The Ultimate Soundbar Buying Guide for 2024

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Soundbars have become the default audio solution for a lot of people these days but some consumers struggle to figure out which one they should purchase.

In 2024, the amount of soundbars available can be overwhelming, but the key is to find one that fits both your space and your sound preferences.

It’s essential to consider a few factors to ensure you make the right choice.

Size does matter—you’ll want a soundbar that compliments the size of your TV and room so it doesn’t look out of place.

Sound quality is the most important; look for features like subwoofer integration, channel configuration, and whether it supports high-resolution audio formats.

Connectivity is another critical factor.

Whether you prefer seamless wireless options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or the reliability of wired connections, there’s a soundbar tailored to your needs.

Given the pace of technological advancements, some soundbars offer smart features such as voice control through popular virtual assistants, multi-room audio integration, and even support for immersive audio formats such as Dolby Atmos.

These features can significantly enhance your viewing experience, making you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.

Ready to find the perfect one for your cozy movie nights?

Let’s dive into the world of soundbars.

What to Consider Before Buying a Soundbar

Shopping for a soundbar can be a breeze when you know what to look for.

Here’s the lowdown on buying the perfect audio companion for your home in 2024.


Your budget sets the stage for the type of soundbar you can get.

Whether you’re eyeing a basic model or one with all the whistles, prices can range from affordable to high-end.

Generally speaking, you can get a high-quality Soundbar for as little as $200, brands like Vizio exceed at producing these types of soundbars at such a low cost.

However, if you are looking for a Dolby Atmos soundbar that can fill a medium/large room then you probably want to increase your budget to $700-1,000 dollars.

This is because to fill a room you likey need rear speakers and a subwoofer which are added costs to the soundbar.

These costs are worth it in my opinion, especially the rear speakers as they make sound much more immersive.

Advanced Features

Soundbars today come packed with advanced features like voice control, room calibration, and built-in streaming services.

Figure out which features are the best before you make your purchase.


Think about the connectivity options you need.

Most soundbars are connected to the TV with HDMI cables. For Dolby Atmos Soundbars you will want a HDMI eArc port on your TV and a compatible cable.

This isn’t mandated but you will be getting the best sound quality, optical cables can work as well as just standard HMDI Cables but they arent recommended as they can’t fully support high-quality audio.

Compatibility With Speakers/Subwoofer

If you’re looking to expand your system, check the compatibility with additional speakers or a subwoofer.

Some soundbars offer easy integration, while others might require a bit more fiddling.

Lower cost Budget Soundbars typically don’t come with rear speakers or a sub, the rare exception is the Vizio V Series Soundbar.

Most of the time you will need to purchase a mid-range soundbar ($500 or so) and get a subwoofer and rear speaker bundle.

Companies make this hard by only allowing you to purchase the rear speakers and sub as a bundle with the soundbar, for example, you cannot decide to purchase a soundbar and then later on add speakers/sub, you have to do it all at first purchase.

Although this is not true for all companies, Sonos allows you to add any of their existing speakers or subwoofers to pair with your soundbar which is a huge reason why they are so popular.

Specifically, the Sonos Beam is probably the most popular soundbar on the market.

If I’m not mistaken Polk also allows separate sales of their rear speakers for select soundbars, although nowhere near the seamless integration and extensive options as Sonos.

Soundbar Design and Placement

When you’re shopping for a soundbar, the design and how you’ll place it in your room are crucial.

No one wants a soundbar that looks like an eyesore and will be mocked by guests.

You want a soundbar that not only fits well with your TV but also integrates seamlessly into your living space.

Considering Soundbar Size

Size matters when it comes to soundbars.

You’ll need to measure the area where you plan to put the soundbar to ensure it fits.

Ideally, it should be just a bit narrower than your TV for a visually appealing setup.

The right-size soundbar will not only look good but also help with the sound dispersion throughout the room.

Mounting Options and Space Requirement

Are you short on space? Wall-mountable soundbars can be a great space-saver.

There are designs that hang neatly below your wall-mounted TV, looking sleek and unobtrusive.

Some soundbars come with their own mounting kits, whereas others may require separate purchases, which you should factor into your setup budget.

It isn’t much-added cost, you can get a universal soundbar mount for cheap.

The other option you have is too simply place your soundbar on top of your entertainment center, this is what most people do.

Best Soundbars of 2024

There are so many soundbars to choose from, which are the best? Let’s discuss!

