When it comes to the best sound bars you can buy, there is an overwhelming amount of choices. The reason why is that to a lot of people, home audio is very important. And it’s easy to understand why.
Sound bars are a very affordable way to add to your living room setup without cluttering your entertainment center. They are also a great way to add a quality audio experience to bedrooms and small apartments, dorms, and studios.
Why should you buy a sound bar?
Do you love to listen to music? Because a great surround sound system can make it seem like your favorite band is right there in your home.
Enjoy watching movies? The difference between the sound coming from your television compared to a great sound bar is night and day. Movies nowadays come equipped with all types of built-in sound technology. And if you’re only hearing it through your television, that sound tech designed for that particular movie is completely wasted.
And let’s not forget about how important audio is in video games. When you buy a game like Fallout 4, you’re going to probably play it for hundreds of hours. That’s a long time to be listening to subpar audio through your television. But with a great affordable sound bar, you can make any gaming experience so much better.
Audio in video games – much like graphics and gameplay – continues to improve as the consoles and games themselves become more advanced. Sound effects, music and character voices can make a good game into an excellent one, which is why having some of the best sound bars in your home is essential for a full experience.
Now, the other option to improving your surround sound experience in video games is to buy a great quality headset. But headphones are more of an experience where only you have access to it.
A sound bar is more in-between headphones and a full blown surround sound system. So you and whoever is around you can take pleasure in the audio experience. And the best part is you’re not spending too much to add value to your gaming/entertainment setup.
[Last updated October 24, 2015]
Our list of the best sound bars for gaming include affordable models to the more expensive types.
Upgrading from the stock speakers built into a TV is highly recommended, and a sound bar offers all the quality of a surround sound system without the additional costs and equipment.
The speakers that come fitted into TVs – especially recent models of the less expensive gaming televisions, which are thinner and have less space for good audio – simply can’t provide the sound quality needed to get the most from a game.
A sound bar can be easily hooked up to a television, usually without the effort involved with full sound systems, and sits neatly beneath the screen, making them the ideal choice for a gaming setup.
The following list includes some of the best sellers currently on Amazon right now.
Best Sound Bar – Overall Top Pick
It’s no surprise that VIZIO sound bars are currently dominating the best sellers list on Amazon. The VIZIO SB4051-C0 40-Inch 5.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Satellite Speakers is different than others on the list in that it also includes a wireless sub-woofer and speakers to match.
The additional parts mean the VIZIO SB4051-C0 40-Inch 5.1 Channel Sound Bar is able to provide even more sound quality by offering extra surround sound functionality. Being wireless, the additional speakers are also easy to set up and can be placed into a room in whichever place is most convenient.
As for sound, playing games through this system will provide you a great gaming experience. Aside from the crystal clear 100dB speakers, there’s also built-in Dolby Digital Surround decoding, which just gives that little extra to the sound quality.
The look is stylish and modern, and ideal for just about any gaming set up. It’s also got Bluetooth and can be used to play music through mobile devices.
Being not too expensive, it’s a great price for what you get. Whether you need something for gaming alone or all-round entertainment, this one has you covered.
Top recommended Standalone Sound Bar
This is a titan of a sound bar from audio experts SONOS. At a high price it hits your pocket pretty hard, but few others can provide the quality that the SONOS PLAYBAR can.
First and foremost, the sound quality: the PLAYBAR has nine in-built speakers that deliver a similar experience to a full surround sound system. That means every gunshot, goal, race and fight will sound as close as it gets to the real thing.
There’s also the possibility for expansion. New speakers can be added to the setup, or the sound bar can be integrated into other systems, so there’s always the option to upgrade further if desired.
Another selling point of the PLAYBAR is its all black, ultra-cool design that will allow it to be slipped stylishly into any existing setup.
Sure, the price is high, but you get what you pay for. This is a beast and the reviews prove it.
Top recommended Sound Bar with built-in Subwoofer
Tech giant Sony is the maker of our next choice sound bar. The HT-XT1 is a more expensive soundbar, but has a few perks that make the Sony HT-XT1 Sound Bar an excellent purchase.
The way this can be integrated into a gaming set up is one of the main features that sets it apart; at only 3 inches tall it sits neat and looks great, but the broad top also allows a television to be placed on top of it, minimizing the amount of space it requires.
Its audio features include an built-in sub that gives a real kick to the deep roar of driving games and shooters. Custom adjustments can also be made to the treble settings, which allow for a tailored audio experience, depending on the game you’re playing.
Connectivity of this sound bar is also great; it’s fitted with Bluetooth, NFC, and has three HDMI ports to allow for switching between input devices.
The current price is quite affordable and the majority of reviews are five stars. It’s top quality and one of the best sound bars on the list that will satisfy even the most demanding gamers.
Best cheap Sound Bar
VIZIO has some of the best-selling sound bars on Amazon. VIZIO’s s3820w-C0 is a good value model with plenty of features packed in for the price.
Starting with sound quality, it promises less than 1% harmonic distortion and is fitted with deep bass modules, which combined provide exceptional quality at both the high and low ends of the sound spectrum. Both music and voice within games will sound great and because the deep bass modules provide an alternative to a sub-woofer, the variety of sound effects in games will sound great too.
It looks slick and sets up easily using only one cable, which is included. There’s also built-in Bluetooth, so it can be used to play audio from mobile devices as well as the TV.
Rated really well on Amazon, this is an excellent budget option that proves a great upgrade from the speakers in your TV.
Top recommended newly released Sound Bar
Bose has a strong reputation for their high quality audio solutions. The Bose Solo sound bar is the perfect example of why it is one of the best TV sound bars around especially if you’re serious about your setup.
It’s packed with features that make it especially ideal for gaming, starting with its built-in BOSE speaker array technology. This essentially provides a similar experience to surround sound, but in a sleek sound bar. Technology like this makes gaming a joy, and every shred of sound is as immersive as it can be.
Also fitted is Bose’s own proprietary digital signal processing, which automatically adjusts quieter sounds to make them more audible – meaning you’ll never miss a beat.
It comes with a remote control, sets up easily, and is particularly ideal for larger TVs in the region of 40 inches. At a reasonable price, it’s a mid-price option that packs plenty of punch.
Best sound bar for your gaming setup
The second VIZIO marks the end of our list of the best sound bars for gaming. As you can see, there are plenty of options out there at a range of prices. Depending on what you’re looking to get for your gaming setup, a sound bar can greatly enhance your overall gaming experience.
A best-selling sound bar such as the more expensive SONOS PLAYBAR offers a bit more than some of the other top sound bars on our list. While the very affordable VIZIO gives gamers an incredible sound system for a low price.
Choosing one of these best-selling sound bars is a sure fire way to upgrade the audio offered from your TV and will make gaming an even more exciting experience.
[Originally published November 6, 2014]
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