If you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best sound bar money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. We’ve gathered a lot of information regarding all there is to know about the best value sound bar by looking at the best sound bar reviews, the value offered for the price, the overall brand and item quality, as well as what several expert sites had to say about these products. Out of the products we’ve considered, the Vizio SB3851-C0 is the best because it comes both with a wireless subwoofer and two satellite speakers. What’s more, it can be mounted on the wall of your choice and comes with its own remote, and it is easy to use and customize. If the Vizio SB3851-C0 is unavailable, you could also consider the LG Electronics LAS551H as it is the second best alternative.
Why use a sound bar
What are sound bar systems?
Sound bars are mainly built to enhance the audio in TV broadcasts and all types of other media you might want to stream using your television. In the last several years, the manufacturers of TVs have put a lot of effort into designing very slim products. Unfortunately, what this does is have a negative impact on the audio quality, considering that the sound output of these units has become smaller and might not raise up to par. Sound bars take care of this problem by upgrading the quality of the sounds with little to no effort on the part of the end-user.
Are sound bar systems any good?
Not all of these units are created the same. Some come with various connectivity features that allow you to use the device as swiftly and smoothly as possible. One thing’s for sure: for the hearing-impaired customer, there’s nothing better than a sound bar because it can significantly add to the music and movie experience. Furthermore, the quality of the dialogue is significantly improved by a sound bar allowing you actually to hear what the people on the screen are saying.
How to install your new sound bar
When to use a sound bar?
As previously mentioned, one of the category of buyers that can considerably benefit from utilizing a sound bar is composed of individuals who have hearing issues. Even if you don’t fit into this category, you simply may want to take your TV’s audio to a whole new level, so that you feel like you’re part of the TV show or movie.
Is a sound bar worth it?
Depending on your needs and expectations, a sound bar can be quite an investment. While this might differ from one model to the next, you can even install your unit on a wall and practically forget about it. Some products come with surround speakers and wireless subwoofers and require as little cables as possible, so you’ll avoid cable clutter. The bottom line is a sound bar is worth every penny, and many units are relatively affordable.
With the many alternatives that are now available on the market, any prospective buyer can end up feeling just a tad baffled. Which sound bar system is the best? It takes some effort and some time invested in a thorough research to find out the answer to this question. That’s why we’ve decided to take the hassle out of your buying journey and create a guide that can shed light on most features and benefits you may need to consider before making your final decision. Keep reading if you want to learn everything there’s to know about these devices.
What to consider when buying a new soundbar?
There’s a broad array of sound bars out there. Some of them are simple, whereas others come with a built-in subwoofer. We’ve seen that many alternatives nowadays have extra speakers, but you may come across several models that don’t have any speakers at all and that need to be connected to the ones you already own.
Roughly two kinds of sound bars are available nowadays. Passive options have one or more speakers for every front channel, but the user has to connect them to a separate receiver or amplifier. Passive sound bars are usually cheaper for this exact reason, as they don’t come with their own receivers. On the contrary, active units include a built-in amplifier which significantly adds to the convenience of these models. However, they are less affordable compared to their passive counterparts. The high-end option that you might have to take into account is an active sound bar that has Digital Signal Processing. This characteristic allows the device to process the signal so that it creates the illusion of surround and rear sound without requiring any extra speakers.
Power and impedance
Most people tend to think that the more power in such a device, the better. While this can’t be necessarily contradicted, the fact of the matter is that you’ll have to choose a model that best works with your system as well as with the speakers you might already be the owner of. Impedance is also important, as it needs to be correlated with the other audio devices you have to connect to the sound bar. If the impedance of the sound bar is higher, the speakers might be damaged. It’s crucial to correlate the power and impedance configuration of the product you want to buy with the one of the electronics you have in the room and plan to use.
Controls and ease of use
You probably don’t wish to reach a point where you’re asking yourself how to install a sound bar and find it close to impossible to give a good answer. Even though the vast majority of modern alternatives are fairly easy to set up and operate, some of them can still pose technical difficulties to the end-user. On occasion, it is hard to realize whether or not you’ll have any issue installing the device. That’s why we recommend referring to the best soundbar reviews, so that you understand various details regarding usability and the ease of installation.
Whatever the case, the sound bar should come with its own remote control. For instance, some people might be interested in getting the best Philips soundbar just because they already own a Philips TV. This is a good idea if you don’t want to run into any issue in regards to compatibility. Most products developed by the same brand will allow you to utilize the same remote control, without needing to switch from one to the other.
In addition, many companies have created smartphone apps that can be used to control both devices while you’re on the couch. As an illustration, purchasing the best Samsung sound bar can give you access to the free app provided by the manufacturer. You can download the application from the App Store or Google Play and begin using it with your device, without needing to question compatibility. Pay attention to this factor if you desire to use your mobile phone as a remote because some of these products might ask you to purchase the app instead of getting it for free.
Where should a sound bar be placed
The placement of the sound bar should depend on your personal preferences. If you have no issue with putting and leaving it under your TV, you can rest assured that you can do so as many models allow you to. Mounting the device above your TV or anywhere on a wall is a feature that does not come up in all products. If you feel uncomfortable about installing the unit under your TV set, get a model that can also be setup on a wall. We’ve seen that, when installed below the television, some models can block out the TV’s remote sensor.
The first thing you have to do before eyeing a certain model is to find out the type of connections you have for your TV and other components. Older units come with an optical digital connection and analog inputs, but the norm nowadays seems to be HDMI. Many devices have multiple HDMI inputs, which can give you a lot of freedom in regards to the number of other components you can connect to the soundbar. Plus, relying on the HDMI connection is the best alternative for Blu-ray. Wireless is close to mandatory these days, as this particular feature can let you stream music from your mobile devices such as MP3 players and even your smartphone. Bluetooth, NFC, as well as online access, are other options to consider, particularly if you want to take advantage of all the internet media content there is out there. If we take into account the preferences of modern users, there’s a very high likelihood of you needing to watch movies on Netflix, Pandora, or just some music videos on YouTube at some point or the other. In that event, you have to know whether or not your soundbar will be able to help with the audio quality of this kind of media.
