Best Sound Bars Reviews When you set up your home theater room, sound is every bit as important as the visual quality of your equipment. There is a perfect sound bar for every budget and room size.

10 Best Sound Bars

Novices and experts alike want the best their money can buy as they create their ideal home theater space.  When the sights and sounds are just right, you can truly imagine you are in a real theater.  Suddenly, watching your favorite shows and movies has become even more exciting.   You will be able to hear each cannon “boom” from behind you, in your war movie.  You can hear each instrument of your favorite musical scores and relish the combination of the two.

Home theaters are growing in popularity as many people are going to the movies less and staying at home more.  Invite your friends and watch them try to keep their jealousy at bay while they want your sound system for themselves!  Choose the right sound bar for your specific TV and room size.  Large or small, with as many or little features as you personally desire, our guide can help you make the right choice!

 

1
Sony-HTCT260H-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 9.9 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 9.8 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 9.8 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 9.8 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 9.9 of 10
Equal sound across the board from light rainfall to thundering booms Some units stopped working within weeks
2
VIZIO-S5451w-C2-5.1-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 9.6 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 9.9 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 9.5 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 9.4 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 9.7 of 10
This sound bar system is perfect for wide screen TV’s and has optimum sound value The 54” long sound bar may block the sensor for your TV remote
3
VIZIO-S4251w-B4-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 8.9 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 8.8 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 8.7 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 9.6 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 8.5 of 10
The best “true” surround sound for any home theater room Speakers come without directions for calibration
4
VIZIO-SB4051-C0-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 8.6 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 8.5 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 8.4 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 8.5 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 8.7 of 10
Less than 1% harmonic distortion to interfere with your listening pleasure Some “fading in and out” of sounds happen occasionally
5
VIZIO-S3821W-C0B-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 7.9 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 7.7 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 7.8 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 7.8 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 7.9 of 10
Super easy setup with just one cable to connect Sound bar sometimes turns itself off while in use, for no reason
6
VIZIO-S3851w-D4B-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 7.7 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 7.6 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 7.5 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 7.6 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 7.7 of 10
A fabulous choice for your large sized HDTV and great room Input connections caused some issues for users
7
Bose-Solo-TV-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 7.2 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 7.3 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 7.2 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 7 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 7.1 of 10
One connection and only one plug for the easiest setup available The remote is too simplistic and needs more options for most users
8
VIZIO-SB3821-C6-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 6.9 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 6.6 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 6.5 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 6.3 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 6.9 of 10
Great value for the sound that fits your large HDTV Connectivity issues start small but get bigger in a hurry
9
Yamaha-YAS-201-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 6.5 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 6.6 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 6.4 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 6.5 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 6.7 of 10
Even volume control is a great feature Poor bass sound on older TV models
10
LG-Electronics-NB3530A-logo
  • Expert Popularity Score : 5.9 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 5.8 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 5.7 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 5.9 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 5.8 of 10
Wonderfully easy to add multiple audio devices Subwoofer starting going out shortly after warranty

SOUND BAR BUYING GUIDE

There are several topics to explore before purchasing your sound bar.  The first decision you have to make is to decide how will you use your sound bar?

The least amount of options, the better the price.  If you are just watching TV and movies, a smaller, all-in-one unit will do nicely.  If you wish to listen to music as well, you will definitely want something with excellent speakers.

Lastly, if there are any serious gamers in your home, they will enjoy the appeal of surround sound to hear all “detail sounds” in their games.  You can purchase a reasonable sound bar system that encompasses all these needs.

Warranties are a necessary evil.  We are not saying you have to purchase the extended warranties offered, but you do want a good one.  Let’s face it, there are “lemons” of every product.  The standard is a one year warranty for non-commercial use.

If you are using the product commercially, such as outside of your own home, (church, school, small group, etc.) it may be substantially less than that.  Following are five more areas you should explore before making your purchase.

  • Budget– Unless you have recently won the lottery or are independently wealthy, most of us have a budget.  Don’t fall for fancy features that you won’t use as it will inflate the price.

Once you know what your expectations are, listen to the sound quality of the various brands for yourself.  A sound bar may sound differently to a variety of consumers and environments.  Ask your retailer if they offer a home preview.

  • Size and Placement – Seriously look at the size of TV you have and purchase a complimentary one.  The sound bar should not be larger than your TV.

That is simply overkill.  If your room is smaller rather than larger, again choose an appropriate size for the room and the exact placement of the unit.

