|1. JBL||2. Sony||3. Samsung|
Home entertainment options have expanded in recent years, and a wide range of devices are now available in the market for sitting at your home and enjoying your favourite entertainment. Gone are the days when affording an LCD or an LED television was a luxury.
Today, these televisions are cheaply available in the market, and a number of brands manufacture them. However, these televisions have one major drawback – the sound system. Even the top of the line LED TVs do not come with a sound system, on which you can have a great experience watching your favourite movie or sit-com.
Therefore, one would end up buying an external sound system when one buys a television. Soundbars are one such external sound system for your television. These compact devices are a great companion, as they provide a great quality sound, and blend perfectly with the design of your LED TV. Some of them also come with woofers and subwoofers, which further enhance the sound quality, allowing you to enjoy the best forms of entertainment at your house.
With the increasing popularity of these devices, however, a lot of brands have come up with their own soundbars, each with its own set of specifications. Choosing the perfect soundbar for your TV, thus, is a tough choice. This buyers’ guide is meant to solve your problems, as we will provide you with insights into the factors that you should look for while buying a soundbar. We will also review some of the best soundbars in India and also answer some of the frequently asked questions with regards to these devices.
Best Soundbar in India: What to Look for?
Before buying a soundbar, you will have to take a note of where you are going to place the device. This is because you will need enough space on the TV stand to place the soundbar, and also, enough space on the floor to place the subwoofer, if it comes with one. Besides, make sure that the soundbar does not block any part of your TV. This includes the IR receiver, blocking of which would make it difficult or impossible to use the TV remote.
Another important factor, which is linked to the placement, is the size of the soundbar. With regards to size, an important thing to take note of is whether you want to mount the soundbar to the wall, or place it on a stand. At the same time, the length of the soundbar should be at par with that of the size of the TV. For the set up of the room to look good, the soundbar should not be too long or too short when placed next to the TV.
If you want to mount the device to the wall, then any size is acceptable, as long as it is at par with the size of the TV. However, if you are planning to place it on a stand, it has to be in accordance with the size of the TV stand. So before buying, measure the TV stand so that you do not end up buying a soundbar which is longer than the stand itself.
As a general rule, the more the connectivity options, the better. Most soundbars come with multiple connectivity options. A number of soundbars come with HDMI connectivity, alongside RCA and 3.5 mm stereo connectivity. An HDMI connectivity option is particularly useful if you plan to use the soundbar with an AV receiver. On the other hand, standard audio cables will serve the purpose if you simply intend to connect the soundbar to your TV.
Nowadays, a number of soundbars also come with Bluetooth connectivity. This is particularly useful, as it allows you to connect the soundbar to devices like your smartphone, tablet PC, or your laptop, in addition to your TV (if it is Bluetooth enabled).
4. Passive Or Active
Most soundbars available in the market are self amplified. This means that you will simply need to plug them into a power socket, and connect them to the TV, for them to work. However, not all soundbars are active, and some of these passive devices require external amplification to run. An AV receiver will be required to power the soundbar and receive the source signal, which will be connected using standard speaker cable. Only then will the device work.
5. Soundbar Or Soundbase
Soundbars and soundbases perform the same function, but they differ in terms of design. A soundbar is narrow and it is either placed right in front of the TV, or mounted right below it if the TV itself is wall mounted. Soundbases, on the other hand, have a flat and pedestal like design. It allows you to place your stand-mounted TV directly on the top of the soundbase.
Moreover, it is thicker than a soundbar. Therefore, it is likely to have bass drivers inside, and therefore, won’t require a dedicated subwoofer. If you have specific issues with placement, a soundbase is more useful than a soundbar because of the unobtrusive design of the former.
6. Woofer And Subwoofers
Although it is not mandatory to have a woofer or a subwoofer along with a soundbar, they are important for a lot of people for the simple reason – it adds to the exciting bass, and therefore, gives a more pleasurable entertainment experience. Most soundbars come with a seperate subwoofer, which is external and has a cubical shape.
A number of soundbars also come with in-built subwoofers, which are equally effective. In addition to subwoofers, some soundbars also come with an external woofer that provides for a more exciting bass experience. So if you are not tight on budget and you are a bass lover, do check if the soundbar that you are going to buy has subwoofers and a woofer.
A soundbar is very likely to be an improvement on the built-in speaker of your TV. However, as obvious, there are variations in terms of specs and features of the soundbars, and price is an important determinant of the kind of specs and features that you will be getting. For instance, soundbars with woofers are likely to cost more than a soundbar with no woofers. A cheap soundbar won’t guarantee the same immersive surround sound experience that you get on buying a good quality, and expensive soundbar.