What to avoid when buying a sound bar
Several sound bar issues have attracted our attention and we felt compelled to emphasize them so that you get the product that’s the best, be it a good cheap sound bar or a high-end alternative. For one, the device can block the TV’s remote sensor, just as we have mentioned above, in the buying guide. Normally, this should not occur should you purchase from the same brand. We’ve seen that many buyers prefer a sound bar mount on a wall or above the television set for this exact reason.
While it might be hard to believe, in the 21st century some sound bars still don’t come with their own remotes. That’s why you need to check for compatibility issues to discover whether or not you can use the one of your TV.
Other models don’t have a wireless connectivity and don’t even come with Bluetooth. This is a great disadvantage for all individuals who might be interested in streaming music from different parts of their house, by using a smartphone app or several other components that rely on wireless connections. Cable clutter is a pesky thing to deal with, particularly if you really have no other means of making your sound bar work.
Besides, you may need to take into account the fact that several alternatives don’t have a front-panel display. While this might not look crucial at a first glance, the fact of the matter is that it can mean a lot if you want to check the input you have selected or the volume level you’re using at any given point.
If you don’t believe that the product you’ve chosen needs to come with wireless subwoofer, give it a pass. While one might make the difference when it comes to movie explosion scenes and intense hums or other kinds of sound effects, if that’s not your cup of tea, perhaps you could go without it.
How to install your new sound bar
Where should a sound bar be placed
The first thing to consider is whether you’ll want to put your sound bar below or above your TV or mount it on a wall. If you’d like to attach it to furniture, you can even purchase separate mounts that have been specially designed for this purpose exactly. Consider the remote sensor of your TV when setting up the sound bar below it.
How to connect a sound bar to a TV
There are several ways of connecting a sound bar to your TV. In most cases, you’ll need to use the inputs and outputs of your device, which means that you’ll have to do some cable work. Luckily for you, most manufacturers nowadays offer frustration-free options, where the sound bar will have a panel that explicitly tells you which cable should be plugged in where. Use all the necessary equipment and continue by checking the audio settings several times until you’ve performed all the needed adjustments. Plus, the user manual can do wonders if you’re patient enough to go through the instructions.
Where to position sound bar subwoofer
If your model has a separate subwoofer, you may want to place it under the TV so that the sound bar rests above it or on a wall. This is the typical spot that most owners prefer for their subwoofers, because the deep bass and sounds should generally come from the direction of the TV.
How to hide the soundbar wires
Want to avoid having a look at the cables all the time? For one, you can mount the soundbar on a wall but right under your TV so that the cables are practically invisible. Another possibility is to fish the cables through the wall, but that depends on whether the unit is rated to be in the wall. Installing a back box at the TV location is an additional tip, as it can include all the audio and power connections but the device needs to be set up under the TV.
The most popular sound bar manufacturers
Vizio is an authentic American brand based in Irvine, California. The company has been building electronics for many years now, during which time it’s gained quite an immense degree of popularity. That’s mostly due to the fact that various products, including sound bars for Vizio TV, are reliable and well-made while also allowing owners to avoid breaking the bank.
Best models from Vizio
This is the best Vizio sound bar we’ve come across during our entire research. It features both a wireless subwoofer and a set of satellite speakers. What’s more, it’s significantly more cost-effective compared to other similar models manufactured by Samsung, Sony, or Yamaha. In fact, it is so affordable that you may be lucky enough to buy it for as little as two hundred and fifty dollars, as we’ve seen that this is the typical list price of multiple online retailers.
Who makes the best sound bar for the money? It’s safe to say that Vizio does. This model can be mounted on a wall. Besides, the package includes the remote control so you needn’t worry about anything. Since this is a 5.1 channel alternative, it might be a good idea to check the characteristics of the components you want to use with the model.
Let’s see what buyers have to say about the Vizio SB3851-C0. It’s safe to say that this product is among the most popular ones in the line as it has gathered over 3,700 positive reviews. According to hundreds of ratings, it’s easy to install and operate and works great with streaming services such as Netflix.Buy from Amazon.com for ($229.99)
This is the second best alternative you might have on your hands. It really comes as no surprise that this option is a best seller on Amazon and other marketplaces, considering that it costs as little as one hundred and sixty dollars. The main difference between this model and the one we have showcased above is the fact that this one features a wireless subwoofer but lacks the two rear speakers of the SB3851-C0. Even so, it’s a 2.1 sound bar that’s worth the hype.
Most of the ratings of this unit speak highly of the excellent sound quality it offers without risking any distortion whatsoever. While the system isn’t too big, it can become even more convenient if it’s mounted on a wall of your choice. As is the case with other products in the same line manufactured by the brand, this one is very easy to setup.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
This is one of the simplest and more affordable sound bars on the market today. While it is certainly cheap, it is still worth the effort and the pennies, as it comes with the same power output of the previously discussed options. The difference between this one and the formerly mentioned ones is that this is a 2.0 sound bar that features no subwoofer and no rear speakers, which is why you’ll have to use your own components if you want to get the best sound.
The remote control is included in the package. Just like several other units, this one can be mounted on a wall. If what you are looking for is a rather basic, no-muss no-fuss option that is both easy to install and easy to operate, we recommend having a look at the specs of this model. After all, it seems to be worth the enthusiasm gathered around it, what with the over a thousand positive reviews it has garnered.Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)
LG is yet another world-known brand in the industry. Compared to other manufacturers we’ve looked at, LG Electronics has a long history of developing electronics, in the area of home appliance and air solution to mobile communications, home entertainment, and even vehicle components. The company’s TVs, monitors, accessories and other commercial products have gradually made a name thanks to their excellent performance and unparalleled quality. Some of the best sound bars made by LG are showcased below.
Best models from LG
LG Electronics LAS551H
If you’ve been wondering which LG or Samsung is the best, the answer to all of your questions lies in the specs of this product. The model comes with a wireless subwoofer and is one of the most popular ones we’ve encountered, in spite of it being just a 2.1 channel sound bar. Even so, it does wonders when it’s paired with 40-inch or larger television sets. Bluetooth connectivity is at the root of this alternative.
