Make your home theater sound fantastic with one of these Sound Bars. Starting at under $100, your audio experience can go to the next level. We review the Vizio (SB362An, SB3820), Yamaha (YAS-107), Polk (Command Bar) and Sonos (Beam).
VIZIO – Best Value
Vizio SB362An-F6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar is a great deal for about $120. You get four speakers – 2 Dual Subwoofers and 2 full-range.
The home theater experience is great with the DTS TruVolume and DTS Virtual:X sound profiles.
We really like how thin this sound bar is, at just over 2 inches (36.00″ x 5.24″ x 2.05″). This makes it really simple to just put it on the shelf just under the front of the TV, no mounting needed!
With both optical SPDIF / TOSLINK and analog wire-cable inputs, you have your options for connecting to your TV or home entertainment center. We recommend the optical cable (here for about $6 on Amazon) for the best data transfer. Note that this sound bar doesn’t have HDMI inputs, which may be an issue for some users, depending on their system set-up.
It also has built-in Bluetooth, which is great for wireless streaming audio / music from any of your devices. So when you want to rock out to your iPhone playlist or connect to your Pandora stations, you can get great sound quality with this sound bar.
Order the Vizio SB362An-F6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar from Amazon, and you’ll be enjoying a richer sound in just a few days!
Alternative – Lowest Price
If you like Vizio, but want something under $100, check out the VIZIO SB3820-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar (about $99). For about $20 less, you’ll still get good performance , with the same 100 dB of room filling, crystal clear sound. Similar to the SB362An-F6, it has internal “Deep Bass Modules” to provide the added bass without using an external subwoofer.
Yamaha – Best Wall Mount
If HDMI is a deal-breaker for you, we have the Yamaha YAS-107 sound bar (about $200). You still have the optical and the analog connections of the Vizio, but now you get the HDMI as well.
For the price bump, you are also getting more speakers – 2x 2-1/8” woofers, 2x 1″ tweeters, and 2x 3″ built-in subwoofers. There is also an output for an external subwoofer if you want even more low frequency response in your home theater.
Take all together, you get 120 W total power: 2x 30 W for the full-range speakers plus 60 W built-in subwoofer
Sound quality is very similar to the Vizio, with DTS Virtual:X for 3D surround sound. And you get support for 4K HDR video.
The YAS-107 is another slim profile unit, at about 2-inches ( 35” x 5-1/8” x 2-1/8” ) which fits nicely under the TV. It also has the 2 standard “key-hole” type mounting holes in the back of the unit, if you want to wall mount.
Another option from Yamaha is their YAS-108 (about $180)
Order through Amazon, the Yamaha YAS-107 sound bar can be delivered as early as the next day!
Polk – Best Overall Features / Option
The Polk Command Bar (about $300) takes the audio to the next level with an external wireless subwoofer, and fully-integrated Alexa capabilities. Think of this as a “smart-soundbar” that is Fire TV compatible (sold separately, about $50) and has built-in support for Amazon Music, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and more music services as they become available.
One of the great features on this soundbar is the “Voice Adjust Technology”. This lets you customize the voice levels to reproduce clear, crisp dialogue. With this enabled, it didn’t matter how much action was going on, or if the movie was older / poorly mixed, you could still hear every word.
At 43.3″ x 4″ x 2.1″, this is the widest soundbar on the list, but still thin enough to easily fit under the TV.
Home theater audio is done with Dolby and DTS surround sound.
For connectivity, you get Bluetooth, Optical and 2x HDMI inputs. This Polk doesn’t have the analog input, but it does have a USB port.
Video – Introducing Command Bar with Alexa Built-in (90s)
Pick up the Polk Command Bar through Amazon today to upscale your home theater and streaming audio.
Sonos – Best for Whole House Audio
The Sonos Beam (about $400), takes us to the top of our price in this review.
As with the Polk, you get Alexa integrated in the soundbar. Using the remote, or with voice commands, you can play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM (subscription required).
Additionally, you can easily play sound from your Apple devices to Sonos with AirPlay, and ask Siri to play music all over your home.
The audio is great, and the set-up was very simple. What we really recommend the Sonos Beam for is anyone that is already using or considering Sonos for whole house audio. You can connect Sonos all you speakers wirelessly, including the Beam soundbar, to create a home sound system. You can get an awesome immersive experience for your home theater system by adding a pair of rear speakers and a Subwoofer.
This is the most compact overall, but also the tallest by about a half inch (25.6″ x 3.9″ x 2.7″). You do have the option of wall-mounting with the included key-holes and hardware.
TV connectivity is with HDMI only, although you can purchase an optical-to-HDMI converter if needed. You do get Bluetooth for all the streaming.
While this is expensive, at least you get a choice between a black or white finish, unlike our other soundbars which only come in black.
Video – The Making of Sonos Beam (1m15s)
To complement your Sonos system, order the Sonos Beam on Amazon, and enjoy great audio through-out your house.
Here’s the quick summary of the Soundbars in this review:
The VIZIO SB3820-C6 (about $100) – Lowest Price
The Vizio SB362An-F6 ( about $120) – Best Value
The Yamaha YAS-107 (about $200) – Best for Wall Mount Configurations
The Polk Command Bar (about $300) – Best Overall Features / Option
The Sonos Beam (about $400) – Best For Whole House Audio
Did you know that with many of the latest media streaming sticks (like Amazon Fire TV), you can also control your sound bar with just a single remote?
Have fun with your new home theater audio!