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What is the Best HDMI Soundbar?

Wooden style living room with tv

Without HDMI, your soundbar won’t be able to support high-resolution audio. To make sure you get a soundbar that is compatible with your TV and can process all of your 4K, 8K and Blu-Ray contents to their full potential, our audio experts have tested the best HDMI soundbars.

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Reviews of the Best HDMI Soundbars

1. Vizio SB46514-F6 Soundbar Sound System

The Vizio SB46514-F6 is an entire soundbar sound system that brings home cinematic sound. You’ll also come home with the wireless subwoofer for heavy bass and two surround sound rear speakers that create enveloping audio.

In order to fully utilize the acoustics of any room, the soundbar features four upward-firing speakers to project sound from all directions and create the perfect sound bubble to give life to your content.

As for connections, it features HDMI, which supports high-quality content, and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connections for streaming from external devices.

Pros

  • An entire home theater sound system
  • Upward-firing speakers
  • Rear satellite speakers
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable
  • Decodes Dolby Atmos
  • Works with Google Assistant

Cons

  • No Amazon Alexa
  • Requires more space

2. Polk Audio Signa S3 Soundbar

The Polk Audio Signa S3 soundbar is a super-slim soundbar that fits with TVs 36 inches and larger. It also comes with its own external wireless subwoofer for punchy bass.

The Audio Signa S3 soundbar has Polk’s exclusive Voice Adjust technology embedded to enhance vocals on the screen. Paired with Dolby Digital 5.1, the soundbar will give you ultra-clear sound and dialogue regardless of the content.

The soundbar supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless streaming. The HDMI ARC wired connection can support 4K and 8K quality content without delay or distortion.

Pros

  • Slim profile
  • External wireless subwoofer to accentuate bass
  • Polk’s Voice Adjust Technology
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled
  • Google Chromecast built-in
  • Works with universal remote

Cons

  • Does not show incremental sound levels
  • On/off button lags

3. Sonos Beam Soundbar

The Sonos Beam is a small and compact soundbar that’s great for tight spaces and smaller screens. It is a buildable system where you can add the subwoofer and rear speakers to create a full home theater system.

The high definition sound will optimize all content to fill the room, allowing viewers to enjoy previously inaudible sound levels that will give a new perspective to the audio.

Controlling the Sonos Beam is very easy with Amazon Alexa built right in for hands-free voice commands. If you prefer to manually input settings, you can use the compatible app or included remote to adjust your soundbar. 

Pros

  • Small and compact size
  • Buildable system
  • High definition audio
  • Amazon Alexa built-in
  • Sonos app compatible
  • Professionally tuned by Oscar-winning engineers
  • Emphasizes human voices

Cons

  • No wireless capabilities
  • Alexa isn’t very sensitive

HDMI Soundbar Buyer’s Guide

If you want to pass the highest resolution content without any issues, HDMI is the way to go. What else is there to look for in the best HDMI soundbars? Our experts have compiled a useful list below.

You can also check our thorough list of the best soundbars you can get today, regardless of connection type.

Connectivity (HDMI & Other Connections)

HDMI is the best option for wired connection [1] as it is able to handle high-frequency loads and pass-throughs. Any 5.1 or higher audio settings or advanced Dolby or DTS technologies also require HDMI connection.

Digital cables are the next best thing if your soundbar doesn’t support HDMI. There are two types: digital optical or digital coaxial. Both these cables are capable of transmitting audio up to 5.1.

Design

You should decide on the setup you want for your living room. If you are limited on space, the Sonos Beam is a great option that can be wall-mounted to keep out of your way.

Wood Sonos speaker

Other design considerations include whether or not your soundbar has a built-in display or indicator lights to show your settings clearly, or a control panel built-in for an extra option for control.

Sound Quality

For true surround sound quality, you need 5 or more channels on a soundbar, but we’ll cover more of that later. 

Another defining factor for superior sound quality is the advanced audio technologies incorporated in the soundbar. Dolby and DTS are industry-leading standards that can bring the theater into your living room. 

There are also brand-specific technologies such as Sony S-Force, LG Merdian, and Clear Voice and Voice Adjust technologies that will help enhance dialogue.

Price

Factors such as the embedded audio technology, number of channels, components, and extra features determine the price, so you should decide which ones will matter to your experience.

Subwoofer

An external subwoofer with a soundbar will further enhance the deep bass notes more than built-in ones. However, a soundbar can also have a subwoofer built right into the cabinet. The embedded sub is a great option for those who still want improved bass tones but lack the space.

HDMI Soundbar Setup

HDMI is a one-cable connection option that is a plug-and-play design. Soundbars that support HDMI can go from unboxing to delivering impressive sound in a matter of seconds.

Channels

To achieve true surround sound, a soundbar requires 5 or more channels to produce room-filling audio. 5 channels will typically include left and right channels, a center channel dedicated to enhancing vocals, and two other rear channels.

FAQ

1. Can I connect Soundbar with HDMI?

Yes, you can connect a soundbar with HDMI. It’s a one-cable connection for your soundbar and TV that is a plug-and-play design that supports high-quality content.

2. What soundbars have HDMI ARC?

Soundbars that have HDMI ARC are the Polk Audio Signa S3 and the TCL Alto 7. Other examples include the Sony HT-S200F and the Samsung HW-Q70R.

3. How do I use HDMI Soundbar with Arc?

You can use the HDMI Soundbar with Arc by connecting the HDMI out port to the back of the soundbar and the HDMI in port to the back of your TV.

4. What is HDMI ARC soundbar?

An HDMI ARC soundbar is one that supports the HDMI ARC Cable. The HDMI ARC is a single cable connecting your soundbar to your TV.

Our Top Pick For HDMI Soundbar: Vizio SB45614-F6 Soundbar Sound System

Our experts unanimously agree that the Vizio SB45614-F6 soundbar is the best HDMI soundbar that supports high definition audio content.

The soundbar’s home theater capabilities with an external subwoofer and rear speakers paired with Dolby Atmos is a force to be reckoned with. The upward-firing speakers will ensure you experience the full cinematic experience you can get from the movie theater in the comfort of your own home. 

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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