2020 Best Soundbars

2020 Best Soundbars

When you buy from Audio Advice, we’re also including an exclusive “Tips & Tricks - How to set up your specific soundbar" video, available only to Audio Advice customers. These videos will give you some additional key tricks, including how to get the best sound for your room, and a few other tips.

Below, we compare six high-performance soundbars from the biggest names in home audio — Sonos, JBL, Bower & Wilkins, Sony, Samsung, and Sennheiser. We highlight the high notes of each, and award bonus points to the ones that include a subwoofer and other cool features. Our list is based on price and features to complement music and home theater applications. 

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The high-performance soundbars we are comparing together are:

With this guide, you and your family will have everything needed to choose the right high-performance soundbar with the best sonic results and features for any room in your home. If you are ready to learn more about a specific soundbar, feel free to skip ahead and click on any of the soundbars above.

Audio Advice Best Soundbars with dolby atmos

Design

For comparison, a complete premium system that includes both the soundbar and a matching subwoofer can be bundled together for each system, respectively. We listed them all from lowest to highest price.

Complete Soundbar & Subwoofer Systems:

At $999.95, JBL offers the most value. JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar is a 9 channel surround sound system that comes with a single subwoofer — hence the numbers in the name “Bar 9.1.” 

With this JBL complete soundbar system, you get 820 watts of crystal clear audio with detachable battery-powered speakers that can go anywhere in your house and a great wireless subwoofer with bass that will thrill you and your family all included for no additional cost. We think JBL Bar 9.1 is the most bang for your buck that presents great theater sound in the Dolby Atmos format for a great price. 

On the other hand, when you step up to the soundbars from Sony, Sonos, and Samsung, you will get the most premium packages of all the bars — plus more options that will let you add to your ever-expanding Dolby Atmos system. 

Overall, we think JBL Bar 9.1 represents the most value up-front for the money. But, if you are wanting more advanced features with greater potential to expand your listening throughout the whole house, then Sony HT-ST5000, Sonos Arc, and Samsung HW-Q90R are the most expandable systems you can own and for only $500 more.

bowers and wilkins formation soundbar in a room

Of course, if one of your rooms isn’t large enough to take full advantage of the acoustic effects from Dolby Atmos, or if you’re a purist who’s all about the music, then Bowers & Wilkins Formation Series is a perfect match for anyone who just wants to appreciate great sound. For less than $1,200, Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wireless Soundbar represents the best high-end sound we have ever experienced at this price-point. Plus, when you add the Formation Bass Wireless Sub, you will hear the full range of music with deep bass that drops down to 20Hz. You can couple the Bass to the Bar, Wedge, or Duo and will cover your house with high-end B&W sound. When you add the Bass subwoofer, you will have a premium 5.1 cinematic experience that’s perfect for smaller rooms and music lovers.

If Dolby Atmos is on your wish-list, then the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar will give you an immersive 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos experience that produces deep 30Hz bass without the need for an extra subwoofer. This state-of-the-art device harnesses the power of 13 high-end drivers and 6 built-in long-throw woofers in a sleek all-in-one design. This high-end device produces one of the best 3D home audio experiences we have ever heard coming from a single soundbar. At $2,499.95, it's not cheap, but we think the Sennheiser AMBEO delivers the most complete studio-grade package plus premium features to customize the experience for your specific room.

All of these soundbars have some important features in common. For example, HDMI ARC connection-types, multiroom support, voice assistant features, and of course the Dolby Atmos surround sound format for the most realistic 3D soundstage available, just to name a few. 

In the next section, we’ll provide a general overview of what these features mean and how they’ll make a big difference in your family’s home theater.

audio advice best dolby atmos soundbars

Features & Technology

Dolby Atmos 3D Surround Sound

Built-in Dolby Atmos is the first major technology almost all of these premium soundbars share. For those who may not know, Dolby Atmos adds elevation to your soundstage. Rather than sound simply going from left to right and front to back, Atmos lets you experience sounds from top to bottom too. This immerses you in a world of sounds as if they were occurring in three-dimensional space. 

In Dolby Atmos soundbars, speaker drivers direct the sound upwards towards the ceiling where the sound then bounces back down. This allows you to experience the sound of a helicopter flying above you with true 3D sound. If a helicopter is hovering above the screen, you will hear the sound of the helicopter’s rotor blades right above you. When the helicopter lands, you’ll hear and feel the sound travel down to your level just like in real life. The more Dolby Atmos speakers a soundbar has, the more holographic the experience will be. Add the subwoofer, and you will feel the impact of the helicopter’s landing.

