Best speaker bar for tv: 14 Best Soundbars for Every Budget (2023): Vizio, Sonos, Samsung, Yamaha, Sony

14 Best Soundbars for Every Budget (2023): Vizio, Sonos, Samsung, Yamaha, Sony


Every television deserves a row of speakers to call its own. These are our favorites.

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Best Affordable Bar

Vizio M Series 2.1

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$178 at Walmart

Best Under $500

Vizio M-Series 5.1.2 Soundbar

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$400 at Amazon

Best Dolby Atmos Bar

Samsung HW-Q990B

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$1,498 at Amazon

Another Good Atmos Bar

Vizio M-Series Elevate

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$500 at Amazon

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You probably already shelled out good money for a nice big TV and maybe a streaming gadget for your Netflix. But it doesn’t matter how large your screen is or how much it cost—the speakers in your TV probably sound awful. 

You’d be surprised how much more you enjoy those shows with a halfway decent soundbar or surround system hooked up to your primo panel. Explosions pop, dialog sounds far crisper, and you may even notice sonic details in your favorite films that you’ve never picked up before.

Need some advice on how to find a perfect bar? Check our our full article on How to Buy a Soundbar before picking one below.

Updated February 2023: We’ve added information about the Sonos Ray, added the Vizio M-Series Elevate, and updated links and prices.

Why You Need a Soundbar

We have yet to test a new TV that didn’t sound crummy without some kind of audio accessory. That’s mostly due to the way televisions are designed. Great-sounding speakers are bulky, and as TVs have gotten thinner, with shrinking bezels and sleeker designs, manufacturers are having a harder time building good speakers into them.

You can spend as little as $150 on a new soundbar with a subwoofer, and it’s essential to getting the most out of your viewing experience. To help, we put together this list of the best soundbars we’ve tested, including soundbars sold on their own, as well as models that come bundled with a subwoofer. We’ve also compiled some advice on how to make the most of your purchase.

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  • Photograph: Vizio

    Best Affordable Bar

    Vizio M Series 2.1

    This is a great entry-level soundbar if you don’t have much to spend. It has a sleek design and surprisingly good bass for a soundbar that doesn’t come with a subwoofer. We’ve recommended Vizio bars for years for their ease of use, and this one definitely ticks that box, with an HDMI ARC connection that allows your TV remote to control the volume and a Bluetooth connection for quickly playing your favorite tunes. The only downside? While it does have plenty of bass, a dedicated subwoofer would certainly help when watching Michael Bay films.

    Inputs: HDMI ARC, optical cable, coaxial cable, and Bluetooth

    $178 at Walmart

  • Photograph: Vizio

    Best Under $500

    Vizio M-Series 5.1.2 Soundbar

    If you’re into console gaming, you know how important it is to detect that opponent creeping behind you in the shadows. This affordable Dolby Atmos soundbar from Vizio (9/10, WIRED Recommends) helps you hear every footstep in real, physical space. Atmos bars fire sound upward, expanding your TV’s soundstage. This means gamers can hear what’s going on above them and have a better shot at avoiding that gun-toting helicopter flying overhead. Two upward-firing rear surround speakers also come in the box.

    For under $500, it’s one of the most affordable Atmos-enabled soundbar bundles you’ll find with surround speakers, making it a no-brainer for anyone who values fantastic sound.

    Inputs: 2 HDMI ports (one ARC), 3.5 mm, optical, USB, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi

    $400 at Amazon

    $350 at Best Buy

  • Photograph: Samsung

    Best Dolby Atmos Bar

    Samsung HW-Q990B

    For a few years, companies have been making giant soundbar systems meant to imitate old-school home theaters. For a few years, they’ve been pretty great. The Samsung HW-Q990B (8/10, WIRED Recommends), though, is the best I’ve ever heard, thanks to Samsung’s excellent audio processing, a massive 15 drivers, and the ability to bounce tones around your room. It’s also the first Samsung soundbar to feature wireless Dolby Atmos, which means you don’t need to connect the surround speakers and subwoofer to anything other than an outlet. It’s pretty nifty. The only downside? It’ll cost you about as much as a decent traditional system.

    $1,498 at Amazon

    $1,500 at Best Buy

  • Photograph: Vizio

    Another Good Atmos Bar

    Vizio M-Series Elevate

    If you want more full-featured Dolby Atmos and you like a bit of flair, this more expensive model from Vizio (8/10, WIRED Recommends) might be for you. Drivers pop out of the side and aim toward your ceiling when Atmos content is playing, giving it a nifty party trick to show your pals. Sound quality is solid too, and we like the compact design and easy setup. However, you will have to route some speaker cables for the rear surrounds.

    $500 at Amazon

    $698 at Walmart

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Sonos

    The Smartest Soundbar

    Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

    Sonos’ second-generation Beam doesn’t look much different from the first generation, but the sonic upgrade is immense. You get immersive Dolby Atmos interpretation, thanks to Sonos’ superb onboard audio processing. The bar pairs with both Alexa and Google Assistant so you can do everything from setting alarms to asking it the weather. Sonos connectivity also means you can use it as part of a multiroom audio system, where it is compatible with every major streaming service.

    If you want to expand your system, you can even add other Sonos speakers as surrounds, and a Sonos-made subwoofer for bass down the line.  

    Inputs: HDMI eARC, Ethernet for internet, IR receiver to connect to TV remote, Wi-Fi

    $499 at Amazon

    $499 at Sonos

    $470 at Walmart

    $499 at Target

  • Photograph: Polk Audio

    Best Soundbar-Subwoofer Combo

    Polk Audio Signa S4

    Many companies offer basic 2.1 soundbars, but very few pack the soundstage of this Dolby Atmos-enabled bar from Polk. It’s simple and easy to set up, with a basic, no-frills remote and an HDMI ARC connection to plug into a modern TV. You choose between Cinema, Night, and Music modes, which serve their intended purposes well. Cinema mode works in a simulated 3.1.2 Atmos surround—it’s pretty room-filling! Music mode gives you a more normal stereo image. Night mode limits the subwoofer action so you don’t wake the neighbors. I’ve been spending time with this bar in preparation for a full review, so look for that in the next update, along with more personal insights. 

