Top Soundbars to Elevate Your TV Sound in 2024

The built-in speakers in most TVs aren’t enough to fill your living room with immersive sound that adequately showcases the finer details of movies and TV shows. Thankfully, you don’t have to splurge for a five-speaker (or more) surround-sound system to improve your audio experience. In most cases, a single soundbar and maybe a subwoofer can often drastically improve the quality of Dolby Atmos content. To assist with your home theater shopping, I’ve compiled a list of the best soundbars in premium, mid-range and budget price ranges, along with a summary of what sets them apart from the competition. Just know going in that the more you pay, the more you’re going to get — both in terms of features and performance.

What to look for in a soundbar


When it comes to features, the more you pay the more you’re going to get. Most affordable options ($150 or less) will improve your television’s audio quality, but that’s about it. Step into the $300 to $400 range and you’ll find a smart soundbar with things like built-in voice control, wireless connectivity, Google Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and even Android TV. They’re all helpful when you want to avoid looking for the remote control, but the best sound quality is usually only in the top tier and the formats those premium soundbar systems support. I’m talking about things like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and other high-resolution audio standards. These are what you’ll want to look for if truly immersive sound is what you crave for your living room setup. And not all Atmos soundbars are equal, so you’ll need to look at the finer details carefully before you break into the savings account.


Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, SA-SW5 subwoofer, SA-SW3 subwoofer and SA-RS3S speakers.

A lot of more affordable soundbars are limited when it comes to connectivity options. They either offer an optical port or one HDMI jack and, if you’re lucky, both. Things get slightly better in the mid-range section, but that’s not always the case. The the HDMI 2.1 spec, enables soundbars to support HDR, 8K and 4K/120 passthrough, making these speaker systems an excellent addition to a gaming console.


Another significant factor to consider when looking for the best soundbar is channels. That’s the 2.1, 7.1.2, or other decimal number that companies include in product descriptions. The first figure corresponds to the number of channels. A two would just be left and right, while a more robust Atmos system, especially one with rear satellite speakers, could be five or seven (left, right, center, and upward). The second number refers to the subwoofer, so if your new soundbar comes with one or has them built in, you’ll see a one here. The third numeral is up-firing speakers, important for the immersive effect of Dolby Atmos. If they do, the third number will tell you how many are in play.


Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, SA-SW5 subwoofer, SA-SW3 subwoofer and SA-RS3S speakers.

Most soundbars these days offer either Bluetooth, WiFi or both. WiFi connectivity affords you luxuries like voice control, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, and AirPlay 2. Depending on your preferences, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast might be essentials for streaming music and podcasts from your go-to apps.


Make sure the space where you want to put a soundbar can accommodate it. This might seem obvious, but it is a crucial consideration to avoid any inconvenience after purchase.

Considering the TV you have (or are planning to get) and what the primary goal is for your living-room audio can help determine the best soundbar for your setup, whether it’s ease of use, sound quality, or creating an immersive home theater system.

The best soundbars for 2024

For your home theater improvement, consider soundbars like Samsung’s HW-Q990D for immersive quality, Sony’s A7000 for high-end performance, or Sennheiser’s Ambeo Mini for an impressive compact option. Affordable choices like the Sonos Beam and Ray or Vizio’s V21t-J8 provide quality sound enhancements without breaking the bank.

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