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Compare the Best SoundbarsApril 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique soundbars rating which considers: 3,800 UK prices • 2,000 expert & user reviews • 410 product comparisons • 190 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Subwoofer Included
Bluetooth
Audio Output
Release Date
£12 Voucher
#1

88

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LG logo

LG SK5

1 Review
Which? - Best Buy

£162.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Mar 2018
EQUALI-
ZER
USB
PORT
BASS
REFLEX
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#2

88

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Bluesound logo

Bluesound PULSE2

42 Reviews
gadgetgear.nl - Goldavforums.com - RecommendedLydogbilde.no - Especially Recommendedljudochbild.se - Especially Recommended

£279.00

Info
Info
4.2 channels
Info
Dec 2016
AIRPLA-
Y
FM
RADIO
USB
PORT
INTERN-
ET
RADIO
ETHERN-
ET LAN
#3

88

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LG logo

LG SK10Y

29 Reviews
altomdata.dk - RecommendedM3.idg.se - Recommendedlydogbillede.dk - Best in Test 5 Staravforums.com - Recommended

£542.38

Info
Info
5.1.2 channels
Info
Feb 2018
USB
PORT
BASS
REFLEX
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
ETHERN-
ET LAN
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#4

87

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Polk Audio logo

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini

22 Reviews
Digitaltrends.com - Editor's Choicesoundandvision.com - Top Picklite-magazin.de - Middle Classchipchick.com - Pick Award

£249.00

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Oct 2017
EQUALI-
ZER
USB
PORT
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#5

87

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Canton logo

Canton DM75

13 Reviews
Trusted Reviews - Recommendedlite-magazin.de - Middle Classljudochbild.se - Best in Testareadvd.de - Outstanding

£275.70

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Aug 2017
EQUALI-
ZER
BASS
REFLEX
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
JACK
DC-IN
#6

87

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LG SJ8

12 Reviews
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£179.99

Info
Info
4.1 channels
Info
Mar 2017
EQUALI-
ZER
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#7

87

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LG SK8

7 Reviews
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£241.90

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Mar 2018
EQUALI-
ZER
USB
PORT
BASS
REFLEX
ETHERN-
ET LAN
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#8

87

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Philips B1

22 Reviews
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£91.01

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Aug 2017
USB
PORT
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#9

87

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LG SJ7

6 Reviews

£329.00

Info
Info
4.1 channels
Info
Mar 2017
JACK
DC-IN
ETHERN-
ET LAN
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#10

87

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Polk Audio SIGNAS1

8 Reviews

£223.15

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Jul 2017
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#11

86

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LG SJ2

1 Review

£94.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Jul 2016
USB
PORT
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
£30 Voucher
#12

86

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Sonos Beam

121 Reviews
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£343.00

Info
Info
5.1 channels
Info
Aug 2018
AIRPLA-
Y
ETHERN-
ET LAN
#13

85

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Canton DM55

£223.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Sep 2017
BASS
REFLEX
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
#14

85

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Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400

20 Reviews
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£449.00

Info
Info
6.1 channels
Info
Jul 2018
AIRPLA-
Y
GAME
MODE
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
ETHERN-
ET LAN
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#15

85

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LG SK1

1 Review
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£66.90

Info
Info
2 channels
Info
Mar 2018
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
#16

84

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Canton DM50

11 Reviews
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£349.00

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Aug 2017
BASS
REFLEX
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
JACK
DC-IN
#17

84

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Canton DM100

£336.02

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Aug 2017
BASS
REFLEX
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
#18

84

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LG SK9Y

£446.36

Info
Info
5.1.2 channels
Info
Mar 2018
USB
PORT
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
ETHERN-
ET LAN
WIRELE-
SS
SUBWOO-
#19

84

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Canton DM 5

6 Reviews
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£207.25

Info
Info
2.1 channels
Info
Sep 2017
EQUALI-
ZER
BASS
REFLEX
SURROU-
ND
SOUND
#20

84

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Denon HEOS BAR

2 Reviews
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£450.00

Info
Info
3 channels
Info
Apr 2017
USB
PORT
INTERN-
ET
RADIO
ETHERN-
ET LAN

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What Are The Best Soundbar Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every soundbar and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated soundbar brand is Samsung with an average rating of 81%. Compare all award winning soundbars.