  • Speakers – Most sound bars have two to five speakers encased in a single thin module.  If you are not sure where to start, look at the 2.1 speaker options.  You can always add more.  You also need to know that investing in good speakers is worth the extra money!
  • Subwoofer– You will definitely want a model that has a subwoofer to reproduce the bass sounds. Luckily, most of these are standard within the sound bar itself and are wireless.  If you are purchasing a sound system where the subwoofer is separate, you must consider the very important placement of it.
  • Extra Features – Finally you need to address the unique features you want for your sound bar system.  If there are specific features you just have to have, it’s best to know what they are ahead of time.   You don’t want to be talked into unnecessary and costly options.

These are the top extra features available: Bluetooth connectivity, even volume control, dialog enhancement, HDMI capability, remotes and even apps for your smartphone or tablet.  If you are well prepared with your list of wants and needs, our expert and customer reviews can be all the help you need in choosing your sound bar.

 

SOUND BARS AND SOUND BASES

In the beginning you decided you needed extra speakers for your TV.  Though the picture got better with emerging technology, the sound didn’t.  When you started to do a little research you ascertained you basically have two choices: sound bases or sound bars.

If you are not an audio “geek” your discovery left you weak in the knees.  Now what?  What is a normal person to do?  You just wanted to boost some sound, not build a whole theater!

fall detection medical alertSize

Sound bases are bigger than sound bars.  Now bigger doesn’t always mean better, but there are some reasons a sound base might be best for you.  Sound bases are not meant to be hung.  Because of their size, they fit under a television or rest on a table or media stand.  Some TV’s can sit on top of the sound base, but check the weight limit of both before you try this.

fall detection medical alertDrivers

Sound bases may have more drivers for a better bass sound and don’t always need an extra subwoofer.  Be sure to determine if the sound base has this or not. You don’t want to get home and find that your particular model needs a subwoofer as well.

fall detection medical alertNumber of speakers

Sound bars, on the other hand, have a number of speakers inside the sound bar enclosure.  Because they are wider it’s easy to understand why they are able to produce a wider sound within the room.   If you are listening to music, this one feature alone should sway you towards purchasing a sound bar.  This is also a  better choice if your desire is for surround sound.

fall detection medical alertVersatility

Some users love the versatility of the sound bar.  They are normally mounted on the wall but are also able to sit in front of your TV.  Because of their compact size there are more placement options than a sound base.  They are usually accompanied by a wireless subwoofer which is included in many models.  The pricier ones also have Dolby Digital or DTS Audio or better.

Both options give you better sound by augmenting your television speakers.  If you don’t have room for a multi-speaker system, these will do the job.  The HDMI is also a nice feature you can find in both types of units.  The best advice we can give you is to listen to more than one choice.  Never buy one without hearing the sound quality.  Your ears will tell you which product to buy so you won’t be disappointed.You won’t be disappointed in either choice.

 

IMPORTANT FEATURES OF SOUND BARS

things to considerConnections

This is one of the most important features you need to learn about before purchasing a sound bar.  If you are like most people connecting your sound bar to your TV is scary.  You like things simple and easy.  You don’t want to ask for help from someone else or even pay them to come and install your sound bar system.  Plus, such a scenario would only increase the price of it all.

You will mostly likely choose an active sound bar.  You want the whole process of installing your sound bar to be “one-step”.  You can achieve that by having all the important features housed in one compact, streamlined bar.  It will include amplifiers, speakers and other features together and can be used in minutes.  Your bar should also support a Bluetooth connection.

For those users who are technically adept,  you will find most sound bars have one or more digital audio inputs.  Match your input on the bar to  the output of your source devices.  An HDMI connection is best if you need flexibility.  This way you can go back and forth from various source components with ease.

things to considerWattage

This is another important yet confusing factor for those who are technically challenged.  Your speaker wattage should give you the full sound you pine for without damaging your hearing in any way.  If you have ever been near someone playing their music too loud or gone a bit deaf after a rock concert, you know what I am talking about.

Most people purchase a sound bar to enhance the sound of their TV’s.  These can run from 50-100 watts.  Now the wattage tells you how much electrical power your sound bar speaker uses to augment the sound.  The safe range for most home theater rooms can handle about 80-105 decibels.

Do not purchase an expensive sound bar that is over 120 watts.  You simply don’t need it.    You want your television, music or game system to give you great sound, not make you feel like you live next door to a busy airport.

things to considerStreaming Audio

One of the most sought after features on a sound bar is Bluetooth connectivity or NFC (Near Field Communication).  Since we are talking specifically about “sound”, being able to stream your music from your smartphone, laptop or tablet is ideal.  The simple transaction of streaming music from other audio devices is applicable in two different forms.

