If you go to the cinema, at least half of the experience is provided by the film's soundscape. This means that when you watch films and TV at home, you're likely missing out half the action. Why? Well, brace yourselves as there's no easy way to say this: your TV's speakers aren't up to delivering powerful, detailed audio.
As flat-panel technology improves and TVs get thinner, real estate for drivers is ever decreasing, and your TV's in-built speakers have an almost impossible task of delivering sound that matches up with the dizzying visuals onscreen. But there is a cost-effective way to hear dialogue more clearly and up the ante with film soundtracks. Just grab yourself a great-value TV soundbar from some excellent brands currently discounted.
A soundbar is a simple solution to boost your TV's sonic performance without cluttering your lounge with multiple speakers and a chunky AV amplifier. You just pop it in front of the TV, hook it up (either physically or wirelessly) and voila, you're all set!
There are currently some extra-tasty deals to be snapped up on wallet-friendly TV soundbars, as well as some excellent savings on more premium options if you're partnering with a bigger flagship TV.
Not sure which model is right for you? We have buying guides with all the info on the best soundbars and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars that we've tested across a range of prices. And at the more affordable end of the market, our best budget soundbars page has you covered.
Bose Smart Soundbar 900
£899 £818 at Electric Shop (save £81) (opens in new tab) Available only in black, this slick soundbar has all the spec you'd expect from Bose with wifi connectivity, Airplay, Bluetooth, Chromecast and multi-room streaming. Sonically it produces n impressively wide soundfield and an articulate and crisp Dolby Atmos performance.
Sonos Beam (Gen 2)
£449 £402 at Amazon (save £45) (opens in new tab) The latest offering from Sonos is fresh from winning a 2021 What Hi-Fi award after impressing us with its exceptional virtual Dolby Atmos performance. When watching Atmos content, two of the Beams five-speaker arrays are dedicated to reproducing overhead and surround sounds and use psychoacoustic HRTF (head-related transfer function) technology to give the impression of height without needing to get vertical. Not that many soundbars (opens in new tab) at this price point come with networking capabilities, but this being a Sonos product, WIFI is on board as is HDMI eARC and compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.Five stars
Bowers and Wilkins Panorama 3
£899 £849 at Sevenoaks (save £50) (opens in new tab) Bowers & Wilkins's first Dolby Atmos soundbar is a sleek, stand-alone system that delivers 3.1.2 channels of audio from a single unit. There’s Amazon Alexa (opens in new tab) onboard for hands-free voice commands and streaming is well catered for with AirPlay 2, aptX Adaptive Bluetooth and Spotify Connect, while high-resolution listening is supported via the Bowers & Wilkins Music App.
JBL Bar 5.0
£350 £239 at Amazon (save £111) (opens in new tab)
Want big sound from a small Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar that doesn't cost the earth? The four-star JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is a real bargain at less than £250. That's a huge discount of a third on the RRP!
£290 £278 at Amazon (save £12) (opens in new tab)
We haven't tested this particular model but it's an Amazon bestseller that combines Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support with Samsung's excellent Object Tracking Sound technology. This is a record-low UK price for the Q600A, so don't miss the boat!
Samsung Q800A Dolby Atmos soundbar
£799 £493 at Amazon (save £306) (opens in new tab)
Very few soundbar subs perform as well as Samsung's 3.1.2 Q800A with a muscular, room-filling sound and gut-busting bass, all contained within a relatively small package. Not only does the Q800A offer Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, but it also has a broad feature set that includes two HDMI ports (one equipped with eARC), Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2, all of which can be controlled by the built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant.
£650 £449 (save £201) (opens in new tab) at Richer Sounds
This Sony 3.1-channel soundbar system boasts Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound, DTS:X, voice control, Bluetooth and wi-fi for wireless music entertainment. And now cheaper than it was on Black Friday!! Four Stars
£1499 £959 at Laptops Direct (save £540) (opens in new tab)
This 2021 flagship soundbar is surprisingly agile, with a detailed top end and easy-going character. It’s not got the most robust low end but it does offer an even and immersive listening experience with a tech spec that is one of the most comprehensive and future-proofed available.
Sony SF100 soundbar
£109 £95 at Amazon (save £14) (opens in new tab)
If you're looking for a simple, constructive step up in sound from your TV's in-built speakers, Sony's SF150 offers a significant sonic enhancement for little outlay. Alongside HDMI ARC, it has an optical input supporting Dolby Digital (opens in new tab), Dolby Dual mono and LPCM 2ch. There's also a USB port and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity for music playback from an external source too. To boost your cinema experience there's also Sony's S-Force Front Surround technology on-board, which applies processing to give the acoustic impression of a more encompassing sound stage. Four stars.
Hisense HS214 all-in-one soundbar
£129 £70 at Appliances Direct (save £59) (opens in new tab)
Not a model we've tested but at this price Hisense's 65cm 'bar with multiple connections (line-in, USB, Bluetooth, optical, HDMI out ARC), three Audio Modes (movie, music and news) and a bundled universal remote presents an awful lot to like.
Denon Home Sound Bar 550
£599 £399 at Peter Tyson (save £200)
(opens in new tab)With over 20 per cent off, this is a good deal on what looks like a very good soundbar. Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HEOS built-in and AirPlay 2 support combine to make it one of the more feature-rich of its kind we've seen.
£349 £199 at Richer Sounds (save £150) (opens in new tab)This svelte soundbar, designed to be wall-mounted, has two full-range, forward-facing 4.5 x 12cm drive units, two bass reflex ports adjacent to the drivers to help enhance lower frequencies within the narrow chassis, and a total power output of 160W. Its connectivity options are on the more basic side: you get HDMI (ARC) (opens in new tab), optical input, Bluetooth and a USB socket -so no wi-fi connectivity or streaming service support - but for those looking for a tidy, discrete soundbar this slender option might just fit the bill.
Bose TV Speaker
£270 £229 at Peter Tyson (save £52) (opens in new tab) This soundbar thrives on simplicity: there's a one-connection set-up to your TV via an optical audio cable or an HDMI. You can use your current TV remote to control the volume of the speaker and it detects the signal from your TV when turned on and automatically turns on, too. There's Bluetooth for streaming and setting for vocal clarity and extra bass too.
JVC TH-D227BA 2.0 Compact Sound Bar
£100 £40 at Currys (save £60)
(opens in new tab)This JVC soundbar has Bluetooth for wireless streaming as well as wired connections, so you can easily connect the soundbar to your TV or existing audio. It has a compact design that's compatible with TVs from 17” and over. Oh, and it's now just £40! Bargain.
Sky Soundbox Soundbar
£499 £209 at Sky (save £290) (opens in new tab)
Sky's soundbar slash wireless speaker (a collaborative effort with Parisian audio specialist Devialet) delivers a big sound from a small box. It has 4K-supporting HDMI input/output connections and a digital optical input, plus USB and Bluetooth connectivity for music. At this extra £40-off reduction (it was reduced to £249 until recently) it's now hugely competitive...