Best soundbars 2018: the best TV speakers you can buy

If your TV looks great but sounds flat, what you need is a soundbar. The very best soundbars can pack great, meaty sound into a package small enough to sit in front of your TV. They might also boast wireless subwoofers, Bluetooth, 4K-friendly HDMI inputs and even Dolby Atmos audio.

These are our picks of the best soundbars for a range of different budgets. All of them are simple to install and will avoid the need for lots of speakers and cables cluttering up your living room.

Under £100

Best soundbar under £100

JBL Bar Studio

A solid, affordable upgrade to your TV speakers.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sound format: JBL Surround Sound | Streaming: Bluetooth v4.2 | Max power: 30W | Connectivity: 1 x HDMI ARC | Dimensions: 6 x 61 x 9cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Solid and punchy sound
Plenty of bass
Good range of features
Reasons to Avoid
Hardness at higher volumes
Not great with music

Today's best JBL Bar Studio deals

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£99
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£99
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£112.99
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£319
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On a sound-per-pound basis the JBL certainly holds its own. We originally tested it at £150, and now you can pick one up for just £99. Sure, that might be too cheap for a true all-rounder, but the JBL Bar Studio is proof that there are some fine performers to be had for very little money. For a confident, full-bodied upgrade to your telly’s speakers at an extremely affordable price, you can’t go far wrong with this.

Under £300

Best soundbar under £300

Yamaha YAS-207

Another five-star soundbar from Yamaha's impressive stable.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sound formats: Dolby & DTS surround sound | Connectivity: 1 x HDMI | Streaming: Bluetooth | Subwoofer: Yes | Dimensions: soundbar 6 x 93 x 10.8cm, subwoofer 44 x 14 x 40cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Crisp, dynamic sound
Spacious and immersive
Slim and practical design
Reasons to Avoid
Treble a little unrefined

With a multitude of soundbars competing in the budget-to-midrange market, the fact the Yamaha YAS-207 manages to excel in some areas of sonic performance that others don't makes it pretty special. The YAS-207 is a natural entertainer, and another chapter in Yamaha’s soundbar success story. A worthy Best Buy.

Under £500

Best soundbar under £500

Sonos Beam

Small, adaptable and - most crucially - great-sounding, the Beam could be Sonos' best product so far.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sound formats: Dolby Digital 5.1 | Connectivity: 1 x HDMI ARC, 1 x optical digital | Voice control: Amazon Alexa | Dimensions: 7 x 65 x 10cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Impressively three-dimensional sound
Surprising bass weight and depth
Streaming and multi-room smarts
Reasons to Avoid
A little sibilance at high volumes
More HDMI inputs would be nice

Today's best Sonos Beam deals

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£399
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£399
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£399
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£399
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The Sonos Beam is a smaller, cheaper TV speaker than the Sonos Playbar and Playbase. It comes with a few additions to its spec sheet, including an HDMI connection and voice control assistant, initially Amazon Alexa, but Google Assistant and Apple Siri will follow.

This is an affordable soundbar that most could find space for, and that could transform your listening experience. The width, depth and three-dimensionality of the presentation smashes expectations. You really don't need to spend another £300 for the Playbar - this should meet most people's needs perfectly.

Under £750

Best soundbar under £750

Yamaha YSP-2700

Another Yamaha soundbar that does a very convincing job of immersing you in movie soundtracks.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sound formats: Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio | Subwoofer: Yes, wireless | Connectivity: 3 x HDMI in, 1 x HDMI out, digital optical, digital coaxial in | Streaming: Bluetooth, AirPlay, wi-fi | Dimensions: soundbar 5.1 x 94 x 15cm, subwoofer 30 x 30 x 30cm (HxWcD)

Reasons to Buy
Wide, spacious sound
Tonally well balanced
Good dynamics
Reasons to Avoid
Needs careful placement
Treble could have more bite

Today's best Yamaha YSP-2700 deals

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£689
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£689
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£689
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£928.62
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There are numerous reasons you might shun a traditional full surround-sound system in favour of something more convenient – lack of space, too many wires, too much hassle.

Yamaha’s YSP soundbar range has been one of the best solutions for over a decade now, offering a simpler, more compact way to get the surround-sound effect into your home. The YSP 2700's excellent performance and unique capabilities more than justify its price.

Under £1000

Best soundbar under £1000

Dali Kubik One

A massive success in a gorgeous package.

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: 2 optical inputs, 1 x RCA, subwoofer out | Hi-res audio: 24bit/96kHz | Streaming: aptX Bluetooth | Dimensions: 16 x 98 x 10cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Involving, engaging sound
Good connectivity
Good looks
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Today's best Dali Kubik One deals

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£549
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£649
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£699
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£699
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One of the best premium soundbars we've tested - the sound is hugely engaging, and it looks very dapper to boot. Dali says the Kubik One is not exactly a soundbar – it’s a system in its own right, rather than a mere extension of your TV. Whatever the appropriate nomenclature, one thing is for sure: we think it’s brilliant. Award winning brilliant, in fact.

Over £1000

Best soundbar over £1000

Sony HT-ST5000

This Sony takes the Dolby Atmos soundbars to new heights.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sound format: Dolby Atmos, TrueHD | Connectivity: 3 x HDMI out, 1 x HDMI in | Streaming: Bluetooth A2DP | Video: 4K HDR passthrough | Hi-res audio: 96k/24-bit PCM | Subwoofer: Yes, wireless | Dimensions: soundbar 8 x 118 x 14.5cm (HxWxD), subwoofer 40 x 25 x 43cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to Buy
Excellent integration
Weighty bass
Impressive Dolby Atmos effect
Reasons to Avoid
Remote could be better designed

Today's best Sony HT-ST5000 deals

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£1195
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£1199
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£1199
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£1199
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Accomplished Dolby Atmos soundbars are few and far between. The  Sony HT-ST5000 is one of them. It makes film soundtracks so immersive you'll think you're inside the movie. The HT-ST5000 is fantastic – pairing a real sense of height with a sophisticated sound quality. If you’ve been looking for a fuss-free way to get Dolby Atmos into your home, this is the best we’ve seen so far.

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