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Compare the Best SoundbarsJanuary 2020

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique soundbars rating which considers: 2,400 US prices • 2,600 expert & user reviews • 460 product comparisons • 200 industry awards • Score breakdown
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The most popular soundbars on the market
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Subwoofer Included
Bluetooth
Audio Output
Release Date
#1

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Razer logo

Razer Leviathan

313 Reviews
pcgameware.co.uk - Gold99mac.se - RecommendedTechradar - Great ValueExpert Reviews - Recommended

$125.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Nov 2014
#2

88

 Compare  Shortlisted
Sonos logo

Sonos Beam

139 Reviews
99mac.se - RecommendedTechradar - Recommendedavforums.com - RecommendedExpert Reviews - Recommended

$299.00

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Aug 2018
#3

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Polk Audio logo

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini

22 Reviews
Digitaltrends.com - Editor's Choicesoundandvision.com - Top Picklite-magazin.de - Middle Classchipchick.com - Pick Award

$174.00

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Oct 2017
#4

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Bose logo

Bose Soundbar 500

17 Reviews

$445.50

Info
Info
8.1 channels
Info
Sep 2018
#5

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Yamaha logo

Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400

20 Reviews
videotesty.pl - 3 Starlite-magazin.de - Middle Classavforums.com - Recommended

$319.00

Info
Info
6.1 channels
Info
Mar 2019
#6

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SK1

9 Reviews
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$40.89

Info
Info
2 channels
2.0
Info
Mar 2018
#7

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Bose SOLO5

31 Reviews
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$109.21

Info
Info
2 channels
2.0
Info
Sep 2015
#8

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SJ2

3 Reviews

$94.95

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Jul 2016
#9

85

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Bose Soundbar 700

17 Reviews

$622.88

Info
Info
7.1 channels
Info
Sep 2018
#10

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Sonos Playbar

150 Reviews
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$599.99

Info
Info
3 channels
3.0
Info
Nov 2014
#11

84

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Bose SoundTouch 300

29 Reviews
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$350.00

Info
Info
5 channels
5.0
Info
Oct 2016
#12

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SL6Y

9 Reviews

$396.99

Info
Info
3.1 channels
Info
Apr 2019
#13

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Anker Soundcore Infini

6 Reviews

$215.00

Info
Info
2 channels
2.0
Info
Dec 2018
#14

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Denon HEOS BAR

2 Reviews
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$579.99

Info
Info
3 channels
3.0
Info
Apr 2017
#15

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Yamaha YAS209

$299.95

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Mar 2018
#16

82

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SK8

7 Reviews
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$279.69

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Mar 2018
#17

82

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SH2

31 Reviews

$97.16

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Mar 2016
#18

82

 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SH7

2 Reviews

$129.00

Info
Info
4.1 channels
Info
May 2016
#19

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Audioengine B2

10 Reviews
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$186.99

Info
Info
2 channels
2.0
Info
Aug 2017
#20

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
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Sonos Playbase

124 Reviews
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$509.00

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Apr 2017

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What Are The Best Soundbar Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every soundbar and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated soundbar brand is LG with an average rating of 72%. Compare all award winning soundbars.

Rank Brand Number of Soundbars Price Range Average Rating
#1
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LG Soundbars 53 $31 - $600
72%
261 reviews
#2
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Yamaha Soundbars 21 $110 - $1,199
71%
21 reviews
#3
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Panasonic Soundbars 23
66%
17 reviews
#4
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Samsung Soundbars 66 $100 - $1,698
#5
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Sony Soundbars 24 $90 - $2,346

