No matter how wide or how costly your screen is, if the speakers on your TV sounds terrible that is not a good experience. With a decent soundbar or surround system connected to your primo panel, you’ll be shocked how much more you love those Netflix Originals. And you’ll notice new audio aspects in your favorite flicks, such explosions popping and dialogue crisping up. Have you been looking for the best soundbar for firestick but haven’t been able to find anything useful?
We have your answer and have included some excellent products in this article that you will undoubtedly enjoy. We have tested a variety of products and evaluated them out on our own to see how they function.
Why Do You Require a Soundbar?
Great-sounding speakers are big, and manufacturers now a days are finding it difficult to fit good speakers into slimmer TVs with reduced bezels and sleeker designs.
Soundbars are the best solution for many users to improve the audio quality of their television. They’re easy to set up, as they don’t have all the speakers and tangles of wires that come with a surround-sound system. While most soundbars don’t sound as fantastic as dedicated speakers, they’re still far superior to your TV’s built-in speakers, especially when it comes to music.
Even though a new soundbar with a subwoofer cost only $150, it’s vital for getting the most out of your viewing experience. To assist you, we’ve compiled a list of the best soundbars we’ve tested, which includes both standalone soundbars and versions that come with a subwoofer. We’ve also put together some tips on how to get the most out of your purchase.
So, how do you decide which soundbar to buy? As of 2021, all of these soundbars are the best we’ve found for the price.
Dolby Atmos TV Sound System by Vizio (SB36512-F6)
The Vizio SB36512-F6 ($550 at Amazon) delivers exceptional value for money and is one of the best home cinemas displays available for less than a $1,000.
If you like playing console games, you know how vital it is to identify an opponent lurking in the shadows behind you. Vizio’s Dolby Atmos soundbar is an affordable option for hearing every movement in real space. Atmos bars direct sound upward, widening the soundstage of your TV. It means gamers can hear what’s going on above them, which is ideal for avoiding that gun-toting chopper hovering nearby. The package also includes two upward-firing rear surround speakers.
It’s the most affordable Atmos-enabled soundbar package you’ll find, coming in at around $500, making it a no-brainer for anyone who appreciates great sound.
- Exceptional performance
- Plenty of bass
- Dolby Atmos compatibility
- Rear speakers are included
- Rear speakers are included
- LED displays is perplexing
- Design is boring
- Design is boring
Review Of the Design
The Vizio SB36512-F6 isn’t going to win any design awards. It has wrap-around fabric with metallic grey end plates, it’s also boxy and a little monotonous. Although the use of screws in the corners of these end plates gives the aesthetic a slightly industrial feel, the subwoofer and rear speakers at least match the soundbar. This soundbar’s 36-inch width makes it appropriate for 55-inch and smaller TVs.
Overall entire build quality is acceptable for the price, and there are buttons for power, input, Bluetooth, and volume up/down along the top of the soundbar. A number of LED indications run along the left-hand side of the front panel, and despite the manual’s thorough explanations for the various combinations, unless you’re a Bletchley Park codebreaker, you won’t remember them.
All connections can be found in a pair of recesses on the back of the soundbar, which include HDMI, digital optical and analog inputs of 3.5 mm. There’s also an HDMI output with ARC, which lets you relay audio from a compatible TV back to the device (including Dolby Atmos from supporting apps). Wireless streaming is also possible via USB (MP3 and WAV), Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
The soundbar has a well-designed remote control with a small LED screen at the top that allows you to scroll through the menu system’s settings. The best option is to use Vizio’s SmartCast Mobile App (iOS and Android), which not only transforms your smartphone into a controller but also makes setup easier owing to a well-designed UI.
The Vizio SB36512-F6 is a fantastic Dolby Atmos soundbar with a truly immersive soundscape in a small and well-engineered package. The appearances may be uninteresting, but the sound is anything but, with a lively delivery that produces a three-dimensional experience. This multi-channel combo is sure to impress, whether it’s a TV show, a movie, or music.
The extensive connections, handy controller, and easy remote software will also make you happy, and everything you need to set up the system quickly and easily is included in the box.
Of course, it’s not ideal – the lack of DTS:X is a disappointment, the wired rears may turn some people off, and the front LED display necessitates a PhD – but in every other way, the Vizio 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar represents excellent value for money.
The Vizio Soundbar SB36512-F6 checks all the boxes in terms of usability, including Chromecast casting and Dolby Atmos at an affordable price, but it lacks some of the more premium features, such as an LCD screen on the soundbar and a better soundstage.
