How to Choose a Soundbar for Home Use

All You Need to Know Before Buying a Soundbar

If you look at the current crop of television sets, you will immediately realize one thing. The quality of video has been considerably improved. Manufacturers are also working towards making the TVs as slim as possible. All these are excellent additions but they have come at a price. Reduced sound quality. Which means you will have to resort to third-party devices to boost your sound system. One of these devices is the soundbar.

#PreviewNameOutput levelSub-WooferWired-ConnectionBluetoothDetails
1Pyle PSBV200 3D300WBuilt-inRCA & Aux audio jacksyes
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2AmazonBasics Soundbar36WBuilt-inAux, RCA & Opticalyes
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3Tao Tronics Soundbar40WN/ARCA & Opticalyes
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4Bose Solo 530WBuilt-inAux, RCA & Opticalyes
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5Yamaha YAS-107BL120WDual Built-inHDMI, optical & Aux cablesyes
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#1
Preview
NamePyle PSBV200 3D
Output level300W
Sub-WooferBuilt-in
Wired-ConnectionRCA & Aux audio jacks
Bluetoothyes
Details
Check Price
#2
Preview
NameAmazonBasics Soundbar
Output level36W
Sub-WooferBuilt-in
Wired-ConnectionAux, RCA & Optical
Bluetoothyes
Details
Check Price
#3
Preview
NameTao Tronics Soundbar
Output level40W
Sub-WooferN/A
Wired-ConnectionRCA & Optical
Bluetoothyes
Details
Check Price
#4
Preview
NameBose Solo 5
Output level30W
Sub-WooferBuilt-in
Wired-ConnectionAux, RCA & Optical
Bluetoothyes
Details
Check Price
#5
Preview
NameYamaha YAS-107BL
Output level120W
Sub-WooferDual Built-in
Wired-ConnectionHDMI, optical & Aux cables
Bluetoothyes
Details
Check Price

Last Update on 2020-11-26 at 05:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is a Soundbar?

Soundbars Buying Guide

A soundbar is a slim, low profile speaker system that will significantly improve your television’s sound quality thanks to its long design that enables it to house more sound drivers inside. But there are so many soundbars available for sale that it will be really hard to settle on one if you really don’t know what to look for. There are so many factors that define a great soundbar and that’s precisely what we will be tackling in this post.

What to Consider When Buying a Soundbar

  • Subwoofer – Any soundbar you choose will be a significant boost to the TV sound but the same cannot be said about the bass. If you are looking to add that extra punch for a booming sound then ensure that the soundbar comes with a subwoofer. This can either be wireless or in-built.
  • Connections – Which options are available to link the soundbar to your audio sources? Most soundbars come with RCA and optical cables but the addition of HDMI functionality is a welcome feature that will give you better quality sound due to the many audio formats compatible with the HDMI. In case your TV is lacking these ports then a simple auxiliary cable will do. Also, check for wireless connections that enable you to link your smartphone or laptop to the soundbar. This can either be through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections.
  • No of channels – Ever come across numbers like 2.0 or 5.1 when looking for a soundbar and wondered what it means? Well, the first number indicates the number of channels/drivers while the second number indicates whether or not it has a subwoofer. (1) Stands for subwoofer present while (0) means absent. If there is a third number say 5.1.3, it indicates the number of drivers that support Dolby Atmos Surround sound. A technology that enables the soundbar to simulate the surround sound of a real home theatre.
  • Size and general outlook of the soundbar – The soundbar is meant to be placed somewhere in front of the TV or mounted on the wall. Therefore for a balanced look, it is recommended that the soundbar is not wider than the TV. But this is subjective and you can pair your TV with any soundbar as long as the connection is right.
  • Ease of use – How convenient will it be to control your soundbar. A remote will greatly simplify the work for you but it would still be nice if the soundbar has on-bar buttons that you can use in case the remote is not working.

To help you out more with this whole process we have also addressed some of the most common questions that both buyers and users ask.

Can I add more speakers to the soundbar?

Yes but mostly no.  I will explain. The only time you can add another speaker on the soundbar is if it has a multi-room sound capability in which case the extra speakers will be used to service your other rooms. But new sound bars are coming out that include extra speakers in the packaging.

Can I add a subwoofer to the soundbar?

Yes. Some of the soundbars come with wireless subwoofers but for those that don’t, they include a port where you can connect another subwoofer to compliment the inbuilt subwoofer.

Do I need a receiver for the soundbar?

It depends on whether you buy a passive or active soundbar. Active means that the soundbar has an inbuilt amplifier to power everything and channel processors to distribute the sound to various drivers. However, for the passive soundbar, you need a receiver or amplifier.

What is Virtual sound surround?

You will probably come across this term as one of the features of a particular soundbar. It basically means the soundbar has the ability to imitate an actual home theatre surround sound. It does not match up to it entirely but you will notice a difference from the normal stereo sound.

Can the sound bar be used as a centre speaker?

Yes, you can but it’s not recommended for one good reason. The soundbar is built to serve as a complete audio channel and not a centre speaker. Which also makes it considerably pricier than a standard centre speaker.

What brand should I buy?

Good question. You definitely need a quality soundbar that will not disappoint. The table below gives you a preview of the best soundbar in the market right now. To learn more about the soundbars we recommend reading the full review (here) where we list all their features and some of their shortcomings

Final Thought

In the current times we are living, the question you should be asking yourself is not whether you need to buy a soundbar but rather which type of soundbar you should buy. Because if you are still relying on your TV speaker you are actually missing a lot. We have given you all the facts you need to consider and it’s now up to you to choose the best soundbar for your TV. And it’s actually not going to be a difficult job since we have narrowed down the list to the top 5 soundbars you can buy in this (post)

Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.