If you want to bring the thrill of the cinema to your home, you need to get yourself a 4K TV. Unfortunately, while most 4K TVs are overwhelmingly massive and very impressive visually, they tend to be super slim, offering a feeble sound that just won’t do. If you don’t have the budget for multiple surround sound speakers, we recommend getting a soundbar instead, like the Insignia NS-HMSB20, Yamaha YAS-109, and Samsung HW-S60T. Get them today at Best Buy for as little as $50.
The Insignia NS-HMSB20 is essentially a large Bluetooth speaker, devoid of the usual features you get in an actual soundbar. Despite limited inputs (it has 3.5mm audio, RCA, and Toslink optical but no USB or HDMI ports) and functionality (it lacks surround sound support), it does perform quite well where it actually matters: Enhancing your TV’s audio performance. Boasting a well-balanced and clear sound signature, this soundbar makes dialogue sparkle and brings to life movie scores and any genre of music. It is a bit lacking in the treble and bass department, but it does get surprisingly loud without any noticeable distortion and compression even at maximum volume. For a cheap yet solid way to listen to music off your phone or TV, the Insignia NS-HMSB20 is a fantastic option. Get it for the remarkably low price of $50 (down from $80) at Best Buy today.
Yamaha’s YAS-209 topped our list for the best soundbar of 2020 but if you cannot quite accept its $350 price tag, the more affordable and compact Yamaha YAS-109 is a wonderful alternative. It’s got everything that made YAS-209 great except for the wireless subwoofer (which creates a truly impressive bass): A spectacular sound, Alexa and Spotify onboard, multiple sound modes, Dolby Digital and DTS Virtual:X support, and a wealth of connections options (it’s got two HDMI ports and Wi-Fi connectivity besides the usual ones). The Alexa integration is a particular highlight as it allows you to use this soundbar as a smart speaker. You’d be able to ask her just about anything and control the soundbar through voice command to change the volume, skip a song, or switch the source. When it comes to sound presets, Cinema Mode is probably our favorite as it delivers crystal clear dialogue definition and surround sound elements. For an immersive and theater-grade sound at home without having to break the bank, get the Yamaha YAS-109 at Best Buy for $200 instead of $220.
Just like the Yamaha YAS-109, the Samsung HW-S60T is compact and missing a wireless subwoofer. Well, not exactly as it’s actually built-in, the reason why the bass is toe-tappingly rich. This can be a good thing for people with minimal shelf space who don’t want a separate large sub to think about. Despite its relatively tiny form, you need not worry about the HW-S60T delivering less than great quality in the surround sound department. Watching Paddington with it made us hear all the subtle audio details and nuances that any multispeaker speaker system can offer. Alexa is on board so you can enjoy hands-free operation if the remote is out of reach. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also built-in so you can play your Spotify music directly from your phone. Unfortunately, this soundbar lacks an HDMI port and only has Optical, which is baffling since the cheaper Yamaha YAS-109 has two. If you’re after a wide sound stage but don’t have the room for a lot of speakers, the Samsung HW-S60T’s immersive 3-D sound reproduction squeezed into its relatively tiny shape will impress you. Get it for $300 instead of $330 at Best Buy.
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