Ultimately, this is a solid update to your TV’s speakers, and if you’re seeking for Atmos on the cheap, it’s a fine place to start, but it falls short of achieving aural greatness due to some modest sound difficulties.
Many people wish for surround sound but lack the space to install specialized surround speakers and a subwoofer. That’s where Sony’s teeny-tiny bar shines. The HT-X8500 is a single device with a built-in subwoofer and the ability to bounce Dolby Atmos signal’s side and height channels around the space.
Sony’s audio processing isn’t quite as excellent as having speakers directly behind or above you, but for $300 (and a single bar), it offers some fairly good sound.
With a blockbuster sonic performance, this tiny Sony soundbar belies its mid-range pricing. The soundstage is expansive, with lovely wraparound sound processing courtesy of Sony’s ingenious Vertical S, and the inbuilt subwoofer is a monster.
- Compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Form factor that is compact and all-in-one
- Value for money
- Subwoofer built-in
- It’s simple to set up.
- There are no upfiring drivers.
- Not compatible with High-Resolution Audio
The HT-X8500 is an audio system that has its identity. There are no additional wireless surround speakers or a separate wireless subwoofer. It’s a sophisticated, one-of-a-kind soundbar that can go almost anyplace.
Although the subwoofer is built-in, the bar stays pleasingly low. Its 89cm width makes it ideal for TVs with a screen size of 49-55 inches.
The cosmetic finish has a fashionable feel to it. A clever rolling grille protects the front-facing array, while gun metal grey trim adds intrigue. Touch-sensitive controls for power, input selection, volume, and Bluetooth pairing are located on the top of the device.
Only two HDMIs, one an input and the other an output with eARC, are available for connectivity. When ARC isn’t accessible, there’s also an optical digital audio input. Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG are all supported by the 4K HDMI board.
With no separate subwoofer to take up floor space, the HT-compact X8500’s form is easy to live with. Instead, we get dual woofers that face front. There are no up firing drivers, and HDMI connectivity is limited, which is disappointing for a Dolby Atmos soundbar.
All the concerns we had about the performance of this mid-budget were quickly dispelled when we turned it on this soundbar is truly immersive.
Sony’s proprietary Vertical Sound Engine is the key to the HT- X8500’s performance. It offers a convincing appearance of surround sound when used with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. However, this bar isn’t without flaws. Sony claims that the HT-X8500 simulates a sound field like that of an Atmos 7.1.2 system, which is a bit of a challenge.
The internal subwoofer is perhaps the biggest surprise This all-in-one may be small, but it thumps. The rumbles aren’t seismic, but they’re persistent, with a bass sensitivity down to 50Hz. Some may find the balance of those twin forward-facing woofers a little too much at times, but it’s hard to blame their raw energy.
The HT-X8500 doesn’t have the same level of overhead audio as a 7.1.4 system, but it does generate a soundstage that’s as high as it is broad. We were definitely left with the sensation that noises were whipping out either side of our listening position because we were parked in the sweet spot (there is one, so make sure you’re sitting in it). Everest (Blu-ray, Dolby Atmos) is a chilling experience. When a heavy storm comes, the HT-X8500 shoots ice missiles in all directions. It’s enough to send shivers up your spine.
In reality, once advanced channel codecs like Dolby True HD and DTS-HD MA have gone through Sony’s Vertical Sound processor, there’s not much of a difference between a genuine 3D movie mix and advanced channel codecs like Dolby True HD and DTS-HD MA – which speaks volumes about the DSP technology Sony has developed with this bar.
Sony’s HT-X8500 justifies for an recommendation, given that Dolby Atmos compatible competing soundbars often retail for double the price. Compairing from the price, the HT-X8500 sounds fantastic. It’s definitely the finest option to come around this year if you want a home theater sound system that won’t hurt your pocket.
The YAS-109 is one of the best products that I’ll be going to talk about, from Yamaha. Compared to the YAS-209, it is less expensive and has less features. The wireless subwoofer, that most people enjoy, is the absent
Because the subwoofer is absent, the bass isn’t strong enough, and the surround sound isn’t present. You don’t have to be upset, though, because the Yamaha YAS-109 supports DTS Virtual: X surround sound. It includes a Clear Voice function that improves dialogue, as well as DTS:X 3D sound.
This inexpensive soundbar for Firestick also has the Alexa speech assistant, allowing you to manage music, ask for the weather, and listen to the news using your voice. The YAS-109 has two HDMI inputs (ARC in/out and a 4K input) and two HDMI outputs.
