2021 Top Picks of the Year Soundbars

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Soundbars

Top Pick of the Year:

Klipsch Cinema 1200 System
(October/November) Read Review

Klipsch's Cinema series soundbars push new performance barriers while delivering a product that is quintessentially Klipsch, with the signature Tractrix horn-loaded tweeters we expect from the brand. The flagship Cinema series model, Klipsch's 1200 is a 5.1.4 system with a 54-inch-wide Atmos-enabled bar, a wireless 12-inch sub, and a pair of wireless Atmos-enabled surrounds. After reveling in its performance with both movies and music, reviewer Rob Sabin concluded, "The Cinema 1200 packs a surprising whomp in a small and elegantly designed form factor, and it's an easy recommendation." $1,699, klipsch.com

Finalists:

Roku Streambar Pro
(August/September) Read Review

Offering a considerable sound upgrade over a TV's internal speakers, Roku's Streambar Pro soundbar comes with the company's comprehensive streaming platform conveniently built into the bar. But in this case, the soundbar is only just the start: Adding Roku's optional wireless sub and surround speakers "enhanced my experience even further," said reviewer Michael Antonoff. $180, roku.com

Denon Home 550
(December/January) Read Review

With its virtual Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing, Alexa voice control, and built-in HEOS wireless streaming, Denon's Home Soundbar 550 delivers much for its $599 price. Getting straight to the point in her review, Leslie Shapiro stated, "I rarely have very much good to say about soundbars with DSP-based simulated surround. But the Denon Home Sound Bar 550 instantly impressed me by delivering convincing immersive sound." $599, denon.com

Sonos Beam Gen2
(February/March) Read Review

The Sonos Beam Gen 2 builds upon the virtual surround sound abilities of the company's original Beam by adding Dolby Atmos processing— at a mere $50 premium. Said reviewer Mark Henninger, "As long as your TV features HDMI eARC, it can deliver a reasonably immersive Atmos experience. And even if your TV lacks that feature, the standard surround sound quality this compact soundbar delivers makes it a great choice." $449, sonos.com

COMMENTS
ensignsoothe's picture

It won't ever take the place of my Serviio DLNA server if I can't stream the media to several devices on my network. It's easier to manage my library on a single computer and have something like a Roku or Blu-ray player that supports DLNA on every TV. flappy bird

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