What are the best soundbars you can buy for your TV in 2017? We round up the best value and most powerful TV soundbars available in the UK right now, which deliver premium sound across a range of budgets.
Soundbars were once the domain of the show-off home cinema enthusiast, but now they’re one of the most sought-after audio accessories for your lounge. Walk into pretty much any A/V store and you’ll find plenty of great options, with impressive variety in price, features and quality depending on your personal needs.
While wafer-thin TVs are great and all, especially for wall mounting, telly speakers were one of the major victims. Because of the gradual drop in power and audio quality, more people began seeking separate speakers to boost their home cinema experience. Thankfully the humble soundbar offers an all-in-one solution that looks minimalist, enhances the sound experience considerably and in 2017 is actually affordable.
We’ve rounded up the best soundbars you can buy right now, to help you set up the best TV experience for your home. And if you want the ultimate home cinema experience, check out our round ups of the best 4K TVs for an affordable price, our guide on how to wall mount a TV and our comparison of flat and curved TV screens.
This 500W beast of an audio setup is a soundbar that also offers the latest Dolby Atmos sound. Yup, this slender 5.1.2 channel unit will upfire audio so it sounds like you can hear things coming from different directions. Thanks to a subwoofer and upsampling to 24-bit/192kHz, your telly show should sound amazing too.
LG has also hinted that the SJ9 unit will be compatible with the Google Home assistant. This will be achieved via Google Cast since the soundbar doesn’t have built-in mics, so you can control your speaker setup using just your voice.
All that sounds real nice, doesn’t it? That’s why there’s a £1000 asking price for the privilege of enjoying it. There is a more affordable £500 SJ8 available to buy, but this lacks the Dolby Atmos support.
The king of the multiroom speaker setup, Sonos, has shown off its latest offering in a soundbase it aptly names Playbase. This speaker system that lives under a TV is not only a great way to enhance your home viewing experience but also a fully-fledged speaker system for that room, ideal for music playback.
The Sonos Playbase, priced at £700, offers big immersive sound with plenty of powerful bass. Also, you can stream nearly anything to it. With the Sonos app, playing music is a doddle and moving the active speaker as you change rooms is simple too – presuming you have more Sonos speakers scattered around your home. Oh, and the fact it looks like an awesome futuristic device is just a bonus.
Check out our complete guide to the Sonos Playbase for more info.
Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Shape
This latest speaker system from Bang & Olufsen is part audio wonder and part work of art. Thanks to independent tile units you can add as many speakers as you need and arrange them on the wall to look however you please.
The modular BeoSound Shape starts with six tiles, one of which acts as a smart connectivity hub for Bluetooth, AirPlay, Chromecast and more, for easy streaming. You can set these up for a single room or as a multiroom system.
You get plenty of colour options and with simple expansion, you should have more than enough power to fill any space. But what about the price? Okay, brace yourself: the BeoSound starts at £3400 and is available in August 2017.
When it comes to home audio, one the biggest names right now is Sonos. This is primarily thanks to its position as a wireless home audio pioneer. A Sonos speaker setup all over the home means music can follow you about, vary room to room and all be controlled via a single app. This soundbar does all that and much more.
The Sonos Playbar is primarily a stereo speaker setup for your TV. Thanks to an optical input, you don’t need extra HDMI cables and can rely on high quality audio delivery that’s replicated with excellent weight and balance, thanks to its speakers.
But this also turns your room into an iOS and Android app controlled audio system for stored music, streaming and internet radio. Nice extras that help explain that steep £600 price.
Philips has been at the heart of home cinema for years and its soundbar offering in the HTL5140 shows that off well. Despite fitting into the budget range of soundbars at under £200, this offers balanced audio through a minimal design.
Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, playing music from any phone is easy, ideal for when you want a guest to take over the playlist. It also features a wireless sub so you get the impactful bass needed for immersive movie experiences without the worry of running cables around. Dual HDMI inputs also mean running multiple devices through the system is possible, ideal for gaming too then.
If you don’t mind splashing out for your new soundbar, then the Samsung HW-K950 is crammed full of features and delivers sound that really can be heard as better for your buck.
This system is easy to setup, looks sleek and clean in design and offers plenty of subwoofer bass that’s balanced with clearer voice audio for the perfect movie viewing experience. The inclusion of the Atmos soundstage, 4K passthrough and 500W of power make for some seriously mind-moving movie experiences. Just as well, since it’ll set you back about £1300.
When Cambridge decided to release a soundbar, it went in at the affordable end with a £300 setup. But in the company’s usual style it didn’t scrimp on quality to get the to that price. The TVB2 offers an elegant design that dishes out a soundbar speaker system with a subwoofer combo for a great audio enhancement for any TV.
This works well for music thanks to the balanced audio and features both NFC and Bluetooth for easy pairing with mobile devices. It’s also got decent bass, making it a great party player when it’s not being used for TV audio enhancements.
Dali Kubik One
If you want the ultimate sound setup all crammed into one box, this is the one. Yup, the Dali Kubik One goes back to what soundbars were all about before subwoofers starting appearing with them all – a single box.
The Kubik One crams everything into the soundbar itself so you get a super minimal look and easy setup. Despite the compact design smarts the sound is actually one of the best offerings on the market. Thanks to aptX, Bluetooth, dual optical inputs and 24bit/96kHz support, you can feed audio in from many sources and always get a crystal clear reproduction.
All that means a price tag of around £800. But you get what you pay for with this example.