Manufacturers are coming up with thin TVs which mainly focusing on displays, image clarity etc. One of the drawbacks of this thin TVs are while they look good into your wall the sound system may not be good because your TV’s built-in speakers probably don’t sound too good. To enhance your audio quality you either need a home theater or sound bar. The home theaters are not thin or tiny and not portable. All the above issues will get sorted out with sound bars.
Sound bars are long; relatively thin speakers which can be easily connected to your TV’s HDMI or optical port. It contains surround sound audio and stereos. Another important advantage of soundbars is it comes up with wireless subwoofers and it will automatically sync with the speaker you place in front of your TV. If you are looking for a bassy sound, you need the help of an additional subwoofer. The sound slab format is adopted by some systems which help in incorporating everything into a single monolithic base and can be easily placed under your TV. These one-piece systems help to produce bass sounds and some can even produce solid sub-bass. It is quite easy to stream music from your smartphone or tablet using wireless audio systems or Bluetooth devices.
People are relying more on sound bars rather than home theaters nowadays because of its portability, fewer space requirements, less expensive and easy set up. But there are a lot of criteria when it comes to choosing the best soundbar. You can go for cheap soundbars, or one with subwoofer, or top-class ones. Here we list the best of the best soundbars available today. Starting from $500, you can choose the best soundbar that suits you the most costing up to $1000.
Premium Soundbars – The Best List
#1 SONOS Playbar
Easy to assemble and use, Very nice design, WIFI Connectivity, One of the best soundbars that exist.
No HDMI connection.
The SONOS Playbar is one of the best TV sound bars you’ll find in the market. It has a brutal sound, clean and defined. If you have the budget, it’s a great option. This monster of almost one meter in length is capable of creating cinematographic environments and of reproducing your music as if you were in a concert.
For us, there is only one word that defines the sound table SONOS Playbar: sexy. And it has a design of the most elegant and sensual, with curved profiles, grids at the ends and some chrome that we put a lot. It is a model that besides working very well, will improve the aesthetics of your living room.
It has not been manufactured to be a simple piece of sound, but the American brand wanted to be part of the decoration of your home. But not everything is aesthetic in the SONOS Playbar soundbar. Inside, it is a marvel of engineering: nine speakers (six mid-range and three tweeters), plus a Class D amplifier.
With a first-class interior like this, the audio that this team spits out is brutal: clear and detailed sounds, even at the highest volumes. But in addition to power, it offers sensitivity. And it has a very fine sound, almost like silk, that will seduce you as much as its appearance.
Although the SONOS Playbar soundbar works great on its own for a movie theater experience, you will need to incorporate an external subwoofer that manages the bass and converts the sound into something a little more immersive. Within the SONOS sound ecosystem, this formula works great, especially since you can join speakers and other SONO subwoofers without any problem.
The Wifi connections are always a plus point. However, the biggest problem is that it does not have an HDMI connection, so we will have to rely on its optical input.
The SONOS Playbar is an excellent bar of wireless sound in spite of not having an HDMI input. With this device, you will obtain a bright and clear sound that will allow you to enjoy both a good movie on your TV and your favorite music. In addition, its assembly is so simple and its design so beautiful that you cannot say no. Its biggest drawback is the price, since both the bar and the subwoofer (sold separately).
Between Sonos and SoundTouch 300, both are extremely good soundbars but we have a slightly better experience with Sonos Playbar.
#2 Bose Sound Touch 300
There won’t be any doubt in the mindset of people when it comes to Bose. One of the big names in the consumer electronics which was started in 1964 and it’s headquarter in the US. The major products are loud speakers, headphones, audio equipments, car audio, professional audio etc.
One of the highly demanded sound bar of this category during the last two years is Bose Sound Touch 300. We will quickly go through the distinguished features which makes it a highly demanded one.
Design and Features
Like many soundbars Sound Touch, 300 can be configured in several manners like the addition of the wireless subwoofer or both sub and surround speakers etc.
