The current trend is for TVs to be very minimal – incredibly slim and almost no frame. This has left the engineers with nowhere to put decent speakser! So while the picture has gone from those fuzzy images to HD and now 4K and beyond, the sound has taken the same leap backwards!
Fortunately, soundbars exist to give your TV it’s sound back without making your living room look like the local multiplex. They’ll improve your sound without the hassle or maze of cables that traditional surround sound system requires.
A soundbar is a great way to upgrade your TV and get cinema-style audio in your living room, but which is the right one for you? Our best soundbar round-up will give you the answer.
What is the best Soundbar for 2017?
There are quite a few varieties, though. There are basic standalone soundbars without subwoofers, more advanced soundbars with subwoofers and the potential to add satellite speakers, or a soundbase that your TV sits on.
We’ve covered these at the most common price points and recommended our choice of the best. You can click through to read more on the other potential choices
Best Soundbar Under $100
You may not have heard of Apex, but their Digital ASB-900 is a knockout for the price. It is quite large but kicks out 250 Watts, making it loud enough to fill a good sized room with great sound.
It does not offer an HDMI connection, but it does offer an optical input and if you decide it is lacking in basee, there is an output for a subwoofer. All in all a bit of a bargain!
Best Soundbar Under $200
The JBL Compact Speaker System, also known as Boost TV, is only 15″ long (380mm), but delivers a surprisingly deep and well-rounded sound with virtual surround sound and Dolby Digital for HD movies. It noticeably improved speech and dramatically improved music compared to the TV’s inbuilt speakers.
Add to this the usual Bluetooth wireless streaming, so you can hook up your phone or tablet, and you have a very competent little box of tricks. It is even dual voltage so you can take it between the US and Europe – bonus!.
Best Soundbar Under $300
The Yamaha YS-6 is a sleek sound bar featuring built-in subwoofers so that it fits neatly in front of your TV, on a shelf or even mounted on a wall while still offering an impressively full range of sound.
The overall sound of this t also features “Clear Voice” which makes dialogue so clear even during the most bombastic action sequences. Add to this Bluetooth wireless technology, which lets you stream music from your iPhone, iPad and Android devices, and you have got a winner.
Best Soundbar Under $400
The Q Acoustics Media 4 Soundbar has won several awards and you can easily see (and hear) why. It is remarkably compact, with the subwoofer integrated into the unit, but the sound quality, detail and the bass is crisp and strong.
If you want a bit moe punch you can easily add a sub-woofer, but unless you really like boombastic action movies or you have a large room to fill, you shouldn’t need it
The build quality is excellent too, especially at the price, and we recommend it wholeheartedly.
Best Soundbar Under $500
Bose CineMate 10 Home Theater Speaker System really does change your ideas of what you think you can get out a speaker system like this – you will not just hear the sound, you will feel it!
The full and impressive sound is not at the expense of placing clear dialogue front and center with pinpoint accuracy with the effects left to right, creating a highly impressive surround sound stage from such a small sound bar.
Best Soundbar Under $1000
$700 for a sound bar might seem steep but it’s well worth the price for the quality of sound on offer from the Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar. The PlayBar uses some acoustic and electronic techniques to expand the sound stage so it sounds wider than it is.
Naturally you can add all the other SONOS speakers and gadgets which allow you to stream it all around the house and add in the excellent SONOS subwoofer if you want some more deep bass.