Aside from that, it has digital optical, subwoofer out (which can be purchased separately), Ethernet input, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Spotify Connect for wireless. In this price bracket, the build quality is exceptional, and it’s fully compatible with the Fire TV Stick, with six distinct EQ settings.
- This is a soundbar that is both reasonable and highly recommended.
- It has a built-in soundbar with DTS:X
- It features two HDMI ports, one LAN port, one 3.5mm jack, and one optical port.
- This speaker is compatible with Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant.
- While watching movies, the clear Voice function increases speech.
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Spotify Connect are all available as wireless options.
- In this pricing range, the sound quality is superb.
- There are six different equalizer presets to choose from.
- Surround sound is not that great
- Dolby Atmos sound is not supported by this speaker.
- It does not include a subwoofer.
Out of a design perspective, the YAS-109 appears to have been designed to blend into the background of your entertainment center or living room, which it does admirably.
The YAS-109 fits nicely between the caltrop feet of our 50-inch Vizio M-Series Quantum, resting shallow enough to not hide even the bottom bezel of the screen. Its cloth-covered speaker array is attached to a chassis made of a mix of black plastic and charcoal cloth, giving it a stealthy appearance, especially if your TV stand is dark in color.
Similarly, the little remote appears to be pleased to be used only once in a while. All of the buttons you’ll need—input selection, volume for the mids/tweeters and subwoofer, sound mode selection, and an Amazon Alexa button—are conveniently located here, making it easy to avoid touching the on-set controls. Control feedback, like that of other Yamaha bars, is mediocre: it’s not easy to tell how loud the speakers or woofers are set at a glance, and adjusting volume with the TV remote is also a hassel: I feel like I have to push volume up or down on my TV remote about ten times before I start to notice an appreciable difference in decibels.
The feedback LED array is dim enough to be used in a dark, cinematic situation, which is a benefit (unless your room is very bright). As you’d expect, there’s nothing particularly luxurious about using or looking at this soundbar, but it slides out of the way and lets the sound quality speak for itself, which is all you really need in this price bracket.
In this pricing range, consumer expectations can be difficult to pin down. The most basic expectation for a soundbar is that it would sound better than the basic speakers on your TV in some cases, that is its sole purpose. However, we have come to expect more than just bottom-of-the-barrel sound these days. The YAS-109 does not disappoint in this regard.
Within its compact chassis, the YAS-109 delivers an all-in-one2.1-channel speaker arrangement with two midrange drivers, two tweeters, and woofers. While viewing movies, TV shows, or playing video games, this mix of driver types creates a clean, balanced audio. You can’t get the same strength of bass presence from an all-in-one bar like this as you can with bars with a separate subwoofer (Vizio’s 2020 2.1 soundbar comes to mind), but considering what it’s up against, the YAS-109 performs admirably.
The YAS-109, like the newer SR-B20A, sounds best while playing cinematic content, although it can also handle other types of media. Watching Blade Runner: The Final Cut on an Xbox game console via the Movies & TV app was one of my favorite experiences with it. Vangelis’ synth-heavy score seemed to engulf our living room from wall to wall, while explosions and electrical sounds were vivid and gripping.
Unfortunately, the dialogue seemed a little muffled, and I found myself continuously adjusting the volume to balance between the dramatically hushed spoken and the film’s louder ambient aspects. Even the Clear Voice setting on the YAS-109 didn’t totally solve the problem, however I could tell the difference.
In terms of sound quality and adaptability, the YAS-109 is still leagues ahead of your TV speakers, but even a well-made soundbar won’t solve every problem. I have used it for several hours while playing video games, and I found the pseudo surround sound to be quite handy.
While the replicated surround effect didn’t have the same immersive quality as my gaming headphones, it did position sounds in a more object-oriented environment than the stock playing mode.
Overall, the Yamaha YAS-109 punches above its weight class in terms of audio fidelity and EQ versatility for a product that can readily be found for under $200.
Yes. If you want the same amazing capabilities as the YAS-209 but don’t want to spend as much money, the YAS-109 is a good option. We still like the punch of the more expensive model’s subwoofer, but the YAS-109 is a superb, feature-packed option otherwise.
Anker Nebula Soundbar
The Anker Nebula soundbar – Fire TV Edition costs £179.99 in the UK, but it’s now available for a little less on Amazon. The soundbar is also available on Amazon for $229.99 in the United States.
When you consider that the Nebula is made up of a 2.1 soundbar system and a Fire TV stick, both of which cost £49.99/$49.99 separately, it’s not a bad price – just make sure you need a soundbar for that. If you already have a smart TV and don’t need Fire TV capabilities, there are lots of other options that will give you more bang for your money; for ideas, check out our list of the best soundbars.
