Best Surround Sound Bar System Reviews 2017

(Updated )
Sound bar systems are trendy these days because they combine functionality and performance with aesthetics. They are perfect for both audiophiles and normal people who simply want to enjoy a better sound experience next time they see a movie or play games. We have reviewed multiple sound bar systems and selected 5 affordable ones from top brands. Use this review as a guide the next time you shop for sound bars and you will definitely get a quality product!
Overview
PROS
CONS
Our Top Choice
Sharp HT-SB602 2.1 Channel 310W Bluetooth Sound Bar System
Reasonably-priced, feature-rich sound bar system. Versatile sound experience and attractive design.
2.1 channels. Bluetooth connectivity. Wireless subwoofer. Wall mountable. Remote included. 310 watts. 2 HDMI inputs.
Isolated complaints regarding the HDMI connectivity. Make sure to check the instruction manual carefully.
Best Value
VIZIO SB3821-C6 38” 2.1 Sound Bar System – Wireless Built-in Bluetooth®
Great features/price ratio. Excellent sound quality. Compact, elegant design. Available in many sizes.
Up to 100db power output. Wireless subwoofer. Bluetooth connectivity. Wall mountable. Remote included.
Isolated complaints regarding reliability. This product only comes with a 1-year warranty.
Samsung HW-J7500 Curved 8.1 Channel 320 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar
Exquisite audio equipment. Complete surround sound experience. Black or white colors.
Curved design. 8.1 channels. 320 watts total power output. Wireless subwoofer. Built-in Wi-Fi. 2 HDMI inputs. Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity.
Few complaints regarding the curved design. This sound bar works best with curved TV sets.
Sony HTNT3 450W Hi-Res Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
Top-notch and very powerful audio equipment. Elegant design. Great value for money.
450 watts total power output. Bluetooth connectivity. Wireless subwoofer. HDMI 3in/ 1out. Supports Google Cast and Spotify
Isolated complaints about buggy software. Make sure that you keep yours updated regularly.
Denon DHT-S514 Home Theater Soundbar Speaker System
Excellent sound bar system from top manufacturer. Great sound experience. Attractive design.
HDMI and Bluetooth connectivity. Wireless subwoofer. 175W total power output. Wall mountable. Remote included. Ideal for 42" and larger TV sets.
Lack of color options.

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How Do I Choose the Best Surround Sound Bar System?

If you want better sound quality, you have two options: get a surround sound speaker system or a sound bar system. If you prefer speakers, we have a detailed review on that and it will help you make a better decision. If you prefer space saving sound bars, we have narrowed down the list to 5 good ones from top brands such as Sony and Samsung. For this review we focused on more affordable sound bars, if you would like more sophisticated products, the brands we have selected also make higher end sound bar systems.

In comparison with a “traditional” speaker system, a sound bar system occupies less space and it is more aesthetically pleasing. A sound bar discreetly placed next to your large TV set will make your living room look more elegant and minimalistic. A sound bar has multiple speakers built inside a single unit and they spread the sound throughout the entire room, just like surround sound speaker systems do. To enhance the quality of your listening experience, you can get a sound bar system that comes with a subwoofer, as well as ones that include additional rear speakers (usually compact in size, to you keep up with the space-saving design). You can also purchase a sound bar speaker by itself that will provide great sound, but just not as much of a “surround sound” feeling. For the purpose of this review, we are looking at systems, and if you choose one of the five on our shortlist of the best soundbars, you will have a truly immersive and exciting surround sound experience.

