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Best soundbases 2019: budget TV speaker upgrades

Best budget soundbases Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best budget soundbars and soundbases you can buy in 2019.

There is a way to get a better sound from your TV without filling your room with speakers – or even having to make space for a soundbar. The beauty of a soundbase is it's wide, flat, and it sits directly underneath your TV – as opposed to a soundbar that sits in front of your telly (and thus requires a bit more room).

A soundbase is a handy, space-saving arrangement for situations where a 'bar just isn't practical. And it gives your TV a fair bit more oomph in the sound department at the same time.

You can get HDMI or digital optical inputs, the option of wireless Bluetooth audio and a boost in sound performance when it comes to TV or films. Interested? We know you are. And you should be, with this little lot; the best soundbases we've tested.

Best soundbases 2019: budget TV speaker upgrades

1. Q Acoustics M2

The Award-winning M2 provides a detailed and punchy listen, and it's simple to use to boot

SPECIFICATIONS

Features: aptX Bluetooth | Connections: HDMI, optical, RCA and 3.5mm | Dimensions: 93 x 55 x 34cm

Reasons to Buy
Crisp, punchy, detailed listen
Expressive, easy to use
Rugged, fuss-free design
Reasons to Avoid
Remote could be nicer

Q Acoustics seems to be in for a penny, in for a pound when it comes to boosting TV sound. From speakers to soundbars and now soundbases, the British company has turned out brilliant-sounding products. The M2 is sturdy enough to sit comfortably underneath a fairly big-screen TV. It can handle weight of up to 25kg, which is a few kilos more than most 65in LCD TVs. You'll find ARC-compatible HDMI, optical, RCA and 3.5mm inputs, and it supports streaming over Bluetooth, too.

Read the full review Q Acoustics M2

Best soundbases 2019: budget TV speaker upgrades

2. Sonos Playbase

Sonos' entry is simple, stylish and bests most TVs' sound, even if it's not quite as smooth as we would like. Call us picky.

SPECIFICATIONS

Features: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spotify Connect, multi-room | Connections: Digital optical | Dimensions: 5.8 x 72 x 38 cm

Reasons to Buy
Impressively wide soundstage
Solid, natural bass
Multi-room functionality
Reasons to Avoid
Harsh treble 
No HDMI
No hi-res audio support

Sonos is the original multi-room champion, with multi-room speakers, a couple of soundbars and this soundbase. So not only do you get better sound from your TV, you also get all the clever streaming functionality Sonos affords, and the ability to easily connect to a multi-room system and be upgraded to a full 5.1 system with the addition of a Sonos Sub and two Sonos Play:1 (or even Play:3 or Play:5) speakers. The Playbase is solid and able to support TVs weighing up to 35kg. Sonically it's a punchy, dynamic and fairly detailed performance, with only an occasionally harsh treble causing us some concern.

Read the full review Sonos Playbase

Best soundbases 2019: budget TV speaker upgrades

3. Canton DM55

A drop in price makes this excellent-sounding Canton even more of a bargain

SPECIFICATIONS

Features: aptX Bluetooth, LED display | Connections: Optical, coaxial, RCA analogue inputs, subwoofer output | Dimensions: 6.8 x 54.5 x 30cm

Reasons to Buy
Deep, punchy bass
Loads of detail
Easy to use
Reasons to Avoid
No HDMI inputs

Canton has a great record with soundbases, combining excellent sound quality with ease of use in one nicely built and affordable box. The Canton DM55 replaces the much-praised DM50, a five-star performer at £400. The addition of a glass top, some sonic tweaks, and a price drop make this good-looking and capable unit even more appealing than before. There's no HDMI connection, but otherwise you get good sound and wireless Bluetooth on a budget.

Read the full review: Canton DM55

Best soundbases 2019: budget TV speaker upgrades

4. Cambridge Audio TV5 v2

It might lack a display, but this soundbase is sonically superb

SPECIFICATIONS

Features: aptX Bluetooth | Connections: HDMI, optical, 3.5mm and RCA analogue inputs | Dimensions: 34 x 72.5 x 10 cm

Reasons to Buy
Tight bass, full midrange
Good amount of insight
HDMI connectivity
Reasons to Avoid
Lack of display
Remote could be nicer

The TV5 v2 has a 3.5mm input jack, an RCA connection, an optical input, and aptX Bluetooth connectivity, plus an HDMI cable for 24-bit/192Khz hi-res audio. Sonically, the TV5 v2 is a great soundbase. The bass is tight, the midrange is full and it provides a good dynamic injection across any input. While the TV5 v2 might be marginally behind in terms of midrange detail when compared to the similarly priced Canton DM 55, it does have a greater sense of scale and a more potent bass. The choice is yours.

Read the full review: Cambridge Audio TV5 v2

Best soundbases 2019: budget TV speaker upgrades

5. Canton DM100

A big soundbase with big sound, this Canton will give even the largest TV an audio boost

SPECIFICATIONS

Features: aptX Bluetooth | Connections: Optical, coaxial and analogue RCA inputs, subwoofer output | Dimensions: 6.8 x 54.5 x 30cm

Reasons to Buy
Clear and insightful
Deep, taut bass
aptX Bluetooth
Reasons to Avoid
Size won’t suit all
Treble can edge on brightness at times

If your TV’s impractical size has put you off investing in a soundbase, the talented DM100 may well change that. Bigger than the DM55 (listed above), you can expect a deeper, more powerful, room-filling sound. If you've got a big TV – and the space – it's a worthwhile upgrade. Like its siblings, there’s aptX Bluetooth streaming onboard, as well as two digital inputs (optical and coaxial), an analogue input and subwoofer output.

Read the full review: Canton DM100