Disappointed with your TV's speakers? You need a dedicated audio solution! Something that'll boom when you want it to, but provide clarity in quiet spoken scenes.
If you're looking for something to team with your contender for best gaming TV, and don't fancy a big old surround sound system (opens in new tab) then a soundbar is the perfect alternative. Designed to fit snugly in front of your TV, a Soundbar won't fill your room with speakers, but it will give you loud, clear, rich sound - usually without breaking the bank in the process. Be warned that the sound quality will likely not be as high as using an amplifier and external speakers, but it will make a big difference if you're just used to your TV's built-in sound. So here are the best Soundbars on offer right now.
This model has a wired subwoofer, so be warned that it isn't completely wireless. That said, the unit itself connects to modern Samsung TVs wirelessly, thanks to the Sound Share option - so check if your TV supports that. Otherwise, there's an optical connection too as well as auxiliary line-in. Packing a moderate 120 watts of power, this bar is $149.99 from Amazon US (opens in new tab), or £105.60 from Amazon UK (opens in new tab).
AZATOM Stealth Bar AZHD1 (UK only)
Don't worry, you're not restricted to playing Metal Gear Solid 5 on this 'Stealth' Soundbar. It's called that because it has two subwoofers built into its casing, which means what you see is what you get. No external speaker or trailing cables. It also has three HDMI sockets and supports 4K and 3D throughput, so you can likely connect all of your devices directly to this beauty. It's £179.99 from Amazon UK (opens in new tab).
Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System
If you often find yourself straining to hear dialogue in quiet scenes, you're not alone. This Soundbar from Bose actually has a dedicated 'dialogue mode' for exactly that problem, boosting the frequencies of human speech so that you can always hear what people are saying. Aside from that, the unit is solid but unremarkable, offering optical connectivity, wireless play from your phone and a universal remote control that can be used to control your bluetooth devices themselves. It costs $249 from Amazon US (opens in new tab), or £179 from Amazon UK (opens in new tab).
Canton DM55 Virtual Surround System (UK only)
This is an unusual shape for a Soundbar, but there's a reason for its extra depth. That glass top is designed to be a surface for your TV to actually stand on. Very clever. Secreted away on its underside are two floor-facing subwoofers, while the front of the unit boasts two tweeters and two mid-range woofers so that you get the full spectrum of audio. There's optical connectivity or analogue input and 200 watts of amplification turns your 2.1 source material into a room-filling soundscape. This premium-looking unit will cost you a similarly premium £329 from Amazon UK (opens in new tab).
This Panasonic's sub-woofer is wireless, so combine that with the wireless base unit and you won't have any cables trailing around your home (at least providing you've got the right wireless equipment to make the most of it). If you do go for wires, there's a digital optical cable port and two HDMI sockets. There's 250 watts of power and the unit features a central speaker for dialogue, to make talking scenes as clear as possible. Get it for £168 from Amazon UK (opens in new tab). While that exact model isn't available in the US, there are very similar ones, such as this one (opens in new tab) for $182.95.
ZVOX SoundBase 670 (US only)
This ZVOX sound bar is another that's designed to act as a base for a TV to stand on top of it. It's got built-in subwoofers so you don't need an external speaker (though there is a socket free for one if you decide you want even more bass) and it's got optical, digital and coaxial inputs. It's also designed for dialogue, which will help when watching films as well as playing games. It's $369 from Amazon US (opens in new tab).
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