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Our Sound Quality Score And Tests
Soundbars

What it is: How accurately the soundbar reproduces audio. When possible, soundbars are tested using a direct HDMI connection to the test PC. Otherwise, a direct optical connection or HDMI ARC through a TV is used for testing.
When it matters: When you want a deep and powerful bass, clear dialog/instruments, a large soundstage, and a loud and artifact-free sound for movies, video games, music, and TV shows.
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Test results

Our tests

Stereo Frequency Response

What it is: The average, compensated, in-room frequency response (spectral balance) of the soundbar. This shows how extended the bass is, and how well-balanced and accurately dialog and instruments are reproduced by the soundbar.
When it matters: When an accurate sound reproduction with a deep bass and clear dialog/instruments is desired. Frequency response has the biggest impact on the perceived accuracy and quality of sound, but doesn't show how loud or large/wide the sound is.
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Stereo Soundstage

What it is: Soundstage is the perceived size and width of the sound created by the soundbar. This score is given subjectively and the evaluation is performed by a team of three testers. A soundstage that is too small, diffuse, unnatural, or exaggerated will be penalized.
When it matters: When you want to feel immersed in a large, wide and natural soundstage with good instrument separation. Having a good soundstage is critical for music, movies, and video games, but not for speech/dialog like watching the news.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Stereo Dynamics

What it is: How loud the soundbar gets and whether its sound quality degrades at loud volumes.
When it matters: If you tend to listen at loud volumes or if your environment is large, crowded, or noisy, it's important to have a soundbar that can get loud.
Score components:
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion

What it is: The amount of subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies by the soundbar.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired. Harmonic distortion is relatively difficult to hear, so it should only matter to those who care about the fidelity of sound reproduction.
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Center

What it is: How accurately the soundbar reproduces audio with a 6-channel file that has signal only on the 3rd (Center) channel. When possible, soundbars are tested using a direct HDMI connection to the test PC. Otherwise, a direct optical connection or HDMI ARC through a TV is used for testing.
When it matters: When a deep and powerful bass, clear dialog/instruments, a large soundstage, and a loud and artifact-free sound is desired from the center channel. This only matters when the content is multi-channel (e.g. 5.1), like most movies and video games, but won't matter for stereo content (like most music) since they don't have a discrete center channel.
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Surrounds

What it is: How accurately the soundbar reproduces audio with a 6-channel file that has signal only on the 5th and 6th (Left Surround/Right Surround) channels. When possible, soundbars are tested using a direct HDMI connection to the test PC. Otherwise, a direct optical connection or HDMI ARC through a TV is used for testing.
When it matters: When a deep and powerful bass, clear dialog/instruments, a large soundstage, and a loud and artifact-free sound is desired from the surround channels. This only matters when the content is multi-channel (e.g. 5.1), like most movies and video games, but won't matter for stereo content (like most music) since they don't have discrete surround channels.
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Height (Atmos)

What it is: How accurately the soundbar reproduces audio with an Atmos file that has one object placed in the middle of the ceiling. When possible, soundbars are tested using a direct HDMI connection to the test PC. Otherwise, HDMI ARC through a TV is used for testing.
When it matters: When a deep and powerful bass, clear dialog/instruments, a large soundstage, and a loud and artifact-free sound is desired from the height (Atmos) channels. This only matters when the content is Atmos (like most recent movies and video games), but won't matter for stereo or surround content (older music and movies) since they don't have discrete height (Atmos) channels.
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

Sound Enhancement Features

What it is: Digital features and effects that will allow you to customize and modify the sound of the soundbar to some extent. This may include room correction, dialog enhancement, EQ, and bass/treble adjustment.
When it matters: When you want to adjust and customize certain aspects of the sound of the soundbar to make it more to your liking.
Score distribution

[Coming Soon]

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