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Compare the Best SoundbarsMay 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique soundbars rating which considers: 1,100 US prices • 2,000 expert & user reviews • 420 product comparisons • 200 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Subwoofer Included
Bluetooth
Audio Output
Release Date
#1
 Compare  Shortlisted
AVerMedia logo

AVerMedia SonicBlast GS333

9 Reviews
xfastest.com - Editor's Choice

$149.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Oct 2017
#2
 Compare  Shortlisted
LG logo

LG SK10Y

29 Reviews
altomdata.dk - RecommendedM3.idg.se - Recommendedavforums.com - Recommendedlydogbillede.dk - Best in Test 5 Star

$497.00

Info
Info
5.1.2 channels
Info
Feb 2018
#3
 Compare  Shortlisted
LG logo

LG SK1

1 Review
Which? - Best Buy

$49.98

Info
Info
2 channels
2.0
Info
Mar 2018
#4
 Compare  Shortlisted
Sonos logo

Sonos Playbar

126 Reviews
Trusted Reviews - RecommendedPocket Lint - Editor's Choicetechgearlab.com - Editor's ChoiceExpert Reviews - Recommended

$599.99

Info
Info
3 channels
3.0
Info
Nov 2014
#5
 Compare  Shortlisted
Razer logo

Razer Leviathan

142 Reviews
techradar.com/au/ - Great Value4news.it - GoldTechradar - Great ValueExpert Reviews - Recommended

$140.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Nov 2014
#6
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400

20 Reviews
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$449.95

Info
Info
6.1 channels
Info
Mar 2019
#7
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LG SJ9

29 Reviews
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$449.00

Info
Info
5.2 channels
Info
Jan 2017
#8
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Sonos Playbase

108 Reviews
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$557.21

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Apr 2017
#9
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Audioengine B2

10 Reviews
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$199.00

Info
Info
2 channels
2.0
Info
Aug 2017
#10
 Compare  Shortlisted
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AVerMedia SonicBlast GS331

4 Reviews
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$119.00

Info
Info
2 channels
2.0
Info
Oct 2017
#11
 Compare  Shortlisted
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JBL BAR STUDIO

9 Reviews
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$109.95

Info
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(Unknown)
Info
May 2017
#12
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Sonos Beam

121 Reviews
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$355.00

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Aug 2018
#13
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Bose Soundbar 500

4 Reviews

$448.88

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Sep 2018
#14
 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SJ8

12 Reviews
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$577.99

Info
Info
4.1 channels
Info
Mar 2017
#15
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Bose Soundbar 700

2 Reviews

$699.95

Info
Info
7.1 channels
Info
Sep 2018
#16
 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SJ7

6 Reviews

$229.99

Info
Info
4.1 channels
Info
Mar 2017
#17
 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SH7

2 Reviews

$99.00

Info
Info
4.1 channels
Info
May 2016
#18
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Polk Audio SIGNAS1

1 Review
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$169.99

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Jul 2017
#19
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Polk Audio MagniFi Mini

22 Reviews
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$200.00

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Oct 2017
#20
 Compare  Shortlisted
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LG SJ2

1 Review

$123.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Jul 2016

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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 Samsung with an average rating of 81%. Compare all award winning soundbars.

Rank Brand Number of Soundbars Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Samsung Soundbars 60 $139 - $3,696
81%
6 reviews
#2
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LG Soundbars 49 $50 - $997
72%
176 reviews
#3
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Panasonic Soundbars 20 $356 - $356
45%
5 reviews
#4
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Sony Soundbars 24 $75 - $1,375

