Living furniture & comfort: the best TV soundbars

The TV you bought hasn’t a great sound quality? Don’t worry: soundbars are devices that are used to have excellent quality audio without spending hours for the installation.

What is a soundbar?

The soundbar is a useful audio device that allows us to have a much better sound than that of the integrated speakers of many televisions, without the difficulties of installing and configuring a home theatre: all we have to do is place the soundbar under the TV, connect it with a single cable and that’s it – sometimes not even that, if the device works entirely via Bluetooth or wi-fi).
But how does a soundbar work? The soundbar – unlike a classic home theatre system with 4-5 speakers positioned in different areas of a room – uses the so-called “virtual surround”: a psycho-acoustic effect generated by 5-7 speakers placed inside the same soundbar, which simulates the effect of surround. Of course, the final result may not be as good as a traditional sound system, but it is a great compromise for not cramming the room we use to watch movies and TV series with speakers. All the space we will need is that of a good piece of furniture, like the PIXEL TV-stand by Target Point.
A further incentive to purchase a soundbar derives from the observation that – unfortunately – new televisions are increasingly thinner and have integrated speakers with poorer performance: in many cases the purchase of a support audio system becomes almost a need.

Technical characteristics of a soundbar

Here the technical features to pay attention to before making the purchase:

  • Input options: to be found both in the soundbar and in our TV – a soundbar can have RCA, optical or HDMI and HDM arc inputs – it is good to check that our TV has a sufficient number of corresponding input sockets.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth mean fewer cables to worry about and – often – also the ability to connect our audio system to online streaming platforms (Spotify and similar) or to demotic devices and virtual assistants such as Alexa.
  • Number of speakers:: this is a factor that greatly affects the listening quality, so it is good that we check the quantity of speakers – the more speakers there are inside the soundbar, the better its performance.
  • Subwoofers: Not all soundbars have built-in subwoofers – which make a difference in the perception of bass – but some can be connected to external subwoofers.
  • Dolby Atmos: a new innovative audio format of Dolby that provides highly immersive sound, giving a more three-dimensional effect, hearing the sounds moving around us. Dolby Atmos is already used by some Netflix titles – Ultra HD contents in the Premium plan – and is supported by both Apple TV and Tidal streaming service.

A choice among the best soundbars of 2020

Here is a small selection of some of the best models on the market:

Samsung HW-N300/ZF

Samsung HW-N300/ZF is a low-end soundbar featuring a minimal design, good technical characteristics and Surround Sound Expansion technology for a full realistic virtual surround thanks to its 4 speakers: two woofers and two tweets. Discreet connectivity: Bluetooth – to connect to the TV without wires-, a USB port – unfortunately 2.0 version -, an HDMI arc and wireless input for connection to Samsung TV.

Bose Solo 5

Bose Solo 5 soundbar is a mid-range soundbar with simple design and good performance: the sound is well balanced despite only two internal speakers. A notable feature is the dialogue mode that allows you to clearly hear the dialogues in the movies and other broadcasts. The connectivity is decent – Bluetooth for streaming and connection to voice assistants – but you definitely miss an HDMI port and a subwoofer. In summary: an easy-to-use product with good sound that – considering the low price – has some shortcomings on connectivity.

Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam soundbar is a mid-range device with a pleasant and futuristic design with two main features: Google Assistant and Alexa are integrated, allowing it to be controlled from the whole house via wireless, and a small size which makes it excellent especially for those with limited spaces and a small television. In terms of connectivity it does not disappoint: an HDMI port is present, but HDMI arc is missing. The only lack is the absence of a subwoofer. These are partially compensated by the four balanced woofers, otherwise you can proceed with a separate purchase of the subwoofer (with wireless connection).


Sony HT-ST5000

Sony HT-ST5000 is a top-range soundbar that can meet the expectations of even the most demanding buyers thanks to integrated subwoofers and – above all – the Dolby Atmos system, capable of recreating Dolby Surround 7.2.1. with a truly immersive and three-dimensional sound. In addition, it lacks nothing in terms of connectivity: an HDMI arc input, three HDMI inputs, integrated Bluetooth and wireless to reproduce the sound from any connected device throughout the house. To facilitate comfortable and immediate listening, there is also a dedicated “Music Service” button for direct access to Spotify.

Target Point, Italian Ideas