The most important thing a soundbar needs to do is sound great. Usually, to get the best sound, you need both a soundbar and a subwoofer – a second bulky piece of equipment that deepens and enhances bass. This doesn’t only take up space on your TV table, but also adds to the cost of setting up a complete home cinema system. But what if there was a way to ditch the soundbar? You need to find the best soundbar without subwoofer, also known as an all-in-one soundbar.
Luckily for you, we’ve surveyed hundreds of all-in-one soundbars to bring you the best soundbar without subwoofer on the market today. We’ve evaluated these soundbars against the criteria that matter most to users: sound quality, smart features, aesthetics, and surround sound capability. So, let’s break down our top five all-in-one soundbars.
Product Comparison Table: Best Soundbar Without Subwoofer
|Best in class
|Sony HT-A5000 Dolby Atmos Soundbar
|Best Surround Sound
|Sonos Arc Smart Soundbar
|Best Smart Soundbar
|Bose Soundbar 500
|Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max
|Bose Smart Soundbar 900
The Sony HT-A5000 Dolby Atmos Soundbar uses 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology to calibrate sound to your room. Even if you move the soundbar from the main room to a bedroom, the HT-A5000 will adapt the sound to fit its new location. It also has Hi-Res Audio and 360 Reality AudioPlus, and Sound Field Optimization to ensure your sound is never too big or too small for the space.
Plus, with 8K HDR, 4K/120 and Dolby Vision video passthrough support, your favorite movies and games will be even more immersive. It naturally pairs with Sony BRAVIA TVs for easy access to soundbar controls and Acoustic Center Sync, too. Lastly, audio-quality wise, it has up-firing speakers for overhead sound, side beam tweeters, an array of X-Balanced speakers, and integrated subwoofers for deep bass & clear dialogue.
- Wide array of speakers
- 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology
- Compatible with Sony BRAVIA TVs
- Remote and TV interface feel dated
The Sony HT-A5000 Dolby Atmos Soundbar is our best soundbar without subwoofer in terms of surround sound quality. With so many integrated speakers, this soundbar is perfect for high-fidelity music listening or enjoying immersive games and TV shows. The sound technology is also perfect for filling any size room, and is impressively adaptive. Unfortunately, the interface and remote control feel a little dated, though.
The Sonos Arc Smart Soundbar will bring all your entertainment to life with the brilliantly realistic sound of Dolby Atmos. This creates a precise, high fidelity soundscape that really makes you feel immersed in whatever you’re watching. Plus, Enhanced Trueplay tuning technology optimizes the sound to fit with the acoustics of your listening space. Even without a subwoofer, eleven-high performance drivers produce deep and impressive bass.
There’s also voice control with Amazon Alexa, so you can play music, check news, set alarms, and get your questions answered. You can also stream music, radio, podcasts, and more from your favorite services with the Sonos app or Apple AirPlay 2 when the TV is off. Lastly, you can also use your TV remote to control it.
- Dolby Atmos sound technology
- Enhanced Trueplay tuning
- Voice and app control options
- Slightly weaker mid-range
The Sonos Arc Smart Soundbar is our best smart soundbar, with a huge range of interactive features. The adaptive Enhanced Trueplay tuning and Dolby Atmos sound technology save you the annoying job of calibration. Even then, the voice and app control options make it incredibly easy to interface with the soundbar if you have to. Although the mid-range sound is slightly weaker than other soundbars, the clear treble and resonant bass more than make up for it.
The Bose Soundbar 500 is slim and powerful, offering an excellent sound experience at an excellent price. It also has built-in voice assistants – including Alexa and Google Assistant – with superior voice pickup from a noise rejecting eight microphone array. Plus, Bose Voice4Video expands your Alexa control to your TV and cable or satellite box, so you can start watching instantly with just one voice command.
The Bose Music app personalizes your experience, and keeps all your music in one place. Jump between stations, playlists, and services, set up presets, and more. The most unique feature, however, is Bose SimpleSync. This allows you to group your Bose Soundbar 500 to your Bose Headphones 700, with independent volume controls, so you can instantly switch and watch without disturbing those around you.
- Great value low price
- Multiple connection options
- Noise-excluding voice control
- Average sound quality
The Bose Soundbar 500 is low-cost, slim and powerful. However, don’t let its small size fool you. This pint-sized powerhouse is capable of producing high levels of volume – even if the sound quality isn’t the best on this list. But in terms of connectivity, this soundbar without subwoofer has the most options, and the most secure connections.
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max offers a fully immersive 5.1.4 channel 3D high-quality sound experience, with deep 30Hz bass. Thanks to Sennheiser’s bespoke AMBEO audio technology, there’s no need for an external subwoofer if you want rich, powerful sound. It also offers adaptive surround sound, which adjusts to the characteristics of your living room via advanced room calibration. Plus, the latest virtualization sound bar technology developed with Fraunhofer makes you feel like you’re in the movie. Plus, five dedicated tweeters deliver studio-grade sound, even on mid-range voices.
You can also customize your home listening experience with a built-in equalizer, and three bespoke AMBEO 3D technology modes. It’s also fully compatible with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and MPEG-H. Finally, you can also use wireless streaming; either through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connected devices, or from the cloud via built-in Chromecast, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect.
- Deep bass and studio-grade fidelity
- Multiple connection options
- Adaptive sound technology
- Range of customisable modes plus equaliser
- Very expensive
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Max is our most customisable soundbar, offering the perfect listening experience for any situation. It has a wide range of modes, a built-in equalizer and even adaptive surround technology that fits the sound to any room. Of course, these kinds of features usually come at a price; this is the most expensive soundbar without subwoofer on our list by far. But if you’re willing to pay, you won’t find much better than this!
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is the most immersive Bose voice control soundbar. Two custom-engineered up-firing speakers make seem as if sound is coming from every direction — even overhead! Proprietary Bose TrueSpace spatial processing analyzes and upmixes sounds for an enveloping listening experience in Dolby, stereo, and more. There’s also Dolby Atmos technology built in. With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, you can also wirelessly stream whatever you want, however you want.
The Bose Smart 900 is one of our most aesthetically pleasing soundbars; from material quality to construction, Bose have worked on every detail to produce a soundbar without subwoofer that looks as great as it sounds. It also contains exclusive Bose Voice4Video technology. This expands your voice capabilities like no other smart soundbar can, by also allowing you to control your TV, cable and more with just your voice.
- Great sound quality with Dolby Atmos
- Multiple connection options and streaming capability
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Adaptive surround sound technology
- Difficult to set up
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is our best overall soundbar without subwoofer. It does everything the others do – adaptive surround sound, cool aesthetics, Dolby technology and strong connectivity – to a solid and reliable standard. It may not have the best customization features, or the most precision-tooled speaker system. However, if you want a powerful soundbar without subwoofer that you can rely on, the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is the perfect all-rounder.