6 Reasons to Buy a Soundbar Today (and Which Are Best)

Soundbars have become an extremely popular audio upgrade over built-in TV speakers. With advanced features and room-filling sound in a compact form factor, there are many compelling reasons to invest in a soundbar system for your home theater.

What is a Soundbar?

Before discussing why you should buy one, let‘s review what exactly a soundbar is. A soundbar is a slim speaker unit, typically around 2-3 feet long, containing multiple built-in speakers and audio drivers. It‘s designed to sit horizontally below or above your TV to provide significantly better sound quality versus relying solely on your TV‘s integrated speakers.

Many soundbars include a wireless subwoofer for added bass, while higher-end models may also feature up-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound. The audio components are all contained in one compact soundbar, making it a simpler one-box audio solution compared to a complex home theater speaker setup.

6 Reasons to Buy a Soundbar Today

1. Easy and Quick Setup

One of the best aspects of a soundbar system is how fast and simple it is to set up. Just place the soundbar centered below your TV, connect it via either HDMI or optical audio cable, plug it in, and you‘ll be enjoying far superior sound in minutes.

This avoids the hassle and complexity of placing and wiring surround sound speakers throughout your room. Soundbars are by far the most convenient way to upgrade your TV‘s audio.

2. Affordable Pricing Across All Budgets

Soundbars come in a very wide range of prices, from under $100 to over $1,000. This means you can easily find one that fits your budget. Brands like Samsung, Sony, Vizio, LG, and more all offer great sounding models at reasonable prices.

You don‘t need to spend a fortune to get key features like Dolby Atmos, Bluetooth streaming, and voice control either. There are excellent budget and mid-range soundbar options available that still provide a major audio boost over your TV‘s built-in speakers.

3. Compact Size for Space-saving Design

The streamlined form of soundbars makes them the perfect audio complement to modern slim TV designs. You can easily mount them to the wall or place them right below your ultra-thin OLED or QLED TV without it looking awkward or overwhelming your living room.

Plus, their all-in-one enclosed design prevents any unwanted speaker wires trailing around your room. If you have a smaller home and limited space, a single soundbar is far less intrusive than several chunky surround speakers.

4. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for Immersive 3D Sound

Many of the latest soundbars integrate Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing, which are advanced audio formats that create immersive 3D soundscapes. Models with Atmos have special up-firing speakers that bounce sound off your ceiling, making effects seem like they‘re coming at you from overhead.

Combined with audio coming from the sides and behind you, this creates a deeply engaging surround sound experience from just the single soundbar unit. The difference in realism for movies between standard stereo and Dolby Atmos is truly night and day.

5. Elevate Your Gaming Experience

The cinematic audio provided by a high-quality Dolby Atmos soundbar also translates to much more engrossing gameplay. You‘ll gain a serious competitive advantage in multiplayer FPS and battle royale titles by better pinpointing enemy locations based on precise spatial audio cues.

Explosions and action sequences also carry much more dramatic weight. If you invest in a next-gen console like the PS5 or Xbox Series X, pairing it with an equally modern 3D audio soundbar completes the package for exhilarating game immersion.

6. Built-in Voice Assistant Support

Many of the top soundbars coming out today also work with voice assistants. Models from Sonos, LG, Sony, Bose and others include integrated mics that provide hands-free Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa control.

You can change system volume, skip to the next track, search for music, control smart home devices, ask questions, set timers/reminders, get the weather, news, and more using only your voice. This contributes to the convenience factor of soundbars versus traditional passive speakers.

Best Soundbars Available Today

Now that you know the many great reasons to get a soundbar, here are some top models to consider across various categories:

Overall Best: Sonos Arc

  • $799
  • Dolby Atmos & Trueplay tuning
  • Alexa & Google Assistant voice control
  • AirPlay 2, Wi-Fi, & streaming services

The Sonos Arc represents the pinnacle of premium all-in-one soundbar systems. It‘s the ultimate audio upgrade for transforming your TV watching into a cinematic experience thanks to Dolby Atmos support and eleven speakers (including two up-firing ones) that create 3D surround effects.

Music also shines on this Alexa-enabled smart soundbar thanks to Sonos‘ excellent room calibration software, support for AirPlay 2, and integration with all the top streaming apps. While expensive, it delivers performance on par with speakers costing much more. The wall-mountable design beautifully matches modern décor as well.

Best for Gaming: Sony HT-A5000

  • $899
  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X
  • Spatial surround mapping
  • 4K/120 & 8K passthrough

For gamers wanting room-shaking 3D audio to get the most out of their PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, the Sony HT-5000 is a top-tier choice. In addition to Dolby Atmos, it uses Sony‘s own vertical surround engine and S-Force Pro processing to create incredibly immersive 360-degree audio with supported content.

It also handles cutting-edge 4K 120Hz and 8K HDR passthrough perfectly thanks to the latest HDMI standards. This means you can enjoy bleeding edge visual fidelity without any distortions. Voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant makes it easy to adjust settings on the fly too.

Best Budget: Sony S100F

  • $160
  • 2.1 channel w/bass reflex
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Sleek & compact

If you want better sound than your TV‘s speakers on a tight budget, the Sony S100F delivers plenty of value. This compact 2.1 channel soundbar packs some real punch with much bigger bass than you‘d expect thanks to a built-in subwoofer. Dialogue also sounds clearer compared to muffled TV speakers.

While it doesn‘t have Dolby Atmos, Sony‘s S-Force Pro Front Surround helps create an immersive experience beyond its size. Bluetooth makes it easy to stream music from your phone too. For its low price, the S100F outperforms most competitors.

Best for Surround Sound: Vizio Elevate

  • $499
  • 18 speakers w/ Dolby Atmos
  • Rotating height speakers
  • Chromecast & voice assistant support

Serious home theater aficionados will appreciate the all-out assault on your senses provided by the Vizio Elevate. A staggering 18 speakers embedded throughout this soundbar, including four that rotate upward for Dolby Atmos height effects, provide jaw-dropping surround sound.

The wireless subwoofer pounds your room with waves of bass as well, fully completing the home theater experience. HDMI ARC connectivity makes setup seamless, while built-in Chromecast support and voice control functionality give you all the essential smart features you’d expect. It‘s incredibly feature-packed for the reasonable price.

Wrapping Up

Soundbars provide a simpler yet often more impactful audio upgrade path compared to tackling a complicated surround sound setup. Their compact form factor makes them versatile options for maximizing the excitement of movies, TV, music, and gaming from the convenience of one sleek speaker.

Powered by cutting-edge Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing with vertical channel support, modern soundbars fill your entire room with immersive spatial audio unlike ever before. Their dead simple plug-and-play connectivity via one HDMI cable also makes it a project anyone can handle.

And with excellent selections now available spanning a wide gamut of pricing, every home theater enthusiast should consider installing a soundbar as the foundation of their entertainment system. Trust us, once you experience movies or games in rich 3D audio, you‘ll never go back to relying on limp TV speakers again!

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