Which? tests find Best Buy sound barsSamsung, LG and Panasonic sound bars tested

06 December 2013

Sound bar and TV

Flatscreen TVs can be a wonder to look at, but they're rarely able to deliver compelling sound to match the visuals. Rather than trailing wires across your living room with a surround sound system, a sound bar can be a neat solution for boosting your home cinema audio. 

But which sound bars are best? Buy the right one and you'll be able to enjoy crisp, clear spoken words as well as punchy bass on the explosions and background music. Pick the wrong sound bar and you may be stuck with muffled sound detail and a miserable setup process. That's why we've tested the latest sound bars to find the best.

Read our Best Buy sound bar reviews to find the perfect sound bar for your living room.

Which? members can log in to find out how these sound bars have done. But if you’re not a member yet, you can sign up for a £1 trial and get instant access to all of our results.

Wireless sound bars tested

Our latest test includes the Samsung HW-F551 - a stylish sound bar and wireless subwoofer combo that comes with Bluetooth music streaming for smartphones and tablets. It can transmit sound from Samsung TVs wirelessly instead of using a cable connection. 

Like the sound of wireless music streaming? We've tested the Philips HTL2160/12 and LG NB3530A sound bars, which also have this feature. 

But there can be a big difference in price when it comes to sound bars. The Samsung HW-F551 costs around £339, while the LG NB3530A costs around £185. You'll want to know you're spending your money wisely, and our tests reveal which sound bars truly deserve your money.

How we test sound bars

One of the sound bars we've just tested is a standout model from our entire year of testing. It offers big, balanced sound across music, TV programmes and movies - no matter where you sit in the room. 

In fact, how a sound bar sounds at an angle could be an important consideration if a few people often watch TV together as you will want everyone in the room to experience good sound quality whether they're sitting directly in front of or at an angle to the TV screen. That’s why we also test how each sound bar sounds at different listening angles.

Sound bars tested:

Find the perfect sound bar for your TV by heading to our Best Buy sound bar reviews. We've tested models from the top brands, including:

  • Panasonic SC-HTB527
  • LG NB2020A
  • LG NB3530A
  • Philips HTL2160/12
  • Roth Audio BAR3
  • Samsung HW-F551/Samsung HW-F550

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