Speakers:

Best sound bars of 2014

Updated

Nothing beats a full-blown home theater system, but for many people a sound bar is the best compromise between wanting better sound and not wanting an imposing home audio system. We've rounded up the best sound bars on the market, with an emphasis on low-hassle systems that sound better than they should considering their small footprint. None of these systems require a separate AV receiver and most include a wireless subwoofer or no separate subwoofer at all. If you're looking for something else, you can also check out our list of the best speakers overall.

Sony HT-XT1

Sony's HT-XT1 sound stand is packed with features, looks sleek, and sounds great, making it a no-brainer upgrade over your TV's built-in speakers.

Price: $347.06 - $449.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

SpeakerCraft CS3

The SpeakerCraft CS3 is a handsome, excellent-sounding sound bar that's well worth its lofty price.

4 stars Excellent

Vizio S4251w-B4

Vizio's S4251w-B4 sports rear speakers for unparalleled home theater sonics from a sound bar, although it has some quirks.

4 stars Excellent

Vizio S4221w-C4

The Vizio S4221w-C4 is an excellent budget sound bar, with great sound quality, an excellent remote, and built-in Bluetooth, but its design won't work in every setup.

4 stars Excellent

Bose Solo TV sound system

Although its sonic talents are comparatively modest, the Bose Solo is an exceedingly handsome and easy-to-use sound bar.

3.5 stars Very good

Zvox Z-Base 420

The Zvox Z-Base 420 offers an uncluttered look and solid sound at a budget price, but its quirks might give some buyers pause.

3.5 stars Very good

Boston Acoustics TVee One

The Boston Acoustics TVee One natural-sounding upgrade to your current TV's sound that costs considerably less than its competitors.

3.5 stars Very good