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The 6 best soundbars for 2024 are here to bring the noise

The 5 best TV soundbars for 2024
Bose, Roku, Samsung, Polk, Sonos

The latest big screen TVs offer a stunningly bright and detailed picture with accurate colors. They also display ultra-smooth action. And the TVs themselves are thinner than ever. Their biggest problem? Sound quality. The good news is that simply by adding a soundbar to any TV, you can enhance sound from your favorite TV shows, movies, sporting events and more. They can even help enhance dialogue for added clarity. 

Our top TV soundbar picks for 2024

Whether you have a 55-inch or 75-inch TV (or any size in between), we recommend a soundbar. And the good news: While you can spend a lot on a soundbar, you don't have to. There are some very affordable options that offer impressive sound quality and, in some cases, simulated surround sound and spatial audio support. Others allow you to connect a subwoofer and satellite speakers to generate authentic surround sound. Compiled by our team of in-house tech experts, this roundup of the six best TV soundbars for 2024 includes our picks for both households on a budget and those looking to experience the highest quality audio.

Best TV soundbar overall: Bose Smart Ultra 

Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar

Channels: 5.1.2 | Dolby Atmos: Yes (also supports TrueSpace, AdaptIQ and an AI Dialogue mode) | Dimensions: 41.14 x 4.21 x 2.29 inches | Subwoofer: Optional | Satellite Speakers: Optional | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI eArc / Arc, optical audio, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast 

When it comes to audio speakers, Bose is one of the best brands out there, so when the company released its latest TV soundbar -- the Bose Smart Ultra -- expectations were high. This soundbar is currently among the best you can get in the sub-$1,000 price range. 

By combining Dolby Atmos support with Bose's TrueSpace technology and AI dialogue mode, you get robust, room-filling simulated surround sound. The soundbar can automatically enhance dialogue, making it clearer, especially when music and sound effects are also playing. Immersive audio is enhanced by two, built-in, upward-firing speakers, along with Bose's Adaptiq Calibration, which optimizes sound for its surrounding space. 

One of the things we love about this soundbar is the ease of use. It connects to any TV using a single HDMI eArc cable. The Bose Music smartphone app makes it easy to customize your listening. And, if you own Bose wireless headphones or earbuds, you can create a private listening experience via the soundbar. 

You also get voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant. The Bose Smart Ultra TV soundbar does an excellent job generating simulated surround sound, but if you want the real thing, add a Bose subwoofer and satellite speakers. If you do this one component at a time, we recommend adding the Bose Bass Module 500 ($399) subwoofer first, followed by the Bose Surround ($399) satellite speakers.

Best budget TV soundbar: Roku Streambar Pro

Roku Streambar Pro

Channels: 2.0 | Dolby Atmos: No (Dolby Audio and PCM only) | Total Power: Up to 36-watts | Dimensions: 32.2 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches | Subwoofer: OptionalSatellite Speakers: OptionalConnectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth, HDMI (Arc), optical audio, USB, Apple AirPlay, Google Home

If you're looking for a low-cost way to dramatically boost the audio quality from your TV, and at the same time add Roku streaming smart TV functionality, we highly recommend the Roku Streambar Pro. For less than $200, this easy-to-use soundbar generates robust stereo audio and connects to any TV using an HDMI cable or optical audio cable.

You'll get clearer sound from your TV, and access all of your favorite video streaming channels using the popular RokuTV interface. Plus, you get access to the Roku Channel, which offers a vast collection of free, on-demand live TV and movies. The Roku Streambar Pro lacks Dolby Atmos and spatial audio support, but it does support Dolby Audio. It comes with a Roku voice remote to control your TV and the soundbar.

If you want to upgrade the Roku Streambar Pro, an affordable subwoofer ($180) and a pair of satellite speakers ($154) -- each designed for this soundbar -- are sold separately. When the three components are used together, you'll experience true surround sound without draining your bank account. 

Best TV soundbar for spatial audio: Samsung Q900C

Samsung Q900C TV Soundbar

Channels: 7.1.2 | Dolby Atmos: Yes (also DTS: X, Samsung Q-Symphony and SpaceFit Sound Pro) | Total Power: 446-watts | Dimensions: 48.5 x 5.4 x 2.7 inches | Subwoofer: Yes | Satellite Speakers: OptionalConnectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI (Arc), optional audio, Apple AirPlay 2, SmartThings  

Fill a room with robust audio by adding soundbar and subwoofer combo, like the Samsung Q900C. Together, these components do an excellent job generating spatial audio with simulated surround sound from any TV -- not just a Samsung.

