Awards 2015: The best soundbars and soundbases of the year

The popularity of soundbars and soundbases has skyrocketed ever since people realised just how easily they boost the sound quality of your flatscreen TV without invading your space or costing too much money.

A prime example is the Q Acoustics Media 4. First unveiled last year, it instantly snapped up a Product of the Year trophy. It really is a triumph of sound quality, ease of use, and value for money. In fact, it's an even better bargain than before, thanks to a price drop from £400 to £330.

The Media 4's wonderfully musical and subtle approach to music and movies alike - along with a great wallop of punch and excitement - is hugely enjoyable. Despite newer rivals entering the arena, not a single one of them has managed to come close to the Media 4's outstanding combination of performance and value.

In fact, you have to look to the £800 Dali Kubik One bar (pictured above) to find a significant jump up in performance. The Kubik One wowed us with its stylish, high-end design (how many soundbars can look so sleek and attractive?), while its sound quality simply blew us away. Dali's rich heritage in loudspeaker design comes in handy here, with the Kubik One delivering an insightful and weighty performance from beneath that cloth grille.

It has a lot of tricks up its sleeve too: high-resolution audio support, USB ports for your laptop, and plenty of connections mean you can also use the Kubik One as the hub for your main music system. It's pricey, but it's worth it.

See all our What Hi-Fi? Awards 2015 winners

On to soundbases now, and we have two brand new winners. The Canton DM55 sails away with the under £400 win. Its rich, weighty and powerful sound is combined with a delicate touch. Voices sound especially warm and expressive.

The sturdy build and glass top look rather elegant, giving an impression of a more premium quality product than its price tag would have you believe. A smattering of useful connections and a satisfying remote control complete the package.

Geneva has taken its ability to produce Award-winning wireless speakers and and used it to create the Model Cinema soundbase. Refined, authoritative and stunningly controlled, this £550 soundbase delivers a wide, expansive sound that's truly breathtaking. It's a joy to use thanks to the touch-sensitive controls and slender remote, while the design and finish are a cut above the competition.

If you're looking for a soundbase that not only elevates your TV's sound, but also brings some home cinema magic into your living room, the Geneva is just the ticket.

MORE: Awards 15: Best soundbars & soundbases

Kashfia Kabir
Hi-Fi and Audio Editor

Kashfia is the Hi-Fi and Audio Editor of What Hi-Fi? and first joined the brand over 10 years ago. During her time in the consumer tech industry, she has reviewed hundreds of products (including speakers, amplifiers and headphones), been to countless trade shows across the world and fallen in love with hi-fi kit much bigger than her. In her spare time, Kash can be found tending to an ever-growing houseplant collection and hanging out with her cat Jolene.