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A soundbar is a special speaker that projects audio from a wide enclosure. It's designed to create a well-dispersed sound that gives the illusion of being in a multi-speaker environment, making it perfect for enjoying music, movies, and TV shows.
You'll want to consider a few things when looking for the best soundbar for your needs. First, the size of your room. Bigger rooms might need more powerful soundbars. Next, consider the audio quality and whether the soundbar supports surround sound. It's also super handy if your soundbar can connect wirelessly to your TV or phone.
The team at Finder has scoured the internet to find the top soundbars for every budget and situation. Whether you're looking for a basic soundbar or something with all the bells and whistles, we've got you covered. We evaluated options from brands like Somos, LG, Samsung, and Bose to bring you the best of the best. We then came up with what we believe are the 11 best soundbars available right now in Australia.
The Samsung Q Series Q990C 11.1.4 Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer has set the bar high in soundbars.
Earning an impressive rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Appliances Online, this system goes beyond the standard soundbar experience by providing an immersive listening environment with its side-firing Dolby Atmos rear speakers. Connectivity is a breeze with options for HDMI eARC & Optical connections, and Bluetooth, providing seamless integration with your devices. The Q990C is a smart soundbar, too, working harmoniously with Google, Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2, and more.
Its Adaptive Sound feature optimises your audio by content and scene, while Active Voice Amplifier ensures clear dialogue. For gamers, the Game Mode Pro delivers a highly directional sound experience optimised for your gaming needs. In collaboration with Samsung Q-Symphony, you can play your TV and Soundbar speakers together for a harmonious audio experience.
However, the Q990C is on the higher end of the cost scale, a potential hurdle for some. Additionally, users have noted that setup can be somewhat challenging, requiring patience and technical know-how. But rest assured, the immersive, high-quality sound experience it delivers is well worth the investment and slight learning curve.
We recommend Hisense's 3.1ch Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer AX3100G for the best budget option. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Appliances Online and JB Hi-Fi.
Boasting Dolby Atmos immersive audio and DTS: X premium audio, the soundbar enhances immersion and realism to your home entertainment, whether a spine-chilling horror movie or an intense car chase scene. The AI Equalizer optimises every scene for the perfect listening experience, and you also get a range of pre-set equaliser modes to choose from based on your preference.
In terms of power, this compact unit surprises with a 280-watt Max Audio Power, bringing movies, games, and music to life with the 6.5" wireless subwoofer. It's also easy to connect with multiple options, including HDMI eARC, USB, Optical, AUX & Coaxial, and Bluetooth 5.0.
However, it's worth mentioning the AX3100G may not be the best choice for gamers. While it performs great for movies and music, hardcore gamers may find it lacking precision and detail. Additionally, the unit might not sync perfectly with all TVs, as observed by some users.
The Sonos Beam 2 is our choice for the best soundbar for music, scoring an impressive 4.3 out of 5 stars on JB Hi-Fi.
It's a treasure trove of features, with its panoramic sound offering unparalleled depth, vibrant tones, and crisp highs from its five powerful internal speakers. The Beam 2 has been tuned to perfection with Trueplay, ensuring the sound adapts to the room's unique acoustics for an optimal listening experience.
Plus, with Dolby Atmos technology, the sound is mapped in space for a 3D effect, making you feel right in the action's heart. However, note that this requires a TV that supports Dolby Atmos and Atmos-encoded content. This soundbar also has features like Speech Enhancement to amplify voices, Night Sound to reduce loud effects, and even a hardwired microphone for privacy.
Moreover, the Beam 2's sleek and low-profile design effortlessly blends into any home decor, making it a stunning addition to your setup. It also syncs with your TV remote for easy control and has a custom wall mount option for a clutter-free look (sold separately).
The LG S95QR 9.1.5 Channel 810W Dolby Atmos Wi-Fi Soundbar is arguably the best Dolby Atmos soundbar on the market, earning a high rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on JB Hi-Fi.
This soundbar impresses with its 6-channel Rear Speakers that distribute sound at 135 degrees, creating an immersive in-home cinema experience. Further enhancing your listening experience are the Triple Up-firing Channels, which deliver a nuanced experience with superb voice clarity and a vast soundstage.
The wireless subwoofer contributes a robust bass that roars. Combined with LG's Sound Bar technology, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and IMAX Enhanced, the result is the ultimate sound experience right in the living room.
While the LG S95QR has advanced features, its AI Room Calibration Pro, meant to tune sound to the environment automatically, may not always accurately adjust to specific room settings. Secondly, the 4K Pass-through feature may cause compatibility issues with certain non-4K devices.
The Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar with Dolby Atmos is an exceptional choice for those seeking a powerful, immersive audio experience without a subwoofer. This soundbar has garnered a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon,
The soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and Atmos-encoded content, ensuring a cinematic audio experience right at home. It also employs Bose TrueSpace technology to provide immersive sound, even from content not encoded with Dolby Atmos.
The Bose AI Dialogue Mode ensures ultra-crisp vocal clarity, delivering an unmatched sound quality. Plus, it is compatible with Bose speakers and headphones using Bose's SimpleSync technology, offering efficient control through voice, an app, or the included remote.
But for those seeking a surround sound experience, the optional bass module and rear surround speakers can add to the overall cost. Secondly, while it does have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast capabilities, the soundbar may experience occasional connectivity issues, according to a few users.
The LG 3.1.2 Ch Atmos Soundbar with Meridian Sound and Wireless Subwoofer SP8YA boasts an impressive 4 out of 5 stars on Appliances Online, which is why it's our pick for the best soundbar with a subwoofer.
Backed by Dolby Atmos, it offers total immersion, transforming any media consumption into a rich, enveloping experience. In addition, it leverages Meridian's advanced digital signal processing technology to deliver high-fidelity sound with a broad sound stage. This ensures precise, immersive audio and feels incredibly natural to the listener.
Yet, some users have noted the AI Multiple Connectivity can be a bit tricky to navigate at first. Also, while the AI Room Calibration is generally effective, it might not achieve optimal results in rooms with unusual acoustics or an open layout. However, considering its overall performance and audio quality, this soundbar makes a formidable choice for anyone seeking a top-of-the-line soundbar with a subwoofer.
The Sonos Ray soundbar is our pick for PC users, seamlessly integrating top-tier audio technology with a user-friendly setup.
Garnering a high rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on reputable platforms such as JB HI-Fi and Harvey Norman, this soundbar goes above and beyond to deliver an extraordinary auditory experience. Its asymmetric waveguides and advanced processing techniques ensure a balanced, immersive sound that fills the room, making it ideal for PC gaming sessions or movie nights.
There's also the added advantage of Trueplay technology, which optimises the sound based on your space to ensure crisp dialogue and precise sound placement. This feature was meticulously fine-tuned by leading Hollywood sound engineers, providing an unparalleled listening experience for all types of content.
The Ray also boasts a sleek, compact design that seamlessly blends into any home setup. The tapered shape adds a touch of style while keeping things understated.
But Ray's understated design might not be to everyone's liking. Some users may prefer a more robust, traditional soundbar look. Second, those unfamiliar with optical cables may initially find the process slightly challenging.
The Sound Blaster Katana V2 from Creative Labs sets a new standard in gaming soundbars. With its sleek design and superior engineering materials, it effortlessly outshines its predecessor, offering up to 68% more power. This soundbar vividly brings games to life with its true 5.1 channel hi-res playback and certified Dolby Audio decoder, ensuring natural and realistic sound reproduction.
One standout feature is the tri-amplified design coupled with improved drivers. Every one of the 5 drivers is individually powered by the DSP controller, yielding powerful and precise audio that is sure to elevate the gaming experience.
The Super X-Fi UltraDSP chip powers the unique SXFI BATTLE Mode, making it a secret weapon for any FPS game. Moreover, the in-built Sound Blaster chip provides a plethora of customisation options. Users can effortlessly tune the audio, change the RGB lighting, and save custom presets to a programmable button on the remote control using the Creative app.
As for connectivity, the Katana V2 doesn't disappoint. It has upgraded connectivity options such as HDMI ARC, optical port, and wireless Bluetooth 5.0. It's also compatible with various devices, including gaming consoles, PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, serving as a versatile audio hub.
However, while a boon for tech-savvy individuals, the many customisation options may be overwhelming for those looking for a more plug-and-play solution. Another con is the lack of a dedicated subwoofer, which may not provide enough bass for some users' liking.
When it comes to top-tier soundbars, the Samsung Q Series Q990C 11.1.4 Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer consistently stands out as the best Samsung option. This soundbar has earned an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Appliances Online.
The Q990C delivers an unparalleled immersive listening experience thanks to its side-firing Dolby Atmos rear speakers. Its smart features and seamless device integration further enhance its acclaim. Plus, its Adaptive Sound and Active Voice Amplifier features ensure optimal sound quality for every content and scene, making it perfect for movie nights or gaming sessions.
Although the Q990C comes with a higher price tag than other soundbars on the market, users have attested that its exceptional audio performance makes it a worthwhile investment. It's important to note that setup may require some technical know-how and patience, but once you've got it up and running, the Q990C will provide an unparalleled listening experience that is well worth the effort.
We also picked the S95QR 9.1.5 Channel 810W Dolby Atmos Wi-Fi Soundbar as the best LG soundbar in the market, earning a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on JB Hi-Fi.