    Inputs: HDMI (ARC), Bluetooth, Optical

    $399 at Amazon

    $399 at Walmart

  • Photograph: Phil Barker/Sony

    Best Standalone Bar

    Sony HT-X8500

    Many dream of immersive audio but don’t quite have the space to place dedicated surround speakers and a subwoofer. That’s where this tiny bar from Sony shines. The HT-X8500 is a single unit with a built-in subwoofer and the ability to bounce the side and height channels of a Dolby Atmos signal around your room. It’s not as good as having speakers actually behind or above you, but for $300 (and a single bar), Sony’s audio processing delivers some pretty great sound. 

    Inputs: 2 HDMI ports (one ARC), Bluetooth, Optical

    $292 at Amazon

    $395 at Walmart

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Roku

    A Bar With Roku

    Roku Smart Soundbar

    If you’re after a soundbar that also doubles as an awesome streaming device, WIRED senior writer Adrienne So swears by the Roku smart soundbar. After she spent years without a soundbar, I sent her home with Roku’s latest model, and she was so impressed that she shouted it from the rooftops. Setup is extremely easy, and because it comes with Roku’s simple streaming interface (and support for surround sound, as well as 4K and High Dynamic Range video), you can stream movies and shows from just about every streaming service. You can also add a Roku subwoofer or surround-sound speakers down the line. We encourage getting a sub.

    We’ve also linked to Roku’s Walmart version, named “Onn,” below. It’s cheaper and slightly weaker but still a lot nicer than standard TV speakers, and it also comes with Roku built in.

    Inputs: 1 HDMI port (with ARC), optical, Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz), USB 2.0, Bluetooth, voice remote

    $129 at Walmart (Onn Version)

  • Photograph: Roku

    For Small Spaces

    Roku Streambar

    If you have a small TV in the kitchen or office, or just have a tiny home, space is of the essence! That’s why I love the new Roku Streambar. It’s petite but has true stereo sound and a Roku streaming player built in. The WIRED team hasn’t spent much time with this one, but on physical specs alone this is a hard bar to beat for tight spaces. No more tiny TV speakers!

    If you’re looking for a soundbar that has a bit better sound (but no streaming interface), check out the Sonos Ray (9/10, WIRED Recommends).

    Inputs: HDMI ARC, Optical, USB

    $125 at Amazon

    $130 at Target

  • Photograph: ZVOX

    Best for Those With Hearing Loss

    ZVox AccuVoice AV157

    If you or someone you love has a hard time hearing what the voices onscreen are saying, consider this awesome little soundbar from lesser-known (but long-standing) brand Zvox. The company has perfected what it calls “AccuVoice” technology, which uses digital signal processing to make voices sound clearer. It does this better than any bar I’ve tested with a similar feature.

    Inputs: Optical, 3.5 mm, (requires its own remote)

    $200 at Amazon

    $200 at Walmart

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Yamaha

    A Smart Soundbar With a Sub

    Yamaha ATS-2090

    If you’re looking for a soundbar-subwoofer combo that doubles as a smart speaker for your living room, there is no better option than the Yamaha YAS-209. It has Amazon Alexa built in, two virtual surround sound modes, Wi-Fi, Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth. You can use your voice to do everything from playing Taylor Swift to checking the weather. That’s a heck of a lot of features for a semi-affordable bar.

    It also sounds better than it has any right to at this price. Audio comes through crisp and clear, with impressive width and depth, and the included subwoofer bolsters explosions, footsteps, and your favorite bass-heavy tunes.

    Inputs: 2 HDMI ports (one ARC), optical, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and mics for voice-activated Alexa

    $230 at Amazon

    $230 at Adorama

  • Photograph: SENNHEISER

    Best Luxury Soundbar

    Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

    The acclaimed audio brand Sennheiser waited decades to launch its first home soundbar. The company’s massive—and massively expensive—Ambeo showcases some of the most advanced processing and audio quality we’ve ever heard from a single bar. Even without the addition of satellite speakers for surround, the Ambeo uses its tech to throw sound around your space with full Dolby Atmos immersion. At times, it sounds so good you might think there are tiny speakers flying around your room.

    It’s the best-sounding bar we’ve ever heard. It doesn’t matter whether you’re watching Netflix Originals or listening to your favorite music; the Ambeo just offers rich, detailed sound. It’s not for the budget-conscious, but this is the crème de la crème of compact home theater audio. Much as LG, Samsung, and Sony use exceptional image quality to convince people to shell out thousands of dollars for their flagship televisions, Sennheiser can bank on the Ambeo’s superior audio to attract discerning buyers.

    Inputs: 3 HDMI ports (one ARC), optical, RCA, Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Google Chromecast built in

    $2,000 at Amazon

    $2,000 at BH Photo

    $2,000 at Sennheiser

  • Photograph: Nakamichi

    The Bassiest Setup

    Shockwafe 9.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar

    WIRED reviewer Jaina Grey has spent a little more than a year with this massive dual-subwoofer soundbar system from Japan. It provides earth-shattering bass, courtesy of two huge subwoofers, while a pair of side speakers and rear speakers offer more lifelike reproduction than soundbars that bounce sound off the walls for side and rear noises. It also features support for all major object-based surround formats, like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. It’s a super-large system for most spaces, but if you have a big room, the extra bass response helps things feel more cinematic. Those side and rear drivers make it great for playing online video games, where hearing footsteps behind you comes in handy.

    Inputs: HDMI, Optical, Coaxial. Bluetooth (AptX)

    $650 at Amazon (7.2 Surround Version)

    $1,200 at B&H (9.2 Surround Version)

Most Popular

  • Photograph: Platin

    A Completely Wireless System

    Platin Monaco 5.1 (WiSA)

    Five small speakers and a compact under-couch subwoofer make up this extremely simple and easy to use system from Platin Audio (8/10, WIRED Recommends). It uses WiSA technology to stream and sync audio from a puck that you place near your screen or projector. It’s among the simplest surround-sound setups I’ve had the pleasure of setting up, requiring just a power source for each speaker and a single HDMI cable to plug into the puck. From there, an app and your TV’s remote control the system. 

