Best Soundbars Without Subwoofers

In an ideal setting, if you live for deep bass, you would have room for both your soundbar and an external subwoofer. But what if that isn’t the case? Will you have to settle? Of course not!

The answer lies with soundbars that provide exceptional audio despite being without a sub. Here are the best soundbars without subwoofer:

Best Overall
Sonos Playbar
The Premium Soundbar
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
The Economical Option
Yamaha YAS-108
Sonos Playbar
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
Yamaha YAS-108
The Sonos Playbar has impressive features but for a more affordable price. It even gives you the option of purchasing a whole set of surround sound speakers to elevate your experience.
The Soundbar 700 is the highest priced, but it also possesses more advanced features. You even have the assistance of Alexa and it’s available in two different colors to match your interior.
The YAS-108 is one of the most affordable options on the market and yet it offers impressive features. For those who don’t want a wireless subwoofer but still want some bass, there are two mini subs built-in.
Best Overall
Sonos Playbar
Sonos Playbar
The Sonos Playbar has impressive features but for a more affordable price. It even gives you the option of purchasing a whole set of surround sound speakers to elevate your experience.
The Premium Soundbar
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
The Soundbar 700 is the highest priced, but it also possesses more advanced features. You even have the assistance of Alexa and it’s available in two different colors to match your interior.
The Economical Option
Yamaha YAS-108
Yamaha YAS-108
The YAS-108 is one of the most affordable options on the market and yet it offers impressive features. For those who don’t want a wireless subwoofer but still want some bass, there are two mini subs built-in.

Reviews of The Top 3 Soundbars Without Subwoofer

1. Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in

This rig is a great example of a smart soundbar, with an incredibly sleek style and a size can fit most standard-sized flat screens. Designed with a slim profile, this speaker is great for the modern space.

It supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as well, which means that the soundbar can be integrated with all of your smart home controls. A noise rejecting microphone array is built-in to ensure it won’t be activated by background noise. 

The Bose Soundbar 700 makes streaming music easy with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay. You can also purchase the base module to further improve your listening experience. Many Vizio models offer this too.

In our reviews, one of the pros is it provided top-quality sound and top performance in movies and music. The bass is deep and the voices are clear, making it an excellent rig. While the cons of this soundbar are minimal, it’s not a budget soundbar.

Nevertheless, it’s the best soundbar without a subwoofer in our list. (You can also read here how the Bose 700 fares against the Sonos Playbar for more information.)

Pros

Cons

2. Sonos Playbar

A more expensive variety of the Sonos Beam, the Sonos Playbar is another model that can be expanded so you can hit the industry standard of 5.1 channels. The option of black or white soundbar systems can pair well with any interior.

The Playbar itself is slightly larger than other speakers, but this is due to advanced technology integration and class-D amplifiers. Like the Sonos Beam soundbar, this is professionally tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers out of the box.

The audio automatically enhances dialogue for crisp and clear sound. One of the good things about the Sonos Playbar is that when you put on different media, the soundbar is able to tune itself to produce the optimal sound.

As for wireless connection, Sonos comes with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to help you build a top-notch home theater system while saving space. With the Bluetooth, you can use your Sonos rig to play music from a mobile device.

Although having a more expensive price tag than the Sonos Beam, the sound quality the Sonos Playbar provides in music and moves is superb, and is one of the best soundbars without subwoofer anywhere.

Pros

Cons

3. Yamaha YAS-108

A rig at an affordable price range that’s capable of full-range quality audio, the YAS-108 is a great soundbar on our list. Its sleek design and flexible placement allows you to mount the soundbar on the wall or place it on the TV stand.

Despite the affordable price, you do have DTS Virtual DTS:X Virtual 3D in this two-channel soundbar. On top of that, the sound bar offers subwoofers built into it for deep bass without big wireless subwoofers. The display panel or LED screen on the sound bar itself also makes it easy for you to see and check its settings. 

Yamaha YAS-108 also has Bluetooth, so you can easily switch between your TV and mobile devices. Though without a subwoofer for powerful bass frequencies, this is among the best soundbars for your home theater audio system.

Pros

Cons

Soundbar without Subwoofer Buying Guide

There are some things you should check when looking for a soundbar or a home theater system. The top priority on your list is to better the audio in your movies and music, and that may be hard without a subwoofer because the bass wouldn’t sound so deep. A subwoofer is one of the best parts of good soundbar models. Nevertheless, our buying guide will help you find what you need in finding the best soundbar without a subwoofer.

Size and Design

Ideally, your sound bar and your TV should be of the same length. However, it can be difficult to find similar measurements, which is why we advise our readers to buy a sound bar that is a few inches smaller.

However, if you purchase a soundbar that is too small, it might lack in improving the room audio itself. A small or a budget soundbar may have compromises in speaker design, which may make the performance less than expected.

A good soundbar would have a compact design, and could either be set on wall mount brackets or on your tv stand. It should blend in with your living room space. Some great models include the ZVOX SB500, Bose Solo 5, TT SK023, Vizio SB3820-C6, and the Roku Smart Soundbar.

