ces 2019
The 13 Coolest Things We Saw at CES This Year

Several people on the ground at CES in Las Vegas told me that it was a down year. I’d argue that it was just plain boring. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some neat gadgets in the mix. In fact, a baker’s dozen of them were just plain amazing. Read More >>

vizio
CES 2019: Vizio Has a Wacky Idea for Futuristic Dolby Atmos Soundbars

One of the most exciting innovations for home entertainment is Dolby Atmos. The technology adds an element of height to the audio coming out of your sound system, and the effect is honestly game-changing. Vizio has a wacky idea about how to make Atmos even better. What if your soundbar could do Atmos at will? Or, more specifically, what if your soundbar could swivel like a sassy robot and adjust itself to whatever you’re watching? Read More >>

audio
Sennheiser’s Bonkers 3D Soundbar Goes on Sale This Year for a Bonkers Amount of Money

Sennheiser turned some heads at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) by announcing its first ever home audio product: a soundbar with 3D audio. The company will turn some more heads at this year’s CES with the soundbar’s price tag: $2,500 (£1,958; UK pricing and availability TBA). Read More >>

audio
Roku’s Wireless Speakers Are Beautifully Simple But There’s a Catch

It was a bit of a surprise earlier this year when Roku announced that it would be selling wireless speakers. The popular maker of platform-agnostic set-top boxes is certainly no stranger to home entertainment, but the idea that it would soon start to compete with Sonos, well, that seemed crazy. Having spent some time with the new soundbar alternative, I can say that Roku is doing something more intriguing with the Roku TV Wireless Speakers. It’s built a custom sound system that works curiously well with Roku TVs. The only downside is that the speakers don’t really work at all with any other TV or wireless audio system. Innovation is a weird beast, I guess. Read More >>

audio
Why Every TV Needs a Soundbar 

Soundbars are a relatively new invention. The 5.1 surround sound setup—one left speaker, one centre, one right, and two rear—used to be the most popular way to improve your home cinema’s audio, and it tended to be pretty expensive. Then, in 1998, Altec-Lansing released the world’s first soundbar and changed the way living rooms worked. It’s been two decades since, and thanks to a weird consequence of innovation, pretty much all TVs now require a soundbar. Read More >>

audio
The Polk Command Bar Is an Ugly Attempt at an Interesting Idea

Smart soundbars are an interesting idea. They’re like smart speakers, except they work with your TV, so you can use your voice like a remote control. Neat! In January, Polk wowed CES attendees with its new Command Bar. Put bluntly, this smart device is a big honking soundbar with an Amazon Echo Dot stuffed inside of it. That means the Command Bar can do anything an Echo Dot can do as well as a few extra tricks. It’s pretty ugly, too. Read More >>

audio
Don’t Expect Miracles From a Cheap Soundbar

Cheap soundbars are a lot like cheap headphones. Many of them will do the job. Few of them will do it well. The new TV Mate by Samsung fits firmly in the first category. It will indeed make the audio on your TV louder and better. It will not, however, trick your friends into thinking you have a souped-up home cinema. Read More >>

reviews
The New Sonos Playbase Is Great, Comes a Little Too Late

There was a brief period of time—think 2011 to 2015, where the pedestal-like soundbar was convenient for TV owners. TVs had become skinnier and sound had ended up crummier as a consequence. Functioning as both speaker and stand, the pedestal was an appealing soundbar-style ideal for TV owners who had no plans to mount a set on their wall, but didn’t have space for a giant sound log resting precariously in front of their set. Sonos’ new Playbase is one of the best pedestal-style sound bars you will be able to buy right now, but, uhh, it’s also way late. Read More >>

streaming
LG’s Sonos Clone Adds a Few Extra Speakers To Get Its Music Flow On

LG's new line of battery-powered, Wi-Fi-enabled speakers complement its new soundbar models, for sure. But more importantly, it also fills out Music Flow, the company's Sonos-like connected-home audio offering, with some attractive, well-rounded hardware. Read More >>

sponsored
LG’s SoundPlate Boasts Sexy Sound Served in an “Invisible” Box

Well, almost invisible. Long gone are the days when getting a decent sound out of your skinny flatscreen TV required several hundred feet of surround sound cabling snaking around your room or a monstrous soundbar obscuring the bottom half of your screen. LG’s slick SoundPlate proves a good AV speaker should be heard and not seen. Read More >>

audio
Pioneer’s New Soundbar Is Beautifully Simple and Wonderfully Cheap

Pioneer's new SB-PS23W is a soundbar the way most people want it: A simple, relatively inexpensive way to make a television sound louder. In that way, it's cut from the same cloth as the fantastic AirPlay speakers the company made last year (actually, it's got the some LA-based designer). It wasn't the first AirPlay speaker, but its design made it a winner. Read More >>

overkill
I Would Resort to a Life of Crime to Pay for Bowers and Wilkins’ Badass New Soundbar

Bowers & Wilkins makes incredible-sounding speakers. Fact. And while its original Panorama soundbar is no exception, the home theatre package was missing key connectivity in the way of HDMI inputs. The new Panorama 2 packs three-HDMI inputs, finally, and more importantly, 175 earth-shaking watts, into a gorgeous six-speaker array. Read More >>

audio
Yamaha’s Awesome Affordable Soundbar Now Comes With a Wireless Subwoofer

When the Yamaha YAS-101 came out last year, we marvelled at the perfect balance between the sound quality afforded by its full-range drivers and a price point that wouldn't break the bank. Now the successor — the YAS-201 — is here and instead of packing its bass technology into the bar itself, it has been split off into a wireless sub. Read More >>

audio
UK’s Best-Selling Soundbar Shrinks In Size

I do like a good British success story, and Orbitsound seems to have struck gold with its soundbar docks. Taking the formula of the larger T12, the company has created the smaller T9 for teensy TVs or gaming-dedicated systems. But kept the iPod dock, just in case you have a hankering for something other than the 'Stenders theme-tune. Read More >>

audio
Now You Can Match a Soundbar to Your Avocado-Coloured Bathroom

We try not to make a habit of writing about different colourways of existing products, but after clocking Orbitsound's new clip-on colourful fronts, I couldn't pass it up. Do you know how long I've been searching for the very same shade of avocado soundbar to match my '70s avocado bathroom suite? Read More >>