As for connections, you needn’t worry about anything with this one, as it has more than enough inputs that you can use: 1 HDMI, 1 Optical, 1 USB, and 1 HDMI output. A 3.5mm jack is also present in this option, so you can even use your headphones if you want to listen to music using your sound bar.
Judging by the reviews gathered by the LG Electronics LAS551H, it’s safe to say that it works with many types of TV and is a neat alternative for flat screen TVs made by the brand. If you already own a TV by LG, you’ll be glad to know that you won’t have to see any cable clutter, as the sound bar works with any HDTV wirelessly via Bluetooth.Buy from Amazon.com for ($140)
The LG LAS450H is yet another unit you might need to consider, should you still be in the market for a new sound bar. As is the case with the previously discussed model, this one is a 2.1-channel option of which the length and power output are 34.7” and 220W respectively. It makes an excellent addition to any household that respects itself, particularly when watching movies with friends and family.
Bluetooth, sound sync wireless, HDMI connectivity, and even a wall mount included in the package – you name it, this model has it all. All things considered, the fact that the mount is offered by the manufacturer is a net advantage, as it will save you some additional pennies which would otherwise be spent on a separate mounting system.
Some of the people who have reviewed the LAS450H claim it offers excellent value for the price, particularly if you want to get it for TV games and casual use.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149)
The LAS350B is the cheapest LG model we’ve discovered in the line. A low price shouldn’t scare you, though, as it’s not synonymous with low quality. In actuality, this model has almost anything you might require should you be an occasional or simply casual user of sound bars. The power output of this unit is significantly lower compared to the one we’ve mentioned above, as it’s just 120W. The main difference between the LAS350B and the other two LG products is that this one does not come with its own wireless subwoofer. Even if the subwoofer is wired, we’ve talked about how one can get rid of the wiring by choosing to install the unit judiciously.
The inputs of the LAS350B include an optical one and a 3.5mm one, so perhaps this model is destined for older TV sets that don’t come with HDMI connectivity.
Since the LAS350B works with Bluetooth and offers wireless connectivity, we say it’s worth taking into account if you’re looking for the most affordable LG sound bar.Buy from Amazon.com for ($219.99)
If you ask any audio professional what the most well-known brands out there is when it comes to building top-notch audio alternatives, he or she is likely to say Yamaha. Almost no other manufacturer is better at creating audio devices, considering that the one behind the concept of the business, Torakusu Yamaha, started out by building his first reed organ. Passion and performance are at the root of the values of the company, as it is committed to creating the best alternatives out there and to respecting product owners all over the world. What’s more, the customer support offered by the brand has been highly spoken of time and time again.
Best models from Yamaha
Even though it features a slim design and looks rather basic compared to several other alternatives we’ve showcased earlier on, the YAS-105 remains a top choice of sound bar customers and ultimately is the best Yamaha sound bar. After all, it comes with dual built-in subwoofers which make it possible for users really to feel the deep and rich bass of this system. What’s more, convenience is a benefit you’ll get if you choose to opt for this alternative considering that it’s both simple to install and requires a single-cable connection and can be mounted on any wall.
Since Bluetooth is a must nowaday, the YAS-105 has it and gives owners the freedom to stream media content from their tablets or smartphones. The Home Theater Controller app designed by Yamaha is part of the deal and requires no additional expense, should you decide to download it from the App Store or Google Play.
The versatility of this system is truly unparalleled, since the learning function of the sound bar can gradually allow you to use the same remote both for the TV and for the unit of your choice. Good sound, low profile, and breathtaking looks are all characteristics of this alternative, as emphasized by the more than 50 people who took the time to write positive Amazon reviews for the YAS-105.Click to see the price on Amazon!
The YAS-203 is the second best option we’ve come across and that’s mostly due to the fact that it is not as affordable as the previously discussed one. However, this sound bar offers all the perks of a high-quality model as it is a 7.1-channel unit that works best when paired with 40-inch or larger TVs. As is the case with many others, this one comes with Bluetooth but it does require a degree of wired connections. Since it features its own wireless subwoofer, a prospective buyer will have the advantage of setting it up where he or she believes there’s the best spot in the room.
The model comes with an optical and a coaxial input to connect your other components. The YAS-203 is both simple and elegant as it can be mounted on the wall with little to no effort. In fact, the brand has taken the game to a whole new level by offering a paper mounting template that can shed light on the entire process. If you’re no fan of remote controls, you’ll be glad to know that the YAS-203 allows users to download the same free Home Theater Controller app mentioned above.Buy from Amazon.com for ($369.99)
The ATS-1030-R is yet another alternative to take into account if you’re looking for the cheapest Yamaha sound bar on the market today. Seeing how affordable it is, the model does not come with rear speakers, nor does it feature a built-in or wireless subwoofer. Even so, if you intend to spend your money on a good-quality unit that has been tested and inspected many a times, don’t hesitate to go for the ATS-1030-R. After all, it’s a 7.1-channel system that can be used with many components you might already be the owner of, particularly if you’re an audio aficionado.
Both the single-cable connection and the Bluetooth convenience offered by the ATS-1030-R make it worth the while. What’s more, since we’ve seen that over two hundred individuals took the time to write positive reviews for the model, it’s safe to say that you’ll be spending your dollars judiciously. Moreover, most of the people who have bought the ATS-1030-R claim it offers a vast improvement over the TV’s built-in audio.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Sony is another popular brand among electronics aficionados. The company has been building several types of products for many years now, ranging from PlayStations to mobile devices. If you’re looking for the best Sony soundbar, you should probably give a chance to the following models, as we’ve seen that they are among the most acclaimed ones on the market today. All of the units can be used for a Sony TV and some are compatible with products manufactured by different brands; plus, some of them can even answer to the question “Who makes the loudest sound bar?”. That’s easy. It’s probably Sony.
Best models from Sony
The HT-CT370 is well-worth every penny, even though it might look like it isn’t as impressive as other models we’ve gone through. It’s in fact the best product from Sony, as underlined by the many people who have chosen it and consider themselves perfectly happy with the performance and quality of the sound bar. For one, this is a 300W alternative, which means that it gives credit to large TVs. Second, it comes with a wireless subwoofer, and the unit supports both Wireless and NFC. Judging by the specs it has, it is safe to say that the features of the HT-CT370 can be seen in other more expensive options.