By the way, our birds told us that Onkyo and Polk Audio also make high-quality sound bar systems – we would have included them on our list but they fall on the “higher end” in terms of price range, and we wanted to focus on models that are more affordable for the average person. In the meantime, let's explore the main characteristics of a surround sound bar system.
Price
Before shopping for surround sound bar systems, make sure that you know your budget. Sound bars can become very expensive if they have a lot of features and connection options. Pay attention to the following aspects to make sure you stay within your budget limits.
  • Components. Sound bar systems usually feature 2 speakers and a subwoofer, some just come with the subwoofer. The subwoofer can be wireless or wired. For a wireless subwoofer, you might pay a little bit more, but your sound bar system is more practical. More sophisticated sound bars feature up to 8 speakers which ensure a high-quality surround sound experience.
  • Features. Sound bar systems come with a plethora of features such as Bluetooth, HDMI connectivity and many other connection options. If you would like to stream music right from your smartphone, for example, go for a sound bar system which features Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Performance. Every sound bar system has a different set of specs which will lead to different performance features. Some sound bars have a total output power of several hundred watts, meaning that they are more suitable for larger rooms. Other sound bars have a noise level of over 100 decibels which means they are very loud. The price of a sound bar system is directly related to its performance features.
The price range for the products that we have chosen range from about $180 to $700 – keep in mind, these are all sound bar systems, not just a sound bar speaker. During our research, we did come across less expensive systems, but what we found is that when you get a cheap sound bar, the sound quality is no where near as good, so it’s worth making a little bit more of an investment.
Features
Feature-rich sound systems are increasingly popular these days and they offer additional functionality that can make your sound experience completely unique.. If you want to make the most of a sound bar system, look for these features.
  • Connectivity options. Bluetooth and HDMI connectivity are a must and they are incorporated by most sound bar systems.
  • Wireless subwoofer. A wireless subwoofer is more sophisticated and easier to set up, not to mention that it will be more practical, with no wires to worry about.
Construction and Design
Sound bar systems usually look very similar, but small changes and improvements in design here and there can give them a more visually pleasing appearance. Some of them come in different color options as well.
  • Shape and colors. All sound bar systems feature neutral, elegant colors like black, silver, white and grey or they feature a metallic finish. The subwoofer can also be made from beautiful materials like aluminum. Some sound bars feature a curved design and they are more suitable for people who also have a curved TV set in their living room.
  • Remote control. Many sound bar systems are specially designed to be used from a distance and they feature a remote. The batteries of the remote are often supplied in the package.
  • Length. The sound bar itself can come in many sizes. If your TV set is not very large, go for a sound bar under 45 inches. If your TV set is huge, a longer sound bar (over 50 inches) would be more suitable for you. Some sound bar systems are specially designed to be used for 60" TV sets. Of course the size of the sound bar you pick will also be based upon the size of your room, but then again, so will your choice of TV so the decision is usually connected.
Performance and Ease of Use
When it comes to performance we are looking at how the sound bar system behaves on a daily basis and what it is capable of. Whether you are an audiophile or not, it is a good idea to consider the performance features of your sound bar system.
  • Wattage and noise level. As mentioned in the price section, if your audio equipment features hundreds of watts and more than 100 decibels, it will be very loud. If you prefer a quieter system (and want to save some money), go for a product which doesn’t have a high watt/decibels output.
  • Dolby Digital and DTS Systems. To make sure that you enjoy crystal clear sounds and an immersive audio experience, go for a sound bar system that has Dolby Digital and DTS systems.
  • Practicality. Most sound bar systems are designed with practicality in mind. They are compact, lightweight and can be mounted on walls.
In terms of “ease of use,” you will want to consider how simple it is to set up a system as well as whether or not it comes with features such as a remote and Bluetooth capabilities – if these things are important to you.

What is the Best Surround Sound Bar System?

Now you know what to look for next time you shop for surround sound bar systems and you can make a more educated decision. Here is what 5 popular brands have to offer to their customers when it comes to sound bar systems.
Our Top Choice
The Sharp HT-SB602 sound bar system comes with a wireless subwoofer that will take your sound experience to the next level. If you are on a tight budget, but still want a high-quality product then the Sharp HT-SB30 sound bar system may be more suitable for you.
Sharp HT 2.1 Channel Slim Sound Bar Home Theater System with Bluetooth® & Wireless Subwoofer

