Sound bars are a great way to increase your TV’s default sound. No matter how great of a TV you buy, the focus is on the screen more than anything. Speakers are typically crammed in and are very limited in their capabilities, especially at high volumes.
While sound bars aren’t replacements for home theater systems, they’re cheaper, easy to set up, and don’t take up much space. They’re even better when you have a hanging TV.
We scraped Amazon’s user reviews to find the top-rated sound bars with at least 100 reviews. Here’s what we found.
1. ZVOX Soundbase 330 24″ Sound Bar with AccuVoice Hearing Aid Technology – 30-Day Home Trial ($199)
Rating: 4.8 stars
The ZVOX Soundbase is the sound bar I use on my bedroom TV. It’s a very basic and small speaker, but it does exactly what it says it does. It focuses on the vocal range of the human voice and has an AccuVoice vocal boost button and a surround sound button to get the perfect soundscape for whatever you’re watching. It’s definitely not a typical “bar,” but that’s not a bad thing.
This is an excellent sound base and has great audio. This is not an audiophile quality sound system, but it comes close. Perfect for what I need in a small room. Not quite 5.1 sound, but it does a good job trying. Definitely worth the money and much better than just using the TV. Music sounds decent and fills the room. Movies are much more entertaining with this, TV shows are better, and sports are great. The bass is superb. Clear voice is excellent and sound leveling works as it should. The only room for improvement would be better sound parameterization. The low and high level adjustments are crude and an equalizer would allow for much better sound potential. There are only three “surround” settings, and the difference between the three are minor. I prefer greater control over sound environments. Also, the remote control is very basic, and no lights. I use my cable remote instead, but have to switch between sources to control the ZVOX. This is an annoyance. The material construction seems sturdy and it fits in with room décor. Supports my TV and cable box and fits perfectly on my credenza. Overall, I am pleased with the ZVOX and the value. Definitely not a replacement for a receiver and true surround, but an acceptable substitute.
Out of the box and set-up, but the unit would not even turn on. Tried many more times over the next 48 hours with no luck. A few days later it suddenly turned on. The next day the unit would not power up. Subsequently it began to work again. I tried unplugging and a minute later re-plugging and it worked. An hour later it failed again. Very disappointed, because when it worked it really made a difference.
2. GooDee 30-Inch Home Theater 60 Watt Sound Bar for TV ($69)
Rating: 4.7 stars
This sound bar has a very descriptive title, and it has a host of connectivity features, including Bluetooth 5.2, optical, RCA, and Aux. At $70, it’s also the cheapest sound bar on this list.
This is my review of the 30-Inch Home Theater Soundbar by GooDee.
This sound bar is a mid-tier audio component that provides a substantial audio boost for a
variety of sources. There are four connection options, of which I was able to test three.
All three worked well, without issue. Included in the packaging is a fibre optic cable,
which I was surprised to see, but is appreciated as not many people, myself included, have
this type of cable at hand.
The quality is slightly above average, not impressed, but not surprised either.
I was able to connect my Samsung TV to the sound bar via fibre-optic cable, and an
auxiliary cable. Both connections produced good sound with little distortion.
The blue tooth was nice. I was able to stream online music via my cell-phone without
any issues. The included remote can be used to raise/lower the volume in the
phone’s app, and skip songs too. This was really nice.
– Connection Options
– Sound boost
– Sound quality
– Included cables & remote
– 2 channel for the price
– Cross communication with Verizon FiOS’s remote’s channel up/down and sound bars volume.
There is much to like about this soundbar; it is my first one. The versatility is nice, the
sound is good and fills the rooms with ease. I was hoping this item would help with the
annoying problem in movies where speach is too low, and sound fx are too high. Perhaps if this
were a 5.0 channel with volume balancing it would be a killer product. As a sound bar, it
is a utility level product, which is nice, because I wasn’t looking to spend $100s for a complete
sound system. Multiple inputs, mean you can have several sources connected simultaneously, and
all you need to do is use the remote to switch between inputs. Today, we are regularly using this
to round out the audio experience in TV, music, and movies. For its product class, this
sound bar is recommended.
Final Thought: I don’t understand why Amazon has an “expert setup” option, this is not required.
Fair Use: I have a couple short snippets of Motely Crue, and a short video clip of Lord Of The Rings.
These were used for product demonstration purposes only. Please let me know if I need to take these
content clips out for any reason. It is my understanding that I am within reasonable limits
Why all the great reviews? This by no means an impressive sounding speaker. I bought this for my wife and I so we could hear the TV better than just the speakers that are in the TV. So dissatisfied sound is very muted and not crisp. The speakers in our TV sounds much better. Most likely returning this overpriced speaker. And it’s not 30 inches.
