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The best sound bars you can have in your home

We have spent hundreds of hours testing the best sound bars to separate the straw from the wheat, the beautiful from the horrible, the bad from the good. And what conclusion have we reached? Well: that of the more than 60 models analyzed, the Yamaha YAS-207 It stands out as the best. But beware, this does not mean that it is the only one worth your money. We have expanded this list with eight other recommendations that you should review before investing in a soundbar, all of them separated by the areas in which they excel. We don't like to exaggerate, but if you don't find yours here, you may not find it anywhere else.

General picture

Yamaha YAS-207The best of all
Samsung HW-N950The best Dolby Atmos soundbar
Vizio 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos SoundbarThe best affordable Atmos system
Sonos BeamThe smartest
Bose Soundtouch 300Better appearance and sound
Yamaha YSP-5600With the best virtual sound
Samsung HW-MS650 Sound +The most minimalist
Vizio SB3621The most economical
Polk Magnifi MiniThe best mini version

Yamaha YAS-207

The best of all

the best sound bars

Why should you buy it? The YAS-207 comes loaded with features and offers excellent sound quality, Dolby and DTS decoding at an incredibly low price.

Who is it for? For those looking for the best sound and the most diverse feature, all while saving a little money.

Why do we choose the Yamaha YAS-207? This is a complete package, and offers unmatched value as a sound bar. With less than $ 300, it is the perfect complement to a reasonably priced 4K TV, with two virtual surround modes and many other useful functions. The bar is approximately 37 inches wide, and the included wireless subwoofer is about the size of a gasoline canister, 17 inches high by 16 inches deep.

When it comes to real sound quality, the YAS-207 is extremely impressive for its money, with clear highs and deep bass. Put on an action movie and the sound effects will fill your living room, or use the Clear Voice mode for slower scenes, more focused on the dialogues. No matter what you throw at it: this sound bar works excellently.


Best Dolby Atmos soundbar

the best sound barsRiley Young / Digital Trends

Why should you buy it? Get the Dolby Atmos and DTS: X detailed and powerful surround sound in a simple package.

Who is it for? toThose who want the excitement of true Dolby Atmos and DTS: X without remodeling the living room.

Why do we choose the Samsung HW-N950? Samsung's investment in 3D surround sound is paying off. So much so that, until recently, our company favorite was, the Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 HW-K950 bar, however, its older sister has surpassed it.

The N950 bar features 7.1.4 channels with new side-shot controllers, which allow you to reproduce a more sound, bass sound that pumps the heart and Atmos and DTS: X effects professionally. Best of all, it is all complaints that the K950 had at one time, that we remember include the lack of decoding of DTS surround sound and the connection hum in the wireless surround sounds, were solved with the N950.

The N950 not only has a wireless subwoofer, but also with wireless satellite speakers (must be connected to an outlet), each of which has its own ignition controller at the top of the bar, to bounce the sound of the ceiling , and thus achieve, immersion in the surround sound.

The new side controllers help create an even bigger sound stage, and with a new tuning, and features like 4K HDR at 60 frames per second, the N950 simply offers fantastic performance in all areas.

However, it is important that you know that its price is not economical. The N950 sound bar is worth up to $ 1,700 dollars, but if you want to have real Dolby Atmos (and DTS: X) surround sound in a low profile package, this is definitely your best option.

Vizio 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos Soundbar

The best affordable Atmos system

Why should you buy it? Because this powerful Dolby Atmos is a bargain. Vizio's Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 system offers cinematic sound that adapts to the most expensive contemporary systems at a much lower price.

Who is it for? For those who want to get a Dolby Atmos sound and save a few hundred dollars.

Why do we choose the Vizio 5.1.4? Vizio's powerful and surprisingly affordable Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 system has a name that is not only ridiculously long, but also confusing to see that Vizio has more than one Dolby Atmos soundbar. However, it is worth analyzing the confusion, since this 5.1.4 configuration is surprisingly attractive and fun to use, since it offers a Dolby Atmos sound comparable to that of the Samsung bar above, but of course: it is much more cheap.

