Best Passive Soundbar

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Rating 3.2 3.2

A soundbar is a compact, horizontally oriented electroacoustic device (with or without a subwoofer), which improves and enhances the sound capabilities of various techniques. The best passive soundbar connects the basic unit with the help of the receiver. Such a method is somewhat complicated, but the result worth it because the sound quality becomes much better. The active ones plug directly to the TV, which is a simple and convenient option.

Modern passive soundbar speakers are often called a three-in-one speaker system (LCR). Such a soundbar, due to its compactness, remains a very desirable acquisition, combining three main channels in one body frame, which is possible to place both above and below a flat screen. The active models are designed as independent audio systems. They not only reproduce the sound from the TV without the aid of additional devices but serve as an amplifier for other signal sources. For example, many active soundbars have an active subwoofer and the ability to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Despite the fact that active models are easier to use, passive variants have a lot of advantages. Therefore, they are not inferior in popularity to their active counterparts. Let's check passive soundbar reviews in order to see the particular qualities of these devices.

Passive Soundbar Reviews

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Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50: Well-sounded Device with Additional Speakers

Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50

Unlike many other soundbar models that use their own surround decoders and amplifiers, the SSA-50 combined speaker system is based on the BYOP (Bring Your Own Processor) principle. Accordingly, this speaker actually contains five independent speakers, which are assembled in a single package and have independent acoustic inputs. The front channels are handled by two-way speakers. Moreover, the tweeters are placed in front of the subwoofer in special acoustic fairings in order to save space on the front panel and to obtain a more uniform sound dispersion. The four emitters eliminate the sound interference among different channels using Spatial Array proprietary technology.

Two of the additional speakers suppress the overlap of the left and right stereo channels signals, creating a corresponding antiphase sound wave. Two more are designed to work in conjunction with the speakers of the system’s rear channels. This technology makes the non powered soundbar Mythos SSA-50 unique to its market segment, since the quality of the surrounding sound space doesn’t depend on the acoustic properties of the room. Moreover, a special HRTF filter changes the spectral balance of the rear speakers’ sound, so that the listener perceives it as coming not from the front, but from behind, as when using conventional rear acoustics.


  • This device isn’t the best passive soundbar from the aesthetic point of view, but its body frame is closed, made of aircraft-grade aluminum, has deep internal damping, and is reinforced with additional partitions. All these things make the SSA-50 a pleasantly looking and reliable unit.
  • The finish is in perfect harmony with the appearance of modern flat-panel TVs.
  • It’s easy to mount the Mythos SSA-50 on a rack or hung on a wall using the supplied hardware.


  • Its weight is 30.9 pounds, and not every shelf can handle such a load.
  • Sometimes the message “Check SP wires” appears on the screen, but everything is okay with these wires, and the device reboot helps to get rid of this error.

KEF HTF7003: Small but Powerful Unit with Classic Design


The soundbar is compact, and the width is well suited to 37-42-inch TVs. The aluminum body frame is fully enclosed, and such a design decision looks really stylish. The connection points, made in the form of clips, are designed for a relatively thin cable, so speaker cables with standard terminals and wires with a cross-section of more than 2.5-3mm cannot be connected.

For its size, the soundbar offers surprisingly well-balanced performance. Sometimes the sound picture is somewhat miniaturized, but mostly the KEF presents really accurate and realistic sound pictures, so it’s easy to believe everything that is going on the screen. Included satellites fit into the system perfectly, but the subwoofer setup is hard, because the system refuses to react on commands correctly.


  • Its weight is only 6 pounds, so it’s easy to find the space for placing the unit.
  • Thin profile of the device greatly suits almost every TV.


  • The frequency of docking with a subwoofer makes the subwoofer localizable by ear, and this peculiarity may complicate its placement in the room.
  • Gloss black finish looks classic, but I don’t need a lot of effort to scratch it. Moreover, it’s easy to see the dust on its surface.

Dayton Audio BS36: Clean Sound, Compact Design, and Various Inputs

Dayton Audio BS36

The soundbar uses different spring-loaded terminals (positive and negative) to connect your speaker wire to each speaker. As a result, the sound becomes clean, distinct, loud, and without any hindrances. The build quality of the device itself is really off the charts because the framework is made of a reliable material, and it’s hard to scrape the glossy surface that isn’t very fragile and sensitive.

The BS36 is equipped with analog and optical inputs, which provides good flexibility when connecting to any TV models. The system doesn’t allow separate adjustment of the overall sound volume and bass level, but this is not necessary, because the sound is automatically tuned for different viewing conditions.


  • Its relatively small dimensions (4.2 x 37 x 4.8 inches) make it easy to place and fix the soundbar, or even hide it behind the TV.
  • The device doesn’t provide exceptional sound, but all the dialogues, shots, and explosions are heard perfectly. Moreover, the Dayton product reproduces the powerful sound that completely fills a medium-sized room.


  • Sometimes the sound becomes muffled, and restarting the soundbar can solve this problem.
  • The hardware for mounting the unit is not included in the set, so I have to buy them additionally and make extra financial expenses.

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