Speakers:

Best sound bars

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. And before you dive into the reviews, check out our sound bar buying tips, so you know what to look for before you browse.

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Sony HT-CT260

The Sony HT-CT260 is our go-to budget sound bar pick, with excellent sound quality, built-in Bluetooth, an adaptable design, and no major missteps.

Price: $269.96 - $305.18 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: $299.99 - $349.00 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: $260.48 - $332.95 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: $229.75 - $275.74 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Harman/Kardon SB 16

The Harman Kardon SB 16 features a premium price tag and some remote control quirks, but its excellent sound quality and exterior design make it worth the extra cash.

Price: $499.95 - $499.95 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Sharp HT-SB60

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.

Price: $359.99 - $377.74 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Atlantic Technology H-PAS PoweBar 235

It's pricey and cumbersome, but Atlantic Technology's PB-235 sound bar works near-magic by pumping deep bass without a subwoofer.

Price: $654.99 - $654.99 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 - $758.00 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: $249.00 - $249.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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