Sharp Sound Bar HT-SB602 - Piano Black


Features
The HT 2.1 Channel Slim Sound Bar Home Theater System by Sharp is our top choice because it delivers a multitude of features without breaking the bank. These useful features that can be accessed very easily. You don't have to be a sound engineer to use this product.
  • The Bluetooth connectivity will be very useful in the long run. For example, your Sharp sound bar can be synchronized with your smartphone, tablet or laptop in just a couple of minutes, giving you the possibility to play your favorite media remotely.
  • The HDMI connectivity allows you to connect your Sharp sound bar system to your TV set or laptop and enjoy a crystal clear sound experience.
  • On top of that, your Sharp sound bar can also be controlled remotely. It comes with an easy-to-use remote and the batteries are also supplied in the package.
Construction and Design
Sharp is renowned for quality products and makes an entire line of top-notch sound bars. The construction and design features of the Sharp HT-SB602 sound bar system are very enticing.
  • This audio equipment is a 2.1 channel sound bar system, meaning that you get 2 separate speakers, in addition to the soundbar, and a subwoofer. Your audio experience will be broader, more immersive and more intense whether you are playing video games, watching movies or just listening to music.
  • The sound bar itself is 54" long. It has been specially designed for 60" TV sets, but it can be used with smaller TVs as well.
  • This sound bar system from Sharp features an attractive, sleek design. The harmonious blend of black and white will improve the aesthetics of your living room.
Performance and Ease of Use
Another reason why the Sharp HT-SB602 sound bar system made the top of our list is because of its astounding performance features. This sound bar will accurately reproduce sounds in low, mid and high frequencies without distortion or hissing.
  • The Sharp HT-SB602 sound bar system has a total output power of 310watts. Each channel is accountable for 80 watts while the subwoofer features 150 watts.
  • This sound bar system is wall mountable which offers versatility in how you set up your system, and it comes with an auto on/off feature which can help saving energy.
  • When we looked at user reviews, we found one customer who complained that the HDMI connection stopped working properly after a few weeks. This appears to be an isolated, rare problem as Sharp products are usually built with upmost attention to details. Remember that this sound bar system is not water and dustproof, so make sure you put it in safe places and follow the instruction manual carefully to ensure optimal functioning.
Best Value
The VIZIO SB3821-C6 38” 2.1 sound bar system comes with a wireless subwoofer and delivers an accurate, deep sound experience. If you prefer a 5.1 channel system then the All-New 2016 VIZIO SmartCast™ 45” 5.1 Sound Bar System might spark your imagination!
VIZIO 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer - DTS TruSurround™

VIZIO Sound Bar SB3821-C6 - 2015 Model


Features
We have selected the 38 inch-long, 2.1 channels sound bar system from VIZIO as our "Best value" product because it is reasonably priced and jam-packed with features and connection options.
  • This sound bar system comes with Bluetooth technology. You can easily connect all your gadgets to your VIZIO sound bar system and throw a party every evening.
  • This sound bar system also comes with a wireless subwoofer. Feel free to move the subwoofer around the house without worrying about connecting the wires.
  • You also have the possibility to control your VIZIO sound bar system using a remote. Nothing can be better than adjusting sound levels without getting off the couch.
Construction and Design
VIZIO is a top audio equipment manufacturer that impressed us with its magnificent line of sound bar systems. They make sophisticated sound bars ranging from 38 inches up to 54 inches in length. These audio equipments come in different styles and some of them feature 2 rear speakers and a central loudspeaker. We have chosen the VIZIO SB3821-C6 38” 2.1 sound bar system because it provides good value for your money and offers everything a modern man (or woman) needs when it comes to sound quality.
  • This sound system is 38 inches long and it is suitable for 42"+ TV sets. It features 2 channels and a powerful subwoofer.
  • It can be easily mounted on walls or placed inside your entertainment center as it features a practical and compact design.
  • Speaking of design, this sound bar from VIZIO incorporates attractive materials and it comes with an elegant black and white finish that goes well with any interior décor.
By the way, we chose the 38” sound bar to feature, but of course VIZIO offers all different sizes to suit your needs.
Performance and Ease of Use
The VIZIO SB3821-C6 2.1 sound bar system might come at a small price, but it has high-end capabilities. It has been built with great attention to details and it is able to deliver a true, rich and accurate sound.
  • This sound bar system has a power output of 100 decibels which is very loud. The sounds are reproduced without distortion and without risking damaging the speakers.
  • This surround sound bar system from VIZIO features Dolby Digital and DTS technology which ensure a rich and immersive sound experience regardless of the type of media you are playing.
  • In our research, we found a few customers who complained that the subwoofer levels reset if the system is powered off, but this is a minor issue compared with the multitude of benefits and features the VIZIO 2.1 sound bar system provides. Our little birdies told us that this is probably the best surround sound system available on the market these days!
The Samsung Curved 8.1 Channel 320 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar is a complete surround sound system! If 9 speakers are too much for you, then the Samsung HW-J355 soundbar system with just a subwoofer might be more suitable for your taste and budget.
Samsung 8.1 Channel Wireless Multiroom Curved Soundbar w/ Wireless Subwoofer (2015 Model)

