The best sound bars for home theaters can help improve the quality of your home and make you a more comfortable, relaxed, or even peaceful listener.

  • Sony HT-S350 2.1-Channel 320W Soundbar System with Wireless Subwoofer – (Renewed)

    Electronics Amazon

    The Sony HT-S350 2.1-Channel 320W Soundbar System is a powerful and versatile system that can be used in many ways. The soundbar has a large 6.30 inch speaker unit and 6.16 gallon volume, making it a great choice for movies, music, games, and more. The subwoofer is a powerful and durable subwoofer that delivers a deep and rich sound. The soundbar also features Bluetooth connectivity and wireless control.

  • Sony HT-S400 2.1ch Soundbar with Powerful Wireless subwoofer, S-Force PRO Front Surround Sound, and

    Electronics Amazon

    The Sony HT-S400 2.1ch Soundbar is designed to provide superior sound quality and immersive experience. With powerful speakers and wireless subwoofer, it can deliver up to 330 watts of sound power. The soundbar features an easy-to-use interface with a compact remote and convenient OLED display window. It also has Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio streaming and optical connection for wired audio.

  • Sony HT-X8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar with Built-in subwoofer (Renewed)

    Electronics Amazon

    The Sony HT-X8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar is a great addition to any home theater setup. This soundbar features two built-in subwoofers for deep bass and seven different sound modes to enhance your entertainment experience. The soundbar also has a waterproof design for added protection against the elements.

  • Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar with Built-in subwoofer, Black

    Electronics Amazon

    The Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar with Built-in subwoofer is designed to provide superior sound quality and immersive experience. The 7.1.2ch Dolby Atmos/DTS X sound system features two built-in subwoofers for deep bass and all sound upscaled close to 7.1.2ch audio. The seven different sound modes enhance your entertainment experience, from casual listening to immersive gaming. The slim, low-profile design complements your TV or console and easily integrates with your AV system with HDMI and optical inputs.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Sound Bar

When shopping for a sound bar, there are many factors to consider. For instance, where will it be placed in the room? Will it be integrated with a home theater system or independent? What type of speakers will it contain? How much power will it generate? What kind of connectivity options will it have? Read on to learn more about these and other important considerations.

Integrated vs. Independent

Deciding between an integrated or independent sound system can be confusing. Both systems work by amplifying audio signals, but they do so differently.

  • Integrated sound bars feature one or more speakers that produce sound and a separate amplifier that boosts the volume. The combination is designed to create a better sound than either could individually.
  • Independent sound systems consist of a set of speakers that produces sound, which then travels through a dedicated amplifier to increase the volume and clarity. This method often results in a wider dispersion of sound, making it less directional than an integrated system.

The choice of integration or independence has a lot to do with how a sound bar is used. If the goal is to create a true stereo system throughout the home, then integration makes sense. But if the plan is to use the sound bar as a single-speaker solution for movies and gaming, an independent setup might be a better fit.

Speakers

A sound bars speakers should ideally fill the room with sound, although they will likely need some help from additional speakers for full effect. A 5-inch subwoofer is usually enough to pump out the bass, but the mids and highs may require a larger speaker.

For mids and high notes, the ideal distance from the sound bar to the listening position is around 2 feet. For low notes, the ideal distance is even lower, closer to 1 foot. These are just general rules of thumb, however; each situation is unique.

Power

Sound bars run the gamut in power from under 500 watts to over 1,000 watts. As a general rule, the more powerful the sound bar, the louder its speakers will be and the better its bass response.

Its also worth noting that while wattage is a good indicator of a sound bars loudness, its not the only factor that determines how loud it will be. For example, two identical sound bars with different distances between them (and therefore different volumes) can have different wattage ratings, yet the shorter distance might be louder than the longer one.

To ensure that a sound bar is suitable for a given space and user, measure the rooms dimensions and any furniture or decoration that might interfere with the flow of sound. Also take into account the power limitations of the unit, as well as its maximum volume and frequency range.

Connectivity

Many of todays sound bars come equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows streaming music via Bluetooth from a smartphone or tablet. Some models integrate hardwired speakers, too, which eliminates the need for a device.

Some sound bars offer both connectivity types, allowing users to switch between wireless and wired modes as needed. Integrated sound bars tend to have one fixed connection, whereas independent units can have multiple jacks for added flexibility.

Volume and Bass Response

Loudness is measured in decibels (dB), and the average person can understand approximately how loud a noise is by comparing it to the dB scale. So, for example, a typical vacuum cleaner or hair dryer produces around 70 dB of sound, while a chainsaw can reach 90 dB.

The best sound bars should be able to deliver at least 30 dB of volume, so its important to look for products that come recommended by brands such as Monster, Polk, and Pioneer. Keep in mind that the higher the maximum volume, the quieter the speakers will be when operating at lower levels.

Bass response is measured in Hz (Hertz), which indicates the number of times per second that a sound wave oscillates. This measurement relates closely to a sound bars ability to reproduce low notes. Generally speaking, the lower the number of Hz, the deeper the bass response will be.

So, for example, a product with a low of 50 Hz will have a fuller, more complete bass response than a product with a high of 200 Hz. Again, this is a common benchmark used to describe sound bars, but individual units can vary significantly from one another.

Additional Features

While most sound bars are designed to be plugged into an outlet, a few have additional features that make them easier to install and use. These include built-in cord wraps, brackets, and cable nets.

  • Built-in cord wraps are a great feature because they eliminate the need to hunt down extra wiring when installing a sound bar. They also protect the wiring during shipping, which can be very rough on cables.
  • Brackets can help make the installation process easier by providing a surface to mount the unit and protecting the wiring.
  • Cable nets can also simplify the installation process by eliminating the need to cut holes in the wall and running new wiring.