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The Best Soundbar

Last updated on March 17, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Soundbars and dug through the reviews from 88 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, BestReviews, Engadget, The Verge and more. The result is a ranking of the best Soundbars.

Best Soundbar

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Soundbars and also dug through the reviews from 88 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, BestReviews, Engadget, The Verge and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Soundbars.

Our Picks For The Top Soundbars

Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Sonos

Playbar

Overall Take

Sonos is a respected name in soundbars and the Playbar is an impressive unit. You'll get great sound, although it does struggle a little with bass. But perhaps the best thing about the Playbar is its easy connectivity to the other speakers in the line, making it a breeze to set up surround sound.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, CNET, Wired, Consumer Reports and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
"One bit of cleverness we unequivocally like, though we weren't able to test it, is that as well as adding the Sonos Sub to bolster the bottom end, you can also add two Sonos Play:3 speakers behind you wirelessly, giving..."
Cons
"However, it fails to deliver low bass and sub-bass sound."

Sonos

Playbase

Overall Take

If you're looking for easy connectivity to streaming apps, the Sonos Playbase is a great choice. It comes with crisp, high-quality sound for a true home theater experience. Setup is also fairly straightforward as long as you have the app.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Engadget, The Verge. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy.
Pros
"We’re happy to report that it does in fact sound quite good. Even without Trueplay calibration, the Playbase offered punchy bass, crisp vocals and a good sense of soundstage depth and height."
Cons
"No HDMI and too expensive if you want to build a system."

VIZIO

28-Inch Sound bar

Overall Take

This inexpensive soundbar is an even better deal considering it comes with a subwoofer. It doesn't simulate surround sound as well as pricier soundbars, so you may need to add speakers. Connecting via Bluetooth is easy, and an owner's manual with step-by-step instructions will guide you through the setup process. Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
"Garners enthusiasm among consumers who love bass, as the deep, rich sound rivals pricier models. Owner's manual is detailed and easy to follow, making setting up and connecting to Bluetooth easy."
Cons
"There are only two speakers, so it has a hard time simulating surround sound."
  The Best Value

TaoTronics

Sound Bar

Overall Take

For its low price, it's hard to beat the TaoTronics sound bar. You'll get high-quality sound and Bluetooth compatibility that makes for easy setup. Its sturdy build means it will last through many years of use.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Tech Gear Lab. Along with user reviews from .
Pros
"Stands out for being easy to use with traditional wired setup or through its simple-to-pair Bluetooth capabilities. It also has a solid build and produces clear, well-balanced sound for a value price."
Cons
"No sound customization available."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the soundbars available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products to review and score.

View All Product Rankings

88

Expert Reviews Included

Reviews from our DWYM category experts and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: CNET, Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, BestReviews, Engadget.

28,112

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Sonos Playbar

Expert Summarized Score
8.6
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
1,140 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

Sonos is a respected name in soundbars and the Playbar is an impressive unit. You'll get great sound, although it does struggle a little with bass. But perhaps the best thing about the Playbar is its easy connectivity to the other speakers in the line, making it a breeze to set up surround sound.

