Holiday Gift Guide 2020: JBL, Sonos, Samsung & More Soundbars!

soundbars gift guide
Advertisement
Advertisement

Finding the right soundbar for you, is about as tough as finding the right TV, that's where this soundbars gift guide comes in. But it is something that you need to grab. Because the speakers in your TV are going to be garbage. While they may not sound bad to you right now, plug in a soundbar and you'll quickly notice how bad it truly is.

Like TVs, there are hundreds of thousands of soundbars available on the market right now. From cheap Vizio soundbars that don't even include a subwoofer, to expensive Samsung and LG soundbars that have everything including Dolby Atmos support. Here, in this gift guide we have rounded up the best soundbars that are available, in many different price ranges. Ranging from $100 all the way up to $1500. So there's something for everyone.

Product nameCostWhere to buy
JBL Bar 5.1$499Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart
SAMSUNG HW-Q950T$1,397Amazon, Best Buy
TCL Alto 7+$128Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart
Sony S100F$98Amazon
Sonos Beam$399Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart
Bose Soundbar 500$549Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart
Sony Z9F 3.1ch Sound bar$898Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart
Roku Smart Soundbar$179Amazon
Sonos Arc$799Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo
LG SN10YG 5.1.2 ch 570W High Res Audio Sound Bar$1,299Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart
Polk Audio Signa S2$149Amazon

JBL Bar 5.1

soundbars gift guide

Advertisement

The JBL Bar 5.1 is what I would call a "simplistic" sound bar. This is because it is a pretty inexpensive one, and doesn't have a lot of the frills of more expensive soundbars, but it still has plenty of oomf to really shake your living room.

It comes with the soundbar, which is about the same length as a 40-inch TV. And it also has a wireless subwoofer, which is what will really make your house shake. The bass is very deep here. And it provides virtual surround sound. You can upgrade to the JBL Bar 9.1 for full on surround sound though.

It doesn't have a lot of the frills like Dolby Atmos, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. But it does support Chromecast, and AirPlay 2 for casting content to your speaker. So you could use the JBL Bar 5.1 as a speaker for music when you're having a get-together.

Sponsored Video

JBL Bar 5.1 - Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart

Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar

soundbars gift guide

With the Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar, you're getting a soundbar, plus a subwoofer and two satellite speakers. For true surround sound. Which is something you'd expect at this price point.

Advertisement

Samsung has included true 3D Surround Sound, along with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, giving you some incredible audio out of this system. It's a huge upgrade for your TV, and at $1400, it should be.

There is adaptive sound here, which will analyze your content to automatically deliver optimized sound, based on each scene. This is going to allow you to hear speech clearly even at the lowest volume.

Samsung has also included Amazon Alexa, so this can be one big (and expensive) Echo device.

Advertisement

Smasung HW-Q950T - Amazon, Best Buy

TCL Alto 7+

soundbars gift guide

The TCL Alto 7+ is one of the cheaper soundbars on this list, and one of the only in this price range that comes with a wireless subwoofer. That right there is pretty impressive.

Advertisement

But the TCL Alto 7+ is pretty impressive, when it comes to sound quality. The bass is nice and deep, without drowning out the mids and highs. It does also have unrestricted IR support, so you can control it through your TV's remote.

This is a pretty minimal soundbar from TCL, and it doesn't have a flashy design. It's also made for smaller TVs, like 32 and 40-inch TVs. Though it will work with others too.

TCL Alto 7+ - Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart

Advertisement

Sony S100F

61zkZ9tDauL AC SL1500

  • Price: $98
  • Where to buy: Amazon

Now this, is our cheapest soundbar on this list. It has a regular price of $129, but it is almost always $98 or less. Normally, soundbars that are under $100 are just crap. But that is not the case with the S100F. Sony takes audio seriously. Remember, they are a record label and also a movie studio. So they want their content to sound good on its speakers.

This does use HDMI ARC for connecting to your TV. So you can easily control it with your TV at the same time. Which is a really neat feature to have.

Advertisement

The bass one this one isn't super over-powering like the others on this list. And that mostly comes down to the fact that this does not have a wireless subwoofer available. But it is a huge upgrade over your built-in TV speakers. Even at $100.

Sony S100F - Amazon

Sonos Beam

21Qaux2Ty3L AC

The Sonos Beam is one of the more compact soundbars on this list, without sacrificing audio quality. And it is a perfect pick up if you already have Sonos speakers in your home.

With the Beam, you're getting the choice of either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant in your home, connected to your TV. This is a smart soundbar. It also works with the other Sonos speakers out there, so you can easily create a wireless surround sound setup, with the Sonos One, or the PLAY:5, or any of the other speakers that Sonos has. Which is a really incredible experience.

Sonos does really well with its sound quality too. With the bass being very bumpy, but not over-powering. And the mids and highs are still crystal clear. There is also an EQ built-in, that you can use to adjust the audio if you wish.

All of that fits into this package that can easily fill a room with sound, and doesn't even come with a remote. Because it is completely controlled by your TV.

Sonos Beam - Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart

Bose Soundbar 500

soundbars gift guide

If you have used Bose products over the years, then you know, pretty much what to expect here with the Bose Soundbar 500. This soundbar is a pretty good option for those that want good audio quality, but don't want a ton of bass in their soundbar.