    This has come to be among my favorite rigs for testing because I don’t have to move anything other than an HDMI cable between devices. I also like how sleek and well-made the speakers are, with beautiful woven cones and black cases that don’t get in the way visually.

    $800 at Amazon

    $1,498 at Walmart

  • Photograph: B&H

    Honorable Mentions

    They’re Pretty Good

    There are a lot of great soundbars out there, and we don’t have room to feature them all. Here are some others you might want to consider.

    The LG SP9YA for $697: This is a good Atmos bar for smaller rooms. It comes with a wireless subwoofer and can be upgraded with LG-made surround speakers.

    The Polk React for $269: This soundbar works if you want to get surround sound eventually but don’t have the cash right now. The Alexa-enabled soundbar is fine on its own, with surround speakers and subwoofers available from Polk if you want to upgrade.

    The Vizio Elevate for $700: This is an awesome-looking soundbar with side speakers that swivel skyward when you’re watching content with object-based audio. It’s a nice-sounding bar, and that gimmick is neat, but there are better options for under $1,000.

    The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 for $799: If you want a premium bar that has great sound and can be expanded with satellite speakers but aren’t a fan of Sonos, Bose has you covered—though you might not like the $799 price tag. We have also heard complaints about issues with the wireless functionality.

  • Photograph: Amazon

    Get Hooked Up

    Properly Connect Your Soundbar

    We’ve included a list of available connectivity options next to every soundbar on our list. The vast majority of soundbars will connect to your TV via optical or HDMI cables—HDMI being preferable in most cases.

    If your TV and soundbar both have an HDMI-ARC port (the cable port looks like HDMI, but it’s labeled ARC), try connecting that way. It will allow you to use the volume buttons on your TV remote to control the soundbar’s volume. Also make sure CEC is enabled. Use an optical cable only if HDMI isn’t available.

    Finally, check your TV audio menus to make sure your TV’s internal speakers are set to off (so you don’t get any weird audio fluttering) and find the best spots to place your speakers and sub.

Parker Hall is an associate editor of product reviews at WIRED. He focuses on audiovisual and entertainment products. Hall is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied jazz percussion. After hours, he remains a professional musician in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.

TopicsShoppingbuying guidesSoundbars

How To Choose the Right Soundbar (2023): Size, Price, Surround Sound, and Subwoofers

Some soundbars also have Bluetooth connectivity and HDMI inputs as well, meaning you can use them as a traditional home theater receiver. What you need depends entirely on your own use case, but for most people, a simple HDMI connection for ARC will suffice. These cables are usually included in the box. If not, here is a cable we like.

What About Surround Sound?

Samsung HW-Q950A Surround Speakers

Photograph: Samsung

Surround sound is exactly what it means—you’re surrounding yourself with sound via dedicated speakers placed around the room. It’s not necessary, but it can feel more immersive, especially if you watch tons of movies, play video games on the TV, or closely watch a lot of sports. Soundbars will often boast digital surround sound, but don’t put a ton of trust on immersion unless they come with dedicated rear surround speakers (not the built-in side speakers that bounce audio off the walls). You’ll want to look into using stands to place them behind your couch, and consider the wires you’ll have to run from these surround speakers back to the soundbar. 

How Much Should You Pay?

Samsung HW-Q990B

Photograph: Samsung

$100 or Less

You can find small soundbars in this price range, and they’re still better than the speakers in your TV. They’re a great option if your budget is tight, but they’re also great for TVs in bedrooms, kitchens, or other non-primary viewing locations.

$100 to $400

This is a good price range for most non-surround soundbars. Look for recognizable brand names like Samsung, Vizio, Sony, Polk, LG, Bose, and Sonos. I wouldn’t purchase a soundbar in this price range without a wireless subwoofer included, but some models sound decent without them (Sonos and Bose have soundbars that don’t come with subwoofers but are still pretty great). You can also sometimes find soundbars with satellite speakers for surround sound below $400, but most of them aren’t the best for truly immersive sound.

$400 to $1,000

This is the price category where you’ll start to see high-quality surround soundbars, with real satellite speakers. I wouldn’t spend more than $400 on a soundbar that doesn’t come with satellite speakers, unless it’s a high-end system that can be expanded later, like those from Sonos.

More Than $1,000

At this price, you’ll see the biggest, boldest surround soundbar systems with the most possible speakers for height and surround audio. These are for anyone with the cash to build out a small home theater system but don’t have the room for larger systems that require discrete components like an A/V receiver. If you’re going much higher, I’d consider a true, traditional home theater system with speakers, amps, and a receiver. 

Advanced Features

Yamaha YAS-206 (with Alexa)

Photograph: Yamaha

Many soundbars feature smart assistants, multi-room audio connectivity, and other bells and whistles. If you’ve already got a smart assistant you love (Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri), keep this in mind when shopping for a new soundbar. You might not need a smart speaker in your living room if you end up with a smart soundbar instead. Conversely, if you don’t want those features, you can save some money by avoiding soundbars with all the fancy stuff.

Brands We Like

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

Photograph: Best Buy

Virtually all well-known electronics brands make decent soundbars. Our favorites come from the likes of Vizio, Samsung, Sonos, Bose, Polk, Yamaha, LG, Sony, Sennheiser, and a few others. Try to visit a store that has many soundbars set up to listen to. You’ll be surprised how different they can sound. Be sure to check out our Best Soundbars guide for our favorites. 

