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.

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Vizio S5451w-C2

The Vizio S5451W-C2's extra-large sound bar and surround speakers deliver standout surround sound, if you can live with the size.

Price: $338.99 - $498.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

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: $268.00 - $299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

SpeakerCraft CS3

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

Price: $299.00 - $299.99 Check prices

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.

Price: $214.95 - $329.49 Check prices

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.

Price: $249.99 - $275.74 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Philips Blu-ray Surround Base HTB3525B

The Philips HTB3525B packs Blu-ray, Smart TV, and Bluetooth into an affordable sound bar, making it a great choice if you're looking for an all-in-one system.

Price: $298.86 - $326.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

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.

Price: $359.00 - $359.99 Check prices

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.

Price: $245.00 - $249.99 Check prices

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.

Price: $299.00 - $299.00 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Klipsch SB 120 - speaker - wireless

If you favor performance over convenience and good looks, the natural and musical Klipsch SB 120 speaker stand is a decent buy.

Price: $279.00 - $499.00 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

LG LAB540W Sound Plate

The LG LAB540W SoundPlate packs Blu-ray and Smart TV functionality into an impossibly thin audio package, but you'll pay for the all-in-one convenience.

Price: $549.00 - $549.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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