No HDTV should be without great audio. The speakers in every flat panel TV are minuscule, and often face down or are behind the TV, neither of which are good for sound quality.

So here are five well-reviewed soundbars at different prices that would be an excellent addition to any TV.

Yamaha YAS-101

One of CNET’s favorites, and with a 4.2/5 average customer review on Amazon, it’s a crowd favorite too. Featuring a built-in 60-watt subwoofer the YAS-101 also has two 30-watt amps driving two 2.5-inch full-range drivers. Two optical and one coax are the digital audio inputs. You can add a wireless subwoofer if you want more bass.

The Yamaha YAS-101 is $225 on Amazon.


Stepping up to the Haier SBEV40 gets you a wireless subwoofer and a lot more power. Each of the two drivers in the bar get their own 70-watt amp, while the sub has its own 140-watt amp. It’s also slimmer than the YAS-101, so it can fit in more places. Two HDMI inputs put the YAS-101 to shame. This one was rated highest by CNET.

The Haier SBEV40-SLIM is $259 on Amazon.

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Polk SurroundBar IHT 6000

Sporting a thin design like the Haier, the Polk SurroundBar IHT 6000 also has similar power, with 160-watts for the bar, and 120 in the subwoofer. The sub has a 7-inch driver, sizeable for this class, and Polk claims its -3 dB limit is 50 Hz. Polk’s “Digital Logic” claims to optimize the SurroundBar to the room it’s in. Unlike the Haier, there’s onboard Dolby Digital processing. From 119 customer reviews, the Polk gets an average of 4 out of 5.

The Polk SurroundBar IHT 6000 is $399 on Amazon.

Harman Kardon SB16

The SB16 is another CNET top pick ,with praise for its excellent sound quality and overall design. This is despite being slightly down on power from the other soundbars so far, with 25-watts for each channel. and a 100-watt subwoofer. The key is likely in the multi-driver design. Where the others here largely rely on one speaker driver per channel, the SB16 has a 0.75-inch dome tweeter and two 3-inch cones per channel.

The Harman Kardon SB16 is $599 on Amazon.

Atlantic Technology H-PAS PowerBar 235

At the top end of our picks, the Atlantic Tech PowerBar 235 is bulkier than it competition, but for a good reason. Using clever engineering, AT has been able to get serious bass out of a very small bar using only 80-watts and two 4-inch drivers. I’ve heard this bar several times, and it’s incredible the sound you can get out of something so small. It’s pricy, so if you’re looking to spend this kind of money we’d recommend checking out a receiver and separate speakers, but if a soundbar is the way you want to go, and you’re looking for big sound, the PowerBar 235 is the way to go.

The Atlantic Technology H-PAS PowerBar 235 is $714 on Amazon.


Geoff Morrison @TechWriterGeoff
Geoff’s book is now in paperback (and, ahem, also makes a great gift!)


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