Rank Brand Number of Soundbars Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Samsung Soundbars 57 £97 - £1,199
81%
6 reviews
#2
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LG Soundbars 46 £52 - £640
72%
176 reviews
#3
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Panasonic Soundbars 20 £85 - £329
45%
5 reviews
#4
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Sony Soundbars 21 £79 - £1,099

Trending Soundbar Comparisons

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Sony
HT-ST5000
£1,099.00
Subwoofer
included
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 700
£705.00
£394 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
20 months newer
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LG
SJ8
£170.00
£29 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
One more award
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
£199.00
16 months newer
5.1 channels
channels
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JBL
Bar 5.1
£649.99
£55 cheaper
Better brand
Subwoofer
included
VS
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Bose
Soundbar 700
£705.00
Better Kagoo
Score
7.1 channels
channels
13 months newer
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LG
SJ9
£639.99
£459 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Sony
HT-ST5000
£1,099.00
Bigger audio
output channels
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Samsung
HW-MS650
£279.95
£63 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Sonos
Beam
£343.00
17 more awards
Newer by 17
months
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LG
SK10Y
£542.38
£163 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
loading image
Bose
Soundbar 700
£705.00
Bigger audio
output channels
Newer by seven
months
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LG
SJ4
£109.99
£70 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Samsung
HW-M360
£179.97
Four months
newer
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Samsung
HW-K850
£497.99
£142 cheaper
Better brand
Nine months
newer
VS
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LG
SJ9
£639.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
5.2 channels
channels
loading image
Samsung
HW-K950
£1,199.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Subwoofer
included
VS
loading image
Bose
Soundbar 700
£705.00
£494 cheaper
Two years newer
7.1 channels
channels
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LG
SK5
£162.00
Better Kagoo
Score
One more award
VS
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Samsung
HW-K450
£119.95
£42 cheaper
Newer by nine
months
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
£400.00
£250 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
VS
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JBL
Bar 5.1
£649.99
Newer by 10
months
Subwoofer
included
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Samsung
HW-M550
£249.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by four
months
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
£199.00
£50 cheaper
Twice as many
audio output
channels
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Bose
SoundTouch 300
£400.00
£50 cheaper
One more awards
Twice as many
audio output
channels
VS
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Denon
HEOS BAR
£450.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
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LG
SJ4
£109.99
£10 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
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Samsung
HW-K450
£119.95
Newer by 19
months
Better brand
loading image
Bose
Solo 5
£160.00
£39 cheaper
One more award
More popular
VS
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Yamaha
YAS-207
£199.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
Better brand
loading image
LG
SJ9
£639.99
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
VS
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JBL
Bar 5.1
£649.99
Newer by seven
months
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LG
SK5
£162.00
£17 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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Sony
HT-RT3
£178.99
3 times as many
audio output
channels
All Soundbar Comparisons

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QHow do soundbars connect to my TV?
ASoundbars normally use a standard 3.5mm audio jack - almost all TVs should have support for this. Some soundbars may also have bluetooth support for streaming audio.
QIs a subwoofer necessary for soundbar use?
ANo - a soundbar will work perfectly fine without a separate subwoofer. They are designed to augment the bass tones of the soundbar, but aren't a necessity.

Soundbar Buying Guide

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A soundbar is a type of speaker designed to plug into a television and serve as a sound system for the device. Most soundbars are more powerful and better configured than the speakers built into TV sets, so a soundbar is a good way of improving the audio quality of your TV setup.

Soundbars are usually designed as long rectangles that can be placed directly under your TV screen, though some designers have experimented with other designs - including larger box-shaped designed that can double as a stand for the whole TV. These alternate designs are few and far between however - most are a simple rectangle, making them unobtrusive and easy to fit alongside your current TV setup.

It’s worth noting that a soundbar may be a necessity for more modern televisions - ultra-thin OLED TVs are so thin that they cannot fit any speakers into the unit, so have to rely on an external soundbar for all audio.

Subwoofer

While most soundbars comprise of just the bar itself, others come packaged with a separate subwoofer unit. This is a loudspeaker designed specifically for bass frequencies, meaning it will augment the standard soundbar and provide substantially more powerful bass notes. This boosts the overall sound quality of the TV, and is especially good if you watch a lot of action-heavy blockbusters, since the explosions and gunshots will have a lot more presence.

Some soundbars have a separate remote control, but many simply use the volume control from your standard TV remote, and run any signal from your remote to the soundbar itself. This makes using the device extremely easy - all you have to do is plug it in and continue using your TV as normal!

