Samsung HW-M360 Bluetooth Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
For a richer sports match sound and high-quality, crisp vocals, this 2.1 system is ideal for all occasions.
It will suit any televisions up to 55” in size and gives a big improvement to the sound. There are five presets, and as it chooses which is best for the given programme or input, you’ll always get the optimum results.
Connection from the bar to compatible Samsung TV’s is wireless thanks to Bluetooth, and it will pick everything up immediately so setting up is effortless. The size is good for sitting underneath or in front of your television without becoming unsightly or obstructive.
Bluetooth also means you can hook your other electrical devices up to it to stream music from dedicated platforms or your files, so it acts as a standalone powerful speaker.
Because you get a separate subwoofer, the bass is incredibly powerful. We’d say it is on par to being sat in the cinema (on a smaller scale, of course). If you’re more of a movie buff or sports fanatic than a traditional spoken drama type, then this will certainly appeal more than a singular bar.
This subwoofer is wireless, so you can place it wherever is best within your room. You can also add further rear speakers for a surround sound experience.
Control is through the supplied remote, or if you already have a Samsung television, you can use this to control the soundbar too. Failing this, there is a handy app which includes everything you will need.
Unfortunately, there is no HDMI so it can’t pass through 4K or HDR video and you’d have to go through your Blu-Ray player if this is your wish. But as seeing as it doesn’t, therefore, take away from the usability or quality, we can’t say it is a massive downfall. Still good for the price and reliable.
- Subwoofer isn’t too large to be bothersome
- Bluetooth capability
- The bar is quite long - ensure it’ll fit on your cabinet first
Not the most modern in terms of features, but as it is under £200 and offers a subwoofer too, it is still a device which will make you happy and make an impact
- Inputs: USB x1, Optical x1, Analogue x1
- WiFi: No
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Dimensions: Bar - 5.4 x 90.8 x 7.1. Subwoofer - 35.3 X 17.9 X 30cm
- Weight: 4.6kg
Samsung HW-M360 Bluetooth Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer User Manual
Panasonic SC-HTB488EBK Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
A clever design means that you will hear crisp sound and rich, deep bass when required, from gaming and movies to your Saturday night and Sunday morning playlists.
It is suitable for TV’s over 42”, so one for those who are serious about their viewing. The biggest notable improvement is the boost in clarity. You may have previously had to turn your television up to high volume, which resulted in a muffled slightly crackly sound. Not any more, as this system reduces the need to reach for the volume button while ridding you of any sound issues.
Even though there is an improvement, it is still an entry level model when comparing to some of the more modern, higher-end models. We also thought that the upward facing display was a bit annoying – you can’t see the LED indicators for mode selection unless you are standing over it, which is unlikely. To have it on the front, or some form of a sign on the remote would have been much more practical.
Beware that it will only work with HDMI ARC connections as opposed to standard HDMI as well, so check your telly has this before you buy.
But it still has all the basics, and we love the sleek design which won’t clutter up your living room. There is a small remote included for control from the sofa, and buttons on the top of the bar for close-up control too.
- Occasionally, the sound goes out of sync with the display
For the price, you can’t expect the absolute best soundbar out there. But it still delivers strong enough results to have an impact, making it well worth a go
- Inputs: HDMI x1, Optical x1
- WiFi: No
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Dimensions: 6.1 x 85.3 x 9cm
- Weight: 4.3kg
Panasonic SC-HTB488EBK Bluetooth Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer User Manual
LG SK9Y Wi-Fi Bluetooth Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
Have you ever been to the cinema and been blown away by the 3D sound you have experienced? Well, with this cinematic system, you get as close to that as possible from the comfort of your own sofa.
This is courtesy of the Object Based Audio from Dolby Atmos, and Adaptive Sound Control will balance it out depending on whatever you’re watching. Not to mention the whopping 500W of power, which is over double some of the other lower-end offerings.
It is packed with various extra functions which make it much more adaptable to your needs. Bluetooth allows you to stream music from other gadgets such as tablets or laptops, so you don’t need a separate speaker, and there is also built-in Chromecast. The latter allows you to stream music, podcasts, radio, and access Google Play through the TV.
If you own a Google Assistant speaker, the audio from the bar can be controlled with your voice. Handy if you’ve settled down with the blankets and are all cosy but need to turn the volume up slightly or change channel.
