If you’ve been a reader of this website, you’ll know I haven’t always had kind things to say about soundbars. I have said in the past that compared to a smartly purchased speaker setup, soundbars don’t offer good audio quality for the price. I even wrote an extensive list of alternatives to soundbars to try and steer people towards other products.
After reading those articles, you may be surprised to learn that I actually own a soundbar in my own house. There are lots of good reasons to own a soundbar in the right circumstances. For me, I already have lots of great speakers that dominate several rooms of my house. I’ve got a home theater with 7 speakers; in my library I’ve got a vinyl setup; and at my computer I have studio quality monitors. I really just needed something that would be good for watching TV with my girlfriend in the living room, or as a second TV at Super Bowl parties. I didn’t want to dominate a whole wall of my living room with speakers and a subwoofer. That’s why I bought a soundbar for my living room TV.
Even though I have got this love for great speakers and great sound, sometimes a soundbar is the right choice. Unfortunately, the sound bar I bought is no longer available for purchase, so I am going to give you a list of recommendations based on the things I think are important to a soundbar.
If a soundbar is the right choice for you, I want to make sure you get a good one that you will be happy with for a long time. It can be hard for people to distinguish the good soundbars from the bad ones. You need to be very careful about what kind of soundbar you purchase.
You should not buy a big piece of plastic from a TV manufacturer masquerading as a piece of quality audio equipment. That means don’t buy from: Vizio, LG, Samsung, or Sony. They all make great TV’s. They do not make great speakers. They all also make some of the best-selling soundbars. I would avoid them if possible.
Any of the soundbars I list below should work well for anyone and provide good sound. I made this list of soundbars by using the following criteria:
- Soundbars should be made by a company known for excellent speakers
- Soundbars should be made of medium density fiberboard.
- Soundbars should have sufficient size to use reasonably sized drivers
- Soundbars should not require an external amplifier