Best Soundbars

Top 10: Best speakers for music

Our TOP speakers include the best speakers for music , active home speakers and passive stereo systems. Basically, these are good and inexpensive acoustics for the home, which will suit most. But it was impossible not to mention several interesting audiophile models that fit 100% under the concept of “best speaker systems”. But the prices are there … However, you will see. 😉

To choose the best speakers for your home, you need to decide on a couple of things . For what? From what? And for how much? 😛

  • If you’re looking for the very best speakers for music, the is a great choice. From home models for music lovers to pure audiophile systems with lively and accurate sound. Even active acoustics are well suited for the home. It already depends on taste. Initial Hi-Fi (models that sound better than multimedia speakers, but do not pretend to be ideal) often have accentuated bass, which is very popular now. It is these speakers that are best suited for TV and games, for example. The best active speakers are studio monitors with smooth and accurate sound, but can be boring. Well, audiophile systems for music usually produce the best sound, but are the most expensive.
  • What do you plan to connect the speakers to? If you are looking for a system for your computer or TV, then you should not buy expensive professional models. They simply will not open up on such sources, they need a good amplifier. But here again it is worth highlighting active speakers: they already have an amplifier, so they can be connected to both a PC and TV and get good sound. Although, of course, there are nuances, which are discussed below.
  • How much would you be willing to pay for the best speakers for home and music? The price range is very impressive. Our speaker rating includes models from $135 to $1015. And not always the most expensive option will be the best for you. Most people just don’t need music speakers over $200-$300. And in this price range there are very worthy models. To each his own. 😉

💎 Useful related articles:

Which speakers are better to buy for home (acoustics)?

Which speaker system to buy. Types of acoustic systems (application).

If you are wondering which speaker system is better than , know that there is no definite answer. When choosing speakers for yourself, you should immediately understand what you want from the speakers. It is possible to conditionally distinguish 2 broad categories.


These are universal speaker systems that are suitable for listening to music even from a low-quality source and amplifier, but will give a good sound. Not only when listening to music, but when watching movies. Perhaps they will be the beginning (or complete set) of a home theater.

This includes speakers purely for TV , for a computer, and so on. They will not give a particularly accurate and natural sound, but many do not need this. But the price tag in these categories is quite humane. In the region of $ 300-400 for a pair, you can buy excellent speakers that will “close” all questions about finding a home speaker.

Professional or audiophile

Designed to work with music (studio monitors) or listen to it (for the most demanding listeners). Studio speakers for everyday listening are not suitable for everyone (too many details, tiring, etc.), but many audiophiles prefer professional speakers.

An audiophile music system is a very expensive “toy” that requires, among other things, a high-quality “path” (source, amplifier, even cables matter). But Hi-Fi and Hi-End systems can create extremely realistic images and the full effect of the presence of musicians in the room. Not to mention the exceptional accuracy and naturalness.

Once, when I was listening to a friend’s Monitor Audio Platinum (I don’t remember the exact version), the phrase sounded: “Look, Makarevich, how alive on this record.” Indeed, even the “fronts” from the 5.1 system created a complete effect of presence. Before that, I didn’t even know this was happening. 😉

The best loudspeaker brands

Often the choice of speakers for the house begins with the choice of loudspeakers . For beginners, many of the brands may be new, but there are also familiar names. This applies to manufacturers of audio equipment, which, in addition to speakers, produce, for example, headphones, and are known for this. If, when thinking about which speakers are best, you want to identify the best speaker manufacturers from the very beginning, here are some proven brands:

  • Adam
  • KLF
  • KRK
  • Focal
  • Monitor Audio
  • Yamaha
  • JBL
  • Sony

Of course, that’s not all. But to start exploring the world of the best acoustic systems, enough.

Types and classes of acoustic systems

What types and classes of acoustic systems can be distinguished?

The main types have been described above : consumer and professional (audiophile). There is no exact division, everything is “by ear”. 😛 There will be no rumbling bass in professional acoustic systems, for example. But their level of detail and scene building is completely overkill for many.

When choosing, pay attention to the characteristics of listed below. But there is no need to get too carried away with it. Speakers should be chosen, if possible, only after listening. Ideally, in your room.

Main characteristics of loudspeakers
  1. Loudspeaker power . Everything is clear, the higher it is, the theoretically louder the speakers. Of course, it is worth focusing on the nominal (RMS), and not peak power. In general, 50-70 watts is enough for an average room and a comfortable volume.
  2. Sound pressure level AC . This is the volume as it is. Measured in dB, the range is 0 (threshold of hearing) to 120 (threshold of pain). Specifies the maximum level. If it approaches the pain threshold, then you can be sure that in the working field of the speakers you can, if you wish, “go deaf”. 😉
  3. Speaker sensitivity . Also a parameter that determines the volume: the sound pressure level that the system can create at a certain distance. Ideally measured in dB per W at a distance of 1 m. That is, if 9 are indicated0 dB (without additional parameters, you can trust the manufacturer that the measurement is standard), this means that the speaker will create 90 dB of sound pressure at a distance of 1 meter if a 1 W signal is connected to it. It also depends on this parameter which amplifier is needed for a given speaker. The lower the sensitivity, the more powerful the amplifier.
  4. Frequency band AC . Determines, literally, the range of frequencies reproduced by the acoustic system. The upper limit often goes far into ultrasound (30 kHz and more). We will not hear this, but it is useful for technology: it is possible to “move” the resulting distortions to this part of the range. And we won’t hear them. The closer the lower limit is to 20 Hz, the lower bass the speakers will be able to reproduce. 35-40 Hz is an excellent indicator for almost any speaker system. Anything lower is usually “achieved” by the subwoofer.
  5. Resistance (impedance) . It has standard values: 4, 6 and 8 ohms. The main thing is that a specific resistance (its “scatter”) is supported by the existing amplifier. Was not below its minimum threshold. Otherwise, it may become unusable.

Number of speaker bands

How important is a two-way or three-way speaker? The audible range (20 Hz – 20 kHz), as you know, is conditionally divided into 3 parts: low, medium and high frequencies. On this principle, acoustic systems are designed.

Two way loudspeakers usually have 2 drivers . One (tweeter) is responsible for the transmission of high frequencies, and the second (broadband, midrange or bass – they call it differently) – for all other frequencies.

