This is new year and one must do something new every year, so if 2020 is the year for you and you are planning to buy a soundbar then this is the guide is all you need as we have mentioned the best soundbars of 2020.
Whether you are a cinema enthusiast or not, an immersive 5.1 speaker system is something you are lacking. However much best your TV is, it needs a soundbar to complement it and that is why here is a guide that shows the best soundbars in the market according to the category. So choose the category that suits you the most and you are good to go.
Top 11 Best Soundbars in 2021
Samsung’s brand new all-singing and all-dancing flagship soundbar HW-Q90R is the best overall soundbar there is. Not only does it support the object-based audio in the form of DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, but it also the only model in 2019 and 2020 that has been able to achieve this feat with upward firing drivers (four) and genuine rear speakers.
This cleverly designed soundbar might suspiciously look like 2018’s HW-N950 but that’s where the similarities end. This new model boasts a carbon silver finish and metal grilles yet remains unassuming in its appearance.
However, you will need plenty of space to position it where you want to, otherwise, it can always go on the wall.
The significant feature for this soundbar is the fact that it supports DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, but its ability to deliver the output that it does using an original 7.1.4-channel setup is a real winner.
The combination of 12 speakers and 17 drivers make this feat possible. Three channels at the front use three drivers – a wide range tweeter and two woofers and the remaining channels are dependent upon single drivers.
All the speakers are divided into 12 channels – front right and left, two rears, two sides, center, a pair of rear heights, two front heights, and a sub. A built-in amplification of 512W drives these speakers and the claimed frequency response of the system ranges from 34Hz to 17Hz.
However, despite the apparent perfection of multi-channel delivery and object-based decoding that the soundbar has managed to achieve, there are still some downpoints. One of those downsides being, the basic setup of the soundbar. Of course, that makes the installation easier but it also means that to get the best out of the system, you will have to work hard.
It would be really nice of Samsung if they could do some auto-callibration to make sure everything works optimally.
The JBL Bar 2.1 comes at a price that is low for the quality that it offers – adjustable listening modes and a wireless sub.
The soundbar looks pretty similar to the traditional image of a bar that you have in your mind, no surprises there, but modern is it!
The soundbar measures 2.3*38*2.7 inches (HWD), weighs around 4.2 pounds and also it is wall mountable. You can also rest it on a long flat surface since it has rubber feet to prevent the motion. The controls for power, volume and the buttons to switch between different audios, all of these are found on the top panel of the bar.
The black subwoofer that weighs somewhere around 11 pounds measures 14.6*8.9*8.9 inches, its down-firing driver is 6.5 inch in length and it contributes 200 watts of power. This contribution makes the total power of the system 300 watts with a frequency ranging from 40Hz – 20kHz.
The backside of the soundbar hosts the connections for HDMI in, HDMI out, optical output, a 3.5mm aux input and a USB port.
Its remote control is a bit larger than your regular credit card and runs on two AAA batteries. Some of the control that this remote provides are – Power, Source, Playback, Volume, Track Navigation, Bass, Mute, Audio Sync Adjustment, Bluetooth Pairing, Surround Mode, Sound Shift, Shuffle, Night Mode and Dim Display. Clearly, the remote is a valuable inclusion.
The wall mount brackets can get a little annoying though, make sure to keep a couple of screws handy to work smoothly.
When you play movies on movie mode, rumbles and explosions might sound more powerful and omnious, it doesn’t sacrifice the highs though. In case of surround mode, the overall volume becomes boosted and the feeling of surrounding does not feel like surrounding. That being said, watching movies on surround mode is more engaging than watching movies on movie mode. Ironic, eh?
This wireless subwoofer soundbar might only have 2.1 channels, but it knows how to pack a punch and once combined with floor standing speakers, you will get the best results Guaranteed.
This sleek and compact unit, enhanced by very powerful Vertical Surround Engine, courtesy Sony, along with 4k pass-through, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, brings life to the streaming content.
