Best Soundbars 2018 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews
The New TVs' audio suck without Soundbars! Right? In the process of making slimmer TVs, companies end up compromising the SOUND!
So, if you got yourself a new TV and questioning why it sounds so bad, then you need soundbars. And, our list of best soundbars 2018 will clear the air - JUST STICK WITH THE ARTICLE!
The biggest factor that determines the quality and the features of soundbars is "PRICE." The more you spend the better you'll get - exception included. However, we've got the best soundbar for your budget, and if you're going to purchase the one through our recommendations, then we promise that you wont REGRET!
BEST SOUNDBARS 2018
Price Under 100$
If your budget is in less than 100$, then this soundbar stands out. VIZIO's is a 3 inches 2.0 Sound Bar, a great fit for 4 inches+ class TVs. The soundbar strikes an excellent balance between value and the performance. The built-in Bluetooth feature allows you to wirelessly stream music from your phone, tablet, or computer.
Vizio SB3820-C6 38 inches Sound Bar is a good product. It certainly won't make you feel awe-struck. However, it will definitely beat your television speakers with its clear and fluent sound reproduction. And, for a sound bar costing less than 100$, you can't ask for better.
1. VIZIO (SB3820-C6) - UNDER $100
It's a 30 inches sound bar, and you can hang the wall brackets, which comes within the box, to hang it on the wall, or you can place it in front of your TV. It’s covered in acoustically transparent speaker cloth. Behind the cloth, there are two 2.75 inch full-range sound drivers.
You can also connect tablets, laptops, smartphones and other smart devices with this Soundbar. The 3820 has a built-in Dolby Digital decoder and also supports DTS TruSurround.
You'll receive the remote and Vizio is kind enough also to give you the remote cells. The Vizio 38″ Sound Bar also features built-in Bluetooth which is very easy to setup. Press the Bluetooth button on the remote and then find the sound bar on your Bluetooth enabled device and it will be connected.
Since TV speakers suck, therefore, Soundbars have gained popularity over the past few years. Talking about Vizio SB3820-C6, it offers good quality sound for its price.The 2.0 Sound Bar highlights two robust full-range stereo speakers that enhance the audio experience and deliver distortionless sound.
It delivers up to 100 dB of room filling, clear sound with less than 1% total symphonious distortion1 which is pretty amazing for its price. On DTS TruSurround, it creates a wall of sound in front of the TV by delivering audio spectrum from the left, center, and right of the sound bar.
We played GTAV, and had pretty good experience with the sound quality and the game felt so good with its deep bass feature which was really unexpected from a soundbar costing less than 100$.
The highs of the speaker are quite enjoyable though there is not much of a sound definition, still it doesn't distort which is pretty amazing. Vocals were clear and crisp. Though it will not produce chest pounding bass, but it produces deep bass, and you can feel it.
Overall, It's a robust and good quality sound bar, but it won’t blow you away with its audio quality, but it outperforms the television speakers with its clear and fluent sound quality.
2. VIZIO SB3821 C6 - UNDER $200
This speaker is the upgraded version of Soundbar VIZIO SB3821-C6 with a sub-woofer. So, apparently there is no enhancement in the music quality, because they just added a sub-woofer to it, but the overall experience of music becomes better with the woofer.
Like the previous model, it supports Bluetooth pairing for wireless connection, and comes with a remote. Here are the three highlights of this model.
2.1 Sound Bar System: The 2.1 Sound Bar System highlights robust speakers paired with a wireless sub-woofer, producing great sound with crystal-clear audio quality. The duo makes an excellent home theater experience at your home.
Wireless Sub woofer: It's a Rich, and powerful bass that transforms movies, music, and TV into an excitable event. With the wireless, your home stays free of clutter while you get good- quality sound.
There are three superior audio technologies offered, Dolby Digital, DTS TruSurround, and DTS TruVolume. The Dolby Digital helps to enhance audio definition for a pleasant listening experience.
DTS TruSurround is a virtual surround sound solution that contributes to delivering a realistic surround sound environment on sound bars, and DTS TruVolume provides a steady and comfortable volume level for a more pleasant multimedia experience.
Like old version, it has a good sound definition at highs and lows of the music. In fact, with sub-woofer the sound quality enhances, and you actually feel the bass. Overall, it's fun to watch films, and video games like Counter-strike on the TV.
3. VIZIO S4251W-B4 - UNDER $200
The Vizio S4251w-B4 is one of the rarest sound bar systems on the market that can produce true surround sound, specifically because it expands the conventional soundbar/subwoofer configuration with 2 rear speakers.
