Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
We've recently launched Soundbars 1.3! Read the R&D Article to learn more.

The 5 Best Small Soundbars - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Small Soundbars

Soundbars are often seen as a more convenient alternative to traditional home theater speaker systems. As more speakers and sound-enhancing technologies are packed into a soundbar setup, they can get big. Some soundbars are too wide to keep on your desk underneath your computer monitor or below your TV stand, so the best soundbars for computer use are typically smaller than sets designed for use with your TV. Smaller soundbars generally don't sound as spacious as their wider counterparts, but their compact form makes them easier to travel with or set up wherever you'd like.

We've tested over 185 soundbars; below are the best compact soundbar recommendations. Also, check out our recommendations for the best budget soundbars, the best soundbars 5.1, and the best soundbars for music.

  1. Best Small Soundbar

    The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is the best soundbar with a small design we've tested. It has the same compact design as the original Sonos Beam, measuring less than 26 inches in width. Thanks to its small footprint, it'll fit easily beneath your computer monitor or TV stand without crowding the space. Also, unlike the first-gen model, this soundbar has Dolby Atmos support, meaning you can enjoy object-based formats on Blu-ray discs and streaming services. If you move to a bigger space, you can upgrade it with a subwoofer and satellites.

    Despite its small size, this premium 5.0 bar uses psychoacoustics principles to widen its soundstage past the edges of the bar itself, providing a wide and cinematic feel that makes it seem like you're right in the middle of the action. This feature helps it stand out from other high-end small soundbars like the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini. The Sennheiser is slightly more customizable since it comes with a graphic EQ instead of more traditional bass and treble adjustments, which you may find worth the extra cost. Both bars have built-in voice assistant capabilities, too.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Small Soundbar

    If you want a more affordable option, consider the Samsung HW-S60B/S61B. This standalone 5.0 soundbar offers a pretty versatile performance for the price, along with Dolby Atmos support for users who watch a lot of content on streaming platforms and Blu-rays. It has a sleek design that's easy to integrate into your home decor and built-in Alexa support for hands-free control. At less than 27 inches in width, the bar doesn't take up a lot of space in your setup, either. You can also sometimes find it for a great deal, as it's been on sale recently.

    This soundbar has many customization tools to maximize your listening experience. As with most premium soundbars, it has a room correction feature to optimize its sound and a 7-band graphic EQ if you prefer to customize its sound manually. Unlike the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), it supports Bluetooth connectivity. That said, its stereo soundstage isn't quite as impressive as the Sonos, meaning you don't get the same immersive feel in the space around you. It's especially noticeable with audio formats like Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos, as sound effects don't stretch into the area around your couch in the same clear and real way. That said, for the price, it's a great bar and worth checking out if you're on a tighter budget.

    See our review

  3. Best Lower Mid-Range Small Soundbar

    The Bose TV Speaker is another more affordable option if you're looking for a small soundbar. This well-built 2.0 setup offers a fairly balanced sound out-of-the-box, especially in the mids, where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. As a result, dialogue in your favorite shows is clear and easy to understand, and you can enjoy detailed vocals and instruments when you listen to music. It's best suited for stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows.

    The bar is less impressive than our top picks with surround sound. There's no Dolby Atmos support to use more immersive object-based formats, either. However, this won't make much difference if you aren't a movie fan. If you already own products in the Sonos ecosystem and want a small bar with a similar performance, you can also check out the Sonos Ray, which is available for roughly the same price. However, the Ray lacks a little low-bass compared to the Bose, so it's not ideal for everyone.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Small Soundbar

    The Roku Streambar is a great, budget-friendly alternative to our top picks. It's a 2.0 setup with many great features and functions to improve your existing home theater. For example, it gives you access to Roku's media streamer, which organizes all your streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+, into one easy-to-use interface. Easily navigate to your favorite shows and movies, and you enjoy a clear and clean sound right out of the box. Dialogue reproduces clearly and accurately, so it's easy to follow along with conversations on screen.

    This well-built soundbar measures slightly less than 14 inches wide, easily fitting into your living room without crowding up the space. Apple users can stream to the bar via AirPlay 2, and it also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless playback. Given that it's a 2.0 bar, it's ideal for listening to vocal-centric content like podcasts, sitcoms, and documentaries. It brings less rumble in the low-bass than the Bose TV Speaker, though, so it's less suitable for bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop. Still, it's worth a look if you're on a tight budget.

    See our review

  5. Best Soundbar For Computer Use

    While many people opt for a soundbar to enhance their TV's sound, you can also connect to your computer for a noticeable improvement over built-in speakers. The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is the best we've tested for this use. With a width of less than 28 inches, it's easy to slide beneath your monitor. Since it's only around two inches tall, it's not likely to obscure your screen in any way. This bar's price is comparable to the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). However, it adds Bluetooth connectivity for easier wireless connectivity with your computer to help reduce the wires in your setup.

    This soundbar doesn't bring the same wide and immersive soundstage as the Sonos. Still, it offers great sound. It reproduces dialogue clearly and accurately, and bass lovers can always add a sub to get more rumble in the mix. Plus, there's support for Dolby Atmos content, which is handy if you want to watch more movies from your computer. Bass and treble adjustments are on hand to customize its sound. Plus, built-in Amazon Alexa lets you control the bar with only your voice. Overall, it's great for computer users, but if you want something more suited for surround sound, you'll want to look at some of the most premium picks on our list.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Denon Home Sound Bar 550: The Denon Home Sound Bar 550 is a well-built soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos content. However, it's a 2.0 setup, so it has to downmix Atmos into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive as what you get with the 5.0 Sonos Beam (Gen 2). See our review
  • JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam: The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is a compact 5.0 soundbar with a discrete center channel and a room correction feature. It also supports Virtual Dolby Atmos, meaning it has to downmix Atmos content into surround to play it, which isn't as immersive-sounding as the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). See our review
  • Sonos Beam: The Sonos Beam is a 3.0 setup with a similar design to the next-generation option, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). It doesn't support Dolby Atmos content; however, it's still a solid upgrade over your TV speakers if you don't watch many movies. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 09, 2024: Added the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar Mini as a comparison to the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) within the text.

  2. Nov 08, 2023: The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is no longer widely available, so we replaced it with the Bose Smart Soundbar 600.

  3. Sep 14, 2023: No changes in product picks. Some text updates for clarity.

  4. Jul 17, 2023: Confirmed picks. Some text updates for clarity.

  5. May 19, 2023: The Samsung HW-S60B/S61B replaces the Bose TV Speaker as 'Best Mid-Range' since it offers Atmos support. The Bose TV Speaker moves to the 'Best Without Atmos' pick. Added the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 as the 'Best For Computers'.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best compact soundbars, the best mini soundbars, and the best soundbars for computers 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 soundbar reviews, sorted by bar width. 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.