Trending Soundbar Comparisons

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Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,996.00
Subwoofer
included
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 700
$622.88
$1,373 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
20 months newer
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Sonos
Beam
$299.00
$147 cheaper
More popular
19 more awards
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 500
$445.50
Better Kagoo
Score
Twice as many
audio output
channels
Newer by one
month
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JBL
Cinema SB150
$199.88
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Samsung
HW-M360
$139.99
$60 cheaper
Better brand
15 months newer
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Polk Audio
MagniFi Mini
$174.00
$116 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Six more awards
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
More popular
Better brand
Newer by nine
months
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Sonos
Beam
$299.00
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
19 more awards
VS
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Sony
HT-X8500
$229.95
$69 cheaper
10 months newer
Subwoofer
included
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LG
SK10Y
$719.20
Better Kagoo
Score
Four more
awards
Better brand
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 700
$622.88
$96 cheaper
More popular
Bigger audio
output channels
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Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,996.00
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
Samsung
HW-Q90R
$1,697.99
$298 cheaper
More popular
Newer by two
years
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LG
SJ8
$279.00
One more award
Better brand
Bigger audio
output channels
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
More popular
17 months newer
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LG
SJ4
$60.00
$80 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Samsung
HW-M360
$139.99
Four months
newer
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Yamaha
YSP-5600
$1,199.00
$797 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,996.00
Six months
newer
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
$350.00
$230 cheaper
One more awards
Better brand
VS
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Denon
HEOS BAR
$579.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
Six months
newer
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LG
SK10Y
$719.20
Four more
awards
Better brand
Subwoofer
included
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 700
$622.88
$96 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
7.1 channels
channels
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Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
More popular
Four months
newer
VS
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LG
SK5
$99.99
$190 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
One more award
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
$350.00
$549 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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Naim
Mu-so
$899.00
Six months
newer
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Sonos
Beam
$299.00
$20 cheaper
More popular
16 more awards
VS
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Yamaha
MusicCast BAR 400
$319.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Bigger audio
output channels
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
$350.00
$159 cheaper
Better
Goodhousekeepin
g.co.uk review
score
VS
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Sonos
Playbase
$509.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Eight more
awards
Much better
expert reviews
loading image
Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,996.00
Bigger audio
output channels
VS
loading image
LG
SK10Y
$719.20
$1,277 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Four more
awards
loading image
Bose
SoundTouch 300
$350.00
3 Expert Review
Sites Gave It a
Higher Review
Score
VS
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Sonos
Beam
$299.00
$51 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
22 months newer
loading image
LG
SK10Y
$719.20
Four more
awards
Better brand
Better
Goodhousekeepin
g.co.uk review
score
VS
loading image
Bose
Soundbar 500
$445.50
$274 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
8.1 channels
channels
All Soundbar Comparisons

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QHow do soundbars connect to my TV?
ASoundbars normally use a standard 3.5mm audio jack - almost all TVs should have support for this. Some soundbars may also have bluetooth support for streaming audio.
QIs a subwoofer necessary for soundbar use?
ANo - a soundbar will work perfectly fine without a separate subwoofer. They are designed to augment the bass tones of the soundbar, but aren't a necessity.

Soundbar Buying Guide

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A soundbar is a type of speaker designed to plug into a television and serve as a sound system for the device. Most soundbars are more powerful and better configured than the speakers built into TV sets, so a soundbar is a good way of improving the audio quality of your TV setup.

Soundbars are usually designed as long rectangles that can be placed directly under your TV screen, though some designers have experimented with other designs - including larger box-shaped designed that can double as a stand for the whole TV. These alternate designs are few and far between however - most are a simple rectangle, making them unobtrusive and easy to fit alongside your current TV setup.

It’s worth noting that a soundbar may be a necessity for more modern televisions - ultra-thin OLED TVs are so thin that they cannot fit any speakers into the unit, so have to rely on an external soundbar for all audio.

Subwoofer

While most soundbars comprise of just the bar itself, others come packaged with a separate subwoofer unit. This is a loudspeaker designed specifically for bass frequencies, meaning it will augment the standard soundbar and provide substantially more powerful bass notes. This boosts the overall sound quality of the TV, and is especially good if you watch a lot of action-heavy blockbusters, since the explosions and gunshots will have a lot more presence.

Some soundbars have a separate remote control, but many simply use the volume control from your standard TV remote, and run any signal from your remote to the soundbar itself. This makes using the device extremely easy - all you have to do is plug it in and continue using your TV as normal!

Wireless Streaming

The majority of soundbars are designed to be plugged in directly to the TV, rather than using a wireless connection. This is minimise any delay in the audio - wireless connections can generate a very slight delay while the data is sent from the TV to the soundbar, meaning that the video and audio signals the TV could drop out of sync. Wired connections have no such delay, meaning the video and audio will always be perfectly in sync.

Many soundbars do have wireless capabilities, but they are instead used for streaming audio from your phone/tablet/etc. Because there is no video signal, the small delay doesn’t really matter. This means that as well as TV audio, soundbars can also be used for music on demand, making them great for parties or just relaxing with your favourite music!