3. Wohome 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar w/ Built-in Subwoofer ($90)
Rating: 4.6 stars
This 80W sound bar has 4 drivers and can output 105dB of surround sound. It’s a 38-inch speaker with Bluetooth 4.0, RCA, AUX, Coax, and optical connections.
The only negative about this soundbar, is that it has a default volume, it does not remember the last volume I set after I turn off.
After spending several hours researching and testing a new batch of soundbars, I am confident that this has a good sound and bass. The build-in subwoofer delivers a clean, dynamic, well-balanced sound. The remote is to easy use with 3 pre-set mix to meet the common mid-way for dialogue on TV, cinematic movie setting or bass for music. The Bluetooth music streaming complete the package for me, for getting local radio from iPhone via Tune-In. The blue LED indicator lights up when Bluetooth is in used.
I have a TCL TV, it detects the digital optical audio cable, and plays out without having to change any setting. The white LED indicator lights up when digital optical audio is in used. The TV remote powers on the TV and soundbar at the same time, as shown on my demo video. I did a stereo test and they came out well.
If you are trying to decide between Wohome Model S18 120 watts TV Soundbar 5. 5 inch external subwoofer to this model, I personally prefer this model sound and setup. It is compact and yet produce a full sound.
Works perfect as described, and if the price is right, this may be for you. Recommended. I will update this review if needed to share more experiences and therefore a frame of reference. If you found this extra video useful, please take a moment to click YES below. Thanks.
Bought 2 of these units for 2 new Samsung TV’s and neither one worked. Of the 3 methods to connect, the RCA plugs and AUX connections got nothing, and the Optical connection did not work following the enclosed instructions. This method requires changing the “source” settings on the TV, and the soundbar is supposed to switch over to the optical mode as indicated by the ‘red’ LED changing to ‘white’. This never happened. After trying both soundbars with both TV’s, it was time to return them.
4. ZVOX SB440 Sound Bar TV Speaker with AccuVoice Hearing Aid Technology ($219)
Rating: 4.6 stars
This sound bar connects via optical or coaxial cable and is very sparse with the specs.
My parents had been complaining that they were having trouble discerning the dialog when people were speaking on TV shows and I’d tried adjusting all the speaker settings on the TV itself. My Dad had heard about a speaker bar that has hearing aid technology, so I decided to look into it. I decided to move up from the 220 model due to some poor reviews and only being a nineteen buck difference. My parents report that the speaker has made a big difference in their ability to hear what people are saying especially when there’s any background music or other noise. The AccuVoice setting helps elevate the speech from the background and the general sound is just so much better than the TV speakers on their Panasonic plasma. The setup was quite easy as you just have to follow the instructions to put the speaker into learning mode and it will learn the signals that your TV remote uses to change volume and power your TV on and off. This allowed me to turn off the TV speakers in the TV settings and they just use their cable remote to control the volume on the new speaker. The speaker powers on and off with the same signal as the TV so it’s not running when it’s not being used.
For the first few minutes the zvox soun base worked great and the audio was clear as advertised. However, after 5-10 minutes there was pop and then continuous screeching. Upon stopping and restarting, the same thing happened multiple times. I called customer service and they seemed to know about the problem and said they would send me a return label and a working unit. After 2 emails and several days, they didn’t respond. I returned the first one to amazon and bought another. The same thing happened with this one and I returned it. I can’t advise buying this product. There is clear a defective part which they are aware of and are using their customers to find the bad units which seem to be quite frequent.
5. ZVOX AccuVoice AV200 Sound Bar TV Speaker with Hearing Aid Technology ($179)
Rating: 4.5 stars
This sound bar connects via optical or coaxial cable and is very sparse with the specs.
It seems that more and more TV shows are using foreign stars that love to mumble – either that or I am just getting older. After spending a year trying to understand Jonny Lee Miller’s version of Sherlock Holmes, Lie to Me, every Marvel movie ever made, and constantly having to resort to either turning the volume waaaaay up or using closed captions (which I hate as it distracts from the action) I finally ran across this wonderful box. It was easy to hook up to the optical out (cable included!) and the remote is very easy to figure out. But best of all – it works extremely well!!! I can finally fully understand Jonny and all of the other mumblers on TV again. My wife loves it because she doesn’t have to listen to the TV at 75% volume anymore. I set the AccuVoice speaker to 9 or 10 and it provides just the right amount of voice clarity to mix perfectly with the TV at 35% volume. As a note – I was an audio engineer by trade for 20 + years and spent quite a bit of time on the audio settings of my TV including tweaking treble, bass, mids, ClearVoice, surround, etc. I also tried two major name sound bars which did not help at all and my wife hated both of them. I wasn’t a fan either. This box actually does what it says – it makes the voice clearer. It isn’t a sound bar with hyped up fake surround and nasty artifacts. It isn’t a simple speaker that just makes the sound louder. It amplifies and clarifies the voice portion of the audio. If you are like me – 54 years old with ears that still work but could use some help – this box will be a wonderful thing for you. Think of it as +2.0 reading glasses for the ears!