Three way loudspeakers with 3 or 4 speakers . In the second case, 2 emitters are responsible for the lower mids and bass. Frequency division depends on the manufacturer and the specific model.

Bookshelf speakers (one that is installed on shelves or stands) is most often two-way. Such models “by default” have less bass than three-way ones. However, such are found among shelf speakers. Floorstanding speaker systems are most often three-way. This is logical since there is no savings on size. The “tower” can easily fit 3-4 speakers. And maybe more, which they sometimes do.

By and large, it is important how the speaker system plays, and not how many bands it has . Professional 2-way monitors will easily outperform 3-way (or more) multimedia speakers. In addition, the more speakers, the more difficult it is to get a continuous linear sound from them. It all depends on the used crossover and its settings.

Loudspeakers may have coaxial drivers. That is, one “in the other” coaxially. This is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage compared to the classic separate position. Implementation matters.

Other parameters of the acoustic system that you should pay attention to

Field of action . This is the radius within which the system plays “as intended”. Most often, this parameter is indicated for studio monitors and professional speakers. Most of the models relate to the near and middle field. It is important to understand that the near-field speaker system at a distance of more than 2 meters does not play at all “to the maximum”.

Room and installation . This is a huge topic, which is devoted to manuals, books, forums, disputes and so on. The main thing to know is that the sound is affected by the relative position of the speakers, and the position of the listener, and the geometry of the room, and its “content”. Accordingly, there can be a huge difference between the sound that the speaker system gave in the cabin and the one that “turned out” at home. In this case, you can experiment with the mentioned parameters.

Body, diffuser and suspension material . The stronger and better damped the case, the less distortion from it. Most often, now high-quality acoustic systems are made of MDF wood board. The cones of midrange and woofers are usually made of cellulose (with or without spraying) and composite materials based on it. High-frequency emitters are most often made of silk (artificial and not very) or metal (usually aluminum). Suspensions (on which the diffuser is attached) from one or another type of rubber.

Cables, stands, spikes, etc. . Cables affect the sound of the speaker system quite noticeably. The larger the cross section and the better the material, the better. This applies to audio cables. But, if the internal wiring of the speaker is made of thin Chinese “wires”, there is little point in buying expensive thick wires without updating the internal ones.

Power cables also affect the sound . But this already applies to expensive and high-quality paths. And yes, audiophile ears. 😛 Properly selected racks (for shelf speakers) and acoustic spikes (legs) should dampen unnecessary vibrations, “remove” part of the distortion from the final sound picture.

And if you are interested in filters, the scheme of the speaker system and its calculation, then you know much more than what is written in this educational program and you can design speakers no worse than many “shop” ones. 😉

Speaker format (installation)

What are the types of speakers according to the installation format?


As the name suggests, bookshelf speakers are installed on shelves . In fact, this is what special stands are called. But the main thing is that such speakers are not placed on the floor, but on something so that, roughly speaking, the tweeter is not lower than the level of the listener’s ears.

Floor standing

These speakers are respectively installed directly on the floor . They are usually made in the form of towers: narrow and high buildings. More versatile, more bass, take up more space and are most often more expensive than shelf speakers.

Other types

You can also highlight the ceiling version of the location of the speaker system. Usually, shelf acoustics are installed under the ceiling to achieve the desired sound picture in a particular room. A ceiling speaker is also required in 5.2 home theater systems (Dolby Atmos).

Don’t forget the portable loudspeakers. Most often, they are presented in the form of wireless mono speakers of various sizes. Some prefer built-in speakers. Most often, these are home theaters. Everything is hidden, but the sound is there. 😉

TOP 10: Best Speakers for Music (2023) – Speaker Rating

Model Description
1. YAMAHA NS-555 $285 Best floor standing speakers 2023: three-way, for music and TV;
2. Audioengine A5+ $500 The best active home speaker with Bluetooth and aptX HD, for phone and PC;
3. Sonos Five $720 Wireless digital speaker system with good sound and wide functionality;
4. KEF LS50 1015$ Best Hi-End Home Speakers for Listening to Music;
5. Audio Pro C10 MKII $440 High-quality wireless acoustics for home with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and multi-room;
6. Focal Alpha 80 $500 Best active speakers for music in 2023 (under $500), Hi-Fi speaker system
7. Adam A7X $800 Professional monitors and the best home audio system for the money;
8. Pro-Ject Speaker Box 5 $320 Best bookshelf speaker for home under $320;
9. YAMAHA NS-BP200 $150 Good and inexpensive acoustics for home;
10. Heco Victa Prime 702 $575 The best speakers for home (for music) under $600, powerful floor acoustics;
Bonus Sony SA-CS9 $195 Subwoofer for sound system (for 2.1).

10 Heco Victa Prime 702

Best Music Speakers Under $600 – Powerful Floorstanding Speakers

Heco Victa Prime 702 ($575) – the best speakers for music under $600. This is a 170W RMS 3-Way Bass Reflex Floorstanding Speaker. MDF case, interesting design and very good sound are the main advantages of these speakers. The sound of these speakers for music pleases with excellent intelligibility and naturalness of timbres. The bass is quite rich, there is an emphasis on the middle of the low-frequency range. But in general, the frequency response is very smooth and the sound is harmonious and balanced. This acoustics for music simply “requires” a powerful amplifier to unlock its full potential. 😉

Do not forget that Heco Victa Prime 702 is a powerful entry-level (but already audiophile) loudspeaker. Therefore, you should not expect ideal localization and complete immersion in music. However, for beginners – a godsend.


Good and inexpensive home acoustics

YAMAHA NS-BP200 ($150) – good and inexpensive acoustics for home (bookshelf 2-way). This, perhaps, is not the best speaker system for a Hi-Fi level home, but it is not trite multimedia-computer speakers either. This is something in between. The sound is quite smooth with good detail, moderately elastic bass. Localization of images and naturalness are at a good level for this price segment. If your goal is inexpensive speakers, this model is definitely worth considering.