All soundbars in this comparison will do multiple channels of surround sound in the Dolby Atmos format except for the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar. B&W will let you keep adding to your home theater with additional Formation Series speakers so you can cover your whole house with great B&W sound. 

close up shot of the jbl bar 9.1 dolby atmos soundbar with rear speaker on a table next to the included remote control

Some soundbars like the JBL Bar 9.1 and the Samsung HW-Q90R include detachable speakers that allow you to place the left, right, or rear channel speakers anywhere in your room to enjoy Dolby Atmos 3D sound all around you. It’s important to note that the rear surrounds are optional add-ons in many soundbars. So, you’ll want to spend a little more on the rear surrounds in those systems. We think the additional layers of immersion you get by adding rears to your home theater setup is worth the investment. 

On the other hand, soundbars like the Sony HT-ST5000, Sennheiser AMBEO, and Sonos Arc do most of (if not all of) the Dolby Atmos 3D presentation directly from the bar itself. These bars use a larger number of Atmos-enabled speaker drivers and high-performance virtualization technologies built into the bar to create the immersive Atmos 3D effect. So, the nice thing about these is there's no need to clutter your living space by adding rear speakers to these systems unless, of course, you want to! 

sonos arc dolby atmos soundbar exploded

The Sonos Arc uses 11 Atmos-enabled speaker drivers and high-end speaker technology to direct sound all over the room. Sonos Arc is one of the bars that use the most Atmos-enabled speakers of any, and it will have even more when you add the optional rear surrounds to this system. With these additional options, you will have the ultimate and complete Sonos Arc Surround Sound Set for less than $2,500.

For almost the same price as the Arc, the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar wields the power of 13 independent drivers and Sennheiser’s special virtualization tech to re-create the experience of a complete surround sound installation — all from a single bar. If you want the best performance available for both cinema and music in an all-in-one sophisticated device, the state-of-the-art technology and immersive Dolby Atmos sound coming out of the Sennheiser AMBEO is hard to beat for less $2,500.

HDMI ARC One Remote Rules Them All

Setting up and controlling Dolby Atmos from your soundbar is another great feature. Newer TVs have a new type of HDMI port that uses HDMI ARC or eARC which is the newer version of ARC that has higher bandwidth so it can pass full Atmos without compression. 

“ARC” (short for “audio return channel”) is a technology that makes setting up your new soundbar with TVs quick and simple. “eARC” (short for “enhanced audio return channel”) is the enhanced version of HDMI ARC that enables true Dolby Atmos with newer TVs sporting the newer eARC HDMI port. It’s important to note that you will not get true 3D Dolby Atmos surround sound without a TV that features the newer eARC. However, all of the soundbars will still use the Atmos speakers for great effect even if your TV doesn’t have the latest and greatest eARC HDMI.

If your TV supports HDMI ARC technology, then all you’ll have to do is connect an HDMI cable from your TV to the soundbar, and you’re done. If you have multiple sound sources, all sound from all of your other sources can come into the soundbar via the television. So, you simply use your regular remote to control the television and it will also control the volume on the soundbar automatically

As an example, Sonos makes this step as simple as it gets. Just by holding your smartphone up close to the Sonos Arc, all your WI FI settings will be transferred to the Arc soundbar. Plus, if you own any other Sonos speakers in the Sonos ecosystem, all of this connectivity will happen automatically.

If your TV is older and doesn’t support HDMI ARC, some soundbars like the Sonos Arc can learn to respond to your TV remote. Sonos makes this process simple with the Sonos app. Install the app onto your smartphone or tablet, and it will guide you through a few quick easy steps to allow your Sonos Arc to learn the commands of your TV remote. Either way, operation with an ARC or eARC compatible soundbar will make life easier.

close up of the sennheiser ambeo remote control

Other Useful Features

Controlling one of these premium soundbars isn’t limited to just your TV’s remote control. For older TVs that don’t allow you to see the benefits of HDMI ARC or eARC, hands-free controls using the most popular voice assistants or apps can be used with your smartphone or tablet too. 

Bonus points are awarded to these soundbars if they include any of the following additional features: compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast, calibration technology, and multi-room expandability with additional speaker modules.