However, just like when you are shopping for any other item, in the case of soundbars, too, you need to be careful not to exceed your budget. It is advisable to spend within your means or save up for some time, so that you can afford the soundbar of your choice. In this buyers’ guide, we have included some of the best soundbars in India of different price ranges.
These days, most manufacturers guarantee a standard warranty of one year on their soundbars. In exceptional cases, you might also get more than a year of warranty. While buying a soundbar, just make sure that the manufacturer is offering at least a year of warranty on the particular unit that you want to buy. Otherwise, it could be pretty disappointing to discover that you have to spend your own money to repair a device after a short period of use.
Top 6 Best Soundbars In India 2020
1. JBL SB110 Soundbar
When it comes to audio systems, JBL is the big name in the market. The brand is known for its wide range of speakers, headphones, and other such devices, and it is also one of the best and the leading manufacturers of soundbars. This particular offering by JBL is not just attractive for its design, specs, and features, but also for the affordable price at which it is being offered by the company. JBL claims that its SB110 brings the movie experience to your home, as it is embedded with Dolby Digital audio. It delivers powerful sound that enhances any movie experience.
The soundbar has a hassle free installation, as there are no external subwoofers with this device. It comes with in-built subwoofers that give out a room filling sound of 110W. It delivers superior bass and cinematic thrills. It is, thus, an all in one powerful 2.0 channel soundbar that is capable of offering a great entertainment experience, and is an excellent companion for your TV.
Moreover, the device comes with an HDMI ARC port. The HDMI ARC provides a high speed and superior quality connection to your TV with a single cable. It ensures a simple and hassle free set up of the soundbar. You do not have to face the problem of messy wires and cables. Besides, this soundbar is also Bluetooth enabled, so that you can not only use it with your TV, but also connect your phone, tab, or laptop with it, and listen to your favourite music.
This JBL soundbar measures 43.3 cm in length, and therefore, before buying this device, get an idea of the space in which you are going to place it (particularly if you are going to place it on a stand). A wall mount bracket kit, along with screws, is also included in the package itself, so that you can easily mount the device to the wall.
In addition, you also get an HDMI cable and a remote through which you can control the functions on this speaker. Under 8000 rupees, this is one of the best soundbars in India and you can definitely go for this one, especially if you are looking for an affordable soundbar for your home.
2. Sony HT-S20R 5.1 Channel Soundbar
Like JBL, Sony is another big name when it comes to music systems and its products are known for their quality and reliability. Moreover, Sony has an excellent after-sales service record, and its service centres are located across the country, and can be found even in the small towns.
The Sony HT-S20R soundbar, like other Sony products, offers a great experience. Unlike the last product that we reviewed, this soundbar, however, is a mid-range offering by Sony. But the higher price also means better specs and features.
As the name suggests, this is a 5.1 channel soundbar and therefore, you can enjoy great surround sound on this device. It is a three channel soundbar that comes with an external woofer and two external subwoofers. They combine to produce a powerful cinematic sound experience so that you can enjoy your favourite entertainment inside the comfort of your house.
The 400W power output produces a powerful bass and a thrilling soundscape. Besides, on the remote, you can select the mode which is right for whatever you are listening to or watching. This includes Auto, Standard, Cinema, and Music. You can also select Night and Voice modes, and using the subwoofer control, you can fine tune your viewing experience.
Besides, there is an HDMI port on this device, and the HDMI ARC connection allows for a hassle free installation. You can connect your TV to this device using a single cable, and thus, you do not have to deal with a clutter of wire and cables. At the same time, this soundbar also provides for the option of an analogue connection and an optical input, in case your TV does not support an HDMI connection.
Besides these connectivity options, the Sony HT-S20R also comes enabled with Bluetooth. This means that you can not only connect your TV with this device, but also your smartphone, tab, or laptop, and listen to your favourite music, hassle free and wirelessly. In addition, this soundbar also provides a USB plug and play option.
This soundbar measures 76 cm in length and therefore, you are advised to take measurements accordingly. This is particularly more so if you are planning to place the soundbar on a stand. With all its great specs and features, the Sony HT-S20R is certainly one of the best soundbars in India that you can buy under 20,000 rupees. You should definitely go for this product, especially if you want a great bass experience, as it comes with subwoofers and a woofer.
