Ready to ditch your crappy audio for a high quality audio quality? We've rounded up the best in the market. Let's check the details so you can find the best audio line for you.
What to look for in an audio bar
It's always hard to trade speakers. It's hard to remember what you really need ̵
Here's what to look for in an audio bar:
- Quality and channel : All of the audio bars in this article offer high quality audio. But for a more immersive experience, you will want one with more channels. For example, a 5.1 system offers more depth than a 2.1 system.
- Subwoofers : Subwoofers provide extra powerful bass to your movies and music, but they don't always come with sound bars. They are also not "apartment-friendly." Don't stress too much if the sound field does not include a subwoofer – that extra money goes toward the quality of the soundbar.
- Bluetooth and Inputs : All of the audio bars we selected support Bluetooth connectivity. You can also connect some of them to the Wi-Fi network and stream music from any device. If you want (or need to) connect to some old audio equipment, you may also want to look for physical inputs, such as AUX or optical ports.
- Wall Mounting : Depending on media center setup, you may choose to mount the sound field on the wall rather than mounting it on a tripod. With the exception of the Polk MagniFi Mini, all the audio rods in this article can be mounted.
- Smart Features : Most modern audio bars have Alexa or Google Assistant integration. It's not a make-or-break feature for everyone, but if you're obsessed with smart-home devices, you'll want your sound field to have that option.
Now that you know what you're looking for, it's time to start shopping for your dream audio.
Best General: JBL Bar 3.1
JBL Bar 3.1 offers a good balance between price and quality. For under $ 500, you get a solid 3.1 system that includes a great sound bar and a fat, 10-inch wireless subwoofer. It has Bluetooth connectivity, and an AUX and three HDMI ports. It also has an optical input that you can quickly switch to – just press the SoundShift button on the JBL remote.
This sound line features JBL surround sound and Dolby Digital technology. It has a few EQ settings, including one for “voice.” It also has audio sync controls (in case the video and audio fall out of phase when connected wirelessly), and track jump options for connected music devices. Budget Selection: Vizio SB2821 2.1 System
The Vizio SB2821 2.1 is a full-fledged, affordable 2.1 audio and five-inch wireless subwoofer combo. It uses Dolby Digital decoding to bring high quality sound to your living room. It has coaxial, optical, RCA, AUX and USB inputs, along with Bluetooth connectivity. For the price, you can't beat this sound field and sub-combination.
Premium Pick: Bose 700 3.0
If you are looking for a high quality, high quality sound bar with all the bells and whistles, turn your gaze to the Bose 700 sound bar. This is Bose's best performing sound field – it is built with seven custom drivers and includes a full equipped universal remote control. Alexa is built-in, but it also works with Apple Airplay. You can also connect it to your Wi-Fi network for smart home integration (it even works with the Bose Music app). And of course, it has an optical input for wired connections.
This audio line is built to work with other Bose smart speakers, so you can potentially use it as an audio device throughout the home. If you're looking for some extra oomph you can connect it to other Bose home theater products, such as the Bose Bass 700 subwoofer.
Best with Smarthome Integration: Sonos Beam 3.0
Sonos has a great track record when it comes to smart home integrated speakers and audio solutions throughout the home, and Sonos Beam is no exception . It's a great little sound field that has Alexa and Google Assistant built in (Google isn't mentioned on the Amazon page, but it's there) and it can connect to other Sonos speakers over Wi-Fi. You can also control Sonos Beam through the Sonos app to play music from your phone.
And of course, Sonos Beam has HDMI-ARC and optical inputs for non-Bluetooth or Wi-Fi compatible TVs. These inputs make it ideal for media centers with a mix of old and new electronics because you can connect an older amplifier to the Beam via an optical cable.
Best Compact Option: Polk MagniFi Mini 2.1
Yes, the Polk MagniFi Mini is a very small audio bar, but it's what makes it perfect for smaller TVs or rooms, or even computers. For its size, the MagniFi Mini offers great Dolby Digital audio, and it comes with a surprisingly large 6.5-inch wireless subwoofer.
This audio bar connects naturally to your audio source via Bluetooth. It also includes HDMI-ARC and optical inputs, and an AUX input for older audio sources.