What other experts liked
One bit of cleverness we unequivocally like, though we weren't able to test it, is that as well as adding the Sonos Sub to bolster the bottom end, you can also add two Sonos Play:3 speakers behind you wirelessly, giving you a decent crack at 5.1 surround sound. (Play:5s don't...
- Tech Radar
October 15, 2018 | Full review
This functionality could arguably have been implemented more easily with an Arc-enabled HDMI port, which can pass on remote-style commands.
- Trusted Reviews
August 3, 2018 | Full review
This sound bar doubles as an Alexa smart speaker.
- Top Ten Reviews
October 10, 2018 | Full review
The Sonos Playbar integrates the company's best-in-class digital music software into a thoughtfully designed sound bar. It's dead simple to set up and works seamlessly with other Sonos products, and can even be expanded to a true wireless 5.1 system by adding the Sonos Sub and two Play:3 speakers. The...
- CNET
February 1, 2013 | Full review
With more mid-woofers, it delivers deep bass and has more balance and depth than the Beam or Playbase. It's also built to hang on a wall, but at just over 3-inches tall and 5-inches thick, it can also sit in front of most TVs without hassle.
- Wired
August 1, 2018 | Full review
The Playbar is compatible only with TVs with optical digital audio outputs. The Playbar is just 3.3 inches tall, so it can be placed beneath most TVs without blocking the screen or IR sensor, and the speaker can be rotated horizontally for wall mounting, with a sensor that recognizes the...
- Consumer Reports
Produces crisp, clear sound with its perfectly engineered interior components – 9 amplified drivers, 3 high range tweeters, and 6 mid-woofers balance sound precisely. Sonos app makes it easy to stream sound throughout your home.
- BestReviews
This model is a great soundbar for your TV that also happens to be a part of the Sonos ecosystem.
- New York Times Wirecutter
What other experts didn't like
There is no remote in the box and requires particular TVs.
- Tech Radar
October 15, 2018 | Full review
However, it fails to deliver low bass and sub-bass sound.
- Trusted Reviews
August 3, 2018 | Full review
The bass response is lacking compared to sound bars that come with a subwoofer.
- Top Ten Reviews
October 10, 2018 | Full review
The Playbar's heavily processed sound won't please purists. It's also expensive and there are considerably better-sounding alternatives in its price range. Many buyers would be fine with cheaper AirPlay or Bluetooth alternatives.
- CNET
February 1, 2013 | Full review
It is very expensive
- Wired
August 1, 2018 | Full review
This is pricey and it doesn't have its own remote.
- Consumer Reports
Expensive. Reports of difficulties switching from the soundbar to regular TV sound. A bit difficult to pair to non-Sonos equipment. Requires internet connection to activate many of its features.
- BestReviews
This is a bit costly compared to other soundbars
- New York Times Wirecutter

The Best Bang For Your Buck

TaoTronics Sound Bar

Expert Summarized Score
5.5
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
0.0
0 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

For its low price, it's hard to beat the TaoTronics sound bar. You'll get high-quality sound and Bluetooth compatibility that makes for easy setup. Its sturdy build means it will last through many years of use.

What other experts liked
Stands out for being easy to use with traditional wired setup or through its simple-to-pair Bluetooth capabilities. It also has a solid build and produces clear, well-balanced sound for a value price.
- BestReviews
Inexpensive soundbar and has a good sound quality.
- Tech Gear Lab
September 26, 2017 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Bluetooth range is only about 10 feet. Volume could be louder. Remote is on the bulky side, and doesn't come with batteries.
- BestReviews
No sound customization available.
- Tech Gear Lab
September 26, 2017 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. Sonos Playbar
Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 9

2. Sonos Playbase
Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 7

3. VIZIO 28-Inch Sound bar
Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 5

4. LG Electronics High Resolution Audio Sound Bar
Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 6

5. Sony Sound Bar Speaker
Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 5

6. Samsung Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 7

7. Sony Ultra-slim 300W HTCT290 Sound bar
Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 5

8. Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System
Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 4

9. TaoTronics Sound Bar
Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 3

10. Polk Soundbar
Overall Score: 6.9
Reviews Included: 11

An Overview On Soundbars

Now that you can order a film at the press of a button, movie night has moved from the cineplex to living rooms. For that reason, it’s likely no surprise that consumers report they’d rather watch a movie at home than leave the house. But getting the same experience at home as you do in a theater can be challenging.

Even if you take advantage of the low prices on high-quality big-screen TVs, duplicating true movie theater surround sound can get expensive. In recent years, soundbars have advanced to the point where they now can simulate surround sound for a fraction of the cost of a speaker set. But one soundbar can differ dramatically from another, so it’s important to do your research before you buy.

Soundbars can range in price from $50 to thousands of dollars, but do you really need to spend that much? You can get adequate sound at a lower cost, and some of the moderately-priced soundbars can rival those that top $1,000 in price. When shopping for soundbars, pay close attention to the range of tones you’ll get. Some soundbars can’t handle bass as well as others, even when they’re promising the best sound quality.

Once you get your soundbar home, you’ll generally be on your own to make it work with your existing systems. One of the best things you can do is take note of the equipment you already have and make sure the soundbar you choose is compatible. Many of today’s speakers use Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to eliminate unsightly wires. So if you have an older TV or receiver, you may find the soundbar you’ve bought won’t connect.

