TV manufacturers continue to push what’s possible with built-in speakers, but they can only go so far in offering the best sound quality. That’s where dedicated soundbars come into play. They can provide the cinematic sound immersion you crave in the comfort of your couch. In addition to that, soundbars occupy less space and you can also avoid all the complicated wiring involved with the traditional home theatre speaker setups. And in some cases, soundbars can be a great affordable choice for traditional home theatre setups. That said, while buying soundbars you have to look for several things like their size, sound channels, wattage, connectivity, and more. This can be complicated if you’re buying them for the first time. That’s why we have created a list of the best soundbars you can currently buy on the market. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list.
Things to consider while buying soundbars
Size: The first thing to consider when buying a soundbar is to look for its size. Do you want the soundbar to be the same size as your TV? Do you prefer a bigger size soundbar because you’re prioritising sound quality above everything else? Are you going to mount the soundbar on the wall because you don’t have enough space beside the TV? Consider these questions before making a purchase decision. Buy a smaller soundbar if you don’t have enough space. Or, a bigger soundbar if you want a more powerful sound, as bigger soundbars generally have higher sound wattages.
Wattage: As discussed above, bigger wattage soundbars usually provide loud, immersive, and powerful booming sound. If you’re a frequent movie watcher and you’ve enough space for a bigger soundbar, you may want to purchase a higher wattage soundbar. Otherwise, if you’ve space constraints or just want a smaller size soundbar, you may go with a lower wattage soundbar. In addition to this, make sure the soundbar supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Audio, DTS Virtual:X, or similar surround sound format as these will provide a more immersive sound.
Connectivity: Most soundbars come with optical ports, HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC ports. What are these? Which port you should opt for if you want the best sound quality? You may have these questions, and we are here to help, below is a rundown of what these ports offer.
- Optical port: This is the most common port you’ll find on the soundbars. Optical ports can work with up to uncompressed 5.1 surround sound. This is their limit. They also don’t support any sound formats like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital and Dolby Audio. If you want something more, we recommend you go with an HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC port. It is also worth noting that HDMI ARC offers a single-cable operation, unlike the other ports.
- HDMI ARC: Put simply, HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port is the best way to connect your soundbar to your TV. However, normal HDMI ports don’t work with soundbars. To connect the soundbar to your TV, you’ll need an HDMI ARC (audio return channel) port. To look for this port on the TV, turn it back and look out for the HDMI port that says ‘ARC’ beside it. This is the port used for connecting the soundbars. ARC format supports compressed 5.1 surround sound providing you with a powerful sound experience. The HDMI ARC also supports virtually all the sound formats available including Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Audio, and more.
- HDMI eARC: The HDMI eARC port is the latest technology that offers more speed and bandwidth compared to HDMI ARC. While HDMI ARC supports up to 5.1 compressed surround sound, the HDMI eARC goes beyond this and provides up to uncompressed 7.1 surround sound audio support. eARC is also backwards-compatible with the HDMI ARC port. However, If your TV has an HDMI eARC port, we recommend you go with a soundbar that includes an HDMI eARC port, as this will ensure you get the best sound possible from your TV.
- RCA ports: If your TV doesn’t have any of the above ports, this is the last best way to connect the soundbars to your TV. RCA ports are your regular red, white, and yellow ports you find on traditional TVs. RCA ports work by transmitting analogue audio, unlike the above ports which feature digital audio transmission.
