Best Sound Bars of 2017

Soundbar Bar reviews Canada


How to Choose a Sound Bar

The top performers in our review are the Vizio SmartCast 38 2.1 Sound Bar, the Gold Award winner; LG SH6, the Silver Award winner; and Bose SoundTouch 300, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a system to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 products.

Televisions are getting bigger and more affordable with increasingly better picture quality. One thing remains constant with almost all televisions – poor sound quality. Audio quality is every bit as important to your movie watching experience as picture quality, and bad audio can leave you underwhelmed when you are trying to enjoy movies on your big screen.

A sound bar is an inexpensive and simple solution to your sound quality woes. It is a single unit that contains an array of speakers, sometimes with a separate subwoofer to enhance the sound. Sound bars improve your audio experience significantly with virtually no setup required.

How It Works

Do you have to max out your TV's volume settings in order to hear your shows sometimes? Sound bars increase the overall volume so you don't have to continually reach for your remote to turn up the volume. A good TV sound bar also produces more consistent volume and enhances dialogue. This means you won't need to turn up the volume when characters are just talking, then get blown away when an action scene starts.

Some sound bars simulate surround sound to make it seem like you have a multi-speaker setup in your home entertainment room. Sound is dispersed at different times and toward different parts of the room. This creates the illusion of surround sound without the hassle of installing multiple speakers together.

Sound bars not only provide enhanced sound, but also convenient installation. Most sound bars connect to your TV with one cable, usually a digital optical or coaxial cable. There is no need for added equipment. Generally, when you install a full home theater speaker system, you have to purchase an additional AV receiver that connects all the speakers to the television. You also have to run multiple sets of speaker wires to the AV receiver and figure out a way to hide them so you don't have speaker wires strewn about your room.

The additional equipment needed for full surround sound can be far costlier than purchasing a sound bar. A quality AV receiver will run upwards of $300 dollars. Floor standing speakers can cost $200 or more per speaker, and that is not including the surround sound speakers or center speaker. A whole system can be well over $1, 000, whereas a home theater sound bar gives you premium sound quality for far less. If you feel as though you want a larger sound system, visit our site on floor standing speakers and AV receivers for more options.

The amount of space you have in your home is a factor to consider when you upgrade your home entertainment center. Sound bars are good for people who are not only on a budget, but who have limited space. They can be a good audio upgrade for apartment living as they sit right in front of your television and don't take up additional space. Space restrictions, cost efficiency and overall sound quality are all reasons to consider a sound bar for your home entertainment upgrade. For more information on this topic, visit our learning center for articles on sound bars.

Sound Bars: What We Tested, What We Found

For our sound bar reviews, we didn’t test any that cost as much as a home theater system. We tested affordable TV sound bars. All of the sound bars will greatly enhance the audio of your home entertainment center without sacrificing your wallet.

Audio Quality
We took on the arduous and painful task of watching movies and listening to music through each sound bar system (real tough, right?). The movies we watched included "Star Trek Beyond, " "The Man From U.N.C.L.E, " "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Mad Max." We also tested the sound bars with a handful of songs from different musical genres. We used the films and music to test a variety of audio qualities including bass response, dialogue clarity and surround sound simulation.

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