Connectivity isn’t an issue with the Sony HT-CT370 considering the number of inputs it offers to owners. 3 HDMI, 1 Optical as well as 1 Analog make it possible for the user to connect his or her other components with as little hassle as possible.
The model is convenient, versatile, slim, and above all, entirely capable of doing what it’s supposed to do. If you plan to install the sound bar on a wall, there’s no one stopping you from using the included mounting brackets.Buy from Amazon.com for ($349)
It’s often difficult to get the best value for the right price, even when shopping for a new sound bar. Fortunately, this unit is the second best option you might have available from Sony. The power output of this alternative exceeds the one of the previously described model, as this is a 2.1-channel 330W model. The HT-CT770 is best used for TVs that are 46-inch or larger. Aside from these details, it has virtually the same features as the formerly mentioned HT-CT370, considering that it comes with a wireless subwoofer and includes a remote control. Connectivity is ensured by the three HDMI inputs, as well as by an optical and an analog input.
While it does not come with rear speakers, the HT-CT770 is an outstanding choice for people wondering this: Will a sound bar work with my TV? This one sure will, and it will give you the freedom to stream music wirelessly and from various internet services.
The HT-CT770 gives free access to the SongPal App system control available to users who might be the owners of an Android or iOS compatible device.Buy from Amazon.com for ($294.95)
The HTXT1 is the cheapest unit you might need to consider if you are not yet prepared to invest your pennies in a high-end alternative. If it’s cheap, it doesn’t mean it won’t do the trick for your needs and requirements. Actually, this one is generally considered the right model for people who own a TV that measures between 32 inches and 55 inches. This situation is mostly due to the length and power output of the sound bar, which are 28.4-inch and 170W, respectively.
The only inconvenience you might find in the HTXT1 is the fact that it cannot be mounted on a wall. Although it has pretty much the same connectivity features shared by the other two Sony models we’ve described, this one does not have a wireless subwoofer, as it is built on the device. Even so, the HTXT1 does support Bluetooth and NFC, allowing one to stream music wirelessly.
Most of the individuals who have reviewed this model say that it is well-designed and offers clean and clear sound.Buy from Amazon.com for ($179)
Ever since it’s been in the industry, Samsung has been working towards designing top-notch products that satisfy the needs of even the pickiest buyers. Some of the brand’s most revolutionary units have changed the world of finances, accommodation services, as well as medicine. The mobile devices built by this esteemed company are extremely popular mostly because they’re considerably more affordable than the one of its competitors. There’s an ongoing battle between Samsung and Apple as both of these companies are keen on offering excellent mobile devices to prospective buyers all over the world.
Best models from Samsung
While it might not be the most affordable unit in the line, the Samsung HW-J6500 is by far the best one developed by this brand. This is a 6.1-channel 300W wireless audio sound bar that does what it’s supposed to do and does it while looking spectacular. Just like so many other options, it can be mounted on a wall, particularly seeing how it is curved. Both the wireless subwoofer and the 3.0 Bluetooth are part of the deal with this one, and its audio quality is like no other. If you’ve been wondering which sound bar has the best bass or sound, you needn’t worry about it any longer. The HW-J6500 has everything in store for everyone.
Take connectivity, for instance. This model has it all, from TV Sound connect to USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.4. What sound bar for Samsung TV that’s curved should you get? Without a doubt, the HW-J6500 as it is known for delivering a dynamic audio experience and lets you enjoy shows, movies, as well as sports with as much sound clarity as possible.
Furthermore, Samsung has a mobile app called Multiroom that can mean the world to a user interested in controlling the sound bar remotely, from any area around the house.Click to see the price on Amazon!
If you want a relatively affordable unit that comes with almost the same features as the one we’ve showcased earlier on, you should consider the HW-J550 as it’s the second best. This is a 2.1-channel sound bar with a power output of 320W and a length of 37.1 inches. With a wireless subwoofer, Bluetooth 2.1 and a plethora of connectivity characteristics that you may fail to find in cheaper options, the HW-J550 looks like a safe bet if you want to invest your money in something that’s worth it.
From what we have gathered, this model has garnered over one hundred and forty positive Amazon reviews, with people raving about the outstanding value it offers. It meets and even exceeds the needs of users looking for surround sound from a unit composed of just two pieces of equipment. What’s more, it works with any modern Samsung TV and can even be utilized for playstations.Click to see the price on Amazon!
The HW-J355 is the cheapest product developed by Samsung in the area of sound bars and other home audio electronics. While the power output of this 2.1-channel option is slightly lower compared to the one of various other Samsung models, it’s still worth a try if you want to purchase a cost-expensive device. What’s more, it can be mounted on a wall.
Some of the inputs in the HW-J355 include TV Sound Connect, Optical, Bluetooth as well as USB. There’s a minor inconvenience that might put off certain individuals, considering that the subwoofer of this variety is wired and not wireless. Even so, considering the price of this product and the fact that it often can be bought for as little as one hundred and eighty dollars, the wired subwoofer doesn’t look like that big of a problem. After all, over two hundred users were kind enough to grant positive ratings to the HW-J355, which goes to show just how much value it offers.Buy from Amazon.com for ($497.49)
Now you know all the info you need about the best sound bar models so that you make the right call depending on your own needs and preferences. New units come out every year, and with the dazzling technological advancements of these days, sound bars are likely to become more sophisticated and versatile in the future. Whatever the case, the fact of the matter is that these products are destined for users who want to take their audio experience to a whole new level, some of whom may even be suffering from hearing issues. The usefulness of the devices we’ve showcased can’t be denied as they have received an immense degree of appreciation for what they can do for the end-user.