We’re also including an exclusive “Tips & Tricks - How to set up your specific soundbar" video, available only to Audio Advice customers. These videos will give you some additional key tricks, including how to get the best sound for your room, and a few other tips.

best soundbars with dolby vision
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best dolby atmos soundbars

Performance

Now that we’ve provided a general overview of the top performance features in each high-performance soundbar, we’ll take a closer look at each system and compare them feature-for-feature to see how they perform against each other for the price and the benefits you get.

angled view of sonos arc with dolby atmos

Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Sonos Wireless Sub

The Arc sets a new standard for the smart soundbar concept. Sonos invested years of research and development to create the high-end speaker technology that powers the Arc. For $799, the Sonos Arc has 11 speakers all housed inside the unit which are capable of filling an entire room with premium Dolby Atmos surround sound. 

The new custom elliptical woofers in each driver provide left, center, right, and surround channels with a five-channel phased array. Two height channel speakers fire sound upward which adds the new sonic dimension of Atmos 3D for immersive cinematic sound. Sonos then hired Oscar-winning sound engineers to tune the Arc so that you will hear every nuance in the human voice with special Speech Enhancement technology that pushes the dialog a little further upfront for the easiest to understand speech.

By adding the Sonos Sub Wireless Subwoofer, or a pair of rear speakers using the Sonos One SL, the Arc’s surround channel drivers automatically adjust to extend the bass drivers accordingly. This makes the Sonos Arc the easiest-to-expand system of any Atmos soundbar on the market — simply add more Sonos speakers and you’re done. We recommend adding the Sonos Fives for $499. While there are other subs in this comparison that are better, for only $699.00, we think the Sonos Sub presents the best sounding bass at this price-point. The 5.1.2 Entertainment Set with Sonos Arc & Sub can be bunded for $1,498. Or, you can go all out with the complete Sonos Arc Surround Sound Set for $2,496.

We were one of the first in the country to test the Sonos Arc soundbar even before it launched and did an extensive video review which is now one of the most-watched reviews in the world.

To learn more about the Arc, watch the Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos Soundbar Review.

Bonus Points:

  • Room Calibration: Trueplay tuning technology optimizes the sound for the unique acoustics of any room.
  • Control Features: voice control with Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant, AirPlay 2, and Sonos app.
  • Other connectivity options: optical cable, ethernet port, WIFI, Bluetooth, and multiroom support.Adaptive EQ Control (via Mobile App), Hands-free Voice Assistance (via Mobile App), Capacitive Touch Control, Proximity Sensors, Detachable Headphone Cable, Carrying Case, Swivel Foldable Design, Highly Portable.

HDMI eARC

Premium Sonos Sound

Easy To Expand Add More Sonos Multiroom Speakers

front view of JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer and dolby atmos rear speakers

JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer

JBL is known worldwide as a brand audio professionals count on. Used by famous DJs in the biggest nightclubs all over the world, JBL speakers are built to last, to be tough, and they present epic sound quality that rocks dancefloors across the world.

As the least expensive all-in-one complete system on our list of high-performance soundbars, JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer delivers a lot of value for the money. This complete all-in-one Dolby Atmos system brings the surround sound experience of the movie theater into your home with two detachable battery-powered surround speakers and a wireless sub included. 4 up-firing speakers will bounce sound up to the ceiling back down to you for a thrilling 3D experience. It has 820 watts of total system power, so you can enjoy Oscar-winning performances with crystal clear audio.

With 9 channels of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound plus a single channel for sub-bass frequencies, you get all of this for less than $1,000. The rear surrounds are optional add-ons in the many other systems including Sonos and Bowers & Wilkins, so this really makes JBL Bar 9.1 stand out in terms of the value you get. Just place the two detachable surround speakers behind you and enjoy the cinematic 9.1 experience of Atmos surround sound. 

The JBL Bar 9.1’s detachable rear surrounds are also wireless and rechargeable. After about 10 hours of playtime, dock them to the Bar 9.1’s built-in magnets to recharge them until you’re ready to re-use them. Charge time for recharging the detachable speakers is about 3 hours. For $999.95, JBL gives you the whole Atmos experience complete with soundbar, subwoofer, and rear speakers for 9 channels of 3D surround sound immersion.

At this price point, we like that there are no extra wires or extra power connections needed. We think JBL Bar 9.1 presents the most convenient all-in-one system for the money and with JBL sound quality that will thrill you and your family.

