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Best soundbars 2021: Boost your TV’s sound with speakers for all budgets

·6-min read
 (BEOSOUND)
(BEOSOUND)

Face it – over the past year, we’ve all turned to our TVs for comfort.

With soundbars, you can enhance your audio experience to give home viewing a truly cinema-like feel. Since we last told you about the best soundbars on the market, a lot has changed – from the speakers with chromecast built in, to those that adapt the audio.

Not only can you access clear, powerful sounds, developments in TV speaker technology mean you can do so, in many cases, without lifting a finger.

As TV’s shrink in size and weight, soundbars are a good way of ensuring that you don’t have to sacrifice acoustics for aesthetics. Gone are the days are where having a sleek TV meant that you had to endure the tinny, weak sound that its tiny speakers emitted.

Soundbars are arguably the best solution we have for bringing TV audio up to a standard befitting of the spectacular viewing experiences now available on today’s tellies. They are a dedicated vessel for quality audio components, built to plug into your TV and reproduce its sound with power and clarity.

Shop the best below.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

  • Ultra HD 4K Pass-through with Dolby Vision

  • Strong bass

  • Bluetooth and WiFi wireless streaming

It’s called the MultiBeam for a reason. No matter which crevice of the room you are in, it beams out sound, eliminating the need for setting up extra speakers.

Though it comes equipped with its own remote (batteries included), you can control the soundbar with your own remote after connecting it to your TV via a HDMI cable which comes in the box.

The MultiBeam offers Alexa assistant so you wont even need to move a muscle to switch up your sound. The connectivity doesn’t end there – with Chromecast built in and Apple Airplay activated, you can stream the content your ears long for from various devices.

But on top of the impressive audio and connectivity capabilities, it’s the accessories that sets this soundbar apart from the crowd. If you want to mount your device on the wall underneath your TV, you’ll find 2 L-shape brackets that come as standard. Easy.

 (JBL)
(JBL)

£299 | Currys

Sonos Arc

  • Dolby Atmos Sound

  • Eight elliptical woofers

  • Adjustable EQ

  • Four far field microphones

The Sonos Arc embodies the spirit behind the phrase ‘home theatre experience’. Everything about it screams drama – from its length (45 inches) to the eleven high performance drivers which deliver 3D sound.

This doesn’t mean that watching TV at night will drive the neighbours to purchase ear plugs – the Night Sound feature softens loud explosions. In a similar fashion to the JBL MultiBeam, Sonos’ Trueplay tuning technology adjusts the Arc sounds to accommodate the furniture in your room.

With these impressive specs, it is no wonder that there’s a hefty price tag attached to the Sonos Arc. Its heavyweight and unusually long length mean that it would be best suited to a spacious room housing a large TV.

 (Sonos)
(Sonos)

£299 | Amazon

BOSE Smart Soundbar 300

  • Bose Voice4Video technology

  • Compact – just over 5cm tall

  • Bass Module Connection

This sleek, slim soundbar offers you the opportunity to control a whole range of things – of course, the soundbar itself, but also your TV and cable or satellite box through simple voice commands.

The built in Alexa and Google assistant can pick up your requests even if you’ve got the music blasting thanks to the Bose Voice4Video technology – smart, right? You can even use Alexa to make phone calls. If you’re concerned about your privacy, there’s also a handy option to turn your microphone off to put your mind at ease.

If you’re one of those people that constantly puts on subtitles during a film because you can’t hear what people are saying, the BOSE soundbar works to enhance speech over background noise. Though it comes with an optical cable, if you want to connect through HDMI you will have to purchase the connecting cable yourself.

 (BOSE)
(BOSE)

£399 | John Lewis

Samsung S61A 5.0ch Lifestyle All-in-One Voice Controlled S-Series Soundbar

  • Streaming via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

  • Harmonious Music Mode

  • Tap sound

Solid, functional and reliable products is Samsung’s forte and is exactly what you get with this S-Series soundbar. The Center speaker works hand in hand with the dual-sided horn speakers to produce a wide ranging, room-filling sound.

Like the JBL MultiBeam, you’ll find all the essential accessories including wall-mounting kit as standard.

We were taken aback by the ‘tap’ feature, which means you can just tap your smartphone anywhere on the soundbar to hear the music on your phone on a much bigger scale.

Of course, the soundbars have Amazon Alexa built in and work seamlessly with Apple AirPlay 2.

 (Samsung)
(Samsung)

£449 | Littlewoods

LG SN4 2.1 Wireless Sound Bar

  • Adaptive Sound Control

  • Carbon Woofer

Despite the fact that this LG soundbar is the cheapest on the list, it comes with its own wireless subwoofer to amplify the audio and pump 200 watts of power into your room.

No matter what kind of content you’re streaming, the LG Wireless Soundbar will put its AI Sound Pro into action to rapidly analyse the type of sound and optimise it so you get the best music, film or TV experience.

Unlike the rest of the soundbars we’ve seen so far you won’t be able to use voice commands. But given that you can use an app or remote to control what’s going on, we don’t think this is too much of a loss.

 (LG)
(LG)

£179 | Currys

Bang and Olufsen BEOSOUND STAGE

  • Dolby Atmos

  • Built in Subwoofer

  • Textile Speakers

Nothing about this soundbar is understated. It’s a lot bigger than the other soundbars we’ve seen so far and delivers extreme power as a result. Armed with four woofers and 11 drivers, there is no need for any additional speakers or subwoofers for a premium, luxury listening experience.

Loyal Bang and Olufsen enthusiasts can pair the soundbar with other B+O products seamlessly, and Chromecast, Apple Airplay 2 and Bluetooth are built in for maximum connectivity.

If you’re looking a soundbar that will do the work of entire sound system all by itself, the BEOSOUND STAGE is a perfect fit.

 (BEOSOUND)
(BEOSOUND)

£1349 | AO

JVC TH-D329B 2.0 Compact Sound Bar

After the eye-watering price of the luxury Bang and Olufsen bar above the JVC Compact Soundbar is a breath of fresh air.

It fulfils the basic functions of a soundbar and is catered to smaller screens and bedrooms. With Bluetooth connectivity, you’ve got the option to connect it to your various devices.

While a lot of the other soundbars will optimise sound according to what you’re watching, we found that we had to manually adjust levels to get the best audio quality out of different content.

 (JVC)
(JVC)

£39.97 | Currys

Verdict

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam encompasses all the desirable features in a soundbar- crisp sound quality optimised to the content of your choice, voice commands, included wall mounting accessories and a slick design. If you’re looking to splash some money on a luxury audio experience, the sound of the spectacular Sonos Arc will be music to your ears.

Read More

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