The Best Soundbars For 2023
When it comes to finding the best soundbars, it’s widely known that the built-in speakers on most TVs fall short. They often fail to produce sufficient sound projection towards the front, making it difficult to catch subtle audio details—no need for an expensive surround-sound system. A single soundbar with a subwoofer can greatly enhance your TV’s audio. We’ve compiled essential factors to consider in your search for top-notch soundbars. Furthermore, we have curated a selection of top recommendations suitable for various budgets.
1. Samsung HW-Q700B
The Samsung HW-Q700B is a competitively-priced soundbar that takes your movie sound experience to new heights with Dolby Atmos. It becomes even more appealing if you own a Samsung TV compatible with Q-Symphony technology, but it still offers excellent value and comes highly recommended even if you don’t.
The Samsung HW-Q700B is a feature-rich 3.1.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar system with support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and an HDMI passthrough port. It offers improved functionality when paired with Samsung TVs featuring Q-Symphony technology, creating a wider soundstage by combining the soundbar’s speakers with those of the TV.
Essentially, the Samsung HW-Q700B can be considered a more affordable version of last year’s highly acclaimed Samsung HW-Q800A model, which was hailed as one of the top soundbars of its time.
Regarding audio performance, the Samsung HW-Q700B surpasses its predecessor in the 700-series soundbar range. Instead of utilizing Acoustic Beam technology for Dolby Atmos height-channel sound, Samsung has opted for a pair of wide-range up-firing tweeters. The result is an immensely immersive cinematic experience that rivals some of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars available, all at an exceptionally reasonable price.
While its primary focus is on delivering outstanding movie audio, the HW-Q700B also functions as a powerful Bluetooth speaker. With high-resolution audio capability and a crisp wideband tweeter, it reproduces intricate details with clarity. This soundbar is a remarkable choice if you own one of Samsung’s finest TVs in the 55 to 75-inch range. However, it is a worthwhile purchase for anyone seeking a high-quality soundbar.
- Delivers dynamic audio performance
- Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS X
- Offers 4K HDR HDMI passthrough
- Limited to Samsung-only features
- Does not include side-firing drivers.
In terms of price, this quality soundbar cost only USD 419.00 via Amazon only.
2. Sony HT-G700 – Best Soundbars
Sony’s 3.1-channel soundbar provides respectable TV and movie sound performance, but its music playback falls within the average range. While it may not be the top performer in its price range, the claims of delivering virtual height and surround sound are exaggerated. Nevertheless, it is a compact and appealing soundbar that especially pairs well with Sony TVs.
Sony’s soundbar offers a visually unobtrusive design with a matte grey top surface and a metal front grille. It comes with a wireless subwoofer labeled ‘Wireless Subwoofer.’ The soundbar has IR passthrough transmitters and can relay remote commands even if it blocks your TV’s infrared receiver. The subwoofer can be placed anywhere and has a 16cm bass cone.
The soundbar has three full-range drivers but no separate tweeters or ports. It has power and link buttons on the rear. The soundbar’s rear has one power bay, an optical digital audio input, and two HDMI sockets. The HDMI connection supports Audio Return Channel and enhanced Audio Return Channel. It can receive audio from streaming channels like Netflix and Disney+ through HDMI or optical cable. It lacks network and streaming abilities, only offering Bluetooth connectivity with AAC support.
The soundbar accepts various audio formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and uses Sony’s Immersive AE to deliver virtual surround sound. It has three sound processing options: Dolby Speaker Virtualizer, DTS Virtual X, and Sound Mode On. The movie performance is impressive, with clean and accurate sound in a Dolby setting and an expansive field in Immersive AE. The soundbar is average for music, lacking treble clarity and becoming tiring over long periods.
- Compact soundbar with Atmos/DTS:X capabilities
- Immersive Audio Enhancement enhances lower-quality signals
- Bluetooth connectivity for TV and music streaming
- Lacks dedicated height/surround drivers
- Overstated claims regarding height/surround performance
In terms of price, this quality soundbar cost only USD 598.00 via Amazon only.