The HDMI ports allow for 4K pass-through, which in short means it can be connected to other devices, and there will be no loss in sound quality or timings. As the sub is wireless, you can pop it anywhere in the room for the best sound – some people love placing it behind them at the back of the room for more of a surround sound experience.
You can also pair it up with the dedicated SPK8 Wireless Surround Speakers if you want to go all out. Talking of pairing up though, people have commented that they struggled with connecting it to their Xbox and Sky Q boxes so if this is what you’d be doing as opposed to straight to the TV, you may wish to read up about this.
- Clear dialogue
- Big improvement in sound
- Bass is a little weak
- Is very long - beware before buying
It isn’t cheap, and it isn’t absolutely perfect, and even though the bass isn’t the most thumping of those we tested, the Atmos sound is crisp, and we like the addition of Chromecast
- Inputs: HDMI x2, USB x1, Ethernet x1, Optical In x1, Audio In x1
- WiFi: Yes
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Dimensions: Sub - 39 x 22.1 x 31.28cm. Bar - 5.8 x 120 x 14.5cm
- Weight: 5.64kg
LG SK9Y Wi-Fi Bluetooth Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer User Manual
JBL Bar 2.1 Wireless Sound Bar
A lovely slim design which can be accommodated on any surface, this JBL sub speaker set is a fab choice for anyone who wants to spend well under £300 for a great all-rounder.
The surround sound technology will bring everything on your screen to life, whether you be playing a game with the family or watching the latest talked about drama. You also have the freedom to choose between the HDMI, optical, or aux connections, so it should be able to work alongside any telly.
There’s Bluetooth so you can stream music from compatible devices. Whether it be a motivational playlist or a new podcast, you can make those daunting household tasks a lot more fun.
It comes with a dedicated remote but also works with most ordinary TV remotes, so you can pop the rest away in the drawer to keep them safe. The sound goes loud without any distortion or crackling which is good, but we would still say it is best for small or medium rooms.
There are multiple presets to suit whether you’re watching a football match or a movie, and we love the choice of connections (which coincidentally, a lot of more expensive offerings lacks). If your aim is to simply upgrade your TV speakers and add a bit of something extra, it is a perfect budget offering which is simple to use and set up.
- Great range of features
- Sound is decent
- Screen on front to tell you which output is chosen
- Can struggle a little with playback timing occasionally
Holds its own against those which retail for 2x the cost, and the sound is surprisingly punchy and clear for the size and price tag
- Inputs: HDMI x2 (ARC x1), Optical x1, 3.5 mm aux x1
- WiFi: No
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Dimensions: Sound bar - 5.8 x 96.5 x 6.8. Subwoofer - 22.5 x 22.5 x 37cm
- Weight: 1.9 kg
JBL Bar 2.1 Wireless Sound Bar User Manual
LG SK5 Bluetooth Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
360W of power makes this one of the more impactful cinematic soundbar systems on the market at the moment.
It can be wall mounted, and is suited to screens over 32”. The overall design of both parts is quite inconspicuous, so it shouldn’t stick out or clash with your decor.
The wireless subwoofer delivers a punchy low pitch which makes watching films and action television a dream. An app is available for more control from anywhere, although it is only on Android at the moment. You do get a standard small, chunky remote, however, which does everything you need it to do.
Which is a good thing, as the power, source function and volume control buttons on the actual bar are placed at the back. This makes little sense for a wall-mountable device and can make it awkward even if it is in front of the TV. So look after the remote, particularly if you’re one to lose things like this.
Adaptive Sound Control will cater the settings for you depending on what you’re watching, so you have no fear of Coronation Street using the same settings as the latest Marvel movie and having to scramble for the remote to turn it down. Though we did find that at times, particularly in Cinema mode, the subwoofer can overpower the bar a little, so the ordinary sound becomes muffled. But a slight adjustment of settings can eliminate this.
Listening was still enjoyable though, and it beats the sound which a modern television can blast out. It needs an HDMI ARC connection on the TV, so check all is good before purchasing.
- Suitable for most setups
- Great at adjusting sound to match what's playing
- Easy to install
- Sub can sometimes overpower bar
A style and quality which will happily fit within any home or room. There is no denying the sound is powerful, and even though this can get a bit much at rare times, on the whole it is very welcome
- Inputs: HDMI x1, USB x1, Optical x1
- WiFi: No
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Dimensions: Bar - 5.8 x 89.1 x 8.8cm. Subwoofer - 39.3 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
- Weight: 2.35kg
LG SK5 Bluetooth Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer User Manual