The Best Soundbar

The Best Soundbar

Our pick

Vizio SB46514-F6

Vizio SB46514-F6

The best all-around soundbar

The Vizio SB46514-F6 delivers a dynamic, immersive audio experience and checks all the right boxes in terms of soundbar features.

Buying Options

$945* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $800.

The full-featured Vizio SB46514-F6 is the best soundbar you can find in the $1,000-or-less price range. This is a true Dolby Atmos–capable soundbar that includes two rear speakers and four upward-facing speakers that bounce sound effects off your ceiling to create a greater sense of height and a more dynamic, enveloping listening experience. Its wireless 10-inch subwoofer reproduces the deepest bass notes in movies and music better than the smaller subwoofers packaged with most soundbars. The SB46514-F6 is ready for all current video and audio content, supporting 4K HDR video pass-through and wireless music streaming via Bluetooth and Chromecast, and it’s compatible with Google Assistant devices for voice control.

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Runner-up

Definitive Technology Studio Slim

Definitive Technology Studio Slim

A great three-channel soundbar

The Studio Slim performs great with movies and music, and it strikes a good balance between features and ease of use.

Buying Options

$1,000* from Amazon
$1,000 from Best Buy

*At the time of publishing, the price was $800.

If you don’t need Dolby Atmos or separate surround speakers but want a three-channel soundbar-with-subwoofer that sounds great, we recommend the Definitive Technology Studio Slim. This stylish, low-profile soundbar isn’t as full-featured as the Vizio SB46514-F6; it lacks HDMI video inputs, Dolby Atmos support, and the ability to add surround speakers. You still get HDMI ARC for easy connection and control through your TV, plus Bluetooth and Chromecast wireless music streaming and Google Assistant compatibility. The Studio Slim’s wireless 8-inch subwoofer doesn’t have quite as much low-end punch as the SB46514-F6’s 10-inch subwoofer for movie explosions, but its bass is a bit tighter and more controlled, which works better for music playback. Overall, this model is a simple option that looks and sounds great.

Also great

Yamaha YAS-209

Yamaha YAS-209

The best smart soundbar

The Yamaha YAS-209 is a full-featured soundbar that sounds great and offers built-in Alexa support.

Buying Options

$350* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

Lots of new soundbars are compatible with voice-assistant technologies such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but in most cases you have to add your own smart speaker to work with the soundbar. The Yamaha YAS-209 eliminates the middleman through its built-in microphones and Alexa support, so you can use your voice to control the soundbar and enjoy most of the features of an Alexa-based smart speaker like the Echo. The YAS-209 delivers a big, balanced sound in a fairly compact form, and it includes Bluetooth and HDMI video switching (with 4K HDR passthrough). You can’t add surround speakers, though.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Vizio SB46514-F6

Vizio SB46514-F6

The best all-around soundbar

The Vizio SB46514-F6 delivers a dynamic, immersive audio experience and checks all the right boxes in terms of soundbar features.

Buying Options

$945* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $800.

Runner-up

Definitive Technology Studio Slim

Definitive Technology Studio Slim

A great three-channel soundbar

The Studio Slim performs great with movies and music, and it strikes a good balance between features and ease of use.

Buying Options

$1,000* from Amazon
$1,000 from Best Buy

*At the time of publishing, the price was $800.

Also great

Yamaha YAS-209

Yamaha YAS-209

The best smart soundbar

The Yamaha YAS-209 is a full-featured soundbar that sounds great and offers built-in Alexa support.

Buying Options

$350* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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