Complete your ultimate gaming setup with the best soundbar to go with your PS4 Pro, Xbox One S or TV.
Not everyone can deal with just the standard TV speaker audio. Some of us are trying our very best to build a little home cinema in order to watch movies or enjoy some intense 4K gaming. While getting the perfect TV for the job is essential (more on that later), the visual really needs to be paired with the right audio. For that, you’ll need the best soundbar for your PS4 Pro, Xbox One S or your TV in general.
Fortunately, there is a veritable bounty of companies out there, all striving to make the best soundbars for the job and since gaming continues to get bigger and bigger, more and more of these things are finding their way into the homes of gamers like you and I. Whether you’re after the best of the best and want all the extra features possible on top of a 7.1 surround system and all that, or you’re looking for something much more simple, there will be something to find.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to our favourite soundbars on the market today, whether you’re looking to build a cinema in your home or play games in 4K with crystal clear audio. These are our top picks for the best soundbars for PS4 Pro, Xbox One S and TV.
If you’re on the hunt for the best soundbars for PS4 Pro or Xbox One S, you may also want to check out our guide to the best TV for PS4 Pro and Xbox One S and get your 4K gaming on.
The best: Samsung HW-K950 (Dolby Atmos)
The K950 is Samsung’s top-of-the-line luxury soundbar, delivering a devastating 500 watts of power into your room. It’s also one of the first soundbars on the market to support Dolby Atmos, thanks to its 5.1.4 configuration. Along with the bar itself, the packages comes with two additional loudspeakers which are intended to be placed behind the viewer, delivering a full-room immersion while you watch or play. Both of these speakers are wireless, so you won’t have a series of messy cables strewn throughout your home. In the bar itself is a set of speakers angled towards the ceiling, creating a full sound for the viewer by reflecting the audio off the ceiling.
In terms of design, Samsung has opted for a sleek black brushed metal look for this model. The speakers and LED display are set behind very fine black plates, with four subtle buttons along the right side of the bar for controls – volume, source, power – and the rest of the controls dedicated to the remote control.
Dolby Atmos is provided through the HDMI port, which leaves two inputs and one output free, which can be used to loop through 4K and HDR if needed. As expected, there is also a Toslink optical cable and a 3.5 mm jack input, if you should need them or prefer to use them. The unit also features Bluetooth capabilities and can be used via mobile devices to play music, if that’s your kind of thing. All in all, the K950 is a beast that offers a solution to almost any query you could throw at it and manages to deliver outstanding performance each and every time. It’s going to price itself out of most people’s budgets but if you can afford this or the Yamaha we’re about to talk about, you can’t really go wrong.
The best: Yamaha YSP-5600 (Dolby Atmos)
The YSP-5600 is the second Dolby Atmos soundbar setup on our list. Of course, you may have read this far and assumed I’d just made a mistake by labelling two products as ‘the best’ but alas, it’s no mistake – this Yamaha and the Samsung above are both equally deserving of the title and just about as expensive as each other, too. The Yamaha just happens to have the benefit of being the newest product on this entire list. Designed as a Dolby Atmos enabled soundbar that is intended to perform like a 7.1 system, the YSP-5600 supports virtually everything – even DTS: X, Dolby Atmos’ direct competitor.
Unlike the Samsung K950, the Yamaha is a completely self-contained unit – just a soundbar, with no additional speakers and only an optional subwoofer as a possible add-on. While this might seem a little odd at first, this means a completely viable method of enjoying the Atmos sound system without installing a set of additional speakers around your house. It doesn’t make it a cheaper option, though.
How the Yamaha YSP-5600 creates the same immersive experience without the aid of additional speakers is almost a matter of brute force. A whopping 44 drivers are installed into this 21cm tall soundbar. Twelve of these are pointed upwards in order to reflect the sound off the ceiling and back down towards viewers. Also present are two woofers inside the bar to provide a rich bass – if that’s not enough bass for you, that aforementioned extra subwoofer can be bought as an extra.
Connectivity wise, there are four HDMI inputs as well as one HDMI output, two optical inputs and a coaxial digital input are featured as well as an analogue input, to boot. With that much choice, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a device that doesn’t work with the Yamaha. If the YPS-5600 is being used as a part of a network you’re covered from all sides there too – the unit features a wired LAN connection as well as a wireless module integrated right in. This enables the use of programs like Spotify, which can then be controlled through the Home Theater Controller App. Oh, and yes, it’s Bluetooth and AirPlay enabled.
Needless to say after all that, the Yamaha YPS-5600 is a seriously impressive bit of tech and one of the absolute best soundbars available right now. It’s not cheap but it does everything it can to justify its price point and odds are good that you won’t be disappointed if you do decide to pick one up.
High-end: Focal Dimension and Focal Dimension Sub
Focal might not be quite as much of a household name as say, Yamaha, Sony or Samsung and that’s not ultimately all that surprising – the Focal Dimension is the company’s first shot at making a high-end soundbar. That hasn’t held the company back from striking gold with its first attempt, though, as Focal delivers an excellent soundbar with an optional subwoofer that makes a complete package that is hard to beat for the price. The slim, slick looking unit is a 5.1 capable soundbar that features five drivers and packs a serious punch, even without its subwoofer counterpart. It’s a mere 6.5cm slim and can be wall-mounted or set up in front of a television, depending on space concerns.
