9 Best Soundbars 2022 | Top Rated TV Speakers Australia

Now that TVs are getting progressively thinner, manufacturers are having a tough time building decent speakers into them. It doesn’t help either that TV speakers often face downwards, creating low audio that loses much of its detail.

By comparison, soundbars have speakers that actually face towards you, making sound clearer and speech more understandable.

In fact, you would be surprised by how much your audio can be improved even with just a budget soundbar.

RELATED: Best Australian TV deals and offers

RELATED: Sonos Ray Soundbar hands-on review

Many soundbars also have Bluetooth integrated too, so you can play your tunes and get more dynamic sound.

Ready to ditch mediocre audio for a better entertainment experience? We’ve rounded up the best soundbars available in Australia below, based on our own experience with the products and real customer ratings and reviews.

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BEST SOUNDBAR UNDER $1,500

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

This premium soundbar delivers fantastic audio with clear vocals and deep bass, while offering an immersive sound experience thanks to its side speakers.

If you do want to kick things up a notch, you can also pair the Arc with other Sonos speakers (such as the Sonos One SLs) to create a full surround sound setup. The Arc comes with plenty of great features too, including Dolby Atmos playback, a quick and easy set-up process and Alexa and the Google Assistant built-in.

It does only have one HDMI port with no passthrough, and there’s no Bluetooth streaming, but the Arc remains a top choice for those who can afford it. You can also grab it in white here.

pros

  • Dolby Atmos support
  • Alexa and Google Assistant built-in
  • Bass and treble adjustments
  • Can be wall mounted

cons

  • No Bluetooth streaming
  • Doesn’t get very loud
  • Single HMDI eARC port limits Atmos

BEST SOUNDBAR UNDER $1,000

Samsung HW-Q700A 3.1.2ch Dolby Atmos Soundbar, $899

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Equipped with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, along with Samsung’s Acoustic Beam virtual surround technology, the HW-Q700A bar produces balanced and neutral sound and clear dialogue.

It does struggle with low and mid-bass, so you won’t get the full effects of action-packed scenes or the deep immersion you get with higher-end bars. There’s plenty of great features that make it seriously decent for both TV and music though, such as a dialogue enhancement feature, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2 compatibility, graphic EQ and bass and treble adjustments.

You may get some distortion at maximum power, but it remains a top-rated option for mixed use.

pros

  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support
  • Graphic EQ and presets
  • Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility
  • get loud

cons

  • No Chromecast built-in support
  • Lacks low bass

BEST SOUNDBAR UNDER $500

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Despite being much more compact than its predecessors, the Ray offers a surprisingly wide soundstage, with audio that can be fine tuned through adjustable EQ in the Sonos app.

The two-channel speaker is compatible with both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Digital Surround information, although it doesn’t include support for Dolby Atmos surround sound. It also packs in a Speech Enhancement function to clarify dialogue, Wi-Fi for music streaming and support for Apple Airplay 2 and Spotify Connect.

Unlike the Beam and the Arc, there is no voice assistance included with the Ray, so you won’t be able to control it with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. In fact, there is no microphone array at all, but that could actually be a bonus if you’re particularly concerned about privacy. The Sonos Ray is also available here in white.

pros

  • Adjustable EQ through the Sonos app
  • Conveniently compact size
  • Can be wall mounted

cons

  • No HDMI
  • No Dolby Atmos surround sound support
  • No voice assistance

RELATED: Sonos Ray hands-on review

Yamaha YAS-209 Soundbar, $495

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Arriving with a subwoofer in tow, the YAS-209 smart combo has an impressively wide soundstage and crisp, clear audio.

The sound profile is nicely balanced and the subwoofer helps to boost low-end frequencies, making the duo great for bass-heavy music. There’s also DTS Virtual:X for simulated surround effects and built-in Alexa voice control for easy music streaming.

On the downside, there’s also only one HDMI port on the back of the YAS-209 and it doesn’t support MusicCast, so you won’t be able to connect it to other Yamaha MusicCast-enabled speakers. For the price though, it delivers powerful sound and plenty of great features.

pros

  • Amazon Alexa built in
  • Great for music
  • DTS Virtual:X

cons

  • Only one HDMI input
  • No MusicCast
  • Additional space needed for subwoofer

BEST SOUNDBAR FOR SMALLER SPACES

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

While it doesn’t look a whole lot different from the first generation, the Beam (Gen 2) brings a range of great upgrades including HDMI eARC support, immersive Dolby Atmos interpretation, a new CPU and more audio formats.

It doesn’t have the upfiring tweeters needed for ‘true’ Dolby Atmos, but you do still get a seriously decent performance out of it. Audio is rich and detailed and can also be finetuned to suit your space through TruePlay in the Sonos app.

The Beam is also a smart speaker, which means it pairs with both Alexa and the Google Assistant, and it can be paired with other Sonos speakers to further expand your system. It’s also versatile and straightforward to use, making it the best soundbar for most people.

pros

  • HDMI-eARC support
  • 3D audio with support for Dolby Atmos
  • TruePlay tuning
  • Choice of Alexa or Google Assistant on board

cons

  • Doesn’t support DTS:X
  • No additional HDMI ports
  • No Bluetooth

BEST SOUNDBAR WITH DOLBY ATMOS

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar, $3,999.95

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Even without the addition of satellite speakers or a subwoofer, the Ambeo produces rich, natural sound and delivers a convincing surround sound effect.

