Top 10 Best Sound Bar For the Money 2020

As modern day manufactures are trying to rock high-definition and pristine displays in the competitively priced sleek televisions which ensure that you can make out even the smallest of details for a complete viewing experience.

But in the era of HDR color and 4K Ultra HD, televisions are falling short when it comes to the department of sound given the ever-diminishing room for a robust sound system.

In such a scenario, soundbars can suffice your audio requirements without dampening the overall aesthetics. The easy to install soundbars feature numerous speakers which get powered in unison when connected to the television without the requirement of any separate receiver.

Today we shall take you through ten of the most effective soundbars which can make your modern day tv viewing experience absolute delight after taking a look at the points of importance which should be considered before purchasing the same.

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Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System$$$
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JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Starter System with Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Bluetooth$$$$
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Samsung HW-J355 2.1 Channel 120 Watt Wired Audio Soundbar$$
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Sound BlasterX Katana Multi-Channel Surround Gaming and Entertainment Soundbar$$$$
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Polk Audio SB225 Universal Bluetooth Soundbar$
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Yamaha YAS-107BL Sound Bar with Dual Built-In Subwoofers & Bluetooth$$
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Samsung HW-M360/ZA 2.1 Channel 200 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar$$
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VIZIO SB3820-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar$
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JBL Bar Studio 2.0-Channel Soundbar with Bluetooth$
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VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar$
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  • If you wish to simply enhance the sound quality of your television, then a sound bar having 2.1 channels shall be enough. But if you are seeking surround sound, then you need to purchase a sound bar having rear speakers and a subwoofer for enjoying multichannel sound.
  • Placement of the sound bar also has a great role to play in determining its ultimate efficacy. If you wish to place the same on the TV stand, then you need to ensure that enough room is present in front of the set. You should also ensure that the height of the sound bar doesn’t end up blocking the line of sight of the remote control to the TV.
  • Coming to connections, HDMI is always the most preferred one over and above optical cables which are common in most of the sound bars. HDMI interface supports much more audio formats when compared to optical cables which paves the path for immersive audio. Modern day HDMI connections are rendering support to ARC or audio return channel feature wherein audio is sent back to the sound bar by the TV.
  • Bringing home a Bluetooth enabled sound bar can be of great help in sending music wirelessly from mobile devices such as phones, tablets or computers to the sound bar speaker. While some are equipped with two-way Bluetooth for letting you transmit music to the Bluetooth enabled headphones or speakers from the sound bar, others support NFC or near field communication for accelerating the initial Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Models having built-in Wi-Fi, aid in accessing online music services such as Spotify and Pandora using the sound bar directly. Some even feature a wired connection through an Ethernet jack with your home network. They can thus access TV shows or movies which are being streamed over Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well as internet radio stations like Rhapsody, Slacker etc.

1. Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System

The all black design of this minimalistic sound bar gets accentuated by status indicators housed in the front which reveal the current mode of the Bose Solo 5 as it delivers mind boggling audio for taking your TV viewing experience to a whole new level.

Featuring wireless connectivity, this versatile soundbar can be placed absolutely anywhere in the room as you get to enjoy deeper bass, richer effect and soundtracks with more distinct dialogues for matching the HD picture quality of your television.

You will not find any control buttons on the soundbar itself as they all come embedded in the universal remote control which can be programmed to control other devices such as Blu-ray player, DVD, satellite box etc. by making use of the manufacturer IR codes database.

The six labelled shortcut buttons located at the top of the remote have been specially programmed for controlling an independent device.

The auto-wake function of the Solo 5 aids in detecting the sound source automatically so that you don’t have to turn it manually along with your television.

Coming to the connectivity department, the manufacturers have kept it simple and minimal in the form of just coaxial, optical and auxiliary connections although it misses out on an HDMI port.

On turning on the dialogue mode, you can listen to crystal clear speech which becomes an absolute must while watching movies as it improves intelligibility by decreasing the bass and emphasises on the spoken word.

