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What is the Best Soundbar without a Subwoofer?

hand holding a remote pointed to the TV

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—see the excellent models in the reviews below.

The Premium Choice
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
Best Overall
Sonos Playbar
The Economical Option
Yamaha YAS-108
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
Sonos Playbar
Yamaha YAS-108
The Bose soundbar 700 is the highest priced, but it also possesses more advanced features. You even have the assistance of Amazon Alexa and the choice of two different colors to match your interior.
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 Yamaha 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 sub but still want some bass, there are two mini subs built-in.
The Premium Choice
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
Bose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in
The Bose soundbar 700 is the highest priced, but it also possesses more advanced features. You even have the assistance of Amazon Alexa and the choice of two different colors to match your interior.
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 Economical Option
Yamaha YAS-108
Yamaha YAS-108
The Yamaha 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 sub but still want some bass, there are two mini subs built-in.

3 Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer Reviews

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

The Bose Soundbar 700 is a great example of a smart soundbar, with an incredibly sleek style and a size can fit most standard-sized flatscreens. Designed with a slim profile, this speaker is great for the modern space.

It doesn’t only feature Alexa, but 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 make sure 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 and surround sound kit to further improve your home theater experience. Many Vizio models offer this too.

In our reviews, it provided full-range sound and top performance. The bass is deep and the voices are clear, making it an excellent rig. It’s not a budget soundbar though and the price is pretty high. 

Nevertheless, it’s the best soundbar without subwoofer in our list.

Pros

  • Pick either a 3.1 or 5.1 system
  • Well-designed
  • Full-range sound and deep bass
  • Offers a range of wireless music streaming options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Airplay)
  • Comes with multiple methods of control (universal remote, voice, or Bose app)
  • Easily paired with Bose wireless headphones
  • Durable build with tempered glass surface
  • High quality drivers
  • Includes Dolby Digital/DTS sound support

Cons

  • Bluetooth connectivity isn’t stable past a certain distance
  • Setup will take some time

2. Sonos Playbar

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

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

The sound 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, it’s able to tune itself to produce the optimal sound quality.

As for wireless connection, it 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 rig to play music from a mobile device.

Although more expensive than the Sonos Beam, the sound quality the Playbar provides is superb, despite being without a subwoofer.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Tuned by professional Oscar-winning sound engineers
  • Smart tuning
  • Includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Deep bass, full-range sound
  • Includes remote
  • Flexible placement
  • Easy to set up
  • Comes with night mode

Cons

  • No HDMI ARC
  • More expensive than the Beam, so it might exceed your budget.

3. Yamaha YAS-108

A more affordable rig capable of full-range sound quality, the YAS-108 is a great choice on our list. Its sleek design and flexible placement allows you to mount the soundbar on the wall or place it in front of your TV.

Despite the affordable price, you do have DTS Virtual DTS:X Virtual 3D sound in this model. On top of that, the sound bar offers subwoofers built into it for deep bass without a big wireless sub. The display panel 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 wireless subwoofer, this is one of the best soundbars for your home theater sound system.

Pros

  • Built-in mini subs
  • Includes DTS Virtual 3D capabilities
  • Affordable price
  • Full-range sound
  • Well designed and doesn't require much space
  • Deep and powerful low frequencies
  • Bluetooth
  • Clear voice dialogue
  • Features 4K connectivity
  • Includes HDMI ARC, digital optical cable and aux connections
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • No voice control
  • Needs regular updates

Soundbar without Subwoofer Buying Guide

There are some things you should check when looking for a home theater unit. The top priority on your list is to better the sound of your movies and music, and that may be hard without a subwoofer because the bass wouldn’t sound so deep. Nevertheless, our buying guide will help you find what you need in finding the best soundbar without 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 generally 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 audio itself. A small or a budget soundbar may have compromises in speaker design, which may make the quality less than expected.

Nevertheless, a well-designed bar would be compact and lightweight if you need to save on space or if you have limited room.

colorful flat screen TV in a white living room

Placement

A compact soundbar should be lightweight to make it easy to set up and move around your space. This way, it will be easier to mount it on your wall or on top of your TV. It should also have a slim design 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 in the market have this tech. If your soundbar can’t decode a Dolby audio source, then the sound may seem muffled in the space it’s projected.

If you are aiming for great sound quality, check if soundbar can provide DTS Virtual 3D sound and Dolby Atmos technology. Dolby Atmos is the true surround sound standard for a much better audio experience, whether in music or movies. Many reviews reflect this too, proving that Dolby is an excellent tech.

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 connectivity, you’re looking at a worthy rig on the list.

wires connected at the back of a TV

Connection

When looking for new speaker products, make sure that the connectivity options offered by your sound system are compatible with your TV. For wired connections, it’s better to use an HDMI input or HDMI ARC because it’s capable of transmitting audio frequencies with minimal lag. Some soundbars have multiple HDMI inputs so you can connect more than one device aside from TVs.

If not, there is digital optical, which can also relay high quality sound, as well as the aux, RCA and analog connections. As for wireless,  Bluetooth connectivity is great, but more advanced and pricier soundbars support Wi-Fi as well. Bluetooth technology is much more common in products, however, and it’s easy to connect too.

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

Wireless Capabilities

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.

gadgets and plants on a white table

Channels

Besides the audio technology, the number of channels is also of high importance when looking for a sound system. 

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 to the walls of the room. Many Vizio soundbars have 5 channels.

The more channels your sound system has, you’ll see a better 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 models 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.

Certain sound system units like Vizio can have a control panel on the device for backup if you lose the remote. Brands that have a compatible app also offer a virtual remote. But whatever you’re looking for, see to it that the unit will be easy to control.

Our Top Pick: Bose Soundbar 700

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

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

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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