You guys might be thinking that why we are only featuring Vizio, right? You guys can search anywhere, whether it be online or offline, but you guys are not going to get any soundbars with such good quality for their price.
We compared the products side by side and came to the conclusion that Vizio is one of the best quality Soundbars under 100$ and 200$ price range. Now, it might look like a sponsored post, but that's not the case. Furthermost, it's the most purchased soundbars on Amazon in their price range.
So, What's extra in Vizio S4251w-B4?
42-Inch 5.1 with Wireless Woofer and Satellite Speaker, so its big in size as compared to the previous models we've reviewed.
It features a wireless subwoofer with two rear speakers. Generally, Rear speakers are wired and kill the space in your room with wires all over in your room, but Vizio keeps the clutter to a minimum because you can connect the speakers to the wireless subwoofer, rather than a unit that lives in your TV cabinet.
Though sub-woofer doesn't need to be plugged into an outlet, therefore, you can't call them "wireless" speakers, despite the fact that Vizio doesn't, because, they require wires.
The S4251w-B4 provides an excellent sound experience for the money. The subwoofer and satellites help to achieve the soundbar goals: they produce a theater like an experience as compared to the two-channel soundbar.
It can be used for rich, powerful bass transforms movies, music, and TV into a better experience. Wireless Subwoofer range nearly 60 feet. The sound bar has a sleek design and good looks, with a quality remote that features a built-in display. If you watch sports on sports streaming sites just because your TV's sound suck then this will bring a positive change.
Price Under 300$
For this category, we've reviewed 3 models. This is the real starting price for soundbars if you want to expect some great experience which you really don't enjoy in the models costing less than 300$ though they are good for their price.
- LG Electronics LAS551H - Under 250$
- VIZIO SB4051-C0 40-Inch - Under 300$
- Sony HTCT260H Sound Bar - Under 300$
4. LG ELECTRONICS LAS551H - UNDER $250
The LG Electronics LAS551H Soundbar is a sexy looking soundbar with an impressive audio quality along subwoofer which enhances the experience of music and movies.This soundbar is one of the best options if your budget is right under 250$, and you don’t have to compromise with small satellite speakers.
It is a 35-inch long Soundbar that throws the sound with the power of 320W, connected along with a sub-woofer to make it best for the money.
The Sub-woofer is completely wireless, and you can keep it next to yourself or wherever you're sitting to experience heart-pounding bass while listening to beat music or watching the action-based movies.
It’s not an over the top 5.1 or 7.1 system, so don’t set high-expectation since it's not going to blow your socks off. Without woofer, the music is clear and straightforward, and there is zero bass, but with sub-woofer delivers the best bass experience.
You can connect it with the Bluetooth and optical fiber as well. If you're going to use Bluetooth, then you've to keep it near to the sound bars otherwise, it will start buffering, and audio quality will drop too.
Bluetooth seems to be a problem with few people as users have reported that sometimes it start pairing with other devices by itself even when the soundbar is connected to your smart-phone. Imagine you're watching a movie and all of a sudden a loud music starts to play, weird enough, right?
Other than that, you'll receive 1 HDMI Out; 1HDMI In; Optical; USB along with wall mounters for adjusting the soundbars with the walls. Yes, there is a remote which performs the basic functions, so there is nothing much to talk about.
Overall, its a good product for its price, but it could definitely have been better, but expecting everything under 250$ would be a bit harsh. Just don't use the soundbars harshly, and you'll have no problem for a long time.
5. SONY HTCT260H - UNDER $300
Sony HTCT260H is the best choice for the best soundbars costing 300$. It's the most sold sound bar on Amazon in price range of 300$ with amazing rating. It produces the amazing sound and heart pounding bass to the medium-sized living rooms.
It comes with a sub-woofer which you'll not find in any soundbar costing under 300$ (even not in Vizio, that's why we dropped vizio for the best choice for sound bars under 300$). It has also been picked for the best soundbars under 300$ by PCMAG.
Talking about design, it's 39.8-inch and suitable for 40-inch TVs. It's compact in size and can be placed on the shelf beneath the TV. The soundbar is designed with a matte black cloth grille, with a black plastic control panel on the front side of the soundbar. And, one-line "blue LED display" shows what input is working or active.
The Backside of the soundbar has ports like analog RCA, optical wire, and coaxial audio inputs. Other than that, there is a socket for the included wireless adapter for using the sub-woofer.
The sound-quality is pretty amazing, and it produces distortion-free music which ultimately helps to enhance the music experience. And, with the added wireless sub-woofer you can easily rock medium size room with the heart pounding sound.
The high notes of the sound bar is bit unsatisfying. The overall conclusion is that you'll not get the 100% satisfaction if your room will be big, but for medium and small size rooms it will create a sort of theater experience.