The shortcomings like, no rear speaker, limited connectivity and not-so-good Bluetooth sound quality might damp your mood, but if you are on a budget looking for just the right piece of equipment, then this HT-X9000F is for you.
Its high-definition blu-ray soundtracks’ quality might surprise you, it has left even the costlier soundbars behind. There are only two channels but due to the presence of Vertical Surround Engine, it might sound like a multi-channel system to you.
The Sony HT-X9000F comes in a cleverly-desgined box with a strategically placed flap that makes the transportation of the system easy. The box stars a pretty low-profile bar 36.5*3.5*2.5 inches in size, this size allows the soundbar to fix with any TV.
It comes with a subwoofer, a remote control with AAA batteries, a wall mount template, a high-speed HDMI cable along with Ethernet and a start-up fold-out guide.
It can supply power of about 300 watts, enough to fill most standard sized rooms. It comes with a voice button instead of a center channel for dialogue and this voice button is very useful in enhancing the dialogues during bombastic effects of sci-fi, war and action movies.
Since the unit does not feature Wi-Fi support, you need to go through the cumbersome process of going installing via a USB from a memory stick.
HT-X9000F is far from perfection but it is a tough bar to beat in its price class and that is saying something.
The remote control is bulky, yes, but the Bose SoundTouch 300 delivers whenever and wherever you need it the most.
Considering the slim and sleek profile of the soundbar, its high quality sound is impressive to say the least. It is just 2 inches in size, making it an ideal fit beneath any TV screen.
A slick plate of glass is sporting the top side of the soundbar and fine metal speaker grills are running along the sides while the bar in itself is black in color. Bose claims that the glass of the bar is as strong as the aluminum of same thickness.
Bar is sleek but the same cannot be said for the wireless sub. It is a one-foot black cube with rounded corners and made of plastic but in terms of elegance, it is no match with bar. The sub might not sync properly with the bar, in which case the company sends for a replacement, but the problem is quite common.
On the back of this beautiful SoundTouch 300 are the ports that are a must – an optical cable for traditional setups, an HDMI input and output, an Ethernet port with Wi-Fi and to hardwire the sub, a 3.5mm hack, a USB slot. All this is complemented by an additional 3.5mm port.
The box also contains a bulky creature – a complex universal remote control, yes, not only is it bulky, but it is complex too. I suggest you keep the instruction manual handy if you plan on using the remote. And you will have to use the control because in place of the controls in front of the SoundTouch, there are only five indicator lights. The optional Bose app might help you if you are too desperate though.
The app lets you control a few music streaming services including Spotify (which also works from the app, by the way). All the firmware updates can be downloaded directly using the app and mind you, there would be a lot of those updates, since Bose is very mindful about security.
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL is the first speaker of the company, naturally there is a lot riding on it. It comes with Amazon’s Alexa voice support so if you have one already tucked away at your place then that is good news for you.
YAS-209BL is an amazing speaker and its sound quality is even more great.
The main soundbar is about 2.5 inches tall and 37 inches wide, so it can easily feet under a lot of TVs without blocking anything. It is also wall mountable, so that too.
However, the subwoofer is a giant, it is home to a 6.5-inch bass woofer, okay, I might have exaggerated a bit. However, it is a bit intrusive as compared to the bar at 7.5 inches wide and 16 inch square.
Along with a few media-specific presets like games, sports, movies, music, TV program, stereo, the speaker also offers DTS Virtual:X for enhanced sound effects.
On the back of this soundbar are the ports that are a must now – HDMI in and out, Bluetooth and Optical Digital. You can also connect the soundbar to Wi-Fi and Ethernet to connect to Spotify and Amazon Alexa.
This soundbar comes with a remote that is larger than the usual remotes but the backside of this remote is pleasantly curvaceous. Since the LED display readout of this soundbar is smaller than other soundbars, you will find yourself using the remote very often. On the remote though, you will find that the button selection is not only very comprehensive but also easy to use.