Budget Soundbars

  • Roku Streambar: This is a good soundbar if you just want enhanced dialogue clarity and an upgrade over your TV speakers, you also have the option to enhance this setup by adding roku speakers and a sub. The Streambar has a built-in Roku player, meaning you have easy access to streaming services.
  • Vizio V Series Bundle: This soundbar is a fantastic choice if you want quality without the hefty price tag. In my opinion this is the best bang for your buck on the market, you not only get the soundbar but also rear speakers and a sub. Of course, if you don’t want the bundle you can also buy the soundbar individually. The only con is the soundbar does not have Dolby Atmos, but it’s still an incredible value for the price.
  • Vizio M Series: Same situation as the V series but you get Dolby Atmos with this soundbar.
  • JBL MultiBeam: If you want a budget soundbar with an aggressive bass response this is the pick. JBL is known for their bass and this soundbar delivers, the only con is that it cannot be paired with rear speakers, however you can get a subwoofer with it. Although, if you don’t even want rear speakers than this makes a lot of sense.
  • Polk Magnifi Mini: To My Knowledge, this is the smallest Dolby Atmos soundbar on the market, it’s a great minimalist design that will fit nicely near a TV stand. For those you have a already cluttered area under their TV this soundbar will be perfect for you.
Budget Pick
Roku Streambar

Roku Streambar

  • Built-in 4K streaming device: Enjoy an easy, fast interface with popular channels and endless free entertainment—stream in brilliant HD, 4K, and HDR picture with sharp resolution and vivid colors optimized for any TV
  • Watch what you love: Stream a massive selection of free, live, and premium TV, including Roku Originals and 300 plus live TV channels for free on The Roku Channel
  • Surprisingly big sound: Listen in awe as four internal speakers fill your room with clean, pure sound featuring Dolby Audio—calibrated for boosted volume and crisp dialogue, you’ll love how great your TV sounds at an incredible value
  • Smarter than your average soundbar: Roku Streambar produces sound well beyond its size with the help of advanced audio engineering within the Roku OS—boosted volume and speech clarity will make your TV easier to hear and add rich depth to your music
  • Easily expandable: Add heart-pounding bass with Roku Wireless Subwoofer and immersive surround sound with one or two sets of Roku Wireless Speakers
Best Value
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.
Budget Dolby Atmos
VIZIO M-Series 5.1.2 Immersive Sound Bar

VIZIO M-Series 5.1.2 Immersive Sound Bar

  • 11 High-Performance Speakers - With separate tweeters and woofers, deliver fuller, clearer and more powerful sound.
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X - Cinematic, life-like 3D surround sound around and above you.
  • 2 Upfiring Speakers - Reflect accurate overhead sound off the ceiling for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content.
  • Separate Tweeters and Woofers - True 2-way speaker design delivers pristine clarity and a wider audio range.
  • Dynamic and Accurate Sound - The 103dB sound pressure level and 45Hz – 20kHz frequency range deliver high-performance sound.
Best Bass
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. 
  • 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
Minimalist Design
Polk MAGNIFI-Mini-AX Soundbar

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
  • 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
We will receive a commission if you click through and purchase

Mid Range Champions

  • Sonos Beam: This is the most popular soundbar on the market and for good reason. The Sonos Beam is a good looking soundbar and a high performing one as well. But what really makes the beam unique is it’s ability to be paired with high quality existing Sonos speakers and subwoofers. If you decide the beam is not enough you can easily pair it with the Sonos Era 100s or Sonos Era 300s.
  • Polk Magnifi Max AX SR: This soundbar is a great choice for those seeking a more immersive mid range option. It has 7.1.2 channels and has 11 drivers built in, which means the soundbar has the ability to hit you with sound from a litany of angles.
  • Vizio Elevate: Similar to the polk the Elevate provides more channels and speakers than most mid range 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.
Best Overall
Polk Audio MagniFi Max AX SR 7.1.2 Channel Sound Bar

Polk Audio MagniFi Max AX SR 7.1.2 Channel Sound Bar

  • A 7.1.2 CHANNEL SOUND BAR SYSTEM - MagniFi Max AX SR includes Polk's flagship MagniFi Max Soundbar with 10" Wireless Sub and SR2 surround sound speakers, which together give you a room-filling sound in every corner, including over your head.
  • A SUPER IMMERSIVE SOUND EXPERIENCE - MagniFi Max AX Soundbar features an 11-driver array with 2 up-firing drivers for virtual height effects, left/right tweeters & woofers & a dedicated center channel, delivering immersive sound & clear dialogues
  • CAPTIVATING SURROUND SOUND WITH POLK's PATENTED SDA 3D AUDIO TECHNOLOGY - This home theater system delivers certified Dolby Atmos and DTS:X cinematic surround sound with impactful bass & an expansive 3D soundstage for next-level music & movies experience
  • HEAR EVERY WORD CLEARLY - Polk's patented VoiceAdjust speech-clarifying technology works with MagniFi's integrated center channel speaker to bring up the voice levels without affecting the rest of the soundtrack. Enjoy clear dialogues and balanced audio
VIZIO Elevate Soundbar

