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Best soundbar 2021: Turn it up

Wondering which soundbar is best for you? We've narrowed down our seven favorite soundbars, which offer excellent sound quality at a variety of price points.

TVs have come a long way over the past decade, and just about every feature has gotten dramatically better. But even the best TV only has limited sound quality. A soundbar can quickly enhance your sound quality when you're watching TV and movies and listening to music. The first time you plug a soundbar into your TV, you'll be amazed at just how much better the sound is.

But before you can enjoy the perks of a soundbar, you have to choose the right one for you. There are hundreds of quality soundbars on the market, and narrowing them down can feel overwhelming. Luckily, we've narrowed down the list to our seven favorite soundbars to help you find the best one for your home.

Buyer's guide

Sonos Arc Soundbar

Best overall

sonos-arc-soundbar.png
Best Buy

The Sonos Arc Soundbar consistently ranks among the best soundbars on the market. This soundbar has the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos, creating a multidimensional sound experience. It allows you to enjoy your TV, movies, and gaming with the highest quality sound and allows you to stream music, radio, podcasts, and more from your favorite streaming services when the TV is off. This Sonos soundbar has voice control -- both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are built-in, meaning you can turn on music, check the news, set alarms, and more. This soundbar also includes LED lights, but they can sense the brightness in the room and automatically adjust accordingly.

This soundbar has more than 2,400 customer reviews on Best Buy's website, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the sound quality, setup, and design.


Pros: 

  • The excellent audio quality for the price

  • Built-in Amazon or Google voice controls

  • Dolby Atmos sound

  • It doesn't require a subwoofer

Cons: 

  • Only one HDMI input

  • No Bluetooth streaming

  • More expensive than many competitors


Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

Best high-end soundbar

sennheiser-ambeo-soundbar.png
Best Buy

If budget is no issue for your soundbar purchase, then you might consider the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar. This soundbar is enabled with Dolby Atmos sound, meaning you're getting the best overall sound experience. It has 13 high-end drivers that produce powerful sound for an all-around entertainment experience. It also includes a built-in equalizer and three bespoke AMBEO 3-D technology that allows you to adjust sound settings easily. There's a remote included, and you can stream audio files wirelessly using Bluetooth. This soundbar comes with a Smart Control App, allowing you to adjust your acoustic settings and tailor your sound.

As for customer feedback, this soundbar has roughly 65 reviews on Best Buy, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Customers especially liked the sound quality, setup, and Bluetooth connectivity.


Pros: 

  • Excellent single-speaker sound

  • Dolby Atmos sound

  • It doesn't require a subwoofer

  • Advanced connectivity like HDMI eARC and Wi-Fi

Cons: 

  • Highest price point

  • Large and heavy

  • Not a fully immersive sound field


Samsung HW-Q950A

Best soundbar with subwoofer

samsung-hw-q950a.png
Best Buy

While the other soundbars we've discussed so far haven't required a subwoofer, the Samsung HW-W950A Soundbar is our favorite model that comes with a subwoofer. This soundbar includes Dolby Atmos sound, meaning you get the best possible sound experience. This product features 11 channels, one subwoofer, and four up-firing channels. The up-firing rear speakers create theater-like sound that project audio above and around you. You can easily pair this soundbar with an iPhone or other iOS device, and it allows for connectivity with your TV, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. It also includes a built-in voice assistant, Amazon Alexa.

This soundbar has nearly 150 reviews on Best Buy's website, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the sound quality, setup, and surround sound.


Pros: 

  • Connect through TV, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth

  • Dolby Atmos sound

  • Subwoofer included

  • Built-in Amazon Alexa voice controls

Cons: 

  • More expensive than many competitors

  • Poor placement of soundbar display

  • SmartThings app doesn't include all options


VIZIO M512a-H6 Soundbar

Best budget soundbar with subwoofer

vizio-m512a-h6-soundbar.png
Best Buy

This VIZIO M-Series Soundbar is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a soundbar and subwoofer combo while staying on a budget. When you buy this soundbar, you'll get a wireless subwoofer with it. It includes Dolby Atmos sound, creating a cinematic and 3D-like sound. The soundbar includes 11 high-performance speakers with separate tweeters and woofers for both clarity and volume. It's designed to deliver the highest quality audio from any connected source, including HDMI eARC and Bluetooth streaming. The soundbar includes a voice assistant so that you can connect to Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Assistant. 

This soundbar has more than 160 Best Buy reviews, with an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the sound quality, setup, and price.