Setting up the surround sound system should be easy, too. A universal remote would be great, but you can also use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You should also be able to wall mount it.

colorful flat screen TV in a white living room

Ideal Placement For A Soundbar without Subwoofer

A compact soundbar should be lightweight to make it easy to set up. This way, it will be easier to wall mount it or put it on top of your TV. It should also have a slim design (like the Bose Solo 5, SB3820-C6, or TT SK023) so that won’t obstruct the sensor if you place it in front of your TV.

Sound

An important part of many reviews is the sound. Most movies now are in Dolby Digital mode, which is why the best soundbars come with this tech. If your soundbar can’t decode a Dolby audio source, then the audio may seem muffled in the space it’s projected.

If you are aiming for great sounds, check if the soundbar can provide Dolby Atmos technology. Dolby Atmos is the true surround sound standard for a much better digital audio experience, whether in music, movies, tv shows, or video games. 

You can find reviews anywhere that reflect this too, proving that Dolby is one of the excellent sound technologies for a truly surround sound environment. Yet, if your soundbar lacks these features, we recommend to connect it with a more affordable woof including the SVS SB-1000 we reviewed. 

Without Atmos, many soundbars like the Solo 5 and TT SK023 still keep up with the audio quality by having different equalizer modes. You can have music mode or movie mode. Dialogue mode is sometimes there for speech enhancement, making it a great choice for movies.

You would want to use these different equalizer modes to balance the frequency range, especially in sounbars without a subwoofer included. Some soundbars like the Bose Solo 5 and the TT SK023 have sound modes. However, the vocal enhancement on the Solo 5 really pops.

wires connected at the back of a TV

DTS TruVolume might be present as well. Soundbars like the SB3820-C6 is a great example that has DTS TruVolume. To further achieve the home theater sound quality, the SB3820-C6 also has DTS TruSurround.

While it’s clear that the best soundbar in our books includes an external subwoofer to provide deep bass, the reviews above come without one. Built-in subs don’t work as well, but as long as the unit comes with top-notch features, Bluetooth, and HDMI inputs, you’re looking at a worthy rig on the list.

Connection

When looking for new products, make sure that the connectivity options offered by your sound bar are compatible with the audio input on your TV. Inputs are usually behind the soundbar, beside the port for the power cord.

For wired connections, it’s better to use an HDMI input or HDMI ARC because these inputs are capable of transmitting quality audio frequencies with minimal lag. Some multi-room soundbars have multiple HDMI inputs instead of one HDMI port, so you can connect more than one device aside from TVs.

If not, a soundbar may have the digital optical cable, which can also relay great sound. Besides optical, RCA, aux, 3.5mm, and analog connections are present. A soundbar may also have USB, but it’s mostly for updates.

As for wireless,  Bluetooth connectivity is great so you can stream music, but more advanced and pricier soundbars support Wi-Fi as well. Bluetooth technology is much more common in products such as the Solo 5, and it’s an easy way to connect too.

However, we recommend speakers with an HDMI audio cable for full range and high quality sounds. Whatever you’re looking for, see to it that you check the available links between your soundbar and TV.

Wireless Capabilities

Soundbar models that support wireless connectivity like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be connected to your TV through these methods. You’ll see Bluetooth is a common one, and it can cut down the clutter on your space at home. Wireless connectivity is also useful when streaming music from mobile devices.

Channels

Besides the audio technology, the number of channels in stereo speakers is also of high importance when looking for a sound system. The best soundbars without subwoofer should still be a good surround sound system despite the lack of bass. In some soundbars like the ZVOX SB500, there are bass woofers (4-inches, in this case) to make up for this.

5 channels are the industry standard for surround sound [1]. It means that there’s a left speaker, right speaker, center speaker, a subwoofer, and two rear satellite speakers to propel sound from all directions. It utilizes the acoustics in your home to bounce off big sound and frequency range to the walls of the room. Many high-end Vizio soundbars have 5 channels, which is the making of a great entertainment center.

gadgets and plants on a white table

The more channels your sound system has, you’ll see a better stereo performance and a more full-range sound. Most soundbars offer 2, 3, 5, and 7 channels with certain home theater systems like the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra going up to 9.

Controls

You’ll see that many consumer electronics will come with their own remote, and others can be configured to pair with a universal remote to control a wide range of tech products. If your TV remote is universal, you can use it with your soundbar.

Certain surround sound system units like Vizio can have a control panel on the soundbar for backup if you lose the remote control itself. High-end soundbar brands with compatible app support also offer a virtual remote control. But whatever you’re looking for, see to it that the unit will be easy to control.

Our Top Pick for A Soundbar Without Subwoofer: Bose 700

The Soundbar 700 is the clear winner due to its multiple speaker system options, convenient voice assistant, great reviews, and of course, its high quality sound capabilities. 

It is designed to decode the best audio for any content and has multiple wireless connections for your convenience. As you can see, the Soundbar 700 is unmatched in its built-in functions.

Witness for yourself the battle between Bose soundbars! Know which one wins between the Bose TV Speaker and the Solo 5, 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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