100w power output (4 x 25w drivers), £800
Aimed more at the music lover than TV fans, but it still produces very clear dialogue. Bluetooth means it’s great for streaming from your phone. Also connects via optical cable, so most TVs are compatible. There are analogue jacks for TVs without digital outputs.
VERDICT: A high-end sound and priced as such. One of the best pieces of audio gear you can buy for the money – and with music it sings.
9 speakers: 6 midrange + 3 tweeters, £599
Ideal for owners of a Sonos music system, but doesn’t rely on you having existing hardware. Connects up to your TV with a single, optical cable. A bit light on bass, but Sonos has a subwoofer available too. You can add more Sonos speakers to make a full surround system.
VERDICT: Clean, crisp sound that works incredibly well for movie soundtracks, but with the advantages of Sonos as a multi-room streaming system.
4 x 40w drivers + separate 160w wireless subwoofer, £350
Good value for a compact soundbar that also includes a separate wireless subwoofer. Not quite as pleasant sounding as the more expensive speakers, but gives good quality speech and very deep bass. Also has a single HDMI input for your Sky box, or Blu-ray player.
VERDICT: Not ideal for those who want both music and movies covered, but for action movies the deep bass will satisfy.
160w total power output from 6 speakers, £700
Somehow manages to strike a balance between price and performance. Brilliant vocal quality for dialogue and surprising bass for explosions. Also has three HDMI inputs and an output to make it very versatile. Can also be connected via optical and can work with a separate subwoofer for more low-end punch.
VERDICT: The most useful of all these soundbars with great features and a decent remote. Music also not neglected here. Somewhat expensive, but worth it.
220w total power output from 5 speakers, £650
The stylish Diva is finished with wool, available in a number of colours, so you can match it to your decor. Lack of remote means most people will need to use a smartphone to control advanced features, but Bluetooth and Apple Airplay support are great. This was the hardest soundbar to set up and needs the app to work best. It has a built-in subwoofer.
VERDICT: A good sound overall, bass is solid and dialogue is clear but to get the best out of it you need to set it up using the app, which is frustrating.
100w speaker output + separate 220w wireless subwoofer, £223
Sold in a box that seems far too small for a soundbar, but clips together in a clever fashion to produce a rather handsome finished product. It has a metal finish and can be mounted on the wall or sit on a table top. Sound is decent for dialogue, but there’s just much too much bass, even with the sub turned right down. It has some good features though, especially for the price.
VERDICT: Has a lot of potential but is let down by overbearing bass. Its night mode does fix that, but flattens the sound a bit.
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