The Bose Soundbar 700, the best soundbar for surround brings with itself an attractive and finest soundbar with amazing sound quality. Other than that it brings in some features that one would expect from a soundbar of this level, but there are also a few features that it lacks which at this price point is a real bummer.
Now, inside the box you get a soundbar that comes along with a remote control which also serves as a universal remote control. The remote control comes with four AAA batteries, a ADAPTiQ headset, a cleaning cloth, optical cables, the power cable and a HDMI cable.
The soundbar does have a HDMI port for ARC but at this price point it should have had a HDMI pass-through as well which is missing. The bar supports Alexa’s voice control so that is a plus point.
The bar is available in two colors – black and white. At the top of the bar is a tampered glass, it looks elegant, yes, but it is prone to catch dust too. Which is why, Bose has included a cleaning cloth in the box.
The soundbar is long, like very long, like measuring somewhere around 40 inch. It is a nice deal if your TV is 50 or 55 inch, but if the TV is smaller, the bar is a real bummer then.
The top of the bar is two buttons which are sensitive to touch – one is an action button and the other one is to mute the microphone. Below the button is a small LED light which is activated when you interact with the remote or when you give a command to Alexa.
At this price point, its performance is really premium, the only downside to it is the absence of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
This really compact thing is both in black and white colors, it is just two feet long, 3.94 inches long and about 2.7 inches tall. On the back of the soundbar you will find Ethernet ports, HDMi ports and on the top there are a few touch buttons for volume control, a power LED and a microphone status LED.
It is the best soundbar in this range that comes with not only Alexa support but also Google Assistant’s support.
Setting it up is easy – just plug in the power and HDMI port on TV then open the Sonos app on your phone or tablet and then connect using Wi-Fi. The rest of the setup is done on the app which includes making sure that instead of using buttons on TV, you use the remote controls for controlling volume.
If your TV lacks HDMI ARC, then you can use the optical adapter that comes in the box to get digital audio out of TV. However, setting up the volume this way might prove to be problematic as you will have to disable the speakers and then use the app to program the soundbar to recognize your TV remote’s command. If you don’t have HDMI ARC, you will lose the ability to give voice commands to your soundbar.
For its size, the bar does a fantastic job with the sound, however, there are a few caveats to it. The bar is designed to be a TV speaker foremost, so it will clearly emphasise the sound to put the dialogues in front and center. If you want to emphasize the dialogues more, then there is a button in the app that lets you do that. Everything works great until you are watching the TV, but as soon as you move to music, the bar loses its precision. It is not as good with music, so if that is your priority, consider other options.
Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4Ch is indeed the best Dolby Atmos Soundbar there is and I’ll tell you why. The soundbar has seven speakers, all individually powered, placed at the right, center and left sides of the soundbar, these 2.5 inch speakers enmesh the audience with their quality.
The soundbar in itself has a very unique shape and it measures 3.5 inch deep, 45.5 inch long and 3 inches tall.
Subwoofer that comes with this bar is exceptional and has a down-firing driver, it is enclosed in a wooden enclosure that greatly reduces the resonance.
It comes with two-way dual surround satellite speakers that rounds out the output. Each of these speakers contains a mid-range woofer and a high-frequency tweeter. These 5.4-inches wide, 8 inch tall and 5 inch deep speakers are easily mountable on wall and concealable too.
Technically, these satellite speakers are not wireless as they are connected to the subwoofer using a cable. Yes, the subwoofer is wireless so technically the satellite speakers are connected to the soundbar wirelessly.
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4Ch supports the most advanced sound technologies available on the Globe. The fact that it comes with build-in cinema-grade 3D advanced surround sound quad-core processor, it supports not only Dolby Atmos but also Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Digital Surround, DTS-HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, Dolby Digital.
The input options available with Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4Ch are ARC HDMI, Optical cable, HDMI 2.0/2.2 and Bluetooth.