This home speaker system plays especially well from a decent amplifier. If you connect these speakers, for example, to a computer or a very simple amplifier, then the sound will be very mediocre.

8 Pro-Ject Speaker Box 5

Best bookshelf speaker for home under $320


Pro-Ject Speaker Box 5 is the best bookshelf speaker for the home under $320. The speakers are beautiful, compact and, most importantly, they sound great. Delivery is smooth, natural and precise. No overt coloration and no lack of bass. In their price range, these are the best bookshelf speakers of 2020 – versatile and not very expensive.

  • Acoustic system (stereo) Pro-Ject Speaker Box 5 on the official website of

7 Adam A7X

Best Home Audio – Studio Speakers (Monitors)

Adam A7X ($800) – the best audio system for the home, a professional 2-way bookshelf active bass-reflex near-field speaker system. Modified legendary model A7. Good for a small studio. To work with modern genres, “live” and synthetic without an abundance of instruments. The sound has excellent detail and linearity. Most likely, they will not be suitable for low-frequency monitoring (the diameter of the emitter is still small). At the same time, they build an excellent stage, the images are very natural, the sound is embossed. This is a powerful audio system for home and studio.

This speaker is also suitable for listening to music. This is a great audio system for the home, whatever one may say. But for full disclosure, room preparation is required.

6 Focal Alpha 80

Best active speakers in 2023 (under $500) – Hi-Fi speaker system

Focal Alpha 80 ($500) – the best active speakers in 2023 under $500, a Hi-Fi class monitor speaker system. These are real studio monitors with all the consequences. Smooth very detailed sound, professional “stuffing” and delivery of one piece, which may be surprising for those who have not encountered this class of equipment. Yes, $500 is for 1 monitor. The sound here is really accurate and detailed. However, this Hi-Fi speaker system is best suited for fairly large rooms. Ideally, of course, prepared. In small ones, there may even be an excess of bass. But in any case, we are not talking about any dominance of certain frequencies: everything is heard, and it is heard as it is recorded.

The French company Focal is well known to musicians and audiophiles. This line, which includes 3 types of monitors (Alpha 50, Alpha 65 and Alpha 80, the numbers are the diameter of the broadband speaker). And all these active speakers for the home belong to the budget Hi Fi, so the price cannot be attributed to the minuses.

5 Audio Pro C10 MKII

Quality wireless home speakers – multi-room with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and RCA

Audio Pro C10 MKII ($440) – high-quality wireless acoustics for the home. Easy to use speaker with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RCA connectivity and subwoofer output. The sound is excellent for a single speaker: detailed, natural and even voluminous. A couple of these can be combined “over the air” and you get high-quality wireless stereo acoustics for your home. 😉 A proprietary application is used for control, it is quite convenient and functional. There is support for streaming Spotify, Tidal and more.

  • Wireless speaker for home Audio Pro C10 MKII on the official website of

4 KEF LS50

The best speakers for home – for listening to music (Hi-End)

KEF LS50 ($1015) – the best speakers for home and for listening to music. Hi-End coaxial bookshelf passive bass-reflex speaker system for music and work. Unusual design, compact size and very detailed and natural sound set this model apart from the competition. The speakers sound very realistic, quite large. The scene is built beautifully, the images are very accurate and detailed. It may even be too detailed for someone, it can be tiring. However, these are arguably the best home speakers out there.

This speaker system was released for the anniversary of the company back in 2011. And in 2016 there was an additional edition. Other colors have been added without any design changes. These good speakers for the home are clearly a good model, because they continue to buy it.

3 Sonos Five 🥉

Wireless speaker – App and useful features included

Sonos Five ($720) is a wireless speaker system with wide functionality and high-quality sound. Connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or cable (Ethernet), after which it can play music (using a very convenient branded application) from a large number of online services and from your home music library. Moreover, not only in electronic form. There’s an analog source connection (3.5mm mini-jack), so if you have a turntable or cassette deck, this digital speaker system will still be able to play them.

  • Sonos Five in the official store

It is worth clarifying that this wireless speaker system is sold by one speaker. We put it horizontally and get a home wireless speaker with great sound. And if you buy a pair of these, you can arrange them vertically, make a couple of clicks in the application and get a great wireless stereo system.

2 Audioengine A5+ 🏆

Best powered home speaker – with Bluetooth and aptX HD


Audioengine A5+ is the best powered home speaker with Bluetooth and aptX HD, perfect for phone and PC. These are stationary 5 inch home speakers for music, for wired and wireless playback. The main feature of the speakers is the Bluetooth connection and support for the aptX HD high-definition codec. The speakers are universal and it is convenient to use them in conjunction with a computer or phone. And the biggest strength of the Audioengine A5+ is its amazing sound over the wire and Bluetooth, for its $500 price tag.

  • Audioengine A5+ — buy in the official store

1 YAMAHA NS-555 🏆

Best floorstanding speakers 2023 – 3-way, for music (TV)

YAMAHA NS-555 ($285) – the best floorstanding speakers of 2023, three-way, for music and TV. Universal passive acoustic bass-reflex audio system. A pair of such speakers can independently sound any films perfectly, or it can be the beginning of a good home theater. In terms of sound for music, this may not be the best floor acoustics, but everything is generally good: the pitch is smooth, the sound picture is legible. There is a bass, sometimes (on the classics, for example) it can even be too much. The middle is legible, the high frequencies are detailed, not tiring. Good dynamics and fusion.

This is, one might say, the best budget floor acoustics. Not an audiophile version. But as a home speaker system, this model wins back its price by 100%.

0 Sony SA-CS9 🔊

Subwoofer for sound system (for 2. 1)

Sony SA-CS9 ($195) is a relatively inexpensive active subwoofer for a speaker system (2.1). Good for movies. It will perfectly fit into a home theater when you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a subwoofer, but the bass is not enough. Easy to connect, not particularly picky about placement.

  • Sony SA-CS9 – subwoofer for speaker system 2.1 on Aliexpress

Of course, don’t expect audiophile precision or body-feeling bass from this ‘woofer’. But it’s worth its money.

