Technology has enabled TVs to become ever flatter, thinner, and lighter, but it can’t overcome the laws of physics when it comes to audio. Filling a room with sound requires substantial speakers that can move a lot of air, and those types of speakers just won’t fit inside a thin TV chassis. That’s where soundbars come in.

We’ll explain all the latest soundbar technology, show you the most important features you should look for, and name our top picks in budget, mid-range, and high-end categories. We’ll also provide links to all our reviews of soundbars currently on the market, so you can find exactly the right one for your needs.

Updated September 14, 2021 to add a link to our news story about the second-generation Sonos Beam soundbar. The redesign will enable the less-expensive (compared to the Sonos Arc, that is) Sonos home theater speaker to play back Dolby Atmos soundtracks. And thatnks to its new support for HDMI eARC, you’ll also be able to stream Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks from Blu-ray discs.

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