Wireless Streaming

The majority of soundbars are designed to be plugged in directly to the TV, rather than using a wireless connection. This is minimise any delay in the audio - wireless connections can generate a very slight delay while the data is sent from the TV to the soundbar, meaning that the video and audio signals the TV could drop out of sync. Wired connections have no such delay, meaning the video and audio will always be perfectly in sync.

Many soundbars do have wireless capabilities, but they are instead used for streaming audio from your phone/tablet/etc. Because there is no video signal, the small delay doesn’t really matter. This means that as well as TV audio, soundbars can also be used for music on demand, making them great for parties or just relaxing with your favourite music!

Simulated Surround Sound

Traditionally surround sound works by having multiple speakers (usually 5-7) arranged in such a way as to give the audio a sense of depth and 3 dimensions in order to increase immersion when watching films or playing video games.

Since soundbars only have a single speaker, they are not capable of true surround sound - however some newer soundbars have a method of simulating surround sound. They do this using a trick called ‘binaural audio’, which carefully directs sound to the left or right channels in order to simulate a 3D effect without extra speakers. You can hear an example of binaural audio here - Virtual Barber Shop

Generally only the higher-end soundbars have the is capability, but if you can afford the expenditure, you will gain a far more immersive audio quality from your movies and video games.

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Soundbar Retailers, Prices and Features

Soundbar Prices

In total we found 201 soundbars ranging from £16 to £1,299. On average, a new soundbar costs £253 and 80% of soundbars are priced between £59 and £509. The cheapest soundbar that we found is the Logik L32SBT17 at only £16, and the most expensive is the Yamaha YSP5600 at £1,299.

Soundbar Brands - Price Range

The highest average soundbar price out of all brands is Bluesound soundbars with an average price of £510. Bluesound soundbars start at £279 and their most expensive soundbar costs £742.

Naim soundbars range in price from £509 to £509, and the average price of Naim soundbars is £509 which is the second highest average price of all soundbar brands.

The third highest average soundbar price out of all brands is Sonos soundbars with an average price of £481. Sonos soundbars start at £345 and their most expensive soundbar costs £649.

Soundbar Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 1,019 expert reviews and 38 user reviews for soundbars and used this information to calculate the average rating for each brand of soundbar. The top rated soundbar brand is Samsung with an average rating of 81%. The second best brand is LG with 72% and the third best brand is Panasonic with 45%.

Biggest Soundbar Retailers

We found 134 current offers for soundbars from eBay making it the biggest soundbar retailer. That is more than twice as big as the second biggest retailer, DCom for whom we found 49 current offers for soundbars. The third biggest retailer is Currys with 40 current soundbar offers.

When Are Most New Soundbars Released?

Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any evident pattern in the release month for new soundbars. 18 new soundbars were released in November 2018 making it the biggest month that year for new soundbar releases. May was the biggest month in 2017 for new soundbars, with 45 new soundbars released that month. The biggest month in 2016 for new soundbar releases was March, with 16 new soundbars released that month.

How Fast Do Soundbar Prices Drop After Release?

On average, in the first 6 months after release, soundbars drop in price by 9%. That means that on a typical soundbar costing £253 you could save on average £22 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Audio Output

'Audio Output' denotes the number of individual channels for the soundbar to use. Specific sounds and parts of the screen are assigned to individual channels, allowing the soundbar to simulate surround sound and create a deeper audio depth.

We found 142 soundbars that are 2.1 channels soundbars, which makes this the most frequently found audio output amongst new soundbars. The second most popular audio output amongst new soundbars is 2 channels. We found 62 soundbars that are 2 channels soundbars.

More channels mean that the sound will be more spread across the channels, leading to a richer surround sound 'effect'.

Bluetooth

Whether the sounder has support for wireless Bluetooth connections or not.

The vast majority of the 331 new soundbars currently listed on Kagoo are soundbars which support Bluetooth. 309 out of 331 soundbars are soundbars which support Bluetooth.

Bluetooth support allows you to stream music from your phone or laptop directly to the soundbar, without the need for wires.

Subwoofer Included

Whether the soundbar includes a subwoofer, which is a loudspeaker for low frequencies (bass sounds).

Of the 331 new soundbars currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are soundbars with a subwoofer included. 221 out of 331 are soundbars with a subwoofer included.

A subwoofer boosts the bass quality of the soundbar, allowing it to have far more powerful bass than would otherwise be possible.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Soundbars?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying soundbars. For each retailer it shows the total number of soundbars where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying soundbars. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was eBay. 90 of their soundbar prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Soundbars for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for soundbars by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of soundbar prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's soundbar prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was eBay. 67.2% of their soundbar prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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