Soundbars/Soundbases

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John Archer  |  Oct 22, 2021  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3The world's first 16-channel soundbar system leaves John Archer ducking for cover

More and more soundbars these days – high-end ones, anyway – stretch the soundbar definition to breaking point by comprising much more than just a single speaker unit that sits under your telly. In fact, Samsung's new HW-Q950A is arguably the most extreme example yet of a product blurring the boundaries between a soundbar and the once-popular 'home cinema in a box' concept.

Mark Craven  |  Sep 24, 2021  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendThe handsome, compact Sound Bar 550 is compatible with HEOS speakers and a wireless subwoofer for optional 5.1 playback, but Mark Craven discovers it cuts the mustard on its own

The soundbar market is saturated, but amongst the myriad models it's possible to see trends, as brands coalesce around specific price points and feature sets. A disadvantage for Denon's Home Sound Bar 550 (beyond the somewhat clumsy name) is that its basic specification – a compact 'bar with no subwoofer, Atmos/DTS:X decoding with no upfirers – is mirrored by models around the £300 price point. And it sells for £550.

Steve May  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedPhilips' transforming Fidelio soundbar offers old-school home cinema thrills, says Steve May

The Philips Fidelio B97 soundbar drops deeper than James Cameron chasing the Titanic. You might think the fancy detachable speaker modules that double as wireless rears would be the star of this high-end soundbar, but it's actually the subwoofer in this twin set that's the pearl. It delivers profound, subterranean bass, the kind that slams you in the chest. Even The Rock would stagger under the weight of its output.

Steve May  |  Jul 07, 2021  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedThis 'bar is a stellar performer but if you're not a member of the QLED club, some star turns remain off limits, says Steve May

The HW-Q800A is a mid-range Dolby Atmos soundbar 'n' sub combo, capable of dramatic theatrics. Most will use it as a TV upgrade – its official channel designation is 3.1.2 – but the more determined can unlock full-blown 5.1.4 surround by adding optional rear speakers.

Mark Craven  |  May 25, 2021  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendThis five-channel soundbar combines Dolby Atmos processing with JBL's MultiBeam technology to wring cinematic immersion out of your TV and movies...
John Archer  |  Mar 05, 2021  |  0 comments
John Archer samples the 9.1.4-channel theatrics of Samsung's flagship soundbar

While I love most things about Samsung's HW-Q950T soundbar, there is one thing about it that's so incredibly dumb I have to get it off my chest right away: its LED display is on its top edge.

Mark Craven  |  Nov 12, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedJBL enters the Dolby Atmos soundbar market with a flexible 5.1.4 model. Mark Craven listens up

When is a soundbar not a soundbar? When it's JBL's Bar 9.1. On the face of it, this is a premium soundbar/subwoofer system with Dolby Atmos capability, but with its front left/right enclosures able to be removed and used as discrete surrounds/Atmos units, you get a 5.1.4 setup with minimal fuss. Which is how we like it.

Mark Craven  |  Nov 06, 2020  |  0 comments
With its promise of 5.1.2 immersive audio, a tidy design and Google Assistant integration, LG's SN9YG looks tempting at £600...
Mark Craven  |  Oct 27, 2020  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendMark Craven has an absolute blast with LG's do-it-all SN11RG soundbar

It's always good to have the option of going large, whether that's upgrading your McDonald's order or watching the extended versions of all six of Peter Jackson's Tolkien movies. Now LG is playing to XL lovers with its SN11RG, which is without doubt its biggest – and best – soundbar yet.

Steve May  |  Jul 15, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedIt may lack upfiring drivers, but this affordable Dolby Atmos system compensates with unbridled chutzpah, says Steve May

The SONY HT-X8500 is proof that you don't need to spend big for a truly entertaining Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar. Modestly priced (given that you can easily spend twice as much for a rival system), it's surprisingly compact and compatible with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Steve May  |  May 01, 2020  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendBang & Olufsen's first soundbar is an extravagant performer, insists Steve May

The category has been around for more than a decade, but the Beosound Stage is the first dedicated soundbar to come from the Bang & Olufsen stable – and it arrives with a sonic maturity that makes you think B&O has been making these things for years.

Mark Craven  |  Mar 10, 2020  |  0 comments
Yamaha adds Amazon Alexa voice interaction to its YAS soundbar stable – but doesn't forgot to focus on performance too, says Mark Craven

Yamaha's soundbar lineup can feel confused at times, with models dating back as far as 2015 still available (the YSP-5600 and YAS-105), joined but not replaced by later arrivals. In the middle of the 11-strong stable sits the new YAS-209, which represents the pinnacle of its standard soundbars – not endowed with MusicCast multiroom, and not classed one of the brand's multi-driver 'digital sound projectors.'

Mark Craven  |  Jan 17, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedJBL understands that many soundbar buyers simply seek an easy-to-use boost to their TV's audio. Its Bar 2.0 All-In-One is a poster boy for plug-and-play
Steve May  |  Nov 21, 2019  |  0 comments
Panasonic’s SC-HTB900 is a cracking 3.1 audio system, says Steve May, but should you expect more given its Dolby Atmos integration?
Steve May  |  Sep 25, 2019  |  0 comments
In this premium, feature-packed home cinema soundbar, proprietary Sennheiser processing makes Dolby Atmos even more immersive

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