The Best Soundbars for your TV (with Budget, Subwoofer Combo and Bluetooth Picks)

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Upgrading your TV’s sound has never been easier, with dozens of soundbars that require little setup. Often, you can connect wirelessly to other speakers, your phone and even Google Home to bring your entertainment system to life throughout your home. When choosing a soundbar, it’s important to balance features such as sound output, available input options, connectivity, app offerings and remote control features. Whether budget, bass, connectivity or the ability to mount your soundbar on a wall is most important, we’ve chosen soundbars to fit your qualifications.

What is a Soundbar?

As TVs get smaller, their picture quality increases and their sound quality decreases. Soundbars, a collection of speakers in a bar-shaped housing, are quickly becoming a simple solution to this issue. Instead of relying on the downward- or backward-facing speakers on your TV, you can add the forward-facing speakers of a soundbar to your TV stand for crisper, more articulate sound. While adding a soundbar can be an investment, many deliver high-quality sound for just a few hundred dollars – or less.

Soundbar vs Surround Sound

You traditional surround sound setup includes multiple speakers hardwired and mounted within your living room or home theater. Surround sound delivers incredibly lifelike sound that comes not only from in front of you, but around you. While this effect is desirable, wiring speakers throughout the room can be expensive, time consuming and not always look great. Soundbars usually have a collection of speakers strategically placed within the bar for “virtual” surround sound. They also usually come equipped with the ability to pair with additional speakers and subwoofers wirelessly, so you can create all-around sound with multiple speakers and your soundbar. For more information on deciding if traditional surround sound or a soundbar system is for you, this comparison by Amy Unger from Klipsch is very helpful.

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Best Soundbars Under $300

Soundbar Price Dimensions (W,H,D) Sound Tech. Wireless Tech. Subwoofer
Polk Audio MagniFi Mini $285.00 13.4” x 3.2” x 4.3” 5.1 Dolby Digital Bluetooth, WiFi, Google Cast Wireless
Pioneer SP-SB23W $279.99 36” x 4.7” x 4.7” Dolby Digital Decoding Bluetooth Wireless
VIZIO SB3851-D0 $201.89 38.2” x 3.1” x 3” 5.1 Dolby Digital Bluetooth, Google Cast Wireless

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini This compact soundbar from Polk Audio is a powerhouse with many of the bells and whistles of more expensive, larger models. Polk boasts Voice Adjust technology, which includes Night Mode to keep your TV audible without annoying your neighbors. One downside is the inability to mount the MagniFi Mini on a wall, but the bar itself is so small it can sit on a TV stand without much hassle.

Pioneer SP-SB23W With 6 speakers (4 mid-woofers and 2 tweeters), this soundbar is an affordable solution to your home entertainment needs. The bar is a slim, wall mountable unit with an easy-to-use interface of buttons. This Pioneer soundbar can also be programmed to respond to the remote you already use, eliminating the need for yet another remote on the coffee table.

VIZIO SB3851-D0 While the manufacturer’s website lists this 4-unit Sound Bar System for $299.99, it’s available on Amazon for just over $200, making the set a really good deal. The two satellite speakers help create the feel of a more powerful system, without losing the compact structure that makes soundbars so convenient. This system includes VIZIO SmartCast capabilities so you can use your phone as your remote and enjoy Google Cast. It also includes an Ethernet port, if you would rather use a wired connection.

Best Soundbars Under $200

Soundbar Price Dimensions (W,H,D) Sound Tech. Wireless Tech. Subwoofer
Yamaha YAS-106 $199.95 35” x 2.1” x 5.1” 5.1 Dolby Digital Bluetooth Built In
VIZIO SB3821-D6 $165.89 38.2” x 3” x 3” Dolby Digital Decoding Bluetooth, Google Cast Wireless
JBL Boost TV $149.95 14.8″ x 3.3″ x 4.8″ 5.1 Dolby Digital Bluetooth No

Yamaha YAS-106 The Yamaha YAS-106 is a great solution if you don’t have room for a full subwoofer. With built-in bass, this soundbar packs it all into just 35 inches. The free Yamaha Home Theater Controller app lets you manage your sound from your phone, and Bluetooth compatibility lets you play music and more via your iOS or Android device. The YAS-106 can be wall mounted.

