Best soundbars 2020: the best compact audio systems for your home

What is the least expensive soundbar you’d advocate?

Whereas it would not have many fancy options, the Sony HT-MT300 gives a compact soundbar that may match nearly any residence theater and a wi-fi sub for simply $200 / £200. If you’d like one thing low cost, easy and straightforward to setup, that is the ‘bar to go for.

In search of the perfect soundbar you should buy in 2020? It is an necessary funding for any residence cinema fanatic, whether or not you need to apply it to its personal or as a part of an immersive 5.1 speaker system. 

As TV shows get slimmer and slimmer, their built-in audio system are usually missing. Let’s face it, even the perfect Samsung TV may use an exterior speaker system – and that is why we have rounded up the perfect soundbars available on the market in a single helpful information.

What you may discover beneath is our round-up of the perfect soundbars in the stores in 2020, from the uber-expensive, feature-rich and ultra-affordable. Our checklist has a little bit of every part and whereas the costlier ‘bars would possibly offer you just a few extra options or a wider soundstage, it is well-worth contemplating the cheaper choices on right here too, as they sound nice for the worth and will not break the financial institution.

Our prime picks

The perfect soundbars 2020

best soundbar

(Picture credit score: Samsung)

1. Samsung HW-Q90R Soundbar

Be afraid, conventional Hello-Fi audio system. Be very afraid.

Dimensions: 1226 x 83 x 136mm (W x H x D) | Speaker configuration: 7.1.four | Claimed audio energy: 512W | Connections: 2 x HDMI inputs, 1 x HDMI output with eARC, optical digital audio enter, USB (service solely), Bluetooth and WiFi

Superb sound quality

Effective Dolby Atmos

13 separate drivers

Humongous price, size and weight

No AirPlay or AptX for Bluetooth

Sennheiser is best known for its range of headphones and professional microphones, but it recently extended its ambitions to home audio as well, with the introduction of its new Ambeo Soundbar. 

The bulky soundbar is packed with the latest audio technologies, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for surround sound audio, as well as Sennheiser’s own Ambeo ‘virtual 3D’ sound system. Sennheiser clearly has its sights set on the home cinema market with the Ambeo, although the bar’s Wi-Fi connectivity means that it can double up as a pretty impressive music system as well.

It’s not perfect – Sennheiser’s reliance on Google Home to provide wifi streaming seems like an odd choice – but the sheer sound quality of the Ambeo Soundbar ensures that it justifies its wallet-breaking price tag.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Ambeo 3D Soundbar review

best soundbar

(Image credit: Sonos)

6. Sonos Playbar

Turns your multi-room audio system into wireless surround sound

Power: Not quoted | Speakers: 9 | Dimensions: 900 x 85 x 140mm | Weight: 5.4kg | Inputs: 1 x digital optical, 2 x Ethernet LAN | Outputs: N/A | Wireless: WiFi | Special features: Sonos Play:1 speakers can be connected as wireless rear speakers

Beautiful sound

Integrates with Sonos systems 

Clever audio modes

Requires particular TVs 

The Sonos Playbar is a non-HDMI device that uses optical to hook up to a TV. Used simply on its own it delivers a massive sonic boost to your TV listening, but operating it does require using a smartphone or tablet app. The benefit is that it can seamlessly segue in to a Sonos wireless system, and can even act as the front three speakers in a 5.1 setup with two Play:1s acting as rears. 

Unfortunately although it’s optical-only setup will be great for most, it does exclude owners of TVs that lack this connector, which has pushed it a little further down this list. 

Read the full review: Sonos Playbar review

Sonos Beam

7. Sonos Beam

This is the smart soundbar we’ve been waiting for

Power: N/A | Speakers: 3 channels | Dimensions: 2.70 x 25.625 x 3.94 in. (68.5 x 651 x 100 mm) | Weight: 6.2 lbs (2.8 kg) | Inputs: 1 x Digital Optical-In, 1 x HDMI-in | Wireless: Sonos | Subwoofer included?: No | Special features: Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2

Great compact design

HDMI ARC compatible

Superb sound

No Dolby Atmos

The Sonos Beam is a fantastic soundbar for its price, one that takes full advantage of the Sonos ecosystem and is a joy to use (and set up, if your television has HDMI ARC). Its smaller form factor means it’s a device that will sit comfortably next to a 32-inch TV but it’s got enough of a footprint to not be dwarfed by a much bigger set. 

The Sonos Beam doesn’t offer earth-shattering bass and the lack of Dolby Atmos support will irk some, but at this price point it’d be more of a surprise if it had been included. The voice control may be Alexa-only for now, but it works well and if you have adopted some of Amazon’s TV toys, it really is worth experimenting with. 

Read the full review: Sonos Beam review

Denon HEOS Bar

8. Denon HEOS Bar

A powerful and well-connected Playbar challenger

Power: N/A | Speakers: 3.0 | Dimensions: 2 7/8 x 43 3/8 x 5 7/8 inches; 72 x 1100 x 148 mm | Weight: 10.58 lbs; 4.8 kg | Inputs: 4K HDMI Input and HDMI Output | Wireless: Bluetooth, 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Special features: Heos Multi-Room Audio

Excellent sound quality

Handles all formats & streams

Occasional switching delay

Inaccessible USB slot

 With its nine drivers are arranged in trios for left, center and right channels and a virtual surround mode to create the illusion of having more speakers around the room, the HEOS Bar is pretty much whatever you want it to be.  