Buying a soundbar is an experience that doesn’t stop with the unit per se. Accessories are sometimes as important as the base model because it is only with their help that one can connect the pre-existing systems in the room or mount the sound bar in accordance with his or her preferences. The simplest way of knowing for sure that your chosen product will be a perfect fit for the accessories you want to buy is to purchase them together. If they are manufactured by the same brand, even the better. However, some online retailers do a lot of research and manage to combine compatible extras and base units even though they have not been produced by the same company. It’s a bit counterproductive to purchase a cable of which the price is as high as the one of the actual sound bar. As is the case with any other item you may be interested in buying online, we recommend you to analyze your expectations and finances to make sure you don’t make the wrong decision. Look at the brand reputation and read some customer reviews before deciding to order a mounting system, a pair of headphones, or some connectors.
Sound bar accessories
Some extras can allow you to make the most of your audio experience. For example, whether the unit comes with its own mounting system or not, you should consider the area where you’re most likely to want to install it. Purchasing a separate mount is also possible as long as it is entirely compatible with your device. Having as many cables and connectors never hurt anyone, particularly when we’re talking about USB and the likes. These are very versatile and can significantly contribute to a hassle-free installation. Getting a good pair of headphones is downright mandatory if you’re not keen on the idea of bothering other people around the house but still want to enjoy the sounds of online media content or a movie via your sound bar.
Sound bar mounting systems
Many people know that sound bars can sometimes interfere with the sensors of the TV if they’re placed right under the set. That’s why a mounting system can put a bit of a distance between the two devices, allowing you to use them as efficiently as possible. Sure, nobody’s stopping you from utilizing one or two remote controls, depending on what you feel like. But in the end, it’s worth noting that nothing beats a mount if you want to hear everything crystal clear.
Where to mount sound bar for TV?
You may choose to place the mounting system either above or below your TV, depending on the design of the room, the shape and looks of your television set and even your personal taste. Some people prefer placing the soundbar vertically, on a wall, next to the TV. Installing sound bar brackets is easy as most of these products come with comprehensive instructions and if you’re wondering where to buy sound bar brackets, we’ll tell you. Nothing beats Amazon when it comes to finding compatible concealing products of this kind.
We’ve taken the time to showcase some of the top recommended mounting systems that are now available out there. Have a look at these alternatives and never risk being disappointed again.
Sound bar positioning is easy thanks to the Sewell SW-29908 as it gives owners the chance to install their devices either above or below their LCD TVs. The bracket seems to be compatible with the vast majority of televisions and sound bars on the current market. For the best results, it’s recommended that users place the sound bar as close to the TV as their space allows them to.Buy from Amazon.com for ($69)
The TechSol offers prospective buyers an undeniable disadvantage. It’s virtually invisible after having been installed even though it does what it’s supposed to do as best as possible. This is a heavy-duty option that comes with all the necessary hardware provided in the pack. If you have a screwdriver at hand, you really can’t go wrong with this one.Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.99)
The Aeon bracket is another option you might want to take into account if you’re in the market for an affordable alternative that doesn’t make you break the bank. As is the case with other products we’ve showcased, this one lets owners install the soundbar either above or below their TVs. While the bracket is universal and can offer the same results with most TV mounts, it seems to be perfectly designed for other Aeon TV wall mounts.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
Unlike other alternatives, the AH61-03768A is uniquely developed to work for soundbars manufactured by Samsung. Regrettably, this is not a universal product so you couldn’t utilize it with, say, an LG TV. However, if you’re the owner of a Samsung soundbar speaker, you’re free to order this one as it is relatively easy to install and in accordance with the brand’s quality standards.Buy from Amazon.com for ($22)
Cables and connectors
There’s no way around it. One must absolutely have the right cables and connectors in order to power the sound bar or link it with the other pieces of the equipment. Cables vary depending on the specifications of the models, but most of the modern ones we’ve gone through are relatively easy to work with and don’t pose any technical difficulties to owners. The only minor disadvantage about connectors is that they can sometimes break as they aren’t impervious to the inexorable passage of time. After all, people move around and can start or stop living in rent. As such, they may choose to install their units differently every time.
During transportation, a cable can take a lot of abuse and may eventually require you to replace it. Who knows if you’ll have the chance of buying the same cable built by the same manufacturer every time? Whatever the case, a good quality cable is something precious to have around as it can significantly boost the audio quality of your device. Usually, manufacturers will offer sufficient information regarding compatibility and other details you might be interested in. Since sometimes it’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, we recommend you to give a chance to the following alternatives, because they’re some of the top-rated products in the line.
This is a long cable that is suited for Vizio soundbars. Compatible models include the VSB200 line as well as units such as the VSB210WS and VHT510. The neat thing about the T-Power item is that it measures 6.6 feet which makes it one of the longest cables out there as many of its competitors have a length of just 3 to 4 feet.Buy from Amazon.com for ($12.99)
We’re moving up to the Big League with this unit as it is a high-quality audio cable that works with pretty much all audio devices, ranging from Blu-ray players to game consoles and DAT recorders. Obviously, it’s also entirely compatible with sound bars, as well. Since the model has 24k gold-plated ferrules and conductors, it takes the cake when it comes to durability and audio performance.Buy from Amazon.com for ($7.99)
This is yet another high-quality alternative that may be worth bearing in mind if you’re in the market for a good-quality cable that costs less than twenty dollars. The transmission frequency bandwidth of this product is 6Mhz which means that it works with 5.1 and 7.1-channel digital surround sound. However, it is not compatible with Dolby TrueHD.Buy from Amazon.com for ($7.99)
If you own a Sony or a Vizio sound bar, perhaps you’d like to check this cable out as it is an audio optical alternative that will leave you breathless with awe thanks to its exquisite high-fidelity audio output. The cable measures six feet and features reinforced connector points, metal plug housing, and braided nylon.Buy from Amazon.com for ($7.99)
The BT-106 isn’t just your regular cable. It’s a Bluetooth transmitter that makes it possible for users to take advantage of their wireless connectivity even if their devices don’t normally allow them to do so. As long as your base unit comes equipped with a 3.5mm auxiliary female connection, there’s nothing stopping the Layen BT-106 from doing its job. All one needs to do to take advantage of the perks of this product is connect it to the device. If you want to avoid spending a lot of money on a sound bar that supports Wireless and Bluetooth, maybe you’d want to give a shot to this small yet totally effective system.Click to see the price on Amazon!