3. Samsung N300 Soundbar
This is an offering by one of the popular home electronics brands, which is known for making good products at affordable prices. The Samsung N300 soundbar is a budget offering by the company, and it delivers great sound quality, and comes with excellent specs. This is a 2.0 channel soundbar, has a compact design, and is ideal for your TV.
This soundbar comes with two built-in woofers and eliminates the requirement for a separate woofer. The compact design is, thus, definitely a plus point, and the design will perfectly blend with other things in the room. The built in woofers ensure a deep bass, and you will be able to enjoy your favourite entertainment with a cinematic experience. Besides, it comes with a surround sound expansion technology through which the listening area on both sides of the speaker is expanded to deliver a high quality sound.
On the connectivity front, this is primarily a wireless device, as it comes equipped with Bluetooth. Samsung, however, has not included an HDMI port on this soundbar. Instead, there is an AUX port, which you can use to connect your TV, in case your TV is not Bluetooth enabled. The good part about the Bluetooth connectivity option, is that you get rid of clutter of wires around the device. Besides, you can connect the soundbar to other devices like the smartphone, laptop, tab, etc. and listen to your favourite music, or watch your favourite shows.
In case you own a Samsung HDTV, then you won’t require a seperate remote for controlling this soundbar. Another cool feature about this device is that it can also be controlled using your smartphone. You will simply have to download the Samsung Audio Remote app from the Play Store of your Android phone. You need to switch on the Bluetooth of your phone, and use the app to control all the functions of the device.
The device measures 64 cm in length and hence, before buying the soundbar, take a note of this measurement, particularly if you are going to place it on a stand. With all these specs and features, and given its compact design and affordable price, this is one of the best soundbars in India. If you are looking for an inexpensive product from a trusted brand, the Samsung N300 soundbar is worthy to be considered as your choice.
4. Philips HTL2163B/12 Soundbar
Philips is another popular name when it comes to audio systems, and the company is also a leading manufacturer of soundbars. The Philips HTL2163B combines elegant design with superior quality sound and deep bass. It is great for home entertainment when connected to your TV, gaming console, or your DVD player.
This soundbar comes with a dedicated subwoofer that enriches your home entertainment. The Virtual Surround Sound technology used on this device, along with its Dolby Digital standards, produces a rich and immersive surround sound. Philips claims that the device uses highly advanced spatial algorithms which are capable of replicating the sonic characteristics that occur in an ideal 5.1 channel environment. There is no need to buy any extra speakers when you are using this soundbar. This Philips soundbar has an output power of 120 watts. It has a power consumption rating of 30 watts.
On the connectivity front, the device comes with a number of connectivity options. There is a 3.5 mm audio port, an HDMI ARC port, an AUX port, in addition to Bluetooth connectivity. The HDMI ARC connectivity option allows you to get rid of the clutter of wires, as you can enjoy high quality sound by connecting the device to the TV using a single wire.
Besides, the availability of the Bluetooth connectivity option means that in addition to your HDTV, you can also connect other devices, such as your smartphone, laptop, or tab, and enjoy your favourite movie or music. Besides, you also get a USB port on this soundbar. Therefore, you can play your favourite music on this device, simply by plugging in USB devices like flash drives, MP3 players, etc.
In terms of design, this Philips soundbar has a low rise profile so that it perfectly fits in front of your TV. It measures 84 cm in length, and hence, before buying this device, make sure to take measurement of the space in which you are going to place it. This is particularly the case if you are going to place this soundbar on a stand.
Make sure that its dimensions do not exceed the dimensions of the stand. Besides, the device can also be mounted to the wall, and its elegant design will perfectly blend with the other things that are in your room. Hence, the device allows for flexible placement, as you can both place it on a stand, and mount it to the wall.
The remote of this soundbar is equipped with what Philips calls the Easy Link technology. Basically, it lets you control multiple devices like DVD players, Blu-Ray players, soundbar speaker, TV, etc. using a single remote. It uses HDMI CEC company standard protocol that allows for sharing functionality between devices through the HDMI cable. Thus, functions like standby and play can be carried out with absolute ease.
Besides these, Philips offers a warranty of one year on this product. Since Philips is a popular brand and has been in existence in the Indian market for many decades now, its service centres are located across the country, and hence, after-sales service won’t be an issue with this product. With all the best features being offered by one of the top brands under 15,000 rupees, this is one of the best soundbars in India that you can buy for your home.