Blessed with such a balanced soundscape, the HEOS Bar proved immediately adept with music, and has a consistently warm yet refined sound quality that’s all its own. The fact that it lacks the opportunity to tweak the audio settings is not as important as we had feared. 

Music sounds superb, especially lossless tunes, from which HEOS Bar drags out a lot of detail. However, we did notice on a couple of occasions that the first half-a-second was cut-off songs. 

Read the full review: Denon HEOS Bar review

best soundbars

(Image credit: Cliff Joseph)

9. Vizio SB362An-F6 Sound Bar

Impressive sonic upgrade for your TV, at a bargain-basement price

Power: N/A | Speakers: 2.0 | Dimensions: 914.4mm x 52.1mm x 133.1mm | Weight: 5.61 Lbs. / 2.54 Kg | Inputs: 1 x digital optical,1x 3.5 mm jack | Wireless: Bluetooth | Subwoofer included?: No

Powerful, dramatic sound

Dolby Audio and DTS Virtual:X

No HDMI

No LCD display

The key feature of the SB362An-F6 – also referred to more helpfully as the “36-inch 2.1 Sound Bar” on most retailer’s websites – is really its sheer value for money, costing just £149 in the UK and an even more competitive $139 in the US, where it was launched at the end of last year.

Despite the bargain-basement price, the SB362An-F6 is neatly designed, measuring 36 inches wide, and a streamlined 2 inches high, and 5.2 inches deep (914xx52x133mm). It will sit comfortably underneath the screen of most TVs, and Vizio also includes a pair of wall-mount brackets as well. 

The SB362An-F6 isn’t perfect, but its dramatic and imposing sound provides a real audio upgrade for your television’s built-in speakers. The Virtual:X technology works well too, helping to create a more immersive atmosphere while you’re watching. And while it might be missing a few bells and whistles, there’s no doubt that the SB362An-F6 provides excellent value for money.

Read the full review: Vizio SB362An-F6 review

soundbars

(Image credit: Polk Audio)

10. Polk Audio Command Bar

Inexpensive and very smart

Power: N/A | Speakers: 1 | Dimensions: 43 x 14.5 x 14.4 inches | Weight: 8.6lbs | Inputs: 1 x SPDIDF, 1 x HDMI, 1 x TOSLINK, 1 x micro-USB connection | Outputs: 1 x HDMI output with Audio Return Channel (ARC) | Wireless: Bluetooth | Subwoofer included?: Yes | Special features: Alexa built in

Alexa built-in

Space for a Fire TV stick

Inexpensive

Audio is mediocre

If $300 is your budget cap for a smart sound bar, then we highly recommend the Polk Audio Command Bar for any small or medium-sized living room.

As you might be able to tell based on the soundbar’s design, the Command Bar comes with Alexa built right into it making it unquestionably smart. It’s also relatively inexpensive too, coming in at $250 (£249, AU$649), and it comes with a subwoofer. 

It has defined and powerful low end, some cool smart features, and looks pretty good, too.

Read the full review: Polk Audio Command Bar review

The best soundbar under $200

What’s the best soundbar for around $200/£200?

We can’t stress this enough: when it comes to soundbars, there’s a lot of choice. Despite being called soundbars, they tend to come in different shapes and sizes. They also range in price from under £100/$100 to over £1,000/$1,500 (see: Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier). 

The cheaper the model you go for, the more basic the connections are likely to be. Whereas more expensive ones add superior HDMI inputs (including 4K / HDR passthrough), wireless audio streaming (e.g. Bluetooth and AirPlay), better power, more refined speaker drivers, and decoding of Blu-ray sound formats.

Of course a full surround setup is the premium solution to bad-sounding TVs, but if you’re short on space (as well as budget) then a soundbar offers a good compromise. So what is the best soundbar for around £200/$200? 

Sony HT-MT300 Soundbar£199 (UK) / $199 (US)
Most individuals simply need a soundbar that works and sounds nice and Sony’s entry stage HT-MT300 soundbar does simply that. For $200 / £200, you get a compact soundbar that may match nearly any residence theater and a wi-fi sub that you may place below your couch to essentially really feel the bass. View Deal

Why ought to I purchase a soundbar?

If you happen to admire the slim aesthetic of your new 4K TV over every part else, then a superb soundbar is your best choice to get probably the most out of your favourite TV exhibits and movies. They’re constructed to be simply as pleasing to the attention as they’re to the ear. They’re additionally a superb resolution for smaller houses and rooms with little area that would not be capable to squeeze a 7.1 channel speaker system in. 

Nearly all of soundbars on this checklist are made to sit down in entrance of your display screen, however they can be wall-mounted above or to the aspect of it as effectively, offering you with final alternative as to how your property leisure set-up seems.

Regardless of most solely that includes front-facing audio system, many soundbars are in a position to confidently venture sound in a approach that makes it appear as if there’s booming audio coming from each course.

Greatest soundbars at a look

  1. Samsung HW-Q90R Soundbar
  2. Sony HT-X8500 Soundbar
  3. Q Acoustics M4 Soundbar
  4. Samsung HW-Q70R Soundbar
  5. Sennheiser Ambeo 3D Soundbar
  6. Sonos Playbar
  7. Sonos Beam
  8. Denon HEOS Bar
  9. Vizio SB362An-F6 Sound Bar
  10. Polk Audio Command Bar

Soundbar offers