Results from the latest sound bar tests at our labs reveal the sound bar market continues to be one of highs and lows.
With today’s tellies getting thinner all the time, some models end up with disappointing sound quality, encouraging shoppers to splash out on a sound bar to give their TV’s audio some room-filling oomph.
But sound bars can be hit and miss – simply picking one you like the look of from the store shelf can often be a mistake. Our panel of audio experts, which assess sound bars in lab-controlled conditions, found that some of the most expensive models released in 2017 put in worse performances than those costing five times less.
Best sound bars: Our line-up of top-ranking sound bars and bases
Tesco 26W Soundbar costs just £29. Every little helps?
The cheapest sound bar from our recent tests comes from supermarket giant Tesco, a company not known for audio equipment. The 26W Soundbar (301-0240) will set you back just £29, making it the second-cheapest we’ve tested this year.
We’ve seen ultra-cheap sound bars perform well in the past, but will this budget option prove to be a false economy or a really great deal?
Samsung HW-MS750/MS751, worth £800?
At the other end of the scale are a pair of £800 sound bars from Samsung. The HW-MS750 and HW-MS751 are identical models in every way but colour, and can be found on the shelves of several major UK retailers.
This huge bar houses no less than nine speakers and includes a built-in subwoofer. With support for high-resolution audio, virtual Dolby 5.1 surround sound, Bluetooth and wi-fi, this ticks practically every box for the cinephile who wants to boost their audio set-up, at least on paper.
But a spec sheet only tells you a small part of the story. Read our HW-MS750 review to find out whether it’s worth the high price.
LG SJ2 vs Samsung HW-K335
The hotly-contested battle between LG and Samsung raging in the TVs market and has now spilled over into sound bars. LG’s SJ2 and Samsung’s HW-K335 both cost £129, but in our lab test we found some significant differences that makes one of these two a stand-out choice, and the other a mid-pack also-ran. With LG upping the ante on the TV front, can it claim a win over Samsung here?
To see the latest batch of reviews, head to our full collection of sound bar reviews.
Also on test:
- Yamaha YAS-107, £169
- Q Acoustics M2 sound base, £299
- LG SJ1, £79
- JVC TH-D357B, £90
- JVC TH-D337B, £80
- Hitachi 240W Soundbar, £59
Still undecided? Take a look at our guide on how to choose the best sound bar.