2020 Top Picks of the Year Soundbars

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Soundbars

Top Pick of the Year:

Sonos Arc Soundbar
(September) Read Review

Sonos took its time releasing an Atmos-capable soundbar, but the Arc proved worth the wait.

In the words of reviewer Rob Sabin, "Sonos Arc is a brilliantly engineered and worthy successor to the Playbar that sounds amazing with movies and TV and delivers a truly respectable audiophile experience with music." For a more immersive experience, Rob suggested adding in the company's Sub and its Play:1 or other Sonos speakers as surrounds, something the Sonos wireless ecosystem makes it easy to do. $799, sonos.com

Finalists:

DALI Katch One Soundbar
(April/May) Read Review

This stylish soundbar from Denmark's DALI impressed our reviewer Leslie Shapiro with its clear rendering of dialogue for movies and TV and wide stereo image with music. Summing up, she commented, "It may be pricey, but for me it's worth the added expense." $999, dalispeakers.com

LG SN8YG 3.1.2 Atmos Soundbar
(October/November) Read Review

LG's soundbars seem to get better with each passing year, and 2020's SN8YG is no exception. With 3.1.2 Atmos playback, a wireless subwoofer, and Chromecast built-in for music streaming, LG gives you a lot of soundbar for your money. $799, lg.com

Savant Smart Audio WiSA Soundbar System
(October/November) Read Review

Savant's fully wireless soundbar-based home theater system impressed reviewer Rob Sabin with its "audiophile sound quality." He also likened it to a Trojan horse due to the integrated Savant home control processor, which gives you "the ability to step deep into Savant's smarthome ecosystem at whatever pace you like." $4,000 (as tested), savant.com

JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar
(December/January) Read Review

The JBL Bar 9.1 soundbar system delivered a realistic Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive audio experience in our test. It also offers a unique feature: detachable wireless, battery-powered surround speakers that can be situated anywhere in the room that's convenient. $999, jbl.com

Polk Audio MagniFi 2 Soundbar Systema
(December/January) Read Review

Polk Audio's compact MagniFi 2 soundbar package is packed with the company's SDA Stereo Dimensional Array technology to enhance stereo imaging, a 3D Mode that adds virtual height and surround effects, and Chromecast built-in for streaming. At just under $500, it's also a great deal. $499, polkaudio.com

COMMENTS
SuicideSquid's picture

It's nice to see a range of pricing across your picks - good to see a mid-range priced bookshelf speaker as your top pick of the year, and a $700 set of B&Ws to sit alongside some of the $5,000 options. It's a lot more helpful to most readers than just leaning hard into the top-end.

The feature set of that Monoprice preamp looks amazing, but am I the only one who thinks it looks ugly as sin? The aesthetics of most of monoprice's gear makes me cringe.

mjmiller715's picture

Couldnt agree more.

I havent heard any of their products other than basic hdmi cables and the like.

I find it hard to believe they can copycat their way into such high quality but maybe im mistaken.

This coming from someone who uses an old anthem receiver that is not the prettiest girl at the party but it does quite well under most conditions.

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I enjoyed your blog post on the A/V gear trends of 2020. Streaming surged while disc-based viewing declined. Affordable Ultra HDTVs and HDMI 2.1 brought enhanced viewing experiences. The Monoprice Monolith HTP-1 and Dirac Live impressed on the audio front. Thanks for the insights! Read more

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