The dual speakers located towards the center of the speaker doesn’t help much with stereo separation and the soundstage is also very narrow causing sound effects to lack directionality while watching films.

Pros

PROS:

  • Supreme dialogue clarity helping you in making the most out of your entertainment drive.
  • Audio churned out is loud enough for filling up a medium-sized room.
  • Comes with a universal remote.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio streaming.
  • Compact model which is easy to setup.
  • Status indicators on the remote light up for portraying its current mode.

Cons

CONS:

  • Cannot be hooked up to a subwoofer.
  • Wall mount kit has to be purchased separately.

2. JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Starter System with Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Bluetooth

The well-built sound bar from JBL features a metallic grill which covers the front side thus rendering protection to the drivers. Stellar grip is imparted by the dual rubber feet housed at the bottom which makes it easy to place the versatile beauty on a table.

There is also an LED callout housed neatly at the front behind the metal grill. You can get all the basic information such as volume level, input source, pairing etc. from the display.

Although the bar does not radiate a plush aura, its compact stature can snugly fit under most of the televisions standing on a table top. Its wireless subwoofer emits a white blinking light when it is searching for a connection and becomes solid white once the connection gets established.

The connectivity frontier of the sound bar is guarded by USB, AUX input, HDMI In and Bluetooth for pass-through and HDMI out for Audio Return Channel (ARC).Although its plastic made remote control does not emit the same feel as that of the premium soundbar, its rubber buttons surely tags along a clicky feel.

You can also access a plethora of features such as bass, audio sync, sound shift, sound mode, night mode, surround and many more coupled with the remote which also comes with a Dim Display button for ensuring an immersive viewing experience.

The JBL Bar 2.1 packs in a sonic punch in terms of crisp vocals and clarity of instruments. You can also make the most out of shooting games by hooking it up with your PS4 Pro or Xbox One as that extra thump of shotgun delights you to the core.

Pros

PROS:

  • Wireless sound bar aids with flexible positioning without having to undergo the hassle of wires.
  • Great audio performance guaranteed by its 300W power output.
  • Features various sound modes including virtual surround.
  • Has been specially designed to work with modern day TV remotes.
  • Clear mids, highs and lows.

Cons

CONS:

  • Optical cable might not stay in its place at all times.
  • Weak channel separation.

3. Samsung HW-J355 2.1 Channel 120 Watt Wired Audio Soundbar

The dual tweeters and midrange speakers of the HW-J355delivers the combined power of 120W whereas the stand along subwoofer hikes up the power meter further by 60W.

Although this might not deliver the bone rattling power of its higher priced peers, it is bound to seem more than adequate for being played in large open plan rooms. ‘Clear Voice technology’ of Samsung helps in identifying human speech for being delivered differently than background noise.

The dual combination of built-in woofers and wired subwoofer delivers rich bass which can enhance your cinematic experience like none other.

Any of your Bluetooth-enabled device can be used for wirelessly powering up the Samsung HW-J355 Soundbar.

Once it has been switched on, it can wirelessly stream audio from tablets, smartphones and computers apart from television.

This Soundbar is compatible with the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Samsung 3D TV variants.

You can even use Sound Connect for being paired up with your television to enjoy richer and clearer music, movies and TV shows.

Samsung Audio Remote application helps users in exercising control over the home entertainment system via their tablet or smartphone.

This versatile application assists in adjusting equalizer settings and making music playlists. The sleek look of this soundbar can blend in pretty well with most of the television sets.

This can come in handy especially while having a house party as the HW-J355 assists in easily playing tunes through Spotify and similar applications.

Pros

PROS:

  • Supports optical, TV sound connect, Bluetooth and USB input.
  • Audio soundbar can be wall mounted for space saving.
  • Vibrant bass is delivered by the wired subwoofer.
  • It becomes easy to exercise mobile control coupled with the Samsung Audio Remote.
  • It supports AV decoding for AAC, WMA, MP3, FLAC, OGG and WAV formats.