Finally, stop to think about where you’ll set up your new soundbar, as well as any speakers you plan to add on to it. There are soundbars you can mount on the wall, while there are many others that can set on your furniture in front of your TV. Whichever option you choose, note the dimensions of your soundbar in advance to ensure you know how much room it will take up.

DWYM Fun Fact

As you set up your home theater, it’s important to consider the size of your room. Soundbars are more than adequate for smaller rooms. But if your home theater is in a large basement or an oversized bonus room, you’re likely going to find that you need additional speakers to truly immerse your audience with sound. This is also true if you’re a movie buff who expects to feel like you’re on the Millennium Falcon, not just watching it on a screen. But many soundbars are designed for add-ons, so you should be able to build your home theater gradually if you aren’t quite ready to jump in fully just yet.

The Soundbar Buying Guide

  • If your soundbar doesn’t sound good, there’s no point in even having one. If you’re going for the best sound, consider either the Sonos Playbar or Sonos Playbase. Both have great sound and great ranges. However, the Sonos Playbase performs better in the deeper ranges, with bass you can feel in your chest. The VIZIO 28-inch soundbar also offers deep, rich bass that can take on even the much pricier Sonos speakers.
  • For those interested in building a true home theater, adding on extra speakers is the key to success. Sonos allows you to easily buy extra speakers to connect to your soundbar. The Sonos Playbar does best with this, letting you expand to a true 5.1 wireless sound system. Even without extra speakers, though, Sonos does a better job at simulating surround sound, while VIZIO’s soundbar struggles with that.
  • Setup can be intimidating if you don’t consider yourself a tech guru. The TaoTronics soundbar is among the easiest to use, whether you’re wiring it up or using its Bluetooth-pairing capabilities. With the VIZIO 28-inch soundbar, you’ll need to follow the owner’s manual, but it’s fairly simple to connect it to Bluetooth and get things going. Sonos can be tricky to set up, especially when it comes to pairing with other equipment.
  • One of the biggest concerns when shopping for any speaker is where it will be. The Sonos Playbar is designed to hang on a wall, but it can also rest in front of your TV. The Sonos Playbase can be mounted, but it looks great in front of your TV. If you’re limited on space, you may want to avoid the VIZIO 28-inch soundbar, since it comes with a separate subwoofer that you’ll need to place.
  • If you’re looking for the smallest soundbar, the Sonos Playbase is the shortest, at only 2.28 inches tall. Lengthwise, though, it’s a tie between the Sonos Playbase and VIZIO 28-inch soundbar, which both are around 28 inches long. However, the VIZIO has that separate subwoofer, while the Sonos Playbase comes with no additional speakers.
  • One size benefit to the Sonos Playbar is that it can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically, with the sensor automatically adjusting the sound depending on how you’ve oriented it.
  • If you have an Amazon product that uses Alexa, Sonos soundbars have an additional benefit in that you can connect them to your device and play music on command.
  • With Sonos soundbars, you’ll have access to an app that you can then use to control your speakers. However, the Sonos Playbar and Playbase don’t come with a remote control, which means you’ll need a universal remote if you can’t connect it to an existing smart remote. The TaoTronics soundbar comes with a remote, but it’s a bit bulky. You’ll also need to have two AAA batteries on hand since they aren’t included in the box.
  • If you plan to regularly switch the sound from your soundbar to your TV, note that there have been some complaints with the Sonos Playbar that the shift can be tricky at times.
  • The TaoTronics soundbar is built to last with durable ABS plastic beneath the soft cloth cover. The VIZIO, on the other hand, has been known to ship the occasional problematic unit that will begin producing static after only months of use. Although the Sonos soundbars are durable, if you choose the white model of the Playbase, be aware that it can scratch easily.
  • When it comes to price, you’re going to pay much more for a Sonos soundbar than other speakers. In addition to the $500-plus price tag for the Playbar or Playbase, the soundbars are meant to be used with other speakers, which will up the price considerably. However, even the VIZIO 28-inch soundbar, which retails for just over $100, and the TaoTronics soundbar, which retails for considerably less than $100, will see a price increase if you plan to create surround sound. But keep in mind that the VIZIO soundbar also includes a wireless subwoofer, saving you even more than the lower asking price.