Although they require a little extra space in your room, soundbars with standalone subwoofers are more powerful and produce better sound quality than those with “built-in” subwoofers.
If you’re a stickler for excellent bass reproduction, amazing sound separation, and audio perfection at very high volumes, you won’t go wrong with a soundbar that has a separate subwoofer.
Best Soundbars with Built-in Subwoofers: Our Top 7 Picks
With many options on the market, choosing the right soundbar-with-subwoofer system can be challenging if you’re not in the know. But we’ve put this post together to help you make a well-informed buying decision.
After comparing various models by many different brands, we carefully selected a few of the best ones in terms of features, durability, buyer feedback, brand trust, price, and other important factors.
Now, to our top 7 picks…
1. Sony HT-S350
The Sony HT-S350 is a great entry-level soundbar for anyone that desires better TV audio as it delivers a wide range of modes and some serious thunder from its wireless subwoofer.
The Sony HT-350 rocks a relatively modest design with no distinguishing features to rave. Both the soundbar and the subwoofer come in matte black. The main unit is made of solid plastic, except for the metal grille that covers the front face and some of the sides while the subwoofer is a blend of wood and plastic. Measuring about 35-inches wide and less than three inches high, this soundbar can comfortably sit away from sight beneath your TV.
The main unit features touch-sensitive buttons on its faux leather top panel for power, volume, Bluetooth, and source switching. As far as connectivity is concerned, you will get an HDMI ARC and optical audio input while the power cable is permanently attached to the bar. There’s no Wi-Fi here, which rules out the possibility of streaming directly from popular apps like Spotify, but you can connect the subwoofer wirelessly to the soundbar. With these specs, what you’re getting is a basic soundbar and subwoofer.
Thankfully, setting up the HT-350 is super simple, especially for TVs with HDMI ARC. All you need to do is plug in the bar and subwoofer, connect a high-speed HDMI cable (doesn’t come in the box) to your TV’s HDMI ARC port and that’s about all there is to it.
This should allow your TV remote to control the volume, though in some cases, you may need to engage ARC and/or HDMI-CEC in your TV’s settings menu and change the sound output to External Speaker or Receiver. But if your TV doesn’t have HDMI ARC, simply connect via the optical cable.
With up to 320 watts of power, the HT-S350 knocks out some really powerful sounds, especially when it comes from its beefy subwoofer. The performance isn’t entirely flawless as the sound tends to get boxy and becomes occasionally unbalanced. There are many modes for movie playback like Cinema and Music, and you can tweak the subwoofer levels to taste. Sony also included a voice mode to enhance dialogue but the output isn’t the best you can get from a soundbar.
For a basic soundbar and subwoofer, the sound output is quite decent, but getting a balance is quite difficult. Listening at lower volumes will reduce the punch while raising the volumes results in distortion. However, you can be sure to enjoy some level of immersion if you tinker with the volume a little till you find the ideal volume level. The performance isn’t the best a soundbar can put up but it isn’t the worst for its price range either.
- Quick setup
- Big bass response
- Powerful sound
- Bluetooth connection to newer Sony TVs
- Affordable price
- Limited connectivity options
- Sound isn’t always balanced
- Struggles at max volume
- Poor visual interface
- No DTS support
2. Samsung HW-R550
The Samsung HW-R550 is a budget soundbar for those want to get better TV sound in an unfussy way. It offers a handful of premium features at an affordable price with a performance that’s quite decent.
From afar, the entire system looks like a nondescript black sound equipment but up close, you will spot signs of some lovely attention paid to details. It shares a similar design with the Samsung HW-R650 as the entire body is made of solid plastic while a metal grille covers the front face.
This fabric is quite soft and can easily get damaged, so you might want to be careful about it. Rather than position the buttons on the top like other soundbars, Samsung places them on the right. As for the subwoofer, it is mostly made of wood with a light fabric that covers the front.
Measuring 5.4cm in height, you can place the soundbar beneath your TV so it doesn’t obstruct the lower part of your TV screen. For connections, the soundbar offers HDMI input and output on the back so you can feed audio from a Blu-ray deck and 3D pass-through is supported but not 4K. There’s also USB port and Bluetooth so you can enjoy music from your mobile devices.
The beauty of soundbars is that they’re blissfully easy to set up and the HW-R550 is no exception. When connecting your TV via optical input, make sure the TV is set to ‘external speaker’ in the audio menu otherwise you may get no sound.
If your TV has HDMI, just connect your TV’s audio output to the soundbar and then connect the power cord. The process is easier if you own a Samsung TV as the soundbar is optimized to work seamlessly with Samsung TVs and deliver a superior entertainment experience.
Coming to the performance of the audio gear, the HW-R550 delivers a powerful sound with clear tones and deep bass. The bass range is quite overemphasized while the treble range suffers a lack of details.
The subwoofer allows you feel the subtle rumble of distant thunder and earth-shattering sounds as they pound the air around you. It comes with different modes to support music and movie playback as well as games. Its enhancement features are pretty good but it lacks room correction, so the sound output might sound different depending on your room.