Cons

CONS:

  • Bluetooth tends to get disconnected.

4. Sound BlasterX Katana Multi-Channel Surround Gaming and Entertainment Soundbar

At just three inches tall and two feet long, the slim profile of the Sound BlasterX Katana can fit comfortably under your monitor whether it is placed on a movable arm or a stand.

Although it ensures a perfect fit for a 24-inch monitor, anything ranging up to 35 inches can work just fine with this audio giant.

The sheer slimness offered by its cannot be matched by the other gaming “sound bars” plying the market which further adds to its lucrativeness. It also comes powered by multi-core audio DSP which makes it the first ever Under Monitor Audio System (UMAS).

Whether you are watching movies or trying out your hand in hard-core gaming, the dual force of the Dolby Digital 5.1 Decoder and BlasterX Acoustic Engine ushers in an immersive audio experience.

A penultimate combination of a sophisticated 5-driver system and powerful 24-bit high resolution DAC is embodied by its audio system.

The sound device also comes loaded with an array of connectivity options making it one of the most versatile speakers available in the market for your desktops.

The Aurora reactive lighting system incorporated by Katana with 49 LED lights programmable from edge to edge can set your mood as you get to choose from 16.8 million colors for creating your unique profile and elevating your visual experience.

Its 5-driver design comprises of one long-throw driver in its subwoofer and two high-excursion tweeters and two up-firing midbass drivers in the soundbar for delivering ultra-precise audio.

You can thus hear all the intricate details which its peer speakers otherwise fail to deliver.

Pros

PROS:

  • Plenty of volume offered by its easily tuneable audio.
  • Sleek package in comparison to most of the PC speakers.
  • Unobtrusive and simple software.

Cons

CONS:

  • Audio does not sound as directional or wide as its 2+ discreet speakers.

5. Polk Audio SB225 Universal Bluetooth Soundbar

The universal Polk Audio SB225 soundbar features both auxiliary and optical inputs which helps in hooking it up with DVD players, televisions, gaming consoles, Blu-ray players and even gaming consoles.

The in-built Smart bar technology helps the device in learning about the functions of your television’s remote which in turn can minimise clutter associated with usage of multiple remotes.

The sound bar of the Polk Smart sound system features dual 2.5” full range drivers which can easily fill up your room with amazing sound.

Coupled with this soundbar, you can readily transform your home into a mini theatre where stellar audio-visual experience guarantees that you can make the most out of your television sessions.

Its built-in keyhole slots help in wall mounting of this sound bar for delivering space saving solutions.

The Polk Smart SB225 sound bar can thus serve as the ultimate option for sound enthusiasts who are on the lookout for an easy setup which matches with the dramatic boost delivered by home theatre audio.

You can easily feel the passion of movie dialogues, gravity of video games as well as song beats with the Dolby Digital sound waves.

This can enhance everything from MP3 to movies thus elevating heated dialogues of your favorite tinsel town stars while suppressing all background and static noise.

Pros

PROS:

  • Can be wall-mounted easily coupled with the built-in keyhole slots.
  • Comes with a remote control which can be used for regulating the bass level as well as source selection.
  • Can be connected directly with your DVD, TV, gaming console or Blu-ray player.
  • It is compatible with a large number of televisions.
  • Features both auxiliary and optical inputs.
  • Can be set up pretty easily.

Cons

CONS:

  • A projector cannot be connected through the Bluetooth.

6. Yamaha YAS-107BL Sound Bar with Dual Built-In Subwoofers & Bluetooth

Although the YAS-107BL looks a lot like your everyday sound bar it packs in heavyweight functionalities.

This three-way speaker aids in splitting highs, mids and lows between three different drivers. Although its 2-1/8 inch woofers and 1-inch metal dome tweeters are a lot like the ones used in other sound bars, the 3-inch active subwoofers sets the sound bar apart from its peers.

