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Samsung vs LG sound bars: which is best?

By Haddi Browne

As two of the biggest-selling sound bar manufacturers around, Samsung and LG launch a new range each year in a bid to win your custom. Whether you want a sound bar as part of a full home cinema system or you just want to add a bit more energy to X Factor, both brands promise to enhance your favourite movies, TV and music with powerful, room-filling sound.

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Features and audio quality differ between the two brands. LG sound bars can cost between £100 and £750, and tend to be cheaper than Samsung at every point. Entry-level Samsung models can cost less than £150 and top-end models can range from £600 to over £1,000.

Regardless of your budget, both of these popular brands have a wide range of feature-packed sound bars. But with an overwhelming choice of models available, traipsing through the shops or spending hours online trying to find the best sound bar can be confusing and tiring. Read the sections below to see how the two compare in our tests - you can click on the links to jump straight to the one you're interested in.

Best cheap Samsung and LG sound bars

Some sound bars will cost you almost as much as your TV. But this won’t always guarantee you the best sound. Our reviews show that cheaper sound bars can still have the quality you’d expect from a premium model. We’ve found  Don’t Buy sound bars that cost hundreds of pounds and Best Buys costing less than £200.

Our testing focuses on quality and doesn’t factor in price. So, whatever your budget, you can find a great sound bar. Here are some models that can take your home entertainment experience to the next level without breaking the bank.

Alternatively, check out the best cheap sound bars that rival the most expensive models from leading brands in the market.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

Best cheap Samsung and LG sound bars

81%
£250.00
Reviewed

This excellent sound bar is compact and slender, and although it can’t quite match the power and force of high-end models, sound quality is still good enough to make it a Best Buy. It produces great sound effects, and speech in TV and movies is clear. Setting up and using the sound bar couldn’t be easier.

72%
£119.00
Reviewed

For a model of this calibre, this sound bar performed very well in our tests. Its sound has warmth that not all in this price range can manage, plus the bass is powerful but not so much that it drowns out speech and detail. It’s also easy to use.

70%
£189.00
Reviewed

This sound bar brings movies to life and makes streamed music sound brilliant. It does justice to whatever you’re watching or listening to, and makes speech sound clear and intelligible. The sound is consistent no matter where you’re sitting in the room. It automatically detects what’s playing and selects the best sound mode to optimise your experience. Setup and everyday use is simple, too.

67%
£99.00
Reviewed

This sound bar isn’t that much cheaper than some of our Best Buys, which are models by other brands. But this isn’t a bad choice. It did well in our sound quality tests plus it’s easy to set up.

Best high-end Samsung and LG sound bars 

In this price range, you’re looking at some of the best sound bars these brands have to offer. High-end models come with attractive extras such as media streaming features and a wireless subwoofer, which provides extra bass, especially in films and music. But a higher price doesn’t guarantee the best sound bar: we have Best Buys costing around £150, plus we’ve also tested high-end models costing over £500 that are Don't Buys.

Both Samsung and LG’s high-end sound bars offer wireless connectivity, allowing the device to be connected to speakers across different rooms for a multi-room speaker system.  

Samsung’s most expensive sound bars support Dolby Atmos, meaning they have upward-firing speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling to create a similar effect to having ceiling speakers. This should create a great sense of space, making you feel immersed in the action when watching a movie. However, we’ve found that very few sound bars manage to do this well. 

LG is known for being one of the most innovative sound bar manufacturers and, these days, many of its models come with Google Chromecast Audio and Spotify Connect built-in, allowing you to stream your favourite playlists from your phone to the sound bar.

We’re not swayed by price – our tests focus on quality. Which? members can see the current top models below.

Best high-end Samsung and LG sound bars

83%
£999.00
Reviewed

As you’d expect for this price, this sound bar has excellent sound quality and excelled in our tests. This model has powerful sound and is easy to use, making it a clear Best Buy.

67%
£699.97
Reviewed

This sound bar delivers great sound quality and has plenty of features. It’s easy to set up and is compatible with Google Assistant.

Should I buy an LG or Samsung sound bar? 

One brand has more of the best sound bars than the other plus a slightly higher average test score, brand reliability rating and customer satisfaction score. 

However, it may not be as simple as just going for the higher-scoring brand – some sound bars by the lower-scoring brand did better in our tests than models of a similar price by the higher brand.

In the tables below, you can see which brand scored highest in each of the areas, plus we've rounded up some key facts about manufacturer to help you decide whether a Samsung or LG sound bar would be right for you. Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below.

Samsung sound bars overview table
Number tested in the past three years 22
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Loyalty score
Typical spend
Should I buy one?
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested that are still available to buy. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in June/July 2017 of 445 Samsung sound bar owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 28 November 2018.

Key

Member Content
LG sound bars overview table
Number tested in the past three years 20
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Loyalty score
Typical spend
Pros
Cons
Should I buy one?
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested that are still available to buy. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in June/July 2017 of 141 LG sound bar owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 28 November 2018.

Key

Member Content

How to get the best deal on your sound bar 

Most of us don’t need the very latest in audio tech, so it’s quite easy to save your hard-earned money if you know when to look. Brands tend to launch new sound bars in the spring and summer months. The new models will carry a higher price tag while older models often go on sale for a much lower price.

Sound bars generally tend to be cheaper in winter (from around October to March). You can also look out for special promotions too.

Our sound bar reviews include the date a model was launched, which can give you an idea of whether it could be discounted or whether it will be full price because it’s new. Reviews also include a price predictor.

Sound bars tested before June 2018 were assessed under a different test programme to those that were tested after. As such, ratings are not directly comparable.
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