The sound signature from Bose is very rich, and you can definitely hear that in the Bose Soundbar 500.

Additionally, this soundbar also comes with Amazon Alexa built-in. Making this like a huge Echo smart speaker that you can use to control your smart home speakers and such. It's a really great all-around soundbar from Bose, which is why it has made it into our soundbars gift guide this year.

Bose Soundbar 500 - Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart

Sony Z9F 3.1ch Sound bar

416aOp4bbL AC SL1200

Sony doesn't just do cheap soundbars, like another entry in this gift guide. It does also do some premium soundbars like the Sony Z9F. This is a really good looking soundbar, with a wireless subwoofer included. This is a 3.1-channel soundbar, which will provide you with some incredible sound.

It is 4K HDR capable. And it also includes support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, giving you a really incredible sound experience. You can also tune the audio to your liking, so if you want more bass, you can choose to do just that.

Amazon Alexa is built-in, so you can ask Alexa to stream music from Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Apple Music and many other services. In addition to using it for audio from your TV.

Sony Z9F Sound bar - Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart

Roku Smart Soundbar

81op2DcmNoL AC SL1500

  • Price: $179
  • Where to buy: Amazon

Here's when we get into the fun soundbars on this gift guide, that do more than just offer great sound. The Roku Smart Soundbar is exactly that. You can think of it as a soundbar, with a Roku built-in. That means that it does connect to your TV using HDMI ARC. But with this, you won't need to buy a Roku, as all of that is inside this soundbar.

It comes with a Roku remote, so you can control it and your TV using this remote. It's also going to provide some really great sound for your TV. This is a small-ish soundbar, but the sound is definitely not small. It can easily fill your room with sound. And it's super simple to set up as well.

The Roku Smart Soundbar does also include support for up to 4K HDR. So if you have a 4K HDR TV already, then this is a great addition. As you can watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV and more, via your soundbar. Which sounds kinda crazy when you say it out loud. But it's true.

Roku Smart Soundbar - Amazon

Sonos Arc

61mnsKw0dyL AC SL1500

If you're invested in the Sonos ecosystem, then the Arc is a really good choice. But then again, why would you buy this over the Beam, which is half the price?

Two reasons. One, this has Dolby Atmos support – the first Sonos product to offer it. And two, it's a larger speaker, with more audio. Making it better for larger rooms, and larger TVs.

The Sonos Arc can still work with a surround sound setup – using two Sonos One speakers, PLAY:5's, etc. Which is one of the more compelling reasons to buy the Arc. It also offers up some really deep bass, with crystal clear mids and highs. Like the Beam, the Arc can also be controlled via the Sonos app. So you can adjust the EQ to your liking, and also group speakers together, much easier.

With Dolby Atmos and 3D sound available on the Sonos Arc, it makes it a really great soundbar to pick up. Even though the price is a bit tough to swallow.

Sonos Arc - Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo

LG SN10YG 5.1.2 ch 570W High Res Audio Sound Bar

711lxaUmzL AC SL1500

This is a 5.1.2-channel soundbar with subwoofer from LG. But it can be expanded to 7.1.2-channels, with satellite speakers that are sold separately. Allowing you to expand it if you wish to do so, making it modular. One of the only soundbars on this gift guide to offer that.

It's a hi-res audio soundbar, so you're going to absolutely love the audio that comes out of this one. It also has 570W of power, which is a lot. When we talk about shaking the house with sound, this one can really do it.

In addition to hi-res audio, it also has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support. So no matter your audio profile of preference, the SN10YG supports it. Giving you a really incredible soundbar and wireless subwoofer setup.

LG has also included the Google Assistant in this soundbar. So you can simply say "OK Google" and have it play your favorite music, turn on your TV and even control your smart home products. To name a few things. There's also Casting ability available on the SN10YG, giving you the ability to cast music from your smartphone.

Overall, this is probably the best soundbar that you can pick up in 2020, though it is one of the most expensive so it should be. If you really care about audio and are an audiophile, then this is the soundbar to pick up this holiday season.

LG SN10YG - Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart

Polk Audio Signa S2

81eaATOyvIL AC SL1500

  • Price: $149
  • Where to buy: Amazon

With the Polk Audio Signa S2, you're getting a premium soundbar and included wireless subwoofer, without the premium cost.

It includes five powerful full-range drivers, that will deliver beautiful rich sound, with deep bass. It does not have Dolby Atmos, but does have Dolby Digital Decoding which is going to maximize the sound clarity and reduces voice delays.

The Signa S2 does not use HDMI to connect to your TV, instead it uses the optical port. And there is IR support so you can use your TV remote to control the audio on the Signa S2 soundbar.

You can wireless stream music directly from your smartphone, but not via Cast. Polk Audio has their own technology for this. So it's not quite as good as the other speakers on this list, but at $149, you're getting a whole lot of sound. And that is definitely good to see. Which is why it is rounding out our soundbars gift guide this year. It's not the most perfect soundbar out there, but it is a great value for the money.

Polk Audio Signa S2 - Amazon