Want to know what is the best soundbar of the year 2020? If you have a high-end TV with 4K resolution, you will surely have noticed that the audio will not be its strong point with total probability.
How do we solve this problem? With a good soundbar, a device that will offer us an excellent surround sound experience and that can be easily installed in any room without having to fill it with many speakers everywhere.
They can be put on a wall or under your TV, and often come with a built-in subwoofer for powerful bass.
What is a soundbar?
It’s basically a thin, small speaker system that can be placed under or near your TV. The technology it has gives you great sound without having 5.1 surround sound speakers spread throughout the room. They are perfect for use with a Blu-ray, Xbox One or PS4.
Many soundbars offer 2.1 sound settings. That means they’ll have two speakers and a separate subwoofer. Of course, there are some exceptions that group subwoofer and speakers into a single device.
Beyond connecting it to a TV, soundbars can offer WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity to stream content from smartphones, tablets, and computers. Physical connections can include USB ports to connect external hard drives, HDMI inputs and outputs for Full HD or 4K, optical digital ports, and 3D TV playback.
Cheaper models have more basic connections, the more expensive ones add better quality HDMI inputs (including 4K/HDR), wireless audio streaming (Bluetooth and AirPlay), better power, more refined speaker drivers and decoding sound formats for Blu-ray.
How to choose a good soundbar
Buy a soundbar with at least 3 or more channels as they are perfect for simulating surround sound. Then you can go up to 5 channels or even 7 channels. It will improve the surround sound in your living room.
Choose an active soundbar as they come with built-in amplifiers.
A soundbar should not be wider than your TV and should be placed centred under or on top of the TV.
Connectivity? They should have WiFi or Bluetooth or both for wireless connections to your TV or mobile devices. They should have an HDMI connector to make it easier to change audio sources. An optical connection wouldn’t be bad for easy connection either.
Look at you! Have HDMI ARC: Connect it to your TV’s Audio Return Channel (ARC) input with an HDMI cable, and it all starts working as if by magic.
Suppose you have a wireless controller, then great. Controlling it will be easier if you can operate it by commanding your TV, better than better.
If you have Dolby Atmos, the sound will improve tremendously: the sound will move around you in three-dimensional space. Like in the best theatres. Home Cinema 5.1 is better in this case but takes up more space.
Soundbars vs Home Cinema Systems 5.1
At first, it is not obvious which system is better for everyone. It’s not all about better sound or more careful surround sound.
Let’s see, Home cinema 5.1 systems offer better sound than a soundbar, it’s obvious, but soundbars have certain advantages:
Las barras de sonido suelen ser más baratas, pequeñas y no hay que liarse mucho para colocarlas en tu salón.
Suele disponer de bluetooth incorporado.
They can become a 2.1 sound system if they come with a subwoofer included.
They have been designed to improve the sound of your TV without making life very complicated.
They can create 3D sound with some tricks.
Advantages and disadvantages of Home Cinema 5.1 sound system?
They are designed for movie fans who want the best possible sound.
They offer better sound by having more speakers distributed through the living room, but it can be tricky to install by having more cables.
The subwoofer offers spectacular sound, but they are usually quite large.
They are usually more expensive systems.
Best Soundbar in India 2021
1. Bose Soundbar 700
Play built-in music services like Spotify and Amazon Music
With wi-fi, Bluetooth and apple airplay 2. HDMI ARC connectivity
With Bose Music app and remote control included
With the built-in Alexa voice assistant
5.72 cm high x 97.8 cm wide x 19.8 cm deep
Weight 4.76 kg
Interesting price, spectacular design and powerful and very immersive sound, much more than that offered by the Soundbar 500 model… Can you ask for more? Surely an instruction manual to set it up, but it’s also not that it’s tough with the Bose Music app. Times change.
The “soundstage” it offers is spectacular; the remote control is enjoyable and has ADAPTiQ audio calibration. It’s a shame the bass is a little loose.
Also, with the app for iOS or Android, you will be able to calibrate the soundbar and configure many of its aspects. Best of all, it has a lot of wireless connections like Bluetooth, wifi or Apple Airplay 2, so connecting to streaming services like Apple Music, Amazon Music, or Spotify is straightforward. You’ll also be able to play music from your library.
You’ll also find Ethernet, optical, USB (service only) and HDMI ARC jacks. As for the sound we find Dolby Digital, but DTS is missing. Perfect soundbar to watch movies but also to listen to music.
