(Pocket-lint) - Investing in a top soundbar is essential to get the most out of your TV, else you risk sluggish sound wasting the potential of your setup.
Luckily, what was once an area only accessible to serious Hi-Fi fans has now become wildly more accessible for the average TV watcher, making it easier than ever before to ditch the flat sound filtering out the back and instead put audio front and center.
The only hard part is deciding which soundbar is best for your home, as there are stacks of options for every budget. To take some of the hard work out of this process, we've compiled some of the top options you can buy - let's explore them below.
The best cheap sound bar for your home
Bose Solo 5
Bose's Solo 5 setup may be a little long in the tooth, but it's still a very solid audio bar - and for an affordable price, too, considering the brand's pedigree.
The 2.6 x 21.6 x 3.4-inch device is simple but effective, giving you a singular optical audio input, coaxial audio input, and a 3.5mm aux port, meaning you should only require a single lead into your TV to instantly receive better sound.
As with many options on this list, it also offers Bluetooth support, which means it can be used as a standard speaker for your music. Don't forget to use the included universal remote to tweak the audio settings and control your Bluetooth devices, too.
TCL manages to pack a powerful soundbar and a bass-boosting subwoofer into one affordable package, making this an ideal consideration for those looking to really elevate their setup.
The 36.20 x 3.90 x 2.50-inch bar itself isn't the smallest on this list (and you may want to consider mounting it if your TV bench isn't quite big enough), but what you get in return is enough audio components to deliver rich, crisp sound and modes specifically for music, movies and speech.
The 8.3 x 12.9 x 9.8-inch subwoofer can also be placed anywhere in the same room to handle the low frequency and give you a more complete range of sound.
ZVOX's mid-level soundbar is compact, smart-looking, and comes with a few very neat audio features.
The 17 x 3.1 x 2.9-inch unit is powerful enough to outperform any TVs standard audio, offering a simple setup, and delivering rich sound. It's particularly strong for the hard of hearing, too, with modes available to both emphasize speech and automatically balance audio.
The only regrettable omission is the lack of Bluetooth support, which means this exists solely to boost your TV sound.
You want to improve upon the audio quality from your TV but you don't want to stretch too far - if that's you, then meet the TaoTronics SK023.
Considering the budget price tag, you get plenty for your money here: good, balanced audio with support for Bluetooth and three different sound modes (gaming, music, and movies).
It's not the most discreet design - clocking in at 31.50 x 2.36 x 2.36-inches - but it still very much looks the part, whether you have it mounted or resting on a TV bench.
Polk Audio Signa S3
Polk's latest installment in the Audio Signa range is the S3, with the package, as with previous generations, giving you the chance to easily pair a subwoofer and soundbar.
The two work together excellently to provide wonderfully balanced audio, whether you're streaming something from Netflix, taking advantage of the Bluetooth support by listening to some music, or even playing something through a Google Chromecast-supported app.
The 3.2 x 35.4 x 2.1-inch bar can also be mounted or rested on a TV bench, with just a sole HDMI ARC input required to get things started.
Polk Audio Signa S2
Polk's Audio Signa S2 may sit in the shadow of the newer S3 model, but the differences between the two are small and allow you to pick up this model for a cheaper price tag.
The 3.2 x 35.4 x 2.1-inch bar is paired with an excellent subwoofer, letting you experience rich and balanced sound, with support available for HDMI ARC, optical input, AUX, and also Bluetooth (meaning you stream music from your phone).
You don't get the Chromecast support of the newer model, but, for most, this is a top-sounding, smart-looking package that's easy to set up and enjoy.
Majority Snowdon II
The majority may not boast the household name of other brands, but the price of its Snowdon II soundbar is hard to argue with.
For an ultra-low outlay, you can experience richer TV sound via the device's RCA cable, optical input, AUX port, or even Bluetooth, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from your phone or tablet.
The 3.2 x 31.8 x 3.2-inch bar can also be mounted or rested atop a TV stand, with the included remote letting you tweak treble and bass settings, as well as select modes for music, movies, and speech.