I ordered an AccuVoice AV200 speaker from Amazon on Jan. 2, 2017. Received it two weeks later. It worked great for twenty minutes, then it began to make loud popping and static noises. I shut it off for a short time and checked all the connections to ensure I had properly set it up. Turned it on again and it worked fine — for 20-25 minutes until the popping and static occurred again. This happened a few more times until I finally boxed it up to send back. I contacted the company, ZVOX, directly who informed me they were having a problem with some of the speakers which had been sent out in early January. They suggested I return it directly to them and they would replace it. They sent out a replacement speaker, which they claimed had been pre-tested, one week after receiving the original speaker from me. The replacement speaker worked fine the first night I used it. The next night it began making the same popping and static noise after it had been on for an hour. It would be okay if I shut it off completely and turned it on again, however the noise returned again after another one to two hours of use. This happened repeatedly.
The voice clarifying technology works great when the speaker actually works. Unfortunately, the speakers seem to be defective and don’t work for very long before they become static machines. I am returning my second speaker to Amazon today for a full refund.
6. TaoTronics Three Equalizer Mode Audio Speaker for TV, 32-Inch ($66)
Rating: 4.5 stars
This sound bar has Bluetooth 4.2, optical, Aux, RCA, and a remote control. It’s easily wall mounted.
I’ve bought the 24in soundbar from Tao tronics and I’ve enjoyed it but this soundbar took everything to the next level! I place this one in my living room with my bigger tv in order to fix the issue where the sound from the tv shoots out from behind to the sides instead of forward which it makes it hard to hear. This sound bar fixes everything! The sound shoots forward (obviously) but it also practically engulfs you for a surreal sound experience which is freaking amazing! Did not expect I would get such a surreal experience just from a soundbar alone. The soundbar is made from wood it seems like which makes this soundbar of great quality. Definitely does not feel cheap at all. It has three modes to choose from depending on what you’re listening to you can switch between music, games, or movies and it will adjust the sound to give you a better experience. Every movement can be heard clearly with this and even though there is lots of bass it doesn’t sound muddy at all. The highs don’t sound screechy with this either. This was also incredibly easy to set up. My father who is definitely not a tech genius was able to set the soundbar up and connect his phone via Bluetooth in about ten minutes. (Though he was only able to set up the soundbar so it turns on but couldn’t figure out how to connect the soundbar to the tv so he only set it up half way but you get my point.) there’s only three cables to connect in order to be fully set up so it usually takes less than five minutes. You can also mount the soundbar it comes with the pieces included to mount it on the wall but I havent tried it as I have no need for it. Honestly I don’t think you can really go wrong with any Tao tronics soundbar.
Was a very easy install which for a woman who is electronically challenged, that’s a great selling point! Once it was set up, it was great to have sound that was clear, loud and that we could actually hear again (vs. a TV that had been going out for a while!). Why then the 1 star rating? It didn’t even last 1 week! Was working in the morning one day and that afternoon, it wasn’t. Went to watch TV, was off and couldn’t get it turned on (and we hadn’t turned it off, no power surges as I had been home all day, beautiful day – no rain, nothing). Tried everything to get it to work to no avail. Guess you get what you pay for. Returned and am upgrading to more expensive model this time.
7. WoHome S28 38″ 6 Driver ($110)
Rating: 4.5 stars
This 38-inch sound bar has Bluetooth 4.2, optical, Aux, RCA, and a remote control. It’s easily wall mounted.
I’m a music lover and can easily judge voice quality of sounds bars, headphones, speakers. Mainly sounds bars have problem of matching volume range with inbuilt woofers and external devices, but this one is amazing, I didn’t get any problem with my external speakers and also added additional woofers. All beats increases in proportion with bass, treble when you increase volume. Dual Woofers are amazing quality. If you play 8D music it will be like you are running a DJ system. And it’s designed with DSP technology which increases the overall value of hearing. DSP is digital signal processing which is used for digital processing. Mostly i use it with my laptop because i have tons of DJ software’s on it but it gives good quality with TV and smartphone as well. I didn’t tried but it’s mentioned that wireless works up to 30 feet.