It supports Audio Return Channel feature (ARC). ARC lets you plug your TV cable, or USB drive into your TV, and the sound travels backward through the HDMI cable to the sound bar which is a noticeable feature.
Not to forget that it also has Bluetooth function, so you can connect it your PlayStation and smartphone for doing a lot more stuff. Like other models, you'll get remote which is a bit complicated to understand in the beginning, but you can actually figure out the common functionalities like playback controls and audio pairing button.
6. VIZIO SB4051-C0 40-INCH - UNDER $300
This is an ultimate soundbar to enjoy the home theater experience. The sound bar features a premium all-metal construction, delivering incredible audio for any 47"+ Class TV. It features 6-inch sub-woofer and rear satellite speakers that produce a true 5.1 surround sound experience.
It has HDMI cable which gives you the access to the best possible audio quality for your TV. The built-in Bluetooth with aptX technology enables you to wirelessly stream audio from your computer, smartphone or tablet, in near-CD quality, and a regular LCD remote is incorporated to bring all of the controls and settings to the palm of your hand.
VIZIO features compact size with the plug-and-play surround sound; the 40-inch 5.1 soundbar is a no complaint speaker system with loads of connectivity options, separate satellites, and a wireless sub-woofer.
Unlike Samsung HTCT260H, SB4051 features a fully metal design with a black powder coating. It is a 40-inch-wide soundbar which highlights discrete rear-channel speakers and a 10-inch-square sub-woofer. Along with sub-woofer it features two satellite speakers and each satellite uses 2 x 2.5" Full-Range Driver.
In the box, you'll find a lot of accessories like 4-inch soundbar, two rear satellite speakers, the wireless subwoofer, wall mounting tools, a remote control, and a plenty of handy connection options, including a stereo RCA to 3.5mm cable, HDMI cable, a coaxial audio cable, a digital optical cable, and separate audio cables for each satellite speaker.
VIZIO features thesame model remote for this model as well. Its slim and sleek. The remote is very easy to use unlike Samsung model. Remote features simple playback controls, Input, Bluetooth Pairing, and Power across the back top for easy access.
It's a 5.0 soundbar with one sub-woofer and 2 rear satellites which are powerful enough to produce home theater experience.The soundbar produces crystal clear, and full dialogue of the movies and the satellite speakers deliver surrounded sound experience. But, the only thing lacking is the rear surrounds. We played different movies, but no matter how much we tried to tweak the things, but they are just top-quality.
The bass is too loud out of the box, and commercial might get annoying, so you definitely have to change the settings, in order to have a good experience. It does fill the room with sound and puts you in the movie, so you'll definitely get some theater type feeling.
The sub-woofer is completely wireless; therefore it can be placed behind the T.V which will save the space in your room. The added HDMI port and cable bring access to the best possible audio connection for your connected devices.
The VIZIO’s 40" 5.1 Sound Bar System delivers up to 102 dB of room filling, crystal clear sound with less than 1% total harmonic distortion. If you position the soundbar in front of TV, then you'll have issues using TV's remote from certain angles, and this problem persists in all models we've reviewed before.
Like other soundbars, the Vizio offers Bluetooth with aptX adaptability for streaming from phones and tablets. For users looking for a compact 5.1 packs a wealth of features, but does not require intensive setup, then this is an excellent choice for the home theater solution.
Price Under 400$
For this category, we've reviewed 1 model. We've reviewed the exact product that we recommend for purchasing a soundbar that really gives you high-quality experience with Music.
7.YAMAHA YAS-203 - UNDER $350
The Yamaha YAS-203 is absolutely a high-value soundbar. It produces excellent sound and makes you experience equivalent bass and fleecy treble with a pair of 2 ⅛-inch drivers and a single 6.5-inch driver housed in the bundled sub-woofer.
It sounds good when it comes to intricate nuances and dialog, rendering it as suitable for music as it is movies, and it also features a built-in IR repeater — one that has an unwanted tendency to block the IR sensor on the front of your TV.
Moreover, the Yamaha's mobile app for iOS and Android enables you to make sound changes if you favor your smartphone over the traditional remote.
The modern design highlights a piano black finish bringing sophistication and class to the room. Like we said, It's constructed of black plastic and can be wall-mounted. The another talkative features of YAS-203 is the dedicated input LEDs, one for each of the four inputs, on the soundbar itself. These LEDs help to operate the sound bar smoothly and differentiate it from its competitors.
Unlike Vizio's soundbars, the YAS-203 has TV remote repeater feature for signal transmission. Even if sound bar blocks the TV remote’s signal, the TV Remote Repeater transmits the signal to the TV, so operation is unaffected. Thus, you don't exactly need it to mount on the wall.
