Best Cyber Monday Deals on Sound Bar Speakers
These nicely priced models from LG, Samsung, TCL, and other brands can pump up a TV's anemic sound
Everyone knows that picture quality is a critical factor in any TV purchase, but it’s easy to overlook the importance of sound—at least until you get the set home and turn on a movie. It’s disappointing to realize that often a TV’s audio doesn’t live up to its visuals.
Fortunately, there’s a simple, often inexpensive fix for that: a sound bar speaker system. The good news is that we’re seeing lots of holiday deals on sound bar speakers at all price ranges. (Check out our Cyber Monday TV Deals article if you need a new set to go with your sound bar.)
Our picks for the best deals on sound bars are listed below. And keep checking back here—we’ll be updating our picks throughout the whole holiday shopping season.
Go to Consumer Reports’ Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.
LG 2.1-Channel Sound Bar System
The 2.1-channel sound bar, the LG SL4Y, is a lower-priced but full-featured model that comes with a wireless subwoofer. This model can be expanded to a 4.1-channel surround-sound system by adding an optional LG SPK8-S wireless rear surround speaker kit. The unit has built-in Bluetooth for streaming from a mobile device, and it can also connect wirelessly to LG TVs that support the company’s Sound Sync technology.
LG 3.1.2-Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Sound Bar
This model, the LG SPD7Y, is part of a trend we’re seeing of Dolby Atmos sound bars at lower prices. It’s cheaper right now at Sam’s Club and Target than elsewhere, and the sale ends Nov. 29. We didn’t test this model, which has a main enclosure that includes upfiring height drivers for Atmos sound, plus a wireless subwoofer. It can accept optional wireless LG rear surround speakers to create a true surround-sound setup.
LG 4.1-Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Speakers
This LG sound bar system, the LG SLM3R, comes with a separate wireless subwoofer and rear speakers, plus built-in Bluetooth. We haven’t tested this model.
This is a step-up 3.1.2-channel sound bar in LG’s lineup, which adds support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive sound. (It can be expanded for true surround sound with an optional LG rear-speaker kit.) The price is now $50 lower than a week ago at both retailers. We tested this model, and it did well, if not exceptionally so, in our ratings. The main enclosure has upfiring drivers for the height channels, and it includes LG’s Sound Mode Share, which lets it take advantage of an LG TV’s processing power, though we don’t test for this. You can connect it to your TV using Bluetooth or WiFi, or using its HDMI input. This model works with Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2, and Google Assistant.
CR’s test results: LG SP8YA sound bar
Onn 32-Inch Basic Sound Bar
We don’t know very much about this smaller sound bar from Onn, Walmart’s house brand, but can’t imagine a sound bar at a lower price. We haven’t tested this model, so we can’t say it offers any improvement over a TV’s built-in sound, but hey, it costs less than most replacement remote controls so it could be worth taking a chance on.
Polk 4.1-Channel MagniFi 2 Sound Bar
This is a 4.1-channel system from Polk, which has a total of seven drivers in the main enclosure, plus a wireless subwoofer. It has built-in Chromecast and Bluetooth, as well as Google Assistant; it will also work with Amazon Alexa devices. It has three HDMI inputs, plus an HDMI ARC out. We didn’t test this model, but other Polk sound bars have done well to very well in our tests. The price at Amazon is best, it just jumped $100 at Best Buy.
The Roku Streambar is a tiny, inexpensive, but versatile two-in-one product that combines built-in Roku 4K HDR (HDR10) streaming with a compact sound bar speaker that can be added to any TV. However, its sound is only adequate, so it’s not the best choice for those looking for a higher-quality speaker for playing music and hearing movie soundtracks.