Bonus Points:

  • Room Calibration: Microphones built into the soundbar for convenient calibration.
  • Control Features: Chromecast & Apple AirPlay 2.
  • Other connectivity options: Optical, USB, WIFI, Ethernet, and Bluetooth.

HDMI eARC

Musical & Thrilling JBL Sound

Convenient Package Includes Sub + Rears

front view of bowers and wilkins formation wireless soundbar

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wireless Soundbar

  1. Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wireless Soundbar Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wireless Soundbar
    Rating:
    0%
    Special Price $959.99 Regular Price $1,199.98

Bowers & Wilkins was Founded in Britain in 1966. Since then, the brand’s high-performance speakers can be found in some of the greatest recording studios and concert halls in the world. When we first heard about a high-performance soundbar coming from one of the largest teams of audio engineers ever assembled in the world, we immediately took note of what the engineers at Bowers & Wilkins could offer. 

Even though this high-performance soundbar does not present surround sound in the Dolby Atmos format, this is the soundbar to own if any of your rooms aren’t large enough to benefit from the cool 3D effects of Dolby Atmos, or if you are a music lover who's serious about great multi-room streaming sound. 

The Formation Bar inherits Bowers & Wilkins’ legendary loudspeaker technology and craftsmanship. B&W designs and assembles everything in their own facilities, so the Formation Bar brings wireless home audio with multi-room streaming to new levels of quality.

The Formation Bar is powered by 9 B&W drivers — all optimized to create a wide and immersive 3-channel high-fidelity soundstage for music and movies. A dedicated center channel focuses the presentation of dialogue with crisp, clear sounding audio, so you’ll never miss a beat in the storyline. Think music and movies that immerse you in a wider stereo image. 

At Audio Advice, we were one of the first to receive the B&W Formation Series, so we produced an extensive video overview on this high-end multi-room speaker series. Watch our overview to learn more about each product in the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Series.   

We enjoyed the multi-dimensional sound coming out during movies, especially when we paired the Bar with the Formation Bass. Adding the Bass presented new layers of dynamic details from a complete 5.1 surround experience and made our music and movies come alive. You can add the Bass subwoofer for less than $1,000 for a premium 5.1 system that's perfect for smaller rooms and music lovers, alike.

We also enjoyed streaming hi-res music up to 96kHz/24 bit from the Bar and other multi-room speakers in the Formation Series. B&W developed its own patented Robust Mesh Network to run independently of your home’s WIFI network. This provided one of the most stable streaming performances for hi-res audio with near-perfect synchronization between other Formation speakers no dropouts or running into glitchy bandwidth issues. The Formation Wedge and Duo complete the Formation Series so you can cover your whole-house with high-end B&W sound whenever you’re ready to expand your setup.

Bonus Points:

  • Control Features: AirPlay 2, and Spotify Connect, Roon Ready, and B&W mobile app.
  • Other connectivity options: digital audio (Toslink), ethernet port, WIFI, Formation® Wireless Technology, and Bluetooth AptX HD.

Hi-Res 96kHz/24 Bit Audio

High-end B&W Sound Quality

Multi-room Streaming

front view of Sony HT-ST5000 7.1.5 Hi-Res Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Sony HT-ST5000 7.1.5 Hi-Res Dolby Atmos Soundbar

  1. ,,, Sony HT-ST5000 7.1.2 Hi-Res Dolby Atmos Soundbar
    Special Price $1,198.00 Regular Price $1,498.00

Sony is known for its groundbreaking technologies and ultra-high-end audio products. The company is highly innovative and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s sonically possible. For this reason, we think the Sony HT-ST5000 soundbar provides a unique virtual surround sound experience. 

This complete 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos system makes immersive surround sound extremely simple. For less than $1,500, it gives you the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound experience plus a subwoofer — all included. It virtually immerses you in Atmos sound using Sony’s special high-tech front speakers only, so you don’t have to buy additional rear speakers or clutter your living space. 

7 coaxial speakers on the front of the bar all have a woofer and a tweeter housed inside the speaker units. These emulate a natural three-dimensional sound field accurately, while 2 Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers on each side of the bar bounce sound off the ceiling to reproduce overhead sound.

The Sony HT-ST5000 also packs in the most features making this premium soundbar one of the most innovative designs on the market. It combines Sony’s virtual surround sound DSP with a high-performance digital amplifier to deliver the purest sound quality for precisely aligned audio across the frequency spectrum. For frequencies that go rogue above 40 kHz, Sony’s special S-Master HX digital amp reduces distortion for pristine sound quality, while Sony’s advanced ClearAudio+ adjusts the sound settings automatically. So, no matter what, you will always hear your movies, music, and video games with the highest fidelity. 

