The thin thickness of today’s televisions explains that their sound quality is not always the best. This is because the interior of the screens does not have enough space to house speakers that guarantee a better sound experience. The most comfortable, practical and economical solution – if we do not want to opt for the classic home theater systems – is a sound bar . The offer is vast and this time we have focused on the most advanced models of six specialized firms in this market niche.
Best Soundbars for open floor plan
Best Quality soundbar for open floor plan (Soundbar LG SN11RG)
LG has collaborated with the British firm Meridian Audio on this sound bar and the result cannot be better : it sounds but very good, the dialogues offer clarity and the feeling is enveloping. Going into detail, the combination of the bar with the included seven-inch subwoofer, as well as the two rear speakers that accompany it – all connect wirelessly – offer a 7.1.4 channel system and 770 watts of power. What has most caught our attention, at first glance, is that at the ends of the bar, at the top, two speakers have been located that project the audio towards the ceiling.. Also that each of its two rear speakers has been provided with a driver (the other is on the front) that, as it is placed at the top, ‘directs’ the sound upwards in the same way.
LG’s proposal perfectly reproduces the effect of Dolby Atmos and DTS: X surround sound; the experience is immersive and the ear does not lose detail. Its adaptive audio technology also contributes to this. As for the remote control, it is a small model with an ergonomic grip that allows you to select between various sound modes, modify aspects of the settings, or activate the Night mode as well as Google Assistant. Both the physical and wireless connections have been solved well and the user will not miss any.
The design of the bar is exquisite , although it is very large (1443 mm long). In addition, it has a touch pad with access to the main functions and a small backlit panel that reminds us of the selected sound source.
Best Affordable soundbar for open floor plan (Soundbar Samsung HW-Q950T)
It is one of the most complete sound bars in the comparison if we take into account that it is accompanied by two rear surround speakers and an eight-inch subwoofer ; all of them accessories that connect to the Samsung HW-Q950T wirelessly. The set is flawless in appearance and the incorporation of Kvadrat fabric (a special type of fabric) gives it an elegant yet timeless appearance. In a first contact, it is striking, on the other hand, that the subwoofer has a solid construction (it weighs 9.8 kg); and that the satellite speakers are easily locatable thanks to their compact dimensions (210 x 120 x 141 mm).
On paper, its specific techniques show that we are looking at a sound bar with very interesting possibilities. But what about practice? We have found a 9.1.4 channel system and 546 watts of power that offers a complete, real and immersive sound experience that you especially enjoy with those contents where the action predominates; although if you want to listen to music the result does not detract either whether it is a rock or classical piece. Special mention should be made of its adaptive sound mode , a function that is responsible for analyzing the acoustic signal and automatically providing optimized audio according to one scene or another. That it is compatible with Dolby Atmos is another key point in its favor.
Best Cheap soundbar for open floor plan (Bose Surround 700 Soundbar: The Alternative)
To set up and enjoy this soundbar, download the free Bose Music app, available for both Android and iOS. The process only takes a few minutes and its assistant is simple. It offers a versatile user experience by incorporating Bluetooth technology, supporting Apple AirPlay 2 and being able to integrate it into the home Wi-Fi network to play music from popular services such as Amazon Music, Deezer or Spotify. Meanwhile, on the back are the physical connections, among which we highlight its HDMI ARC interface to connect it directly to the TV.
It provides good sound quality and is a proposal that meets the standards one expects from this brand’s products, although the bass response can be improved (the option would be to purchase the Bose Bass Module 700 wireless module separately). On the other hand, the quality of the dialogue is excellent because the voices are heard very clearly.
Denon DHT-S516 Soundbar
Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS decoding; Bluetooth technology; HDMI interface with ARC; o support for Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant assistants; These are some of the characteristics of this Denon model with HEOS integrated : this means that if we have speakers from the Japanese firm that have the ‘HEOS’ seal they could be added to the bar for a more immersive experience. It also guarantees the transmission of music from platforms such as Amazon Music and Spotify.
With a sober as well as elegant aesthetic , its sides escape the classic straight lines we are used to and give way to a slightly angular design that combines perfectly with the wireless subwoofer that accompanies it . In addition, it is possible to choose if we want to place it under the TV or on the wall. As it does not include a remote control, to configure and control this system you must download the HEOS app that supports both Android and iOS. Even incorporating only two channels, the performance of the soundbar achieves a good evaluation as it happens with the subwoofer. The feeling it conveys is that it is a product thatbalances the low, mid and high frequency range quite well . It also helps that it is provided with the following preset EQ modes: Movie, Music, and Night.
Best Midrange soundbar for open floor plan (Sony HT-G700 soundbar: best value for money)
If your budget is tight but you are looking for a simple soundbar, with an integrated wireless subwoofer and as complete as possible, this Sony model meets all the requirements. We are facing a proposal of 3.1 channels and 400 watts of power that stands out above all for offering support for Dolby Atmos technology and, with it, the much acclaimed surround sound. To offer this experience, the firm has resorted to two technologies: Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force Pro Front Surround: the first makes up for the absence of the speakers that are oriented to the ceiling and the second does the same but with the rear speakers. In practice, this enveloping sensation is slightly perceived.
It projects a good sound (it is compatible with a wide range of audio sources) and given its price, the value for money seems very successful. Perhaps, as an aspect for improvement, we have missed a bit more clarity in the dialogues at certain times even activating the built-in voice mode. Cinema, Music, Standard, and Auto sound modes are as expected.
Soundbar Yamaha MusicCast Bar 400
If Denon’s proposal bears the ‘HEOS’ label, this 2.1 system from Yamaha has its own. This is MusicCast , which allows you not only to connect to other speakers of the brand to transmit audio. Also connect to music streaming platforms or synchronize our music from the mobile phone with the help of the free MusicCast app (Android and iOS). As you might expect, it supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Airplay wireless technologies, as well as Ethernet, HDMI ARC, and auxiliary and optical inputs.
Combined, the soundbar and wireless subwoofer deliver a total power of 200 watts. In addition, its 3D surround sound with DTS Virtual: X makes the experience more immersive depending on what content we view. Special mention to its Clear Voice mode . It also has these five specific modes: music, television, programs, movies, sports and games; his performance is correct, but at certain times we expected ‘something more
What do you have to look at to buy a soundbar?
When purchasing a high-end sound bar, or any other, several aspects must be taken into account, such as the size of the room where it will be located or the space available under the television. Likewise, it is convenient to make sure which audio formats it supports or the sound power it produces. In the same way, the user must ask himself – always depending on his needs – if he only wants a sound bar or a model that, for example, adds a subwoofer and even additional rear speakers.
Best sound bars comparison
The following sound bars star in this comparison: Bose Surround 700 (8.75), Denon DHT-S516 (8.5), LG SN11RG (9.25), Samsung HW-Q950T (9.25), Sony HT-G700 (8) and Yamaha MusicCast Bar 400 (8). Aspects such as the following have been assessed:
– Design: not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also the quality of its construction materials and details in its manufacture.
– Sound: the sound power is essential, always taking into account the dimensions of the room where the bar is placed. More important is the quality of the sound, if the bar sounds good, how it reproduces the dialogues …
– Installation: all offer a simple installation and, in addition, it is usual that they integrate connections such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth that facilitate this task.
– User experience: this criterion encompasses different aspects: how we found the bar, if it meets what one expects from a high-end model, features such as sound formats, connectivity options .