The best Sony soundbar
Because of their thin design, flatscreen televisions cannot contain high-quality speakers. The solution is to add a small rectangular speaker system that allows you to enjoy a full and rich audio experience, such as a Sony soundbar.
Sony soundbars produce high-quality sound to turn any living room into a home theater, and they offer many features you can't find in the competition's models.
There are a lot of qualities to look for when searching for the best Sony soundbar. To learn more about Sony soundbars and get a few recommendations, keep reading our buying guide. For its ease of setup and versatility, our favorite is the HT-X9000F 2.1 Channel Soundbar with Dolby Atmos and Wireless Subwoofer.
Considerations when choosing Sony soundbars
Sony soundbars have a handful of features and technology that make them stand apart from the competition. Following are the key elements to consider -- some are unique to Sony, but others are features that you can find in a variety of quality soundbars.
The more ways you can connect to your Sony soundbar, the more options you will have when connecting different devices. The most important connection is HDMI, but soundbars with optical audio, analog audio, Bluetooth, WiFi, and USB connectivity can also come in handy depending on what other gear you may have.
The amount of watts that your soundbar system has is your sonic power. The higher the wattage, the louder the volume potential. At the lower end, Sony has sound bars that have a 350-watt output, while at the upper end, it's closer to 800 watts.
As incredible as soundbar technology is -- fitting all that audio into one thin bar -- certain frequencies need room to thrive. If you want the most robust sonic experience, choose a soundbar with a separate subwoofer (found in 2.1-channel models) so you can really feel all those lows.
Dolby Atmos is an audio technology that was introduced in 2012 with the animated film Brave. It offers a robust sonic landscape that mid- to high-end Sony soundbars can reproduce.
7.1.2-channel surround sound simulation
If you are on the fence about purchasing a Sony soundbar, one of the technological advances the company's systems offer is an approximation of a 7.1.2-channel surround sound system. By utilizing digital signal processing and Sony's S-Force Pro technology along with wavefront technology, higher-end Sony soundbars can emulate a natural, three-dimensional sound field by using just a soundbar and subwoofer.
Sony's entry-level soundbars are available for around $100. At $200, you can get a soundbar with a separate subwoofer. From $500 to $800, you can get systems with multiple audio modes and 4K capabilities. Their top-of-the-line models are around $1,300 and offer 5.1 to 7.1 channels.
Q. Do I need a Sony TV to use a Sony soundbar?
A. Ideally, you want to match companies because you will often get greater functionality from all of your gear that way. However, you are by no means limited to only using a Sony soundbar on a Sony TV.
Q. Where do I place my Sony soundbar?
A. The best position for your Sony soundbar is directly under your TV at roughly the viewer's ear level. Often this means placing the unit on a shelf or in a cabinet, but most soundbars can be mounted on the wall as well.
Sony soundbars we recommend
Our take: A 2.1 soundbar system that includes Dolby Atmos and Sony's Vertical Sound Engine.
What we like: Besides an effortless setup, this system has an impressive versatility and features seven audio modes. The unit also has 4K and HDR support, along with voice enhancement for easier dialogue comprehension.
What we dislike: Some customers were underwhelmed by the sound quality of this system.
Best bang for your buck: HT-S350 2.1 Channel Soundbar with Subwoofer and Bluetooth Technology
Our take: An affordable yet impressive piece of audio equipment that features technology that can produce a wider, more expansive sound.
What we like: As with other Sony soundbars, the voice enhancement technology strives to make dialogue easier to understand. Additionally, the S-Force PRO Front Surround helps give the viewer a more cinematic experience without the need for rear speakers.
What we dislike: Some users feel that the subwoofer doesn't offer a powerful enough low end.
Our take: A basic, affordable, smartly designed soundbar with a wireless subwoofer.
What we like: The clever design of the wireless subwoofer allows it to be conveniently placed beneath or beside your sofa for maximum effectiveness. The bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream music and playlists from your smartphone or tablet.
What we dislike: Some users have experienced a slight audio delay with this system, which can diminish the overall experience.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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