Do You Really
Need a Soundbar?
Probably.

The best soundbars for your money, according to the experts

The best TV soundbars The best TV soundbars

It's something of a disconnect: even the cheapest televisions these days boast big screens with high definition displays. But in this age of "4K Ultra HD for all," there's one aspect where modern TVs are sorely lacking. And that's sound. Because as the sets get thinner (and makers look for other places to cut corners for competitive pricing), the speakers are what really take a hit. It's not all that surprising that these thin screens don't have much room for quality speakers, but what's a guy to do? Invest in a soundbar, it seems.

These sleek speakers are slim and subtle—designed to discreetly tuck under your television—plus they're surprisingly simple to set up. The best soundbars will effectively fill the room. They can nearly match a full-featured surround sound system, for a lot less money and way less effort. The tricky part is figuring out which one to get. We did our homework and consulted the field's most trusted experts to round up the five best options for your money. From an easy and affordable starter to full-featured and voice-activated models fit for a proper home theater, these are the ones to consider.

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The Best on the Market

Anker Soundcore Infini

Anker Soundcore Infini

What We Like

This is a solid entry-level soundbar for smaller rooms or people living in apartments. If your TV is between 42-inches and 55-inches, this is perfect. And the styling is simple and elegant.

What the Experts Are Saying

“Once hooked up, the Infini gives way to some impressive audio. Bass remains lively and strong, with plenty of impact. Unlike most other speakers in the sub-$100 price range, the midrange remains clear and concise without any undue compression or distortion.” - Major HiFi

$99.99 at Amazon

Yamaha YAS-207BL

Yamaha YAS-207BL

What We Like

With substantial length, it's relatively slim so it fades into the background. It's the first sound bar with virtual 3D surround sound and comes with a wireless subwoofer for a relatively reasonable price.

What the Experts Are Saying

“With a solid design and advanced features like ARC and 4K/HDR passthrough, this offers rich, clear and powerful sound for a pittance, and is primed to be your TV room's audio workhorse of choice.” - Digital Trends

$299.95 / $249.95 at Amazon

Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam

What We Like

At just under 26 inches, the Beam has a smaller footprint and a sleeker shape. It has microphones and Alexa built in, along with Apple Airplay 2, and Google Assistant support is on the way. What's more, it easily integrates with other Sonos speakers you own.

What the Experts Are Saying

“It's feature-packed with unmatched flexibility ... The Beam's no sonic powerhouse, but it offers a wide sound stage, performs quite well with music, and will make your TV sound a hell of a lot better.” - Cnet

$399 at Amazon

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Polk Audio Command

Polk Audio Command with Alexa Voice Control

What We Like

It's lean enough to fit under most TVs and offers voice-control plus a subwoofer, all for under $300. If you own a Fire TV, you can use audio commands to watch TV shows or pull up your playlists.

What the Experts Are Saying

“It's an entry-level package that easily gets loud enough to fill a room, but it doesn't quite envelop you in sound. The Alexa setup and operation is a little easier than some speakers, and adds a lot of value if you use Fire TV.” - Wired

$299 / $248.99 at Amazon

Definitive Technology W Studio Micro

Definitive Technology W Studio Micro

What We Like

If you've just shelled out the cash for a premium TV, you should want high-end speakers to complement it. This package offers top-of-the-line sound with a sleek design that virtually disappears beneath your TV.

What the Experts Are Saying

“This offers superb sound in an elegant package. If you're looking for ease of setup and 'best in class' performance, the Definitive W Studio is the way to go.” - Cnet

$899.98 at Best Buy

MINC 4k Ultra HD HDMI Cable

The Hook Up

If your TV and soundbar both have an HDMI-ARC port, try connecting that way—it looks like HDMI, but is labeled ARC and will allow you to use your TV remote for volume. Also make sure CEC is enabled and check your TV audio menus to make sure your TV's internal speakers are set to off. Crutchfield offers a handy setup guide.

4K Ultra HD HDMI cable, $12.99 by MINC

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