Trending Soundbar Comparisons

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Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,375.49
Subwoofer
included
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 700
$699.95
$676 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
20 months newer
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Polk Audio
MagniFi Mini
$200.00
$90 cheaper
Better brand
Six more awards
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
Newer by 10
months
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Samsung
HW-MS650
$254.00
$36 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
Better brand
15 months newer
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
$429.89
Two more awards
VS
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Samsung
HW-MS650
$254.00
$176 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
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Sonos
Beam
$355.00
$94 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
19 more awards
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 500
$448.88
Newer by one
month
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LG
SJ8
$577.99
Better Kagoo
Score
One more award
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
$288 cheaper
Better brand
17 months newer
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LG
SJ9
$449.00
$108 cheaper
3 Expert Review
Sites Gave It a
Higher Review
Score
VS
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Sonos
Playbase
$557.21
Better Kagoo
Score
Seven more
awards
Better brand
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LG
SK10Y
$497.00
$203 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Four more
awards
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 700
$699.95
Bigger audio
output channels
Newer by seven
months
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LG
SJ9
$449.00
$926 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
VS
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Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,375.49
Bigger audio
output channels
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Samsung
HW-MS650
$254.00
$101 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Subwoofer
included
VS
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Sonos
Beam
$355.00
19 more awards
Better brand
Newer by 17
months
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Yamaha
YSP-5600
$1,199.00
$176 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,375.49
Six months
newer
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LG
SK10Y
$497.00
$501 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
VS
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Samsung
HW-N850
$997.99
Hugely better
expert reviews
Better brand
Newer by eight
months
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
$429.89
$469 cheaper
One more awards
Twice as many
audio output
channels
VS
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Denon
HEOS BAR
$899.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
$429.89
$127 cheaper
Better
Goodhousekeepin
g.co.uk review
score
VS
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Sonos
Playbase
$557.21
Better Kagoo
Score
Eight more
awards
Better brand
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JBL
Cinema SB150
$115.00
$83 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Sony
HTCT290
$198.00
10 months newer
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Bose
Solo 5
$149.98
$140 cheaper
One more award
More popular
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
Better brand
loading image
Sony
HT-ST5000
$1,375.49
Bigger audio
output channels
VS
loading image
LG
SK10Y
$497.00
$878 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
loading image
Yamaha
YAS-207
$289.99
$410 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Bose
Soundbar 700
$699.95
Bigger audio
output channels
Newer by one
month
loading image
Bose
Soundbar 700
$699.95
$598 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
VS
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Samsung
HW-N950
$1,297.99
Better brand
Subwoofer
included
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

We currently list 113 soundbars ranging from $13 to $3,696. On average, a new soundbar costs $399 and 80% of soundbars are priced between $76 and $799. The DELL AX510 is the cheapest soundbar at only $14, and Samsung HWMS750 is the most expensive at $3,696.

Soundbar Brands - Price Range

The average price of Denon soundbars is $899 which is the highest average price of all soundbar brands. Denon soundbars range in price from $899 to $899.

The average price of Samsung soundbars is $844 which is the second highest average price of all soundbar brands. Samsung soundbars range in price from $139 to $3,696.

The average price of Harman Kardon soundbars is $556 which is the third highest average price of all soundbar brands. Harman Kardon soundbars range in price from $370 to $799.

Soundbar Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 1,028 expert reviews and 38 user reviews for soundbars and used this information to calculate the average rating for each brand of soundbar. Samsung is the top rated soundbar brand with an average rating of 81%. LG is the second best brand with 72% and Panasonic is the third best brand with 45%.

Biggest Soundbar Retailers

We found 109 current offers for soundbars from eBay making it the biggest soundbar retailer. That is over 3 times bigger than the second biggest retailer, Walmart for whom we found 33 current offers for soundbars. The third biggest retailer is Adorama with 26 current soundbar offers.

When Are Most New Soundbars Released?

We couldn't see any prominent pattern in the release dates for new soundbars over the last 3 years. Last year most new soundbars were released in November, with 18 new soundbars released that month. In May 2017, 45 new soundbars were released making it the biggest month that year for new soundbar releases. The biggest month in 2016 for new soundbar releases was March, with 16 new soundbars released that month.

How Fast Do Soundbar Prices Drop After Release?

On average soundbars drop in price by 12% in the first 6 months after release. That means a saving of $49 on a typical $399 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.

We found 149 soundbars that are 2.1 channels soundbars, which makes this the most popular audio output amongst new soundbars. We found 62 soundbars that are 2 channels soundbars, making 2 channels the second most frequently found 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.

Of the 342 new soundbars currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are soundbars which support Bluetooth. 320 soundbars out of 342 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 342 new soundbars currently listed on Kagoo are soundbars with a subwoofer included. 232 soundbars out of 342 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. 102 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. 93.6% of their soundbar prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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