Separate amplifiers are utilised for the low and high end frequency as the versatile sound bar pumps out 120 watts of power. You will be provided with pass-through HDMI audio coupled with the Yamaha sound bar which comes in the form of two ports one of which is used as an output and another as an input.

HDCP 2.2 is supported by these ports for being used in association with a 4K video source. You can easily control the sound bar through the volume controller of your Blu-Ray player given its CEC support.

Although you will feel spoilt for choice with the bevy of audio-only input options, optical input can serve as your best pick which is taken care of by the manufacturers through the inclusion of a high-end cable completely free of charge.

The sleek sound bar can complement virtually any and every corner of your house. The majority of its enclosure comes wrapped in acoustic fabric and plastic is visible only in two separate locations.

The button bar runs through the top center of the speaker in the form of volume, file navigation, source selection, mute, filters and many more options. You can access similar features from the accompanying remote control or the free app which can be downloaded on your smartphone.

All styles of music get delivered with high level of fluency as it remains true to its original form and sounds sharp whenever necessary without coming off as shrill.

Pros

PROS:

  • Supports wireless streaming of music over Bluetooth.
  • Enhanced dialogue clarity delivered by “Clear Voice” option.
  • Deep bass ensured by the built-in subwoofers without the requirement of a second box.
  • Easy to setup through optical, HDMI or analogue connection.

Cons

CONS:

  • Little bit of input lag from the remote.

7. Samsung HW-M360/ZA 2.1 Channel 200 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar

You can now transform your drawing room into a mini theatre coupled with the versatile sound bar and subwoofer by Samsung which tags along the dual benefits of surround sound expansion and Dolby Digital sound.

Its wireless Bluetooth connectivity aids in its positioning at anywhere in the room for enjoying thumping sound waves at its very best. The 6.5 inch 130-watt wireless subwoofer can be of great assistance in encompassing yourself with deeper and richer bass without having to fall prey to the tangle of wires.

Although the bass lacks that movie theatre rumble, it is definitely noticeable and can even make your house shake a bit during those heavy action sequences.

You can purchase the wireless surround kit which is sold separately for expanding your surround sound system in an easy manner for creating a 4.1 channel system for an immersive experience.

The sound bar can be connected with Bluetooth compatible devices coupled with its one-touch control for being paired up and powered on automatically for enjoying ultimate auditory bliss.

On downloading the Samsung Audio Remote App, you can exercise complete control over your home entertainment system from your mobile device in terms of volume, power, media controls and even equalizer customization.

Pros

PROS:

  • Add on wireless rear speaker kit works seamlessly.
  • Extremely easy to setup by following the provided instructions.
  • Can be paired up with your universal TV remote.
  • Features 2.1 Surround sound.

Cons

CONS:

  • Volume cannot be controlled by the remote control.

8. VIZIO SB3820-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar

The 38 inch soundbar from VIZIO featuring integrated deep bass can be your ultimate answer to bringing home the movie theater experience at a fraction of the cost.

Its elegant design radiates an aura of sophistication which can easily blend in with your existing living room aesthetics while enhancing the same.

You can either place the soundbar on a stand in the front of your television or make use of wall brackets for hanging it from your wall.

The SB3820-C6 does not have a metal grill cover unlike its costlier peers. It rather comes wrapped in an acoustically transparent speaker cloth underneath which lays dual 2.75 inch full-range drivers.

You are bound to feel spoilt for options in terms of connectivity while using the SB3820-C6 soundbar with optical and coaxial digital inputs are present at its rear.

Although it does not have a built-in subwoofer, you can definitely attach the same as per your requirements. It also becomes pretty simple to connect the VIZIO soundbar with the television.

You can even hook it up with a blue-ray player, cable box or gaming system provided you have a corresponding output.

It features built-in Bluetooth which can be set up within just few minutes of time.

