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The Best Sound bars

The best sound bars for TV today are designed to compliment your TV aesthetically and aurally. Enhancing the viewing experience by bringing the sound up to the level of the pristine scenes on your hi-def... Show More television. Shopping for the best sound bar can be a daunting task. You’re not sure what features are important or who makes the best quality. It’s easy to make a mistake and buy a sound bar that’s just wrong for you or for your budget. But you’ve come to the right place. Compbrella experts reviewed and ranked the best and newest sound bars to help you make the right choice.  Show Less
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Product Highlights
  • Transform your living room into a state-of-the-art movie theater with True 360° Dolby Atmos surround flowing around, above and beyond you. Like cinemas with speakers located around you, SHOCKWAFE Pro 7.1.4 SSE duplicates the same experience to your home, courtesy of Two rear surround speakers & Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) processing technology. Created with same DNA as our flagship Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 SSE, Winner of the best Dolby Atmos Soundbar Battle (hosted by Brian Tong, Ex-Cnet host)
  • Experience a whole new level of surround performance with our exclusive SSE Technology. Featuring 3 advanced audio processing engines working in harmony to enhance directionality, enlarge spaciousness & unlock extra details of any audio soundtrack. Envelop your home theater with up to 7.1.4 channels of uncompromising moving audio that flows all around you. Unleash the full dynamics of your audio experience with 105dB of room-filling sound.
  • TWO 2-WAY REAR SPEAKERS (industry’s first!) produce spacious and dynamic surround sound. Each of them (connected to sub via RCA wires) is constructed with a tweeter that reproduces high frequencies with captivating clarity, and a full-range driver that delivers surround effects with power and precision. Simply put, the surround sound performance from simulated/virtual 2.1 or other 5.1 channel surround soundbars does not come anywhere close to this.
  • The main soundbar unit features upgraded high-performance speaker drivers. The signature front surround effects tweeters deliver a 35% wider soundstage. Our newly-designed 8″ down-firing wireless subwoofer delivers tight, room shaking low frequencies that enhances the impact of your home theater. Bass effects are fired onto the floor surface and distributed equally in all directions across the entire room for maximum immersiveness.
  • All units sold since Aug ’19 can receive Dolby Atmos surround via TV’s eARC when streaming with TV’s smart apps like Netflix (Note: not all TVs can output Atmos. Refer to your TV brand’s audio output specs). Enjoy advanced connectivity with Dolby Vision, 4K UHD pass-thru and High Dynamic Range (HDR). Connect up to 6 devices via 1 HDMI ARC, 3 HDMI, 1 Optical and 1 Coaxial inputs. The 52-key backlit remote allows seamless control of sources, DSP modes, individual channel and room size optimization

Compbrella Guide to The Best Sound Bars of 2019

While televisions today offer viewers crisp, lifelike images that can look even better than the real thing, they often falter when it comes to sound. TVs have become slimmer, sleeker, and more stylish but those aesthetic improvements have come at the expense of the high-quality built-in sound. A few years ago, you would have to hook up your TV to a big stereo system to boost the sound. That’s still an option if you have space and budget for a home theatre system but most of us need something that’s more affordable and compact. Fortunately, today you can invest in the best sound bar that is sleek and minimalist while still boosting your home viewing experience with Dolby 5.1 surround sound that is almost every bit as dynamic as a home theatre.

Recommender Sound bars:

What are the main types of Sound bars?

Technically, sound bars come in two basic forms: sound bars and sound bases. They both perform the same job, amplify the sounds from your television so a character whispering on your favorite drama can be heard with the same crystal clear clarity as an explosion in the newest Marvel blockbuster. There are, however, some subtle differences that made us favor the sound bar as the superior option.

  • Sound bars are literally that: a long, rectangular bar, usually placed underneath the television or hanging on the wall. It has at least three sound channels in it. There are sound bars with up to five channels and that also come with a sub-woofer, giving you an immersive surround sound experience. The sound bar’s rectangular design means speakers are spread out more than on the sound base, the distance giving the sound that extra separation you’ll appreciate. 
  • Sound bases do the same job as the sound bar but their design effects how you experience the sound they make. Sound bases are deeper (front to back) than sound bars and they tend to be shorter as well. This extra space increases amplification and bass, giving you deeper, louder sound. The downside of their design is that their shorter body don’t create stereo sounds as well as the best sound bars do because the channel separation is closer together. The other main drawback of the sound bar is that it’s designed to be as physical base for your television. Less and less televisions are being released with a pedestal so if you buy a television now, you might not be able to put it on top of the base. What’s more, you can’t hang the sound base on the wall like the sound bar, severely limiting your options for where to place the base. These little differences give sound bars the edge.

Do sound bars really make a difference? Are sound bars worth it?

The best sound bars for TV make a difference by replacing a critical function of televisions: good sound. TV screen quality has exploded dramatically over the years and the best sets today offer pristine images that will make you think you’re right there in the middle of the action. They’ve also slimmed down to almost painting-thickness. 

Your best TVs today are 1-2 inches thick. That’s amazing but think of the sets we had growing up: big, boxes that were basically furniture. They may not have been as pretty as today’s sets but they made a booming sound that would fill the living room. Sets today just don’t have the body to make such sounds resonate. That’s why you’re constantly playing with the volume, turning it up to hear dialogue and running to lower it during loud dramatic moments. 

Sound bars even out those valleys, allowing you to hear a whisper and an explosion at the clarity you’re supposed to hear. They provide Dolby surround sound that puts you right in the middle of the action. Many are also Bluetooth enabled so you can connect your music devices and Alexa for a wonderful aural experience. 

What features to look for when shopping for sound bars? How do I choose a sound bar?

There are several features you have to examine before you buy a sound bar:

  • Channels: You’ll need a sound bar with at least three channels for a basic setup that amplifies your TV sound. This will do for many people and really does increase the enjoyment of watching TV at home. There are many high-quality sound bars with this basic setup but if you’re looking to create a home theater dynamic you’ll want to look into a sound bar with more channels and sub-woofer or rear speakers. These will come with Dolby 5.1 technology or even the newest Dolby Atmos system for an immersive cinema experience. 
  • Connections: You’ll need a sound bar with at least two HDMI inputs, for your television and cable box. If you also want to connect a Blu-ray player or other music player you’ll need inputs for those as well, so really think about what you’ll use the sound bar for.
  •  Wireless: Many soundbars now support Bluetooth or WiFi connections to online platforms and services. If you enjoy listening to music from your smartphone or tablet look for a sound bar that can directly connect to your Alexa or music streaming platform.

Compbrella Pick for Top 3 Sound Bars

Best overall: Sonos Playbar

An excellent sound bar that will take your home entertainment to the next level and give you direct access to Sonos music platform. 

Best value: Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1

Great purchase for excellent and versatile surround sound on an easier budget. 

Best design: Bose SoundTouch 300

Perfect for your high end living room, connected straight to Alexa that will direct all your entertainment needs.

Why you should trust us

Compbrella was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with over twenty years experience working in retail, electronics, and e-commerce. Over the years, we have spent endless hours writing and revising consumer guides, interviewing customers about the products they enjoyed using, and talking to an untold number of technicians about why some products fail and others don’t. We draw from our own experiences about what products a household needs and what we use in our everyday lives. If we’re reviewing a product, it means we one of us has it in their home and thinks it, or a different version, would be a great addition to your homes. We stand by our recommendations because we make them to each other first.