5. Bose Solo S Soundbar
Bose is exclusively known for its music systems, and Bose products are considered a luxury. Although the prices of Bose products are invariably higher than the other brands in the market, their quality is always premium. The Bose Solo S soundbar is no different, and is one of the best soundbars in India.
The Bose Solo S Soundbar looks elegant and has an extremely compact design. There are no external woofers or subwoofers. It delivers distinctly great sound quality for all your favourite TV programmes. You can enjoy more distinct dialogues, richer soundtracks and effects, and a deeper bass when you connect this soundbar to your HDTV. There is a dedicated dialogue mode on this device which makes every word easier to understand, without requiring you to adjust volume from scene to scene.
The device also comes with a number of connectivity options. You can either use optical coaxial or analogue audio cable to connect this device to your TV. There is hardly any seperate setup required for this soundbar. However, it does not have an HDMI port, which is a drawback of this device.
Apart from these wired setup options, this device also supports wireless setup, as it is equipped with Bluetooth technology. Thus, you can simply connect your TV with this device using its Bluetooth. Also, in addition to TV, Bluetooth allows you to connect this soundbar with other devices like your smartphone, tab or laptop, and listen to your favourite music, or watch your favourite movie or web series. The Bluetooth system is capable of stable operation up to 10 metres.
Besides, this Bose soundbar also comes with a universal remote that lets you control other devices like a BluRay player and other such devices which are attached to your TV. In addition, the remote has a dedicated bass button. The bass can be controlled according to your requirement. Therefore, you can choose to keep the bass high, say, when you are listening to a song, or keep it low when you are watching a sit-com with your family.
In addition to these features, the compact design of this soundbar is a boon. It only measures 54 cm in length and you can practically place it anywhere in the room. You won’t even require a large stand for keeping this soundbar. Besides, you can always mount this device to the wall, and it will perfectly blend with the other things that are in your room, giving an aesthetic feel.
In addition to the soundbar itself, you get a power cable and an optical digital audio cable. Although the price of this soundbar is quite high, and at this price point, you can get soundbars of other brands with better specs, Bose does not compromise on the quality of its devices. Therefore, even if it is an expensive product, priced above 20,000, you can still go for this product if you are looking for a good and durable entertainment system for your home.
6. Mi MDZ-27-DI Soundbar
In recent years, Xiaomi, also known as Mi, has emerged as a popular electronic brand, and it is particularly known for its smartphone. It has expanded its market into other electronic devices as well, which includes smartwatches, smart TVs, tabs, laptops, and so forth. Similarly, Mi has also launched its soundbar in the Indian market, and like other devices of the company, its soundbar, too, combines a superior quality and an affordable price.
The MI MDZ-27-DI soundbar has an elegant design, and delivers a rich and superior sound quality, and it is one of the best soundbars in India under 5000 rupees. It is a perfect companion for your HDTV, and you can enjoy your favourite movie, sit-com, and other shows, with a great sound.
It has a response range of 50Hz to 25000Hz, and it, thus, covers the entire spectrum of sounds in each media. Because of it, each note becomes clear and far-reaching. It provides for crisp treble and a resonant bass. The product also comes with 8 sound drivers.
Besides, this soundbar is available in two different colours – black and white – and they are priced the same. Thus, you can choose whichever colour you prefer, and also in accordance with the colour of your walls. It is stylishly designed in a bar shape and comes with a fabric mesh overlay that blends perfectly with your TV and your living room.
It can also be mounted to the wall, and the wall mount with screws comes with the package itself. The rubber grips on the Mi soundbar keeps it firm on any surface. The device measures 83 cm in length and you can take measurements of your TV stand accordingly, in case you plan to place the soundbar on a stand.
Besides, the Mi soundbar also offers multiple connectivity options. It offers S/PDIF, optical, Aux-in, and Line-in connectivity ports, through which you can easily connect to your TV and a range of other devices. However, one big drawback of this device is that it lacks an HDMI port. Also, unlike some products, you won’t also find a USB plug and play option on this soundbar.
Besides these wired connectivity options, you can also connect devices wireless to this soundbar, thanks to its Bluetooth 4.2 technology. Thus, you can not only connect your TV, but also your laptop, smartphone, or tab, and enjoy your favourite entertainment on these devices with an incredible sound quality.
There is not much of a set up required on this device, and Mi claims that you can plug this device into the TV and use it within 30 seconds of opening the package. With all these specs and features, the Mi MDZ-27-DI is really a great device, and is being made available by the company at an affordable price. You can definitely go for this soundbar, in case you are looking for a good entertainment option for your home.
