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The 5 Best Small Soundbars - Summer 2022 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 really 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 more compact form makes them easier to travel with or set up wherever you'd like.

We've tested over 135 soundbars, and below you'll find the best soundbars with a small design to buy. 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 best soundbar with a small design we've tested is the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). This 5.0 setup has the same compact design as the original Sonos Beam. Unlike its predecessor, it supports Dolby Atmos content, which is handy if you watch lots of movies on Blu-ray and streaming platforms. Like many premium bars on the market, it comes with a room correction feature that automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics - Sonos calls this feature TruePlay. With it on, its sound profile is neutral with a touch of extra boom in the high-bass, so dialogue in your favorite movies and TV shows reproduces pretty clearly and accurately. You can always add on a separate subwoofer or some satellites from the manufacturer if you want to improve its bass reproduction and its surround sound, respectively.

    While you can customize its sound with its bass and treble adjustments, this bar doesn't offer comprehensive sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ that lets you customize the sound across the range. If you want a more customizable bar, check out the Samsung HW-S60A. It gives you lots of control over its sound, from its bass and treble adjustments to its 7-band graphic EQ and multiple different preset modes. However, it doesn't come with Dolby Atmos support like the Sonos, and there's no room correction feature, either.

    See our review

  2. Best Budget Small Soundbar Under $250

    If you're looking for a more budget-friendly small soundbar, check out the Sony HT-S200F. It's a 2.1 standalone bar is a simple bar that's ideal for wallet-conscious buyers who don't need a lot of extra features. It's ideal for listening to music and dialogue-focused content like TV shows, with a balanced mid-range that makes voices present in the mix. While the sound is a bit dark and muddy due to the recessed treble and lack of bass, there are some limited customization tools on hand, like a bass adjustment feature to adjust its sound as well as a dialogue enhancement mode.

    With its small footprint, this soundbar doesn't take up a lot of space on your TV stand. It isn't quite as versatile as the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) - there's no Dolby Atmos support, for example, and its performance with surround sound content like Dolby Digital isn't quite as impressive. If you want a more affordable upgrade over your existing TV speakers, the Sony is still a solid choice that can meet most needs - but it's not as good for movies as a 5.0 setup.

    See our review

  3. Best Cheap Small Soundbar Under $100

    If you're looking for a cheaper option, the Roku Streambar has a compact design ideal for smaller living spaces at a more affordable price. Like the Sony HT-S200F, it's best suited for listening to vocal-centric content like TV shows and podcasts, with a balanced mid-range that reproduces clear and detailed voices, so dialogue is present in the mix. The slightly recessed treble and lack of bass add a dark and veiled quality to the mix, but there's a dialogue enhancement feature available to make voices more clear, which is handy. It also supports surround sound content, though it has to downmix it into stereo to play it.

    If you change your mind down the line or if you move to a room with more space, the Streambar lets you upgrade your setup. You can add on a dedicated subwoofer and satellites, which improve bass reproduction and surround sound, respectively - making it a good choice for anyone looking to enter the soundbar game without breaking the bank.

    See our review

  4. Best Soundbar For Computers

    Many people turn to small soundbars as options for smaller living rooms - but you can also use compact soundbars to enhance the audio from your computer. The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is the best soundbar for computer use that we've tested. It's a well-built 3.0 setup, and its small, standalone design fits easily underneath your monitor. You can plug it into your monitor if you want, but it's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can easily pair it wirelessly. It has a fairly neutral, though slightly V-shaped sound profile out-of-the-box, meaning that it offers a little extra boom in the bass range and some brightness in the treble that makes voices and instruments sparkle.

    Additionally, you can use its bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound to your liking. Unfortunately, since it's a 3.0 setup, its surround sound performance isn't as impressive as the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) - but if you want to enhance the sound with video games, it's a really solid choice.

    See our review

  5. Best Compact Soundbar With Subwoofer

    If you love bass-heavy music genres or want to feel the rumble in action-packed movie scenes, you might be disappointed that most small bars come as standalone setups. While you can upgrade the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and the Roku Streambar with a subwoofer, you can also check out the TCL Alto 6+, which is a compact bar that comes with a subwoofer included in the price. It's budget-friendly, with a pretty neutral and balanced sound profile, so voices and lead instruments in music and TV shows are clearly and accurately reproduced. Thanks to its dedicated sub, it offers a more extended low-bass than other standalone models, so there's more rumble in your audio.

    That said, this soundbar doesn't support Dolby Atmos content. If you're looking for a small bar with a subwoofer and Atmos support, you can check out the LG Eclair QP5. Its subwoofer doesn't perform quite as well as the TCL's sub, so it doesn't reproduce as extended of a low-bass - but it's still a solid pick for movie buffs who watch a lot of Atmos content on streaming platforms.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Vizio SB2020n-G6: The Vizio SB2020n-G6 is a 2.0 channel setup you can easily add to your computer setup, thanks to its compact design. However, it only supports PCM-format content. See our review
  • Bose TV Speaker: The Bose TV Speaker is a well-built 2.0 setup, but it doesn't have as many sound enhancement features as the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), and it doesn't get as loud. See our review
  • Denon Home Sound Bar 550: The Denon Home Sound Bar 550 is a well-built 4.0 soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos content. While it struggles to reproduce low-bass out-of-the-box, you can upgrade it with a dedicated subwoofer and satellites sold separately. 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. See our review
  • Sonos Beam: The Sonos Beam is a 3.0 setup with a similar design to the next-generation option. However, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content. See our review
  • LG Eclair QP5: The LG Eclair QP5 is one of the smallest bars we've tested with Dolby Atmos support. Though it comes with a dedicated sub, it doesn't reproduce as much low-bass as the TCL Alto 6+. Its low-frequency extension is similar to standalone bars like the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jun 03, 2022: Added the Roku Streambar as 'Best Under $100'. Minor updates to the text for clarity.

  2. Apr 05, 2022: Replaced the LG Eclair QP5 with the TCL Alto 6+ since the TCL reproduces a more extended low-bass. Minor updates to the text for clarity.

  3. Feb 04, 2022: Replaced the TCL Alto 6+ with the more versatile LG Eclair QP5 with Dolby Atmos support. Minor updates to the text.

  4. Dec 07, 2021: Replaced the Sonos Beam with the next generation Sonos Beam (Gen 2). Moved the Sony HT-S200F from 'Alternative With Integrated Sub' to 'Best Budget' for greater clarity.

  5. Oct 08, 2021: Minor updates to the text for accuracy. No changes to product picks.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best small 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.