Is a Soundbar Better for a Small Room? Best Soundbars Available

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If you’re looking to enhance your audio experience in a small room, you may be wondering if a soundbar is the right choice for you.

Soundbars have become increasingly popular in recent years as a convenient and cost-effective way to get good-quality audio in your home.

But are they better for bigger spaces or a smaller room?

In general, Soundbars are better for smaller rooms. Most soundbars do not have the necessary power or sound quality to fill a larger room.

Soundbars are designed to be compact so expecting them to have the capability to fill large rooms is kind of foolish.

However, there are some soundbars out there that can fill larger rooms, they can get very expensive though. The Sonos Arc (Amazon affiliate link) and Samsung q990c come to mind.

When choosing a soundbar for a small room, it’s important to consider factors such as the size of the room, the number of speakers in the soundbar, and the overall sound quality.

By doing your research and selecting a soundbar that is well-suited to your space and needs, you can enjoy a more immersive and enjoyable audio experience in your small room.

There are so many options out there, I cover the best soundbars for small rooms later in this article if you want to skip ahead.

A Soundbar is better in a small room than a large room


In general, a soundbar is better suited for a smaller room like a bedroom, rather than a larger room like a living room.

The reason for this is that a soundbar is designed to provide a more focused and directional sound, which is ideal for smaller spaces.

Because of this, the audio coming from the soundbar may not fill up the space in a larger room, resulting in a less immersive experience.

Additionally, a soundbar is not meant to replace a full surround sound system, which is typically necessary to fully immerse a larger room in sound.

While most soundbars come with additional speakers or subwoofers, they still cannot replicate the true surround sound experience that a full system can provide.

Most Soundbars are designed for smaller rooms

Soundbars are intentionally designed to be compact and provide good audio in small spaces.

They pack in the ideal amount of drivers/speakers in the bar but still, it’s a small device that will struggle immensely to fill a large room.

Acoustics are one of if not the most important aspects of audio. If you do not have the right room layout to match your audio device the audio can sound hollow and lack punch.

Key Features to Consider in a Soundbar for a Small Room

When it comes to choosing a soundbar for a small room, there are several key features that you should consider. Here are some of the most important ones:

Sound Quality and Performance


The sound quality and performance of a soundbar are perhaps the most important factors to consider. Look for a soundbar that offers enhanced audio with virtual surround sound.

This will help ensure that you get clear, high-quality sound, with good midrange and clarity, even in smaller rooms.

You might consider getting a Dolby Atmos soundbar which is pretty standard. I have a Sonos Beam Gen 2 (amazon affiliate link) for my bedroom and love it.

In fact I’d say it’s the best soundbar for a small room, but I will get into this in more detail later.

However, you do not want a soundbar that is going to be overkill in your small room. You certainly do not want a Nakamichi shockwave ultra in your bedroom.

Having a subwoofer or rear speakers can also cause problems if the room is too small. For most bedrooms, I recommend just getting a soundbar.

Of course, this all depends on the size of your room, it’s always better to get rear speakers and a sub to go with your soundbar if you can.

I wrote an entire article about this subject which I just linked to above.

Smart Features

Many modern soundbars come with smart features, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and voice assistant compatibility.

These features can be useful if you want to control your soundbar using your voice, or if you want to integrate your soundbar with other smart devices in your home.

Affordability and Value

Finally, consider the affordability and value of the soundbar. Look for a soundbar that offers good value for money, with an affordable price tag and a range of useful features.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality soundbar that will work well in a small room.

There are a lot of great budget soundbars out there but if you want the cheapest possible for the best price then the Vizio M series (amazon affiliate link) is a no-brainer.

Best Soundbars for Small Rooms

Here are some of the top soundbars for small rooms. I have focused my recommendations mostly on price and sound quality.

