HomeBuying GuidesElectronicsHow To Buy The Best Soundbar - Updated 2022

How To Buy The Best Soundbar – Updated 2022

Best soundbar UK 2022

Looking to buy the best soundbar? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the right one for you.

Upgrade the sound on your television with our picks for the best soundbars on the market.

There’s no denying that if you want to reproduce a movie experience at home, you’ll need the greatest soundbar money can buy.

When viewing TV, audio is just as crucial as pictures, but manufacturers often disregard sound quality when designing televisions.

You’ll improve your audio experience while watching movies, sports, and TV shows if you invest in one of the top soundbars. The dialogue will be crisper, the sound effects will be more powerful, and the music will be more varied and fun to listen to.

Best of all, a good soundbar doesn’t have to be expensive, and unlike stereo speakers, soundbars blend in much more subtly with your living room decor, giving it a cleaner, more minimalist appearance.

We’ve put a lot of soundbars through their paces, and this article will break down the finest of them across a range of pricing points. More expensive soundbars usually come with a greater choice of functions and connectivity options, so figure out which ones you really need and which you can go without.

To assist you, we’ve put together a helpful buying guide that outlines all of the factors to consider when purchasing one of the top soundbars on the market.

How do you pick the right soundbar for you?

What factors should I consider while purchasing a soundbar?

It’s critical to select a soundbar that complements your television and living room. The size of the bar is the first item to consider. It may not fit in your AV cabinet if it is too wide; it may also be wider than your TV, which may seem odd, especially if you plan to wall-mount the bar. If you’re planning to put the bar in front of your TV on your AV cabinet, height is also a factor. You’ll want to make sure it’s not so high that it obscures the TV’s bottom half.

Next, decide if you want a soundbar that stands alone or one that includes additional speakers to improve the audio quality. Although a single unit is faster to set up and appears more beautiful, it lacks the energy and sense of immersion that a more sophisticated configuration may provide. Because stand-alone soundbars fail to generate convincing bass, many come with subwoofers.

A dedicated subwoofer provides richness and body to audio in general, as well as the ability to deliver room-shaking low-frequency sound effects. Look for a wireless subwoofer that allows you to hide the subwoofer away from view. Rear speakers are included with some soundbars, allowing for genuinely immersive 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. If you’re not sure if they are for you, some soundbars allow you to modify your soundbar later by adding wireless back speakers.

What’s the best way to get a soundbar connected?

It’s always a plus to have a variety of connection options because you never know what you’ll want to connect to your soundbar in the future. The most convenient connection is HDMI, which is used by most modern soundbars, including low-cost models. Most HDMI inputs (or even two or three) are used to connect your sources (games consoles, Sky boxes, etc.) and an HDMI output is used to send the visual signal to your TV. As always, the more connections you have, the more freedom you’ll have in the future.

Another feature to check for is HDMI ARC (audio return channel) capability, which uses the soundbar’s HDMI output to return audio from the TV. Audio from on-TV apps like Netflix can be sent through HDMI ARC to the speaker. It’s also useful if the soundbar runs out of HDMI inputs because it redirects any audio that would otherwise be played through the TV speakers to the soundbar.

Aside from that, an optical digital (also known as TOSlink or S/PDIF) connection can be useful. Although optical digital can’t transport lossless surround-sound signals like Dolby True HD or DTS:X, if the soundbar doesn’t support HDMI ARC, it’s typically the simplest option to connect a music source, console, or TV. Although you may buy a simple converter to convert from one to the other if you need it, optical digital connections are always preferred over coaxial digital connections.

Analogue connections like stereo RCA and 3.5mm inputs are becoming less relevant these days, and they’re also becoming less popular on soundbars. They’re still useful in an emergency, but don’t be too concerned if your soundbar lacks them.

Many soundbars support Bluetooth for wirelessly connecting phones and tablets, and some even have Wi-Fi, allowing for higher-quality music streaming, potential integration in a multiroom wireless speaker network, and support for digital voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, in addition to wired connections.

Is a Dolby Atmos soundbar worth the money?

Dolby Atmos is a new surround-sound standard that goes beyond the 5.1- and 7.1-channel settings that soundbars and other surround-sound systems previously offered. The main feature of Atmos is audio height: whereas other systems strive to surround you with audio from the sides and back, horizontally, Atmos extends this to sounds from above.

To attain this audio height, soundbars with Atmos typically contain upwards-firing speakers that bounce sounds off the ceiling, which may be highly effective, depending on how high your ceilings are. In most cases, there is an ideal height that may be found in the specifications.

