2018’s Best Soundbar For Quality Sound – Compare The Pros and Cons

Choosing the best soundbar from the variations of soundbars could pose a real challenge; especially if you are looking to enhance the quality of sound generated from your TV or thinking of upgrading from the inbuilt speaker already inside your TV.

Now, purchasing a whole home theater system may not be such a bad idea. With that said, if you have a strict budget or are lacking space to set up, then you should certainly consider using a soundbar.

Well, before you part ways with your hard-earned cash in a bid to purchase a soundbar, we have come up with a list of the best soundbar in the audio space that promises to be that perfect replacement for the audio sound lift you desire—from its thrilling surround sound, minimalist style, and ability to stream audio from phone conveniently.

So, you want to find out the best soundbars for 2018? Then this article can be used as a reference to inform your decision.

Product FAQs

1. What is a Soundbar?

2. What Does a Soundbar Do?

3. How Does a Soundbar Work?

4. Where can you Buy a Soundbar?

5. Price Range

How we Reviewed

It’s important to be aware that each of these soundbars made our list on merit; no biases nor are we affiliates of the products. Our list was born after conducting a careful and intense research while considering positive, authentic reviews of the products, pros and cons, price, where to buy, and the warranty that comes with the product.

Overall Price Range of This Product

The overall price range will usually be between $200 to $600. However, there are some benefits that a higher priced model would afford you that a cheaper product wouldn’t. For example, a Samsung HW-K950 that is more expensive definitely produces better sound quality than a Vizio SB3621 that only costs a hundred dollars. The features regarding wireless streaming, physical design, the number of output ports, size of the soundbar, overall sound quality and of course the resale.

Who we Reviewed

  • Samsung HW-K950
  • Vizio SB3621
  • Polk MagniFi Mini
  • Yamaha YAS-207
  • Pioneer SP-SB23W
  • ZVOX SB500

1. Samsung HW-K850/ZA 3.1.2 Channel


Key Features

The Samsung HW-K950 is a total revolution on the sound technology—it employs Dolby Atmos; a new way in which a multichannel movie track format is created and played back. This product is the latest and the first of its kind out there to offer a soundbar that comprises both wireless surround and satellite speakers that come with integrated Amos drivers.

The main speaker has two sets of ceiling-facing drivers as well as three forward-firing driver sets that are accompanied by a dedicated tweeter. Its drivers are also paper based which gives it better acoustic characteristics than materials like Kevlar.

The Samsung HW-K950 possesses a Bluetooth, WIFI, 3.5mm analog stereo audio, optical digital audio, 2 HDMI ports, and 1 output. The product is compatible with both Radiant360 multi-room system and the shape system by Samsung produced in 2014.

It has nine channels (5.1.4), which includes five surround channel, a bass channel and four channels that act as overhead speakers that reflects sound off the ceiling. Its multi-room support allows the system to connect with other Samsung multi-room speakers or soundbars.

The product has the capability to decode Netflix and Vudu streams as long as the source device supports it. Most Samsung products can decode all forms of Dolby Atmos. But its soundbar has grossly failed in decoding DTS: X, as it only decodes DTS streams.

Pros

  • The Samsung KW-X950 multi-room app is one of the best out there despite the raving competition in the multi-room music.
  • Its multi-room app has a simple layout that makes its use easy.
  • It allows the use of Dolby Atmos
  • check-circle
    Wireless streaming
  • check-circle
    Superior features to that of Studio W which is its apparent competitor
  • check-circle
    It is also far superior to DefTech in virtually every area

Cons

  • Its exterior design compared to other audio-lineups from Samsung is the least beautiful- Studio W also beats it in design as it possesses a solid Aluminium bullets and a massive subwoofer.
  • It’s expensive
  • ban
    It cannot decode DTS:X
  • ban
    The Dolby Atmos is limited in the number of titles compared to other soundbars.

Where to Buy?

Amazon

Warranty

1-year

Samsung HW-K850/ZA 3.1.2 Channel Soundbar with Dolby Atmos Technology (2016 Model)


Features

The Vizio SB3621 nicknamed “king of the budget soundbar” is undoubtedly one of the best soundbars available in the audio market; because of the price, this product goes for. One would think that since it costs less than 200 dollars, it would affect the product quality---but this isn’t the case at all.

