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Which? tests reveal three Don’t Buy sound bars

Bush takes aim at the budget market, and is Sky's pricey sound bar worth the cost, even for subscribers?

Which? tests reveal three Don’t Buy sound bars

Results from our latest lab tests show poor-quality sound bars still lurking at big retailers.

External TV speakers continue to be a popular purchase among home cinema fans, and big brands are cashing in on this trend. Nearly a fifth of UK households own some form of home TV audio equipment, according to Mintel research from 2017.

However, Which? expert lab testing has consistently found that there are often as many Don’t Buy products on the market as there are Best Buys, meaning picking a good sound bar is trickier than it should be.

Best Buy soundbars: skip straight to reviews of our top performers

Our test lab most recently put 10 products to the test, and you can find the full list below.

Sound bars tested this month

Dali Kubik One, £799

Dali is a Danish company that’s as big on design it is on audio quality. The Kubik One is a large sound bar that comes in colours ranging from plain black to “Petrol Blue”, and lots more in between.

Our test lab was impressed by its big maximum volume, but was the rest of its audio delivery up to scratch? Our Dali Kubik One review reveals all.

Bush 200W Sound Bar with Subwoofer, £90

This Argos own-brand sound bar kit makes some big audio-quality claims and comes with a separate subwoofer, all for under £100. Can Argos upset the big audio brands with this cut-price speaker system? Our lab put it through its paces, and you can see all the results in our Bush 200W sound bar review.

We also tested two other Bush systems, the 100W Sound Bar with Subwoofer and 100W All in One Sound Bar.

Sky Soundbox, £799 (£249-£299 for Sky subscribers)

In 2017, Sky launched a very tempting offer for its subscribers, offering a Devialet-made sound bar for £299 – £500 off its recommended retail price. We’ve hauled this hulking speaker into our labs for a thorough going-over, to find out whether it’s a treat for subscribers or a false economy. Our Sky Soundbox review reveals all.

Other sound bars on test this month:

Canton DM5

Polk Audio Signa Solo

Sony HT-RT4

Sony HT-ST5000

Yamaha YAS-207

How to buy the best sound bar

We’ve found that price is no guarantee of quality when it comes to buying a sound bar, so it’s vital to do your research to avoid spending money on something that’s barely an improvement on a TV’s built-in speakers.

Our guide on how to buy the best sound bar tells you everything you need to know. And if it’s a bargain you’re after, we’ve rounded up the best cheap models from our tests to prove it is possible to buy a great sound bar for under £100.

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