A lot of people have asked for it, and after months of work, we are finally testing soundbars. More info here.
Updated

Connectivity Tests and Scores
Soundbars

Score components:
  • 25% Audio Format Support - ARC
  • 25% Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
  • 25% Audio Format Support - Optical
  • 25% Wireless Playback
Score distribution

Test results

Our tests

Physical Inputs - Bar

What it is: All the physical inputs on the soundbar, except the power cable and service ports.
When it matters: When playing sound through the soundbar using a high quality wired connection.

Audio Format Support - ARC

What it is: Whether the soundbar can decode and play audio sent in each specific format, over an HDMI ARC connection. Note that in many cases, if the TV detects that the soundbar doesn't support a specific audio format, it will transform it into something that the soundbar does support.
When it matters: When playing surround sound from the TV, when the TV supports HDMI ARC. ARC has more features than optical (more possible formats, power on and off with the TV, etc).
Score components:
  • 5% eARC
  • 8% ARC Dolby Atmos
  • 1% ARC DTS:X
  • 61% ARC Dolby Digital
  • 5% ARC Dolby Digital Plus
  • 10% ARC DTS
  • 1% ARC Dolby TrueHD
  • 1% ARC DTS-HD MA
  • 8% ARC 5.1 PCM
Score distribution

Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In

What it is: Whether the soundbar can decode and play audio sent in each specific format, over a direct connection to its 'HDMI In' port.
When it matters: When playing surround sound with the soundbar, using its 'HDMI In' input.
Score components:
  • 9% HDMI Dolby Atmos
  • 1% HDMI DTS:X
  • 64% HDMI Dolby Digital
  • 5% HDMI Dolby Digital Plus
  • 11% HDMI DTS
  • 1% HDMI Dolby TrueHD
  • 1% HDMI DTS-HD MA
  • 8% HDMI 5.1 PCM
Score distribution

Audio Format Support - Optical

What it is: Whether the soundbar can decode and play audio sent in each specific format, over a digital optical audio connection. Note that in many cases if the TV detects that the soundbar doesn't support a specific audio format, it will transform it into something that the soundbar does support.
When it matters: When playing surround sound with the soundbar, using its optical audio input. Optical has fewer features than HDMI or ARC but is a decent fallback when those two can't be easily used.
Score components:
  • 60% Optical Dolby Digital
  • 40% Optical DTS
Score distribution

Wireless Playback

What it is: Whether the soundbar can play content wirelessly from your device.
When it matters: When you want to play content on the soundbar without having a direct cable connection to it, such as when using a smartphone.
Score components:
  • 60% Bluetooth
  • 20% Wi-Fi
  • 10% Chromecast built-in
  • 10% Apple AirPlay
Score distribution

Other Input Specifications

What it is: Any other connectivity specs and features the soundbar has that can impact your usage.
When it matters: When using advanced connectivity features of the soundbar, such as video passthrough.

Connectivity - Subwoofer

What it is: How the subwoofer connects to other devices (usually just the soundbar).
When it matters: When setting up the subwoofer.

Connectivity - Satellites

What it is: How the satellites connect to other devices (usually just the soundbar).
When it matters: When setting up the satellites.

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