3. Bose Smart Soundbar 600
The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 offers impressive Dolby Atmos sound in a compact design. It excels in dialogue clarity and consistently delivers exciting audio for movies and TV. With onboard streaming features like AirPlay 2 and Chromecast, setting up is a breeze. Its sleek all-in-one form factor adds to its appeal—a top choice for budget-conscious consumers.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is more compact and affordable than its larger counterpart, the Smart Soundbar 900. Priced at $499, it offers a similar feature set with a slightly smaller speaker array. With five drivers, including two up-firing ones, the 600 delivers impressive Dolby Atmos sound, rivaling other soundbars in the same price range that use virtual Atmos processing.
Despite its small size and affordable price, the 600 surpasses expectations regarding sound quality. It creates an expansive audio experience with overhead Atmos effects and wide side projection, characteristic of top-notch Dolby Atmos soundbars. The sound balance is natural and pleasing, while it may not have deep and powerful bass due to its compact form. Additionally, it excels in stereo music imaging, offering surprising width and precision.
In terms of features, the Soundbar 600 is well-equipped. It supports Atmos with TrueSpace music, stereo, and 5.1 soundtracks processing. It offers Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, and Bluetooth for streaming purposes. Furthermore, it includes built-in voice control support for Alexa and Works with Google Assistant.
- Sleek and appealing compact design
- Dolby Atmos capability with up-firing speakers
- A wide range of streaming options is available
- Simple and user-friendly setup through the app
- Only one HDMI port is available
- Limited bass performance
- Basic front-panel display
- Lack of DTS:X support
In terms of price, this quality soundbar cost only USD 499.00 via Amazon only.
4. JBL Bar 1300X – Best Soundbars
The JBL Bar 1300X offers an innovative design and ensures an immersive experience with various movie soundtracks and music. It’s an excellent choice for those who seek the thrilling excitement of top-notch home theater systems without the complexity of a complicated setup. With multiple HDMI inputs, you can effortlessly connect multiple sources, and the system’s rechargeable rear speakers double as portable Bluetooth speakers, adding to the Bar 1300X’s overall value and versatility.
The JBL Bar 1300X is JBL’s flagship Dolby Atmos soundbar system in 2023, providing an immersive audio experience. It features wireless rechargeable surround speakers and a 16-channel, 1,170-watt system with a 12-inch wireless subwoofer. Priced at $1,699approximately AU$2,570, it falls into the higher price range. The soundbar supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X processing, and Atmos mixing and offers Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, and Bluetooth streaming support.
The build quality is excellent, with four HDMI ports (including eARC) connecting various sources. However, it lacks a 4K 120Hz passthrough. Setting up is straightforward using JBL’s control app, and remote control is included. The sound quality is impressive, with immersive Dolby Atmos, deep bass, and noticeable enhancements from the up-firing Atmos speakers. Music and dialogue sound clear, and the Dolby up mixing technology provides room-filling audio.
Despite the $1,699 price tag, the JBL 1300X offers excellent value with its innovative design and solid performance. It compares favorably to separate AV receiver and speaker-based setups, and its price aligns with flagship systems from other manufacturers like Samsung and LG.
- Impressive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing
- Convenient rechargeable wireless surround speakers
- Four HDMI ports, including one with eARC
- Higher price point
- Lack of HDMI 4K 120Hz pass-through capability
- Surround speakers require frequent recharging
In terms of price, this quality soundbar cost only USD 1699.95 via Amazon only.
5. Sonos Arc – Best Soundbars
The Sonos Arc is an impressive and high-end Dolby Atmos experience, delivering exceptional audio quality without needing a subwoofer or additional speakers. While newer soundbars may offer improved positional sound effects, the Sonos Arc provides dynamic and crystal-clear audio from a single-box solution. As expected from Sonos, it also excels in music playback, making it a versatile option for both movies and music enthusiasts.
The Sonos Arc is a powerful soundbar that delivers impressive surround sound without dominating your space. It supports Dolby Atmos, providing a 3D audio experience with sounds from all directions. The setup is easy, and its minimalist design blends well with any decor.