Their latest firmware updates are now included with each and every unit that is coming off the production line, therefore it comes off as no surprise that the sound quality produced by these bars is exceptional. This product will exceed your expectations with its rich, deep tones and a spectrum full of precision audio.
Yamaha’s YAS-207BL is the soundbar you should take home if you are looking for something best at the lowest cost possible.
If you have a close look at all the soundbars all the manufacturers are manufacturing you will find that they are making a lot of efforts to give their products a futuristic feel. Be it metallica grilles, LED lights, glowing gradient lights and all that stuff. But for better or for worse, that is up to you to decide, Yamaha has given this soundbar more of a traditional look and feel just like it offers to its Record Players
What they have flat out laid on the table is a rounded rectangle box with a black mesh and a matte hexagon plastic on the lower part. At the bottom you will find there are a few capacitive touch buttons and a series of green LED indicator lights.
The soundbar is 36.5 inches in length and 2.5 inches in height, meaning slid it below the TVs and no one would be none the wiser. However, the soundbar looks the best when mounted on the wall using the mounting slots that you will find at the back. The design is plain, yes, but not so plain that it would be an eyesore for you.
Other flashier brands have apps that walk you through the installation process that makes it a breeze but Yamaha hasn’t done anything of this kind for you. Result being, you have a 20 page long manual and you have to figure everything out on your own.
For the most basic processes, the bar works just fine but tasks like switching between the Digital Signal Processing falls out of sync.
If you can get past these minor quirks, then there is nothing better Yamaha at this price point. There is that optical digital port which is important and that standard analog audio in. Additionally, the soundbar has a 4k 60Hz pass-through paired up with HDR capabilities. This feature becomes important if you are planning to daisy chain it with something. Also, since the subwoofer is wireless, there are not many wires you have to deal with which is definitely a plus.
Amidst the high competition, JBL bar offers a selling point that sounds out when compared with others, indeed the best soundbar with sub.
There are two speakers on the soundbar that attach to each other through magic, err, magnetism. These two speakers form a central unit; however, you can disconnect the speakers and put them behind wherever you want to.
The subwoofer it comes with has a more of a traditional setup since it is wired to an electricity supply, but before you judge, it connects the bar wirelessly. The battery life of each satellite speaker is 10 hours and can be easily charged when plugged. This is something that makes this JBL Bar 5.1 4k Soundbar an interesting choice.
In a way, this soundbar is blend of a soundbar and a surround sound system.
The soundbar is cheap-looking, it has a plastic design which is surprising to say the least however, it does feel robust. But the buttons and screen could have been a little bit more sleek.
On the top of the bar you will find foru buttons of volume, power and input source and at the back are the input ports – optical, three HDMI ports, a USB port and one for AUX cable.
You can plug in the satellite speakers into the soundbar with ease which makes a pretty strong magnetic connection and mimics the design of the remaining system. When everything is plugged in, you will get look and feel of a traditional soundbar.
Soundbars were probably made for people how did not have a room for 5.1 surround sound set-up but looks like Bose Solo 5 was made for people who do not have room for a soundbar.
It is just 7 cm tall and 55 cm long and the most compact soundbar ever made. So slip it under your TV and boost the sound of your small bedroom TV.
However, with small size, comes challenges and in this case, these challenges became its shortcomings.
From design perspective, the soundbar is pretty simple; there are no switches or button to complicate the matters, only a black plain grille that sits at the front and a black plastic for the top and sides.
There are two drivers positioned behind the girlle angled in a way that they deliver a comparatively wider field of sound. There are a couple of LED indicators that change color to indicate that the operation you were trying to perform has been carried out perfectly.
The remote control is even shorter than the soundbar, so much so that it feels to be on the chunkier side of the spectrum. But don’t underestimate the little remote, it can work as a universal remote and can be used for your Blu-ray player and other infrared devices too.
At this price point, Bose delivers perfection, including optical, auxiallry and coaxial inputs and a Bluetooth for Spotify.
