If you don't have a lot of space in your living room, a standalone soundbar is a great option to upgrade your TV speakers. These setups are designed to offer an immersive listening experience without the need for a dedicated subwoofer or satellite speakers. Thanks to side-firing and up-firing drivers built into the bar, many all-in-one setups can play surround and Dolby Atmos content.
We've tested over 165 soundbars, and below you'll find the best soundbars without subwoofers to buy. You can see our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best small soundbars.
The best all-in-one soundbar that we've tested is the Sonos Arc. It's a premium 5.0.2 soundbar that supports many different audio formats, including those that are commonly found on streaming platforms like Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos. With its wide, immersive soundstage, you feel like your favorite movies are playing out in the space around you, bringing the action right to your living room. Sound effects are clear and detailed, and you don't have any trouble following the action on screen, thanks to its clear and detailed dialogue reproduction.
The bar's compatible with the Sonos S2 app, which lets you control a whole ecosystem of Sonos products, meaning you can pair the bar with other speakers and devices from the brand. Also, as with most premium setups, there's a room correction tool to optimize audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics—Sonos calls it Trueplay. While it's only available on iOS devices, Android users can still use its bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound. If you're an avid Android user looking for a similar option with room correction that's available on both Android and iOS devices, check out the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. It's another premium standalone bar with a wide and immersive-sounding soundstage, though it doesn't reproduce as much low-bass as the Sonos.
The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a versatile setup that's a more affordable alternative to our top picks. It's the latest version of the Sonos Beam and keeps the same small design as its predecessor, but it adds support for Dolby Atmos content that's often found on different streaming platforms. As a result, you can take advantage of more immersive object-based formats, even if you don't have the space in your setup for a larger standalone bar. Despite its small size, it still offers a wide sound thanks to its side-firing speakers that beam sound throughout your room.
You'll find a similar selection of sound enhancement features compared to the Sonos Arc. Like most premium bars, there's a room correction feature, which Sonos calls Trueplay, via the app on compatible iOS devices. With it on, vocals and lead instruments reproduce pretty clearly, and there's a touch of extra boom in the bass to bring action-packed scenes to life. If you want to customize it, there are bass and treble adjustments available. That said, given its small size, it's little surprise that it doesn't get as loud as the Arc, and its Atmos performance isn't quite as impressive. Still, for those without a lot of space who want a premium bar, it's a solid pick.
The Sonos Ray is a standalone soundbar that's a more affordable alternative to our top picks. Released in 2022, this 2.0 setup is an ideal choice for those who listen to lots of stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows. Overall, this bar is very well-built, with a small and compact design that'll take up less space in your setup compared to our top picks. As with the other Sonos products on our list, it's also compatible with your wider Sonos ecosystem, meaning you can spread your favorite tunes throughout multiple rooms in your home with ease.
Of course, as a small bar, it doesn't get as loud as our top picks, and its performance with movies isn't quite as impressive. Plus, it doesn't bring much rumble in the bass. If you want a similarly-priced all-in-one bar with a little more bass, check out the Bose TV Speaker. Like the Ray, it's a small 2.0 bar that's great for music and dialogue-focused TV shows. It lacks room correction, though, and if you own existing Sonos products, you may prefer to add the Ray to your existing ecosystem. Still, they're both great choices, and if you don't watch Atmos content, you may find they're a better value than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2).
The Sony HT-S100F is the best budget all-in-one soundbar we've tested. For an affordable price, it offers a solid upgrade over your existing TV speakers, so it's a great entry point for users who've never owned a soundbar before. It's not quite as premium as the Sonos Ray, but it's still solid and well-built. As a 2.0 bar, it's ideal for stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows. Dialogue is clear in the mix, and there's even an enhancement tool to make it easier to follow along with the action on screen.
With a small and compact design, this soundbar is ideal for those who don't have a ton of space in their living room setup. You can even use it in front of your computer, which is handy. That said, the bar's sound enhancement features are limited. Unlike the Sonos, there's no room correction tool, meaning that it sounds a little different depending on the room you're in. Without bass and treble adjustments, you have no way to manually compensate for this. Still, if you'd rather get a simple, plug-and-play bar, it's worth checking out.
Are you a bass lover? If so, you'll want to check out the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar MAX. It comes with an integrated subwoofer, and it's one of the only bars we've tested that can reproduce a deep and extended low-bass without the need for a dedicated sub. As a result, it's a great choice for smaller spaces or for anyone who doesn't have room for a bulky subwoofer. The bar itself is still quite large and heavy, but it packs a punch, especially in the overall sound quality.
This soundbar is great for listening to everything from music to movies to TV shows—and its virtual surround feature called AMBEO 3D is a handy way to enhance your listening experience. It offers a wide, immersive sound, with plenty of rumble in the bass during action-packed scenes. There's even a room correction mode, just like with the other premium bars on our list, as well as a graphic EQ to manually customize its sound across the range. It's a unique bar with a powerful performance overall. That said, given its size and price, bass-lovers might find it's a better value to add on a separate sub to the Bose or the Sonos instead.
Apr 14, 2023: Confirmed product picks. Minor text updates for clarity.
Feb 14, 2023: Confirmed that our picks remain relevant and widely available; minor updates to the text for clarity.
Dec 16, 2022: Replaced the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 with the Sonos Ray as the 'Best Mid-Range' pick.
Oct 18, 2022: Replaced the TCL Alto 8i with the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8.
Aug 19, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best all-in-one soundbars and the best soundbars without subwoofer add-ons for most people to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper soundbar wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no soundbars that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our standalone soundbar reviews. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. No soundbar is perfect. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.