What Wattage Soundbar Do I Need? Soundbar Spec Deep Dive

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If you’re looking to enhance your home theater experience, a soundbar can be a great addition to your setup.

However, with so many different options available, it can be difficult to know what wattage soundbar you need.

The wattage of a soundbar refers to how much power it can use and how loud it can get.

Higher wattage soundbars will be able to produce louder, more powerful sounds. However, they may also be more expensive.

Several factors come into play when determining the wattage you need in a soundbar.

The size of your room, the distance between your TV and soundbar, and the type of content you watch all play crucial roles.

For example, if you have a large room with high ceilings, you may need a higher-wattage soundbar to fill the space with sound.

On the other hand, if you primarily watch TV shows and movies at a reasonable volume, a lower wattage soundbar may be sufficient.

What Wattage Soundbar Do I Need?


Soundbar wattage is mostly a marketing gimmick and does not matter as much as you might think.

I recommend only really considering the wattage if you are concerned about a soundbar’s ability to fill your room with sound.

Manufacturers often use wattage as a way to market their products, but the truth is that wattage does not always equate to better sound quality.

A soundbar with a high wattage rating may not necessarily sound better than one with a lower rating.

That said, wattage can still be a useful metric to consider when choosing a soundbar.

A higher-wattage soundbar may be able to produce louder, more powerful sound, which can be useful for larger rooms or for watching action-packed movies.

However, if you have a smaller room or primarily watch dramas or comedies, a lower-wattage soundbar may be perfectly adequate.

Here are some of the best high-wattage soundbars

JBL Bar 500: 5.1-Channel Soundbar
  • Dolby Atmos and MultiBeam Surround Sound: Immerse yourself in theater-quality 3D surround sound. Hear extraordinary sound effects from everywhere in the room, without the need for extra surround speakers.
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music and Chromecast built-in: Get ready to explore. Access over 300 online music streaming services through AirPlay, Alexa MRM and Chromecast built-in. Enjoy all of your favorite audio content, Internet radio, and podcasts in high definition. The Wi-Fi connection also allows automatic software updates, so you can always enjoy the latest features.
  • With 590 watts of total system output power, the JBL Bar 500 transforms your movies, music and games into immersive sound experiences.
  • 10" Wireless subwoofer: Thrilling, precise bass from a mighty 10" wireless subwoofer brings the action to your movies and the emotion to your music.
  • PureVoice Dialogue Enhancement Technology: PureVoice technology uses our unique algorithm to optimize voice clarity to ensure you never miss a word of dialogue, even when the surround effects are at their peak.
LG Soundbar S90QY
  • With 570 watts for an impressive home theater setup, envelop yourself in a stunning surround sound experience with 5.1.3 channels and hear every line of dialogue clearly with an up-firing center channel.Connectivity Technology : Bluetooth 5.0, Soundbar Power Consumption : 78W, Subwoofer Power Consumption : 40W.
  • Dolby Atmos* and DTS:X** bring multidimensional sound to your room—including up-firing height channels to deliver powerful, moving audio that flows all around you, even overhead
  • Unleash the power of IMAX content at home with IMAX Enhanced. Stereo (2-channel) content is upmixed to immersive, multichannel audio with Meridian Horizon's adaptive upmixing technology
  • Choose your go-to voice assistant like Google Assistant or Alexa, and control your favorite features like Chromecast, AirPlay 2, and more***
  • Sound bar, wireless subwoofer, remote control with batteries, wall mount brackets, and HDMI cable are included. Smartphone Remote App (iOS/Android) iOS/Android OS
SAMSUNG HW-Q60B 3.1 ch Soundbar
  • DOLBY ATMOS/ DTS VITUAL:X: Elevate your favorite content. Dolby Atmos creates realistic 3D sound by projecting it from all around you, including from above, while DTS Virtual: X expands your listening experience without having to add extra speakers.DTS : DTS 5.1ch, Total Power (W) : 340W
  • TRUE 3.1CH SOUND: Enjoy a cinematic audio experience, with 3 channels, 1 subwoofer and 2 up firing channels combined to put you at the center of the action.
  • Q SYMPHONY: Perfectly synchronized, fully immersive audio floods your room all at once, using every speaker in compatible Samsung TV and soundbars. Q Symphony is compatible with select 2021 and 2022 Samsung TV's
  • ADAPTIVE SOUND: Enjoy dynamically optimized audio with enhanced voice clarity so you can follow along with action packed games and blockbuster films.
  • GAME MODE: Game Mode optimizes your gaming experience with synced, directional audio that moves with the onscreen action, and eliminates distractions
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Understanding Soundbar Wattage


When it comes to soundbars, wattage is a specification to at least consider.

