The 4 Best Soundbars For Home Entertainment

By  | 

Soundbars offer an ideal way to enjoy movies, TV shows and music in your home without taking up too much space – plus they’re easier to set up!

The best soundbars provide impressively immersive audio that seems to come from all directions in the room, plus support Dolby Atmos content and HDMI ARC for simplified connectivity.

1. Samsung HW-Q990C

The Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar is an impressive, Dolby Atmos-capable system that packs everything you could possibly ask of an immersive audio setup. Boasting an industry-leading 11.1.4 real (not virtual) channel count and 656W of power from its main bar, subwoofer and two rear speakers; its satellites deliver Dolby Atmos height performance to give an incredible, engaging audio experience – everything from rainstorms to helicopter noises are rendered perfectly for immersive realism, so every momentous scene feels real lifelike – making every effect as real lifelike as life can get!

Dolby Atmos and its related features, like Active Voice Analyzer, which optimizes voices for each room to cut through noise and chatter, as well as music through Adaptive Sound’s upscaling of stereo tracks to sound their best across available channels; unfortunately this feature doesn’t always succeed but remains an upgrade over previous attempts from Samsung at doing this.

The Q990C soundbar is an excellent choice for movie buffs or gaming enthusiasts alike. Connecting it to your television is simple, while streaming audio from most popular apps via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity is effortless. Furthermore, using Samsung’s Smart View app you can manage settings on both the soundbar and television from one convenient place.

Although expensive, this premium soundbar system packs many useful and effective features that should enhance any type of content and provides a deep bass to bring it all alive on screen. If you can spare the extra cash, this immersive soundbar deserves serious consideration as an immersive entertainment solution.

2. Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is an ultra-premium standalone bar that delivers Dolby Atmos sound with superb performance for home entertainment, music playback and dialogue clarity. Ideal for home cinematic viewing as well as music listening. Pair with either the Sonos Sub (Gen 2) or much smaller Sub Mini for optimal low-end performance and support a range of formats including lossless and object-based formats found on Blu-ray discs.

Setup for Sonos Arc is simple. Simply position it in front of your TV, plug in using a standard figure-eight power cord, and connect a HDMI cable that features the designations ARC or eARC on its rear panel. Next, launch the Sonos app on either an iOS or Android device to complete True Play tuning; simply move around the room listening for what sounds like alien blasters as instructed to optimize Arc for your space – this process is quick, straightforward, and effective!

At its best, the Sonos Arc works best when combined with a Sub and two Sonos SL speakers to form a full 5.1.2 surround system for an even richer Atmos experience and enhanced audio quality from all other sources. Furthermore, this setup boasts more advanced features than the Roku Smart Soundbar such as room correction and voice and dialog reproduction through dedicated center channel speaker output; its wider soundstage offers better immersion than that offered by Roku Smart Soundbars.

The Sonos Arc stands out from other soundbars with its distinctive curved design and perforated grille, setting it apart from others. Available in matte black or white finishes and featuring capacitive volume/pause/play controls on top, as well as an elliptical port array on back allowing access to Ethernet, HDMI ARC/eARC, and optical input options, its appearance sets itself apart from others in its class.

3. Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers

Are you in search of a premium soundbar with an optional subwoofer that works seamlessly with any of Sonos’ powered smart speakers? Look no further. The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini is an upgrade from its predecessor that delivers deep bass without becoming boomy or dominating larger rooms. Using twin custom woofers and advanced processing, its maximum output reaches window-rattling 25Hz! Force cancelling neutralizes potential distortion effectively, while an acoustically sealed cabinet guarantees it remains quiet without sacrificing its impressive power!

The Beam offers Dolby Atmos support, an increasingly popular feature among soundbar buyers. Although lacking upward-facing drivers for true Dolby Atmos sound reproduction, its psychoacoustic techniques do an effective job at conveying height from movie soundtracks.

As a stereo bar, the Beam offers clear and natural-sounding voice reproduction. When coupled with the Sub Mini for EDM or hip-hop genres, additional bass thump and rumble can add even greater impact. At higher listening volumes however, pumping or compression artifacts may occur; please see individual reviews for details.

Setup for Sonos Beam is quick and straightforward, connecting over WiFi and controlled with either voice control or via the Sonos app. In addition, this speaker offers low latency for seamless audio/video playback – this makes it perfect for movie lovers or gamers using their smart devices to stream movies or games! Furthermore, Beam supports all major streaming formats, while pairing it with other Sonos speakers to form a surround-sound system is possible.

4. Vizio V Series V51-H6

The V Series 5.1-channel soundbar and surround speakers deliver immersive home theater surround sound, supporting Dolby Audio and DTS Virtual:X sound enhancement to add room-filling, floor-to-ceiling virtualized 3D surround to movies and music. Plus, there’s even a wireless 5.5″ subwoofer that delivers powerful bass.

The soundbar’s sleek and simple design make it easy to install beneath or on top of a TV stand. The front and sides have matte black finishes to blend in seamlessly with most living rooms while its back features openings for input ports as well as wall-mounting holes.

It comes equipped with simple buttons on either end of the soundbar for power, changing input and Bluetooth on/off/volume up/down controls. In addition, voice command control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is also possible to help manage its operation.

As part of our sound quality testing, we listened to a wide variety of content on the Vizio and found it was well balanced for both stereo and multichannel setups; however, some loud scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy and Hamilton caused difficulty hearing dialogue at times.

Overall, we found the V Series soundbar to be an exceptional value proposition. It outshone its counterpart, the standalone M Series, by providing better surround performance due to satellite inclusion; however, points were deducted for lacking HDMI eARC compatibility and lack of 4K passthrough support.

Samsung HW-Q60T stands as its main rival and has a more neutral and likable sound profile straight out of the box, along with better center and surround performance, better build quality, and offers graphic EQ customization of sound settings for enhanced listening experience.