For double the price, lots of people will gladly pay to purchase this product as its features far outweigh the price it sells for. It has a wireless subwoofer, and google chrome cast audio. The Vizio SB3621 is relatively cheap for the excellent user experience, Its excellent movie-playback and top-notch movie, numerous options of input including Bluetooth. It also decodes Dolby and DTS

Pros

  • Excellent build quality and an easy setup are featured by the soundbar and the wireless sub
  • Has a relatively small size and its wireless sub is equally small compared to other soundbars
  • Its sound quality is superior to JBL, Yamaha, Zvok, and Polk that are in the same price range.

Cons

  • Its LED display offers little or no value
  • Its WAV- file only supports USB; which isn’t ideal

Where to Buy?

Amazon

Warranty

1-year

VIZIO SB3621n-F8M 36" 2.1 Channel Sound Bar System (2018 Model)


Features

The Polk Magnifi is also known as the mighty mini soundbar, is one of the best soundbars available. It’s technically a Bluetooth speaker, and it’s available for a middle tier price. In its physical architecture, it hardly looks like a conventional soundbar—this clearly makes it unique; it comes with TV-friendly features that are unavailable in many other soundbars that are Bluetooth speakers.

It’s a 2.1channel soundbar that has a subwoofer, a 12mm tweeter, four 2.25-inch drivers and a 6.5-inch driver and port. Its built-in Bluetooth, optical, 3.5mm input, HDMI, and an 802.11ac WIFI connectivity make it one of the most highly sought after soundbar.

It supports Chromecast built-in which enables streaming from any cast-compatible application on your computer or mobile device. The Chromecast frees up your mobile device by clearing it up for other tasks; handing over the audio signal to the soundbar. It works with numerous music apps and clearly superior to ZVOX and Accuvoice soundbars. The Polk MagniFi is made of plastic and cloth.

Its subwoofer is wireless and also small—made of hollow-sounding plastic compared to other affordable soundbar devices, its remote control is really cool as its features clearly marked out plus it has an ergonomic design.

Pros

  • It is affordable
  • It is compact; hence can comfortably sit in any living room—barely 131 inches wide and three inches high. Hence, would hardly block your TV’s infrared remote control
  • Unlike other soundbars, it seats erect and can be mounted on the wall or placed on a small shelf
  • check-circle
    It sounds louder than one would envisage—compared to its miniature size

Cons

  • The WIFI connection isn’t trustworthy and as such cannot be relied on.
  • The ARC( Audio Return Channel)-only HDMI input limits connectivity
  • ban
    The remote control lacks a Bluetooth button; even though other helpful buttons exist on it—that’s where products like Vizio SB3621 thrive as they have Bluetooth button on their remote.
  • ban
    The ARC only works with a TV

Where to Buy?

Amazon

Warranty

Authorized dealer 30-days return warranty

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini Home Theater Surround Sound Bar - The Compact System with Big Sound, Wireless Subwoofer Included


Features

It is the latest in a series of Yamaha soundbars that features new surround sound technology. Its speaker sound is the first point of call to this product with a leather plastic top and cloth grill surround. The subwoofer is made from MDF as opposed to the plastic used by most soundbars. Its surround mode when it is simulated overwhelms every other soundbar in its price range. It has a built-in Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity that allows the streaming of music to tablets or smartphone—wirelessly.

Pros

  • It offers top-notch sound
  • Its price is pretty affordable for the plenty features it offers
  • The quality of the build is great

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a means to view TV. An onscreen display is missing.
  • Its connection options are clearly limited as it lacks HDMI ARC support.

Where to Buy?

Yamaha.com, ABT electronics

Warranty

It has a 1-year limited warranty.

Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer Bluetooth & DTS Virtual Black


Features

The Pioneer SPSB23W is one of the best soundbars when it comes to generating sounds that thrills. Its sound quality puts it in a class of its own. It beats the Sony HT-CT260 soundbar both in intelligence, dialog, and transparency. Even though the Sony HT-CT260 has a larger sub made of brass, that crisp focus and detail that Pioneer SP-SB23W is lacking.