While it has some limitations, like a single HDMI port and the need for additional accessories, the Arc stands out as a standalone soundbar with excellent performance. It offers rich bass, clear highs, and precise audio reproduction for music and movies.
The Sonos Arc creates a surround sound experience resembling a multi-speaker system, particularly in boxier setups. It offers impressive audio performance and is an excellent choice for those who desire a high-quality Dolby Atmos soundbar without the hassle of additional speakers or a subwoofer.
- Impressive and robust sound quality
- Compact and self-contained soundbar design
- Exceptional performance for both music and movies
- Lacks support for DTS/DTS:X audio formats
- Does not have HDMI passthrough capability
- Trueplay Tuning limited to iOS devices
In terms of price, this quality soundbar cost only USD 880.00 via Amazon only.
6. Sonos Beam 2nd Generation
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is an impressive improvement over its predecessor, boasting Dolby Atmos support, HDMI eARC compatibility, and a sleek, updated design. While the virtual Atmos experience may not fully convince everyone, the soundbar delivers fantastic audio performance and is an ideal fit for compact spaces. Its reasonable price tag also ensures it won’t strain your finances too much.
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a compact, powerful soundbar with virtual Dolby Atmos, HDMI eARC compatibility, and a refreshed design. It offers excellent value and is featured as one of our top picks in the best soundbars guide.
Integrating the Sonos ecosystem allows you to expand your setup with additional speakers. The Beam (Gen 2) delivers impressive audio independently, but you can enhance its performance by adding the Sonos Sub or using a pair of Sonos One SL speakers for rear channels.
Setting up the soundbar is easy with the Sonos S2 app, which provides access to TruePlay technology for sound calibration. TruePlay is limited to iOS devices, but borrowing an iPhone for setup is worth it.
The new Beam features eARC compatibility for advanced audio formats, including hi-res codecs. While it doesn’t have dedicated up-firing drivers, its Dolby Atmos support provides a more immersive experience than non-Atmos bars.
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a great choice for a mid-range soundbar that won’t overpower your living room. It offers the potential for future upgrades with subwoofers or rear speakers.
- Expansive soundstage
- Compatibility with hi-res audio
- Compact and sleek design
- Slightly higher price compared to the original model
- Absence of firing tweeters
- TruePlay limited to iOS devices
In terms of price, this quality soundbar cost only USD 499.00 via Amazon only.
7. Yamaha Audio SR-C30A
The Yamaha SR-C30A is a flexible and likable soundbar/subwoofer combo that stands out as an ideal affordable choice. While it may not excel in every aspect and lacks Dolby Atmos capabilities, it still offers excellent overall performance, especially for its compact size, making it a powerful option.
The Yamaha SR-C30A is a remarkably discreet soundbar in terms of its compact design and wireless subwoofer. Together, they produce detailed and assertive stereo audio, surpassing the sound quality of standalone TVs. The build quality is on par with Yamaha’s reputation, and the compact size makes it easy to position, accommodating TVs ranging from 32 to 50 inches.
However, despite its upfront and articulate sound, the SR-C30A lacks a sense of expansiveness. The soundbar’s limitations put a heavier load on the subwoofer, resulting in a slightly uneven transition from the high to low frequencies due to differing tonalities. While this might not bother everyone, audio enthusiasts might find it less than ideal.
If size or budget allows, larger or more expensive options offer even greater soundstage and refinement.
- Brilliantly compact design
- Robust, full-range sound
- Proper control options
- Sound lacks expansiveness
- Imperfect relationship between the sub and soundbar
In terms of price, this quality soundbar cost only USD 279.95 via Amazon only.
When choosing a soundbar, consider the size to ensure it fits your TV setup. Decide if Dolby Atmos is necessary for you, as it can increase the price. Look for HDMI connectivity for high-resolution audio, including Dolby Atmos. Some soundbars have HDMI ‘passthrough’ ports for connecting other devices. Prioritizing size, audio features and connectivity will help you find the best soundbar.