Along with Dolby Atmos support, the Q900C supports DTS:X and other audio codex, along with Samsung's own Q-Symphony and SpaceFit Sound Pro technologies. They work together to customize audio to fit a room -- while the accompanying subwoofer generated rich bass that will help you feel, not just hear, the sound.

One of the great features of the Q900C is that it relies on wireless technology to reduce cable clutter, without compromising sound quality. You even get a variety of audio pre-sets calibrated for dialogue, sports, news, movies or games. Voice amplifier tech does a particularly good job boosting the clarity of dialogue, regardless of what you're watching. The soundbar's regular and up-firing speakers, combined with the subwoofer, generate impressive 3D audio, although for true surround sound, optional satellite speakers can be added to the setup.

Best compact TV soundbar: Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX Sound Bar

Channels: 13.2 | Dolby Atmos: Yes (also DTS:X and Polk SDA 3D Audio | Total Power: 150-watts per channel | Dimensions: 14.4 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches | Subwoofer: Included | Satellite Speakers: OptionalConnectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, HDMI (eArc), USB, optical audio, Apple AirPlay, Chromecast

Some of the best soundbars are very long -- too large for a smaller room. With this MagniFi Mini AX soundbar and subwoofer combo, Polk has done an excellent job creating a compact soundbar that's just 14.4 inches long. It generates impressive audio that'll nicely complement whatever you're watching.

This soundbar offers Dolby Atmos support, along with other popular audio codex compatibility, like DTS:X. It also relies on Polk's own SDA 3D Audio technology to create a more immersive experience using just the speakers in the soundbar (and the subwoofer).

You can expect a wide soundstage with simulated surround sound that rivals larger and more expensive soundbars. The Polk VoiceAdjust feature enhances the clarity of dialogue that comes through the center channel -- making voices easier to understand, especially when music and sound effects are also playing. With the addition of the wireless subwoofer, everything you hear is accompanies by deep, down-firing bass. 

The subwoofer that comes with the MagniFi Mini AX is wireless and self-connecting, so there's less cable clutter, but very easy set up. In an apartment or any smaller size room, adding this soundbar and subwoofer combo to your TV will dramatically enhance audio quality. Thanks to support for Apple AirPlay and Chromecast, you can wirelessly stream audio (music, podcasts, audiobooks) from your iOS or Android mobile device and listen through the soundbar.

Best soundbar setup with Dolby Atmos: LG S95QR Soundbar

LG S95QR Soundbar

Channels: 9.1.5 | Dolby Atmos: Yes | Total Power: 810-watts | Dimensions: 47.2 x 2.5 x 5.3 inches | Subwoofer: Included | Satellite Speakers: Included | Connectivity: HDMI 2.1, Bluetooth, USB, AirPlay 2  

While the LG S95QR soundbar is made by LG and certainly works well with LG OLED B, C and G series televisions, it also works nicely with virtually any TV from any brand. Between the included soundbar, subwoofer and dual satellite speakers, you get 810-watts of room-filling, 9.1.5 channel surround sound audio.

The S95QR supports Dolby Atmos spatial audio when playing compatible content, but you also get Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS:X, DTS Digital Surround, DTS-HD High Resolution and support for a handful of other codecs. The result is clear, immersive and lifelike audio regardless of what you're watching.

Using the including remote or the LG mobile app, you're able to customize the audio EQ and adjust settings for the surround sound and dynamic range. Other highlights include the soundbar's 24-bit high-resolution audio support with upscaling capabilities, 4K passthrough, Amazon Alexa support and custom room tuning. Preset audio modes include bass blast, cinema, clear voice, game, sports, music and standard. The soundbar itself offers a total of 17 speaker drivers that include an up-firing center channel for clear dialogue and rear up-firing speakers that add to the audio's immersive quality.

Best premium TV soundbar: Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc Soundbar

Channels: 5.0.2 | Dolby Atmos: Yes | Total Power: 110-watts | Dimensions: 44.96 x 4.57 x 3.34 inches | Subwoofer: Optional Satellite Speakers: OptionalConnectivity: Wi-Fi, HDMI eArc, Apple AirPlay 2  

Some soundbar models come with a premium price tag just because they come from a well-known brand. That doesn't mean you're getting the best quality. Thankfully, this is not the case with Sonos. Yes, Sonos is a well-known and high-end audio brand, but its products offer superior build and sound quality. And all Sonos speakers and audio products are designed to work seamlessly with each other and be controllable using a single mobile app.

If you want high-end audio from your TV, start the upgrade with a Sonos Arc soundbar. As your budget allows, add a Sonos subwoofer, followed by a pair of satellite (rear) speakers to create a true surround sound system. However, even on its own, the Arc soundbar generates really clear and robust audio that supports Dolby Atmos for a simulated 3D listening experience. 