This soundbar's commendable performance can be attributed to its 6-channel Rear Speakers, Triple Up-firing Channels, wireless subwoofer, and integration with advanced audio technologies like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and IMAX Enhanced. All these features collaborate seamlessly to provide a rich, immersive audio experience reminiscent of an in-home cinema.
Despite topping the charts, the LG S95QR has a few disadvantages. The AI Room Calibration Pro, designed to automatically tune the sound to suit the environment, may not always make accurate adjustments based on specific room settings. Additionally, the 4K Pass-through feature may present compatibility issues when paired with non-4K devices.
We picked the Polk Signa S4 Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos as the best small option.
With an impressive rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, it's clear that this compact system delivers exceptional audio quality. The integration of Dolby Atmos assures listeners of an immersive, three-dimensional sound experience that truly surrounds you. Plus, the innovative VoiceAdjust Technology ensures clear dialogue, making this soundbar ideal for movie enthusiasts and music lovers.
It's also customisable with three sound modes: Movie, Music, and Night, allowing you to tailor your audio settings according to your preferences. But despite the easy one-cable setup, connectivity issues have been reported when pairing the soundbar with certain TV models.
Also, the BassAdjust feature may require some time and patience to master, particularly for those less familiar with audio configurations.
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For this list, we evaluated soundbars from the following brands:
We narrowed down our choices based on customer ratings and reviews (as of October 2023). We also considered each model's key product features, including sound quality, connectivity, design, and extra features. With our list, you'll be able to find the perfect soundbar for your home entertainment setup without breaking the bank.We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. However, Finder may receive compensation when you click some links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners and why you can trust our guides.
Modern TVs may produce crystal-clear pictures and outstanding image quality, but their slimline design doesn't leave a lot of room for quality speakers.
A soundbar is a compact speaker system designed to provide an alternative to a multi-speaker sound system. These long, narrow boxes sit underneath your TV screen and enhance the TV's sound quality. While dedicated surround sound systems produce the best results, they have several drawbacks. Not only can they be complicated to set up and use, but they can also clutter up a room and require more wires and cables.
Soundbars pack several speakers and the electronics that power them into an unobtrusive, slimline box. They're easy to set up and can mimic the effect of a home theatre system to greatly improve the sound from your TV. Soundbars are also cheaper than surround sound systems, allowing you to vastly improve your home viewing experience without breaking the bank.
When it comes to soundbars, there are a few different ways to distinguish them: in-box inclusions, primary technologies used and smart/regular.
Some soundbars either come with or have available separately subwoofers and rear speakers, which will give you a much more rounded listening experience, but also hike up the price significantly.
Dolby Atmos vs DTS surround sound is a personal preference and relies on what kind of TV you have to make it work as well as the shape of your room to properly convey the effect.
You also need to decide if you want one with multi-room audio and a smart assistant or if those are features you don't need/want.
The first thing to look for is compatibility. Does your TV have Dolby Atmos and is that an important feature for you? Is your TV a bit older, and thus doesn't have HDMI ARC? You need to make sure you have the correct inputs/outputs as well as the audio technologies that are important to you.
With soundbars, you really get what you pay for up to a point. While it might seem absurd to get a soundbar that costs the same as a new TV, you're likely to replace your TV more frequently than your soundbar, so it's a longer-term investment. Also, picture is only half the story when it comes to home entertainment.
The most important thing, though, is that you like the way it sounds. Once you've narrowed it down to your top 2 choices, don't be afraid to go in store and ask if you can listen to the display model. It will sound different in a big store than it will in a living room with closer walls and softer furnishings, but it'll give you an idea. You're listening to make sure dialogue is clear, see if you can play something from a streaming service that you've been having difficulty making out the dialogue on and see if the soundbar you're considering makes it clearer. Then listen to some music or put on something with a lot of bass – are you getting the sense of depth? Is it reverberating weirdly? Does it sound muddy? Then listen to something with a lot of high notes, like a scene with clinking glass or an opera singer or classical piece and see if you can hear the high notes.
Also, if you do get a rear speaker and/or a subwoofer, consider whether you'd prefer wired or wireless. Wireless is great if you have power near where you want the speakers, but don't want wires running all over your living room. Wired is better if you live in an area with a lot of wireless interference, like an apartment building.
One of the major points of confusion for anyone unfamiliar with soundbars and speaker systems is the numbers used to describe different products – 2.1, 5.0, 7.1.2 and so on. What do these numbers mean?
They're used to indicate how many built-in speakers and channels a soundbar has. Speakers are assigned to specific channels, allowing different frequencies to be isolated and directed to different speakers and making it seem like the sound is coming from all around you.
So, generally speaking, the higher the numbers, the better a soundbar should be able to imitate surround sound.
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