It has a minimal port for the input—this includes an analog and optical input; which serves it perfectly. The inbuilt-Bluetooth it possesses makes it possible for the device to support wireless audio streaming from mobile devices that are close. It also offers supports for aptX codec which allows for higher quality wireless transmission on devices that support it.

It offers outstanding quality sound and creates a perfect blend between the sub and the main cabinet; plus its wireless subwoofer is very tiny, possibly the tiniest of all soundbars— at 10" high and 9" deep.

Pros

  • Easy to set-up
  • Excellent performance
  • Built-in Bluetooth and wireless streaming

Cons

  • The soundbar is very large in size and as such may block your TV’s remote sensor. The Yamaha YAS-101 and the Sony HT-CT260 have the same large design issues but solve this issue with an IR repeater. Unfortunately, the SP-SB23W doesn’t offer this solution. However, this can be remedied by raising your TV on a small high rise.
  • The system design isn’t top-notch
  • ban
    The remote control provided is low quality and does not have a front panel for visual feedback.

Where to Buy?

Amazon

Warranty

1-year

Pioneer SP-SB23W Andrew Jones Soundbar System


Features

It is the best when it comes to performance that the company has ever made. The founder Tom Hannaher promises that this soundbar will overtake many of the big names in the audio industry—even though it may seem like a bluff, on his part, the ZVOX SB500 features have what it take to silence some big names companies in this vertical.

It is a tall brushed box with solid metal grille attractive rubberized plastic. Its sound bases are 3-channel systems with 32" left right and centre drives. Also, it has a pair of 4" bass woofers. Its processing features include intellivoice for better dialog for those who have impaired hearing. Bass limiting circuit is also present which helps to give full bass without distorting at high volumes.

Pros

  • The soundbar offers great quality sound
  • Easy to set up
  • Plenty Bass even without the presence of a subwoofer
  • check-circle
    Beautiful design
  • check-circle
    The unit is well put together

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a wireless subwoofer or a subwoofer output jack
  • Deep bass can destroy the sound field
  • ban
    The soundbar is taller than most soundbars and as such may block the TV’s IR sensor. However, you could mount your TV on the wall.
  • ban
    The input port available is inadequate and not commensurate with the price
  • ban
    Its remote control is not helpful

Where to Buy?

Amazon

Warranty

1-year limited warranty

ZVOX SB500 Aluminum Sound Bar with Built-In Subwoofer, Bluetooth Wireless Streaming, AccuVoice

Comparison Table

My Top Choice

Amazon's Best Seller

Beginner/Kid Friendly

Title

Pioneer SP-SB23W

Yamaha YAS-207BL

VIZIO SB3621n-F8M

Preview

Pioneer SP-SB23W Andrew Jones Soundbar System

Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer Bluetooth & DTS Virtual Black

VIZIO SB3621n-F8M 36" 2.1 Channel Sound Bar System (2018 Model)

Weight

13.25 lbs

6 lbs

5 lbs

Speaker Type

Bluetooth, Infrared (Remote), Optical

Surround

Soundbar

Connectivity

Wireless

-

Bluetooth

Price

$275.30

$299.95

$179.99

The Verdict

We have taken the pressure off by providing vital information about the best soundbars in 2018. Each of the soundbars listed above promises to perform. There are loads of options ranging from affordable soundbars to one with very high prices. Our pick from the lot is the Pioneer SP-SB23W Soundbar.

As a result of tests carried out on these products, the Pioneer SP-SB23W was second to none in the quality of sound produced. However, it is assumed that the Atlantic Technologies PB-235 may beat the Pioneer SP-SB23W in sound quality, even though it’s yet to be proven.

Besides, everyone who knows or enjoys quality sounds respects the reputation of Sony for delivering a high-quality product.  With that said the Pioneer SP-SB23W soundbar beats one of Sony’s best—as such it deserves the number one place on our list.

Quality

Usability

Support

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here