front, center, side, and rear to create a cinematic sound experience.
Price of the Soundbar for a Small Room
The price of the soundbar is directly affected by its features. The more capabilities such as Bluetooth and other wireless connections a soundbar has, the pricier it will be.
Our experts have chosen affordable options that can perform just as well. The YAS-108 features DTS Virtual :X Virtual 3D surround sound, Bluetooth connectivity, Clear Voice mode, built-in subwoofers, and HDMI inputs to your TV, all at an affordable price.
Consider the abilities you want your soundbar to have. Bluetooth has become a basic feature found in many soundbars, or even well-known speakers like JBL Charge 3 or Pulse 2, so it shouldn’t impact the price. However, if you want smart home features or the ability to integrate the soundbar into your smart home entertainment system, then that could hike up the price.
Other features that a soundbar can offer that will affect the price include sound modes, advanced optical audio technologies, a built-in subwoofer, more channels, and connectivitiy such as USB and optical RCA.
The clear dialogue mode in a soundbar is an extra feature that enhances speech. Many soundbars with 3 or more channels have the center channel dedicated to this effect. The top soundbars will feature some sort of speech improvement.
This mode is engineered to specifically target hushed speech to make sure you never miss a conversation again. The dialogue mode can be found either in the sound mode settings or somewhere on the TV remote.
Our Top Pick For a Soundbar for Small Room: Yamaha YAS-108
Our experts have chosen the YAS-108 with Dolby Digital, DTS formats as the best soundbar for small rooms. It has all the features a larger soundbar would have packed into a more compact profile, and for a fraction of the price.
The Yamaha soundbar has not one, but two subwoofers built-in to produce astounding bass. The tiny soundbar also boasts of Clear Voice enhancement for all speech to fine-tune every audible note. Not to mention, the YAS-108 is equipped with DTS Virtual: X Virtual 3D for a full movie theater experience.
Bluetooth streaming is available in this model. The soundbar has a very easy setup with HDMI ports and digital connections. To make things easier, the soundbar also has indicator lights, so you’ll never have to guess its status.