Sound Bars: Ratings of Sources
Total of 17 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Best Sound Bars
by Matthew Moskovciak
Our AssessmentCNET reviews sound-bar speaker systems (and other types of virtual surround-sound systems) on occasion, with the best winding up in this listing. Testing is thorough, and the reports are meaty without being overwhelming, though they are shorter than at some enthusiast publications and websites. In a separate review, the Yamaha YSP-4100 earns an excellent rating.
Home Theater Systems
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentIn the midst of its coverage of all things home theater, ConsumerReports.org evaluates a handful of mostly still current sound bars. Rankings and ratings are provided, but discussion is slim. Two current sound bars emerge as recommended choices, with both earning Best Buy status.
by Editors of Sound & Vision magazine
Our AssessmentSound & Vision's sound-bar coverage includes a handful of extensive single-product reviews and a pair of comprehensive roundups that pit four sound bars against each other. Hands-on testing is done and ratings are provided for design, performance, value and overall score.
Sound Bar Reviews
by Editors of Home Theater magazine
Our AssessmentHome Theater magazine occasionally reviews sound-bar systems in single-product reports and multi-sound-bar roundups. All products receive thorough testing and ratings in several different criteria, such as performance, value and features. The Zvox Z-Base 580 is the only sound bar to win recent Top Pick honors. It's a one-box surround-sound system that sounds great but serves as a platform for your base-mounted HDTV rather than as a wall-mounted solution.
by Editors of HomeTheaterReview.com
Our AssessmentHomeTheaterReview.com has amassed a decent collection of sound-bar reviews. Though the quality of the reports varies, all seem to be based on hands-on testing. High points, low points and a conclusion are presented, and comparisons to competing sound bars are typically made. Star ratings make it easy to see at a glance which sound bars are most highly regarded, though most models receive similar 4-star ratings. Three sound bars edge slightly ahead of the pack.
Big Sound for Small Spaces: 4 Sound Bars Reviewed
by Bryan Gardiner
Our AssessmentWired compares four sound bars against one another, with the most expensive option -- the $1,500 MartinLogan Motion Vision -- coming out on top. The Vizio VHT215 is cited as an excellent budget pick. Some basic buying advice is provided before the reviews begin. While all aspects of the article contain a wealth of knowledge, the discussion dedicated to each sound bar is a brief two to three paragraphs followed by lists of pros and cons.
Home Cinema in a Box
by Editors of What Hi-Fi?
Our AssessmentBritain's What Hi-Fi? doesn't examine many sound bars, and the ones they do are mixed into the general Home Cinema in a Box category. Yamaha's family of sound bars come out ahead of the pack in these brief, yet informative reviews, though the Harman Kardon SB 30 also wins praise.
by Editors of PCMag.com
Our AssessmentPCMag.com focuses most of its attention on computer speaker solutions, but the publication occasionally takes a look at home-theater sound bars as well. The reviews are thorough and based on extensive hands-on testing, and each sound bar receives an overall rating as well as a summary of its worth at the end of each review.
Best Sound Bars, Digital Sound Projectors, and 3-in-1 Speakers
by Robert Silva
Our AssessmentRobert Silva's sound-bar reports at About.com are a mixed bag. On one hand, many are no more than a paragraph or so of description, with no sign of any hands-on testing. But some reports are expertly done, on point and meticulously documented, right down to descriptions of all of the hardware -- even the interconnecting cables -- and software used. Though recommendations are not made, some -- but not all -- sound bars get a star rating. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
10 Best Soundbar Speakers for Your HD TV
by Jamie Carter
Our AssessmentSeven of the picks in this roundup by Britain's TechRadar.com are only available in Europe. However, the Panasonic SC-HTB520, Yamaha YAS-101 and Boston Acoustics TVee Model 30 all make the cut for this list, and all are sold here. The write-ups are brief, though, and it's not clear if all of the sound bars mentioned have undergone hands-on testing.
Satellite and Sound Bars Featured Reviews
by Editors of Audioholics.com
Our AssessmentAudioholics.com emphasizes high-end audio and video gear, but a few sound bars are reviewed. Reports are of variable quality. Some are clearly based on a reading of specifications and potential, rather than testing, while others are extensively tested and evaluated in great detail. Newer models receive informative, slick and detailed video reviews.
by Contributors to AVSForum.com
Our AssessmentUser discussion and reviews of sound bars can be found in this forum. Several threads contain pages of reviews and information on specific sound bars, such as the Sony HT-CT150 and Sony HT-CT350, though others might have only a few posts. Some of the most informative threads compare specific sound bars against one another or dive deep into the specs of a given model. Like all similar discussion sites, things can get derailed from time to time, but questions are welcome and most posters are helpful.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com gives sound-bar owners the chance to post reviews about their systems. While most sound bars attract only a few ratings, others have enough to give their overall rating some weight. Review quality varies, but some reports are quite helpful. Because there's a decent amount of variation, the ratings assigned by users are also sometimes illuminating.
Home Theater System Reviews -- Sound Bars
by Editors of DigitalTrends.com
Our AssessmentDigitalTrends.com includes a very limited number of reviews of current sound bars. Each gets ratings, but there are too few reviews for them to have much weight, and it seems as though almost every product gets a high rating and a Recommended Product or Editors' Choice award. The reviews themselves are competent, but other sites offer more details. The listing also includes lots of discontinued sound bars.
by Contributors to BestBuy.com
Our AssessmentThe website of electronics retailer Best Buy is another destination for sound-bar user reviews. It lags behind Amazon.com, however, because the sound bars listed here tend to have fewer reviews. User ratings for sound quality, value, appearance and more are useful, as is the bottom-line opinion on whether they would recommend the sound bar to a friend.
Sound Bar Speakers
by Contributors to Crutchfield.com
Our AssessmentCrutchfield.com also offers customers the opportunity to review sound bars that they own. The site has some useful features, like an article on choosing a sound-bar speaker, but it isn't as busy as Amazon.com and lacks the subratings and other features found at BestBuy.com.
Yamaha YAS-101 Lightning Review: The Best Budget Soundbar for Your First Home Theater
by Mario Aguilar
Our AssessmentThis stand-alone review is full of short, almost bulletpoint-esque observations under listings like "The best part," "Tragic flaw" and "Who's it for?" Although it's brief, the review is informative and accessible to home audio newcomers, and Mario Aguilar recommends the Yamaha YAS-101 heartily.