VIZIO SB3821-D6 The VIZIO SB3821-D6 retains many of features of the brand’s more expensive soundbar systems, balancing budget and performance. You can mount the bar on the wall and enjoy VIZIO SmartCast technology, along with Bluetooth, WiFi and Google Cast capabilities. A wireless subwoofer is still included, although the satellite speakers the come with other models are not. The sound technology is also downgraded, with 2.1 Dolby Digital.

JBL Boost TV JBL, well known for their portable speakers and headphones, also delivers an impressive TV soundbar. This small, (very) affordable soundbar connects to three devices at a time via Bluetooth, so you can go seamlessly from the TV to your phone and more. While there is not a subwoofer, either internal or external, Boost TV does a good job of producing a range of sound for everyday listening.

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Best Budget Soundbars

Soundbar Price Dimensions (W,H,D) Sound Tech. Wireless Tech. Subwoofer
VIZIO SB3821-C6 $139.99 38” x 3” x 3” 2.1 Dolby Digital Bluetooth Wireless
Samsung HW-J250 $106.45 28.4″ x 2.6″ x 3″ Dolby Digital Bluetooth Built In
Apex Digital ASB-800 $99.80 39.2” x 4.3” x 4” Analog Audio Bluetooth Built In

VIZIO SB3821-C6 Even at less than $150, VIZIO still includes a wireless subwoofer in its SB3821-C6 soundbar. You’ll lose VIZO SmartCast and Google Cast technology, as well as Ethernet compatibility, but you can still enjoy a USB input and Bluetooth streaming. This soundbar is currently listed at a lower price ($139.99) on the VIZIO website than Amazon, so check multiple sources before buying to get the best deal.

Samsung HW-J250 Samsung offers a quality product, even for just over $100. There are built-in woofers for a complete sound from the bar, which is the same size as the other soundbars in this category. There is Bluetooth capability and the soundbar can be controlled with the Samsung Audio Remote app (although this is available on Android devices only). There is a USB import, and the bar can be mounted on a wall for a tidy entertainment center.

Apex Digital ASB-800 An audio expert or home cinema aficionado will likely not be impressed by the ASB-800 from Apex Digital. However, for anyone looking for an upgrade to their TV speakers without the hassle of multiple speakers and cords, this is the perfect solution. This compact model includes a built-in subwoofer and Bluetooth streaming, all with an exceptionally easy set up. The soundbar can be wall mounted, or placed on your TV stand.

Best Bluetooth Soundbars

Soundbar Price Dimensions (W,H,D) Sound Tech. Wireless Tech. Subwoofer
Yamaha YAS-203 $349.95 34.9″ x 3.2″ x 4.8″ 7.1 AIR SURROUND XTREME & 5.1 Dolby Digital Bluetooth Wireless
LG SH7B $376.99 41.7″ x 2.1″ x 3.4″ 4.1 channel; Dolby Digital Google Cast, WiFi, Bluetooth Wireless
Samsung HW-J7500R $697.99 48.4″ x 1.9″ x 6.7″ 5.1 Dolby Digital WiFi, Bluetooth Wireless

Yamaha YAS-203 While the price is not far above the $300 limit we set above, this soundbar from Yamaha has a lot of added features. The virtual surround sound is a great addition to the system. Convenience abounds, with the ability to use your current remote or the Yamaha app to control your YAS-203. Even if your soundbar sits in front of your TV (although this model can be wall mounted), the bar will pass the signal from your remote to your TV.

LG SH7B LG has created a soundbar that is truly connected, with Bluetooth, WiFi, Google Cast, Spotify Connect and the ability to sync multiple LG Music Flow speakers for whole-home sound. Control is effortless, with an app, remote compatibility, universal search and more. Because this is a speaker built for music, not strictly TV, all your favorite music apps are built in.

