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How to Buy a Sound bar? 12 Best Soundbars for All Purpose

Updated on June 30, 2015

Who needs a sound bar?

Do you own a HDTV that has crappy speakers? Don’t worry. You are not alone. Most of the HDTVs have crappy speakers because there is no room for high quality speakers when thinking of ultra-slim profile. In earlier days, to solve this problem, you would need a receiver, rear and front satellite speakers, subwoofer, a lot of wires and connectors etc. But now, the solution is clutter-free sound bars. Buying all the separate components for a speaker system is time consuming and difficult. Sound bars can save a lot of space and it blends in with the home entertainment system easily.

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What is a sound bar?

Sound bar is a system in which several speakers are connected together on a bar with single enclosure. The advantage is it’s sleek, slim and clutter-free. You can connect it easily to the TV. There will be only one cable to connect with TV. Sound bar doesn’t need a receiver. You can place the sound bar in front of your TV or mount it on wall as you wish. In short sound bar is the easy way to enhance your TV sound.

Before buying sound bar, check how much space you have in front of your TV to place it. There are two types of sound bars. Traditional type and pedestal-style.

The traditional type is just a thin and long bar that sits before your TV or it can be wall mounted. The pedestal type is more rugged and acts as a base to the TV. Check the weight of your TV before buying this type.

The sound bars will not replace a home theater system as they have no rear speakers for surround sound and no sub woofer for bass. If you want bass, buy a sub along with sound bar. To avoid wired connection to the sub, look for one with wireless sub woofer. There are Bluetooth soundbars also. You only need to pair the sound bar with any of your devices and play songs from anywhere around the house.

Here is a list of best sound bars you can get for each of the following purposes.

Philips HTL2160 vs VIZIO S2920w-C0 vs VIZIO S3851w-D4 vs VIZIO S4251w-B4 vs Paradigm SHIFT Series Soundscape vs Bose CineMate 1 SR vs Sony HT-CT370 vs Sony HT-CT660 vs Samsung HW-H450 vs Sony HT-CT370 vs Sony HT-XT1 vs Yamaha YSP-2500


Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC

VIZIO S2920w-C0

  • Sleek and stylish soundbar with clear and powerful audio
  • 95dB sensitivity
  • DTS TruSurround and DTS TrueVolume features
  • Bluetooth connectivity to stream music wirelessly
  • Easy one-cable set up
  • Provision to connect external subwoofer

More sound bars like vizio s2920w in the list of 6 Best SoundBar For Smaller TV under 35 inch

Click thumbnail to view full-size
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PCVIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PCVIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PCVIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PCVIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC
VIZIO S2920w-C0: Best sound bar for smaller TV or PC

VIZIO S2920w-C0 Reviews

"I bought this sound bar to use with my 32" Vizio HDTV in my bedroom. It sounds great. Of course, it won't replace a home theater system but if you want to improve the sound of your TV in a bedroom or small apartment, it is perfect. "

"No need for a subwoofer and it will blast the room full of sound! I would definitely recommend, as this is a high quality sound bar for the price."

"I'm using it in a fairly large finished basement, and I'm very impressed and surprised by the sound it cranks out."

Best sound bar for Medium sized TV

VIZIO S3851w-D4

  • 38’’ 5.1 channel soundbar
  • Sleek and slim design
  • Wide listening angles
  • True surround audio
  • Dolby Digital, DTS CircleSurround, DTS TruVolume and Studio Surround
  • Easy setup
  • Bluetooth connectivity

More soundbars like VIZIO S3851w-D4 in the list of 6 Best Sound Bars for Mid-Sized HDTV from 35 to 45 inches

Click thumbnail to view full-size
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TVVIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TVVIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TVVIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TVVIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV
VIZIO S3851w-D4: Best sound bar for Medium sized TV

VIZIO S3851w-D4 Reviews

"The overall package though is a total winner. As you may know it's won consumer awards including a Best of CES award from CNET. I recommend buying it and freeing yourself from the headaches of yesterday's 5.1."

"I have my Sound Bar connected via optical cable to my PS4 for true 5.1, which I use for playing games, movies, and streaming services."

"Thanks to the satellite speakers, this is true 5.1 surround, not a simulation and it's done through some good quality hardware."

Best sound bar for Larger TV

Paradigm SHIFT Series Soundscape

  • Full powered unobtrusive sound bar
  • 7 channel sound bar
  • Bluetooth with aptX connectivity
  • Ultimate virtual surround experience
  • 350W total output power
  • Amazing clarity
  • Costly

More like Paradigm Soundscape in the list of 7 Best Soundbars for Larger TVs above 45 inch

Paradigm SHIFT Series Soundscape : Best soundbar for larger TV
Paradigm SHIFT Series Soundscape : Best soundbar for larger TV

Paradigm SHIFT Series Soundscape Reviews

" The quality is remarkable; it is relatively small, has very simple functionality, and delivers awesome sound. IMO it does not require a separate bluetooth sub-woofer. I had everything professionally installed. Yes, $1,500 is expensive. But you get what you pay for."

"I took a chance with limited reviews available (anywhere) for this sound bar and I'm VERY happy with it! Rich full sound, clarity is fantastic. Movies and music. Thank you to the few reviews I found that convinced me to make this purchase. I'd highly recommend."

