Top Soundbars on the Market
Why a Soundbar?
Whether you want that cinematic experience or simply a rich bass, there is a lot on the market and choosing can have you feeling somewhat lost. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the permission or space to accommodate multiple speakers for that desired surround sound. What’s more, the setup can be quite a costly challenge. For a painless, wireless and virtually effortless upgrade then choose the soundbar.
When you’re buying a soundbar, it’s important not to get too caught up in appearances. You want something that delivers you top notch sound while not becoming the centre piece of your living room. Something sleek and discreet that fits snugly below your TV or that is easily mounted out of the way is just perfect. With soundbars now offering crazy high tech features it can be tricky deciding which one is for you. It’s vital you consider your price range and what you will predominately be using it for.
Best Soundbars on a Budget
If you don’t want to spend a fortune but want something reliable that provides quality listening and looks great too, then look no further. Ok so it hasn’t got a list of quirky settings and surprises, but this is a fantastic price, providing a good quality system with no major flaws reported.
LG LAS260B 100 Watt 2 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar – Black
- 0 channel surround sound and added bass to enhance TV’s sound.
- Slim modern design.
- Bluetooth allows you to stream or listen from your Smartphone.
- LG Bluetooth remote app- simply download the app to control your device from your Smartphone.
- Does not include optical cable so make sure you order appropriate fibre optic cable beforehand.
- Quite long so make sure you have enough room on your desk! Length 6.69, width 39.84, height 5.71.
- It might be better off on the wall but be aware it isn’t suitable for VESA style brackets.
- Speakers are exposed so you’ll need to be extra careful, make sure it’s out of the way of little people and hands!
- No HDMI.
Best Soundbar for under £100
Samsung HW-J250 80 W 2.2 Channel Soundbar with Bluetooth and Built-In Subwoofers
If you are into your movies then this is the one for you. With clear voice technology there will be no need for subtitles or an excuse to miss a line. The powerful integrated woofers will transport you, providing a truly realistic experience. With a super easy set-up and great reviews, this soundbar really does stand out as a steal. It’s discreet, sleek and practical and all for under £100.
- The Bluetooth device means you can listen from your Smartphone, tablet or computer.
- The Samsung audio remote application allows you to take control of settings from the mobile device.
- All of this is made even simpler with the free user manual.
- Comes with remote control and battery, optical cable, wall mount and USB cable!
- Great all rounder- won’t disappoint for music or movies.
- Excellent value for money.
Best Soundbar for under £200
Samsung HW-K450 soundbar speaker – soundbar speakers (Wireless, Active, DTS 2.0, Separate, Energy Star, Optical)
- This is the soundbar for everyone; the clear voice technology makes watching films a real treat.
- You also have the option of personalising your experience with modes including: night, sports, movie and music mode.
- The 300w output gives a truly cinematic experience to films.
- Bluetooth allows you to have control from your Smartphone, enabling you to stream and listen to all your music.
- Be aware that the subwoofer has to be bought separately.
Best Soundbar for under £300
LG SK5 Soundbar with DTS Virtual X Sound – Black
Any soundbar is an upgrade from basic TV speakers but many are still directional and not immersive. This certainly isn’t the case with the LG SK5, you are guaranteed high quality sound that really does give you the cinematic experience, bringing the action into your home. With the functions and quality of a top of the range system, you really are getting your money’s worth.
- The subwoofer increases impact-producing enhanced low pitched audio frequencies.
- DTS Virtual X adds height and surround audio.
- Multiple sound bar configurations- enhanced immersion, richer bass and clearer dialogue.
- Two speaker drivers placed within the bar to deliver high quality sound.
- Advanced audio processing technology delivering sound of 24bit/96kHz.
- Intelligently adaptive audio. LG’s unique audio enhancing technology analyses frequency levels as you listen to provide an optimum sound mix based on what you are watching.
- Warning customers report their experiences to be too real!
Best Soundbar for Music
LG SJ2 Soundbar with 2.1 Channel 160 W Speaker Set – Black
This is an affordable system offering quality sound, proving to be ideal for music.
- Wireless subwoofer.
- Range of sound which creates the feeling of immersion.
- The bass and treble are nicely balanced.
- Supports Dolby digital sound.
- Multi-channel sound and two speaker drives placed inside the sound bar.
- Bluetooth which enables you to connect wirelessly to your LG TV and music services.
- USB Optical and portable drives.
- Remote with batteries.
- Optical cable is not included.
- Can be quiet when using Bluetooth.
- Frequencies can vibrate, padding underneath bar is recommended for sound absorption.
- The bar doesn’t indicate volume percentage.
- Can take a few seconds for volume to register.
- There are reports that the product doesn’t work with LG Magic remote which is surprising as it’s an LG product.
Best Soundbar for Gaming
Trust Gaming 22329 GXT 668 2.1 Soundbar Speaker System with Subwoofer for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, LED Illuminated, Black
You will either love or hate this system. The lighting is truly impressive and there is no doubt that the speakers are powerful. However, for many this dazzling and rather impressive product just doesn’t live up to the hype. With many customers reporting faulty speakers from day one to dodgy bass, it’s not the most reliable bar on the market. I have the feeling that this one may just look the part.
- Wooden subwoofer which comes in a choice of three cool LED illuminations including red, blue and RGB also available as original or digital.
- Space saving speaker set with optical input for high quality sound.
- Four integrated speakers – fits below TV or monitor.
- Equaliser with pre-defined settings to personalise your experience depending on what you’re using it for (normal, music, game, movie).
- Smart power mode, goes into standby when not in use.
- Volume can’t be adjusted when the headphones are in use.
- A number of customers have complained of technical problems with the speakers simply not working.
- The bass isn’t great for higher pitches.
- Not ideal for home cinema or hardcore gaming.
Best Soundbar with a Subwoofer
Panasonic SC-HTB690EBK 350 W Soundbar with Wireless Down Firing Subwoofer
What a great price, this system offers features of some of the more expensive competition. There is no doubt that you will receive quality sound which is perfect for music. There have been some comments regarding the quality of the lip syncing so maybe it wouldn’t impress those in mind of a home cinema. However, the subwoofer really does the job for the bass, providing a genuine immersive experience. Great for music lovers!
- Separate wireless subwoofer.
- Attractive design.
- Simple set up with two cables and a HDMI cable which isn’t included.
- Numerous settings to play around with.
- Produces excellent quality sound.
- Incredible value for money.
- Super clear dialogue.
- You’re assured quality with a long guarantee from Panasonic.
- The remote is very basic without many functions.
- Setting up your universal remote can be tricky if you have a Smart TV.
- The timing of the lip syncing has had some criticism.
- Device not compatible with some older TV’s even when used with a converter
So there you have it, a summary of some of the best Soundbars on the market. It’s your job now to decide which one is for you.
Remember, it’s not all about appearances; sometimes a wall flower is a better option.
Keep in mind what you’ll be using it for, music, games or movies? Perhaps you need an all rounder, something which will deliver in all departments.
Knowing your price range is vital, as we’ve discovered, quality can be found in every price bracket, from lowest to highest. So try to keep to your limit and resist the temptation to overspend!
Finally, check reviews and avoid disappointment by making sure you have the correct equipment at home, such as wires and the compatible TV/remote. You might also want to go that extra mile and check you have the suitable bracket if you’re mounting it; these little things just prevent frustration on the big day!