In this section, we will discuss the relationship between wattage and sound quality, and the role of decibels in loudness.

Wattage and Sound Quality

The wattage of a soundbar refers to the amount of power it can use and how loud it can get.

Generally, higher wattage soundbars will be able to produce louder, more powerful sounds.

However, wattage alone does not determine the sound quality of a soundbar.

Other factors such as speaker size, sensitivity, and frequency response also play a significant role in determining sound quality.

Decibels and Loudness

Decibels (dB) are a unit of measurement for sound level.

When it comes to soundbars, dB is a more accurate indicator of loudness than wattage.

The sensitivity of a speaker is what determines how efficiently it can convert power/watts to volume/dB.

A higher sensitivity rating means that the speaker can produce more volume from the same amount of power.

Therefore, a soundbar with a high sensitivity rating can produce more volume than a soundbar with a lower sensitivity rating, even if they have the same wattage.

Determining the Right Wattage for Your Room


When it comes to choosing the right wattage for your soundbar, it’s important to consider your room size and the sound pressure level required to achieve your desired listening experience.

Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Room Size and Volume

The size of your room plays a crucial role in determining the wattage required for your soundbar.

A larger room will require a higher wattage to produce the desired volume.

As a general rule of thumb, a 20-50 watt soundbar is suitable for a small to medium-sized room, while a larger room may require a higher wattage soundbar.

To determine the right wattage for your room, you can use a simple formula that takes into account the room’s volume.

To calculate the room’s volume, multiply the length, width, and height of the room. For example, if your room is 10 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet high, the volume would be 720 cubic feet.

Once you have the room’s volume, you can use the following chart to determine the minimum wattage required for your soundbar:

Room VolumeMinimum Wattage
Up to 1,000 cubic feet20-50 watts
1,000-2,000 cubic feet50-100 watts
2,000-3,000 cubic feet100-150 watts
Over 3,000 cubic feet150 watts or more

Sound Pressure Level Considerations

Another important factor to consider when choosing the right wattage for your soundbar is the sound pressure level (SPL) required to achieve your desired listening experience.

The SPL is the measure of the sound’s loudness and is measured in decibels (dB).

For a typical home theater experience, a soundbar with an SPL of 90-100 dB is sufficient.

However, if you like to listen to music or watch movies at a higher volume, you may require an SPL of 100 dB or higher.

To determine the SPL required for your room, you can use the following chart as a guide:

Room SizeSPL
Small80-90 dB
Medium90-100 dB
Large100 dB or higher

By considering the room size and volume, as well as the required SPL, you can determine the right wattage for your soundbar.

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and your personal preferences may vary.

Soundbar Features and Specifications To Look For


When shopping for a soundbar, it’s important to consider the different features and specifications that are available.

Wattage is nowhere near as important as these other factors.

Here are some key features to look for:

Channel Configuration

One important feature to consider is the channel configuration of the soundbar.

This refers to the number of channels that the soundbar has. Soundbars typically have anywhere from 2 to 7 channels, with 3 being the most common.

A 3-channel soundbar is a basic setup that is good for small rooms or for people who don’t need a lot of volume.

If you’re looking for something more advanced, consider a soundbar with 5 or 7 channels.

These soundbars have more speakers and can produce a more immersive sound experience.

Frequency Range and Response

Another important specification to consider is the frequency range and response of the soundbar.

This refers to the range of frequencies that the soundbar can produce and how accurately it can reproduce those frequencies.

Look for a soundbar with a wide frequency range, ideally from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

Connectivity Options

Finally, consider the connectivity options that are available on the soundbar.

Look for a soundbar with HDMI ARC or eARC connectivity, which allows you to connect the soundbar to your TV with a single cable.

This will simplify your setup and ensure that you can control the soundbar with your TV remote and get the best sound quality.

Just make sure your TV has these inputs. If it does then make sure you also are connecting your TV to a 4K HDMI Cable.

Additionally, consider a soundbar with Bluetooth connectivity.

This will allow you to stream music from your smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled device directly to the soundbar.

