The best soundbar for 2020: Vizio, Sonos, Polk, Yamaha, Roku and more

The best soundbar for 2020: Vizio, Sonos, Polk, Yamaha, Roku and more

Soundbars are affordable, a breeze, and offer significantly improved sound quality over a built-in standard TV Speaker. This makes them more popular nowadays than Home theater speakers, Subwoofer and AV receiver Packages. With a variety of options available, finding the best soundbar can be difficult, but this best soundbar guide can help you avoid the noise.

To test the sound quality of each soundbar listed below, we played both music and films in our audio lab. We also considered features like number HDMI Connections and whether the soundbar works high resolution audio, Bluetooth, Surround sound or Dolby Atmos. From solid bare bones bars to Alexa smart speakers, this is the CNET line of the best sound bars available in a variety of feature levels and prices.

This list is updated regularly as new products become available and tested.

Continue reading:: Soundbar Buying Guide for 2020

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

If you’re looking to forego your TV speakers, we recommend starting here. Our long-time favorite, the Vizio SB3621n-E8, has essentially been replaced by the V21. The subwoofer may be smaller on the newer model, but that bar still sounds great and offers HDMI connectivity and a much easier-to-understand input meter. This is the best soundbar value we tested in 2020. Read our Vizio V21 review.

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If your price range is limited for less than a C note, the Creative Stage soundbar has an array of previously unheard of features, including HDMI connectivity and a subwoofer. More notably, though, it sounds better than most of its ultra-budget competitors with a wired subwoofer that fills the room with great bass. A variety of modes make this speaker a great soundbar speaker for music, concerts, and games. Excellent sound quality for gamers and film fans alike. Read our Creative Stage review.

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

While it may not offer many features compared to some of its competitors, the only thing the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass has is also the most desirable: the sound quality. The JBL comes with a large subwoofer that goes as deep as it claims, while also giving a real sense of dynamism that cheaper bars lack. If you want to make your TV the next best movie theater possible, this is one of the most cost-effective options. Read our JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass review.

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The Yamaha YAS-209 offers excellent sound quality in a compact soundbar. Adding Amazon Alexa is useful for this voice-controlled smart soundbar to stream music and for the microphones to work well in noisy environments. The implementation of DTS Virtual: X by the soundbar offers a rich effect reminiscent of surround speakers. The wireless subwoofer is more precise and offers more headroom than the competing and excellent Polk Command Bar. However, the YAS-209 does not use the company’s MusicCast system, so it cannot sync with other Yamaha speakers. Read our Yamaha YAS-209 review.

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The Vizio SB36512-F6 proves that you don’t have to spend a ton to get a quality soundbar that handles the latest Dolby Atmos soundtracks and delivers multiroom sound. The Vizio SB36512-F6 is a full-fledged 5.1.2 sound system for the price of an AV receiver, and its height channels bring out Atmos effects perfectly. You can also stream music from any Google Chromecast-enabled audio app such as Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Google Play Music. Read our Vizio SB36512-F6 review.

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

If you’re looking to set up a multiroom sound system, a Sonos sound bar system is still the best option. The company’s best soundbar, the Sonos Arc includes Dolby Atmos playback, a world-class music ecosystem, and a choice of Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa built into the bar itself. The soundbar system sounds great with music and movies, and adding a pair of Ikea Symphonisk bookcases should really improve your home theater sound experience. The Arc sounds a lot bigger than the cheaper Beam, which requires the $ 700 subwoofer to be sonically comparable.

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If you simply need to have the fewest number of speakers and remote controls in your living area and still want the best sound performance in Atmos quality, this Sennheiser speaker is for you. It’s a single unit with no subwoofer, but it can conjure up the most realistic overhead and true surround sound effects we’ve ever heard. It is also fully controlled by remote control. It’s not a cheap sound device, but it is comparable in price to a full set of surround speakers without the bulk and with 85% of the great sound and performance. Read our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar review.

Also take into account

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

If you’re looking for a speaker that can play music as well as the latest Ted Lasso episode, then the Polk Signa S3 has a lot going for it. It is ideal for streaming, since in addition to Bluetooth and an HDMI input, Chromecast is also integrated. Read our Polk Signa S3 review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

While we really like the Roku Smart Soundbar, the Roku Streambar does essentially the same job for $ 50 less. With a full-fledged 4K HDR Roku streamer and a single voice remote controlling everything, this bar offers audio and video in one simple bar. Setup is a breeze; Just add a TV with a simple HDMI connection. The sound quality was acceptable for the size and price, and you can add a wireless subwoofer for $ 129 for punch. Read our Roku Streambar review.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you’re looking for a single bar that’s even cheaper than the Sonos Arc, the Zvox SB500 is a great option for people who still value sound quality. This speaker offers multiple sound mode options, tighter bass, and better sound than most other single speaker options. While the Sonos may lack Wi-Fi streaming, the Zvox still offers a Bluetooth connection for streaming audio from your phone or tablet. Read our Zvox SB500 review.

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