- Loud audio that is sharp and clear.
- Built-in Amazon Fire TV media player and Alexa voice control.
- Despite the fact that it claims to have a built-in subwoofer, it lacks actual deep bass depth.
The Anker Nebula soundbar is definitely a chonky speaker, measuring 92 x 11 x 6cm, especially considering it’s simply a 2.1 speaker system with two speakers and two subwoofers. The dark mesh fabric that covers the entire Nebula helps it blend into the environment, and the fabric will match up if you have a second or third-generation Echo nearby, offering great synchrony throughout the space.
There are five buttons on the top of the device for power, input selection, equalization modes, volume up and volume down. A small LED face, similar to that of a digital clock, shows menu information on the front. It’s all quite basic and sensible.
The setup, on the other hand, can be time-consuming. The Nebula Soundbar, like most newer Fire TV devices, will try to sync with your TV to regulate the power and volume. The remote, however, will no longer control the volume of the soundbar once it has synced with the TV’s volume. If you want to change the volume of the soundbar, you’ll have to go into the Fire OS Settings menu and desync the remote, which is a nuisance.
Besides the sound from the Fire TV OS embedded into the soundbar, it’s not that simple to figure out which input to utilize for audio. As long as you’re utilizing the Fire TV interface, the FTV setting ensures that the TV’s sound is always routed through the soundbar.
However, if you want to route the sound from a PS4, you’ll need the ARC setting, which requires an HDMI ARC input, which not every TV has. An optical connection can be used to connect the soundbar to older TVs; you can also use a Bluetooth setup to play your own music from a phone or computer. Depending on how many functions you wish to employ, it can quickly get confusing.
The sound quality of a soundbar determines whether it will live or die, and the Nebula Soundbar just does not sound good. It’s very quiet, with a poor bass and a skewed conversation balance. I almost preferred the built-in speakers on my test television.
We put the Nebula Soundbar through its paces with a range of shows, movies, and music CDs to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, but my results were consistent. Even the Hulk demolishing a massive war machine felt flat in The Avengers, as Chitauri weapons barely made an impact. Old Crow Medicine Show and Flogging Molly’s music lacked bass, and even the treble instruments sounded jumbled.
Voices, on the other hand, are an area where the Nebula Soundbar excels. All of the voices in my tests were crystal clear, to the point of seeming metallic. The problem is that “clear” does not always imply “loud.” Because the Nebula Soundbar is rather quiet, you’ll have to crank it up to hear sound effects and music, which can make the dialogue grating. This holds true for the Movie, Music, and Voice equalization settings, all of which are quite comparable.
You can adjust the bass and treble separately, and with enough tinkering, you can achieve a good balance and volume. However, the soundscape has a distant, almost warped quality to it, especially if you choose the surround sound mode. (Impersonating “surround sound” from only one direction was never going to work.) Overall, it’s a poor experience, especially given you paid $230 for it.
However, you do get full 4K video with HDR capability, so at the very least your movie will look fantastic. The Nebula Soundbar also appears to be quite capable, generating 4K video in a matter of seconds – something that UHD streamers frequently struggle with.
The Nebula Soundbar performs admirably as a streaming video player. It’s easy to manage thanks to Alexa and it generates 4K video swiftly. However, the same may be said of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K or the Amazon Fire TV Cube.
The Nebula Soundbar, on the other hand, falls short of my expectations as a soundbar, with poor audio quality and little options for improving it. And it’s a letdown for a soundbar, especially one that costs $230. For the time being, the Roku Smart Soundbar is a superior alternative; beyond that, we’ll have to wait and see whether other businesses try to combine streaming and sound technology.
Despite being more pricey than other sound bars, the Beam is significantly less expensive than the company’s larger Playbar and Playbase speakers. It looks great, sounds great, and is more versatile than any other sound bar on the market today.
Despite its new voice, the Beam is still up against the Polk Command Bar ($249), which has a superior sound thanks to the wireless sub, and the Bose Soundbar 500 ($549), which has both Google Assistant and Alexa. However, the Sonos speaker outperforms both in terms of whole-home music playback. It’s a terrific option for folks who currently have Sonos and want to expand their system, as well as newcomers to Sonos who want a sleek sound bar that works with different voice and music systems.
The Beam works in the same way as any other voice-controlled speaker, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home (albeit considerably less loudly). You can use voice commands to get the clock, request songs by name, and control the blinds, as well as modify the volume on the Beam itself. The speaker includes a five-microphone array that picks up your speech even in a busy home theater environment, and it performed admirably in my tests.
