Plenty of modern TVs look great, but their sound can be not so good because of their thin building that leaves no space for good inner speakers. So how to choose the best soundbar for music to offset the poor capacity and get great surround sound?
No rush to buy premium models to get pure sound because even entry-level units very often come with wireless subwoofers, Bluetooth, 4K compatible HDMI inputs, and Dolby Atmos audio. Some models feature 2-way Bluetooth to deliver music from the soundbar to headphones. To stream music from such platforms as Spotify or Pandora, the unit should come with Wi-Fi on board and, preferably Ethernet jack for a wired connection to the Internet.
Simple 2.1 models serve to enhance TV sound only, but the best soundbars for music with true surround sound have 5.1 configuration. That means they have a separate wireless sub and satellite speakers to create a full surround-sound system. Besides, up-firing drivers in the main enclosure are required.
Plenty of more expensive but still affordable units offer two HDMI inputs (including 4K/HDR passthrough), wireless audio streaming not only via Bluetooth but also AirPlay. They come with refined speaker drivers and decoding of Blu-ray sound formats. Certainly, there’re models either with one or two HDMI ports, but in the case of toggling between the sources, two HDMI ports are necessary.
Favor a soundbar for music listening that can also be wall-mounted above or to the side of the screen to choose home entertainment setup looks. Then, consider the power to make the soundbar fit the space.
Now, let’s deal with some surround sound models that are designed to make listening experience full and enjoyable.
The soundbar has premium design available in black and white finish with metal grilles on its drivers. The top of the unit is made of tempered glass and looks luxurious. The model’s length is 40 inches that’s perfect for 50 and 55-inch TVs. Two buttons on the top are necessary to mute the mic and control basic actions.
It is possible to stream music from a mobile device via Bluetooth. Alexa voice control allows changing tracks, volume, and make other controls without a special app or a remote. Note that Amazon Alexa comes with the upgrade – 8 custom mics give the soundbar’s owner the opportunity to hear even while loud music is playing. The LED indicator displays whether Alexa listens or ponders the answer.
It has no Dolby Atmos and DTSX but delivers a great virtual surround experience. When dealing with music, some nuances depend on its genres. For example, classic rock doesn’t require too powerful bass that’s why the sounds are clear and well detailed (all the vocals and instruments are distinguishable). When listening to electronic music, one can hear all the synthesizer’s passages and tunes. However, a sub is not so good playing heavy metal and produces weak bass.
This model is more compact than many other soundbars in this price range, but it is fully packed inside – one tweeter and four woofers envelop the space with immersive sound. Besides, it is loud enough to fill in the medium space. The unit’s minimalism in design is typical for Sonos. There are touch sensitive buttons on the top to mute the mic, regulate volume, choose tracks and play/pause them.
The soundbar comes with no remote, but it is Alexa enabled and compatible with the TV remote. Keep in mind that voice control is available only for TVs with the HDMI ARC-CEC support. Control via Siri is also possible due to AirPlay 2 support. This model also includes its brand TruePlay tech to calibrate the speaker’s sound according to the room specs.
This soundbar for music lovers is remarkable for a perfectly balanced highs, mids, and lows. The bass is deep and powerful enough to dispense external subs. All the vocals are full and warm. Such instruments as guitars and cymbals sound clear without any distortions, too much harshness, or brightness.
This soundbar stands out from its competitors in terms of design. Its form-factor is made of aircraft-grade extruded aluminum covered with pearlescent black or brushed aluminum. The unit comes with the cloth removable grille. So, the SSA-50 is completely metal and can be the best soundbar for music despite the plugs on the back panel that are located too close to each other complicating the hookup process.
The tweeters are placed in front of their drivers to ensure refined and accurate sound identical to the real 5.1 acoustic system. Surrounds effects are very real due to the Spatial Array tech that uses driver spacing and “crosstalk cancellation” instead of traditional active electronic processing. However, the model is compatible with AVRs and surround speakers that allow arranging genuine surround sound instead of the virtual one, if desired. The music is great that allows watching concerts even on YouTube and enjoy powerful and clear sound. Regardless of music genre, the soundbar provides the original harmonies without crisp vocals and instruments.