2. LG SK8 – Hi-Res Soundbar
Hi-Res sound up to 24-bit 192 kHz and 360W
Compatible with Google Assistant personal assistant
Automatic adjustment of the sound equalizer based on the content played
360o wraparound cone with Dolby Atmos technology
The LG soundbar includes its own remote control but can also be controlled with the TV controller
With HDMI input, HDMI output, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, optical audio input
Dimensions: 1061 x 57.5 x 87mm
A soundbar that is not excessively expensive and offers excellent performance. Its design is elegant, compact, and the sound it offers is detailed and open.
It has a subwoofer, but do not expect this device to enhance the sound greatly, or at least not as much as expected when this type of device is included. Cannot be compared to a 5.1 sound system.
It delivers 360o surround sound thanks to Dolby Atmos technology and is compatible with your TV remote control, no matter the model. It also has ASC equalization, which can automatically adapt the sound depending on whether you are watching a movie or listening to music. It also has automatic volume adjustment.
It supports many sources, and the sound it offers is powerful. It supports voice control, and you can use google assistant.
A soundbar with the Amazon Alexa assistant, so you’ll be able to control it by voice as it has a microphone. Installation is simple, and it is preferable to do so with HDMI ARC to control the volume with the TV controller. The sound is powerful and spectacular.
You can connect it to your smartphone or tablet and use its app to play songs. You can even use Spotify (if you have a subscription). It does not support Dolby Digital Plus or DTS (its biggest drawback).
4. Sony HTSF150 or Sony HT-X8500
With Bass Réflex speaker
2-channel bar with 120W
The compact design of small size
Easy TV set up with HDMI ARC or optical connection
High-quality sound with S-Force PRO Front Surround
Playing music with USB and Bluetooth
Dimensions: 90x9x6 cm
Really cheap soundbar with good functionalities. Perfect for listening to DTS or AC3 audio. It has different types of equalization, and if you connect it using HDMI ARC, everything will go like silk.
It’s just a 2.0 bar, so the sound can’t match more expensive models. The buttons at the top do not allow you to control it completely.
The 2.1-channel soundbar and Dolby Atmos/DTS:X with Vertical Surround Engine
Compact low-profile design
Buttons for sound modes that allow you to enhance movies, music, games, news and sports
1 HDMI input, 1 HDMI (ARC) output, analog audio input/output, Ethernet, optical audio input, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
4K HDR support
A perfect soundbar with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, very compact and with an integrated subwoofer. You can’t ask for much more. Best of all, its price is very affordable right now.
And it provides an excellent surround sound. Its quality of manufacture is exceptional—possibly the best value for money of the year.
5. Samsung HW-T450
With Dolby Digital 2.1
Wireless subwoofer to boost bass
Smart Sound: Automatically analyzes original sound sources to optimize the audio track for each specific content
Game Mode: Enjoy a unique gaming experience with automatic audio setup and noise cancellation
Bluetooth 4.2 Power On: The bar will turn on and off automatically when you turn the TV on and off
It’s a soundbar to get into the world. It is not the best soundbar to offer a perfect sound on all frequencies, but if you do not ask for much, it will give you great joys. The sound is very decent; its price is scandalous and will serve you perfectly to enhance the sound of your favourite movies.
However, having a wireless subwoofer, the basses will sound pretty good to you. It only has an optical input and a USB port. You can use its EQ to customize the sound. It has no Atmos support.
6. Bose TV Speaker
Wide, natural sound with two full-range transducers that generate a spatial audio experience
Simple setup only needs an optical audio cable (included) or HDMI cable to connect this soundbar to the TV.
Bluetooth speaker with remote control
Dimensions: 5.6 x 59.4 x 10.2 cm
In case you don’t want to spend as much money as with the Bose Soundbar 700, this is a good option to enter the world of Bose. It is perfect if you want to enhance the dialogues of TV series and movies (it is specially designed for that). Combined with other Bose equipment goes perfect (such as the Bose Bass Module 500 and 700).
The sound gets worse when we turn up the volume a lot, and it doesn’t have automatic volume for at night. You can also connect your smartphone and start listening to podcasts like a madman.
It does not have HDMI connections, but if an optical input that we can connect to the TV that is compatible and also WIFI connectivity. For use, we have to use a smartphone or tablet with the corresponding app.
We can connect other Sonos speakers wirelessly to get surround sound. It has 9 Class D digital amplifiers, 6 mid-range speakers and 3 treble speakers. It’s not the typical soundbar, at least as far as connections are concerned.