First of all you can access online music services such as internet radio, Spotify or Pandora.  Just as you would listen to them on your smartphone or tablet, they can now be amplified over your sound bar.  For those audiophiles who relish hearing every note, their music listening capability just intensified several times over.  The sound is impeccable when paired with a sound bar that any ordinary speaker cannot duplicate.

The second way you can achieve this is to access your personal digital music library, also from one of your mobile devices or computer.  Either way  you choose to listen to music, high-priced sound bars usually offer this feature and simply call it “Bluetooth Connectivity”.

 

OUR VERDICT

Our reviewers are a panel of experts and consumers just like you.  They are looking for sound quality, dependability, special features and affordability.  All these factors combined with actual consumer complaints are used to create our Top Ten.   The first six spots are held by VIZIO sound bars.  The remaining four spots are taken by the following brands: Bose, Sony, Yamaha and LG Electronics, in descending order.  We have reviewed specific models of each brand to reach our decisions.  We hope you enjoy the information provided so you can purchase the best sound bar for your home.

  1. VIZIO SB3821-C6
  2. VIZIO S5451w-C2 5.1
  3. VIZIO S4251w-B4
  4. VIZIO SB4051-C0
  5. VIZIO S3821W-C0B
  6. VIZIO S3851w-D4B
  7. Bose Solo TV
  8. Sony HTCT260H
  9. Yamaha YAS-201
  10. LG Electronics NB3530A

Total ReviewsBee Rating

The total Reviews Bee rating sums up the overall picture of every product. Reviews Bee works tirelessly to ensure that we are providing the best product recommendations to you and your family. In rating the various sound bars available, we strive to give you the best information possible.Our algorithm includes information from both expert and consumer resources. There is no need to spend hours on researches, because Reviews Bee instantly gives all researches and analysis for you and creates a Top list to save your time and money.

1. We Collect Data from All Around the Web

Reviews Bee collects consumer review information from popular retail websites including Amazon, eBay, BBB, Yelp, Consumerrepports, etc. In addition, Reviews Bee utilizes reputable market niche websites, to include in the product ranking decision. Using the feedback of actual customers in coordination with expert evaluations enables us to provide each product with a score that takes into account all trustworthy information available on that item.

2. We Analyze the Data Expert Popularity Score, Expert Ratings, Consumer Popularity Score, Consumer Ratings and Consumer Complaints are inserted into our algorithm in order to calculate our Reviews Bee Score. This score, in turn, is used to rank each sound bar in our Top 10 recommendation. The Reviews Bee score is a summary of each of the most important factors indicating the value of a sound bar.

3. We Deliver The Best Results By taking each of these essential factors into account, we are able to give each sound bar an overall Reviews Bee Score that ranks each product against the others in our Top 10 list. By using a vast array of expert and consumer ratings, reviews, and feedback, Reviews Bee provides you with the most comprehensive analysis of product information available to you. You can make your purchase knowing that the best research was utilized to make your decision.

Overall Algo

Customer Rating Sources

Expert Rating Sources

Our Algorithm Factors

1. Expert Popularity Score

We came up with the popularity score for every sound bar provider while analyzing 26 expert sites that are trustworthy. Based on our detailed evaluation, each sound bar is assigned an expert popularity score based upon how many times each product is positively mentioned by experts in the industry.

2. Expert Ranking Score

By analyzing all the expert review sites our algorithm summed up the average ranking for every sound bar in their rankings and that is how we came up with the final score for each sound bar brand.

3. Consumer Popularity Score

We managed to gather more than 2561 reviews from 29 reliable sources and our algorithm calculated the average score for each brand.

4. Consumer Rating Score

In order to understand how satisfied those consumers were, we analyzed the total number of reviews. We collected all the reviews and the number of stars people gave for each product. Based on these findings we came up with the average customer rating. This is how we managed to bring out the sound bar reviews through which you know how the consumer can rate the sound bars.

5. Consumer Complaint Score

In order to make our results authentic, we don’t limit ourselves to just the positive rankings factors but we also take complaints from all over the web into consideration and figure out how many customers were complaining about the product.
Through this, we show both sides of the product whether it’s positive or negative in nature. This then makes it a negative factor in our algorithm. This as a result makes the best sound bars reviews. That is why sound bars reviews not only have positive comments mentioned but also the negatives as well.