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What, you still have wired speakers in your home theater setup? Do you also call it a Hi-Fi? Is it groovy? Do you use it to cue up “The Dark Side of the Moon” with “The Wizard of Oz”? (Don’t answer that – I’ve done it. It works.)
Point being, there’s really no reason to have a hardwired sound system anymore, with wires visible everywhere and occasionally fritzing out. Wireless soundbars are meant to go with smart TVs, and they deliver clearer and more immersive sound than those antiquated old systems, at a fraction of the size and often at less cost. Plus, no wires!
Also, don’t forget the other benefits of WiFi and Bluetooth — they’re not just for Smart TVs. The right wireless soundbars can effortlessly hook up with your phone, your laptop or tablet, even with your PS5 (with an inexpensive little Bluetooth adapter).
So now you’re ready to ditch the groovy Hi-Fi and get yourself a wireless soundbar. What should you be looking for? Sound, for starters: Dolby and DTS surround sound are good; Dolby Atmos surround sound is top of the line. (But be sure your TV can support Atmos, if it’s from before 2016 it may not.) As connectivity goes, you’ll want as much as possible: WiFi, Bluetooth, Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast — pick the ones you need most.
Beyond that, ease of function and setup, and even the aesthetics — it’s most likely going to be prominently displayed near your TV, so you don’t want a huge, ugly hunk of plastic on your mantel. And when it comes to price, check to see if it includes a subwoofer for rich, booming base — not all of them do, and if not you’ll be paying extra to connect one.
We’ll save you the browsing time — here are our picks for best wireless soundbars:
We looked at price, performance, perks, and looks, and the Sonos Arc came away as the best overall wireless soundbar choice because it checks every single one of those boxes. The all-in-one bar comes packed with Dolby Atmos 3D sound, built-in Alexa connectivity and streaming via Apple AirPlay 2 or the proprietary Sonos app, and easy expandability to a wireless subwoofer and rear speakers if you really want to go whole hog. Plus it’s as easy on the eyes as it is pleasing to the ears, especially when wall-mounted beneath a big-screen TV. You can pay a whole lot more money for a wireless soundbar and come away a whole lot less happy.
Samsung – HW-Q900A 7.1.2-CH Soundbar ($200 Off)
Deciding between the Sonos Arc and this great model from Samsung was a tough call, especially with the Samsung now $200 off at Best Buy. The Samsung HW-Q900A also comes with Dolby Atmos 3D audio, Alexa and AirPlay 2 connectivity to go along with WiFi and Bluetooth, and this one has the advantage of coming with its own subwoofer. If you have a Samsung TV like this recommended QN90A Neo 4K Smart TV, they’ll literally make beautiful music together. Is it possible to call the Sonos Arc and the Samsung HW-Q900A #1 and #1A? They’re both that good.
Bose Smart Soundbar 900
Man, this thing is good looking. Yes, of course it also sounds great — Bose’s TrueSpace spatial processing takes non-Atmos signals and upmixes them to create a more immersive sound. And yes, it has great functionality, with Spotify Connect in addition to AirPlay 2, Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also a total breeze to set up, and the Bose Music makes controlling the speaker and browsing your music connection easy. It’s a piece of art that also knocks your hair back with its sound.
Atmos for Less
TCL Alto 8 Plus 2.1-Channel Dolby Atmos Smart Soundbar
We had to look twice, maybe even three times, to make sure this listing was correct. A wireless Dolby Atmos soundbar for $200? With a wireless subwoofer, to boot? Crazy, but true. No wonder Amazon reviewers gave it an average of 4.5/5 stars. It’s especially good if you have a Roku TV, as it is designed for easy setup and hand-in-glove access to and compatibility with those sets.
Sony HT-S350 2.1 Channel Soundbar
Same price as the TCL Alto 8 Plus, and also comes with a wireless subwoofer. Does it have Dolby Atmos sound? No. So why is it the best bargain? Because as stated above, not every TV supports Dolby Atmos, and not everybody is looking for all the streaming bells and whistles. This is a good, solid, basic wireless soundbar that will sound good in your house or apartment, and at an excellent price. Sometimes basic is best.
Bose Bass Module 700 Wireless Subwoofer/Smart Soundbar 900
There are more expensive wireless soundbars than the Bose Smart Soundbar 900/Bass Module 700 Subwoofer package, but this is for the best splurge, not the most expensive. Take Bose’s powerful, compact subwoofer and pair it with their latest and possibly best soundbar: worth every penny. All of Bose’s performance and features are included, and both modules come with a premium glass-top finish to make the look as good as the sound. Sometimes you just have to ding the old credit card and enjoy the results.