VIZIO Elevate Soundbar

  • 18 high-performance speakers for unrivaled cinema-quality.
  • Adaptive Height Speakers that automatically rotate upwards for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content and rotates forward for clearer vocals and an ultrawide soundstage.
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X brings cinematic sound around and above you.
  • 4 up-firing speakers that blasts sound off your ceiling and overheard
  • 107dB sound pressure level and 30Hz 20KHz frequency range that delivers dynamic and accurate sound.
We will receive a commission if you click through and purchase

High-End Picks

  • Samsung Q990C: The Q990C stands out with its 11.1.4-channel system, delivering intricate spatial audio that can transform your listening experience. It gets constant praise for its thunderous bass response as well. It is by far the most popular high end option on the market.
  • JBL Bar 9.1: Comes with detectable surround speakers which is very cool. Capable of producing 820 watts for a very loud and room-filling sound.
  • Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra: The showckwafe Ultra is very unique in that it comes with 4 rear speakers and 2 subwoofers for an immersive home theater experience that no other soundbar can rival. This is the best option on the market if you want a top-notch audio experience centered around a soundbar.
Most Popular
SAMSUNG HW-Q990C 11.1.4ch Soundbar

SAMSUNG HW-Q990C 11.1.4ch Soundbar

  • 11.1.4 CH. TRUE DOLBY ATMOS SOUND: Feel sound all around with 11 front-facing speakers, 1 subwoofer and 4 up-firing channels for a true Dolby Atmos experience; Flood the room with audio from all angles, for sound so real you can almost touch it
  • WIRELESS DOLBY ATMOS: Feel surrounded; Cue up Dolby Atmos sound and skip the cumbersome HDMI cables; Feel free to arrange your space exactly how you want without compromising the audio experience**
  • SPACEFIT SOUND PRO: Sound amplifies everything; This soundbar reacts accordingly; Get room-filling sound, calibrated to your space, with a soundbar that analyzes your environment and automatically optimizes the audio
  • UP / SIDE FIRING REAR SPEAKER KIT INCLUDED: Ready to have your mind blown? Be captivated by dense layers of all-around sound with up/side firing rear speakers
  • ADAPTIVE SOUND: Hear voices better, even at low volume, with intelligently optimized audio; Scenes are analyzed in real time to pull out the most important audio based on the type of contentAVA: Ensure dialogue and commentary are not drowned out—so you never miss an important moment; Active Voice Analyzer breaks down room noise so that onscreen voices are always optimized
Budget Pick
JBL Bar 9.1 - Channel Soundbar System

JBL Bar 9.1 - Channel Soundbar System

  • 820W Output power
  • Built-in Dolby Atmos and DTS: X decoding
  • With detachable, battery powered surround speakers you can enjoy real surround sound without the wires
  • Experience deep bass with a 300W, 10" powered subwoofer
  • Ultra HD 4K Pass-through with Dolby Vision
  • Use the built-in calibration to ensure the best possible sound no matter what the room
Best Overall
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra

  • MEET THE REINVENTION OF #1 RATED DOLBY ATMOS SOUNDBAR. Designed based on 70+ years of audio excellence and feedback from 5000+ reviews from existing owners, we have supercharged 2022’s flagship with unmatched 360° surround & bass performance. 
  • SUPERCHARGED DUAL 10” WIRELESS SUBWOOFERS (INDUSTRY-EXCLUSIVE) propel bass performance to new heights, featuring upgraded high output amplifiers (up to 600W) and subwoofer drivers that harness effortless power, transforming your entire room into a sweet spot filled with thunderous, yet balanced lows as deep as 20Hz without any localization or distortion even at cinema-level volumes. Real bass is felt, not heard. Our system showcases TWO subwoofers which are a must for the ultimate home theater.
  • 2ND GEN QUAD 2-WAY SURROUND SPEAKERS (INDUSTRY-EXCLUSIVE). A significant upgrade featuring extended range twin-cone drivers and silk dome tweeters, our surround speakers transport you into a rich, all-enveloping 360° sound bubble filled with lifelike surround objects. MODULAR in form, they can be used as 4 individual speakers (signature setup) or attached to dipoles for expanded 360° surround effects with minimal footprint. Each speaker connects to sub via RCA cable (included).
We will receive a commission if you click through and purchase

Leave a Comment