Best account soundbars and soundbases Affairs Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s aggregation of the best account soundbars and soundbases you can buy in 2021.
You’ve apparently been watching a bit added TV in the accomplished few months. OK, a lot more. Never has the appellation ‘home cinema’ been added relevant, and the acceptable account is that if you’re realising the complete advancing from your TV doesn’t absolutely bout up to its brittle colours, you can do article about it.
See, relying on your TV’s congenital speakers is a bit like application the headphones that appear arranged with your phone: they do a job, but already you sample an advancement you’re never activity back.
That’s area soundbars and soundbases appear in. These add far louder and bigger affection complete to your TV but, clashing committed apostle packages, your lounge won’t accept to board six added boxes. Instead, the ‘base or ‘bar sits demurely below or beside your TV, agilely accepting on with levelling-up its sound.
So what should you attending for aback affairs one? First of all, you’ll charge to adjudge whether you appetite a soundbar or a soundbase. They’re agnate devices, but a soundbase is advised to bifold as a abject assemblage for your TV – the awning stands on it. So if you’ve wall-mounted your set, you’ll appetite a soundbar instead.
Bluetooth is a accessible affection as it lets the soundbar/soundbase wirelessly comedy tunes stored on your phone. Some ‘bars or ‘bases abutment added wireless technologies like Apple AirPlay 2, and a few assignment with acute administration like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, too.
You should additionally attending for a appropriate alien control, abounding access for your accoutrement and of advance that all-important complete quality. But blow assured, all of the soundbars below complete acceptable – you can apprehend the full, all-embracing analysis absorbed with anniversary if you charge added information. And, you can consistently appointment our committed adviser on how to accept and set up a soundbar for some added tips and advice.
If you’re affairs a soundbase, you should additionally analysis it can abutment your TV’s weight – this will be listed in the blueprint sheet.
The best allotment is that some of the best soundbars and soundbases don’t bulk a fortune, as our account below illustrates. We’ve got What Hi-Fi? accustomed options starting from as low as £60, you know…
Right then. Let’s booty a attending at (and accept to) the best account models about appropriate now.
This is Sonos’s smaller, cheaper soundbar, but it’s no below absorbing a device. It supports the Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri claimed assistants, so you’re baby for best aback it comes to articulation controls.
It additionally plays all sorts of alive services, including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer and Google Comedy Music. And it works with added Sonos speakers, creating a multi-room system. Of course, you’ll apparently appetite to affix it to your TV, area it will accompany a complete affection that’s far aloft to congenital speakers. We admired it so much, we gave it one of our coveted What Hi-Fi? 2019 Awards. In 2020, we had no best but to accord it the nod yet afresh – for the best soundbar in the highly-competitive £300 – £500 bracket. Highly recommended.
Read the abounding review: Sonos Beam
Think of the Roku Streambar as an advancement on your TV, rather than an access into able home cinema, and it ticks appealing abundant every box. While it doesn’t absolutely arise to best status, it calmly nails the aspects for which it is best frequently activity to be used: bump and clarity. The Streambar will assignment with any television with an HDMI input, outputting 4K HDR at up to 60fps for those with accordant sets. Everyone abroad will get 1080p Abounding HD, with lower resolution signals upscaled.
The arranged alien is splendid, and for an out-of-the-box accession to TV audio and earlier sets’ acute features, the Roku Streambar is acutely low accident for this price. In that sense, it’s article we can aboveboard recommend.
Read the abounding review: Roku Streambar
Another What Hi-Fi 2020 echo Award-winner, this time for the best soundbar below £300, this Yamaha does a accomplished job of battling a beleaguer complete system, and deserves pride of abode in best home cinema set-ups. Its soundfield is advantageously enveloping, and there are no below than seven complete modes to accept from, so you’re apprenticed to acquisition one that apparel your allowance and whatever you’re watching.
You additionally get a committed subwoofer for added bass. Add in some beautifully layered detail, and you’ve got a fine-sounding, great-performing soundbar.
Read the abounding review: Yamaha YAS-2017
Like the Yamaha, this affordable soundbar is advised to challenge the complete from a beleaguer complete system, and it does so admirably. Bass is affluent and punchy, and there’s a appropriate bulk of detail in the midrange too. It doesn’t absolutely accept it in the music stakes admitting – this is actual abundant a TV complete enhancer, rather than a active allowance hi-fi speaker. But at this price, (remember, it’s a mid-2018 model, so deals abound) that’s not absolutely a complaint.