💎 Useful related articles:

KP top 11 rating

Every music lover has his own preferences. For some, sound detail is important, for others, high frequencies are fundamental, and others are waiting for great vocals. But, of course, real music lovers have always been attracted by the bass range, when you not only hear, but also feel the melody literally with your whole body.

Not all loudspeakers have rich bass. If they are not enough, then they use a subwoofer, which can even turn shelf acoustics into a full-fledged speaker system. In essence, a subwoofer is a loudspeaker that reproduces the lowest frequencies – from 10 Hz to 200 Hz.

But it is important to choose the right device. We talk about the best 2.1 speakers with a subwoofer in 2023.

Editor’s Choice

Creative Sound BlasterX Katana

Creative Sound BlasterX Katana. Photo:

This multi-channel gaming soundbar has a good design, powerful sound and technical component – built-in sound card,

a large number of ports, bluetooth, compatible with game consoles. It can be placed directly under the monitor. The subwoofer is also very compact. The dimensions make it convenient to use the speakers, even if connected via a wire.

This model has good sound for both music and movies. The user will also find here convenient software and settings via computer. In the “night” mode, the bass can be noticeably reduced. The remote control can always come in handy – it is included in the kit. The connection is not problematic.

Key Specifications
Total Power 75W RMS/150W PMPO
Wireless Yes, Bluetooth 4. 2
Mains power yes
Features playback USB flash drive: up to 128 GB with FAT/FAT32/exFAT file system; common audio formats such as MP3, WMA, FLAC and WAV. (MP3 and WMA up to 320 kbps, FLAC up to 1.3 Mbps.)
Pros and cons

In the “night” mode, the bass can be noticeably reduced. Convenient control and connection

Inconvenient headphone jack placement

Top 10 best 2.1 speakers with subwoofer in 2023 according to KP

Logitech G G G560

Logitech G G560. Photo:

According to the manufacturer, when listening to music through these speakers, you can feel the explosive effect of 240 W peak power, which the speakers can withstand for several seconds. But during these moments, the sound reaches its maximum strength. The sinusoidal power that remains for a long time is 120W. All this is combined with a down-firing subwoofer and two satellites with light and strong metal cones. As the creators of this audio system say, here, thanks to the design of the diffuser, a three-dimensional sound environment has been created in which you can distinguish all the nuances of sound reproduction from different angles.

Gamers will like the model very much, in principle, it is designed for them. The bass used adds a sense of presence. The creators of the speakers note that they work great with popular video games. A nice bonus is the LIGHTSYNC function – lighting that reacts to events in the games Battlefield 1, Civilization VI, Counter Strike : GO, Discord, Dota 2, Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Killing Floor 2, Metronomicon, Tom Clancy’s: The Division, Total War: Warhammer II).

Key Specs


Total Power 120W RMS/240W PMPO
Wireless Yes, Bluetooth 9 0249
Dimensions 1×165 mm
Enclosure MDF
Features two satellite speakers, one subwoofer with power cable, USB cable, user documentation; support DTS X 7. 1 Ultra
Pros and cons

Lighting that reacts to events in video games, powerful bass

Subwoofer is very large, difficult to find a place under it

Harman/Kardon SoundSticks 4

Harman/Kardon SoundSticks 4. Photo: en

According to the manufacturer, these loudspeakers combine amazing sound and unsurpassed design. They are made in interesting transparent cases that can surprise guests. The speakers will be clearly visible – as if they were put in a glass flask. It’s very mesmerizing. The system is highly appreciated by music lovers.

These speakers with a subwoofer fill the room with punchy highs and amazing lows. At low frequencies, the air literally shakes next to the speakers – the bass is so cool here. In addition, you can easily control the subwoofer using the buttons that are located on it.

Main characteristics
Total power 140 W
100 W 249
Features rated output: 2 x 20 W RMS + 1 x 100 W RMS
Pros and cons

Powerful bass and clear sound. The system has a stylish design

No audio cable to connect to TV

Edifier S351DB

Edifier S351DB. Photo:

The device has excellent sound, you can hear the details of each composition perfectly. Users will also appreciate the tight bass. The details of the model are made of high quality materials. The system can be connected to devices via optics and bluetooth.

These loudspeakers also achieve great sound when paired with a smartphone. You can control the switching of sound modes, smartphone to audio system, sound volume using the remote control that comes with the kit. The control panel has a nice backlight. The power of the model – 150 W – is an excellent indicator for those who like the loudest possible sound. It would be useful to have bluetooth and the Aptx protocol, which encodes and decodes digital audio data transmitted via bluetooth into a specific format.

Main characteristics
Total power 150 W
Wireless connection yes, Bluetooth
Enclosure MDF
Dimensions 1×203. 2 mm
Power supply from the network yes
Features support for Bluetooth Aptx
Pros and cons

Bluetooth and Aptx protocol, good sound from a smartphone

No indication of the current volume level


LG OK65. Photo:

A modern model of a music center from LG Electronics. The design of the center consists of front speakers with a power of 330 W and a subwoofer with a power of 170 W. The total output power is 500 W, which allows you to generate high-quality surround sound picture. The device is also capable of receiving FM signals. The speaker illumination will change according to the rhythm of the music you are listening to.

The speakers support Bluetooth wireless communication. This allows you to use not only disks or USB media as signal sources, but also smartphones, laptops, tablets and MP3 players. The built-in equalizer provides the ability to fine-tune the signal strength of individual frequencies in accordance with the musical preferences of the listener.

Main characteristics
Total power 500W
Wireless Yes, Bluetooth
Enclosure MDF
Power 170 W
Mains supply Yes
Subwoofer diameter 200 mm
Pros and cons

Very powerful model with really strong bass. Good build quality. The system is easy to use

Very bright backlight colors. Some have to turn it off

Ginzzu GM-212

Ginzzu GM-212. Photo:

Powerful speakers that have a clear bass and clear spatial sound. According to the manufacturer’s description, this is an ideal multifunctional music system for indoor and outdoor use. The remote control, display, five-band equalizer, bass and treble adjustment, Megabass system and many other features will allow you to comfortably listen to your favorite music, sound in games or movies.