Along with the soundbar's right, left and center speakers, you get a pair of internal, up-firing speakers to create a multi-dimensional soundstage, regardless of what you're watching. In fact, you'll hear detailed audio that seems to bounce around the room to add a greater sense of immersion -- whether you're watching a blockbuster movie, live sports, or a TV series. 

As you'd expect, all dialogue is automatically enhanced. Even cooler: You can calibrate the audio for the space its in using the microphones and technology in your smartphone and the Sonos mobile app. Voice control via Google Assistant, Alexa or even Sonos' own digital assistant is also included.

What's the best TV soundbar?

Just about every major TV and audio brand offers at least one (often multiple) TV soundbars, which gives you plenty of options. Keep in mind that a higher price doesn't always translate to higher quality. To pinpoint which TV soundbar will work best with your TV, here are the key things to consider:


Most TV soundbars offer two to seven audio channels. A two-channel soundbar means it includes just a left and right forward-facing speaker, so it can generate stereo sound. A three-channel soundbar offers a forward-facing left, right and center speaker. Three channels is typically the minimum for what you should look for in a soundbar. 

A five-channel soundbar offers a left, right, center and two up-firing speakers to create simulated surround sound. Seven channels means you get a left, right and center speaker, two up-firing speakers, plus two rear satellite speakers. Seven audio channels gives you true surround sound. 

When you see two numbers (i.e. "3.1 channels"), the first number represents how many speakers are integrated into the soundbar. The second number (typically a "1") refers to subwoofer channels. In most cases, this means the soundbar has a separate subwoofer. 

A third number represents additional audio channels. Up-firing speakers drive audio upward to bounce it off the ceiling, creating overhead audio effects and a fuller listening experience.

Some TV soundbars come bundled with a subwoofer. When you purchase a soundbar, subwoofer and satellite speakers as a bundle, this represents a complete surround-sound system.

Dolby Atmos or spatial audio support

Dolby Atmos is widely used for music production, TV shows and movies. It tricks your brain into thinking audio is coming from all around you. Spatial audio is similar to Dolby Atmos, but it makes you feel like you're actually in the center of what you're watching. 

Spatial audio is also sometimes referred to as 3D audio. Dolby Atmos and spatial audio together create an even more immersive listening experience.

Total power

This means how many watts of audio power all of the speakers can generate. Higher wattage does not necessarily translate to higher volume. 

Dimensions and placement

If a soundbar is too long or too tall, it might not fit directly below your TV -- where it's meant to be. The ideal placement for a soundbar is at ear level (when you're sitting down), directly below the TV. 

If you're using a subwoofer with the soundbar, it should be placed to the side (ideally in the corner of a room), within 10 feet of the soundbar. If the soundbar includes up-firing speakers, nothing should be placed directly above the soundbar. 

Included equipment

Some soundbars come with mounting equipment and cables. Some TV soundbars come bundled with a subwoofer. If the bundle includes the soundbar, subwoofer and at least two satellite speakers, this means you're purchasing a complete surround sound system.


The best and most common connection tech is an HDMI cable. Ideally, you want to connect HDMI ports that are labeled HDMI Arc or eARC HDMI, since these are designed to better handle audio. Another good option is an optical audio cable.

Depending on your TV and subwoofer, you may establish a wireless connection between the two pieces of equipment, which means you don't need a cable.

A more old-school option is to use a pair of audio cables with RCA connectors. Keep in mind, no matter what cable you use, both the TV and the soundbar need to have the same type of port. The same is true for HDMI or RCA cable connections.

Will any TV soundbar work with any TV?

Yes. As long at the TV and soundbar have the same connector option (an HDMI port, optical audio cable port, RCA jacks or Bluetooth) any soundbar from any TV or brand will work with any soundbar. That said, if you choose a soundbar manufactured by the same company as your TV, you may get access to more functions or a smoother setup. 

The biggest perks to using equipment from the same company is that programming your remote will be easier. You may also notice that the aesthetics of the TV and soundbar are more similar. But this is not a requirement, which is why we recommend soundbars from Bose, Roku, Polk and Sonos, which are companies that do not offer their own lineup of TVs.

Do I need to pay full price for one of the best TV soundbars?

Not usually. While brand new models are typically full price, all of the audio brands periodically put their top soundbars on sale. Right now, you can get the LG S95QR soundbar from LG's website for $800 off, which brings the price down to $1,000, but that's just one example. Plus, retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart often slash prices on popular soundbar models. So you can typically invest in the very latest and best audio technology, but not have to pay full price for it. 

To learn all about the latest consumer tech, read in-depth product reviews and find the best deals, be sure to stay up to date on all of our latest tech coverage.

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