Read the abounding review: JBL Bar Studio
Currently accessible for £199 if you’re a Sky VIP Diamond or Platinum Tier chump and £249 for all added Sky customers, if you’ve ahead advised Devialet articles too affluent for your blood, you ability appetite to anticipate again. You can now nab this Sky/Devialet accord for £499 alike if you’re not a Sky chump – bottomward from its aboriginal bulk of £800. Anyone accustomed with the exceptional French hi-fi cast will apperceive how abundant Devialet kit usually retails for.
Yes, it’s affectionate of bulky, added like a ample lunchbox than a bar, but it’s a box with a big presence. Don’t apprehend “surround sound” – do apprehend backpack and guts, abnormally through the midrange, additional affluence of accuracy and announcement overall.
Read the abounding review: Sky Soundbox
Sonically superb admitting defective a display, this 70 cm ‘base feels a bit like Hal 9000 is staring at you from below your television. This will either accomplish you bound with joy or apple-polish abroad (if you bethink the movie), but ergonomically it does beggarly you accept no way of cogent the after volume, or which EQ ambience the soundbase is on.
Get accomplished the alienated architecture elements, however, and the v2 offers annihilation abbreviate of an accomplished complete quality.
Read the abounding review: Cambridge Audio TV5 v2
The assignment handed to Cambridge Audio’s engineers was to aftermath ‘one of the best discreet’ soundbars on the market, but ‘without giving annihilation abroad in agreement of complete affection and power’.
They’ve absolutely met the architecture brief. The TVB2 is a glassy bar apartment two of the company’s fourth-gen BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drivers, and a compact, corner-friendly wireless subwoofer featuring a distinct down-firing 16.5cm woofer.
It’s as space-economical and TV-friendly as we’ve apparent a soundbar/sub combo. The 88cm soundbar accurately fits a 42in TV and, at alone 7cm tall, it shouldn’t block the awning if sat in advanced of it. Offering a big accession in weight and bendability over a TV’s speakers, the TVB2 is £249 (down from £300) well-spent.
Read the abounding review: Cambridge TVB2
This is a soundbase rather than a soundbar, so the TV stands on top of it. And it’s not aloof any soundbase – it’s a What Hi-Fi? 2019 Award-winning soundbase. Sonic affection is top notch, with absorbing articulate announcement and a absurd bulk of spatial separation. It’s so good, we would appropriately Bluetooth tunes to it and use it as a music speaker. It handles TVs up to 25kg, which should awning best 65in sets, and you can fine-tune the complete application the switches about the back.
Read the abounding review: Q Acoustics M2
What if you accept a baby room, a baby TV and a baby account but appetite a big, agreeable sound? That’s easy: you booty the Acoustic Energy Aego Soundbar for a spin.
The Aego Soundbar is compact, absolute a baby bar and a active subwoofer for aloof £200. Admitting the account price-tag, however, Aego’s arrangement doesn’t feel bargain and the bar’s ambit (just 50cm continued and 7cm tall) are such that you can prop it appropriate up abutting to your baby telly or alike desktop computer after obstructing the screen.
There’s a adorable bendability to the Aego’s presentation. All in all, a abundant advantage for abate homes.
Read the abounding review: Acoustic Energy Aego Soundbar
There’s an abominable lot to like in this Q Acoustics soundbar, currently accessible at a abbreviate of its aboriginal RRP of £300. We gave it four stars at the allurement price, but for £169 there’s affluence of clear, beefy complete and user-friendliness on offer.
If you’re a fan of beefy bass – alike if it agency compromising on a atom of adroit timing – this may able-bodied be the ‘bar for you.
Read the abounding review: Q Acoustics M3
Costing aloof £60, this is one of the best soundbars about for anyone on a budget. Build affection is impressive, as are the access and the accession of Bluetooth for wireless playback from a buzz or tablet. It’s simple to set up, and it sounds absurd – there are four complete modes to accept from, anniversary ill-fitted to a altered brand of content. It additionally makes chat a lot easier to decipher, which is account £60 of anyone’s money.
Read the abounding review: JVC TH-W513B
A rich, compact complete with abysmal bass is the adjustment of the day with this soundbase. But it’s not all action – it additionally boasts a hasty akin of activity and subtlety that raises it aloft its brasher rivals. It’s able-bodied congenital too, with the glassy bottle top abacus a blow of class. And it supports TVs belief up to 40kg. If castigation is heavier, accord yourself a pat on the back.
Read the abounding review: Canton DM 55
See all our soundbase reviews
See all our soundbar reviews
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