The device can operate both from the mains and from the built-in rechargeable battery. The subwoofer here (low and medium frequencies) is two 8-inch speakers. Twitter (tweeter) – one speaker 2 inches. On such a system, you can safely listen to the radio, it supports microSD cards. Speaker sync is available to create more surround sound.

Main characteristics
Total power 72 W
Wireless connection yes, Bluetooth
Housing plastic
Sound functions bass control, treble control, equalizer, speaker sync
Features FM radio, display, microSD support, passive operation
Pros and cons

Megabass bass amplification function, microphone input and electric guitar input, Karaoke function

Does not remember settings after turning off

SVEN MS-2050

SVEN MS-2050. Photo:

Even though the price is not the highest on the market, this model has enough advantages. There is a Bluetooth module that normally receives an audio signal without interruption even at a distance of more than 10 meters. The subwoofer and satellite enclosures are made of high quality MDF. The power of the subwoofer is 30 W, a very good indicator.

Comes with a convenient remote control, high-quality sound reproduction, clear and detailed, it is possible both from a PC and from a mobile phone. The owner can use both a memory card and a regular USB flash drive. The sound itself is not satisfactory, it will please fans of strong basses.

Main characteristics
Total power 55 W
Wireless connection yes, Bluetooth
Mains supply Yes
Enclosure MDF
Frequency range 45-15 0Hz
Power 30W
Pros and cons

Bluetooth- the module receives the signal without interruption, good sound quality

The speakers pick up the radio in standby mode, which is not very pleasant at night

Dialog AP-250

Dialog AP-250. Photo:

The sub of these speakers, like themselves, is made of MDF, which is considered quite reliable for this kind of goods. There are no complaints about the sound, the subwoofer does its job perfectly. Low frequencies are deep, soft, filling – they give the sound a great velvety and volume. Fans of strong bass should definitely like the model. There is no distortion at high volume either.

The controls are very simple and there are no connection problems. Bluetooth speakers catch without problems, the signal can be caught even from the next room. The stylish design also adds to the advantages of the speakers, they can also be connected to a TV.

Main characteristics
Total power 80 W
Wireless connection yes, Bluetooth
Mains supply yes
Enclosure MDF
Power 50 W
Pros and cons

Good subwoofer power. Clear sound without distortion

Weak IR receiver on subwoofer

Defender G26

Defender G26. Photo:

Solid model equipped with everything you need. It does an excellent job with its main function, and the subwoofer provides high quality bass sound. The built-in tuner turns the speaker into a full-fledged radio receiver. There is also an MP3 player here. The device supports USB storage and Bluetooth pairing.

The material of the speaker cabinet is plastic, the material of the subwoofer is MDF. The audio system is absolutely easy to set up – just read the clear instructions. Connection with other devices is carried out via Bluetooth.

Main specifications

90 Power

Total power 26 W
Wireless connection yes, Bluetooth 5.0 12 W
Speaker Dimensions 3″
Features cable length: 1. 3 m; maximum distance between satellites: 1.3 m; RF range: 87.5-108.0 MHz
Pros and cons

Good sound quality, a picture is placed on the subwoofer case, which adds pluses to the appearance of the model, convenient connection

Not the most powerful model.


OKLICK OK-431. Photo:

These speakers immediately attract buyers with their price. It is far from the largest on the market, however, they have high-quality sound. You can not use the bass, but if you are already an amateur, then the sub works in such a way that the vibration on the floor is noticeable and, as the owners of this audio system say, you can hear the bass even in three rooms. The device plays music from all possible sources – no need to rack your brains over the connection.

These speakers are perfect for working with a TV, to which you can easily connect via a cord. At high volume in films, all sound special effects are heard. When turned off, the system does not make any sounds – not all devices can boast of this.

Main characteristics
Total power 23 W
Wireless connection yes, Bluetooth
Mains supply yes
Power 6W
Pros and cons

Strong bass. No hum in standby mode

Cannot control Bluetooth volume

Smartbuy MAJESTY

Smartbuy MAJESTY. Photo:

Excellent music system. Suitable for listening to music in an apartment or, for example, in a garage. The subwoofer does its job perfectly – the bass here is juicy and powerful. The device reads USB and microSD (up to 32 GB), and also catches the radio. With AUX or Bluetooth, TV connection options are available. A pleasant moment for buyers is the price of this model – far from the highest on the market.

The manufacturer of the model claims that the total power of the speakers – 60 W – will “pump” the entire entrance. The subwoofer is well protected from damage. Its body is made of wood. The speakers look good and are easy to connect and set up. For a reasonable price, what else do you need?

Main characteristics
902 44 Power
Total power 60 W
Wireless connection yes, Bluetooth
Mains supply yes
Body wood
Dimensions 345x170x310 mm
30 W
Pros and cons

Convenient operation, quality material of the subwoofer cabinet, hassle-free pairing with many devices via Wi-Fi

You cannot connect a microphone to this model

How to choose 2.1 speakers with a subwoofer

Before buying musical equipment, you should learn how to choose it correctly. Important advice to Komsomolskaya Pravda was given by Vadim Shustikov, a professional sound specialist with over 20 years of experience.

What parameters should I pay attention to first of all?

The best speakers are the ones that suit you best. For different tasks, you need to use different acoustic systems, depending on the area, geometry and design of the room. It is also very important to consider what kind of musical material will be listened to: pop, rock, jazz, etc. The “level” of music is proportional to the quality of the system on which it is comfortable to listen to.

It is necessary to take into account the existing equipment: amplifiers, signal sources. It is possible that when changing acoustic systems, the existing equipment will also have to be changed, since it will no longer satisfy the increased sound quality. You can give yourself complete freedom in choosing a speaker system only if a listening room is specially built.


How to connect 2.1 speakers?

I consider it inappropriate to use a subwoofer at home. Especially in system 2.