Imagine purchasing a pricey soundbar of close to 1000 only to find that it has basic features that are not even up to standard! You don’t get louder and clearer dialogue and no thundering bass either. To avoid this, here are a few of the best soundbars under 1000 that we have tested.
Reviews of the Best Soundbars Under $1000
Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q80R
This sleek soundbar sound system has an external subwoofer that comes with Atmos and DTS:X technologies. These are industry-leading technologies that make the HW-Q80R produce realistic sounds, which, in our tests, was great for the price.
Its 13 built-in multi-directional speakers envelops viewers in multi-dimensional cinematic sound for a theater experience right in your home. Moreover, Samsung Harman Kardon soundbars like this one are equipped with the best tuning technologies including Adaptive Sound, which analyzes and delivers full-range and optimized sounds.
The Samsung HW-Q80R also features 4K passthrough with HDR10, which can match great visuals with great sound seamlessly. This one offers Bluetooth as well, so you can play music from other devices.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar
The JBL Bar 9.1 features an impressive 820W of output power to guarantee that sound is projected into every corner of the room. The setup is simple, so you can build a sound system in no time.
The soundbar’s design will help you maximize surround sound capabilities with its rear speakers and detachable satellites. Its wireless setup also lets you find the perfect placement you want.
This convenience does not come at the sacrifice of sound. With built-in Atmos and DTS:X decoding, this top-notch speaker model can produce great sound for different music and movies. You can also use the Bluetooth feature for easy music streaming. Overall, it’s one of the best soundbars on this list.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Bose Soundbar 700
The Bose Soundbar 700 does not come with external speakers and extra components for great bass, but it guarantees better sound with its features. The compact soundbar can decode Dolby Digital and DTS content to bring movies to life.
Control is easy and simple with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. The Bose music app and included remote can also be used to fine-tune and adjust the speaker levels.
The Bose 700 is beautifully designed and is built to complement your home interior. With tempered glass top and brushed metal grille, this soundbar under 1000 is definitely one that will stand out for the price.
Check out our full review of Bose Soundbar 700 here.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Soundbar Under $1000 Buyer’s Guide
You would expect a soundbar at this price to offer more features compared to an option at a low price. After all, it’s a good amount of money. When looking for soundbars, here are some features you can get for a $1000 price tag that can make all the difference in your experience.
(You can also read our Bose Soundbar 700 versus Soundtouch 300 test.)
The first thing to consider when you’re looking for a soundbar is the design and size. If you have larger TVs, you need a larger soundbar such as the Sonos Playbar to match the audio output the TV is capable of.
For the price of 1000, the best soundbars will have a sturdy yet premium design that will complement your interiors. You can look for a simple device that has a brushed metal design to prevent fingerprints and an aluminum frame that is a little more robust than other materials.
Depending on the space you have, satellite speakers and wireless subwoofers that come with the best soundbars could be overwhelming. You have to decide if you need the external components, as they cost money too.
A wireless subwoofer will pack way more range and bass power than a built-in subwoofer. Having rear satellite speakers will even amp the performance and allow you to set up your personal home theater. (You can also check complete yet budget home theater systems here.)
For those who aren’t looking for high-performance devices, a simple sound bar with digital audio technology will be enough in simulating high definition 3D, instead of going for a model with a bulkier wireless subwoofer.
It all depends on how much bass you want to see. Many users aren’t looking for room-shattering bass anyway, so a sub may be unnecessary. There’s a wide range of single, standalone speaker models out there that still provide a great performance, like the Sonos Playbar and the Bose Soundtouch 300.
The sound technologies  in soundbars are equally important as the channels in the system.
Sound technnologies are used in theaters to produce adrenaline-inducing sounds and better bass. When transported into your own sound systems such as your sound bar, it can bring that performance and experience to your home theater.
DTS:X compatible sound bars can decode the highest quality sound that is commonly used in our cinematic content today. Different brands such as Sony and Sonos can offer other supplemental technologies such as Sony S-Force as well as Harman Kardon to create lifelike immersive sound.
However, some models such as the Playbar only support Digital, so check the specs too.
Some sound bars like Sony HT-CT790 feature a list of sound modes for better performance. These are pre-adjusted sound quality profiles that you can find in the settings. Each mode—the most common ones being movie, music, news, sports, and game—is optimized to give you the highest quality sound depending on the content you’re watching at the time.