Unit doesnt always connect to tv threw fiber cable, when it does only stays on for 5-10 min then cuts out .you have to turn unit on and off to reconnect..repeat process…great sound when working but all around bad experience. Spend the money and buy a samsung or sony
8. WoHome S9920 40″ ($110)
Rating: 4.4 stars
This 40-inch sound bar has Bluetooth 4.2, optical, Aux, RCA, and a remote control. It’s easily wall mounted.
We purchased this Wohome Wireless Audio Soundbar for our guest room so our guests can enjoy music and movie when they’re staying at our place. We prefer something that supports various inputs (especially Bluetooth so guests can pair with their own devices) and more powerful than those small portable BT speakers.
The package includes one Wohome soundbar, one Remote control, User’s guide, one Digital optical cable, Stereo RCA to 3.5mm audio cable, one Power adapter, two Wall mount brackets, Mount screws and Wall mount template. The speaker is rated at 80W, which is enough for a mid to large size room and the frequency response covers 40HZ-20K HZ. Although it doesn’t cover all the way to very low frequency, it’s good enough for mid and high range sounds. There are 4 full-range speakers and 2 Tweeters inside. I like that there are a lot of audio inputs available and Wohome has decided to include the necessary cables in the package. The inputs available are optical, coax, RCA (L & R channels), 3.5mm input, and USB. Optical cable is used pretty often in HDTV, receivers, computers, and video game consoles, while RCA and 3.5mm inputs cover a wide range of devices, such as smart phones, mp3 players, older TV, laptops..etc. The best part is that this soundbar also supports BT wireless audio streaming, while the remote control has multimedia controls to control the remote devices (Play/Pause, Next/Prev Tracks).
The pairing procedure is fairly simple but the BT radio has to be activated through the remote (not hardware keys on the speak). The device name is called “S9220” and the soundbar will have a notification tone when BT is turned ON to pair. Once paired, the device works just like any regular BT speakers but much more powerful (80W) and much better quality sounds. So far we have tried to use the soundbar to listen to music and watch movies with our projector. We like the sound quality a lot and also how easy it is to setup the soundbar with other devices. If you are looking for an audio system with good sound quality and would only occupy a small space, give this Wohome soundbar a try and it should work for you.
Was super excited to get this sound bar. After I hooked it up, and put it in place, I realized the end was smashed. Not sure if this was the fault of Amazon, Wohome, or UPS. Hook up was easy with the optical cable. It does sound great, for the price. Kinda a bummer that I have to have, yet another, remote. Hooked up to my phone via Bluetooth with no problem. I am sending it back, and purchasing the item again. I will change my review when the replacement comes.
After my initial review, Wohome contacted me, and (very) promptly, sent a new unit to me, within 2 days! However, the new bar doesn’t work. When I 1st hooked it up, It worked great, and I was happy! When I sat down later that day to watch tv, all it did was crackle a bit, then nothing at all. So, it worked for about 10 minutes. Not very cost efficient!
Update – 7/30/18
I disconnected the optical cable, turned the main power off, hooked up the optical cable, then turned the unit back on, and it worked when I watched a movie that night. The next day, it worked via Bluetooth, all day! When I sat down later that night to watch a movie, I used the remote to switch it to optical from Bluetooth, and it no longer worked. Wohome has been in contact with me the entire time, offering suggestions to get it to work. They even offered to ship a 3rd unit to me, if the 2nd didn’t work. I told them I was done and I just wanted to ship this one back, as I gave up, and bought a different brand. Great customer service. Just a lacking product.
9. BYL Soundbar 28″ 6 Driver ($70)
Rating: 4.4 stars
This 28-inch sound bar has Bluetooth 5.0 optical, Aux, RCA, and a remote control. It’s easily wall mounted.
Got 2 sound bars for a bedroom and a kitchen setup. Almost got 2 of the same but I thought comparing 2 of them would decide which goes where. The other one is a BlitzWolf Smart Sound bar (36 Inch 60W 2.0 Channel). I’ll review that over at that page later.
Packaging was spot on and even though it did not come in a separate box, it would have had to been used in the Home Run Derby to damage it. Comes with an optical cable (nice) an RCA to Aux hookup, a remote, power supply, and paperwork. The remote takes 2 AAA batteries, and it did not come with them. I actually appreciate that because I never use those things anyway and just have to recycle them. Worth mentioning though in case you are AAA battery deprived cuz you will need the remote.
Controls are easily accessed through the remote or on the side. Remote has separate Bass and Treble volume controls, Master volume controls, Source selections, and an equalizer function with 3 options – Movie, Music, and Dialog. Range was impressive for the remote, it even worked thru the TV screen.
