The best soundbars to boost your TV audio in 2024

The built-in speakers on most TVs aren’t enough to fill your living room with immersive sound that adequately displays the fine details of movies and TV shows. Thankfully, there’s no need to shell out for five speakers (or more). surround sound system to improve your audio experience. In most cases, a single soundbar and perhaps a subwoofer can dramatically improve the quality of Dolby Atmos content. To help you with your home theater shopping, I’ve compiled a list of the best soundbars in the premium, mid-range, and budget price ranges and a summary of the features that set them apart from the competition. Just know that the more you pay, the more you get in terms of both features and performance.

When it comes to features, the more you pay, the more you get. Most affordable options ($150 or less) will improve your TV’s sound quality, but that’s about it. Step into the $300 to $400 range and you’ll find a smart soundbar with things like built-in volume control, wireless connectivity, Google Chromecast, AirPlay 2, and even Android TV. They’re all useful when you want to avoid fumbling for the remote, but the best sound quality is usually only at high end and in the formats supported by those premium soundbar systems. I’m talking about things like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and other high-quality audio standards. If truly immersive sound is what you’re after for your living room setup, these are the ones you’ll want to look for. And not all Atmos soundbars are created equal, so you’ll need to pay close attention to the finer details before dipping into the savings account.

Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, SA-SW5 subwoofer, SA-SW3 subwoofer and SA-RS3S speakers.Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, SA-SW5 subwoofer, SA-SW3 subwoofer and SA-RS3S speakers.


This is great. Many of the more affordable soundbars are limited when it comes to connectivity options. They offer either an optical port or an HDMI slot, and if you’re lucky, both. Things get a little better in the mid-range section, but that’s not always the case. For example, the Sonos Beam is $449, but only has one HDMI port. If you want to connect your set-top box, game console and more directly to your soundbar for the best possible sound, you’ll probably want to look for an option with at least two HDMI (eARC) inputs. HDMI connections are essential for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and other high-quality and immersive audio formats. And with HDMI 2.1 specificationsoundbars can support HDR, 8K and 4K/120 pass-through, making these speaker systems even better companions for gaming consoles.

Another big thing to consider when looking for the best soundbar is the channels. This is the 2.1, 7.1.2, or other decimal number that companies include in their product descriptions. The first number corresponds to the number of channels. Two are just left and right, a more robust Atmos system, especially one with rear satellite speakers, can be five or seven (left, right, center and top). The second number is for the subwoofer, so if your new soundbar comes with one or if they’re installed, you’ll see one here. The third number is the raised speakers, which are essential for the immersive effect of Dolby Atmos. Not all Atmos-enabled units have these, but if they do, the third number will tell you how many people are in the game.

Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, SA-SW5 subwoofer, SA-SW3 subwoofer and SA-RS3S speakers.Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, SA-SW5 subwoofer, SA-SW3 subwoofer and SA-RS3S speakers.


Most soundbars today offer Bluetooth, WiFi, or both. When it comes to WiFi, this connection gives you luxuries like voice control (built-in or with a separate device), Chromecast, Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2. Depending on your preferences, you can live without some of these. AirPlay 2 and Chromecast are essential for me, but I can live without the rest. These two allow me to stream music and podcasts from the apps I use without having to settle for or struggle with a Bluetooth connection.

This may seem obvious, but it makes me laugh for a minute. There’s nothing more discouraging than having an expensive soundbar in your living room only to have to rearrange everything to find a place for it. This was my situation Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar arrived at my door. Yes, this speaker is absurdly large (and heavy), and most soundbars aren’t that big. I learned a valuable lesson: Make sure the space you want to put a soundbar in will accommodate what you’ll be spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on.

Basically, it all depends on the TV you have (or plan to get) and what your primary goal is for sound in your living room. Is it easy to use? Want the best possible sound from a single speaker or speaker/sub combo? Just want to hear your TV better? Or want to turn your living room into an immersive home theater system with surround sound?

By focusing on each of these areas, you should have a good idea of ​​what to look for in a soundbar, soundbar/subwoofer combo, or more robust setup. That said, we’ve put many products through their paces here at Engadget, and we’ve got a few favorites for the best soundbars at various price points to get you started.


Read our full review of the Samsung HW-Q990D

Samsung Q990D it’s my top pick for impressive, immersive sound quality. But I also put it ahead of the pack because it’s a complete home theater setup. For $2,000, you get a soundbar, subwoofer, and rear speakers in the same box. While this is expensive, putting together a comparable package among the competition will cost the same or in some cases more.

Between all the different pieces, Samsung has 22 total drivers creating an 11.1.4-channel sound factory. Audio is clear and detailed for Dolby Atmos content, making movies and TV shows close to a cinema experience because you can step out of the soundbar setup. The Q990D also has features like Private Rear Sound, which only use the rear speakers when you need to listen at a quieter level. It’s also a great choice for music, with the subwoofer providing deep bass when needed and boosting the subtler elements of tracks along the way.


