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Best soundbars and audio gear for the big game 2021

Upgrade your audio system for football's biggest contest.

You may have bought yourself a TV to watch the the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the picture is only half of the story. Compared to the cruddy speakers in a TV, a soundbar or full-fledged speaker system makes sporting events both more exciting and easier to track -- and you don't need to spend much at all.

Systems start around $100 with features like Bluetooth streaming audio and HDMI, while the more expensive systems add Dolby Atmos decoding and 4K video switching. No matter your budget, you can find something to heighten your football experience. Then, when the big game is over, our picks continue to sound good with everything you throw at them.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Soundbars with onboard streamers are relatively new, but the Roku Streambar is the best so far, with excellent sound for a bargain price. It will let you watch the game on the CBS Sports app while bringing the all-important dialogue to the fore. Just add a 4K TV.

Read our Roku Streambar review.

 

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

If you want better sound than the Roku, the Polk Signa S3 offers superlative audio performance helped along by a potent, wireless subwoofer. This soundbar offers the best of both worlds -- great dialogue during the game, and excellent musical performance for the half-time show.

Read our Polk Signa S3 review.

 

Ty.Pendlebury

The crowd may be smaller this year -- an estimated 22,000 people -- but you still want to be able to hear the supporters holler during the critical plays. The Sony HT-G700 offers the envelopment of a roaring stadium with just a single speaker due to its excellent surround-sound engine. It will even do a decent job at Dolby Atmos soundtracks, too.

Read our Sony HT-G700 review.

 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Say you already have a stereo amp or receiver and want to upgrade your main speakers? Improving your system's sound quality doesn't come more affordable than the amazing Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2. It will lift veils from your existing system's dialogue and breathe new life into music. Don't miss that play again!

Read our Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 review.

 

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

If you want the full surround-sound sporting experience, then you'll want actual rear speakers. The Vizio Elevate soundbar includes rears and a subwoofer, offers excellent sound and a bunch of useful features, including a nifty revolving speaker for Dolby Atmos effects.

Read our Vizio Elevate P514A-H6 review.

 

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