10 Best Soundbars: Reviews and Buying Guide

The film lovers among you are probably in agreement: for an optimal movie, the experience is not only a good picture but also the right tone. Otherwise, some of the atmosphere on the track, because especially modern televisions often sound very tinny. So if you do not want to spoil your evening experience, reach for a soundbar to make the most of your local movie night. Compared to larger home theater systems (5.1 or even 7.1) 2.1 soundbars have the advantage that they are far less complicated to set up and take up much less space. Nevertheless, all models provide a good deal of steam compared.

Top 10 Soundbars

What is a soundbar and what is it for?

Modern televisions are truly no miracle of sound, quite the contrary: they are getting thinner and thinner sound tinier. Therefore, there is a great market potential for sound bars from companies like Samsung or LG, which significantly enhance the sound of such TVs. They are almost always designed to fit under their own televisions and so do not disturb the overall picture – perfect for perfectionists who value a tidy living room. Alternatively, most models in the soundbar comparison also with simple brackets, which are often included, attach to the wall.

But film fans with high sound demands cannot do without a soundbar. Thanks to Bluetooth, there is not even the annoying cable clutter behind the TV – many sound devices connect absolutely wirelessly. In many sound systems, a clever distribution of the included rear speakers even creates a true 5.1 surround sound, which is otherwise only known from the cinema theater. The surround sound, however, differs greatly from model to model – often you have to experiment a little with the position of the speakers to get the (subjective) optimal sound.

5.1 Soundbar vs. 2.1 Soundbar: The comparison

Often you’ll find the distinction between a 5.1 Soundbar and a 2.1 Soundbar in this soundbar comparison, especially if you take a closer look at the products compared above. This description – often called the 2.1 or 5.1 system – just tells you how many speakers are integrated. If it is a 2.1 model, two speakers and a subwoofer (integrated or external) are included accordingly. To enable a simple stereo sound, you will always need at least two speakers. So be sure to always buy at least one 2.1 system.

A 5.1 soundbar, often referred to as a home theater system has five speakers and a built-in or external subwoofer. These speakers can be positioned in the room in such a way that you get a true surround sound, so an optimal surround sound.

The different soundbar types at a glance

As we have just touched briefly, not every soundbar is the same as the other. Instead, there are differences in terms of connectivity, features, and the sound system (2.1, 5.1, 7.1). It is not easy to put all different models on the market in a few categories. Nevertheless, one can generally distinguish some soundbar type to from others. At this point, we would like to introduce you to the individual species and also discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

1. The classic TV soundbar

The classic TV soundbar is usually available with an external subwoofer, only a few models of the subwoofer is already integrated. A soundbar with integrated subwoofer is significantly heavier than the colleague with an external sub and there are also differences in sound quality. A classic TV soundbar is still connected to the TV with cables (optical connection or HDMI), but meanwhile, every TV soundbar has a Bluetooth function (see below). This category mainly includes 2.1 soundbars, which, however, can be converted to a 5.1 soundbar by the vast majority of companies.

2. The Bluetooth soundbar

The vast majority of soundbars nowadays have a Bluetooth feature, which prevents annoying cable clutter on their own TV. Only the supply of the two devices (soundbar and TV) with electricity still works with a cable. You can easily connect using the Bluetooth function of your TV. The connection has many advantages, but also a disadvantage: If the wireless connection between the Bluetooth Soundbar and the TV set is disturbed, the sound may be delayed.

3. Soundbar with integrated subwoofer

Basically, you can count soundbars with integrated subwoofer to the classic TV soundbars. Nevertheless, we want to focus briefly on these models in particular, as many manufacturers now rely on this option for space reasons. The sound of an integrated subwoofer is not necessarily better or worse than that of an external, here too there are differences from manufacturer to manufacturer. The only option is to set up the subwoofer at a location other than the soundbar.

4. The 5.1 soundbars (home theater system)

Even a 5.1 soundbar can theoretically be counted among the classic TV soundbars. You can already see that the boundaries between the soundbar types are unclear and that some models fit into several categories. A 5.1 soundbar has five speakers that you can position in the room to give you true surround sound. Although the sound quality compared to 2.1 models is much higher, but also the price. Modern 7.1 models even have seven speakers. Of course, you can also “upgrade” a sound system with a repurchase of loudspeakers at the vast majority of companies.

Buying the right Soundbar: The most important criteria

There are some important criteria to keep in mind when buying a soundbar. The brand of the right sound system is still one of the less important issues, even if you probably know the most famous companies such as Samsung or Sony. But there are a few more and more important factors to keep in mind when buying a soundbar. We want to explain to you in this guide.

1. The supplied accessories

In this point, the models in the big soundbar comparison differ the most. Some manufacturers supply a wall mount for attaching the Soundbar, others need to buy them separately. In addition, not every vendor supplies all the necessary cables you may need for an installation in your living room. Although you can buy these almost always in addition, it would be nice if they were included right in the package. Finally, a special brush can help rid the soundbar of annoying and damaging dust. However, this is rarely included, so you must purchase it separately.

2. The connections

It is also important to note which ports the preferred soundbar has. Can you connect the device to the TV with an HDMI cable or is there a Bluetooth function? For higher quality models, you can also connect via Wi-Fi, which, however, you immediately notice the purchase price. Usually, it is quite sufficient to use a Bluetooth function and perhaps even to pay attention to alternatives such as a simple jack, a USB port or even an HDMI cable. Therefore, pay attention to the contents of the pack when buying, so as not to end up with empty hands at the end.

3. The performance

An important consideration when buying a soundbar is the power that most manufacturers specify in watts. Although you can compare these numbers, the significance of this comparison is small. It is better if you compare the RMS values of the devices, where:

  • With a maximum space of 15 square meters, RMS power ranges from 50-100 watts
  • For larger rooms, you should pay attention to a power of about 200-300 watts

Basically, you should not use the soundbar completely up to the maximum power. So you better buy a more powerful device if you want to be on the safe side.

4. Size and maximum load

A slightly less technical aspect is the size and maximum load of the TV Soundbar. Depending on where you want to set up the soundbar, you should make sure that it is not too big. For example, if you want to place it under the TV, make sure that the dimensions are approximately equal to each other. This is where the maximum load comes into play: many devices carry loads of up to 30 or 40 kilograms, sometimes more, sometimes less. Such a weight have the least TV, so positioning under the TV is usually well possible.

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