If fiddling with your remote isn’t your thing, then you will appreciate the smart sound technology which analyzes the content and optimizes the sound setting for the best experience. In all the performance is quite decent considering its price point.
- Decent stereo sound
- Well-built design
- No 4k @ 60Hz pass-through
- No height channels and Atmos support
- Poor surround performance
3. Polk Audio SIGNA S2
It’s only been a few years that the Polk Audio brand came into existence, and so far, their line of audio gear has been well received. The Polk Audio SIGNA S2 replaces the old SIGNA S1, adding more features like HDMI ARC connection and better sound output.
At first glance, you might struggle to spot the difference in the soundbar as it has the same great design as its predecessor. Dimensions of the soundbar are 6 x 90 x 8cm, so the SIGNA 2 should fit beneath your TV without obscuring the IR remote sensor. You can wall-mount the soundbar with screws, thanks to its keyhole hanger.
Like the main unit, nothing seems to have changed on its wireless subwoofer except the HDMI ARC connection and Bluetooth. On the rear, you will find ports for optical, HDMI ARC and a jack for auxiliary output. Setting up the soundbar is straightforward and only takes a few minutes – just unpack, connect and listen!
Setting up the Polk Audio SIGNA 2 is easy. Connect the soundbar (which came paired with the subwoofer) to your TV via HDMI after which you will need to download the free Polk Connect app. The app will guide you through the rest of the process, but be sure to engage ARC and/or HDMI-CEC in your TV’s settings menu and change the sound output to External Speaker or Receiver.
The Polk Audio lives to expectation as it offers excellent sound that’s on par with any mid-to-high range soundbars available on the market. It delivers an incredible, room-filling home theatre experience such that you can feel the deep bass impact immerse your room. Also, the SIGNA 2 has one of the best frequency ranges of bass you can find in its price category.
Going further, the soundbar comes with a feature called Polk Adjust Technology to customise the voice levels in order to reproduce clear, crisp dialogue so you don’t have to ever miss a word of your favourite movie, TV show or sporting event. The sound quality is a fine example of great value for money as it surprisingly delivers rich and bass tones despite its size. Overall, the sound output is incredible while the clarity is nothing short of excellent.
- Good front soundstage
- Solid bass performance
- Very easy to setup
- Great price
- No surround depth
- Audio adjustments are limited
- Average remote
- Limited features
4. Yamaha YAS-207BL
The YAS-207 is another five-star soundbar from Yamaha’s impressive stable, delivering a high performance at a crazy-low price. It is the first soundbar to add DTS Virtual:X 3D audio technology, and it’s one of the best in terms of sound quality.
Yamaha has been in the business long enough to know that soundbars are meant to be heard and not seen, hence, its 6cm length, which most TVs should be able to clear easily. Accompanied by two subwoofers in the packaging, this soundbar rocks an inconspicuous design such that it will easily pass for a covert sound system if not for its logo.
It has a rounded form factor topped with slick vinyl and wrapped in a taut acoustic mesh which is quite impressive. Easy-access touch controls and a display system of LEDs sit on the front of the panel.
Also in the package is a pair of power cables, an optical audio cable and a remote with battery. The remote allows for volume and subwoofer level adjustments, play/pause controls and more. The external subwoofer is a lot less noticeable due to its slimness and its positioning is less critical. On the back, there are ports for HDMI and optical inputs as well as 3.5mm analogue jack and Bluetooth connection for streaming from your mobile devices.
Setting up the YAS-2017 is easy, but only if you use the optical cable in the package. Just connect the cable to the HDMI ARC on your TV using the ports which should provide clear and powerful sound to and from your TV. With that, you can control the soundbar’s power and volume using your TV remote. Now that you have done that, you will have to engage ARC on your TV’s settings menu and that’s all.
If you have used a soundbar made by Yamaha before, you will agree that they deliver high performance at a crazy-low price. YAS-207 gives off rich, powerful bass that defies its physical proportions, proving to be immersive and enveloping. When it comes to movies, the soundbar produces distinct sounds that capture the background details and dialogue in spite of the noise.
The performance is also top-notch during music playback as the rich, powerful bass can be heard. It has a precision that unearths the finest details of minute effects and makes it crystal clear, drawing you deeper in. In all, the sonic performance is stellar.
- Sleek and slim design
- Rich, powerful bass
- Clear detailed highs
- 4K support
- Only HDMI input
- Weak music playback
- Poor design
5. LG SL5Y 2.1
The SL5Y 2.1 is one of the soundbars released by LG in this SL series and this model is targeted at people who want a cheap and easy to handle solution in order to improve the audio of their TV.
The first thing that will surprise you is the small size of this soundbar, but don’t let it fool you – it knocks out big sound. It has a modern aesthetic that fits perfectly with your home theatre and interior design, whether is it mounted or not. The top and bottom of the SL5Y is wrapped in a mesh that has a black matte finish while the metallic grille runs around the sides.
Because it is quite slim, you can hide the soundbar under your TV and make people wonder where the sound is actually coming from. On the right side of the bar are the touch buttons for power, volume and input selector. For connection, you get HDMI input, optical input, 3.5mm jack, USB input and Bluetooth.
