Best sound bar deals
By Haddi Browne
We show you how to find a good sound bar deal, and then pick out a few we've found. Never pay full price for a sound bar again with Which? advice.
Sound bars are much like TVs in that a new tranche of models launches on a near-annual basis. But if you don’t need the very latest in audio tech, and most of us don’t, it’s quite easy to save a fair few precious pounds if you know where – and how – to look.
Find the top-rated speakers with our best sound bars
If you don’t mind which sound bar brand you buy, or which retailer you shop at, you can save a huge amount of money on new sound bars that have been on the market for less than a year.
Best sound bar deals
This mid-range sound bar would ticks all the boxes when it comes to connectivity and features, and since it launched in mid-2017 its price has dropped from almost £200 to around £160 at various retailers. In fact, it can often be found for even less – being briefly sold for £120 in February 2018.
This is a budget model suitable for 32-inch TVs and includes a wireless subwoofer, Bluetooth connectivity and a digital optical connector for high-quality audio sources. This model started at around £230 when it launched in 2017, and can now be found for as little as £139 from a reputable retailer.
This stylish and compact sound bar started at a fairly steep £250, but can now be found for £199 from a number of retailers. It ticks all the boxes as far as specifications go, including HDMI ports, a wireless subwoofer and a full 300W of audio power. For the money, it has a very competitive set of specs.
How to save money on a sound bar
As mentioned above, when a brand refreshes its line-up of sound bars, the older generation often goes on sale for a much lower price. It’s easy to tell with the the likes of LG and Samsung; you can spot whether a model is older by a single letter in the model name. LG’s 2017 line-up was known as the SJ1, SJ2 etc, and the 2018 models instead start with SK. It’s the same with Samsung; 2017 models were called HW-M followed by numbers, whereas this year the M has been replaced by an N. It’s not foolproof, because not every model in a range gets replaced every year, but it’s certainly a good place to start.
You can also find out when a sound bar launched by looking for it in our sound bar review pages. This lets you know whether a sound bar should feasibly be on discount or whether it’s going to be at full price because it’s new. All our reviews include a price predictor, too.
Which? has previously found that many discounts aren’t often what they seem; many retailers offer a product initially at an inflated price and then reduce it in order to make it appear like a better deal. Which? advice on spotting a deal on Black Friday applies all year round.
The sound bar features worth paying for
Even if you’ve picked a sound bar for its excellent audio quality, there are other considerations to make before shelling out. You should, for example, check that your TV has the right connectors for your sound bar so they actually work together. Furthermore, it might be worth shopping around for a sound bar that matches the brand of your TV, as this can often add extra features such as wireless functionality and make the sound bar easier to use.
Beyond those more basic choices, you should look at your whole home cinema set-up and decide whether there are any special features that you would benefit from now or in the future. For example, if you have lots of devices connected over HDMI, you might benefit from buying a sound bar with an HDMI port that supports HDMI ARC; this can often simplify complicated set-ups.
Also remember that smaller sound bars are often cheaper. There’s nothing wrong with a small sound bar – they can deliver excellent sound – but if you have a massive TV that you sit far away from, it might not be big enough to give you a properly cinematic experience. For that reason, it can be worth paying more for a bigger model.
Not sure what you're after? Here's our advice on how to buy the best sound bar