- AIR SURROUND XTREME Provides Superior Virtual Surround:
Yamaha-exclusive AIR SURROUND XTREME generates virtual 7.1-channel surround high-quality sound, excellent imaging and far superior to other virtual surround technologies. Unlike VIZIO SB4051-C0, you’ll experience a remarkably practical and efficient sound field with crystal clear dialogue in the front and dynamic sound action effects from the behind.
- Realistic and Impressive Sound
The soundbar features a digital amp and two 2-1/8 inches amplifier speakers with extended magnets to assure high-quality sound. Its architectural design enables the soundbar to deliver sound with clarity and power in a slim body chassis.
- UniVolume Feature
This is another excellent feature offered by Yamaha's advanced technology. UniVolume feature maintains a consistent volume level between distinct programs, channels, commercials and input sources. And, on top of that, it can be switched on and off.
The above technologies help to produce loud sound to fill a medium-to-large room, and it also creates the illusion of a full field of music — the audio spreads out before you. This makes the movies and sound experience more immersive on the TV.
The solid looking sub-woofer, which isn’t really that musical, but offers plenty of grit. The soundbar admirably handles the deep, beating soundtrack and the rattle of gunfire, delivering a superb soundscape that complements the on-screen performance.
Talking about Bluetooth quality, The YAS-203 uses the aptX technology to enhance the quality of Bluetooth audio streams.The Bluetooth helps to connect the soundbars with a computer and mobile device.
The Yamaha YAS-203 outperforms the most of the performance constraints in an affordable package sounding bigger, more spacious, more dynamic and clearer than anything near its price.The only problem is that it doesn't support HDMI inputs. But the YAS-203 delivers detailed bass and a wider field of sound which are important aspects of the sound experience.
Price Under 500$
Another category for soundbars is "best soundbar under 500$." For this category, we've reviewed a single model. This soundbar has been Sound&Vision's top pick of the year.
8. VIZIO S5451W-C2 5.1 - UNDER $500
The VIZIO is a big 54 inches 5.1 sound bar that fills the big-size rooms with up to 104 dB of crystal-clear audio at less than 1% harmonic distortion. It features an improved sub-woofer which produces booming bass without clutter for a low-frequency response.
It provides real 5.1 sound and features rear satellite speakers to cover any room. *S5451w-C2 is rated at 104 dB. If your budget is 500$, then look no further, because you can get any better soundbar.
Talking about design, it's a 55 inches larger and 4.18 inches taller. Yes, it's a big-size soundbar and an excellent choice for 55 inches TV, and this is what we all expect from a soundbar costing 500$, right?
The front side of the soundbar is covered with a black grille and a thin strip of silver running along the bottom which makes it look sexy. Right under the strip, there are LEDs which provides visual feedback when you're adjusting the volume and making some other tweaks.
The sub-woofer is wireless with an 8-inch driver and whereas the 2 rear satellite speakers 8.5 inches tall with two 3-inch drivers. Don't get confused, if you think that how it differentiates from previous model of Vizio because soundbars have been upgraded and the size of the sub-woofer and rear satellite speakers is greater than Vizio S4251w-B4.
The soundbar, sub-woofer along with two rear speakers deliver amazing sound. Where other systems lack with surround music on low and highs, this model of Vizio just achieves it very easily and quickly. The VIZIO 54 inch sound bar also features a third (center) audio channel for enhanced dialog clarity.
The soundbar produces crystal clear sound for both music and movies. The movies dialog and music vocals sound sharp and natural; however, there is still some drop-off at the higher frequencies.
Now talking about rear speakers, they do provide an immersive surround sound hearing experience which is not possible to achieve by soundbar alone. Furthermore, the mixture of sound from front to rear is also very seamless.
The sub-woofer is the beast and makes a good match with the speakers and soundbar. With an 8-inch driver, front-mounted port, and good amplifier support, it provides the boomy effect and charges the room with heart pounding bass. For this price range, it can't get any better.
Like other models, the VIZIO uses same design of remote for this model. It's simple and sleek. You can find audio adjusting buttons and Bluetooth pairing button for easy pairing. There is LCD on the remote, but it is so small, and it literally impossible to see what's happening on the LCD at night time.
If you want to read detailed review of this model, then you can further read the review on Digital trends.
Wrapping it up!
Soundbars are essentially for LED, in order to get amazing experience. You can pick any of the soundbar from our recommended list of best soundbars 2018, however, our top pick would be VIZIO SB4051-C0. If you guys have any suggestions or questions in mind, then don't be shy to comment down below. We Will respond to the query as soon as possible.