It doesn’t matter how large your screen is or how much it cost—it probably sounds awful. You’d be surprised by how much more you enjoy those Netflix Originals with a halfway decent soundbar or surround system. Explosions pop, dialog sounds far crisper, and you may even notice details you’ve never picked up on before.
Why You Need a Soundbar
We have yet to test a modern TV that didn’t sound crummy without some kind of audio accessory added. That’s mostly due to the way they’re 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 them in.
Even if you can only afford to spend $150 on a new soundbar with a subwoofer, it’s essential to getting the most out of your viewing experience. To help, we put together this list of the best soundbar bundles we’ve tested, and a little advice on how to make the most of them.
Updated November 27: We’ve added the Vizio SB3821-C6, Sonos Arc, Enclave Audio CineHome Pro, Roku Streambar, and ZVOX AccuVoice AC157. Be sure to check out our Black Friday TV and soundbar picks.