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HomeConnectThe best TV soundbars for your home cinema, from Sonos to Sony

The best TV soundbars for your home cinema, from Sonos to Sony

The best TV soundbars for your home cinema, from Sonos to Sony
The best TV soundbars for your home cinema, from Sonos to Sony

With many cinemas still not open, the full movie experience feels a little lost when you can only watch them on a standard TV and speaker at home.

If going all-out and creating a full home cinema doesn’t sound like your thing, why not try a soundbar to get a taste of the cinematic action without the drama. Simon Lucas rounds up the best…

Best for Dolby likeness: Sennheiser Ambeo


Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar
The Sennheiser Ambeo recreates the Dolby experience (Picture: Max Threlfall)

It’s not small and it’s certainly not cheap but Sennheiser’s mighty Ambeo is as close as you’ll get to a true Dolby Atmos experience without fitting speakers in your ceiling.

The Ambeo is fitted with 13 speaker drivers, two of which are at the very edge of the bar (to create width) and two of which fire upwards from the top to deliver the sonic height for which Dolby Atmos is famous.

Treated to the Sennheiser’s 500W of power, these 13 drivers create audio that’s wide, focused, detailed and – with an Atmos soundtrack fed in – delivers a genuinely convincing impression of overhead sound.

Best for multi-room: Sonos Arc


SONOS soundbar on television
Get your whole house involved wih the Sonos Arc (Picture:)

What Sonos doesn’t know about turning out elegant, high-performance speakers that work brilliantly in multiroom systems isn’t worth knowing.

The Arc isn’t as discreet as most of its models (you’ll need at least a 55in TV to put it under or it will look a bit daft) but it sounds great with both movies and music.

It integrates seamlessly into a wider Sonos multi-room system, and can be used with a couple of Sonos speakers at the rear and a Sonos sub if you decide to go the whole home-cinema hog.

And it gives a sensation of Dolby Atmos sonic height that only the Sennheiser Ambeo can better.

Best for surround: JBL Bar 9.1


Not so much a game of two halves, more a soundbar of four pieces. What looks at first like a soundbar with accompanying wireless subwoofer turns out to be a subwoofer and a soundbar with detachable end modules that can be easily positioned alongside or beside your seat – so true surround sound can be yours.

And in addition, the modules (like the main body of the bar) have upward-firing drivers to create some authentic Dolby Atmos height.

When you’re finished listening, they magnetically clip back into place and become part of the soundbar again. The JBL Bar 9.1: quite big and very clever.

Best for budget: Sony HT-G700


Unlike the Sonos or Sennheiser on our list, this Sony uses clever digital audio processing to deliver the impression of Dolby Atmos sound rather than numerous speaker drivers pointing in all directions.

And unlike the Sonos or Sennheiser, it comes with a wireless subwoofer – all the better to serve up the rumble and wallop of your favourite Hollywood blockbusters.

It’s basically a less sophisticated product, but there’s no denying how much bigger the sound it makes is than the soundbar it’s coming from – far wider, far taller.

Plus, it’s compact and the subwoofer can be hidden out of sight.

Sony HT-G700 soundbar
Cheap and compact, the Sony HT-G700 offers stiff competition at a lower price (Picture: Scott Davidson)