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Best Soundbars

Soundbars are an affordable way to bring professional sound to your living room by compensating for the thin speakers found in slim modern TVs. Theyre compact and there are good quality models available at affordable prices - so what's the best soundbar for you?

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The first question to ask is whether a soundbar will work in your entertainment space. Each bar has a range of speakers inside it that project audio on different channels to increase clarity and to simulate high fidelity surround (though the number of speakers and channels is not always the same). Theyll be less effective at doing this in a large, wide space, and are best suited to smaller, enclosed rooms. The size of your actual soundbar is mainly an aesthetic concern.

Next, you should consider ports and connectivity. Only buy a unit that has enough ports for your home entertainment system might have, such as the TV itself, a DVD player, or maybe a record player. Some soundbars are connectable via built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Google Chromecast, Amazon Alexa or Apple Airplay functionality. You can filter for this information, as well as the number of HDMI/USB ports and included cabling, via the panel on the left.

Channels

Knowing what soundbar numbers mean (such as 5.1) is important to find the right unit for you. The first number is how many channels it has, and more channels mean a greater surround sound effect. Satellite speakers are included in this first number, and are able to be positioned around the room to enhance the audio. The second number is whether or not it has a subwoofer, which is responsible for deep bass sounds (like in action scenes or music). The third number tells you if it has any upward-firing speakers (or Atmos speakers) to simulate sound from above. So, 2.0 means two channels and no subwoofer. 7.1.2 means there are seven channels, one subwoofer, and two upward firing speakers.

The higher the soundbar number, the better it will be at simulating high fidelity surround sound. How many channels is right for you, and the value of a subwoofer, depends on your budget and what you want from your unit. For watching movies, it's generally recommended to have a soundbar with at least 3.1 channels as the 3rd middle channel can make dialogue clearer. Real audio buffs will be encouraged to go for a 5.1 or higher system, but these require a bigger budget and may also require the placement of two satellite speakers for the full surround sound experience, which might not suit every living room. If you want to go as high as 7 channels, you should make sure that whatever you want to watch actually supports 7.1 surround sound - Netflix for example, currently only supports up to 5.1 surround sound.

Surround Sound

Some surround models come equipped with Dolby Atmos, which is renowned for its clarity, richness, and depth in creating a sense of height, and DTS-X provides a similar, surround sound sphere. These both are designed for sound to appear from above through up-firing or satellite speakers. DTS Virtual:X is designed to simulate this effect without the use of satellite or up-firing speakers.

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18 listings

LG SJ Series

LG SJ Series · includes 5 listings

4.6 from 14 reviews

Latest review: This sound bar is decently priced. It has got very fine sound quality with good bass and treble system. I would totally recommend this to anyone who would like a good soundbar in addition to their TV

Price (RRP) $199.00 to $1,699.00

  • Voice / Dialogue
    4.7 (3)
  • Bass
    4.3 (3)
  • Music
    4.3 (3)
  • FeaturesDolby Atmos Surround Sound, Spotify Connect and Wall Mountable
  • Connectivity Options3.5mm Jack (AUX), Bluetooth, Ethernet, HDMI, HDMI ARC, Optical Port, USB and Wi-Fi
  • Number of HDMI Ports0 to 2
  • Colour / Finish Black or Silver
  • Soundbar Width660 mm to 1,220 mm
  • Power160 W, 300 W, 320 W or 500 W
  • Channels2.1 or 5.1.2
  • Subwoofer TypeWireless
  • Satellite Speakers0
JBL Bar 3.1

JBL Bar 3.1

5.0 from 2 reviews

Latest review: We bought this with our new Sony 4K tv and honestly it was the best decision. We upgraded from a Samsung 7.1 Home theatre system and this soundbar is so much better. The bass when turned up fills

  • Voice / Dialogue
    5.0 (1)
  • Bass
    5.0 (1)
  • Music
    5.0 (1)
  • FeaturesDolby Atmos Surround Sound and Spotify Connect
  • Connectivity OptionsBluetooth, HDMI, HDMI ARC, Optical Port and Wi-Fi
  • Number of HDMI Ports1
  • Colour / Finish Black
  • Soundbar Dimensions58 x 1018 x 78 mm
  • Power450 W
  • Weight2.3 kg
  • Channels3.1
  • Subwoofer TypeWireless
  • Satellite Speakers0
  • Up-Firing Speakers0
JBL Bar 5.1

