Soundbars are a great and compact way to enhance your music listening experience when you don't have space for a full home theater setup. You can get great stereo audio reproduction with soundbars and excellent bass performance when your system has a dedicated subwoofer, although one isn't necessary to enjoy good audio fidelity. Not all soundbars are the same, and you should choose one that suits your needs, whether you prefer using Bluetooth, your home Wi-Fi network, or even AirPlay to stream your favorite tracks.
We've tested over 185 soundbars, and below are our recommendations. Also, check out our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars (if you watch a lot of movies), and the best budget soundbars.
The Samsung HW-Q990C is the best soundbar for music that we've tested. Whether you like the classics or modern-day pop, this soundbar shines thanks to its impressive sound quality. It's the next generation of the Samsung HW-Q990B, and you notice an improved performance from the start, especially in the bass range. The dedicated sub reproduces a deep thump and rumble that brings genres like EDM and hip-hop to life, and voices and lead instruments are clear and accurate in the mid-range. The resulting neutral sound is suitable for all sorts of audio content, especially music.
This soundbar stands out from the crowd thanks to its wide array of sound enhancement features. You find a room correction tool that automatically optimizes its output based on your room's unique acoustics, as well as a 7-band graphic EQ for manual adjustment. If you don't need as many customization features, you can check out rival bars like the Sonos Ultimate Immersive Set with Arc and the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module. They're both great alternatives, especially if you already own audio products in these manufacturers' ecosystems—however, they aren't as customizable as the Samsung soundbar since they lack graphic EQs.
The Samsung HW-Q930C is a great alternative if you want a standout performance at a more affordable price. This bar is a great value buy, especially since it offers many of the same functions and features as the more premium Samsung HW-Q990C. Right out of the box, this bar brings a clear and accurate reproduction of voices and lead instruments in all your favorite tracks, from vocal-centric pop to bass-heavy EDM and hip-hop. Its dedicated subwoofer also brings out all the thump and rumble in the bass. At least in the US, it seems to be available only through Best Buy and the manufacturer's website.
You'll find many of the same sound customization tools as with the more premium HW-Q990C. For example, its room correction feature automatically adjusts the sound to the unique needs of your listening space. If you prefer to switch it up on your own, there's a 7-band graphic EQ available in its companion app, so you can brighten the treble and bring more boom in the bass. This bar doesn't get quite as loud as its more premium cousin, though, and there's more compression when you push it to max volume, which muddies audio reproduction a bit. Still, for music lovers who want the versatility to watch multi-channel content as well, it's worth a look.
Looking for a more affordable setup? Don't have room for satellites? You're in luck. The Samsung HW-Q900C is another great pick for rocking out to your favorite tunes, and it comes with a lot of the same features as the manufacturer's more premium counterparts. You can access many premium sound customization features, including bass and treble adjustments and a graphic EQ. Its room correction tool is also designed to optimize its output based on your room's acoustics. With a clean and clear sound right out of the box, this soundbar is suitable for all your favorite music.
Unlike the more premium models on our list, though, this setup lacks discrete satellite speakers. This can be a plus, especially if you don't have a lot of space behind your couch. If you're just listening to stereo content like music, too, you probably won't need satellites in the first place. However, this bar doesn't shine as bright with other content like surround sound compared to the Samsung HW-Q930C and the Samsung HW-Q990C. It'll depend on your listening habits as to whether this is a fair tradeoff or not—keep in mind that movie lovers can always add on satellites separately, which is a nice touch.
The Vizio M Series M512a-H6 is an even more wallet-friendly option for music lovers. Right out-of-the-box, you get a clear and detailed audio reproduction that's great for listening to everything from rock to pop to EDM to classical music. Voices and lead instruments reproduce accurately, and the dedicated sub brings the rumble in the low-bass. Crank up the volume to enjoy your favorite songs as loud as you want. This soundbar doesn't have a full graphic EQ like the Samsung HW-Q900C, but you can still adjust its bass and treble to get the best possible sound.
This bar is a great fit if you want to use your soundbar for more than just listening to music. Since it comes with satellites, it offers an immersive sound with surround content, and it also supports Dolby Atmos, both commonly found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays. You can check out the similarly-priced LG SP8YA if you don't watch many movies. It's a good alternative without satellites, meaning it's better suited for smaller rooms. Of course, its surround sound isn't as good as the Vizio, so it's not quite as versatile, but it's still worth noting for those who only want a bar for listening to music.
The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is a solid pick if you're shopping on a tight budget. It's a 5.1 setup that's quite simple but still does a very good job with music. Thanks to its balanced mids, it reproduces clear and accurate vocals and lead instruments, and its dedicated subwoofer ensures that you feel the punch and rumble in the bass. Its neutral sound makes it suitable for listening to everything from classical music to rock to hip-hop. There's a standard selection of sound enhancement features for its budget price point. You won't find a graphic EQ or a room correction feature, but there are bass and treble adjustments that give you some control over its sound.
If you want a versatile bar, you're in luck. Despite its budget-friendly price, you still get satellites with this soundbar. It's especially handy if you want concerts mixed in Dolby Digital. There's no Dolby Atmos support like with the Vizio M Series M512a-H6, though this isn't a huge deal if you don't listen to much content mixed in this format. Those who don't have room for satellites can check out the similarly-priced Samsung HW-B550, too. Still, those who want to enjoy multi-channel content will want to check out the Vizio instead.
Whether in a small room or a tight apartment, the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is a great pick that won't take up a lot of space. It has the same compact design as the original Sonos Beam, measuring under 26 inches in width, with a sleek and premium style that blends in easily with your decor. Compared to its predecessor, it supports Dolby Atmos content frequently found on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs. Using psychoacoustic principles, it stretches sound well past the edges of the bar itself, so you get a wide and immersive-sounding experience with your audio, just like if you were seated right in the middle of the action.
Like the premium Sonos Arc, this soundbar has many customization tools, including a TruePlay room correction feature that adjusts audio output based on your room's acoustics. Voices and lead instruments are clear right out of the box, but its bass and treble adjustments give you extra control over its sound. Bass lovers can add on a separate sub if they want, and Sonos sells compatible satellites, too—the full Sonos Beam (Gen 2) with Sub Mini + One SL Speakers is a great option if you have space for the extra components. Of course, compared to the Arc, this smaller soundbar doesn't get quite as loud and can't reproduce as much height in the soundstage. That said, it's still a solid pick overall.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best soundbars for music 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 their music performance. 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.