The Beam now has the option of using either Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, however you can’t switch between them on the fly. To put it another way, it won’t reply to a “Alexa” command first, followed by a “Hey Google” command.
When you download the latest Sonos update, you’ll be asked to select a voice assistant. You’ll need the Google Home and Amazon Alexa applications, but if you don’t have them, the process will walk you through installing them.
When using Alexa to start radio (which defaults to Amazon Music), there was one little snag: I couldn’t transmit the music to a Sonos Google speaker because it doesn’t accept Amazon. Sonos may be able to communicate with both services via the app, but when it comes to voice assistants, Amazon and Google are still at odds.
While the Google Assistant supports the majority of functionality, including Continued Conversation, it currently lacks the ability to call, voice match, make purchases, use translator mode, or define routines in the Google Home app.
- The sound is quite engulfing.
- Excellent streaming capability with deep bass
- It would be wonderful if there were more HDMI inputs
The Beam’s wrap-around fabric grille, which is typically associated with the company’s ultra budget rivals, is unexpected on a Sonos product. With its plastic top and the touch control panel that debuted on the One, the speaker retains a Sonos aesthetic.
With dimensions of 25.6 inches broad, 2.7 inches high, and 3.9 inches deep, the pill-shaped Beam is smaller than most other sound bars (68.5 by 651 by 100 mm). It’s available in two colors: black and white. Unfortunately, the speaker does not come with a wall bracket, but for an additional $59, the firm will sell you a Beam mount.
Sonos does not offer a remote with their sound bars, unlike most other manufacturers. Instead, the Beam comes with a variety of control options, including the Sonos app for phones and tablets. With the integrated microphones and the full setup routine, you can use your TV remote as well as the app and your voice.
The Sonus app has gone through a lot of modifications over the years, but the most recent version focuses on music search and your home devices rather than a laundry list of different music services. This is a nice development for Sonos, which has been pushing toward third-party control, such as via Spotify Connect or AirPlay. For example, rather than utilizing the Sonos app, I enjoyed being able to stream music directly to the speaker via Spotify.
There are four full-range drivers, a central tweeter, and three passive radiators in the Sonos Beam, all of which contribute to the bass. These drivers operate together to provide sound that falls in between a Sonos Play:3 and a Sonos PlayBar. However, because the speakers inside were custom-made for the Beam, there is no Sonos recycling here.
The room fills with sound when Trueplay is activated; it seems to function better with a soundbar because the radius is that much larger. Trueplay is currently only accessible on iOS devices, so if you’re an Android user, you’ll have to wait for this option.
The Sonos Beam has a two-part setup. It’s a cinch if your TV has HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel; there will be a symbol near the HDMI slot). The Beam can sync audio and video and have everything working through your TV’s remote in minutes thanks to HDMI ARC.
Because the Sonos Beam doesn’t come with a remote, this last point is very crucial. The concept, as with all Sonos products, is to utilize the Sonos app to manage volume, connect speakers, and so on. This is good, but in a home theater setting, you should use it as a supplement rather than the exclusive means of controlling your speaker. That’s why Sonos went with HDMI ARC.
Things become a little more tricky without HDMI ARC. However, Sonos has done its homework and included an optical converter in the setup. You can use the Beam through the optical port if you connect it to the HDMI cable that comes with it.
While we enjoyed using the app made by sonos , it’s clear that Sonos prefers you to use HDMI Arc. While its app is pleasant enough, it is currently set up to assist you in ensuring that your Sonos system works in harmony with any other Sonos devices you may have, rather than in configuring a home theater system. It currently has the PlayBar, PlayBase, and Beam, although this may change in the future.
Of course, there’s another method to control the Sonos soundbar: using your voice. The Beam’s Alexa connectivity is one of its most notable features. This was initially seen on the Sonos One (where it works beautifully) but utilizing Alexa to manage a portion of a television is a very different story. Alexa voice control is now accessible on the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Amazon Fire TV Cube, which is something that is becoming increasingly common.
If you want to go hands-free, the good news is that you have a plethora of smart assistants to choose from. In most of the major English-speaking areas, Alexa, AirPlay 2, and Siri integration are available, as well as Google Assistant.
While the triple-powered smart soundbar is still in its early stages, we’re excited to watch how this relationship develops over time. Knowing how egalitarian Sonos is attempting to be helps us enjoy the soundbar even more – after all, making the soundbar as open as possible is a great and ambitious objective.
Hi, my name is Afnan Bin Ibrahim, and I’m an aspiring freelance writer. Read more