There are a few neat tricks that you are not expecting it to perform but oh well, there is this auto-wake feature, courtesy of which the soundbar jumps to life whenever it catches an audio signal. Moreover, after 60 minutes of inactivity, it automatically powers off too.
Besides these features, there isn’t anything extraordinary or premium that Bose offers. No sound modes, no EQ options or settings, simply plug and play.
Best Soundbar Buying Guide
Now, last but not the least, here is the most important section of this blog – the five most important things you should know and do before you spend money buying soundbars.
- Do not ignore connectivity – Almost all good soundbars come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled, making it easier for you to stream music from any gadget you prefer. Also, do look for HDMI-switching, this one feature makes it easy to switch between audio sources without re-routing the HDMI cables.
- Choose soundbar with minimum 3 channels – We are in the 21st century and soundbars with two channels still exist in the market, so make sure when you are making the purchase, you are doing it right. 3 or more channels make your experience that much more immersive.
- Choose an active soundbar – active soundbars are those soundbars that come with a built-in amplifier, so if you are trying to save space or looking for a 2-for-a solution, choose active soundbars.
- Buy the soundbar from an authorised dealer – now, this is something pretty obvious. To be able to enjoy the manufacturer’s service, warranty and support, a long time after sale, choose an authorised dealer.
- Decide where you want to place the soundbar – Are you buying it for laying it on the table or is it destined to go on the wall? Answer these questions in advance so that you don’t end up buying a soundbar bigger in size than your TV. In an ideal world, soundbars go above the TV, just saying.
Things to consider when buying a Soundbar
You are after all, making a huge investment, so we need to make sure that the investment is worth it. I’ll tell you about the four things you need to consider when buying a soundbar and you can never go wrong with it ever!
Where will it live, on the wall, above the TV? Well, the TV you have and the space around it will decide where you should place your soundbar. There is no match to the versatility of soundbars when it comes to the installation part – they can be made to hang on the wall or sit under the TV or on the top of the TV. Plus, they are pretty easy to set up.
So if your TV is sitting on a table, place the soundbar somewhere on the table itself. If your TV is mounted on the wall then mount your soundbar somewhere around it. Just make sure there is always some space between the notton of the TV and the table – for more detailed information on this, check your user manual.
Aesthetically and logically, your soundbar shouldn’t be wider than your TV, in fact, in an ideal world, these two are supposed to be of the same size. Technically, though, you can pair your soundbar with TV of any size, as long as it has the right connectivity points.
Active or Passive Soundbars
Active sound bars have built-in amplifiers whereas passive soundbars don’t. However, passive soundbars have comparatively better speakers but they do require additional amplifiers, this means, Passive soundbars are expensive with more connections. No reason for you to go with passive soundbars then.
Every sound bar comes with a remote, so does that mean your center table is going to host a party of remotes every time you sit down to watch something? Well, it doesn’t have to, you can always get universal remote – remote that controls everything.
Also, most of the soundbars these days come with a mobile app that lets you control the soundbar.
Best Soundbars FAQ’s
What is the difference between a 2.1 and 5.1 sound bar?
Which Bose Soundbar is the best?
Are 5.1 soundbars worth it?
Does sound bar size matter?
Are soundbars better than speakers?
Is Sonos soundbar better than Bose?
Is Bose 500 Soundbar worth the money?
What should I look for when buying a soundbar?
1. Soundbar should has maximum channels i.e. 3 or more
2. It should be an active soundbar
3. Should have all sorts of connectivity including HDMI port
4. According to the placement size of the soundbar must be taken into consideration
Will a Soundbar improve TV sound?
What size soundbar do I need for a 70 inch TV?
What is a good wattage for a sound bar?
Does a sound bar replace surround sound?
Complement your new 4k TV with the best soundbar you can get and get the best streaming experience at your home. Even if you don’t have the biggest house in the city, these soundbars can adjust themselves with ease in the most compact of the places. So what are you waiting for, click on the links and find yourselves best deals and get the most out of this blog!