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Best TV soundbars for watching the big NFL game

Best TV soundbars for watching the big NFL game
Roku, Samsung, Sonos, Bose

If you have an extra $4,000 to $25,000 sitting in your bank account, you could nab a seat at Super Bowl LVIII. Or you can relax and watch the big game on your TV at home. Invest in a decent soundbar or full surround sound system and you just might feel like you're at Allegiant Stadium.

Whether you have less than $500 or several thousand dollars to spend on a TV soundbar or surround-sound system, our in-house tech experts have curated the best options to dramatically enhance your experience watching live sports. It'll sound like you're right in the middle of the action.

Regardless of what size, make and model TV you have -- whether it's 55 inches or 75 inches -- you can dramatically enhance sound quality by connecting a soundbar, soundbar and subwoofer, or complete surround-sound system.  

Best surround sound system for sports overall: Samsung Q-Series Q990C

Samsung Q-series 11.1.4 ch. Soundbar Q990C

You don't need to own a Samsung TV to take advantage of the truly immersive audio that the Q-Series Q990C surround sound system generates. This bundle comes with the 11.1.4ch soundbar, a subwoofer and a pair of wireless stereo speakers. 

With support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Samsung's own Q-Symphony and the company's SpaceFit Sound Pro feature, this system's audio will surround you and fill the room with incredibly lifelike sound.

All together, you get 11 front-facing speakers and four up-firing speakers from the soundbar, plus up- and side-firing rear speakers and the deep bass audio from a subwoofer. When you connect this sound system to a Samsung TV, all of the components operate as one. But the sound system works just as nicely with any TV.

While you're watching the Super Bowl, you won't miss a word of the play-by-play commentary, thanks to the Q990C's active voice analyzer. It automatically enhances and optimizes all dialogue. You'll discover that the Q990C relies heavily on Bluetooth wireless connectivity, so required wires and cables are kept to a minimum when you're connecting the components to your TV.

There are literally hundreds of soundbars and surround sound systems out there, but if you're looking for a top-quality TV audio system from a brand you can trust, we recommend the Samsung Q-Series Q990C sound system. For less than $2,000, you won't find a better true surround sound system that uses a high-quality soundbar as its centerpiece. 

Best budget surround sound system for sports: Roku Streambar Pro with the Roku Wireless Bass Pro and Roku wireless speakers

Roku Streambar Pro

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, standalone soundbar generates robust stereo audio and connects to any TV using an HDMI cable or optical audio cable.

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

Ultimately, if you want to upgrade the Roku Streambar Pro in time for the Super Bowl (or anything else), we recommend adding Roku's affordable subwoofer ($180) and a pair of Roku satellite speakers ($159) -- components that were designed specifically for use with this soundbar and that are sold separately. When the three components are used together, you'll experience true surround sound without having to empty your bank account. The entire bundle will cost $496 if you buy everything from Amazon.

Best stand-alone soundbar for sports: Bose Smart Ultra

Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar

This soundbar is among the best you can get in the sub-$1,000 price range. On its own, this soundbar does a nice job creating simulated surround sound that will help you feel more immersed when watching the Super Bowl (or anything else).

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 be adjusted to automatically enhance dialogue quality, making it clearer and easier to understand, especially when music and sound effects are also in the background. The immersive audio quality is further enhanced by the soundbar's Two built in, upward-firing speakers enhance the quality further, along with Bose's Adaptiq Calibration, which optimizes sound based on type of room. 

One of the things we love about this soundbar is how easy it is to use. It connects to any TV using a single HDMI eArc cable. Then, using the Bose Music smartphone app, it's easy to customize. 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 to experience the real thing, simply add an optional Bose subwoofer and satellite speakers. If you choose to do this one component at a time, we recommend adding the Bose Bass Module 500 ($499) subwoofer first, followed by the Bose Surround ($399) satellite speakers, as your budget permits.

Best premium surround sound system for sports: Sonos Ultimate Immersive Set with Arc

Sonos Ultimate Immersive Set with Arc

Sonos is a respected, high-end audio brand, but unlike some of its peers, Sonos' has a reputation for sound quality worthy of true audiophiles. Even better, all Sonos speakers and audio products are designed to work seamlessly with each other and be controlled with a single mobile app.

While the Sonos Arc soundbar can be purchased separately, this bundle includes the soundbar, a Sonos subwoofer and a pair of Sonos satellite speakers. This gives you a 7.1.4 channel setup. Along with the soundbar's right, left and center speakers, you get a pair of internal, up-firing speakers that are used to create a multi-dimensional soundstage, regardless of what you're watching. 

In fact, when you combine the power of the soundbar, subwoofer and satellite speakers, you'll hear detailed audio that seems to bounce around the room to add a greater sense of immersion -- whether you're watching the Super Bowl, a blockbuster movie, or a popular TV show. 

Best sound for small spaces: Polk Magnifi Mini AX


If you're living in an apartment of have a small TV watching space, but still want to enjoy room-filling sound that's clear and robust, we recommend the Polk Magnifi Mini AX. This is a soundbar and wireless subwoofer combo that connects to any TV.

With this soundbar, you'll enjoy immersive 3D audio, DTS:X and Dolby Atmos sound support, along with a variety of sound pre-sets that allow you to get the most out of the soundbar based on the type of content you're watching.

Another feature we like that's built into this sound system is the Polk VoiceAdjust speech-clarifying technology. When activated, the center speaker within the soundbar is used to generate clearer dialogue, while the soundbar's left and right speakers play whatever music or sound effects that are part of the overall audio soundtrack. This makes the dialogue easier to understand.

This is a 13.2 channel sound system that generates 150-watts of audio power per channel. And while the sound is rather amazing, the soundbar itself measures just 14.4 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches, so it easily fits into tight spaces.

Best soundbars for immersive listening

The best stand alone TV soundbars (or soundbar and subwoofer combos) use spacial audio and Dolby Atmos to make the TV sound, including the roars of the Super Bowl, much more immersive. However, to make you feel like your sitting inside of the Allegiant Stadium during the Super Bowl, you'll want to connect a complete surround sound system to your existing TV.

A complete surround sound system consists of a soundbar, a separate subwoofer and at least two satellite (rear) speakers. But the more speakers that are built into the system, the more realistic and immersive the audio will sound. We recommend a soundbar with at least a left, right and center channel. However, if it also includes up-firing and/or side-firing speakers, the overall sound will be even better.

Contrary to popular belief, the soundbar or surround sound system you choose does not need to be from the same brand as your TV. You're free to shop well-known audio brands (that don't manufacturer their own TVs), like Bose, Polk, Roku and Sonos.

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