The best headphones to use with your sound bar system
Why would you buy a good pair of headphones to go with your new soundbar
One of the main reasons someone might consider buying and employing headphones for soundbar use is to avoid disturbing the other members of his or her family. It really doesn’t matter if you live in home crowded with relatives or in a dormitory where your roommate is bound to hear everything you’re listening to. The fact of the matter is that you can have a lot more intimacy if you choose to use your sound bar with a pair of headphones. While corded models require you to sit somewhere in the near proximity of the device, a soundbar with Bluetooth headphones can allow you to do anything around the house, as long as you remain in the area where Wireless reception is possible.
An additional reason might be the quality of the sound. We’ve already established the fact that sound bars are designed to improve the audio performance of existing devices. However, some people say that they may hear music in great quality or as loud as they like when they are using their headphones. Needless to say, a pair of nice Bluetooth headphones can mean the world to a hearing impaired individual who might otherwise turn up the volume of the sound and thus have other folks on their back about it.
Wireless headphones for sound bars in 2019 a short buying guide
With the number of models that are available out there, any prospective buyer can eventually feel a tad baffled when it comes to choosing the right wireless headphones for his or her sound bar. We’ve decided to take the hassle out of your buying process and put together a comprehensive buying guide that can allow you to establish the features that are necessary for you.
Type and design
There are three basic kinds of headphones out there, be they wired or wireless. Some of them are in-ear monitors and earbuds, others are over-ear, whereas the last kind are on-ear. As their name suggests, wearing each of these types is different. If you don’t feel comfortable with fitting headphones inside your ear canal, perhaps you’d enjoy the convenience of an on-ear model. Some are very good at isolating sounds but we’ve seen that many on-ear items have issues when it comes to delivering bass response. Over-ear alternatives are probably the best because they take the cake with regard to sound quality and make it a breeze to avoid hearing sounds from the outside.
Specs to consider
Some characteristics are critical if you want to get the right value for the best price, in that you have to look at details such as the frequency response, the sensitivity, and the impedance of the headphones you intend to buy. The frequency response range should be as wide as possible to allow you to hear all the sounds from the media content; however, you need to take into account the fact that human hearing is rather limited and can’t process sounds that aren’t between 20Hz and 20kHz.
The higher the number of decibels, the higher the sensitivity. What does this mean for you? Basically, highly sensitive wireless headphones may offer almost the same audio quality when being used with an MP3 player or a sound bar. That’s definitely an advantage to note. As for the impedance, one should correlate the one of the sound bar with the one of the headphones. There are two mishaps that might occur if you don’t do this. If the headphones are wired, they might be damaged by the immense impedance of the base system. If they are not, they may not provide the same audio quality.
Noise cancellation is one of the core characteristics you’re likely to look at while doing your research. If you are not keen on the idea of other people listening to whatever you might be listening to, you have to get a good pair of headphones that does just this. Volume limiting is another factor to take into account if you want to use the same headphones for your children but it might also be useful for adults who want to protect their hearing in the long run. Since you’ll be using your chosen alternative with a sound bar with good bass, we recommend paying attention to surround sound capabilities to determine whether the model is compatible with formats such as Dolby Digital.
To make matters easier, we’ve made a short selection of the best headphones for sound bars with surround sound and not only. We’ve showcased them below and based the list on some of the top choices of consumers nowadays.
Headphones for sound bars
Audio-Technica has been around for many years now, during which the brand has slowly but surely acquired a withstanding reputation, particularly when it comes to designing top-notch audio electronics. This is the case with the ATH-S700BT as it has been developed with the user in mind and is very easy to utilize but provides amazing sound quality. The model can be paired with up to eight Bluetooth-capable devices at a time. What’s more, these headphones have music and volume controls built into the ear cup and a wide variety of characteristics that make them terribly versatile. Believe it or not, they can be used for placing phone calls and answering to calls coming in. What’s more, the ATH-S700BT has a built-in amplifier that makes sure that the sound reproduction is absolutely tremendous.
This product works either by relying on the wireless connectivity you may have in your office or home or via an auxiliary cable.Buy from Amazon.com for ($104.66)
BÖHM is another world-known brand in the industry and we were surprised to see that this pair of headphones can be purchased for as little as one hundred and forty dollars and even less. Depending on the online retailer you choose for your purchase, you might be as lucky as get them for around eighty-five dollars.
The model comes with anything you might have ever wished for from a good pair of headphones. From advanced Bluetooth 4.0 to active noise cancellation and an 18-hour rechargeable battery, this product has it all. Plus, it is entirely compatible with mobile devices, be they iOS or Android. As long as the user is 10 meters from the mobile device, he or she can benefit from using this fantastic pair of headphones. Other devices, be it a sound bar with satellite speakers or not, can be utilized with this option with over a 33-ft wireless range.Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.95)
Even though they might be considerably less affordable compared to the other options we’ve showcased earlier on, these Sony headphones are definitely worth having a look at. They’re sleek and classy and seem to have been designed to satisfy the needs of even the pickiest buyers. They’re compatible with all Bluetooth audio devices that currently exist in today’s market, they offer optimum audio streaming and even allow users to control their music and sounds via the touch-sensor control panel.
The really neat thing about the Sony MDR1ABT/S alternative is that it comes with a battery that ought to be recharged every thirty hours. This battery life is above every other one we’ve consulted with many of its competitors in terms of performance and lastingness. This headset can be utilized with up to eight Bluetooth devices at a time depending on the needs and requirements of the owner. Judging by the positive impact received by this product, it seems that it is very comfortable to wear, offers outstanding sound quality and great Bluetooth performance.Buy from Amazon.com for ($398)
Beats BT OV STU WL MBLK
This Beats option is another noteworthy model to consider especially if you’re set on spending your money on a high-end pair of headphones that does the trick regardless of the circumstance. Beats is a brand that is well-known for its impressive over-ear headphones. In a way, the model resembles the BÖHM one we’ve mentioned above. For one, it has a 30-ft range which is usually more than enough if you want to use your sound bar and wireless headphones around the house, while doing chores. Second, the model has a 12-hour rechargeable battery. Plus, it allows buyers to answer calls and have their talks using the built-in microphone.
