The 5 Best Soundbars 2022

Soundbars offer a few advantages over more traditional home theater speaker setups: They tend to take up less space, are easier to set up, and are often more affordable. Whether you're looking for a soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos or want something you can plug your MP3 player into, there's a model out there for you. However, not all soundbars are created equal, and some provide a better listening experience than others. If you watch a lot of TV or listen to music at home, you'll want something that sounds good and is compatible with your existing devices, whether you want to hook it up to your smart TV or prefer streaming directly from your smartphone. The best soundbars for TV reproduce dialogue in your favorite shows with clarity and detail.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using our links.

5. Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is the most versatile soundbar we've tested. This premium soundbar is the only 11.1.4 setup on the market, and it offers a very versatile performance that can please lots of different types of users. It supports Dolby Atmos content, and thanks to its discrete satellites, it's impressive for surround sound, too.

As is typical with premium soundbars, this setup has a room correction feature to automatically optimize the bar's audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of your room. With this Auto EQ feature on, it has a neutral, balanced sound profile that clearly reproduces dialogue in movies and TV shows, with an extended bass that helps you feel the rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed scenes. This bar stands out because of its wide selection of sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ and presets that let you customize its sound to your liking.

That said, no soundbar is perfect. Compared to its predecessor, the Samsung HW-Q950T, its low bass out-of-the-box isn't quite as deep and extended. You can fix this pretty easily by setting its bass adjustment feature to '2', though, ensuring that you still feel the deep rumble in all your audio content.

4. Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

If you want a 5.1 setup that supports DTS content, check out the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. Its soundstage performance isn't quite as impressive as the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module and doesn't support Bluetooth, but a recent update to the Sonos S2 app finally added support for DTS and DTS:X audio formats. It's exciting news, especially since it has such an impressive performance with both surround sound and height content. It offers a wide, immersive soundstage with a clear and real sound that makes it seem like sound objects are coming from an accurate point in the soundstage. For example, helicopters seem to fly overhead from a pinpoint location, making it feel like you're in the center of the action. Like the Bose, it has a room correction feature called TruePlay, but its default sound is a bit bright and lacking in low-bass. Fortunately, you can easily customize it for a more neutral sound by setting its bass to '1' and its treble to '-1'.

You can't go wrong with either of these premium 5.1 setups. If you want a setup with a better soundstage and Bluetooth capabilities, check out the Bose. For a similar bar with DTS support, consider the Sonos instead.

3. Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch

If you want a setup with two subwoofers, check out the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch. This soundbar has a unique 9.2.4 setup, meaning that it comes with two subwoofers and four satellite speakers. Acoustically, the addition of a second subwoofer helps to even out the bass response throughout your room, which is especially helpful if you're listening in a large space.

Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral sound, so dialogue in movies reproduces fairly clearly and accurately, and its deep, rumbling bass helps you feel the action in intense scenes. If you want more bass, you can use the 'Bass' button on the remote to control the subwoofer volume. Don't forget about those four satellites, either - they help create an impressive sound with surround sound and Dolby Atmos content, so you feel like you're in the center of the action with your favorite movies.

Unfortunately, the bar's sound profile lacks some treble, resulting in a dark sound overall that can make it hard to hear higher-frequency instruments like organs and flutes. Although there's a treble adjustment feature, it's still difficult to improve its response in this range. That said, if you're a movie lover looking to fill a large room with even and accurate bass response, it's still a solid choice.

2. Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

If you're low on space, the best small soundbar we've tested is the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). It's the upgraded version of the original Sonos Beam with the same small and compact style that makes it easy to fit into your setup. However, it comes with some new features, including support for Dolby Atmos content.

Despite its small size, the bar still offers a wide and immersive soundstage - like many bars on the market, it uses psychoacoustic principles to widen its perceived soundstage. It does an even better job than other small soundbars we've tested, though, resulting in a wide and immersive soundstage. Voices and lead instruments reproduce clearly, thanks to its balanced mid-range - and there's even a room correction feature called TruePlay available.

Unfortunately, on its own, the bar struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble in the low-bass found with bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. It's especially noticeable when watching Dolby Atmos content. You can easily upgrade the bar with a dedicated subwoofer, improving its bass performance, as well as satellite speakers to enhance its performance with surround sound.

1. Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is the best budget soundbar we've tested. This 5.1 setup is an even more affordable alternative to the Vizio M Series M512a-H6 with versatile overall performance that makes it suitable for listening to everything from music to movies. It comes with a dedicated subwoofer and two discrete satellite speakers for a more immersive experience with surround sound.

Its default sound profile is neutral, with a touch of extra boom in the bass range that helps you feel the punch in action-packed movie scenes. Thanks to its balanced mids, dialogue is clear and detailed in the mix. It has a decent selection of sound enhancement features on hand, especially for its price, including bass and treble adjustments as well as a dialogue enhancement feature.

Unfortunately, its budget-friendly price means that you'll have to sacrifice some features. There's no Dolby Atmos support, which is disappointing if you watch lots of movies on 4k Blu-rays and streaming platforms with Atmos content. You won't find a Full HDMI In port, either, so you can't use it for video passthrough. That said, if you're on a tight budget, it's still suitable for surround sound as well as listening to music and TV shows.

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the top soundbars for most people to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper soundbar wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no soundbars that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our soundbar reviews, including the best soundbars for TV and the best Bluetooth soundbars. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. No soundbar is perfect. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.