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.
The Philips HTL5120's distinctive design, low price, and immersive sound make it a tempting budget sound bar pick, although its sound quality isn't a good match for purists.
Yamaha's YSP-1400 brings the company's Digital Sound Projector technology to a budget price point, but a couple of caveats keep it from being a standout sound bar.
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.
Bowers & Wilkins Z2 ( black)
The attractively designed $400 Bowers & Wilkins Z2 wireless speaker sounds pretty good and has a built-in Lightning dock, but it doesn't quite stand out enough in a crowded market.
The Monoprice 10565 speaker system tops our longtime favorite Energy Take Classic speakers in sound quality, but they lack their stylish look.
The Pioneer SP-SB23W is the best affordable sound bar if you care about sound quality, with its outstanding sonics making up for some of its design limitations.
The Sony HT-ST7 is a visually stunning sound bar with a fine feature set, but it doesn't sound as good as you'd expect at its sky-high price.
The Sharp HT-SB60 is one of the best-performing sound bars we've tested, although its extra-long size and lack of Bluetooth will give some buyers pause.
Vizio's S4251w-B4 sports rear speakers for unparalleled home theater sonics from a sound bar, although it has some quirks.