“DTS TruSurround” can create a virtual surround sound effect while the “DTS TruVolume” provides comfortable and consistent volume level for a much more enjoyable multimedia experience.

Pros

PROS:

  • Added bass provided by its Deep Bass Modules.
  • Stylish and compact design which can beautifully complement any small to medium sized HDTV.
  • Can fill up a room with 100 dB of crystal-clear audio having less than 1% harmonic distortion.
  • You can bid adieu to the wired setup coupled with its built-in Bluetooth.

Cons

CONS:

  • Remote lacks an LED screen making it extremely difficult to understand the commands.

9. JBL Bar Studio 2.0-Channel Soundbar with Bluetooth

The compact looking Bar Studio can fit in front of your existing television screen with its sleek dynamics. Its dual bass port design offers a 2.0 sound which does not require the backing of a subwoofer for producing thumping sound.

The Bar Studio can easily create an illusion of surround sound with its stellar technology without the requirement of pesky wires and bulky speakers as the audio waves bounce the sound off your drawing room walls.

Just like its present-day peers, the JBL Bar Studio features Bluetooth aptX which aids in wireless streaming of music from your smartphone, tablet or laptop straight to the Bar without the requirement of any third-party kit or cables.

Coming to connectivity, the JBL sound bar packs in a sonic punch in the form of a plethora of connections which can easily cover almost all television sets available in the market.

Coupled with the HDMI ARC, you can exercise supreme control over the sound bar using just one remote control without having to fuss over multiple remotes for operating your television.

Pros

PROS:

  • Extremely easy to setup and sync with your TV remote.
  • Voice quality is improved while watching news and movies.
  • Deep bass and clear treble to ensure top-notch auditory experience.
  • JBL Surround Sound can bring movies to life without having to undergo the hassle of dealing with additional speakers or wires.
  • Music can be streamed wirelessly from any mobile device.

Cons

CONS:

  • Instruction manual is not of much help.
  • Remote is very small in size and highly prone to getting lost.

10. VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar

The sleek design of the VIZIO SB2920-C6 can serve as an attractive addition to your existing audio setup as it blends in seamlessly with your drawing room aesthetics.

The black design of this minimalist sound bar having silver accents can surely gain complements from all your friends and relatives without coming off as too flashy.

You can wall-mount the C6 or install it on a table top in accordance with your specific requirements. The accompanying remote control works fairly well and surely comes in as a surprise given its price point.

Bluetooth connectivity works seamlessly in the VIZIO SB2920-C6 so that you can make the most out of home entertainment without having to deal with any audio errors while streaming from multiple devices even beyond the recommended range.

The sound waves also remain distortion free even as it churns out audio at an impressive 95 dB to create a crisp overall effect. While watching movies, you can opt for a special dialogue mode for enhancing your degree of audibility.

The bass level can even be turned down depending on the situation for example during watching late night movies.

Pros

PROS:

  • Can be set up easily by connecting the sound bar with your TV through one of the included cables.
  • Easy to upgrade.
  • Delivers premium sound with the joint forces of DTS TruVolumeTM, DTS Studio SoundTM and DTS TruSurroundTM.
  • You can bid adieu to the tangle of wires with the built-in Bluetooth technology.
  • Emits 95 dB of crystal clear audio with less than 1% harmonic distortion.

Cons

CONS:

  • Does not have a HDMI hook up.
  • Optical cable is not long enough to aid in an easy setup.
  • Lacks proper tech support.

Conlclusion

The performance of sound bars might deteriorate in large open spaces although it is bound to stun you with the rich audio waves in smaller enclosed rooms where you shall be seated at a close distance from the speaker. Setting it up is also an extremely easy affair provided you have adequate space either below or at the front of your TV screen since they are usually less than 15cm in height. If you also have a subwoofer, the you need to make sure of sufficient cable length which can assist you in properly positioning the sound bar and benefitting out of its best effect.