Channels: As we discussed above, soundbars come in various audio channels. You have 2.1 channel surround sound, 5.1 channel surround sound, and 7.1 channel surround sound. 2.1 channel means the soundbar has two speakers and one subwoofer. Similarly, the 5.1 soundbars have 5 speakers and one subwoofer. The same goes for 7.1 channel soundbars. While it is true that for the true surround sound experience, you generally have to go with a traditional home theatre audio setup, the recent innovations with the virtual surround sound formats like Dolby Audio and DTS Virtual:X have come a long way in providing as immersive and booming surround sound experience as possible on the modern soundbars.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity: Most modern soundbars come with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to let you connect your smartphone/laptop, so you can play music through them when the TV is turned off. If you want such functionality, ensure the soundbar has connectivity options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Best Soundbars you can buy on Amazon India
Sonos arc is hailed as one of the best soundbars you can currently buy on the market. It has a slim design profile and comes with eleven high-performance drivers that promise to produce sparkling highs, clear mids, and booming bass. You get Alexa built-in for the hands-free operation of the soundbar. With the Dolby Atmos support, you get a realistic sound reproduction that'll help you immerse yourself in movies and games. Sonos' built-in Trueplay tuning technology helps the sound adapt to your room's acoustics, letting you enjoy an audio experience that is tuned to perfection. You also get support for Apple AirPlay 2, which lets you stream music, podcasts, radio, and more. Overall, if you're in the market for a sleek and premium soundbar, you cannot go wrong with this.
The next on our list of best soundbars is Sony HT-S20R. This is one of the most affordable soundbars you can buy on Amazon India. The 5.1 channel surround sound soundbar packs rear speakers and an external subwoofer with 3-channel audio for an immersive and booming sound experience. Along with this, you also get support from Dolby Audio to make sure you get the cinematic sound you crave for. In terms of connectivity, you have Bluetooth and USB plug-and-play support. Additionally, you get HDMI ARC, and optical and analog input ports as well. The presence of HDMI ARC lets you enjoy a single-cable operation, meaning you don't have to worry about the cable clutter. There is also a remote that has a wide range of buttons to change the sound modes and wake up voice assistants when the TV is turned off. Sony HT-S20R has a total of 400W sound wattage and is a good choice for an affordable 5.1 channel soundbar.
Yamaha SR-B20A is another great affordable soundbar. Yamaha SR-B20A has a slim design profile letting you place it anywhere you want. You get built-in subwoofers for enhanced sound. The presence of DTS Virtual:X virtual surround sound ensures deep sound immersion. Additionally, the Clear Voice technology from Yamaha enhances voice clarity in movies. You get support for Bluetooth streaming that also lets you switch between two connected devices easily. There is support for HDMI and optical ports as well. You also get an optical cable included in the box. The included remote control lets you change between various audio modes, and additionally, it also lets you control the volume of the subwoofers. Users recommend the Yamaha SR-B20A soundbar for its superb sound quality and affordable price factor.
Moving on with our list, we have another affordable soundbar from Blaupunkt. Blaupunkt SBW08 is a 2.1-channel soundbar and comes with HDMI ARC compatibility, which lets you operate it with a single cable. You get Dolby Audio 3D sound that offers an immersive home theatre experience. Along with these you also get an 8-inch wired subwoofer for thumping bass. Blaupunkt SBW08 comes with rounded corners and total output power of 220 watts. Blaupunkt EQ Mode lets you choose from a range of audio modes including music mode, movie mode, and a 3D mode, so can enjoy an audio experience that suits your personal tastes. You also get a broad range of connectivity options that include HDMI ARC, optical, USB, and AUX ports, giving you the flexibility to choose ports depending on your TV. You get Bluetooth connectivity as well. Blaupunkt is known for producing excellent audio hardware, and add to that, the soundbar has affordable pricing to go with it.
boAt Aavante Bar Orion
boAt Aavante Bar Orion is an excellent value for money 2.1 channel soundbar on the market that comes with a dedicated wired subwoofer for powerful sound reproduction. It is wall-mountable and features Dynamic LED lights at both ends for a unique look. It has a 160W RMS wattage, which ensures the sound reaches every corner of the room. boAt Aavante Bar Orion has multiple connectivity options including Bluetooth, AUX, USB, optical, and HDMI (ARC) for extended flexibility. This means the sound bar is compatible with a broad range of devices, including smartphones. The soundbar also has multiple EQ modes – Music, Movies, News, and 3D – so you choose the one that suit what you're listening to. The company is also including a Master Remote Control that lets you control every aspect of the boAt Aavante Bar Orion soundbar at the click of a few buttons. You also get bass and treble buttons on the remote to let you easily customize the sound profile of the soundbar to your liking.