JBL Bar 5.1

4.8 from 5 reviews

Latest review: It might not have a huge range of features and adjustability settings, but it delivers on what the majority of consumers such as myself would want out of a soundbar, to deliver rich and powerful

Price (RRP) $999.00

  • Voice / Dialogue
    4.8 (4)
  • Bass
    4.8 (4)
  • Music
    4.0 (3)
  • Connectivity Options3.5mm Jack (AUX), Bluetooth, HDMI, HDMI ARC and Optical Port
  • Number of HDMI Ports3
  • Colour / Finish Black
  • Soundbar Dimensions58 x 1148 x 93 mm
  • Power510 W
  • Weight3.9 kg
  • Channels5.1
  • Subwoofer TypeWireless
  • Satellite Speakers2
  • Up-Firing Speakers0
LG SK Series

LG SK Series · includes 5 listings

4.3 from 3 reviews

Latest review: Purchased this Soundbar for our second TV located in the lounge room. It was exceedingly simple and quick to install and delivers very good tone and volume. Overall, a good entry level product that

Price (RRP) $549.00 to $1,699.00

  • Voice / Dialogue
    3.5 (2)
  • Bass
    4.0 (1)
  • Music
    4.0 (1)
  • FeaturesChromecast built-in, Dolby Atmos Surround Sound, DTS Virtual:X, Google Assistant and Wall Mountable
  • Connectivity Options3.5mm Jack (AUX), Bluetooth, Ethernet, HDMI, HDMI ARC, Optical Port, USB and Wi-Fi
  • Number of HDMI Ports2 to 3
  • Colour / Finish Black
  • Soundbar Width891 mm to 1,443 mm
  • Power360 W, 500 W or 550 W
  • Channels2.1 or 5.1.2
  • Subwoofer TypeWireless
  • Satellite Speakers0
JBL Bar Studio 2.0

JBL Bar Studio 2.0

4.0 from 3 reviews

Latest review: Connected to 10 year old Samsung TV via optical cable. Very happy with the sound quality and that the TV remote still controls the volume. Looks like a well made product. Took all of 60 seconds to

Price (RRP) $259.95

  • Voice / Dialogue
    4.0 (2)
  • Bass
    4.0 (2)
  • Music
    4.0 (1)
  • Connectivity OptionsBluetooth and HDMI ARC
  • Number of HDMI Ports1
  • Colour / Finish Black
  • Soundbar Dimensions58 x 614 x 86 mm
  • Power30 W
  • Weight1.4 kg
  • Channels2.0
  • Subwoofer TypeNone
  • Satellite Speakers0
  • Up-Firing Speakers0
LG SL Series

LG SL Series · includes 6 listings

4.0 from 4 reviews

Latest review: Bought in August 2019. Can't fault it. Replaces the TV speakers for a huge improvement. Works especially well when watching footage of spacecraft launches. We don't need to use the included remote

  • Voice / Dialogue
    4.3 (4)
  • Bass
    4.5 (4)
  • Music
    4.8 (4)
  • FeaturesChromecast built-in, Dolby Atmos Surround Sound, DTS Virtual:X, DTS:X, Google Assistant and Wall Mountable
  • Connectivity OptionsBluetooth, HDMI, HDMI ARC, Optical Port, USB and Wi-Fi
  • Number of HDMI Ports2 to 3
  • Colour / Finish Black
  • Soundbar Width890 mm to 1,443 mm
  • Power300 W, 400 W, 420 W, 440 W, 500 W or 570 W
  • Channels2.1, 3.1, 3.1.2, 4.1.2 or 5.1.2
  • Subwoofer TypeWireless
  • Satellite Speakers0
JBL Bar 2.1

JBL Bar 2.1

1.0 from 1 review

Latest review: Bought this soundbar less than one month ago as a gift for relatives overseas. Audio quality is quite good for the price. However, the main soundbar will not power on anymore today (i.e product is

  • FeaturesDolby Atmos Surround Sound
  • Connectivity OptionsBluetooth, HDMI ARC and USB
  • Number of HDMI Ports1
  • Colour / Finish Black
  • Soundbar Dimensions58 x 965 x 68 mm
  • Power300 W
  • Weight1.9 kg
  • Channels2.1
  • Subwoofer TypeWireless
  • Satellite Speakers0
  • Up-Firing Speakers0