Samsung Sound Bar HW-J7500 - Black


Features
Samsung always manufactures features-rich products, from smartphones to tablets, TV sets and of course, sound bar systems. The Samsung HW-J7500 surround sound bar system provides a multitude of useful features such:
  • This sound bar system comes with built-in WI-Fi. Playing your favorite media directly on your Samsung sound bar has never been easier!
  • You get Bluetooth connectivity which will make interconnecting your sound bar system with your devices and gadgets a breeze.
  • The HDMI connectivity allows you to link your Samsung sound bar system with your laptop or TV set and enjoy a detailed and immersive acoustic experience.
Construction and Design
Samsung is one of the most popular manufacturers of electronics in the world and they revolutionized the sound bar systems industry with the HW-J7500 model. We have chosen this product because it offers outstanding quality, an elegant and innovative design and a plethora of features.
  • This sound bar system features 8 separate speakers and a subwoofer. You will enjoy a rich and powerful surround sound experience as this sound system is capable of exceptional sound reproduction.
  • One of the greatest features of the Samsung HW-J7500 sound bar is the curved design. The sound bar doesn't only look elegant, but it complements your curved TV set perfectly.
  • The length of the Samsung sound bar is 48", but this manufacturer also makes longer sound bars if your TV set is larger. The HW-J7500 model from Samsung is available in black and white color options.
Performance and Ease of Use
The Samsung HW-J7500 sound bar system is capable of outstanding performance and it has been built to ensure top-quality acoustic reproduction. The subwoofer features a 7" driver, ensuring that the low range sounds are deep and powerful.
  • The total power output of this audio equipment is 320 watts. Whether you use this sound bar system to play your favorite movies or to transform your living room into a dance floor, you will get an exquisite sound experience.
  • The HW-J7500 model from Samsung features Dolby Digital and DTS technology. These systems ensure the accurate decoding of the sound information and supplying each speaker with a different soundtrack. As a result, you enjoy true-to-life, pure sounds in all frequency ranges.
  • During out research, we found a few customers who complained about the lack of surround sound however, because of all the different speakers included in this system, it is quite likely that this was a set up issue. Make sure that you place the sound bar system in the center of the room to ensure the even distribution of sound.
The Sony HTNT3 450W Hi-Res Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer features 3 HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. Couple this sound bar system with the Sony X910C / X900C 4K Ultra HD Android TV and you will transform your living room into a genuine home theater!
Sony 2.1 Channel Soundbar System - High-Resolution Audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® and Wireless Subwoofer