This is a convenient feature that can make it easy to listen to your favorite music without having to connect any cables.

By considering these features and specifications when shopping for a soundbar, you can ensure that you get the best possible sound experience.

Selecting a Soundbar Within Your Budget


When it comes to selecting a soundbar, one of the most important factors to consider is your budget.

Fortunately, there are soundbars available at a range of price points, so you should be able to find one that fits your budget and meets your needs.

Price Points and Features

Soundbars can range in price from less than $100 to several thousand dollars.

The price you pay will depend on the features you want and the quality of the soundbar.

Some soundbars come with additional features like Dolby Atmos, Bluetooth connectivity, and room control.

These features can increase the price of the soundbar, so it’s important to consider which features are essential for your needs.

Polk, LG, and Vizio are great budget soundbar options.

Cost vs. Performance

When selecting a soundbar, it’s important to consider the cost versus performance.

While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, you may sacrifice sound quality and overall audio experience.

On the other hand, the most expensive soundbars may not be necessary for your needs.

It’s important to find a balance between cost and performance to ensure you get the best soundbar for your budget.

Here are some recommended soundbars based on budget:

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.
My Pick
Sonos Beam Gen 2 - Black - Soundbar with Dolby Atmos

Sonos Beam Gen 2 - Black - Soundbar with Dolby Atmos

  • 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.
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 - The 2022 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.Waterproof : No
  • 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
  • SOUNDBAR WITH SUBWOOFER SYSTEM - Includes a powerful plug-and-play 10" down-firing Wireless Subwoofer that connects instantly to the sound bar the moment you power it on. It delivers deep, effortless bass, at volume levels that are surprising for its size
SAMSUNG HW-Q990C 11.1.4ch Soundbar w/ Wireless Dolby Audio, Rear Speakers Included w/ Q-Symphony, SpaceFit Sound Pro, Adaptive Sound, Game Mode Pro, Airplay 2, AVA, Alexa Built-In

SAMSUNG HW-Q990C 11.1.4ch Soundbar w/ Wireless Dolby Audio, Rear Speakers Included w/ Q-Symphony, SpaceFit Sound Pro, Adaptive Sound, Game Mode Pro, Airplay 2, AVA, Alexa Built-In

  • 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
  • Q-SYMPHONY: Amp up your audio with the greatest duo of all time—Samsung TVs paired with Samsung soundbars; With Q-Symphony, your TV speakers paired with Q-Series soundbars operate as one*
  • 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
  • BUILT-IN VOICE ASSISTANT: Activate hands-free navigation of your soundbar and TV using built-in voice assistants; The feature allows you to operate your TV and control other smart devices with only the sound of your voice***
  • 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 content
  • GAME MODE PRO: The game is calling; Powerful up-firing speakers, acoustic beam and strong woofers unlock a more intuitive gaming experience, complete with 3D optimized sound****
  • AIRPLAY 2: Get in sync; Simply pair the soundbar with a compatible iPhone or other Apple device to hear your music, podcasts and more; Easy as pie*****
  • AVA: 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
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Soundbar Reviews and Research

When looking for a soundbar, it’s important to do some research and read reviews to ensure you’re getting the right product for your needs.

In this section, we’ll look at two important factors to consider when researching soundbars: analyzing user reviews and examining manufacturer specs and marketing claims.

Analyzing User Reviews

One great way to get an idea of the quality of a soundbar is to read user reviews.

These reviews can give you an idea of how well the product performs in real-world situations, as well as any common issues or complaints that users have experienced.

When reading reviews, pay attention to common themes among users.

For example, if multiple users mention that the soundbar has difficulty connecting to their TV, this may be a red flag.

On the other hand, if users consistently praise the sound quality and ease of use, this may indicate a high-quality product.

Manufacturer Specs and Marketing Claims

While user reviews are important, it’s also important to examine the manufacturer’s specifications and marketing claims.

These can give you an idea of the soundbar’s capabilities and features, as well as any unique selling points that set it apart from other products on the market.

It’s also important to examine the marketing claims made by the manufacturer.

While these can be helpful in understanding the product’s features and benefits, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt.

Look for independent reviews or third-party testing to verify the manufacturer’s claims.

By analyzing user reviews and examining manufacturer specs and marketing claims, you can get a better understanding of the quality and capabilities of a soundbar before making a purchase.

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