To make sure that installation is a breeze, the manufacturers are offering all the cables and connectors one may need right in the package. For example, you might benefit from utilizing the USB 2.0 cable, 3.5mm audio cable with RemoteTalk and the USB power adapter. A hard-shell carrying case is also part of the deal with this alternative.Buy from Amazon.com
If you don’t want to break the bank to get a good product, we recommend checking out the features of the iDeaUSA S204 as it can significantly upgrade your audio experience. In addition, it performs reasonably. The unit is light and comfortable to wear and makes it possible for the user to benefit from these headphones also while traveling and watching sports. These are foldable headphones that require little to no maintenance and are compatible with a broad range of Bluetooth-capable devices. Furthermore, the S204 can be employed with Apple and Android devices with excellent results.
One feature that might be unique in comparison with other models we’ve gone through is the touch-control capability. These on-board controls allow wearers to change the volume, take calls, and skip songs with a single touch. In a nutshell, over 300 people praise this model for its specs and capabilities and the value it offers overall.Click to see the price on Amazon!
What else should you know about sound bars
Who invented sound bars?
The first sound bar was created at the end of the 1990s by a company called Altec-Lansing. At first, the units weren’t well-received by the public, especially because there were many people who thought that soundbar vs soundbase and home theaters was too much of a dilemma. The brand tried to shed some light on several concerns that consumers used to have mainly focusing their efforts on emphasizing the advantages of using such a newly-developed system. Slowly but gradually, sound bars managed to win the hearts of audiophiles as they require little to no space. Moreover, their unique configuration makes it possible for users to save some room as they hardly need any separate speakers.
This device was adopted by well-known brands such as Pioneer in 2002 and Philips in 2007, respectively. Polk Audio was another company that created an excellent 5.1-channel surround bar in 2005, which they marketed as a very good upgrade from traditional home theater systems. Audio electronics moguls such as Yamaha also had their share of controversy in the matter, and this manufacturer was able to create a digital sound projector that won the Best of Show award at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2005.
So, how good are sound bar speakers? There’s virtually no concern on the matter anymore, because the technological advancements of nowadays have managed to bridge the gap between ancient home theater-in-a-box systems that were big sellers at the beginning of the 21st century and current sound bars. If you were to ask yourself how good are sound bar systems these days, there’s a simple way of answering this question. The main advantage of these models is that they are compact and take up significantly less space compared to their complex home theater counterparts. Nevertheless, since their size is so reduced, the sound quality they offer can occasionally not raise up to par. Some say that soundbases have better bass than sound bars but that’s hardly the case these days as there are even sound bar hybrids that have left, center, and right speakers, as well as an entirely capable subwoofer.
These products have become very popular over the years. For one, they’re cost-effective and inexpensive enough to be afforded by audiophiles on a budget. They’ve come a long way with regard to performance and can satisfy all the needs of users looking to experience movies as they are supposed to in the cinema.
Sound bar common terms
If you are still wondering how to choose a sound bar so that it perfectly matches your expectations in terms of audio quality, it might be a good idea to check out some information about the terminology that is being used today to depict the features of current units. Here are the usual terms you’re likely to come across while analyzing your options.
Analog audio inputs are something you may consider if you don’t know how to connect soundbar to TV and DVD and if the latter two are somewhat older models. This is a piece of audio equipment that you would find in obsolete television sets and the vast majority of the ones that can be purchased in the current market no longer have analog inputs.
Audio input jacks are another detail to consider. For instance, you may realize that the model you want to invest your money in does not come with a 3.5mm jack which is counterproductive if you want to use your soundbar with a nice pair of headphones. The same goes for cables and other connectivity items you may need to utilize to pair your pre-existing devices with your soundbar. Many cheap cables are convenient just because of their price but they can’t do all that much in terms of audio quality. Just as we’ve emphasized in the part of the article destined for cables and connectors, sometimes it pays off to get an expensive option than to risk being disappointed with the audio you’re getting from the soundbar. Keep in mind that the base unit has nothing to do with the poor audio you’re getting because of a cable.
Compatibility is another term you may stumble upon. In the case of these devices, it mostly refers to aesthetics as a small alternative may not look as good for a 50-inch flat screen TV.
The frequency response and impedance are two paramount considerations. If you plan to hook up your sound bar with separate speakers, you need to consider that the two have to be compatible with regards to the number of Hz and decibels. If, for instance, the impedance of the soundbar exceeds the one of your speakers, you may accidentally damage the latter.
HDMI is a must nowadays as most TVs and monitors will have this kind of connectivity. Depending on the HDMI technology, you may use your soundbar for Bluray or be able to stream content such as Dolby True HD and Dolby Digital.
Other conventional terms include Optical Input and TOSLINK which both refer to the port that must be utilized to plug a fiber optic cable with a digital S/PDIF signal.
How do sound bars stack up versus home theater systems?
Is a soundbar just as good as surround sound and a home theater system or not? We’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these audio-enhancing pieces of equipment and whether they can singularly make a difference. If you’re still having trouble deciding between a sound bar and a home theater system, check out the following info.
Sound bar benefits
This device is a clutter-free solution that can be installed very easily by any owner, regardless of whether he or she is tech-savvy or not. Some alternatives have simple one-cable setups and offer just as much convenience as a home theater, in that they have true stereo sound. Depending on the model of your choice, some may come with a built-in or separate subwoofer for amplified bass. In a nutshell, a soundbar is a lightweight and compact device that can be mounted above or below the TV set without taking up too much space in your living room. It also has the benefit of online media streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora.
To put it bluntly, sound bars are the compact versions of home theater systems with the difference that they can be installed so efficiently that they rise to the expectations of the user no muss, no fuss.
Sound bar disadvantages
Models with virtual surround sound aren’t particularly affordable. Sometimes, in order to actually get that surround sound everyone’s looking for, one has to use separate speakers and thus spend extra money on getting them.