Premium Soundbars

My Pick
Sonos Beam Gen 2

Sonos Beam Gen 2

  • Enjoy vibrant bass, crystal clear dialogue, and a panoramic soundstage.
  • Experience a 3D surround sound effect with Dolby Atmos.
  • Stream music, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks from all your favorite services when the TV is off.
  • Control with the Sonos app, your TV remote, Apple AirPlay 2, and your voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
  • Breeze through setup with only two cables, step-by-step guidance from the Sonos app, and smart Trueplay tuning. Easily expand your Sonos system over time to enjoy true surround sound and multi-room listening. Everything connects over WiFi.
Budget Pick
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

  • Achieve enhanced sound compared to your display's speakers with the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam 250W Virtual 5-Channel Soundbar. It delivers up to 250W of power to deliver room-filling audio. 
  • The Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is equipped for wired connectivity as well, with HDMI, optical, and USB inputs. The HDMI output is eARC-compatible, so compatible TVs will require just one cable to connect; to expedite setup, the soundbar system includes an HDMI cable. In addition to tabletop placement, the soundbar can be wall mounted with the included hardware.
  • Built-in virtual Dolby Atmos helps provide an immersive and exciting 3D sound experience, while JBL MultiBeam technology creates a wide soundstage by projecting sound to every corner of the room, so you'll hear every detail from your favorite music, movies, TV series, and games without the need for multiple speakers. Four built-in passive radiators help enhance and intensify the bass to provide a dynamic audio experience.
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If you’re looking for the best sound quality and have a higher budget, premium soundbars are the way to go.

The Sonos Beam (amazon affiliate link) is a great option that offers excellent sound quality, voice control, and compatibility with other Sonos speakers.

Although most people would not consider the beam a premium soundbar I think it is for a small room.

It’s the best option. Look up the best soundbars for small rooms and the beam will come up every time.

That’s not why I’m recommending it though. I own the Beam Gen 2 in my bedroom and could not be more happy with the sound quality. It is expensive but it’s worth it. The price is fair.

There is no other soundbar at the price point that competes with the beam.


Another great option is the JBL Multibeam (amazon affiliate link), which is a 5.0 soundbar with an impressive bass response. It is less expensive than the Sonos beam.

Affordable Soundbars

If you’re on a budget, there are still some excellent soundbars that you can choose from.

The Vizio V series 5.1 surround kit is the definitive budget soundbar on the market (amazon affiliate link). It comes with 2 satellite speakers and a subwoofer for an incredibly low price.

The LG Eclair is another affordable soundbar. It’s a Dolby Atmos soundbar with a very minimalist design. In fact, it could probably go into the compact soundbar category below as well.

Budget Pick
VIZIO V-Series All-in-One 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar

VIZIO V-Series All-in-One 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar

  • Minimal Modern Design A clean, angular, low-profile silhouette seamlessly blends into any environment.
  • VIZIO TV Stand Integration In addition to sliding neatly under TVs, V-Series sound bars ingeniously attach to select VIZIO TV stands in both tabletop and wall-mount installations.
  • 2.1-Channel Sound Experience a powerful room-filling, true stereo experience ideal for movies, music, and gaming.
  • Full-Range Speakers 2 full-range speakers in the sound bar provide coherent sound and brilliant clarity.
  • VIZIO Built-In Dual 3'' Subwoofers Enjoy shockingly deep bass down to 60Hz in an all-in-one design
Most Compact
LG Eclair

LG Eclair

  • All-In-One Design - The Sound Bar SE6 delivers powerful sound without an external subwoofer giving you thunderous and rich bass with everything you watch and listen to. Utilize the most out of your space with a stylish and compact design that complements your interior.
  • Cinema Sound Solution (Dolby and DTS:X) - Add a new dimension of sound that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the action with Dolby Atmos* and DTS:X** to bring realistic spatial sound to your room—It surrounds you on all sides letting feel the immersive sound with every scene.
  • Quad Passive Radiators - The LG sound bar delivers big and impressive bass with 4 passive radiators. Packed with power in a small design, the sound bar gives you a full range of sound, allowing you to enjoy your favorite movies and shows.
  • Smart Up-Mixer - Create a wider sound stage to fill your room for a richer immersion of surround sound. Leverage all speakers to convert 2-channel audio into a multi-channel experience.
  • WOWCAST Ready (2022) - Experience the power of Dolby Atmos without any visible wires. A new installation experience that connects to any TV and sound bar wirelessly for a sleek look, without any lag or loss in sound quality.
  • VRR/ALLM - Sound that keeps up with an instantaneous response time, allowing you to enjoy a gaming experience that is smooth and lag-free with a passthrough refresh rate up to 120Hz.
  • Premium Fabric - It has a gorgeous surface and premium fabric that wraps around the sound bar. The two create style and detailed sound in your space.
Most Immersive
VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar

VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar

  • Low-Profile Modern Design - Clean silhouettes, subtle textures, and matte finishes seamlessly blend into any environment.
  • Powerful Performance - Brilliant clarity, thunderous bass, and Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround support combine for performance beyond its size.
  • Simple Setup, Streaming & Control - Get setup and listening in minutes with HDMI ARC and Bluetooth connectivity for unparalleled ease of use, control, and access to your content.
  • 5.1-Channel Sound - Experience a powerful room-filling, surround sound experience.
  • 6 Total Speakers - Full-range drivers deliver coherent sound and brilliant clarity.
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Compact Soundbars

If you’re looking for a soundbar that is both compact and affordable, there are some great options available.

The Polk Magnifi Mini (amazon) is a Dolby Atmos soundbar that measures 16 inches in length. This is the best soundbar if you want a device that is small to place on a cabinet, or wherever.

Polk MAGNIFI-Mini-AX Soundbar
  • POWERFUL SOUND: Upgrade your TV to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and experience the cinematic thrills of powerful music and immersive sound enveloping you from every angle | COMPLETE WIRELESS HOME ENTERTAINMENT: Enjoy higher-quality music streaming from your phone, tablet, or computer over Wi-Fi with Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, and Spotify Connect
  • HEAR EVERY WORD CLEARLY: Polk’s patented VoiceAdjust speech-clarifying technology works synergistically with MagniFi’s integrated center-channel speaker to bring up the level of voices without affecting the rest of the soundtrack | INCLUDES A PLUG-AND-PLAY WIRELESS SUB: MagniFi’s powerful, next-gen, wireless down-firing subwoofer connects automatically and can be placed anywhere up to nine meters from the sound bar to deliver the deep, effortless bass that Polk is famous for
  • EASY SETUP AND UNIVERSAL COMPATIBILITY: Easy, one-cable set-up with any TV via HDMI eARC/ARC (HDMI cable included), optical, or AUX-in | EXPAND YOUR HOME THEATER SYSTEM: Upgrade your home theater with height speakers to unleash a fully immersive 3D audio experience, or engage all speakers to create a 3D audio sensation from legacy content even without height speakers
  • This Bundle Includes: Polk MAGNIFI-MINI-AX 3.1 MagniFI Mini AX Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer (2022) | 2 Year Extended Epic Protect Coverage in Addition to the Included Full Manufacturer Coverage. Intended for Residential Use Only
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However, I’d recommend previous options, such as the LG Eclair and of course the Sonos Beam Gen 2.

I can’t recommend the Beam enough. It is the definitive soundbar for a small room.

Soundbar Placement and Setup

When it comes to setting up a soundbar in your small room, proper placement is crucial to get the best audio experience. Here are some tips to help you set up your soundbar:


The ideal position for your soundbar is directly below your TV. This ensures that the central speakers align with the TV screen’s center, providing you with an immersive audio experience.

If your TV is wall-mounted, you can hang the soundbar directly below it.

Make sure nothing is blocking the sound coming from the soundbar. The most important places to look are the front and sides as that’s where the sound comes from for most soundbars.


If you decide to wall-mount your soundbar, make sure it is stable and securely mounted to prevent it from falling. You can also use sound-absorbing materials to reduce vibrations and improve the sound quality.

I always recommend mounting your soundbar to a wall, in fact, I wrote an entire article about it.

I wall-mounted by beam gen 2 because my cabinet is at a lower level than my bed and was worried the sound would be distorted if I just placed it on my cabinet.

If you are thinking of getting the beam then here is the Sonos wall mount (affiliate link) that goes with it.

Upward-Firing Speakers

Some soundbars come with upward-firing speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling to create a more immersive audio experience.

Most Dolby Atmos soundbars come with upward-firing speakers.

If you have a small room, this feature can help you get the best audio experience without the need for additional speakers.

However, if you share walls with people like me you might want to avoid getting a soundbar that directly produces sound that hits the ceiling as it could disturb neighbors.

This is something people in apartments have to consider, you don’t want to disturb your neighbors with noise.

Voice Mode

Many soundbars come with a voice mode that enhances the audio quality of dialogue-heavy content such as movies and TV shows. If you watch a lot of content with dialogue, this feature can help you get a clearer and more natural-sounding audio experience.

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