For music, there’s even a special digital enhancement engine (called DSEE HX) that will analyze your music for lost harmonics and restore the quality of compressed files to near high-resolution quality. And with USB, NFC, LDAC over Bluetooth, Chromecast, and support for wireless multiroom streaming, there’s no shortage of ways to playback hi-res music wirelessly throughout your house. 

Even though the cost is a little higher than the JBL Bar 9.1, you will get Sony’s innovative technology and their unique approach to the Dolby Atmos experience with 360° of realism — all from a single soundbar and subwoofer combo. One way or another, whether it's the superb sound quality or the cool features packed inside, we think this high-performance soundbar delivers exceptional value. For less than $1,500, it’s one of the most premium soundbar systems for the money, and the list of useful features means you’ll never run out of ways to enjoy it. 

Bonus Points:

  • Control Features: Chromecast built-in, Spotify Connect, works with Google Home, and supports multi-room streaming with Sony Music Center app.
  • Audio Optimization Modes: S-Master HX digital amp, ClearAudio+, and DSEE HX.
  • Other connectivity options: Keep adding to your Home Theater setup, with 3x HDCP 2.2 HDMI inputs, 1x HDMI ARC output, optical SPDIF, analog AUX, USB port, Built-in WIFI, Hi-Res LDAC Bluetooth, and NFC.

Features Galore

Premium Hi-Res Sony Sound Quality

Minimalistic Design Includes A Sub

angled view of Samsung HW-Q90R Harman Kardon 7.1.4 Atmos Soundbar

Samsung HW-Q90R Harman Kardon 7.1.4 Atmos Soundbar

Samsung is an innovator in home entertainment solutions and other high-tech devices. Samsung teamed up with Harman Kardon to bring high-performance sound to Samsung’s state-of-the-art home entertainment experiences. Harman Kardon brings 65 years of technical audio expertise to the Samsung HW-Q90R 7.1.4ch Soundbar system, so we think this high-performance collaboration is one of the most impressive all-in-one bundles for the money.  

Similar to the JBL Bar 9.1, Samsung gives you a matching wireless sub and a rear wireless speaker kit all included. This bundled kit is powered by an impressive 17 speakers all working together to surround you in 7.1.4 channels of immersive 3D Dolby Atmos sound. 9 of these speaker drivers are forward-facing, which each have 1 tweeter and 2 midrange drivers per channel for 3 channels on the right, center and left for a wide soundstage. 4 up-firing speakers reproduce elevation in the sound-field, and 2 side-firing speakers will send sound all around you. The subwoofer has an 8-inch driver that will reproduce low-end frequencies down to 34Hz.

Not only do you get 7.1.4 channels of the immersive Dolby Atmos surround sound with rear speakers and a sub, but you also get Samsung’s cool high-tech features baked into this kit for only $500 more than the JBL Bar 9.1. Samsung’s Adaptive Sound will analyze each scene in a movie, and automatically optimize the audio so that you hear voices clearly — even on low-volume. 

Gamers will gain the upper hand when the sound of footsteps coming from behind are optimized for more spacious cinematic realism. We were especially impressed with how well Samsung’s Game Mode Pro enhanced the soundscape around us during our gaming sessions. First-person shooters like Call Of Duty felt more immersive as if we were in the game and on the battlefield. The Samsung HW-Q90R is also controllable with the SmartThings app, so you can connect this soundbar system to your network, and have control over the whole audio experience throughout your house with other SmartThings devices.

When you compare this true Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundbar to another similarly priced complete package such as the JBL Bar 9.1, the HW-Q90R is a bargain. While the JBL Bar 9.1 represents the most value for the money, we think the collaboration between Samsung’s innovation and Harman Kardon’s high-end audio mastery makes the Samsung HW-Q90R one of the best true Dolby Atmos systems we have experienced. 

For less than $1,500, the Samsung HW-Q90R is a premium surround sound package with a true Dolby Atmos surround experience. If you are wanting more advanced features that will enhance your experience for playing video games, watching movies, or listening to music plus more expandable listening throughout the house, we think the Samsung HW-Q90R is the most premium system you can own at this price-point.

