Many settle for cheap soundbars or wireless speakers. Yes, you’re going to improve sound quality over the small speakers of your big-screen HDTV or smartphone. But it’s only making it louder. We’ll always recommend looking to the midrange, and Walmart has great sales on the Samsung HW-N550 Soundbar System and Bose SoundTouch 20 Series III wireless speakerthat are worth mentioning.
Both of these are great options at the higher end of the midrange, which while pricier give overall better sound quality and more reliable performance. With the HW-550 Soundbar, you’re getting the important addition of a dedicated center channel speaker and separate subwoofer, while with the SoundTouch 20 Series III, you’re getting the room-filling sound Bose desktop speakers are known for at a budget price.
Samsung HW-N550 Soundbar
Walmart’s deal on the 340-watt HW-N550 brings the price down to $258, well off its $398 retail price. Fair warning here that this is one of those “see price in cart deals:” in order to unlock the price you will need to enter your name and email.
What differentiates the midrange soundbars from the lower end is the addition of a dedicated center channel speaker. Why is this important? This is typically where the voice tracks are delivered. On your cheap soundbar, you might notice that if music is playing or there is a lot of sound in a scene, the vocals might be drowned out.
That’s because the vocals are fighting for acoustic space on either the left or right speakers in your soundbar, since they’re split evenly between the two. With the HW-N550 that’s no longer an issue since the bar has this third speaker.
The separate wireless subwoofer makes it even better, giving you immersive deep bass. If you choose to, you can add additional speakers to get that surround sound experience. It’s an overall great value.
If you’re in the market for a TV as well, however, we’d really recommend heading to Best Buy instead, and opting for their bundle deal on the Q60R soundbar. When you purchase the soundbar with select Samsung HDTV’s, you can save up to an additional $100 off the current sale price, which is $449.
What’s so different about the Q60R that makes it better? In addition to better speakers, it includes an “acoustic beam” across its top, which directs sound upward as well to create the illusion of more immersive sound. We can say from seeing the Q60R in action that it does make a significant difference.
Bose SoundTouch 20 Series III wireless speaker
For those looking for a great wireless speaker, the Bose SoundTouch 20 Series III is a good option — and Walmart is selling it for just $279, a $70 savings. In the third-generation of this speaker, Bose has opted to use Bluetooth instead of Apple’s proprietary AirPlay technology, and vastly improved its sound quality.
Its wireless capabilities have also been improved, leading to more reliable connectivity in a multi-speaker setup (you can link several Bose speakers together). An LED screen on the front lets you know what you’re listening to, and the controls are easy to use. With the SmartTouch app, you can control the speaker from your phone, and stream content from Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Amazon Music, and Deezer.
While you’ll need to step up to Bose’s higher-end speakers to really get great sound — for the average consumer, the SoundTouch 20 is more than adequate. But we do understand that you’d might want more options. In this case, you’d want to look further up the SoundTouch line for overall fuller sound.
If you’re looking for something cheaper, however, we’d recommend taking a look at our recently updated best wireless speakers of 2019. The second-generation Sonos One is a great alternative: it’s available at Best Buy for $200.
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