Home theater system benefits
A home theater system is beneficial from many points of view. For example, you’ll be able to hear the roar of the crowd in a football game and experience movies like they’re supposed to without sacrificing anything in terms of audio quality. Because the speakers of a home theater system are placed in the room in various areas, they are able to give the owner the feeling he or she is actually inside the TV set, participating in the game in a seemingly realistic fashion. Most of the models out there support formats such as Dolby Digital and the likes which lets users get the most of their units. Few of them come with Bluetooth so that they give owners the chance to stream music wirelessly or watch online media content. Basically, if you have a tablet or a mobile phone, you can link it to a home theater system and enjoy the content on your TV.
Some of the most remarkable advantages of using this alternative range from unparalleled surround sound and cinema-like audio to the freedom to add extra speakers and thus create a 7.1-channel system. Many options come with built-in wireless speakers which are yet again convenient.
Home theater system disadvantages
If we were to look at all the parts in such a system, it would be easy to see that it’s a bulky and heavy thing to have around. What you’re most likely to get from such a unit consists of two stereo speakers, one center speaker, two rear speakers, and a subwoofer. All of these items have to be placed in your living room in accordance with the plan provided by the manufacturer. It all boils down to the amount of space you have available, but we’ve seen that many people prefer sound bars over home theater systems simply because they take up a lot less room. What’s more, buying a home theater system isn’t that convenient as many models can cost a pretty penny and some of them can go beyond price points such as thousands of dollars. By contrast, a reasonably affordable sound bar costs less than five hundred dollars but it all depends on your budget and what you’re willing to spend on a piece of audio equipment of this kind.
Think of it this way. If you’ve spent a ton of money on a super-slim TV with a sleek design, you’re likely to notice the contrast between all the bulky pieces in a home theater system and your thin television. Some people are great fans of minimalist furniture, and so they’re looking forward to matching the looks of their electronics with it. That would be downright impossible should you choose a home theater system over a sound bar.
Top sound bars in 2019
LG Electronics NB3530A
The current best sound bars reviews underline the efficiency of the NB3530A from LG Electronics, a special device appreciated for its superb design and audio clarity. If you want to hear great sound coming from your television this model from LG is exactly what you need. The presence of the Wireless Subwoofer system allows you to connect the sound bar to your TV or other devices without having to worry about dealing with those pesky wires. You also have the possibility to stream music directly from your smartphone or tablet, thus enhancing the quality of the sound experience. The sound bar can be also mounted on the wall, thus adding a touch of elegance to any room.
“Such a high quality sound has been brought to my home, after I acquired the LG NB353oA. The price was very decent and the advantages it offers are wonderful. Everything sounds better with this sound bar and I recommend it to other people who want to try it.” Will WalkerClick to see the price on Amazon!
If want to enhance your audio experience and transform you living room into an elegant cinema, but without other people talking during the movie. The Samsung HW-F450 sound bar is exactly what you need in order to set the basis for a clear audio adventure. This 2.1 channel has a force of 280-watt sound bar that incorporates the dynamic sound of AudioBar. Furthermore, you have the possibility to wirelessly connect the device to the TV and even stream all of your favorite music from other devices. One particular aspect about this sound bar is the full 3D Sound Plus, which makes the newly loved dimension complete.
“I got this sound bar when I saw it on sale and now my movie watching sessions are far better than before. Really, I could not ask for more from my sound system now. I watched some old classics and I enjoyed them even more than before.” Andy ScottClick to see the price on Amazon!
Yamaha delivers sound clarity in virtually any audio instrument they launched on the market. The ATS-101BL sound bar from Yamaha is a superb speaker home theater system without parallel. With a stylish design, the bar can be installed with ease, luxuriously maintaining a surround sound that takes visual audio pleasure to new lengths. Any visitor seeing the sound bar will be impressed by the elegance embedded in all of its inches. This model combines 2 2-1/2” cone speakers, completed by a dual-driver subwoofer, delivering an impressive 120 watts of audio power. As you soon will discover, the sound bar from Yamaha will deliver a high quality sound that transform any movie and TV-show more pleasant.
“This is why Yamaha is considered one of the best brands for audio quality. The ATS-1010BL is a sure investment and I say this after I have been using it for quite some time now. Music, movies, clips, you name it, they just sounds better with it.” Robb SinclairClick to see the price on Amazon!
A growing number of the best sound bars reviews, drafted by audio technicians underline the fluid functionality and sound clarity of the Sony HT-CT150 model, which expands the pleasure of watching a movie with friends. The living room will be filled by an impressive sound wave, even if you are watching 3D movies. No more wires spread across the TV stand! This model uses the Sony S-Master amplifier and also the Digital Signal Processing technology that maintains a realistic and powerful sound, generated by the two front speakers. The sound bar has an audio power output of 75 W x 3 and 75 watts RMS on the subwoofer, with power requirements of only 120V.
“The advantage of this sound bar is that it offers great quality for such a decent price. When I first checked it out and saw that it costs a next to nothing price, I knew I had to get it. The sound is of top quality now and I believe this is a sure bet any day.” Elizabeth BarryBuy from Amazon.com for ($179.95)
When it comes to high definition sound bars one certainly stands out: VSB200 from Vizio, a model which is loved by thousands of Americans today. This sound bar incorporates the latest technological developments: the SRS TruSurroundHD that brings to light a stunning 3” high efficiency and audio clarity of the 2 ¾” high performance aluminum neodymium tweeters. At home, this sound bar though its slim and modern design adds a touch of elegance in any room. The model is powered by a high quality 32-bit 150MHz DSP precise audio engine while Virtulization and Volume Levelling technology which produce clear sounds, present during movies or games.
”If you are looking for a low budget sound bar than I suggest getting the Vizio VSB200, which has the best quality to price ratio out of any similar devices. I am using it right now and it is worth much more than its price in my opinion.” Greg ClennBuy from Amazon.com for ($60)
Where we got some of our info:
- Soundbar pros and cons
- Buying tips
- Installing the soundbar
UpBright AC/DC Adapter
The UpBright adapter comes with a net advantage. Its voltage is worldwide which means that you might be able to utilize it if you ever travel to Europe. The unit has been tested and proved to be a great fit for many Samsung soundbars including 6.1-channel curved models. Considering its specs, the price point of this adapter is more than reasonable.