Looking for a soundbar to boost your TV audio and want a single-box solution without the fuss of a receiver and a million different wires? Then you’ve come to the right place in our soundbar and speaker base round-up.
Whatever your budget and goal, we’ve collated a selection of options to help boost your TV’s audio. Simple, quick, and in many cases offering good value for money, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to boosting your TV sounds.
Whether you’re after a compact soundbar, a smart soundbar with voice control, or an all-singing, all-dancing Dolby Atmos soundbar that delivers an immersive experience, these are some of the best options available.
Q Acoustics M3
The M3 is an excellent soundbar that you can pick up for a steal these days. It might not be the newest kid on the block, but it produces excellent, room-filling sound. You can place the soundbar in or on top of the cabinet or on the wall – you can set the soundbar up to match the location you choose.
And, because it uses HDMI ARC to connect to your TV, there’s no problem with it knowing what source you’re using. You’re also able to connect via Bluetooth to listen to your music from your phone or other devices.
Polk Command Bar
The Polk Command Bar is a remarkable soundbar that offers features rarely found elsewhere at a price that is hard to believe. If it was just a 2.1-channel ‘bar and sub’ combo it would be worth buying thanks to an impressive audio performance, but the inclusion of HDMI inputs and a wireless active subwoofer are simply unheard of at this price point.
The Command Bar also has built-in Amazon Alexa, meaning you can simultaneously operate it with your voice, stream your favourite music and control other smart devices in your home – all while ordering your favourite pizza. The bottom line: you won’t find a better soundbar for the price. It’s outstandingly good value and sounds great too.
The Samsung HW-Q70R is an excellent soundbar and subwoofer combo that’s a step-up from the crowd. It delivers a big and bold Atmos and DTS:X sound performance, even if a little front-heavy.
The single HDMI input is a little disappointing but the Samsung HW-Q70R offers easy setup, an attractive design and it’s ideal for film fans and gamers, while the solid build quality and decent features help justify the price tag.
Wharfedale Vista 200S
The Wharfedale Vista 200S is an affordable 2.1-channel soundbar with an active wireless subwoofer included in the box. It’s fairly basic in terms of features, with only an HDMI connection, Bluetooth, and EQ modes worth mentioning but it sounds good with movies and music and it is easy to set up.
The Vista 200S’s big sell is its price point though. You’d be hard-pushed to find a soundbar that includes a wireless active subwoofer for anything approaching the same price bracket. Overall, this Wharfedale soundbar has a polished sound quality that upgrades the audio on your TV with the minimum of fuss and at a highly competitive price.
Yamaha MusicCast Bar 400
The Yamaha MusicCast Bar 400 is a 2.1-channel soundbar with an included active wireless subwoofer and it performs well with both movies and music. Its discreet and well-made design offers the company’s MusicCast built-in, as well as good bass.
There’s no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support and you’ll only find one HDMI input but there is voice control via Alexa and there is also the option to buy this soundbar without the wireless subwoofer if you’re on a budget.
The Sony HT-ZF9 is a compact and very well made 3.1-channel soundbar that not only supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, but it offers 7.1.2 surround sound through effective virtual sound processing. Other features include 4K HDR and Hi-Res audio support, as well as built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Chromecast.
Its interface can be confusing and while the HT-ZF9 can’t compete with soundbars that deliver immersive audio in a more traditional fashion, the HT-ZF9 has a lot to recommend. Movies and music both sound good, while Sony’s application of digital signal processing to create a virtual immersive experience is often very successful.
The LG SK10Y soundbar offers big and dynamic sonic performance, along with excellent Dolby Atmos implementation. There is solid bass thanks to the wireless sub and this soundbar has a gorgeous design with a fantastic build quality. It also offers Google Assistant voice control built-in, along with Chromecast.
It lacks DTS:X support and it has limited HDMI inputs, while the soundstage is front heavy, but the partnership with Meridian Audio is a great addition and as a result this soundbar’s sonic performance is focused as much on music as it is on TV and movies.
The Samsung HW-N950 offers superb immersive sound quality, coupled with excellent Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support with genuine 7.1.4-channel performance, thanks to a wireless subwoofer and rear speakers. It has an attractive design with a solid build quality, as well as a decent set of features.
There are only two HDMI ports, limited room equalisation and it’s a pricey bit of kit, but the HW-N950 is a fantastic soundbar overall that delivers amazing sound quality with TV shows, movies and music. It offers a level of immersion we’ve only previously experienced with a separates system.
Building on the above N950, this new model delivers a genuine object-based audio experience. It boasts rear channels, four upward-firing drivers and a beefed-up subwoofer – making it ideal for Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio. It’s a complete surround sound package that’s hard to beat.
Quite frankly it has no equal. It produces the kind of genuinely immersive experience that single-unit bar and sub combos claim to but never really can.
