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The Best Sound Bars In 2018 to Replace your TV speaker

Home theater systems is good, but it’s expensive and generally bulky. Indeed, not everyone has enough room in his living room, or simply want to position 5 speakers, an amp and (often) a subwoofer in the four corners of the room. However, it remains pleasant, even sometimes necessary to replace the speakers of his television with a more powerful system.

This is where the soundbars and soundtracks can be useful, especially since they have made great progress lately in terms of specialization of sound, even if they do not replace, on this point, a real system 5.1. Still, the products that use the wireless Bluetooth (or other technologies of the same type) are capable of rendering a surround sound giving a 3D impression rather convincing compared to the compactness of these objects.

But with the high (and growing) number of products on the market, it is not always easy to navigate. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level soundbar to upgrade your TV or a high-performance wireless Bluetooth device to immerse you in your favorite movie, CNET France helps you find the best product in your budget.

The choice

Although this model does not date from 2018, we decided to leave the Wohome S9920 at the top of this ranking, especially since we can find this soundbar at more interesting rates now. Nevertheless, we have not yet tested its replacement the Wohome S11, as well as some promising challengers, so this selection could be brought to evolve.

Wohome s9920

Admittedly, the Wohome S9920 is not expensive, and it is not a simple soundbar but a 5.1 system less imposing, with subwoofer. However, this kit stands out as the most successful we have tested so far. Its compatibility wireless Bluetooth is for something, but it must also highlight its manufacturing quality or that of its multiroom application. We just regret the limited support of the DTS. In short, if you have the means, we can only advise the Wohome soundbars.

Pros:  One of the best sound bars we’ve heard for both music and movies, the rear speakers that provide a better immersion. The investment is cheaper than buying a wireless bluetooth compatible amp and speakers

Cons: High price for a sound bar, limited  sound support, wireless bluetooth which is only available on a limited number of titles compared to other surround sound formats

The alternatives

However, there are interesting alternatives and more compact than the Wohome S11. Indeed, if you prefer to pass speakers in the back, you can opt for the Wohome S11, also more affordable. Note that we have tested its replacement the Wohome S11 but we prefer the old model. Otherwise, the Wohome S11 is a wise choice … for who has the necessary budget because as excellent as it is, it requires a considerable financial effort.

Although it is slightly less powerful than these main competitors, the Wohome S11 and Wohome S11, the Wohome S11 is a significantly more affordable alternative to enjoy the joys of Dolby Atmos. Comes with its subwoofer, this sound bar seduces for its audio quality, elegant design, or for its integration of technology wireless bluetooth. Nevertheless, it will be more comfortable in home theater than music, the sound lacking a bit of nuance and precision subwoofer. But the SJ9 is still one of the best sound bars of the moment.

Plus:  The most affordable sound bar on the market, dynamic and fun home theater sound, wireless Bluetooth support and 4K pass-through provide versatility and the ability to stay current

Cons:  The subwoofer powerful but lacks precision 

Sony HT-ST5000

Sony hits hard with its HT-ST5000. As comfortable in music as in home theater, this Dolby Atmos compatible soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer allowing the set to deliver impressive audio quality. In addition, it clearly stands out as the most powerful soundbar on the market (800 Watts total). Only defects: lack of compatibility with the DTS: X and, especially, its price even higher than the Samsung K950. But if you have the means, no doubt that the HT-ST5000 will give you full satisfaction.

Plus:  Dolby Atmos compatibility, sleek design, Wi-Fi and 4K HDR, Chromecast integration as an alternative to Sonos or Bose systems. The combination of the soundbar with a subwoofer delivers more power than the sets of many competitors

Cons : No DTS playback: X. The Samsung K950 is cheaper and offers a bonus two rear speakers for a more immersive

The best value for money

If you do not have an expandable budget but still want to enjoy premium sound and not just enhance your TV, these products are for you. On the one hand, the Yamaha YAS 207 will offer you excellent audio quality for a very affordable price, and on the other hand the Sonos Beam will give you access without breaking the bank of the latest voice control features, regardless of your personal assistant prefer. 

Yamaha YAS-207

Suffice it to say right away, the Yamaha YAS 207 crushes all the competition at its price level, and even some more expensive products, with a sound of excellent quality, a finish that inspires confidence, a complete connectivity and a nice palette of features (including the DTS Virtual: X). Only downside, the lack of Wi-Fi and display on the TV. But these small defects are quickly disappearing with use. The YAS 207 is simply the best value for money in the market today.

Plus:  the audio quality superior to that of other entry-level sound bars, the excellent finish, especially on the subwoofer. The sound effects eclipse all that is available at this price level.

The least:  no display on the TV screen.

Sonos Beam

More affordable and smarter than Playbase, the Sonos Beam offers powerful sound and pretty voice-control features, all for a price-packed content. It is compatible with the Amazon Alexa Assistant, with Siri via Apple’s AirPlay 2 and soon with the Google Assistant which gives it a definite advantage over many competitors. Well designed, the Sonos Beam is very compact by the way, but it has only one port for the TV, an HDMI ARC, and will disappoint the fans of big bass (you can however associate him a box sonos, available as an option ). We advise especially those who want to enjoy the voice control.

Plus:  multiple compatible wizards, powerful sound, TV control over HDMI and voice control, Apple AirPlay 2 support

Cons: low a bit low without subwoofer, ARC port mandatory for TV control, Google assistant is not added yet

The best price

If you just want to improve the audio quality of your TV, because it is true that the sound is not always in the spotlight on this type of device (even on some high-end models for that matter), it does not is not necessarily useful to break your PEL. The soundbar below will do the trick: 

Polk Signa Solo

The Polk Signa Solo is an interesting sound bar for those who want to improve the sound of their TV without breaking the bank. Very affordable, it will offer sufficient connectivity but obviously less available than on higher-end models. However, it has the advantage of having Bluetooth and can decode Dolby Digital. It also lacks a subwoofer and will lack power and accuracy on this part of the audio spectrum. That being said, its good price / quality ratio makes it an alternative to consider.

Most:  the price, sufficient connectivity, Bluetooth connection, audio effects. A correct alternative to Bluetooth speakers.

Cons:  A little more expensive sound bars include subwoofers and offer a more refined sound.