Samsung 2.0-Channel Sound Bar
This is a pretty good deal, though we did see this same sound bar for $20 less during last year’s Cyber Monday sales. It’s the Samsung HW-T400, a basic one-piece sound bar that lacks an HDMI input. Like most sound bars these days it does have built-in Bluetooth for wirelessly streaming music from a smartphone or tablet. It also has near field communication technology, so you can pair your phone to the speaker just by placing it next to the speaker’s NFC symbol. We didn’t test this model, but lower-priced Samsung sound bars we’ve evaluated have been decent, if not great, performers.
Samsung 2.1-Channel Sound Bar With Wireless Subwoofer
This low-priced 2.1-channel sound bar system, the Samsung HW-T415/2A, is found mainly at Walmart right now. We didn’t test it, but it appears to be a fairly basic model with a separate wireless subwoofer, and built-in Bluetooth audio.
Samsung 2.1-Channel Sound Bar Only at Best Buy
This model, the Samsung HW-A430/ZA, is an exclusive to Best Buy. It’s a fairly basic 2.1-channel system with a separate wireless subwoofer and built-in Bluetooth. Note that it lacks an HDMI inout, so you’ll likely connect it via its optical digital input. This model comes with a remote, but can be controlled by a Samsung TV remote as well.
Samsung 3.1-Channel Sound Bar with DTS Virtual:X
The Samsung HW-A650/ZA is a 3.1-channel sound bar, meaning it has a dedicated center-channel speaker that can help localize dialogue to the TV’S screen—so the characters’ voice don’t seem to be coming from the sides of the scene—plus a wireless subwoofer. It can connect to your TV connect using WiFi, Bluetooth or HDMI, and comes with Samsung’s One Remote feature, so it can be controlled with a Samsung TV remote. We haven’t tested this model, though many Samsung sound bars in this price range have been decent performers.
Samsung 5.1-Channel Sound Bar
The Samsung HW-Q59CT is available to Costco members at this price through Dec. 5. We haven’t tested this 5.1-channel sound bar system, which consists of the main enclosure, plus a wireless subwoofer. You can add optional Samsung rear surround speakers to create a full surround sound system. The sound bar can connect to your TV using WiFi, Bluetooth, or HDMI.
This model, which appears to be a Best Buy exclusive, is a full-featured 5.1-channel sound bar that comes with two wireless rear surround speakers, plus a wireless subwoofer. It’s well-priced for its features, and it’s among the better-sounding sound bars in our ratings. Samsung advertises this model as a 7.1-channel system, but it’s not; it will, however, use a feature called Q-Symphony to sync the sound bar’s speakers to a compatible Samsung TV’s speakers. It also supports DTS Virtual:X, which uses signal processing to simulate a 3D audio experience.
CR’s test results: Samsung HW-Q65T/ZA
Samsung 5.1.2-Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Sound Bar
This model, the Samsung HW-Q850A/ZA, appears to be a Best Buy exclusive. It’s a full-blown surround-sound system with a separate subwoofer and wireless rear speakers; it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive sound formats. Designed to work with Samsung’s QLED TVs, the sound bar synchronizes with the TV’s speakers to produce a fuller sound. It has a lot of features and includes the Amazon Alexa voice assistant built in.
TCL 2.0-Channel Alto 6 Roku-Ready Sound Bar
This deal is on a fairly basic TCL all-in-one sound bar without a separate subwoofer. However, this model, the TCL TS6, is “Roku ready,” so it will be easy to set up and use with most Roku TVs, and you can use the Roku TV remote to control the sound bar. It’s $69 at most other retailers.
Vizio 2.1-Channel Sound Bar
The Vizio SB3221n-J6 is a fairly basic 2.1-channel sound bar, which comes with a separate wireless subwoofer. It’s at a low price for a 2.1-channel system, and right now Amazon and Walmart have the best price. It has built-in Bluetooth, and comes with cables.
So far, Costco has the best price we’ve seen for this 5.1-channel system, which comes with a wireless subwoofer and a pair of rear speakers. We tested this model, and it did well, if not exceptionally so, for overall sound quality. It’s part of the Costco sale that runs through Nov. 29.
CR’s test results: Vizio V51-H6