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Affordable Soundbars for Home Theater


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Soundbars are popular for home theater because they don't require a lot of wiring or an advanced degree in electronics to operate. Generally a soundbar comes with one bar with a few midrange speakers, and a few tweeters. Better soundbars add some type of virtual surround sound. The best soundbars add the surround sound and a wireless subwoofer. What would be really nice would be a wireless subwoofer that also powers two surround speakers. Since subs can be almost anywhere in a room you could place the sub under an end table and run the surround speakers off of that. I've not seen this yet but it sure would be a great idea.

In the mean time here are some of the newest crop of Surround Soundbars on the market.

The Boston Acoustics soundbar, TVee Model 25 is priced right at $349 with the newly added virtual surround. Their olderr Boston Acoustics TVee Model 20  was always highly rated on Amazon

Polk Audio Surroundbar IHT 6000 Instant Home Theater (Black)Polk Audio Surroundbar IHT 6000 Instant Home Theater   
The Polk IHT 600 also adds virtual surround sound and the bar is only 2" deep to compliment today's slim TV designs. It comes in at $455.84. You can also consider the Polk Audio Surroundbar IHT 3000    which is only $324.99.

VIZIO VHT510 5.1 Surround Sound Home Theater with Wireless Subwoofer (Black)VIZIO VHT510 5.1 Surround Sound bar  
For those of you with Vizio TV's this soundbar is a bargain. It does have the surround speakers. It will likely work with any setup but the advantage here is that you'll only need one remote if you have a Vizio already.

Sony HT-CT350 Virtual 5.1 Sound BarSony HT-CT350 Virtual 5.1 Sound Bar 
The Sony HT CT350 is a nice surround setup, though again with virtual surround. You will gain the benefits of one remote if your other gear is Sony but it is not necessary. It gets good reviews as well.

It is important to remember that virtual surround sound works best when there are only a couple of viewers and they are sitting next to each other in the sweet spot of the speakers. Since this method of surround sound is using audio gymnastics to deliver a enveloping experience it is not a true surround. That said, those of us who want a clean easy to use install, these surround soundbars offer a great alternative to lots of wiring and sometimes difficult to use AV Receivers.

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