For most buyers, the thrust is toward products that spell P-O-W-E-R but minus the high C-O-S-T. There is a wide array of choices available at online auction leaders such as Amazon. Here’s a few we’ve picked out to be the best sound bars to buy.
Best Single Cabinet Surround Sound System
Measuring just 3.5” high, the ZVOX 555 Low-Profile Single-Cabinet Surround Sound System with Optical and Coaxial Digital Inputs takes less effort to find a place for. You can have it immediately under a flat panel TV, making for less clutter. There are also no annoying wires, no subwoofer and external speakers to think about.
Onboard is the proprietary ZVOX Phasecue system that gives you that immersive sound quality you wish your TV already had. Housed in an incredibly compact cabinet, the sound bar system has integrated amplifiers, speakers and a subwoofer unit. The single connecting cable and single-page manual proves that the system is truly plug-and-play.
Get ready for some mind-blowing sound with the ZVOX 555’s fully-strengthened medium-density fiberboard construction. This makes the soundbar system definitely more durable than other systems crafted with plastic cases. Enjoy its shiny look and ebony body gloss. The system carries a Class D digital amplifier that consumes just 10W of power tops, earning it an Energy Star certification and a highly coveted energy efficiency rating.
The system has a Dialog Emphasis (DE) feature for that flawless transmission of TV dialogues to your discerning ears. To make controlling different remotes much easier, it has the revolutionary Z-base system for effortless control of your cable box remote, your satellite receiver remote and your TV remote. Control practically any remote with this feature, without an annoying indicator that just stays there.
This equipment possesses an Output Leveling capability so you can obtain sonic balancing when this feature is switched on. There’s a pair of analog inputs for audio: one for optical digital and one for coaxial digital. There is also a 3.5 mm analog stereo input in front. These additions allow for iPod and mobile device connectivity. For those who want more advanced HDMI connectivity, there is none for the ZVOX 555. Some television systems may not have a corresponding Audio Return Channel that this system has. The exclusive ZVOX configuration for this sound bar’s analog cable with dual RCA plugs on two sides could be inutile when your TV has a stereo mini-jack for production of analog audio.
Best Sound Bar System with Built-in Bluetooth Streaming
Get a Pioneer SP-SB23W Andrew Jones Soundbar System and enjoy unbelievable audio technology. Its integration with your TV allows the TV set to become the main receiver for all device switches. Let your TV remote become the main source of commands as all other functions of extra devices get controlled easily.
For serious audiophiles out there who simply can’t get enough of wireless music streaming, the Pioneer SP-SB23W has onboard Bluetooth technology that fits with simply any of your mobile gadgets. Access mobile device apps such as Pandora, Rdio and Spotify.
What makes this extra special is its melded wood-carved shell that helps the soundbar system give out a mellower, more superb sound as compared to units with ordinary plastic housings. The six individual speakers each offer 28-watt amplifiers coupled with the system’s pair of 1” soft dome tweeters, which together deliver outstanding sonic quality.
For that terrific audio experience, the value of having the Pioneer SP-SB23W Andrew Jones Soundbar System is beefed up by its remote’s ability to give full access to three distinct sound sources: dialogue, music and movie. Having the dialogue mode switched on allows magnificent reproduction of dialogues.
Adjusting the volume is easy when you are in the movie and music modes, although that requires a lot of balancing to obtain the right sound and tone proportions. Because it is less compact than most sound bar systems, the Pioneer SP-SB23W can be difficult to position so that it doesn’t interfere with the remote sensor of your television. Since your TV serves as the primary switch carrier, your input choices can be quite narrow.
Best Sound Bar with Built-in Subwoofer under $300
Combining a pair of 2 ½” cone speakers and a dually-driven 3” subwoofer, the Yamaha YAS-101BL Front Surround System could become a household favorite for avid audiophiles.
Delivering peak power of 120 watts through a digital amplifier, the Yamaha YAS-101BL Front Surround System also delivers robust bass quality via its subwoofer that’s been outfitted with large-diameter voice coils and supporting large magnets.
For more enhanced sound delivery, the Yamaha has a saran net grille. It incorporates all the elements of a home theater system in one sleek, solid and compressed shell. Blocked TV sensor? Don’t worry. It has an IR flasher located behind for easy signal transmission from the remote. The YAS-101BL is able to learn your TV remote control settings so you can just use the cable box remote control to switch the system on and off or make volume adjustments.
The RC supplied in the package lets you adjust and switch without any hassles. Like most other sound bar systems of the same generation, it has no HDMI Connectivity. It can also take a learning curve for the user to learn which signal the system supports. Steadily holding the button down on the remote won’t do. You would need to press the button many times to get it to work as you want.
Don’t fret about having too many features while sticking to a budget for your sound bar. Prioritize what you want in a system and check out the three products described above. Then, go ahead and make a decision.