Bonus Points:

  • Control Features: Amazon Alexa voice control and SmartThings app.
  • Audio Optimization Modes: Standard, Surround, Adaptive Sound, Game Mode Pro, Optimized for QLED 4K, and 4K pass-through.
  • Other connectivity options: (2x)HDMI, (1x)HDMI ARC, digital optical audio input, USB port, WIFI, and Bluetooth.

HDMI eARC

Great Harman/Kardon Sound

Includes Wireless Sub + Rear Surround Kit

angled view of Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar with dolby atmos

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

  1. Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
    $2,499.98

Sennheiser is an independent family-owned business headquartered in Germany where it designs and manufactures a wide variety of high-performance audio products. It was founded in 1945 by Dr. Fritz Sennheiser and soon after, it started producing some of the world’s best microphones and headphones and other products for the pro audio market and audiophiles around the globe. 

If you like keeping your home entertainment area clean and simple without any compromises to your high-end audio experience, then Sennheiser’s AMBEO soundbar is the best Dolby Atmos soundbar you can buy with the most minimalistic setup. 

The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar will give you a complete end-to-end 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos experience that will produce deep low-end frequency content — even without a subwoofer. While there is an output to connect a sub, you don’t need to buy one for this soundbar. This state-of-the-art device is capable of reproducing extreme bass as low as 30Hz that will go all the way up to 20kHz. 

The Sennheiser AMBEO harnesses its power to present audio across the frequency spectrum from 13 high-end drivers in a sleek all-in-one design. 6 built-in long-throw woofers re-produce deep 30Hz bass, and 5 high-end tweeters cover your room with high-fidelity sound, while 2 top-firing drivers present the sense of vertical elevation in your sound field — all directly from the unit.

To learn more about AMBEO, watch the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Review.

The AMBEO produces one of the best 3D home audio experiences we have ever heard coming out of a single soundbar. Advanced room calibration controls using the latest virtualization technology provides the ability to personalize your studio-grade experience to taste right from within Sennheiser’s Smart Control app. The included high-quality microphones will capture the unique acoustic properties of your room for a spacious 3D experience that’s tailored-made.

If you want the best performance available for both cinema and music in an all-in-one sophisticated device, the state-of-the-art technology and immersive Dolby Atmos sound coming out of the Sennheiser AMBEO is hard to beat. When you compare it to other high-performance systems that require additional speakers to present this level of 3D immersion, the Sennheiser AMBEO re-creates the studio-grade experience of a complete surround sound installation for less than $2,500. For the money, it’s one of the best soundbars we’ve ever seen.

Bonus Points:

  • Room Calibration: calibration microphone optimizes the sound for the unique acoustics of any room.
  • Audio Optimization Modes: Movie, Music, Sports, Neutral, AMBEO Off/On, 4K pass-through.
  • Control Features: Google Chromecast and special EQs to tailor the sound with the Sennheiser Smart Control app.
  • Other connectivity options: (1x) optical input, (3x) HDMI inputs, (1x) HDMI eARC output, (1x) AUX Input, (1x) USB input, (1x) Subwoofer (Mono RCA) Pre-out, ethernet port, (1x) Mic input, WIFI, Bluetooth and UPnP.

HDMI eARC

Studio-grade Sennheiser Performance

End-to-end Atmos Immersion

Overall Recommendation

Adding any soundbar to your TV watching for movies, shows, sports or music will add so much more to the experience. You really can’t go wrong by adding a soundbar. All of them will enhance movies, gaming, and music well beyond the thin sound coming out of a flat-screen TV.

However, choosing a great soundbar for the money is a more difficult decision. With so many options on the market, and so many features to understand, it can be challenging knowing which one is the best. 

We think the soundbars on this list are simply the best you can buy this year. The decision comes down to your budget and your needs. If you want a subwoofer or the rear speakers bundled into the price, then JBL Bar 9.1, Sony HT-ST5000, Samsung HW-Q90R, Sennheiser AMBEO, or the Sonos Arc Surround Sound Set are the best choices.

And, if you don't need a subwoofer, or if you think you might add one later, then the Sonos Arc (without the Sub), and the B&W Formation are the most expandable systems for the money. Either way, we hope this comparison will make your decision to find the best of the best a little easier. 

When you buy from Audio Advice, we’re also including an exclusive “Tips & Tricks - How to set up your specific soundbar" video, available only to Audio Advice customers. These videos will give you some additional key tricks, including how to get the best sound for your room, and a few other tips.

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