In the design part, it looks stylish with an attractive top panel made of aluminum durable tempered glass. .The device weighs 10.4 pounds with a dimension of 2.3 by 38.5 by 4.3 inches. The exterior is of whitish or blackish in nature and possesses slight upgrade over the typical sound bars.
The Sound Touch 300 comes up with four full range drivers and a single centered tweeter which are situated in the front. Each end of the bar consists of phase guides and rear panel. The phase guides deliver high-frequency audio in a manner that seemingly originates from areas in the room where there are no speakers.
The icons for wireless, Television, Sound Touch, Bluetooth are situated in front of the speaker.
One of the major features of Bose Sound Touch 300 is the adapt IQ system, which helps to adjust the sound bars output to your room dead areas, reflective surface etc. It includes measurement headset along with the speaker and you can analyze the measurement by pressing the adapt IQ button. You can sit in five different spots and go through 10 seconds of frequency sweeps. You need to do it in each spot at the same time the headset will measure the reflections from the sweep.
The back panel of the device includes a connection for the power cable, optical in, HDMI in, the above mentioned Adapt IQ connection port, HDMI ARC. Either end of the soundbar is located with two bass ports. The rubberized feet are inculcated in Sound Touch 300 to avoid vibrations during high bass sounds.
The top panel constitutes an NFC field for compatible devices and is easy to connect with Bluetooth. Your home Wi-Fi network can be easily connected to Sound Touch 300 using controller app which is free. Within the app, you can access your music library too.
The app otherwise can be used as a mini remote control, because you can make the audio adjustments, switch between Blue Tooth and Wi-Fi etc.
It comes up with a remote control which runs on AAA batteries and has a power button for Sound Touch 300 but can power up or down a connected source. It has dedicated buttons for DVR, playback controls, navigation etc and contains a bass button which adjusts low frequency boosting and in addition to it possess a button which makes dialogue more clear.
The audio performance is excellent with crisp and full of low end. One slight drawback is seen in high-end bass sounds, it becomes thin. While increasing the bass sound makes a continuous deep resonant sound, but it triggers the digital the signal processing and the mix dynamics suffer a bit. If you are really found off with high bass sounds you can opt for an add on the subwoofer.
While in a high bass situation like chase scenes with a gunfire the dialogues will be clear with a crisp mix with the bass settings at the neutral position. The mix loses its treble and clarity at the time of boosting the bass. The sounds are crisp and clear in purely dialogue-driven scenes.
The Bose Sound Touch 300 offers solid audio performance and versatile connectivity. It comes up with attractive design and possesses useful features like Adapt IQ settings which adjusts room reflections.
#3 Philips Fidelio B5
Good connectivity, satellite speakers that you can separate from the bar, wireless subwoofer, Bluetooth, NFC
Philips Fidelio B5 is a good sound bar, different from others. With an exterior as careful as the interior, we are facing one of the rivals for the Olympus of sound bars. The Fidelio B5 is an elegant and powerful option, with a sound quality far above the majority of bars on this list.
The design of the Fidelio B5 stands out. Philips usually makes products of high quality and attractive aesthetics, and the Fidelio B5 is no exception: it is a beautiful sound bar. With a semi-rugged design and covered in a stylish black fine-mesh mesh, it has a central chrome panel that shows the power button and the brand logo. For us, the soundbar Fidelio B5 is a marvel in terms of design.
On one side has a small LED screen that shows all the information of our reproduction and the sound source, as well as the volume and the selected sound mode. On the other side, we find the infrared port.
The main design problem of this Philips soundbar is its size, as it can hamper the infrared repeater of some televisions.
The quality of this Philips soundbar is fantastic. The sound in all its channels is tremendous and the sound it produces is dynamic and very punchy. The bass, thanks to its wireless subwoofer, are deep enough to vibrate your furniture and windows without you feeling any distortion.
The sound is very enveloping thanks to the detachable speakers that the bar carries. Just by separating them from the soundbar, the surround system will be activated, so that from that moment the speakers will play the rear sound channels.
These speakers have an integrated DAC with the spatial calibration function. However, once the loudspeakers are removed, the bar suffers and lacks spatiality and amplitude, since the front channels are too close together inside the bar.