Yes, we know what you are murmuring: $ 1,000 is not such an "affordable" price for a soundbar. But when talking about a Dolby Atmos sound, including surround sound satellites and a total of four ascending controllers for an impressive 3D immersion, brakes that it is. The Vizio surround speakers are not wireless (instead, they connect to the wireless subwoofer), and their interface is decidedly outdated, but what is lacking in luxury features makes up for it with a premium surround sound. The system is not only capable of offering a smooth immersion of object-based audio, but its 10-inch subwoofer brings thunder from bottom to bottom to fill your room with a cinematic touch.

Unlike the HW-N950, the Vizio does not decode DTS: X, but use Dolby processing to create height channels. But decode almost any other surround signal you send, and also offer expected features such as ARC HDMI and Google Chromecast Transmission, all in one package that allows you to save on your home theater system more than any other similar we have found.

Sonos Beam

The smartest

Why should you buy it? The Sonos Beam bar does everything that an intelligent sound bar does and also sounds pretty good.

Who is it for? For users who want good sound, voice assistance and hands-free control of the basic functions of a TV in a single package.

Why do we choose the Sonos Beam? It is our initial selection in a segment that we believe to be monstrous in the coming months and years.

Sonos Beam easily wins the victory for smart sound bars, not only because it is one of the first of its kind, but also because, as we expected from Sonos, it works well.

Working directly with Alexa, Beam combines our favorite voice assistant with ARC HDMI and CEC controls, allowing you to control not only smart home devices, but also basic functions of a TV, such as volume and (most importantly) power with the voice. But it does much more than that.

In addition, Beam can be controlled through the intuitive Sonos application, which allows you to integrate this device practically with any transmission service, as well as with any other speaker in the alignment, or even the new Sonos Amp device, to create an intuitive multi-room sound solution.

The bar looks great and sounds great even without a subwoofer accompanying it. The sound is a bit more square than we would like when it comes to music, but it still does not stay behind and Beam does a good job offering powerful bass for its size along with clear dialogues.

Bose Soundtouch 300

The bar with the best appearance and sound

BOSEBill Roberson / Digital Trends

Why should you buy it? Soundtouch 300 not only sounds great, but it is also one of the most attractive sound bars.

Who is it for? those who want a high quality sound bar with a pleasant aesthetic.

Why do we choose the Bose Soundtouch 300? The Bose Soundtouch 300 can create a fairly powerful sound, especially in the low range, thanks to the included subwoofer, but also keeps the dialogue clear.

Also, thanks to the incorporation of Dolby Atmos support, the Soundtouch 300 soundbar will provide you with a last generation surround sound setup. Without a doubt, this soundbar is an excellent choice for cinematic sound, however, it is worth noting that it does not work as well as a purely musical listening solution.

Other qualities of this soundbar is its physical appearance, which is characterized by having a discrete profile of approximately 38.5 inches wide, 2.25 inches high and 4.25 inches deep. In addition, it has a smooth and perforated metal grid, black glass top face, with minimal brand decals and recognizable but simple cones with LEDs, which make it look very elegant.

Yamaha YSP-5600

The bar with the best appearance and sound

YAMAHA SOUND BARBill Roberson / Digital Trends

Why should you buy it? Because it is a large and powerful virtual sound bar that is well equipped to give your home theater an amazing 3D sound immersion.

Who is it for? for those who want first-class virtual surround sound for DTS and Dolby Atmos, and don't want to saturate the house with a pair of speakers and cables.

Why do we choose the Yamaha YSP-5600? This sound bar is over 8 inches tall, has 44 beam controllers, including a 12-pack that points directly to the ceiling, to provide the sensation of height required by Dolby Atmos and DTS: X technologies.

