The best soundbars for Sony TVs aren't some strange and special breed – they use the same connectors and technology as other soundbars. But there are certain features that Sony TVs have that soundbars can either take advantage of, or that you just might want to keep in mind when choosing. Or if you pick from this list, you don't have to, because we've done the whittling down for you.
A good soundbar is a good soundbar, it’s true. But if you’re the proud owner of one of the best Sony TVs, let's make sure you pick one of the best soundbars that really feels like an investment you'll be happy with.
The ability to use a common remote control to control both soundbar and TV is an obvious advantage, of course. And the fact that some Sony televisions can act as user interfaces when setting up some Sony soundbars is not to be sniffed at, either. Even more gratifying is Sony’s ‘Acoustic Center Sync’, which allows some of the company’s TVs to bolster the centre channel sound of the soundbar they’re attached to.
This doesn’t mean a Sony soundbar is the only realistic choice for owners of Sony TVs, though. You don’t need to spend long on this website to find there are any number of alternatives, from any number of brands, all ready to part you from your money in exchange for the sort of sonic excellence that will leave your Sony TV’s audio output in the dirt. Just like every other TV brand, Sony has yet to undermine the laws of physics – there’s no room in the sort of slim, elegant TV Sony manufactures for big speaker drivers, and there’s no internal volume to let them do their thing anyway.
Superior sound is what we’re after here. And if your budget is on the more generous side, you should expect to see a bit of Dolby Atmos capability too. Fundamentally, we’re shooting for great sound, a bit of aesthetic sympathy and a price that’s not going to give you the fear.
The best soundars for Sony TVs: the list
First things first: it’s not quite the size of an elephant, but the Sony HT-A7000 is nevertheless going to be an assertive presence in your room. Is your TV smaller than 55 inches? If it is, check out one of the (very capable) smaller soundbars further down this list. The HT-A7000 needs a big screen to sit under.
Ideally, it’ll be a Sony screen. This is because a) some Sony Bravia TVs can display full setup and options menus on-screen for this soundbar, which is really useful, and b) ‘Acoustic Center Sync’ allows some Bravias to become part of the soundbar’s centre audio channel, adding even more clarity and heft to the sound. But even if your TV doesn’t support these niceties, it’ll still benefit enormously from the HT-A7000's engrossing and immersive sound.
Thanks to an array of nine carefully angled speaker drivers and a subwoofer, the Sony is configured to produce 7.1.2-channel audio. A total of 500 watts of Class D does the business as far as amplification is concerned. And as far as serving up a convincing sensation of width and height to a Dolby Atmos soundtrack goes, the HT-A7000 is a straightforward and unarguable success. The scale of its presentation is quite startling, the Sony projecting sound way beyond the physical confines of the soundbar itself. In addition it’s detailed, organised, properly focused and capable of significant low-frequency presence – it’s possible to add a dedicated wireless subwoofer, but unless you despise your neighbours it doesn’t really seem necessary.
A pair of HDMI 2.1-compliant inputs (VRR support is coming in an update, but 4K 120Hz support is there), eARC-enabled connectivity, further analogue and digital inputs, plus a stack of wireless connectivity options act as very acceptable cherries on the top, but the real cake here is the sonic difference the HT-A7000 can make to your viewing experience. It’s not cheap, no – but it’s well worth the money, as our full Sony HT-A7000 review goes even further into.
If your ambitions for your new soundbar are modest – but not too modest – the Sony Sony HT-G700 is a thoroughly diverting option. It’s a sensible, big-value package with more than enough audio talent to make your unassisted Sony TV sound a bit wheezy and asthamtic in comparison. Yes, you can spend more in order to achieve more spectacular spatial audio – but in value-for-money terms, this Sony is nigh-on impossible to argue with.
A soundbar and wireless subwoofer combo, the HT-G700 uses some of Sony’s smartest processing to create the impression of wide, tall sound from three speaker drivers that fire only forwards. Naturally you’d never confuse it with surround-sound, and there’s not the width or height the more expensive Sony HT-A7000 can deliver – but there’s undeniably more height and width to the HT-G700’s presentation that most cheaper soundbars, or than most TVs, which is impressive in and of itself.
In every respect, it’ll improve the sound of your TV. Dialogue is more distinct, low frequencies are both far more obvious and far better controlled, there’s great dynamism and detail… you name it, it’s better than it was before you installed this soundbar. Setup is a doddle, and thanks to a pair of HDMI sockets – one in, one out – you won’t lose the use of one of your TV’s ports.
Perhaps best of all, this is a soundbar that can give a suggestion of Dolby Atmos action and yet is still manageably sized. So if your TV (Sony or otherwise) is 43 to 55 inches, the HT-G700 is approaching perfect, as our full Sony HT-G700 review explains.
Did you think a soundbar was, well, just a soundbar? Think again. The Samsung HW-Q950A is a soundbar, a subwoofer and a pair of rear speakers with a total of 22 drivers, and over 600 watts of power. It’s not so much a soundbar as a sound system. The subwoofer and rear speakers are wireless, though, so it’s not as intrusive as it might appear when written down.
The actual soundbar bit serves up seven channels of sound (using angled drivers to create width, and up-firing drivers for the height effect). Each rear speaker looks after two surround channels, which makes for precise effects positioning. As for the subwoofer, well… it does that ideal subwoofer thing of delivering deep, taut bass without getting overconfident. Plus it does that handy subwoofer thing of not being precious about where you position it.
Working as a system, the Samsung combo manages to sound powerful and authoritative, yet detailed at the same time. The soundstage it creates is broad and unarguably tall, and there’s more than enough dynamic headroom to bring movie soundtracks vividly to life.