The Fidelio B5 is one of the best soundbars in terms of connections. In its panel, we find two HDMI ports, plus another HDMI ARC return. In addition, it has a digital coaxial connection, a digital optics, a 3.5 mm auxiliary input and, in addition, Bluetooth and NFC connection, which will allow you to pair any device instantly, once it is configured.
Philips was looking for the Fidelio soundbar to stand out from its competitors. He managed to create one of the best soundbars on the market and, for dessert, he added two wireless satellite speakers that could be separated from the bar creating a larger sound space. To make matters worse, this wireless soundbar can be placed anywhere in the house, creating a multi-room space. The soundbar Fidelio B5 can also be paired with any device via Bluetooth, so they are a great addition to the whole.#
#4 Sonos 5.1 System
Sonos, a pioneer in multi-room music systems, has redefined the industry with the combination of Sonos Playbar and PLAY:1 speakers with Sonos Subwoofer that excels in the music and the dialog and sound effects and can stream music from a variety of online resources.
Just 35 inches long, it is not as large as that of the other sound bars, but that did not restrict Sonos from packing six midrange drivers and three tweeters inside the grill while the $500 JBL Cinema SB400 has only two midrange drivers and a tweeter.
You can set the Playbar under the HDTV or wall mount above or below. Add two Sonos Play: 1 speaker and a subwoofer and you have a complete 5.1 home theater speaker set. You can connect all video sources directly on the HDTV and then use an optical digital audio cable to connect the audio from the TV to the play bar.
Sonos app is just as great as their soundbar. You have access to all of the features and functions via the Sonos mobile app. The app guides through each step and we were able to connect to my Wifi network in a few minutes. If you want to only use the Playbar for a better sound from your TV, you don’t really need the app once you have completed set. But if you want to set up a multi-room music system, the app might come in handy.
In the app, you can log in to your accounts for music services including Amazon Cloud Player, Spotify, Google Play Music, Beats Music, Pandora, and most of the other popular subscription-based and free streaming services. I found the app interface intuitive; makes it easy to access your existing playlists and music libraries within each service.
The playbar does justice to the reputation of the brand too. While watching movies, the playbar fills the room remarkably good for such a small soundbar. In a Blu-ray version of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the playbar reproduced the chilling sound each fight scene as a part of the surround mix on a 5.1 system.
The playbar includes a voice booster in the app which increases the mid-range volume and improves the clarity of the dialog which I found very useful in movie watching. Unlike many sound bars, the playbar reproduces film and TV sound fairly good as it is meant to be.
If you just want a full sound and clear dialog when watching TV and movies, you can almost do just as well with systems that cost half as much like the Vizio S425 1W-B4. But if you want to add speakers to build a complete 5.1 surround system, Sonos is worth the investment.
#5 Definitive Technology W micro studio 3.1
It has one of the best sub-woofers on the list, the design is amazing, sound transparent and full of details.
Without Bluetooth and without HDMI, can arise problems with your application
The Definitive Technology W Micro Studio 3.1, is a good sound bar, functionally with an extraordinary design. It has a sensational sound, but considering its price pricks a tad in certain ranges of sound compared to models from this list of the same fork. The best thing is its external sub-woofer, which has a lot of punch.
As you would expect from a product of this price, you are facing something of great quality. You can tell by just getting close to its aluminum finishes and all those beautiful black grids. It has an angled design, which differentiates it from other options on this list with more rounded finishes. It is not a very loud soundbar, so it fits under any television.
The sub-woofer is not too big either, so it also adapts to any room. Its square design and is completely black blends with everything and will end up being part of the decoration of your house.
With the sound divided into three channels, the Definitive Technology W Studio sound bar has a very broad, clear and powerful sound that can fill any room. The result is a sound with many details and incredible clarity, so clear that you will distinguish the rain in your films.
In addition, its sound has a lot of power and will fill any room without problems. The sub-woofer is wonderful and its bass tones are very deep and enveloping. Along with the bar, you get an incredible sound, sharp and full of details. Thanks to how wide the bar is, the sound has a very good expansion throughout the room, although you can tell that the sounds are mostly in the central channels.