The setup is easy and straightforward. The process involves plugging it into power and the HDMI port on your TV. Then make sure the TV is set to ‘external speaker’ in the audio menu otherwise you may get no sound. The entire setup is easier if you own an LG TV.
The SL5Y is indeed a stunning piece of technology that lives up to expectations. The manufacturer claims that it delivers sound that comes really close to the real thing, and it appears the claim is true.
You don’t even need to change sound presets each time you change channels as the soundbar can automatically adjust the sound to suit what you’re watching. With this sound gear, your movie nights are about to get more captivating due to the dramatic sounds and voice clarity it offers.
- Easy setup
- Excellent price
- Mid-range not very punchy
- No surround depth from the main unit
- Speakers require long wires
6. Klipsch Reference RSB-6
Although not popular like other soundbars on the list, the Klipsch brand is quickly becoming a favorite choice when it comes to high-performing sound systems. The Klispch Reference RSB-6 is one of the best soundbars from the company in terms of sound quality.
The RSB-6 comes in a simple, yet elegant design that won’t draw attention away from your TV. Measuring 11.4 x 43.4 x 8.3 inches, this soundbar is one of the tallest on the list, so you might want to reconsider if placing it underneath your TV is a good idea as there’s a chance that it may the obstruct the IT remote sensor.
But if your TV has a stand that is more than 3 inches tall, you don’t have to bother about its height. You can even choose to wall-mount the soundbar due to the keyhole on the back panel.
Right at the front of the soundbar are buttons for control functions while on the back, you will find an analog 3.5mm input and HDMI input that supports HDCP 2.2 and hence all the latest video resolutions. There’s also a Bluetooth connection that allows you to stream music from your mobile device to the soundbar.
Along with the package comes a small and disappointing remote that doesn’t help as a good number of the buttons are unresponsive. It is so fragile that it could break, but the good news is that the RSB-6 is compatible with universal remotes.
The setup of this sound system is super easy as you don’t need wiring or special programming to get started. Just plug in the wire at the power supply point and connect the cable to the HDMI ARC on your TV which should provide a clear and powerful sound. The next step is to engage ARC on your TV’s settings menu and then you are on your way to a pleasurable listening experience!
The Klipsch RSB-6 produces incredible, life-like acoustics that will improve your TV experience. Its Dolby surround setting offers a wide soundstage that is evident by the detailed, room-shaking sound it delivers. When it comes to movies, you will get distinct sounds that capture the background details and dialogue in spite of the noise.
Similarly, its audio output has a precision that unearths the finest details of minute effects, making it crystal clear in a way that makes you appreciate music. In all, the sonic performance is top-notch for its category.
- Great sound quality
- Easily pairs to Amazon Echo via Bluetooth
- Minimalist design
- Automatically-connecting wireless subwoofer
- Sound gets harsh when too loud
- Small and disappointing remote
- The Bluetooth’s range is only 15-20ft
7. JBL Bar 5.1
The JBL Bar 5.1 is a good choice for those who want to upgrade their TV’s sound quality without parting with a fortune. It sports a great design and knocks out powerful sounds that can make your movie nights better.
The JBL Bar 5.1 is simply elegant, even for a soundbar system like its predecessors. The main body of the soundbar is wrapped in perforated mesh in gray/silver coloring while the curved edges round off a sleek, low profile at 58mm tall, this soundbar will comfortably sit beneath most TVs, away from the screen.
In contrast, the 10-inch subwoofer is large and heavy and is finished in matte black. Basic controls can be found at the top of the soundbar for power, volume and source input (i.e. Bluetooth, HDMI or otherwise.)
On the rear, there are a number of inputs including three HDMI ports, one USB, one UAX, and one optical port. The soundbar also has separate tweeters that you can remove from the main body of the soundbar. As for the remote control, it feels light and plastic while the buttons on it are kept at a minimum.
The audio gear is simple to set up but that’s only after you have successfully been able to get the entire soundbar out of the box. It will interest you to know that such a seemingly simple step comes with its own instructions.
Once you are done with that, just unplug the satellite speakers and place them where they’re going to sit in your room. Then plug a small black microphone into the main soundbar, and then run auto-calibration, which results in short bursts of loud and unpleasant noise. This will only last for a few moments, after which everything should normalize.
When it comes to pumping your room full of sounds, the JBL Bar 5.1 doesn’t hold back, thanks to the 510W of power available to you. While the soundbar is great for music, it is particularly designed for one specific audience: movie fans. The bass capabilities and sharp trebles mean you get dramatic sounds that are crystal clear and room-shaking.
The seeming weakness is that you might find some difficulty getting some balance at lower levels, but you can fix this by switching to the voice mode during use. Overall, this sound system is capable of producing immersive sounds that make action movies more intense and dramatic.
- Easy to set up and use
- Attractive design
- Strong powerful bass
- Multi-beam audio
- Wireless battery-powered speakers
- Lack of EQ settings
- Quiet listening performance lacking
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