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Which loud sound bar is the best?

Modern TVs have a wide range of technological advances, but they still lack in overall speaker quality. Sound bars are an easy way to increase your volume and expand your sound quality to ensure your favorite shows and movies are not just heard, but experienced.

Sound bars come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, with many features that can make dialogue clearer and crash scenes louder. If you are a big fan of loud sounds, finding a sound bar that can deliver premium audio is an important step. 

In this article: Sonos Playbar, Sony HT-G700 Sound Bar and Bose Smart Sound Bar 700.

Do you need a sound bar?

The answer is really a question of quality and budget. TVs have speakers, and you will be able to hear what is on the screen. But TV speaker quality is suspect, and if you want the best experience, a sound bar will provide you with clear, amplified audio in a compact, easy-to-connect device. Most sound bars sell for under $1,000, with some less than $200.

If your budget permits it, your most immersive experience is purchasing a full home audio theater system. 

Do sound bars really make things louder?

Sound bars themselves do not make TVs louder. It's the external speakers that come with the sound bar that amplify what you would normally hear from the TV's factory speakers. The additional speakers increase the potential volume, and the extra channels expand your audio quality by splitting things such as bass and high-pitched noises between separate speakers instead of producing them together. 

How are sound bars identified?

Sound bars are manufactured with built-in treble, bass and height channels, which are the places on the sound bar delivering the sound. There typically is a number or series of numbers associated with a sound bar. The first number represents the number of speakers, which can range from 2 to over 10, depending on the sound bar.

If the first number is followed by a 1, then a subwoofer is included. A sound bar marked 5.1 would have five speakers and a subwoofer. 

Most sound bars have at least three channels that cover their left, right and center. But occasionally you will see a sound bar with channels at different heights, which is delineated in a third number, such as 5.1.2. This would indicate two channel heights, with one possibly facing sideways or up toward the ceiling. These sound bars are trying to simulate a surround experience, but they take up more room.

Where is the best place for your sound bar?

Most people place their sound bar underneath or in front of the TV, while some can be hung on a nearby wall. If your TV is on a table or entertainment center, place the sound bar underneath the TV. If your TV is wall mounted, place the sound bar directly below the TV. Some sound bars come with an installation kit for this purpose.

If you have no other place for your sound bar but above the TV, you can still use it, but the sound won't be as good as if placed below. 

Is a subwoofer necessary?

A subwoofer adds an additional layer of bass to your viewing pleasure, helping create a powerful experience for exciting movies and shows. Subwoofers are expensive add-ons, although some sound bars come with the necessary attachments to add a subwoofer later, while others have small subwoofers already built in.

Best loud sound bars

Sonos Playbar

This mountable sound bar was designed by Oscar-winning sound technicians to maximize dialogue. It can be controlled remotely with the Sonos app and automatically tunes itself no matter where it is located. 

Sold by Amazon

Sony HT-G700 Sound Bar

With an immersive audio enhancer and a wireless subwoofer, this sound bar is excellent for movies and music. It has a simple one-cable setup and Bluetooth connectivity. 

Sold by Amazon

Bose Smart Sound Bar 700

This sound bar has built-in capabilities for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It can be controlled by voice recognition, a traditional remote control or the Bose app. It can be paired with other Bose sound equipment. 

Sold by Amazon 

Vizio Elevate Sound Bar

This popular sound bar has 18 speakers and four upfiring speakers to bounce off your ceiling. There is 107-decibel sound pressure that provides real-life sound for your favorite movies and music. 

Sold by Amazon


Polk Audio React Sound Bar

This low-profile sound bar features a six-driver array and Amazon Alexa integration. Built-in technology adjusts dialogue for clearer audio. It can be coupled with other Polk sound equipment for a larger system. 

Sold by Amazon

Klipsch Cinema 800 Dolby Atmos 3.1 Sound Bar

This sound bar features three speakers and a 10-inch wireless subwoofer. It has 800 watts of power with an 8K video pass-through. It is easily set up with a single cable and remote control. 

Sold by Amazon

Sennheiser Ambeo Sound Bar Max

This high-end sound bar has a 30-hertz bass and five speakers. It has a customizable equalizer and three technology modes. It can be streamed throughout your home via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cloud-compatible devices. 

Sold by Amazon

Acoustic Audio by Goldwood 2.1 Sound Bar

This 36-inch surround sound bar has adjustable bass and treble and three listening modes for movies, dialogue and music. It features Bluetooth connectivity with 200 watts of power. 

Sold by Amazon

Samsung HW-Q990B /ZA Sound Bar

With 11 channels and four upfiring channels, this sound bar fills your entertainment room with surround sound. It automatically calibrates the audio, and it has enhanced voice clarity and built-in Amazon Alexa capability. 

Sold by Amazon

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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