- Soundbar with wireless subwoofer
- No rear channels
- 4K HDR pass-through
Sony’s Atmos soundbar may be expensive, but you get an awful lot of ‘bar for your money and an impressive Atmos effect. It looks great and if you can, we recommend removing the speaker grille to reveal Sony’s gorgeous coaxial drivers.
It’s well equipped to accept virtually any source too, thanks to its support of 4K HDR and Dolby Vision pass-through, as well as its myriad connections, including Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Chromecast and Wi-Fi.
As for sound quality, it’s quite simply exemplary. The ST5000 delivers movie soundtracks with serious power and clarity from its 7.1.2 setup. The Atmos effect itself is good, although if Sony included additional rear speakers, it would be even better. Still, there’s definitely extra height that you don’t get from “regular” soundbars, and this is what you’ll be buying it for.
Bose SoundTouch 300
The Bose SoundTouch 300 offers a superior build quality, supports multi-room functionality and it comes with a host of features including built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC for tap-to-connect and Bose’s QuietPort and Phase Guide technologies. It also offers Dolby Digital, DTS support and Alexa voice control.
Lacking a little in bass and being pricey for its segment considering the lack of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are the Bose SoundTouch 300’s two main flaws, but overall, this soundbar delivers an open soundstage while also retaining plenty of detail and clarity.
The Sonos Beam is a compact soundbar that not only delivers an expansive performance for its small size, but it offers multiple voice assistant support – Alexa and Google Assistant are both onboard. It also supports the Sonos multi-room platform, making it a perfect addition if you have Sonos speakers already, doubling up as an excellent speaker and soundbar in one.
There is no Dolby Atmos support and it’s expensive if you consider adding additional speakers or the Sonos Sub, but the Sonos Beam sounds great for both music and movies and it’s a great soundbar to consider if you not only want to boost your TV audio, but you want to make your living room or bedroom smarter too. If you need a bigger Sonos soundbar, you could consider the Playbar instead of the Beam.
The LG SJ9 offers great Dolby Atmos effect, coupled with rich and meaty sound from its compact design. It’s all-round performance is impressive and we enjoyed living with it, though LG’s MusicFlow system isn’t as good as it could be.
There’s only one HDMI port and this soundbar isn’t as impressive as a separates Atmos setup but the LG SJ9 will still offer an added dimension to your movie watching, whilst also being a capable soundbar for music once everything is setup.
The Samsung HW-MS650 delivers great audio with no fuss. It’s very easy to use as a single box sound solution and it performs so well that it would be impossible not to recommend it. There are options for a rear channel, better mounting options and a way to make this soundbar part of a multi-room setup, all adding to its appeal.
Dolby Atmos isn’t supported and the display doesn’t show you a great deal but the HW-MS650 is well connected, easy to setup and it sounds fantastic. It is a single-box package that delivers in abundance.
Easy to setup and live with, the SL9 automatically adjusts its sound processing depending on whether you wall-mount it or not. The overall performance is great despite the absence of rear speakers. There’s Google Assistant, too, but no eARC or HDR10+ passthrough, which seems a trifle odd. It’s solid, but could have been great.
Best TV speaker bases
For bass you need space – something flatscreen TVs inherently lack. We don’t all have stacks of space available in our homes, so a speaker base, a device that your TV can sit on, is an ideal solution. Here are some of the best.
Q Acoustics M2
The Q Acoustics M2 is a great one box stereo and subwoofer solution. It comfortably out-performs rival products at a similar price. Importantly, the M2’s sound profile is great. Whether in Movie or Music modes, it sounds wide and rich from all angles. A pricier system might be fancier, but the M2 delivers everything you could want and more.
The Sonos Playbase features a super slim and solid design, coupled with a fantastic sound quality that offers ample bass without the need for the Sonos Sub. It also delivers seamless integration with the Sonos multi-room system, making it both an excellent speaker and boost for your TV audio in one.
It’s quite pricey and there’s no HDMI or DTS Surround support, but the Playbase is a have-your-cake-and-eat-it kind of speaker. It’s great for music, radically enhances TV audio, blows away the Playbar’s more dated design, and is the perfect addition to Sonos’s full around-the-home audio package.
For its price the Orbitsound SB60 delivers plenty of audio thump thanks to an adjustable equaliser and built-in down-firing sub. Unlike the Denon, the Orbitsound lacks Bluetooth, but it’s an ideal solution for TV.
There’s less bass than from a system with a separate subwoofer would offer, but for the price the Orbitsound is a darn good solution that won’t eat into precious floor space.
The Onkyo LS-T10 is one of the more premium speaker base solutions out there. It delivers an impressive performance, enhancing sound from your TV, or use the USB and Bluetooth connections as additional benefits for listening to music.
We’re less impressed by the supplied remote which appears rather cheap, especially as it’s the only option you have for changing the bass level. But once you have the sound setup as you want it, it’s smooth sailing.