For a sound test I just used the Aux input with sound from my computer thru a Sound Blaster. For range I listened to Link Way’s ‘Rumble’ (50’s Rock n’ Roll), Journey’s ‘I’ll Be Alright Without You’ to cover pop, Filter’s ‘Nice Shot Man’ for some head banging rock, and of course Bach’s Toccata and Fugue for some Classical.
So, 1st off the Bass that this thing can generate is awesome. I’ve heard a lot of small speakers that say they have great bass. If their idea of great bass is loud muddled garbage then they deliver. The bass this speaker generates is clean, pure, and a pleasure to listen to. After listening to this I gotta wonder why more manufacturers aren’t doing this. I know it uses Bass Reflex Ports but that is old tech. They are doing something that I can’t figure out without taking it apart. I can live w/o knowing for now.
I messed around with the 3 EQ settings and they seem to work OK, but the Dialog setting would be great for someone that has a hearing defecincy. And even if that was too much for someone, the separte Treb and Bass controls make adjusting this to almost anyone’s taste a breeze.
Lastly, the volume should satisfy anyone. I could see this working outside on a patio for a party, etc. It really does that well. I’ll bet if you did use this at a party you’d have people coming up to check it out. I’m pretty sure I would! Plus since it’s BT capable, anyone with some of their favorite tunes on their phone could try it out. If you decide to get one of these, I think you’ve picked a winner! I may even get another one for traveling…..
Installed this sound bar(BYL 28 inch) and it stopped working after an hour. When I plugged it in and heard the sound, I was really pleased with the sound quality. It was loud, clear, and had great bass. Everything worked perfect on it, good sound from the TV and Bluetooth sounded great too. But then after about an hour I couldn’t get sound out of it through any source even though it powered up and looked like it should be working. I even tried to leave it unplugged for a few days to try and reset it. Nothing. Don’t waste your time with this one. Pay attention to the other reviews that report the same issue!
10. Vizio SB3621n-E8M 36″ 2.1 Sound Bar System ($150)
Rating: 4.4 stars
This 36-inch sound bar has Bluetooth and provides 100 dB of sound.
Let me start by saying I am far from an audiophile. This review is basically from a novice audio perspective so would best reflect how an average consumer would like this product.
I’ve had this soundbar since February. Over that time I have really grown to enjoy the soundbar more and more. If you are watching general TV shows, say HGTV, the audio quality will not be as immediately noticeable. However, if watching a movie or a TV show with higher audio quality, this soundbar shines. I think the sub really adds to the immersive feel, and it does sound like actual surround sound at times even though this is 2.1. The sub really reverberates at times and I have to turn the volume down to not disturb neighbors in my apartment. I think for the money this is an excellent soundbar. The more I’ve gotten used to it, the more I notice how much it enhances my audio quality. Movies really sound fantastic on it.
Installation was relatively easy. Everything was pretty straightforward and it comes with a couple cable options so you can choose which you prefer. However you may need to go into you TV settings and make sure you set the audio to come through the soundbar. I also use an Apple TV and had to change those settings to the soundbar as well. I had a syncing issue when using my DVD player, and eventually by directly plugging the digital cable from the soundbar to the DVD player got it to sync up. Aside from those quibbles the soundbar works well. I also like the design of the soundbar and the remote control is decent. You can adjust some of the settings (treble, bass) to your liking, but I ended up just going back to the default settings. Overall I am really satisfied with this purchase and would recommend it to someone who wants a better audio system but not to spend an outrageous sum on it.
I bought this Sound Bar simply because of the reputation and my experience with Vizio products over the years; i.e., three (3) HDTVs, two (2) Blu-ray players, two (2) older sound bars, and their Bluetooth headset (which continues to be the best sounding and most comfortable headset I have ever owned.
However, this new sound bar, made in China is, well, basically, crap. It is a pain to setup, with cables that are either too short or too long—the optical audio cable is shorter than a soda straw. Useless. Once powered up, the Energy Saver features shuts off the bar within minutes of inactivity. One can barely get the blu-ray player fired up and the sound bar goes to sleep.
Once one is fortunate to have everything up and running the sound bar cannot find the input source; either by the automatic search or manual selection. It fails to find a source on nine (9) out of ten (10) blu-rays from the Sony player connected by the digital sound cable. When it finally found the source, any pause of sound in the movie and the bar would go into the searching mode, never to find the source again.
World-class POS. Vizio ought to be ashamed of themselves for foisting this garbage on the consumer. I will be ordering a sound bar from Sony. I learned my lesson. Even great companies succumb to greed after a while and start selling garbage.