Although the soundbar alone has beaten many of the competing soundbars on the market when put to the test by various websites and tech magazines, the Focal Dimension really comes into a world of its own when paired with the Focal Dimension Sub. The Sub is a passive subwoofer that can be placed directly behind the soundbar and even used as a TV stand for televisions weighing up to 40 kilograms. If you don’t fancy the look of the Focal Dimension Sub, there are no worries there since the Focal Dimension Soundbar is compatible with any conventional active subwoofer on the market as well. The advantage to getting the pair of them together, more often than not, is the big discount you’ll receive when buying the bundle.
On top of the fantastic performance, the Focal Dimension soundbar and Sub both look stunning, featuring a black brushed aluminium finish. It feels sturdy, looks stylish and delivers incredible quality sound but won’t dominate a room with its presence. The unit supports Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. As far as connections go, the Focal Dimension features two HDMI inputs (with ARC and CEC), an optical digital input and an analog stereo connection. Sadly, though, there’s no WLAN or Bluetooth connectivity to be found.
High-end: Sony HT-ST9
The HT-ST9 is Sony’s flagship soundbar and given that when paired with a compatible subwoofer this thing can reach a whopping 800 watts of power as well as create a 7.1 sound setup using S-Force Pro Front surround sound, it’s not hard to see why. The high-quality sound is owed, at least in part, to the powerful coaxial speakers and carbon fibre membranes with ferrofluid technology, which is a lot of fancy words to say it’s made from some really very impressive stuff. With this model, Sony is very quick to mention that it’s also supported High-Resolution Audio (at 96KHz / 24 Bit).
With this being a Sony product, it might not surprise you to hear that there’s a ‘Game’ mode included which was developed for and tailored specifically to the PlayStation 4 specs, promising a ‘special sound experience’ with every gunshot, explosion or other typically video game noise. Build-wise, the whole unit is built using carbon fibre drivers and brushed aluminium, with a detachable speaker cover and a black faux-leather look on the sides.
In terms of connectivity, the HT-ST9 features three HDMI inputs (4K, 3D and HDCP 2.2), an HDMI ARC output, an optical digital input and an analogue input. Also featured is a USB port which can be used to play video and sound from an external storage device. This one manages to pack in a LAN port, WiFi and Bluetooth as well, which is a nice little addition for the price range.
Mid-range: Philips Fidelio B5
Philips delivers a clever and versatile soundbar with the Fidelio B5. When used as normal, the B5 is a 210-watt soundbar with a rounded body which can be wall-mounted using the supplied bracket or stood below the TV during use. The B5 is perfectly usable and enjoyable in this form, but where it really separates itself from the rest of the pack is by giving owners the ability to detach the leftmost and rightmost speakers and place them on either side of your seating area, creating a multi-speaker environment. The detached speakers then operate using Bluetooth and work together to deliver a more fully realised sound. Philips calls this “surround on demand” and it’s particularly impressive when it becomes apparent that each of the now-separate speakers can then be used individually via Bluetooth as their own independent portable speakers.
Inside the B5 are two 75mm low-frequency drivers and two dome tweeters, alongside a 75mm wideband driver in each speaker module and an active subwoofer, which is wireless. Of course, it’s not all about the funky and somewhat bizarre concept of the detachable speakers since the B5 also manages to deliver a whole lot of high-quality sound – perhaps a little more than most mid-range soundbars. The casing is entirely aluminium and the B5 even features automatic calibration with the use of an included microphone. Two HDMI inputs can be utilised, as well as one optical input, one coaxial digital input, one 3.5mm jack and an HDMI 1.4 output with ARC. It’s also enabled for Bluetooth and NFC.
Entry-level: Samsung HW-K450
Just because something is on the cheaper side, it doesn’t mean it still can’t surprise you. The Samsung K450 is perhaps the absolute best soundbar available for its price range. You’re not going to be able to achieve 5.1 sound without spending a little extra, but as far as most other features go, the K450 delivers in spades where most soundbars in this price bracket come up short. The unit itself is a 300-watt strong 2.1 system with virtual surround. It comes with a wireless subwoofer that packs a much bigger punch than you may expect, too.
Connections found on the K450 include an HDMI input, HDMI output with CEC, ARC and 3D support, optical digital Toslink input, Bluetooth and USB, enabling media to be used straight from a storage device or mobile phone. The soundbar also comes equipped with Samsung’s Anynet+ technology, allowing users to control up to 12 devices with a single remote control.
As you may expect from the price, the build is plastic rather than metal which may sound a little tacky at first, but the highly polished piano lacquer looks clean, minimalistic and sleek. All in all, Samsung has managed to appear at both the top and bottom of our recommendations which says a lot about the company’s dedication to delivering high-quality performance on both ends of the price spectrum.
So there you have it, our top picks for the best soundbars for PS4 Pro, Xbox One S or just plain watching 4K TV. Know of any products that we’ve missed out that you think we should shout about? Let us know in the comments section below.