In addition, it has four HDMI inputs and an ARC-enabled HDMI output, a coaxial input and two optical digital inputs, infrared input / output, RCA analog input and subwoofer output. However, the most important thing is that this bar has been loaded with a truly brilliant sound performance in its magic box.

As if that were not enough, the beam controllers use their walls, to bounce the sound in the listening position and thus achieve immersion of surround and more realistic sound.

If you are looking for a unique home sound solution, without the need for all those extra cables, speakers and clutter, the 5600 is a great option.

Samsung HW-MS650 Sound +

The best minimalist sound bar

SAMSUNG SOUND BARBill Roberson / Digital Trends

Why should you buy it? It offers great sound in a bar, without the need for a subwoofer.

Who is it for? those who want the simplest configuration possible.

How much is it? $ 430 dollars

Why do we choose the Samsung HW-MS650 Sound +? Because it is an elegant sound bar, which does not need additional components, but still contains auditory power to improve your home theater system. That simplicity of design also extends to the minimalist remote control, which is simple and intuitive to use, and the Smart Sound EQ system, which is one of the few DSP button functions, which we believe really improves sound performance in all formats and genres.

However, this simplicity also has its disadvantages. We realize that this sound bar does not have such a good bass performance, compared to models with dedicated subs, and lacks options to adjust, due to the few buttons on the remote control. But despite that, the HW-MS650 Sound + is the perfect bar for those who want excellent sound, with a simple and trouble-free configuration.

Vizio SB3621

The best economic soundbar

televisions vizio discounts 2018 sb3621 life 720x720

Why should you buy it? The Vizio SB3621 provides good sound at an incredibly low price.

Who is it for? For those who do not have much budget and look for a solid performance along with a minimalist design.

Why do we choose the Vizio SB3621? The soundbar SB3621 of Vizio has a performance and features that rival (and, in some cases, exceed) those of other more expensive models. It can decode basic DTS and Dolby formats, and offers an easy connection for its components via Bluetooth, 3.5mm auxiliary input, USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs. There is also a wireless subwoofer included, something that you often don't get with a sound bar that is below $ 200 dollars.

Not everything is sweet, of course. Vizio's convoluted screen on the side has a row of lights that change to indicate something, but it can be difficult to discern exactly what. However, for only $ 150, that is not a problem that should detract from the overall experience. Most importantly, you simply won't find a better performance sound bar at this price. And period

Polk Magnifi Mini

The best mini soundbar

Why should you buy it? Because it is small, elegant and simple, and houses a powerful sound source inside.

Who is it for? For those who need something small and demure, or those who have just arrived at the sound bar market who do not want to spend a lot of money.

Why do we choose the Polk Magnifi Mini? Despite its small frame and minimalist design, the Polk Magnifi Mini is a fully capable sound bar that does not saturate your TV stand or your living room. Due to the size and angle of its six controllers, the Magnifi Mini produces a much wider sound than we would expect for its appearance. We are also big fans of the subwoofer included. Despite its lightweight design, it handles the bass with power and musicality.

All this does not mean that this bar is a viable alternative to a fully capable 5.1 surround system; Although Polk claims that Magnifi can offer 5.1 surround sound, the experience is much closer to a 3.1 setting. The middle range is not as clear or present as we would like. However, do not let these buts induce you to dispense with the Magnifi Mini: it is an impressive piece of tiny technology that will hardly make a dent in your wallet.

How do we do these tests?

After giving the soundbar a period of complete adaptation, we undergo a rigorous testing process that includes the reproduction of all relevant content sources, including the latest Blu-rays with Dolby and DTS CDs of the highest resolution, as well as direct audio from a TV through HDMI and / or Toslink optical output, including streaming services, open television and audio applications. When relevant, we test wireless connections to check their stability and audio quality. We also attach a high degree of importance to the musicality of any speaker, so we reproduce a lot of music to measure its finest performance aspects. Finally, we compare each sound bar with others that are above, below or at the same price level and features, as well as alternative sound solutions of similar price.

* Updated by Daniel Matus on May 31, 2019.

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