Pros: 

  • Affordable price point

  • Dolby Atmos sound

  • Includes a subwoofer

  • Built-in Amazon, Apple, and Google voice controls

Cons: 

  • No Wi-Fi connection

  • Bass can be overpowering

  • Connectivity issues with TV


Sonos Beam Gen 2

sonos-beam-gen-2.png
Best Buy

If you're on a budget and prefer a single-speaker setup, then consider the Sonos Beam Gen 2 Soundbar. This soundbar provides excellent sound quality through a single speaker, meaning no subwoofer is required. It includes Dolby Atmos sound, meaning you'll have the best sound quality and a 3D-like effect. It includes advanced audio processing to ensure a balanced sound, and the Night Sound mode reduces the intensity of loud effects and enhances quieter ones. You'll also get a built-in voice assistant using either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. And in addition to being used with TV and movies, it's designed to stream music, radio, audiobooks, and podcasts.

As for customer feedback, this soundbar has more than 30 reviews on Best Buy's website, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the sound quality and affordable price.


Pros: 

  • Affordable price point

  • Dolby Atmos sound

  • No subwoofer needed

  • Built-in Amazon and Google voice controls

Cons: 

  • No Bluetooth connectivity

  • Trueplay tuning for iOS only

  • No upfiring tweeters

  • No HDMI input


Yamaha YAS-209

Best under $400 soundbar

yamaha-yas-209.png
Best Buy

We have plenty of excellent soundbars on our list, but most of them come with a price tag above $400 -- and some are significantly higher. If you're working with a limited budget, the Yamaha YAS-209 Soundbar makes for a great option. It includes a subwoofer and Dolby Digital sound, providing for an even better sound experience. The wireless subwoofer with a 6-½" driver makes for a powerful bass sound. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Amazon Alexa built-in voice assistant. It also includes optical digital audio and HDMI connection, as well as HDMI ARC.

This soundbar has more than 120 customer reviews on Best's Buy's website, with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5. Customers like the sound quality, setup, and voice quality.


Pros: 

  • Affordable price point

  • Subwoofer included

  • Built-in Amazon voice controls

  • Connect through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Cons: 

  • No Dolby Atmos sound

  • Only one HDMI input

  • Alexa control over soundbar features is limited

  • Poorly-placed LEDs on top of soundbar


Roku Streambar

Best soundbar for cord-cutters

roku-streambar.png
Best Buy

If you rely primarily on streaming services for your entertainment and want an affordable soundbar to enhance your sound quality, then the Roku Streambar is a great choice.This soundbar provides the combined benefits of premium sound and powerful streaming. The soundbar allows you to stream the most popular channels, as well as listen with excellent sound quality. The Roku remote allows you to control your TV, stream, and control your sound. You'll have access to free TV, live news, sports, and 500,000 movies and TV episodes across free and paid channels. It comes with built-in voice assistance with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

This soundbar has more than 750 customer reviews on Best Buy's website, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Customers like the sound quality, setup, and streaming abilities.


Pros: 

  • Built-in Roku streaming device

  • Built-in Amazon and Google voice controls

  • The very affordable price point

Cons: 

  • Subwoofer sold separately

  • Lower sound quality than other soundbars

  • Weak bass

  • No Dolby Vision support


How did we choose these soundbars?

There are hundreds of quality soundbars on the market, and we've narrowed down our list to just seven. So how exactly did we do it?

When we crafted this best-of list, we had two priorities: sound quality and price point. Yes, we wanted to share the soundbars that offer the best sound quality. But at the same time, we wanted to offer options at a variety of price points to accommodate every customer.

What you'll find on our list is the best quality sound at each price point. Those with unlimited budgets can find an option that suits their needs, but so can those customers with a budget of just a few hundred dollars.

Once we narrowed our list down to the best sound quality at each price point, we chose our favorites based on their additional features, pros & cons, and customer reviews.

Which is the right soundbar for you?

With so many quality soundbars to choose from, you might be wondering which is right for you. Let's talk about a few guidelines you can use to narrow down your choices.

First, it's important to consider your budget for a soundbar. High-quality soundbars can cost anywhere from just a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. The quickest way to narrow down your options is to narrow down your price point.

Another factor to consider is the type of sound you want. Some soundbars come with only a single speaker, while others include subwoofers. While both can be high-quality options, they provide a different experience. Additionally, different soundbars rely on different sound technology, which make a difference in your listening experience.

Finally, ask yourself what features are most important to you. You'll notice from our reviews above that different soundbars come with different features that may include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, a built-in voice assistant, access to streaming services, and more. Once you know what features you prefer, you can find those soundbars in your budget that includes them.

Soundbar FAQ

Which brand is best for soundbars?

There are a few brands that stand out for the best soundbars, including Sonos, Samsung, VIZIO, and more.

Is a soundbar worth it?

A soundbar can significantly enhance the sound quality when watching TV and movies. Certain soundbars are more worth it than others, but you can find products at a variety of price points.

Can you use any soundbar on any TV?

Soundbars should work with any TV, regardless of the brand. That being said, some products may work better with certain TVs based on input options, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

There are hundreds of quality soundbars on the market, and we couldn't possibly include them all on this list. If none of the soundbars in our roundup are right for you, you can consider others. 

A few other top contenders include: