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Soundbars that will enhance your TV’s audio in 2022
If you’ve ever picked up a television and then realized that the tiny speakers inside its frame can’t handle your favourite movies or TV series, fear not; this list of the best soundbars will solve your problems. There are many different types of soundbars, with many different features, and with a wide variety of configurations, so finding the right one can be difficult. The soundbars on this list are the best for their respective price points and uses, so we aim to simplify the buying process.
It is common for us to listen to music and movies, as well as play games through their speakers, paying close attention to the way they handle dialogue, watching movies to see how well they handle scale and complexity, as well as watching daytime programs to see how well they perform in day-to-day broadcasts. We compiled this list based on those tests.
This list covers soundbars ranging from $200 to $2000 to cover different price tiers, and we will update it as we find them worthy.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar
Sennheiser Ambeo Pros
- High-quality 3D audio
- Music and movies go well together
Sennheiser Ambeo Cons
- A big, ugly monster
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Review
A well-built soundbar that is good for the money – / $2199 – is the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar.
Despite being a large soundbar, the Ambeo is not easy to sit under a television unless it’s wall mounted. It measures over a metre long and weighs 18.5 kilograms. We considered the Devialet Dione to be quite heavy when it weighed 12kg, but the Ambeo weighs more than some OLED TVs alone.
The built quality is excellent for its size and weight, and there are three HDMI ports, two optical outs and an auxiliary in for connectivity. It needs a lot of space to be accommodated, but it’s built well. A Google Chromecast and Bluetooth 4.2 receiver is supported wirelessly.
Among those that we’ve tested so far, the Ambeo Soundbar offers five levels of quality.The first.Immersive 4-channel audio. Films and TV shows are made even more exciting with this powerful and exciting sound system. The soundstage created by the single-bar system has a good level of depth and nuance, which is suitable for a single-bar system. The bass is substantial for a single-bar system. We found, however, that the bar’s performance lost its depth and height when Ambeo processing was turned off.
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and MPEG-H are supported as well. There is a calibration microphone included in the Ambeo that matches the soundbar’s profile with a room, but it can only do this from one position in order to calibrate it. For the best experience, you need to sit in the right place at all times.
While the Sennheiser Ambeo is the best soundbar on this list, its size and price make it hard to recommend. Rumours are circulating that Sennheiser will introduce a cheaper, smaller Ambeo soundbar later in 2022.
Wharfedale Vista 200S
Wharfedale Vista 200S Pros
- Music and movies go together perfectly
- Bass that is well integrated
- An attractive cabinet made of high-quality materials
- Value that you can’t beat
- Setting up is quick and easy
Wharfedale Vista 200S Cons
- A price this low means nothing
Wharfedale Vista 200S Review
There are a number of excellent soundbar options that you can choose from, including the Wharfedale Vista 200S, which offers a built-in subwoofer in an affordable package.
In spite of the Vista 200S’s affordable price, we found its design attractive and its construction durable. The black finish and glossy top surface don’t scream cheap soundbar. It is designed to complement TVs up to 65-inches in size with a width of 900mm, and due to its slim frame, you won’t have to worry about it blocking the view.
We observed that there was not much to deal with in terms of features aside from its active wireless subwoofer’s 165mm driver which has 60W power and can fire side-to-side. You should consider buying Sonos Beam Gen 2, which is smaller but more expensive, if you are looking for immersive audio or wireless connectivity. To optimize the soundbar’s sound for media playback, three preset EQ settings are provided for Movies, Music and News.
With its active subwoofer, the 200S provided punchy bass with decent top-end detail. For the price, the sound quality was excellent, with the 200S giving a great performance across the frequency range. The Vista 200S’s 120W of built-in amplification also enabled it to sound loud but not harsh or compressed. It also delivers on a smooth and clear performance if you want to play music through this bar, even though it doesn’t come with a dedicated center speaker.
The Wharfedale soundbar offers more performance-per-pound than cheaper soundbars, such as the Sharp HT-SBW202.
Sony HT-A7000 Pros
- A very good sound quality
- One bar of powerful bass
- Performance of excellent music
Sony HT-A7000 Cons
- Space is essential
- There is a cost associated with adding rear channels and subwoofers
- There is a high price for a standalone bar
Sony HT-A7000 Review
Sony HT-A7000 soundbar is a superb choice for movie lovers as well as music lovers.
A single-bar unit’s audio was crisp and clear, with clear voices and particularly powerful bass. There are seven of them.The first.There’s also a great sense of height with the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundbars, making them more immersive than a ‘standard’ soundbar would be. Our set-up didn’t have walls near the listening area to bounce sounds off of, so its claim of virtual surround sound didn’t seem very convincing.
Music sounds great on the HT-A7000, depicting the midrange naturally, along with sharp highs and punchy bass. We would argue that it is better in Cinema mode than Music mode, providing more smooth vocal performance.
Adding rear speakers and a subwoofer is an upgrade path, but it doesn’t come at a particularly affordable price, costing more than $2,000 as a whole. At least, you’ll get a lot of features, with a variety of options for playing audio wirelessly or wired. The device supports Chromecast, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth 5, Spotify Connect, and Hi-Res Audio with DSD and wireless LDAC.
As well as digital music from streaming services like Tidal and Deezer, Sony also offers 360 Reality Audio, which plays tracks in 3D audio. Smart assistance is also available with Alexa and Google Assistant, but a separate device is needed for hands-free operation.
It is an out-of-the-box design with a reflective glass surface and a strange combination of materials, so it may be marmite to some (we liked it). You should pair the soundbar with a TV that is 55-inches or larger to get the greatest impact, since it is wider than the Sennheiser Ambeo, but thankfully not as tall.
Sonos Arc Pros
- Invigorating and expansive sound
- Suitable height and width for audio
- Specifications are fine
- Options for adjusting the settings
Sonos Arc Cons
- Response to frequency is slightly bumpy
- Stridency in the treble
- Support for MQA is not available
Sonos Arc Review
For Dolby Atmos soundbars, both Sennheiser and Sony soundbars are around £1000. If that’s not something you’re willing to spend, then we would recommend the Sonos Arc. It’s certainly not a cheap option, but with streaming support and true upfiring speakers, it’s an outstanding option for under £1000.
When we tested the Arc, we found the soundstage to be full of plenty of height and width, with good control over the top end as well as accurate presentation of the midrange and lowend. It was Sonos’ first attempt at Dolby Atmos.
We found the transition between midrange and low-end to be rather loose, which hindered the Arc’s overall presentation cohesion. Despite its blend of bass and midrange, it sometimes lacks conviction when it plays music. With the Arc, at least a subwoofer can be added to address the lack of bass that hampers several Atmos single-bars such as the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3.
In order to get the best Atmos performance out of the Arc, you’ll need a TV with HDMI eARC. AirPlay 2 (Sonos only offers AirPlay in its spec) and a multi-room mode with other Sonos speakers are two wireless options (Bluetooth is still omitted). Aside from Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, and Sonos Radio, the S2 app offers access to streaming services including Tidal, Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, and Tidal. Audio playback in any room can be optimized by the Trueplay feature on iOS devices.
In terms of design, the Arc maintains Sonos’ minimalistic aesthetic. It comes in black or white and is over a metre long but is quite discreet in design. Its lack of all-round DTS support makes the Arc a poor choice for home cinema fans with older DVDs and Blu-rays with DTS soundtracks. Although it is very good for Dolby Atmos, it has limitations.
Razer Leviathan V2
Razer Leviathan V2 Pros
- Bass is excellent
- Lighting that can be customized in RGB
- An app to go along with Razer Synapse
- When listening to music or playing games, the sound is full and warm
Razer Leviathan V2 Cons
- Taking up too much desk space with a subwoofer
- Ports are not available
- A low level of reliability is associated with Bluetooth audio
Razer Leviathan V2 Review
This soundbar was designed specifically with gamers in mind, with its bar and subwoofer combo for an amplified gaming experience. It’s priced at $229.99, making it a worthwhile option not just for gaming, but also for music enjoyment.
Although Leviathan V2’s appearance is somewhat toned down, its RGB lighting scheme can be summoned and customized to match the environment, giving gaming sessions a cascade of colour. Even though it is primarily constructed of plastic, the soundbar is built strong enough, with feet that can angle it upward to fire audio at the listener.
A USB audio input is included on the Leviathan V2 if you connect it to your PC with it. You can also connect the bar wirelessly to a device other than your PC to play audio. Although its predecessor included 3.5mm, we found it a little disappointing that there’s not 3.5mm available. You can customize your sound to match your game using Razer Audio’s EQ presets such as Bass Boost.
On the sound side, our reviewer enjoyed the warm, punchy bass of the soundbar/subwoofer combo, along with a spacious soundstage that helped to identify enemies, and the sound of bullets flying past that immersed us more deeply in the game. Instead of Dolby Atmos, which the Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Speaker supports, spatial audio has been added, and we were impressed by this improvement.
It’s perfectly serviceable if you’re not too picky about your music plays over a Bluetooth connection.