8. BOMAKER 2.1 Soundbar with 150W and Wireless Subwoofer
Supports Aux, Optical, Coaxial, USB, Bluetooth input modes (3.5mm RCA cable, optical and coaxial cable included)
With wireless subwoofer
4 sound modes: General, Voice, Bass, Treble
Dimensions: 88×6.5×6.5cm; Subwoofer: 40x21x10cm
Another really cheap model that also incorporates subwoofer. You can’t ask for more. The audio quality is really decent (even if you don’t expect the panacea), it comes with remote control and can be connected to the mobile. Perfect for the price it has.
9. Sony HT-ST5000
Compatible with high-resolution audio
Dolby Atmos and DSEE HX technology that restores the quality of compressed files
S-Master HX digital amplifier for pure sound quality
Music with exceptional one-step sound with ClearAudio+
It’s not a cheap soundbar, but you’re going to pay for one of the best soundbars of the moment. Offering you Dolby Atmos, its manufacturing quality is tremendous and supports high-resolution audio. You can’t ask for more. The surround sound is from another planet. The only drawback you can put on it is that you don’t have DTS:X…. and its high price.
10. Sony HTRT4 Soundbar with surround sound
5.1-channel Surround Sound
Elongated rear speakers to enjoy sound at the ideal height
Simple Bluetooth connectivity with NFC
600 W of power
HDMI ARC (audio return channel) that allows you to connect your compatible TVs with a single cable
Compatible with DTS format
Optical input and USB port
If this soundbar stands out for anything, it’s because it allows you to configure the sound distribution perfectly thanks to its two towers, three-channel soundbar and subwoofer. The surround sound is very accomplished.
The sound is very crisp and does not distort and has many automatic sound modes (night, clear, sport, movie… Installation is straightforward.
EXTRA: Razer Leviathan
An optical digital entry
Bluetooth V4.0 APTX
3 default equalizer modes for games, music and movies
A really affordable soundbar with a tremendous bass thanks to its spectacular subwoofer. It’s perfect for video games. It works perfectly for PC but also TVs with its optical connection. It has Bluetooth, and its only drawback is that the surround sound is not very developed.
Best Soundbars of 2020
Surround Sound and Surround Sound Expansion (DPS Mode)
Compatible with SWA-8500S Surround Kit
Compact size: recommended for TVs 32″ or higher
Play via USB, streaming via Bluetooth
It features 4 built-in speakers with pre-amps and Wide Range Tweeters.
With One Remote: can be controlled directly with a single controller (from the TV)
The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s a pretty cheap soundbar, so you can’t order the same features as more expensive models. This soundbar will increase the sound power of your TV, but it doesn’t stand out especially for improving the dialogues a lot (for that you must spend more money).
If you want to improve the sound more, you should buy the speaker pack that sells separately. It connects very easily via Bluetooth to Samsung TVs and can be controlled with a single brand controller: if you are within the Samsung ecosystem, it is the perfect bar.
Its sound is stereo 2.0, can also be connected by optical cable and has Dolby Digital and DTS.
Philips Fidelio B5
120W de potencia
Bluetooth Apt-x and AAC
Digital coaxial input, optical digital, HDMI 1.4 (ARC) output, 2xHDMI input, 3.5mm audio jack input
Want 5.1 surround sound with your new TV? This is the soundbar you have to choose (use Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround) Plus it has Bluetooth connectivity. Hence, it connects very easily to your TV without cables and has a subwoofer. His only downside is that it’s a big thing.
Dolby Digital and DTS
Ultra-flat 5 x 10cm drivers
6 x 75W amplification
Aimed at people on a big budget, this soundbar is a product exquisitely made of brushed aluminium, with the entire front panel tilted backwards. A touch control panel is located on the right side and lights up when the hand is near it. The sound is magnificent, flooding the whole room. The bass is so good we don’t need a subwoofer.
160W wireless soundbar
With ASC technology that adapts the power of the bass and treble of the device
Mesh Wi-Fi, Dual Band and Bluetooth 4.0
2 HDMI (In-OUT) ports and a 3.5mm port
A cheap soundbar that has excellent performance. Its sound is excellent, and its dimensions reduced. It has Subwoofer and is wireless. Perfect for all kinds of content without leaving you the salary of the month to buy it.
5.1.4-channel Atmos soundbar with 15 drivers
Wireless Subwoofer and Surround Atmos Speakers
Two HDMI inputs with 4K/60p HDR
Dolby Atmos is a breakthrough in surround sound. It sounds perfect in this soundbar thanks to Samsung’s solution: put two external speakers and a wireless subwoofer. Possibly the best sound system Samsung has produced in a long time. It’s not cheap, but you’ll have an unprecedented immersive experience watching your movies.