Samsung HW-J7500R The curved design and side speakers of this soundbar create an impressive home cinema experience without the hassle. If you have a Samsung TV or will be upgrading soon, the Bluetooth pairing between TV and soundbar makes setup easy. The WiFi capabilities of the Samsung HW-J7500R give you the option of creating a complete surround sound system and multi-room entertainment with additional Samsung speakers – without wiring or overhauling the living room.

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Best Soundbars with Subwoofers

Soundbar Price Dimensions (W,H,D) Sound Tech. Wireless Tech. Subwoofer
Klipsch R-10B $299.99 40” x 4.1” x 2.8” Dolby Digital Decoding Bluetooth Wireless 8″ Cone
Definitive Technology W Studio Micro $699.00 43.4” x 1.8” x 3.3” 3.1 channel None Wireless 8″ Cone
Sony HT-ST9 $998.00 44.5” x 3.5” x 5.2” 7.1 channel; Dolby Digital WiFi, Bluetooth, Google Home, Chromecast Wireless 7.09” cone

Klipsch R-10B This soundbar and subwoofer combination offers a complete system at a great price. The R-10B offers virtual surround sound, which combines with the bass output of the 8” subwoofer for a great home cinema experience. Besides a high-powered subwoofer, there’s also Bluetooth capabilities and music streaming from Pandora, SiriusXM and more. With Klipsch, you have the ability to mount your sound bar to a wall.

Definitive Technology W Studio Micro This soundbar is missing many of the features that others included in this category, including Bluetooth connectivity and Dolby Digital capabilities. However, for someone who wants a slim soundbar paired with a powerful subwoofer and the ability to connect more speakers wirelessly, this is a great system. While many soundbars focus on apps and the ability to switch from music to movies and back, Definitive Technology’s W Studio Micro operates as a great home cinema system.

Sony HT-ST9 If the ability to connect to multiple devices and systems is important to you, turn instead to the Sony HT-ST9. With Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, plus integration with Google Home, this soundbar and subwoofer combination will soon become the hub of your home. You’ll also be able to use Spotify as your remote with Spotify Connect. This soundbar is great for movies and music, and was developed with gamers and sports fans in mind as well.

Best Soundbars with Subwoofers

Soundbar Price Dimensions (W,H,D) Sound Tech. Wireless Tech. Subwoofer
Bose Solo 5 $249.00 21.6” x 2.6” x 3.4” 5.1 channel Bluetooth
Sonos PLAYBAR $699.00 35.4” x 3.4” x 5.5” dolby Digital WiFi
Focal Dimension $799.00 45.3” x 4.5” x 4.5” 5.1 channel Bluetooth

Bose Solo 5 Even without an external subwoofer, Bose delivers a full range of sound and includes a bass control button on the soundbar’s remote. This bar is affordable, compact, stylish and easy to use. There are multiple input options available and the bar comes with a universal remote, or you can program the bar to your current remote. The wall mounting kit necessary to keep the Solo 5 off your TV stand can be purchased separately for about $25, an understandable price.

Sonos PLAYBAR Sonos offer a complete system that starts with this soundbar and extends with SUB and PLAY:1s. That’s not to say that the PLAYBAR isn’t great on its own. The Sonos app and more than 30 built-in music streaming services make this a multi-functional soundbar. While there is no Bluetooth connectivity, you can use WiFi and Ethernet connections. Sound is adjustable with bass and treble controls. The wall mount kit for this soundbar is available from Sonos for about $40.

Focal Dimension Focal’s Dimension offers a larger option, which you might expect from a soundbar without a companion subwoofer. While this bar lacks bells and whistles, its focus on sound is evident. This soundbar has collected numerous awards and now has an updated remote for improved functionality. The wall mount you’ll need to hang the Dimension is included, which is to be expected at this price.

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*All prices listed were found on Amazon in March 2017, unless otherwise noted.

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