Simulated Surround Sound

Traditionally surround sound works by having multiple speakers (usually 5-7) arranged in such a way as to give the audio a sense of depth and 3 dimensions in order to increase immersion when watching films or playing video games.

Since soundbars only have a single speaker, they are not capable of true surround sound - however some newer soundbars have a method of simulating surround sound. They do this using a trick called ‘binaural audio’, which carefully directs sound to the left or right channels in order to simulate a 3D effect without extra speakers. You can hear an example of binaural audio here - Virtual Barber Shop

Generally only the higher-end soundbars have the is capability, but if you can afford the expenditure, you will gain a far more immersive audio quality from your movies and video games.

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Soundbar Retailers, Prices and Features

Soundbar Prices

The price range of soundbars is from $20 to $2,346 and in total we found prices for 116 soundbars. The average price of a new soundbar is $345 and the 80% of soundbars are priced between $80 and $680. The Lenovo 0A36190 is the cheapest soundbar at only $20, and Sony HT-ST5000 is the most expensive at $2,346.

Soundbar Brands - Price Range

The highest average soundbar price out of all brands is Dali soundbars with an average price of $899. Dali soundbars start at $899 and their most expensive soundbar costs $899.

Naim soundbars start at $899 and their most expensive soundbar costs $899. The average price of Naim soundbars is $899 which is the second highest average price of all soundbar brands.

Harman Kardon soundbars range in price from $380 to $1,200, and the third highest average soundbar price out of all brands is Harman Kardon soundbars with an average price of $660.

Soundbar Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 1,063 expert reviews and 415 user reviews for soundbars and used this data to calculate the average rating for each brand of soundbar. The top rated soundbar brand is LG with an average rating of 72%. The second best brand is Yamaha with 71% and the third best brand is Panasonic with 66%.

Biggest Soundbar Retailers

The biggest soundbar retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 101 current soundbar offers from eBay. The second biggest retailer is Adorama with 21 offers. That means eBay is over 4 times bigger than Adorama when it comes to soundbars. Walmart is the third biggest retailer with 20 current offers.

When Are Most New Soundbars Released?

March to May is the most common period for new soundbars to be released in. If you wait until March 2020 then you might be able to get better features on your soundbar. It's also worth keeping in mind that the price of the current soundbars tend to drop off when the next models are released. Last year most new soundbars were released in March, with nine new soundbars released that month. 17 new soundbars were released in November 2018 making it the biggest month that year for new soundbar releases. In May 2017, 42 new soundbars were released making it the biggest month that year for new soundbar releases.

How Fast Do Soundbar Prices Drop After Release?

On average soundbars drop in price by 14% in the first 6 months after release.

That means a saving of $50 on a typical $345 new soundbar if you wait 6 months before buying.

Audio Output

'Audio Output' denotes the number of individual channels for the soundbar to use. Specific sounds and parts of the screen are assigned to individual channels, allowing the soundbar to simulate surround sound and create a deeper audio depth.

The most common audio output amongst new soundbars is 2.1 channels. We found 173 soundbars that are 2.1 channels soundbars. We found 66 soundbars that are 2 channels soundbars, making 2 channels the second most common audio output amongst new soundbars.

More channels mean that the sound will be more spread across the channels, leading to a richer surround sound 'effect'.

Bluetooth

Whether the sounder has support for wireless Bluetooth connections or not.

The vast majority of the 388 new soundbars currently listed on Kagoo are soundbars which support Bluetooth. 362 out of 388 are soundbars which support Bluetooth.

Bluetooth support allows you to stream music from your phone or laptop directly to the soundbar, without the need for wires.

Subwoofer Included

Whether the soundbar includes a subwoofer, which is a loudspeaker for low frequencies (bass sounds).

The vast majority of the 388 new soundbars currently listed on Kagoo are soundbars with a subwoofer included. 260 soundbars (67%) are soundbars with a subwoofer included.

A subwoofer boosts the bass quality of the soundbar, allowing it to have far more powerful bass than would otherwise be possible.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Soundbars?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying soundbars. For each retailer it shows the total number of soundbars where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying soundbars. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was eBay. 90 of their soundbar prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Soundbars for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for soundbars by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of soundbar prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's soundbar prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was eBay. 89.1% of their soundbar prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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