Sony Sound Bar HTNT3


Features
The experts at Sony know how to design a high-quality product and they continuously refined and improved the Sony HTNT3 sound bar system until it was absolutely perfect! This audio device comes with a plethora of features and connection options that will make your life easier and more enjoyable.
  • This audio equipment comes with three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output which means that you can connect up to 3 devices to your sound bar system simultaneously.
  • You also get high-speed Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream media directly from your smartphone or tablet.
  • The 4K pass-through technology allows data to pass unaltered through your Sony sound bar system when you watch a movie in 4K resolution, so the audio/video quality won't be compromised..
Construction and Design
Sony is another popular manufacturer of gadgets and electronics and we couldn't ignore the marvelous HTNT3 sound bar system. If you are looking for a reliable, features-rich and aesthetically pleasing device, look no further. The Sony 2.1 Channel Soundbar with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth® might exceed all your expectations when it comes to performance and design.
  • This sound bar system features 2 separate audio channels and 1 powerful subwoofer. Sounds in the low, mid and high frequency ranges are always accurately reproduced, allowing you to enjoy an immersive sound experience.
  • The Sony HTNT3 has been designed with aesthetics in mind. It features an elegant black finish and a compact, lightweight construction.
  • This sound bar system from Sony is also practical. It can be placed on your entertainment center or mounted on walls.
Performance and Ease of Use
Sony is known for making products that deliver serious performance and the HTNT3 model is not an exception. This audio equipment is excellent whether you are watching movies or playing music out loud.
  • The Sony 2.1 Channel Sound Bar System has a total power output of 450 watts. The subwoofer is wireless and delivers a groovy, energetic bass that will make you dance.
  • This sound bar system features high-resolution audio, allowing for higher-than-normal sampling rates for every piece of sound information. In plain English, this means that you will enjoy a richer, more powerful sound whether it comes from a CD or from the internet.
  • We found a few customers who complained that the HDMI cable supplied is too short. Make sure that you place your Sony sound bar system closer to the TV set to fix this issue – or of course you can simply purchase a longer one separately.
The Denon DHT-S514 Home Theater Soundbar System comes with HDMI connectivity and a wireless subwoofer. To enjoy a pristine audio/video experience, check out the DBT-1713UD Blu-Ray Player from Denon which goes perfectly well with the sound bar system.
Denon 2-way Soundbar System - HDMI, Bluetooth Streaming & Wireless Subwoofer

Denon Sound Bar DHT-S514


Features
The Denon DHT-S514 sound bar system is a highly-advanced and sophisticated audio equipment. It comes with a plethora of features and connection options, making it very easy for you to link your gadgets and gizmos together and play any type of media.
  • The Denon DHT-S514 surround sound bar system comes with HDMI and Bluetooth connectivity. Optical and coaxial digital audio inputs are provided in the package. The coaxial audio input uses cooper wires to deliver the sound signal while the optical audio input uses fiber optics.
  • This sound bar system from Denon comes with a wireless subwoofer which is practical and easier to live with on a daily basis as there are no wires to connect.
  • The Denon DHT-S514 sound bar system features high-fidelity sound which completely fills the entire room regardless of the type of media you play.
Construction and Design
The last one in our list of high-quality surround sound bar systems is the Denon DHT-S514 system. This manufacturer is well-known for making quality audio equipment and systems which are used by top international DJs, sound engineers and audiophiles. The Denon DHT-S514 is not complicated to use and it delivers an authentic, genuine sound experience.
  • This sound bar system from Denon is a 2.1 channel audio device. It features 2 separate speakers and a wireless subwoofer. The length of the sound bar is 39.5 inches (but of course Denon makes this system in other lengths).
  • The Denon DHT-S514 features an elegant, black finish and it can be easily integrated within the layout of your living room.
  • You can easily mount your Denon sound bar system on walls as it features built-in clips and connectors for this purpose.
Performance and Ease of Use
The DHT-S514 model from Denon has been designed to be used with 42"+ TV sets, but it offers an accurate and realistic sound experience regardless of the TV size. The subwoofer features two 5.25 inch drivers, delivering deep and groovy bass.
  • The total output of the Denon DHT-S514 sound bar system is 175watts which is more than enough to for an immersive and unique acoustic experience.
  • The frequency response of this sound bar system extend well over 20kHz and it has been designed to replicate mid and high range sounds as accurately as possible.
  • Very few customers complained that the Bluetooth connection is not stable. Make sure that your gadgets feature up-to-date software and read the instructions manual carefully.

Get the Best Surround Sound Bar System Today!

As you can see, these sound bar systems are worth every penny! Head to Amazon quickly to grab your favorite one before they run out of stock!

Our Top Choice
Sharp HT-SB602 2.1 Channel 310W Bluetooth Sound Bar System
Best Value
VIZIO SB3821-C6 38” 2.1 Sound Bar System – Wireless Built-in Bluetooth®
Samsung HW-J7500 Curved 8.1 Channel 320 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar
Sony HTNT3 450W Hi-Res Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
Denon DHT-S514 Home Theater Soundbar Speaker System