FAQs on Soundbars
1. What Size Soundbar Do I Need For My Home?
The size of the soundbar will depend upon a number of factors, the most important of which are size of the room and the size of the TV. Of these two, it is the second factor that we are going to lay more emphasis on, as people usually tend to select TV size in accordance with the size of their rooms. Soundbars come in all shapes and sizes. In a lot of cases, larger soundbars offer more drivers and hence, a bigger sound.
However, in other cases, you might be just paying for a larger box and nothing more! As a general rule, try to match the length of the soundbar with the width of the TV. However, TV measurements are given diagonally, and measuring the width may not be always possible for you.
Hence, go for the following soundbar measurements, corresponding to the TV size: A 12-inch soundbar can usually go with any screen size, whereas for 42-50 inch TV, go for a soundbar of 38-45 inches in length. If you have a TV of 55 to 60 inches, buy a soundbar which is 50 inches in length. And in case you own a TV as big as 70 inches or more, go for a 60-inch soundbar.
2. Which Wireless Technology Is Best For The Soundbar – Wifi Or Bluetooth?
Wireless streaming on soundbars can take two forms – Bluetooth and WiFi. Wireless streaming on a soundbar is very useful these days, because you no longer only rely on your TV or your DVD player for entertainment, but also use devices like your smartphone or tab to listen to music and watch movies. Wireless connectivity is the most preferred connectivity option on these smart devices. You can directly play music from your phone on your Spotify or iTunes app on the soundbar.
Of the two technologies, Bluetooth is the most inexpensive and most preferred wireless streaming technology that is used on soundbars. It also offers the easiest way to wirelessly stream audio from your phone, laptop, or tablet. It works both with the music stored on the device, as well as music played on third-party apps. Besides, all Android and iOS devices offer Bluetooth connectivity, and hence, manufacturers tend to use it on their soundbars.
All the best soundbars in India that we have reviewed here come equipped with Bluetooth technology. WiFi, on the other hand, offers several upgrades over Bluetooth. For instance, it offers a greater range than Bluetooth and allows you to listen to music in multiple rooms, and even control it with Google Assistant or Alexa. However, there are several competing standards when it comes to WiFi, of which Chromecast, Play-Fi, Sonos, are some of the most popular ones. Hence, it is advised that you investigate the WiFi options before you buy.
3. What Is The Difference Between A 2.1 And 5.1 Soundbar?
A 5.1 soundbar will, obviously, deliver a better sound than a 2.1 channel soundbar. The latter generally costs more than the former. But, it is important to understand the difference between the two, so that if you opt for a 5.1 channel soundbar, you will have a knowledge of why you are spending the extra penny.
A 2.1 channel soundbar includes at least two speakers (sometimes more), which are grouped into two channels – left and right. Besides, in some of the models, an additional subwoofer is also included. The purpose of the extra speakers, however, is not just to provide with extra volume.
Instead, more speakers help to create a truer and better sound experience. With the extra subwoofer, you can also get a better surround sound. The left and right speakers will also give you clear left and right channels of audio. A 5.1 channel soundbar, on the other hand, comes with three extra channels, which exist to create a much richer listening experience.
The speakers in a 5.1 channel soundbar include a front left, front right, front centre, surround (back) right, surround (back) left, and a seperate subwoofer. The front channels, in usual cases, are all built into the soundbar. The surround speakers,, are usually separate speakers. However, on some of the soundbars, all the five channels are built into the device itself. Even though they are placed inside the soundbar itself, they act as surround channels.
A number of home entertainment options are available today with regards to sound systems, and the options are likely to increase in the future. While you can always opt for other home theatre options, soundbars are an affordable and a good choice to make, especially if you have space constraints. They happen to one of the best sound companions for your HDTV.
However, given the wide range of soundbars, available in the market, choosing the one which is suited the best for you isn’t an easy choice to make. The products not only differentiate in terms of brands and prices, but also specs and features. It is quite possible that you might not know about what you are buying.
To make your choice easier, therefore, we have included all the important things that you should consider while buying a soundbar for your home. We have also included some of the best soundbars in India, and we have listed a diverse range of products, both in terms of brands, price, and specs. We have also answered some of the important and frequently asked questions with regards to soundbars. The choice of soundbar, however, will depend entirely on your requirements and budget, and we would advise you to go through this article thoroughly while making one such choice.
Aditya has an innate liking towards reading. Be it tech gadgets/ home appliances, he loves reading about them. This is why he spends his free time writing buyer guides on some of the most sought after products in India.