Best Soundbars 2017

Product Use case Rating
Yamaha YAS-203 Best Soundbar Overall 8
Vizio SB3820-C6 Top Amazon Seller N/A
Yamaha YAS-106 Best Soundbar Under $200 7
Polk MagniFi Mini Best Small Soundbar 9
Vizio S4251w-B4 Best Surround Soundbar 7
Sony HT-NT5 Best for Audiophiles 8
Razer Leviathan Best Soundbar for Gaming 7

Getting a soundbar for your home-theater setup gives you the best of both worlds: You don't have to settle for built-in TV speakers — which we've found to be consistently lackluster — but you also get to enjoy quality audio without the cost (or clutter) of a traditional speaker setup. And whether you're setting up for the ultimate Super Bowl party or just want your movies to be more immersive, pairing your soundbar with the right TV can make all the difference.

Of all the soundbars we've reviewed, we've found the Yamaha YAS-203 ($299.95 on Amazon) to offer the best overall sound quality for both movies and music at a reasonable price. If you're on a budget, the $99 Vizio SB3820-C6 is a popular choice on Amazon thanks to its impressive bass and slick design. There are plenty of soundbars built for specific purposes, such as the gamer-centric Razer Leviathan and the audiophile-focused Sony HT-NT5. If you love syncing up all of your gadgets, you can check out Vizio's SmartCast soundbars, which let you beam music right from your phone via Google Cast.

After testing a wide range of soundbars on the market, we chose our top picks for every need.

How We Evaluate Soundbars

When testing soundbars, we play range of media — including movies, music and games — in order to evaluate overall sound quality. We also test any companion software that may come with a soundbar, and factor in how easy it is to set up and use each device.

Other features we consider include a soundbar's inputs, outputs and ability to be wall mounted, all of which determine how well it will work with your home entertainment setup. We also take into account each soundbar's wattage, its supported audio channels and whether it includes a subwoofer — all factors that greatly affect how each speaker will sound in your living room.

Related Buying Guides:
Best TVs
Best Headphones and Earbuds
Best Bluetooth Speakers


Sound Bars DEALS

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7 comments
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  • seoguy
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomsguide.com/forum/id-1995535/sound-bar-2014.html
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  • kartikshetty9
    Hi Michael,

    I wanted to know which Vizio speaker are you referring to on the list here. I wanted to gift this to somebody. I am sharing two links from Amazon can you tell me which one is it?

    1) http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-S4251w-B4-Wireless-Subwoofer-Satellite/dp/B00CDIK908?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAJ2RTWSYJUOAO3DIA&tag=bom_tomsguide-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00CDIK908&tzd=21&ascsubtag=[site|tguus[cat|[art|[pid|B00CDIK908[tid|14524950033369592[bbc|LESPRIX

    2) http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-SB4051-C0-Wireless-Subwoofer-Satellite/dp/B00SMBGP76
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  • BklynBorn
    Warning! Turns out it's impossible to link my lovely Vizio sound bar and Time Warner cable because one requires 3-digit code, the other 4-digit Coe. So every time I turn on the tv or change the volume I need to find the tiny Vizio remote. To add injury to injury, that remote is impossible to open to change batteries.
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  • paulr1
    Hi, Have you evaluated ZVOX? Might want to take a listen.
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  • Alex_229
    Do soundbars deliver the same effect as surround speakers?
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  • ryand52002
    How would you rate the klipsch R-10B in comparission? I just bought it for $175

    http://www.klipsch.com/products/reference-soundbars#r-10b
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  • Brice_2
    Is it possible, with "any" sound bar, to make it function as a slave to the new skinny TV so that it turns on and off automatically with the TV without resorting to using a separate remote to control the sound bar? In other words, I want it to behave as if it was installed at the factory as part of the TV and the TV remote could control the volume up and down. Is that possible? I'm 79 and I'm damned tired of messing with buttons trying to see and hear something on TV. I doubt if I can find this discussion ever again so it would be nice if you could send me a copy of your response to my email at[don't post your email address on the forum]. Thank you!!
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