"This soundbar is ridiculous! It absolutely blows away both my Bose and Denon systems. Easy to set up, very sleek looking and the remote is small and simple."

Best wireless Bluetooth sound bar

VIZIO S4251w-B4

  • 3 channel 5.1 sound bar
  • Wireless subwoofer can reach up to 40 Hz
  • Equally good for movies music and games
  • Automatic syncing with sub
  • Easy setup
  • Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS TruVolume and DTS Circle Sound
  • Bluetooth connection

More sound bars like VIZIO S4251w-B4 in the list of 5 Best Wireless Bluetooth Soundbars

VIZIO S4251w-B4 : Best wireless Bluetooth sound bar
VIZIO S4251w-B4 : Best wireless Bluetooth sound bar

VIZIO S4251w-B4 Reviews

"Awesome..the sound is amazing"

"This thing sounds great. Simply plug in the unit, attach the optical cable (included) or whatever you're using, and it's good to go. I've had it about a week and have not experienced any problems."

"Best audio
High quality
Great sound
Works on my 50 inch LG Lcd tv"

Best sound bar with wireless subwoofer / HDMI connections

Sony HT-CT370

  • Unique angular design
  • Built-in gyro sensor for automatic sound adjustment to any position
  • Powerful wireless subwoofer
  • 3 HDMI inputs
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Dolby Digital, Dolby TruHD and DTS HD Master Audio
  • NFC compatible

More like Sony HT-CT370 in the list of 5 Best Soundbars with Wireless Subwoofer


Sony HT-CT370 : Best sound bar with 3 HDMI connections
Sony HT-CT370 : Best sound bar with 3 HDMI connections

Sony HT-CT370 Reviews

"I was also able to stream music from my iPad and an Android phone with no trouble at all. We don't have a Sony TV, but it works great with Samsung TVs."

"We use this Soundbar in a family room and its plenty powerful for everyday use. Sound is great!!!!!!"

"Overall this is a great value for $350. There are many cheaper Soundbars out there. I haven't found one that matches all Sony has to offer. Multiple HDMI ports, great sound from a low profile system, Bluetooth, wireless sub, multiple listening options."

Best sound bar with virtual surround sound

Sony HT-CT660

  • Hexagonal design
  • 3 HDMI, TosLink optical and 3.5 mm analog connections
  • Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS HD-Master Audio, Dolby TruHD
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • True virtual surround sound
  • 330W total power output

See more details in the above list of best 7 Soundbars for Larger TVs above 45 inch

Best sound bar with virtual surround sound : Sony HT-CT660
Best sound bar with virtual surround sound : Sony HT-CT660

Sony HT-CT660 Reviews

"PROS
- Good sound
- Three HDMI inputs
- Wireless subwoofer
- NFC and Bluetooth
- Customizable sound

CONS
- Subwoofer level is too high by default
- No wall-mounting hardware included"

"Of all sound bars in this price range, this one in the best. Works great with all my devices and TV. Shakes the freakin house like crazy!"

"I've had this system for a while now and can say that I've never had any issues with it. Setup was easy and for a medium sized living room it produces great sound."

Best sound bar under $100

Philips HTL2160

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Decent sound quality considering the price
  • Lot of connectivity options. You can connect all your gadgets.
  • Virtual surround sound
  • External subwoofer
  • Slim and stylish

Best sound bar under $100
Best sound bar under $100

Best sound bar under $200

Samsung HW-H450

  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Slim and elegant design
  • HDMI, Bluetooth connection
  • Wall mountable
  • 300W power output
  • Lots of features for the money

Samsung HW-H450 : Best sound bar under $200
Samsung HW-H450 : Best sound bar under $200

Best sound bar under $300 / best wall mountable sound bar

Sony HT-CT370

  • 2.1 Channel sound bar
  • Stylish unique angular design
  • 3 HDMI inputs
  • Dolby Digital, Dolby TruHD and DTS HD Master Audio
  • NFC compatible
  • Worth Every Penny

See the full list of Top 15 Soundbars Under 300 Worth Every Penny

Best sound bar under $300 /wall mountable sound bar : Sony HT-CT370
Best sound bar under $300 /wall mountable sound bar : Sony HT-CT370 | Source

Best sound bar for music

Bose CineMate 1 SR

  • Stylish, sleek and stunningly slim
  • Excellent sound
  • Easy setup
  • Amazing clarity and subtle bass
  • Automatic wireless subwoofer
  • Multi function remote
  • Wall mountable

Best sound bar for music : Bose CineMate 1 SR
Best sound bar for music : Bose CineMate 1 SR

Best sound base

Sony HT-XT1

  • Slim and sturdy
  • 3 HDMI connections
  • LCD front display
  • Amazing sound quality and bass levels
  • Lot of features for the money

Read full specs in the above list of Top 15 Soundbars Under 300 Worth Every Penny

Best sound base : Sony HT-XT1
Best sound base : Sony HT-XT1

Best sound bar for movies and gaming

Yamaha YSP-2500

  • True 7.1 Channel surround system
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • 3 HDMI inputs
  • Bluetooth functionality
  • Classy, extremely slim and elegant design
  • Perfect for movies and games

Comments

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    • akhildev143 profile imageAUTHOR

      Akhil Dev 

      3 years ago from India

      Thank you teaches for the input

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      This would be so wonderful to have in my home. Great post on this information.

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