Add in a great feature-set (including a pair of HDMI inputs, support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and AirPlay 2) and the Samsung stops looking quite expensive and instead seems like a bit of a bargain. As long as you can find the space for all the components, it’s the best choice for a totally immersive surround experience, as our full Samsung HW-Q950A review explains. Make sure you check our Samsung discount codes page to lower the cost of your order.
The Sonos Beam Gen 2 is soundbar on its own, yes, but it can also be part of a multi-room system, or even part of a wireless multichannel surround-sound system. No matter how it ends up being deployed, though, it will always sound great.
The Beam Gen 2 has a single tweeter, four ‘racetrack’ mid/bass drivers and a trio of passive radiators for low-end reinforcement, with five blocks of Class D amplification providing the power. Unlike the original Beam, though, Beam Gen 2 has powerful on-board processing that wants to deliver height, as well as width, to its sound – and to improve low-end oomph and clarity at the same time.
The new Beam also features eARC-enabled HDMI (good) but lacks HDMI passthrough (less good and quite baffling), which means that if you can't afford to give up one of your HDMI ports, it may not be for you.
Streaming music is possible via Apple AirPlay 2, and the Sonos control app (which remains the best around) can connect to streaming services. Which makes Beam Gen2 an ideal multiroom option. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are both built in, too, which only adds to the convenience.
Best of all, the Beam Gen2 leaves the unassisted sound of your TV floundering. It’s punchy, distinct, direct and very spacious - and while it struggles a little to make good on its promises of Dolby Atmos height, it’s still the best-sounding soundbar this sort of money can currently buy, as our full Sonos Beam 2nd Gen review digs into.
Thanks to an array of 11 speaker drivers firing at various angles, the Sonos Arc gets way closer than any other single-unit soundbar of its price to creating a sense of width and height to Dolby Atmos soundtracks. Beyond that, It’s just a thoroughly well-sorted and high-achieving speaker, no matter what you choose to listen to. Tonality is even and convincing for music and movies alike, and by the standards of subwooferless soundbars, it generates fairly substantial low frequencies.
Because it’s a Sonos it’s the definition of ‘simplicity’ where set-up, and it can integrate into a multichannel or multiroom system in moments. The control app remains the finest example of its type, anywhere in all of Home Entertainmentland.
Downsides are remarkably few, but not what you’d call insignificant. There’s just a single HDMI socket, and no passthrough, so you’ll lose one of your TV’s HDMI ports by connecting the Arc – and if your Sony TV can’t decode or pass through Dolby Atmos then there’s no Dolby Atmos for you. It's the single biggest reason this soundbar isn't topping this list.
But the fact is this: the audio quality is impressive enough for us to happily recommend the Sonos anyway, as we did in our full Sonos Arc review. As long as your Sony TV can work around the Arc’s glaring shortcoming in specification, it’ll be a very happy marriage indeed.
In some ways, the Beosound Stage is exactly what you’d expect from Bang & Olufsen: stylish, tactile, utterly covetable and prohibitively expensive. But, in a development that’s by no means a given where B&O is concerned, the Stage manages to be stylish, tactile and covetable at the same time as offering outstanding audio performance.
There are 11 drivers deployed behind the acoustically transparent cloth grille, and they serve up sonic height, width and depth in the most coherent and believable manner. There’s no subwoofer here, but nevertheless the Stage hits implacably hard – it’s muscular and assertive without ever getting carried away. Detail levels are sky-high, dynamic headroom is considerable, and there’s enough insight into nuance and subtlety to make soundtracks come vibrantly to life.
And it’s every bit as talented where music is concerned, too – which puts it ahead of any number of nominal competitors. Not every speaker can combine tightly unified tonality with an expansive soundstage, let alone a soundbar, but the Stage is an accomplished music-maker, as our full B&O Beosound Stage review makes clear.
On a practical level, the Stage is a plug-and-play proposition and, once it’s up and running, is easily controlled using your TV’s remote control or the (predictably stylish) B&O app. HDMI in and out is always nice to see, and the B&O has a fistful of wireless connectivity options too. when wall-mounted, the stylish fabric faces forwards; on a TV bench, it faces upwards.
Style and substance? That’ll be the Stage.
How to choose the best soundbar for your Sony TV
There are, of course, some practical considerations when it comes to picking a new soundbar to partner your Sony television.
First off, you need to set a realistic budget (and then stick to it). We’ve included a spread of prices in our list, and every recommendation represents very decent value for money. But don’t forget that deals pop up all the time – you'll find the current lowest prices for these models above.
You also need to think about the design of your new soundbar. Sony TVs tend to be among the sleeker and more minimal where appearance is concerned – which is not something you can automatically say about the company’s soundbars. And If your Sony TV is wall-mounted, for instance, it’s worth giving particular consideration to soundbars that can be wall-mounted too.
If your TV stands on its feet, though, and the soundbar is going to sit below the screen, make sure there is enough clearance to prevent the soundbar obscuring the bottom of the screen (or even just fouling the receiver for the TV’s remote control). And it’s important to consider the width of the soundbar, too – you don’t want it to be wider than the screen it’s serving, because that just looks weird.
Do you want a stand-alone soundbar or one with a subwoofer for additional wallop? Many subs are wireless (which is quite convenient) but can tend to be quite large (which isn’t).
Make sure your soundbar has the connections you need, too. HDMI is the easiest way to attach your soundbar to your Sony TV – and your TV is almost certain to be HDMI-ARC enabled, meaning audio can travel in both directions along the HDMI cable. And because Sony is quite keen on the Dolby Atmos audio format, its screens tend to have the eARC specification necessary to shift all that complex audio information from the TV to the soundbar too.
It’s also worth checking to see if your favoured soundbar has Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi connectivity. After all, you might want to stream music to it sometimes.