This sound bar has USB connection, the 3.5 mm output for the subwoofer and a 3.5 mm auxiliary input. The lack of HDMI connection in a product of this price surely makes you raise your eyebrows, but it is understood if we consider the measurements of the bar.
Although performance may seem an expensive soundbar, the truth is that it exceeds. The Definitive Technology W Micro Studio 3.1 has style and looks good in any room. And most important of all, its sound is bestial, with incredible details and a punch that will make your neighbors wonder what is happening at home. Its biggest handicap is the connectivity because for a bar of this price it is almost unforgivable not to have Bluetooth and HDMI.
#6 Definitive tech W Studio
The W Studio is a sound bar and wireless subwoofer combination that offers excellent sound and high-end features such as HDMI switching and multi-room audio with Play-Fi Wi-Fi. It also looks stylish and is built solid.
The front and top are covered with black grille cloth with a thin metal bar on the upper front holding Source, Volume Up / Down, and Wi-Fi Setup buttons.
Six 3-inch mid/woofer drivers and three 1-inch tweeters sit behind the front grille cloth facing forward, producing premium sound and luxury look. The rear of the soundbar has three HDMI inputs, an HDMI output, an optical audio input, a coaxial audio input, the power connector and a USB port for firmware updates in a deeper recess in the middle. It also has connection ports for the power supply cable, the switch, and two small switches for setting the power source if your socket is not on an average household circuit.
The HDMI ports allow the soundbar to act as a three-HDMI input switcher so that additional HDMI video sources can be added to your HDTV. You can also connect wirelessly via Definitive technology app to stream from any smartphone or tablets.
The remote control is bigger and stronger than the membrane credit card type remotes to the most of the sound bars. It features separate buttons for each input, a navigation pad, and individual buttons for the center channel, bass levels, and the overall volume levels.
The W studio has an on-screen menu system, but it is minimalist, angular, and especially used for the setting up of the soundbar. It makes use of definitive Technology Virtual 7.1-channel surround sound audio processing for immersive and space filling movie sound, and the soundbar works well with the subwoofer to add the loudness and bass to any scenes that demand it.
The W Studio sounds simply outstanding during music playback, allowing rich and textured sound from most of the tracks and processing deep low-end with aplomb.
This is a wireless sound system that is excellent for its price range and looks attractive and sounds unobtrusive.
#7 Sony HT ST7
Sony HT ST7 soundbar has a reputation as an entry level premium home audio option that might wow you with their sound effect. HT-ST7 has the attitude of a true luxury soundbar system, first I thought it was entirely on the performance. But I was wrong.
If you are disappointed by the lack of aesthetic flair of most sound bars, there is no denying that Sony has a new standard with the HT-ST7’s style. The Sony HT-ST7 looks and feels like a serious piece of equipment. HT-ST7 is visually stunning, with brushed metal details and a lift which clearly distinguishes it from plastic budget bars. Behind the speaker grill, the HT-ST7 features a front display to see the stats when adjusting the volume and the selection of inputs. The supplied remote control has a striking design too.
HT-ST7 features three HDMI inputs plus Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA decoding, so you can connect your devices directly and get your audio signal unaltered. The HT-ST7 has built-in Bluetooth with the cool possibility of pairing via NFC. Bluetooth is great because it is compatible with almost every smartphone and tablet, allowing you to wirelessly stream audio from any app on your mobile device. It also has three digital inputs and one analog audio input.
We had the HT-ST7 up and running in no time, with easy setup of both the soundbar and the subwoofer. Unlike most of the soundbar systems, the HT-ST7 must have a small wireless transceiver module connector in the soundbar and the subwoofer to connect, but it takes less than a minute.
Once you have set up, you can switch between different sound modes: Film, Music, Football, and STD. Movie mode does a particularly good job of generating a wide room-filling sound. The STD mode has the most natural sound but Music mode sounded a little less spacious though.
The HT-ST7 proved itself with unusually impressive sound for movies. That can be attributed to the fact that the HT-ST7 is one of the few sound bars that decrypts true multichannel Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio soundtracks.