You’ll also see speaker models with night mode, which tones down loud volumes but still produce high-quality audio at a lower intensity. Search for more modes so the sound bar can deliver way more versatility in terms of performance.
Regular 2-channel sound bars won’t deliver high quality audio and bass, let alone improve the TV sound by much. Having more than just front-facing speakers is what the best soundbars have to offer, although the price would be a little higher.
To get the best sound quality, search for multi-directional modules such as those in the Sonos Playbar. This option can further propel embedded audio technology to utilize the acoustics of the room and really emulate a full-range home theater experience.
This way, you’ll get a massive sound quality improvement that comes from all directions.
The number of channels the best soundbars have will greatly affect the audio it produces in your home. No matter which room you place your soundbar in, it should accommodate the space and deliver a full home theater experience.
Soundbars commonly have a 2.1 channel design, but the best soundbars for the price will offer 5 or more. 5 channels are the industry standard for surround sound audio and are the recommended design for any home theater.
5 channel soundbars feature left, right and center channels, with the middle one optimized for clear dialogue. The remaining two channels come in the form of rear speakers. They should be aimed in different directions to make the sound highly optimized.
Soundbars offer multiple methods of connectivity, with HDMI ARC being the most reliable one. With it, the soundbar can support 4K audio and visual output and input to produce the best sound with minimal distortion.
Other connections such as digital optical can also match HDMI inputs, although it has a lower bandwidth. There are many great soundbars that have an optical connection such as the Sonos Playbar, although we really recommend getting an HDMI model.
There are also other connections such as RCA cables and 3.5mm, but they cannot support Blu-Ray and other content like HDMI does. At this price point, many soundbars have HDMI, so check that as well.
The two most common methods for wireless connectivity in soundbars are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. They allow you to stream content from your mobile devices straight to your sound bar.
Wireless connections like Bluetooth is also good for setting up soundbars with your TV. It eliminates unsightly wires and leaves you with a neater setup. For instance, JBL Bar 5.1 features Bluetooth 4.2 that allows easy content streaming from any room of the house.
If you have a buildable system and want to create a multi-room setup, a Wi-Fi connection is necessary for linking different components together.
Many of us like convenient features for the money, and you can experience that by having voice control in your sound system. It gives you hands-free control over your sound bar, allowing you to execute a list of commands.
With Alexa, you can easily check the news and weather reports, and command to play music and movies with just the sound of your voice.
In some models such as the Sonos Beam, the addition of an Amazon Fire Stick or an Amazon Fire TV offers a wider range of commands.
Many single soundbars like the Sonos Beam can also be linked up to your smart home system if you want a better performance.
The best soundbars are really easy to set up and won’t take a little more than a few minutes. If you see an HDMI ARC connection, the soundbars are a plug-and-play design so it shouldn’t take a lot of time. Everything you need should be in the box, including the remote, cables, user manual, and wall mounting kit as well.
Many soundbars at this price have HDMI, but make sure to check as well. Check out between the Sonos Play 1 vs Bose Soundtouch 10 here.
What are the Best Soundbars over $1000?
The best sound bars over $1000 are Samsung HW-Q80R and JBL Bar 9.1. They both come with Dolby technology and are great for larger and outdoor areas.
What is the best soundbar for the money?
The best sound bar for the money is the JBL Bar 9.1. It has built-in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding and can support Ultra HD 4K passthrough to deliver perfect audio and visual synchronization.
Are cheap soundbars good enough?
Yes, cheap soundbars are good enough if you don’t require too much improvement for your viewing experience. For powerful sound bars that can unlock previously inaudible layers of sound, you need to pay a higher price.
What should I look for when buying a soundbar?
You should look at audio quality with the included technology such as Dolby Atmos, surround sound components, channels and connectivity when buying a soundbar.
Our Top Pick Our Top Pick For A Soundbar Under $1,000:
Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q80R
In our audio tests, the Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q80R emerged as the best soundbar under 1000. It’s Atmos and DTS:X capable, giving you immersive content. With the sub, you get a punchy bass as well.
One of the best features of the device is the Adaptive Sound technology, which automatically analyzes and optimizes your audio content for superior sound even on low volumes.
Your content will also cease to be 2D visuals onscreen but become realistic through the built-in 4K passthrough. Overall, this is the best soundbar for your home theater.