Flat screen HDTVs have come a long way in their development in the last few years, one of the down falls in their ever slimming design is speaker placement. Many HDTVs now ship with rear-facing speakers in an effort to slim down its profile. Simply put, your beautiful 4K television sounds terrible because the speakers are aimed towards the wall instead of the viewer.

There are a few ways to solve this problem, but the simplest option with the best results is a soundbar. For years, 5.1 surround sound systems have been the cream of the home theater crop but consumers are finding the wiring and installation process to be not worth the struggle. Soundbars are much simpler to install and offer a wide variety of extras such as wireless subwoofers, HDMI inputs and wireless Bluetooth audio at very competitive prices.

Below we’ve rounded up some of our top soundbar picks for each size budget, plus a number of other options as well.

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THE BUDGET: VIZIO 29-inch 2.0 Soundbar with Bluetooth $78

  • Inputs: Optical, Digital Coaxial, Stereo RCA, 3.5mm mini jack
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Dolby TruSurround

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THE MIDDLE GROUND: Sony 2.1-ch Soundbar w/ Wireless Subwoofer $188

  • 300 watts of power (2 x 85W + 130W subwoofer)
  • Inputs: HDMI, Optical, Digital Coaxial, RCA
  • Bluetooth and NFC enabled
  • Dolby Digital Pro Logic II and dts Digital Surround Sound

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THE TOP-OF-THE LINE: SONOS PLAYBAR $699

  • Nine Class-D amplifier speaker design
  • Inputs: Optical
  • Plays Spotify, Pandora, Beats Music and more via the SONOS app (iOS/Android)
  • Can be paired with SONOS SUB and PLAY:1 speakers for wireless surround sound

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THE BEST OF THE REST:

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LG 37-inch Soundbar w/ wireless Subwoofer $189

  • 280 watts of total power, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Inputs: 2 optical, USB 3.0, RCA

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VIZIO 38-inch 2.1-ch Soundbar w/ Wireless Subwoofer $138

  • 3-inch drivers, Optical, Coaxial, RCA inputs + Bluetooth connectivity

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VIZIO 5.1 Soundbar w/ Wireless Subwoofer + Satellite Speakers $228 

  • Includes rear satellite speakers that attach to the wireless subwoofer for 5.1 surround sound
  • Prime members are currently eligible for extra savings

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Sony 2.1 Channel Soundbar w/ Built-In Subwoofer $248

  • Table-top design includes the subwoofer within the sound bar
  • Inputs: 3 HDMI, 1 analog, 1 optical

 Accessories for your soundbar:

  • Bradley Universal Soundbar Mount for HDTVs $25
  • AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Cable $6
  • Cables to Go RCA Audio Cable $6
  • Twisted Veins HDMI 2-pack + Ties $10

 

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