Sony HT-S400 2.1ch soundbar
Sony produces some of the most impressive-sounding audio hardware on the market and similar is the case with Sony HT-S400 2.1ch soundbar. This soundbar comes with an especially powerful subwoofer. With S-Force Pro Front Surround and Dolby Digital create cinematic surround sound features, this soundbar manages to deliver excellent sound quality. As far as connectivity is concerned, you can connect the soundbar to your TV with HDMI ARC or optical connection. If you have a Sony TV at your home, thanks to an integrated UI, the soundbar settings automatically appear on the BRAVIA TV Quick Settings menu for easy control of sound settings and volume.
Sony is a well-known audio hardware manufacturer on the market. The feature-packed Sony HT-S40R is yet another quality soundbar from the company. The soundbar has a total power output of 600 RMS, which makes it particularly powerful. The soundbar setup consists of a 3-channel soundbar speaker, rear speakers, and the subwoofer. This 5.1ch setup brings sounds from your favorite movies, games, and music to life. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, HDMI, optical, and analog connections. You also get dialogue enhancement mode clear voices. For instance, the Voice Mode increases dialogue clarity in movies, and the Night Mode reduces bass for quiet listening. Additionally, the soundbar makes it easy to wirelessly connect to select Sony Bravia TVs to let you enjoy a powerful, booming, and immersive sound from the smart TV. It also has S-master digital amplifier to add additional oomph to the already powerful sound that this soundbar produces. And finally, the Sony HT-S40R comes with Dolby Audio to ensure excellent sound reproduction.
The next on our list of best soundbars is Yamaha YAS-209. It comes with a wireless subwoofer for deep bass. Wireless connectivity means you get the flexibility to place the subwoofer wherever you want. The built-in Alexa support lets you control the soundbar with just your voice. You get DTS Virtual:X virtual 3D surround sound support that gives you the cinematic sound immersion you crave in the comfort of your couch. Further, the Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music wirelessly from your tables or smartphones when the TV is turned off. Yamaha's Clear Voice technology tunes the dialogue clarity in movies to make sure you get an improved movie-watching experience. Connecting the soundbar to your Wi-Fi network also lets you stream music to all your connected devices including PCs, laptops, and NAS devices. Yamaha YAS-209 is one of the best soundbars you can currently buy on the market.
JBL Cinema SB271
JBL Cinema SB271 comes with a wireless subwoofer for extra deep bass. The soundbar comes with connectivity options including HDMI ARC, Bluetooth, and Optical Connectivity. With the surround sound at offer and the immersive experience, if you are planning to build a home theatre setup, this could be the ideal fit for you. This particular soundbar even has some great reviews on Amazon and most people are impressed with the value for money at offer here.
Sony HT-A7000 is a premium option for buyers. It produces a 360-degree surround sound with the 7.1.2ch Dolby Atmos technology, which is achieved through a surround sound field with 360 Spatial Sound Mapping. Further, Sony's Sound Field Optimization calibrates and adapts the HT-A7000 to the room acoustics for a clear sound and comfortable sound reproduction. The up-firing speakers, side beam tweeters, an array of X-balanced speakers, and integrated subwoofers work together to provide you with the next level of sound reproduction. Further, it also gets 8K, 4K/120, and Dolby Vision support. You also get Google Assistant and Alexa support to enable you to control the soundbar with just your voice. Moreover, the soundbar also easily pairs with select Sony BRAVIA TVs, which feature broader on-screen controls for Sony HT-A7000 for easy and effortless customization. Lastly, the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar has Hi-Res certification for crystal-clear audio playback.