  • HDMI 2.1
  • All-in-one surround setup
  • Great, immersive audio
  • Convenient features

  • expensive
  • It’s not a huge upgrade over last year’s model

$1,648 at Amazon


Sony has excellent high-end soundbars and a long track record his latest is another great sounding product. The A7000 thanks to its robust Dolby Atmos soundbar with immersive 7.1.2 audio. Sony’s 360 Sound Mapping, Sound Field Optimization, vertical surround technology and S-Force Pro front surround. There’s a lot of tech going on here, and I haven’t even mentioned 360 Reality Audio or DSEE Extreme upscaling, both of which are great for listening to music. Speaking of audio, you’ll have the option of using Chromecast, Spotify Connect or Apple AirPlay 2 to send your tunes to the A7000.

Two HDMI eARC inputs mean you can connect multiple streaming boxes or game consoles. With HDMI 2.1 support, you can expect 8K and 4K/120 passthrough to your TV, making the A7000 a great choice for gamers. This soundbar is expensive at $1,198, and it doesn’t come with a separate subwoofer (though it does have one built in). However, Sony offers you many options for both bottom and rear satellite speakers. SA-SW3 is sub 298 dollars to work SA-SW5 It’s $699. For the rear speakers is the SA-RS3S 350 dollars truly wireless (and looks better) SA-RS5 kit does $598. If you want to save a little money on the soundbar itself, Sony offers the HT-A5000 999 dollars (although we recently saw it on sale for $798). It packs pretty much all the same bells and whistles Like the A7000, only in a 5.1.2-channel configuration.


  • Supports Dolby Atmos and 360 Sound Mapping
  • Works with AirPlay 2
  • Two HDMI eARC ports are included

  • Expensive
  • A separate subwoofer is not included

$998 on Amazon

Sennheiser Consumer Audio

Read our full review of the Sennheiser Ambeo Mini

Although this is the most compact of Sennheiser’s Ambeo soundbars, Mini remains in the premium category for two reasons. First, you’ll need to add a subwoofer to boost its potential, which adds another $600. Second, the Mini is already $700, so the complete package puts you in a comparable position to the flagship units from the competition. Having owned both, the Ambeo Mini is really impressive for a small soundbar.

A key feature is Sennheiser’s spatial Ambeo technology, which first debuted in 2019 in the massive Ambeo Soundbar Max. With this, the company provides more immersive sound with a mix of driver positioning and 3D virtualization. The sound profile on the Mini is more dependent on virtualization than the larger Ambeo soundbars because there are fewer speakers inside. However, you’ll still get a virtualized 7.1.4-channel setup that works well for movies and music. In other words, you are wasting for a long time Ambeo Sub too.


  • Compact design
  • Excellent clarity
  • Great bass
  • Easy installation

  • Expensive
  • No bundled bottom
  • Ambeo effect is limited
  • One HDMI port

$700 on Amazon


Read our full review of the Sonos Beam

Solid sound quality? Check it out. Dolby Atmos? Yes. Compact and easy to install? uh huh. Compatible with other Sonos products for a more robust system? You betcha. The first generation Sonos Beam was one of our favorites Since its arrival in 2018, but it had one thing missing: Dolby Atmos. This was a great addition 2021 model, though it’s somewhat limited as the Beam doesn’t have up-firing speakers. Sonos manages to make things sound more directional by adjusting sound timing and frequency instead of adding more drivers. New Beam it still only has one HDMI port, which means you won’t be plugging a games console or set-top box directly into it. This also means that if you have an older TV with an optical jack, you’ll need an adapter.


  • Relatively compact design
  • Good sound for its size
  • Supports Dolby Atmos

  • One includes an HDMI port

$449 at Sonos


Read our full review of the Sonos Ray

Sonos’ latest offering for the best soundbar might be the most affordable to date, but at $279 it’s not exactly a budget option. Especially when you consider that there are cheaper options that come with a subwoofer. Still, the compact design doesn’t take up much space in front of your TV or on your TV stand, making it a great choice for small living spaces. Ray easy to install and provides excellent sound quality for both TV and music. There are some trade-offs when it comes to the immersive nature of the audio, but it’s a good option for upgrading your TV’s sound with minimal fuss.


  • Very good sound quality for both TV and music Good bass performance for such a small speaker
  • Compact, unobtrusive design
  • Easy installation
  • Reasonable price

  • The sound is not as impressive as you get from the bigger models
  • People with large living rooms may want a louder speaker
  • No volume control

$279 at Sonos


If you’re looking for a way to improve your TV sound on a budget, Vizio has some high quality options. With V21t-J8, you get a 2.1-channel setup and a 4.5-inch wireless sub combo in a compact soundbar for $160. This would be a great option if you don’t want your attached TV speaker to take up too much space. There’s no Wi-Fi, but that’s really the only sacrifice when it comes to the basics. HDMI ARC/eARC and optical connections connect to your TV, while a 3.5mm aux jack and Bluetooth let you play music from your phone or other device. DTS Virtual:X compatibility offers some of the surround sound effect without a larger unit or additional speakers.


  • Compact design
  • Includes wireless subwoofer

$130 on Amazon

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