It doesn’t matter how large your screen is, or how much it cost—it probably sounds awful. You’d be surprised by how much more you enjoy those Netflix Originals and movies with a halfway decent soundbar or surround system. Explosions pop, dialog sounds far crisper, and you may even notice details you never have before.
Why You Need a Soundbar
We have yet to test a modern TV that didn’t sound crummy without some kind of audio accessory added. That’s mostly due to the way modern models are designed; Great-sounding speakers are bulky, and as TVs get thinner, as their bezels shrink, and as designs get sleeker, manufacturers are having a harder time building great sound into their TVs.
If you can only afford to spend $150 on a new soundbar with subwoofer, they’re essential to getting the most out of your viewing experience. To help, we put together this list of the best soundbar bundles we’ve tested, and included a little advice on how to make the most of them.
Updated in December 2019: Added more links, information about connections, and an explanation of why you need a soundbar.