We compare the Sky Soundbox TV soundbar to the best audio alternatives out there right now, to see if Sky’s speaker is solid value for money.
What is a soundbar?
When we buy a new TV, we tend to focus on picture quality, dimensions and the asking price. However, when you get your slim new 4K telly home and get it set up, you might discover that the audio quality is rather pants compared to the visuals. That’s especially true for super-slender modern models of television.
Which is why many people now seek out separate speakers to boost their home cinema experience. Thankfully the humble soundbar is a great solution as it offers an all-in-one setup that looks minimalist, enhances your home cinema sound experience considerably and is actually affordable these days.
What is the Sky Soundbox?
The Sky Soundbox is a new soundbar aimed at Sky TV subscribers here in the UK. This dedicated speaker boasts some impressive audio chops and was designed by Devialet, complete with some smart controls to improve your home cinema setup. Be it child-friendly features or the ability to boost vocals for crystal clear clarity, this is an all-in-one solution for boosting your home cinema experience.
Standalone, the Sky Soundbox is certainly not affordable, at £799. However, Sky subscribers can pick up the Soundbox for just £299, or £249 for Sky Q users. That massive drop in price does make you wonder if the standard price has simply been inflated to make it seem like a great deal, but we can’t deny that the device sounds like great value for money for Sky lovers.
Check out our in-depth guide to the Sky Soundbox for full specs, UK release date, best features and everything else you need to know.
Sky Soundbox vs other soundbars: What should I buy?
This is a tough one when it comes to comparisons based on price because at £799 there are lots of great premium soundbar options to choose from. However, at the bargain £249 asking price for Sky subscribers, there are very few audio alternatives that compare.
At the top end you have options like the Samsung HW-L950 which, at £1200, means you’re spending as much as you would on a decent 4K telly. However, for that price you get an awful lot in return. This Samsung soundbar offers full-on Dolby Atmos support, meaning audio that bounces off the ceiling to sound like it’s coming from all around you. Since Sky will support Dolby Atmos very shortly, this could be a better long term investment for subscribers with money to burn. The fact that it also has wireless satellite speakers and a sub mean way better surround sound than Sky’s Soundbox too.
At the other end of the spectrum, you can get a soundbar for cheaper than Sky’s offering in the Sony HT-MT300, which costs just £210 here in the UK. Despite the low price this audio device offers dual speakers, a wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth connectivity. However this soundbar won’t offer true surround sound output. While for an extra £40 (or £90 without Sky Q), you will get impressively immersive audio from the Soundbox.
If you’re a Sky Q user and want the immersive Dolby surround sound that the Soundbox offers, you’ll have to spend a bit more on a decent alternative. The LG SH7B is one of the more affordable alternatives at £260, as it offers surround sound with four speakers, a sub for bass and supports Google Cast and Spotify Connect.
Of course, if you want to go for surround sound, a quality audio brand for guaranteed quality, plus multi-room speaker support, you could opt for the £700 Sonos Playbar or the £600 Bose SoundTouch 300 instead. We’ve covered these in our guide to the best soundbars right now, packed with ideas of which home audio setup might be best for you.
So, in conclusion, if you’re buying the Sky Soundbox as a Sky customer, you can get a great deal on a respectable surround sound soundbar. If you’re buying it at full price, you’re probably better off going with a dedicated alternative that also offers multi-room speaker support or Dolby Atmos.