Dolby Atmos soundbars are also more expensive than simpler 5.1-enabled models, and they have a bad tendency of ignoring support for non-Dolby surround-sound standards. If you watch a lot of Blu-ray movies, this can be an issue. Many Blu-ray movies include a surround-sound soundtrack encoded in some sort of DTS standard, rather than a Dolby surround recording. You’ll have to settle with the stereo soundtrack in this situation, which may be of worse quality than the surround audio.

Best soundbar to buy UK 2022

SaleBestseller No. 1
Samsung HW-Q700A/XU Q-Symphony Cinematic Dolby Atmos Q-Series Soundbar for TV (2021), True 3.1.2ch sound, True Dolby Atmos & DTS:X, Adaptive Sound, Game Mode Pro, Black
  • True 3.1.2ch sound: This soundbar delivers truly immersive surround sound with the courtesy of market leading technology through multiple, custom designed, built-in speakers.
  • 3D Object Based Sound: The incorporation of true object-based audio formats including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X allows this soundbar to place you in the heart of the action with a truly immersive 3D sound experience bringing you a breath-taking new level of realism.
  • Samsung Q-Symphony: This system has the ability to work in perfect harmony with your Samsung TV* by synchronising together to play sound simultaneously from both your Samsung TV* and soundbar.
  • Adaptive Sound: Adaptive Sound ensures the content you are watching will always sound its best with each scene optimised by AI Sound.
  • Game Mode Pro: It configures automatically to help you to be the best player you can be so you can claim more glorious victories.
Bestseller No. 2
Bose Smart Soundbar 300 - Bluetooth connectivity with Alexa voice control built in, Black
  • Like no other—This elegant soundbar for TV, movies, music and games delivers spacious sound, exceptional clarity and rich bass, finished in matte Black with seamless metal grille.
  • Acoustic performance—Five full-range drivers deliver wide, clear sound, which makes it the perfect soundbar for TV, movies, games and more.
  • Built-in Alexa—Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are built into this smart soundbar for hands-free voice control. And a noise-rejecting mic system listens in every direction for your voice.
  • TV voice control—Exclusive Bose Voice4Video technology expands your Alexa capabilities, allowing you to control this smart soundbar, your TV and your cable/satellite box with one voice command.
  • Connectivity—Pair your device to this wireless soundbar to stream your favourite music and more via a Bluetooth connection, your home Wi-Fi network, Apple AirPlay 2 or Spotify Connect.
Bestseller No. 3
Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage – Dolby Atmos Soundbar for TV with HDMI, WiFi and Bluetooth Speaker - Aluminium
  • DOLBY ATMOS SURROUND SOUND: Transforms your TV listening experience by moving sound around you in a three dimensional space.
  • POWERFUL SOUND: With 11 different drivers and woofers, Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage offers rich, satisfying room filling sound.
  • HIGHLY COMPATIBLE: Designed to work with any 3rd party TV supporting HDMI ARC, so you can up your sound in one elegant addition.
  • TASTEFUL DESIGN: A simple yet attractive Scandinavian inspired design makes this soundbar a desirable addition to elegant homes.
  • MULTIPURPOSE SOUND: Integrated audio streaming means Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage works with other devices for all-purpose audio.
Bestseller No. 4
JBL Bar 5.1 Surround Sound Bar - in-home entertainment system, with streaming capabilities and subwoofer, in black
  • Turn your living room into your favourite entertainment destination with the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround speaker with an inconspicuous design, JBL sound and streaming capabilities for the perfect night in
  • Bring the theatre home: with JBL specialised deep bass and the additional subwoofer you reach a new level of the entertainment, designed to add action to your movies and emotion to your music
  • Don't let your speakers take over your space, with MultiBeam Technology and a slim design, this bar is discreet while still delivering cinema quality sound
  • Stream your favourite music right from your speaker, with Chromecast and Airplay capabilities you can stream all your favourites right from your sound bar
  • Items delivered: 1x JBL Bar 5.1 Surround sound bar and subwoofer with HDMI 4K pass-through,Wi-Fi and USB inputs, with streaming capabilities, in black
SaleBestseller No. 5
Samsung HWQ950T 9.1.4Ch Flat Soundbar Subwoofer - Black
  • UK Mainland Delivery Only **
  • Bluetooth: Y
  • Chrome Cast: No
  • Dolby Atmos: Y
  • Guarantee: 1 year parts & labour

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