It can get very loud, making it ideal for movie nights and parties, and includes features like speech enhancement, DTS:X support, Google Chromecast built-in, 4K HDR pass-through and a night mode for a better listening experience. The Ambeo is also controlled entirely by remote control, making it incredibly simple to use.

It’s definitely a luxury buy and it’s a huge unit that requires a lot of space, but it’s also arguably the best-sounding bar money can buy.

pros

  • Best in class sound
  • HDMI-eARC support
  • DTS:X support
  • Bluetooth support

cons

  • bulky
  • Very expensive
  • No subwoofer

Hisense U5120G 5.1.2 Ch Dolby Atmos 510W Soundbar, $629

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Featuring 12 speakers (including the accompanying wireless subwoofer), the U5120G delivers rich, multidimensional audio with plenty of depth and detail. HDMI eARC support also allows you to experience uncompressed Dolby Atmos and DTS:X​, though Atmos’ immersive sense of height is still better delivered on higher-end soundbar models.

There are plenty of other great features though, including 4K Ultra HD Pass Through, optimized sound through Eilex PRISM and Bluetooth connectivity for music streaming.

It may not quite stand up to its price rivals, but its great features and wide speaker array will make it a solid addition to your lounge room.

pros

  • Affordable Dolby Atmos soundbar
  • HDMI-eARC support
  • DTS:X support
  • Bluetooth connectivity

cons

  • Remote control is hard to read
  • No voice assistance
  • No wifi

BEST SOUNDBAR WITH SUBWOOFER

Samsung HW-Q950A Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer, $2,099

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Both the HW-Q950A soundbar and the rears are fitted with upfiring drivers which bring Atmos-enabled height to your audio, while the sizeable sub gives you plenty of bass.

There’s also 3D audio format support from both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, two HDMI inputs and one output with support for eARC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. On the music front, Spotify is the only music source incorporated in the accompanying SmartThings app, but Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2 support and Alexa compatibility gives you plenty of other ways to stream.

The HW-Q950A is also about as close as you can get to a true wired system too, making it great for those who hate the clutter of cables. It’s not the most nuanced soundbar out there, and you will need plenty of room for the whole system, but it’s extremely impressive for movies thanks to its room-filling sound.

pros

  • Dolby Vision and HDR10+ passthrough
  • DTS:X support
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Rear speakers and sub included

cons

  • Expensive
  • Sound could be more refined
  • Requires plenty of space

BEST SOUNDBAR FOR TV

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

The TV Speaker doesn’t have a ton of features, but it’s well-equipped for watching your favorite shows thanks to a dialogue enhancement feature and a bass adjustment feature.

There’s no Dolby Atmos support, which is what we would expect at this price point, but there are HDMI ARC and Optical ports and Bluetooth compatibility for music streaming. Audio is smooth and reasonably well balanced though it does lack low-bass, so sound isn’t as immersive as other bars on this list.

If you’re looking for a simple option with an easy setup though, this is the way to go.

pros

  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Dialogue enhancement feature
  • Simple setup
  • Optional subwoofer

cons

  • Doesn’t get very loud
  • No Dolby Atmos support
  • Lacks low bass

CAN I USE A SOUNDBAR WITH ANY TV?

Generally speaking, yes you can use a soundbar with any TV, although you will need to check that they have compatible connections. To get the most out of your soundbar, it can help to match the brand of your bar to that of your TV, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule you need to follow.

WHERE DO I PLACE MY SOUNDBAR?

Most soundbars are designed to be placed in front of your TV, though it’s always worth taking measurements to ensure the bar can fit comfortably on your stand without blocking your view. Plenty of models are also able to be wall-mounted and either come with brackets included or have compatible brackets that can be purchased separately.

HOW DO I CHOOSE A SOUNDBAR?

The three main considerations when buying a soundbar are the price, the dimensions of your TV and the size of your room. Most soundbars are suited to small to medium rooms, though large, powerful bars will likely overwhelm rooms that are on the smaller side.

The best rule of thumb is to look to single-bar systems for smaller TVs and rooms and to soundbar/subwoofer combos for medium rooms and higher-end TVs. It is worth noting that combination units are more expensive, so you’ll also want to factor in your budget before committing to a purchase.

Looking to discover more great devices? Head to our Best Of electronics section to see all the latest product guides and reviews. You can also sign up to our Best Of shopping newsletter to be kept in the loop about popular products and upcoming sales or head to news.com.au Coupons to see a list of current deals and offers.

Lauren Chaplin

Lauren ChaplinBest Of Writers

Lauren is news.com.au’s Best Of consumer technology writer. She previously worked at comparison site Finder as the senior shopping writer where she reported on everything from tech gadgets to the latest home products. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of South Australia and prior to cutting her teeth as a journalist, worked as a media advisor for JB Hi-Fi where she sold the very products she now writes about.

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