Assembling an entertainment system right in your own home is not an easy task. There are many aspects that you have to put into consideration. One thing to bear in mind is the room itself—is it large? Is it small? Knowing the size of the room would help you decide what size you are supposed to get for your system.
Another consideration is your television. Televisions today vary in terms of quality and size, and with new models coming out almost every month, you’d have to do some research on what HDTV you are going to get. You could either do the search on the good ‘ol internet, or ask your friendly salesperson at the mall or television shop. However, when you have finally chosen the television for your home entertainment system and you hooked it up, one teeny tiny problem would probably make itself known—the sound. At the beginning you’d probably wouldn’t realize it, but over time, you’d notice that the quality of the sound that you hear emanating from the system doesn’t seem to be in the same level as the pictures and movies you watch on the television. Movie sounds don’t have that exciting effect and there is basically no oomph in the audio environment. And while there are some great soundbars under $300, if you spilled a grand on your tv, you might want to consider spending similar amount on your soundbar.
This is where external sound systems come in. Having the option of hooking your HDTV up with external speakers would help you in elevating your movie watching experience to the next level. The good news with this is that you don’t even have to go for those oversized sound systems with overpriced speakers. For those who want smaller (and considerably less expensive) sound systems that sound terrific, soundbars may be the perfect alternative for you.
This, my dear readers, is a work of art. The YSP offers plenty of specifications that all add to the allure of this system. It comes equipped with sixteen 1 1/8” beam drivers that are more than capable of delivering crisp, realistic sounds with pinpoint accuracy, all thanks to the state-of-the-art Yamaha Intellibeam tech. This feature actually helps you set up the best listening environment in whatever room you choose by measuring the room acoustics and setting the best sound angles while optimizing the levels of each beam. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming. Despite actually being the most expensive in our list, it offers features that any self-respecting audiophile would be proud of, sealing this baby on the no. 1 spot on our list.
Sony certainly delivered what finicky audiophiles wanted when they released the HTST5. There are several features that led to this bar being placed at second spot in our list. It allows for both WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth wireless streaming for endless streaming of songs, either directly from your phone or from the internet. It also boasts of a 7.1 channel delivery with its seven 2.4” mid-range drivers and dual ¾” tweeters. Combine this with the powerful wireless subwoofer, and you’ve got yourself a sound system capable of delivering a full-spectrum of clear, crisp audio and dynamic bass sound right within your very own home.
This beautiful specimen of a speaker easily offers listeners an exceptional listening experience with vividly realistic sounds, all thanks to its nine-speaker design. This soundbar is also one of the two systems in our list that doesn’t come equipped with an external subwoofer. However, being the versatile audio system that it is, you are given the option to expand your listening environment to a 3.1 sound delivery by simply connecting an external SONOS Subwoofer for those heart-thumping bass sounds. You can also easily replicate a 5.1 listening environment by connecting a PLAY:1 or a PLAY:3 speaker pair as rear speakers, if you really strive for such experience. Additional features like WiFi connectivity and ability to deliver your songs from every room (with additional speakers, of course) helps seal
This gem is one out of the only two in our list that doesn’t come with an external subwoofer (though, if you want more punch in your listening, you have the option of connecting an external subwoofer due to the numerous ports in this system). Thanks to its exceptional H-PAS technology and its array of 4 built-in woofers, it can easily be seen why this soundbar doesn’t need additional external devices. It is also equipped with the legendary Atlantic Technology Home Theater Performance that vividly replicates a theater-like listening environment, complete with rich audio and deep bass sound.
While most audio bars in the market tend to measure longer than your own television at times, this compact sound system only comes at an amazing 12” in length, 3.25” in height, and 2.75” in depth, making it the smallest in our list. Other than its small, slim design, there are other reasons why this gem is placed at top 5 in our list. Despite the minor downside of not having Bluetooth connectivity, it certainly makes up for it by delivering larger-than-life sounds. It boasts of the Bose TrueSpace Signal Processing Technology, which conveniently allows it to disperse sounds equally on a wider scale, filling the room with rich, clear output with ease. Its subwoofer (wired, unfortunately) takes care of delivering powerful bass sounds that brings watching videos and movies to a new level.
This exceptional soundbar with its wireless subwoofer is definitely a system worth admiring at no. 6 in our list. Coming in at a compact size of 40” in length, 2.8” in height, and 4.1” in depth, it offers plenty of options when it comes to placement, whether on the table or against the wall, under tv, you name it. It boasts of being a true-2-way soundbar, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint if we have to talk about sound delivery, due to its state-of-the-art Tractrix Horn Technology. Its subwoofer is somewhat different compared with all the other subwoofers in our list, due to its side-firing capabilities, allowing it to provide powerful bass sound at a more dispersed level.
This handsome speaker bar also comes with a wireless subwoofer, both of which are encased in a stylish black color. There are several features that placed this baby at the 7th spot in our list. It boasts of the Voice Adjust Center Channel Technology, that features a state-of-the-art 3-speaker array with an adjustable center channel level for clearer dialogue. This system is also part of the Omni collection that actually allows you to control and play music in different parts of your home with the help of additional speakers by using the Play-Fi App. The only downside is that this system doesn’t support Bluetooth connectivity, but certainly makes up for it with the WiFi options.
Among all the other soundbars in our list, it is the one that is most suitable to the new curved HDTVs in the market due to its curved appearance. It is worth mentioning that this is the longest soundbar in our list at 48.4”. Other features include Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming and Anynet+ that allows you to control any device attached to the system. It also boasts of impressive 8.1 channels with side-firing speakers for a more immersive listening experience.
What To Expect From $500-$1000 Soundbar Systems
Well, for those who have no idea what wonderful little inventions soundbars really are, let’s talk about them for a bit, shall we? Using a soundbar is probably the simplest, most effective way to amp up your movie and music-listening experience without going for several, bulky sound devices that would inevitable clutter up your room. Soundbars are so much more affordable than their overpriced cousins and they tend to fall more on the attractive side of the scale. These quaint systems usually consist of just a solitary speaker shaped like a compact bar (hence, the name), though when you hit the $500 mark, there are a lot audio systems that also include an external subwoofer and, sometimes, even small rear speakers. They are rather versatile in placement, allowing you to place them safely on a table top in front of your television (depending on size). Most of them also allow you to put them snuggly on a shelf underneath the television or, if the model permits it, even mount it on the wall. This makes it very suitable for people that consider room space as a very valuable commodity.
With plenty of these systems in the market, it is hard to choose which one would suit you and your home the best. They come in a variety of prices as well—ranging from under $100 to more than a thousand dollars. Of course, audiophile on a tight budget would understandably opt for the most affordable ones, but those who have a bit more money to spend would have a blast with the features that soundbars costing around $500-$1000 could offer. It stands to reason that those audio systems would easily meet the demands of even the choosiest audiophiles. Besides the excellent sound rendering, additional specifications apply—Bluetooth technology, WiFi connectivit and last but not least the level of craftsmanship.
I have ranked these marvelous systems according to the usual features that they would be able to offer, as well as the other exciting specifications that are not easily found in other sound speakers in the market. In terms of size, the Samsung HW-H7500 is the longest while the Bose CineMate 15 is the shortest. (I guess that would help you in choosing which one is most suitable for you, especially when you consider your room size. The price range is also included in the review, again with our fifth placer having the least priced sound system in the list and the Yamaha YSP-2500 as our most expensive pick.
In compendium, there are plenty of soundbar systems in the market that are sure to meet your expectations. However, these 8 clearly outrank most of them in terms of quality and sound impact.