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The best soundbars with subwoofers include models from brands like Yamaha, Vizio, and Samsung.

Bass makes everything better. Whether you’re jamming to your favorite playlist or looking to add guttural punch to movies, authoritative bass is instrumental in bringing sonic impact to your room. And if you crave full and powerful bass, you’ll want an audio system with a dedicated subwoofer. That’s why we’ve rounded up the five best soundbars with subwoofers for various budgets.    

We selected our picks based on hands-on testing and all our recommendations provide ample low-frequency kick. But the best soundbars with subwoofers do more than just pump up the bass. They offer detailed upper frequencies, conveniences like streaming support, and advanced connectivity options. The Yamaha YAS-209 is our favorite soundbar and sub combo thanks to its accessible price point and versatile features. But if you’re willing to spend more, the Samsung HW-Q990C delivers thrilling Dolby Atmos performance across 11.1.4 channels of surround sound.

From entry-level models to room-blasting 3D audio setups, these are the best soundbars with subwoofers you can buy.

Our top picks for the best soundbars with subwoofers

Best overall: Yamaha YAS-209 – See at Amazon

Best high-end Dolby Atmos system: Samsung HW-Q990C – See at Amazon

Best midrange Atmos model: Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 – See at Amazon

Best for music: Klipsch Cinema 400 – See at Amazon

Best affordable surround sound: Vizio V-Series 5.1 – See at Best Buy

Best overall

Yamaha’s YAS-209 is a soundbar Swiss Army knife that offers a versatile array of features and audio sound quality without breaking the bank. Finding a decent soundbar and sub combo at this price is difficult since many brands now favor selling modular systems with components you buy separately. Yamaha’s YAS-209 bucks that trend with everything you need right in the box, making it the best soundbar for most needs.

You’ll get great features like WiFi support for high-quality streaming, built-in Alexa voice control with an onboard microphone, and even an HDMI input, something the growing majority of entry and midlevel soundbars omit. The one caveat is that the extra input doesn’t support Dolby Vision HDR, but it still comes in handy in a pinch. Other connection options include a digital optical port for older TVs and legacy devices, as well as Bluetooth for streaming.

The YAS-209’s design is sleek and simple, with a rounded body wrapped in acoustic fabric. The system lacks a good visible display, but we never had much reason to adjust the sound significantly. The device’s 2.1-channel playback offers a good balance across frequencies. You won’t get Dolby Atmos support here, but Atmos isn’t expected at this price, and the system does offer a DTS Virtual:X mode for simulating surround sound.

The 209’s wireless subwoofer connects automatically, and its tall frame makes it easy to fit into various setups. Best of all, the bar and sub blend well together, moving seamlessly between registers to bring clarity to the high frequencies and a formidable punch down low. This provides a serious upgrade for virtually any TV’s built-in speakers, and thanks to the HDMI ARC connection, you can control the bar with your TV remote.

You can spend a lot more on other soundbar and subwoofer combos, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal for this much good stuff. Yamaha’s YAS-209 is a reliable set-it-and-forget-it option with great performance at a very accessible price.

Best high-end Dolby Atmos system

Samsung’s HW-Q990C is more of a full-fledged home theater system than a typical soundbar. It is equipped with dual wireless satellite surrounds, a primary bar with up-firing and side-firing drivers, and, of course, a powerful subwoofer. 

The system is fully loaded, with 22 individual drivers and support for virtually every major audio format, including Dolby Atmos and its primary rival, DTS:X. You also get plenty of connection options, from dual HDMI inputs to WiFi, with support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. We’re disappointed that Google Chromecast isn’t supported (an odd omission for a brand that makes Android phones), but Bluetooth is available as a backup.

The Q990C includes a subwoofer (left) and rear speakers (right).

The Q990C offers fantastic sound for TV content and music, with dynamic performance that auto-adjusts in real time using Samsung’s Adaptive Sound feature. The system’s 11.1.4-channel playback is spread effortlessly across components, moving between traditional surround sound and overhead effects with impressive fluidity. Even with all its speakers, the subwoofer stands out with a side-firing eight-inch cone that digs deep into the lowest frequencies. The Q990C’s sub also provides improved clarity compared to the previous Q990B model.

System settings can be easily adjusted with the snazzy remote or via Samsung’s SmartThings app. You also get Amazon Alexa or Bixby voice assistant control, as well as a few Samsung-only features, like Q-Symphony, which lets the bar work in concert with the onboard speakers on select Samsung TVs.

With each iteration, the Q990 series has seen modest upgrades, and buyers should note that Samsung now sells a slightly updated version of this system called the Q990D. The new model offers one notable feature the Q990C doesn’t: HDMI 2.1 passthrough. This feature allows you to connect gaming consoles with support for outputting next-gen features like VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and 120Hz support. If that’s important to you, it may be worth paying more for the Q990D.

Otherwise, we think the Q990C is the better value since it’s often sold for hundreds of dollars less. If you’re after top-notch Dolby Atmos performance, the Samsung Q990C is the best soundbar with a subwoofer to get.

Check out our Samsung Q990C soundbar review.

Check out our guide to the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

Best midrange Atmos model

Vizio’s Elevate 5.1.4 soundbar (P514a-H6 5.1.4) was already one of the best value propositions in the soundbar market when it debuted in 2020, and its value has only grown over time. Despite its affordable price, it offers exhilarating Dolby Atmos immersion with separate satellite speakers and a potent punch from its hefty wireless subwoofer.

This soundbar’s Elevate branding is a fitting moniker, dubbed for the device’s rolling front speakers. The drivers direct sound forward when fed traditional audio formats and rotate upward to fire sound off your ceiling when listening to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio mixes. It’s a unique design (or was until Vizio released its smaller M-Series version) that assures no speakers are wasted, helping the system provide detailed and immersive sound from any source.

The Elevate can rotate its drivers forward or upward depending on the source you’re listening to

The Elevate is appropriately loaded for a bar of its stature, including dual HDMI inputs, Bluetooth and WiFi streaming with Chromecast support, and an increasingly rare analog input for plugging in legacy audio sources. We also appreciate its rugged construction with anodized aluminum components. Our only real complaint with the layout is the bar’s wired satellite surround speakers, which must be plugged into the large subwoofer. It’s also not as user-friendly as pricier systems like Samsung’s Q990C, which have extra conveniences like voice assistants and auto-calibration to adjust the sound to your room.

While you’ve got to work a little more, the Elevate punches high above its price point, delivering cinematic sound with potent bass from its wireless subwoofer. It can get a little fresh and forward in the upper frequencies for music, but you can configure the settings to taste, including EQ adjustments and raising or lowering the height and center channels to lock in the perfect blend for your room. 

With plenty of features, clear and immersive sound, and sledgehammer bass, the Elevate 5.1.4 is one of the best soundbar and subwoofer pairings on the market.

Check out our Vizio Elevate soundbar review.

Best for music

With real MDF cabinets, carefully tuned Tractrix horn drivers, and one of the baddest subwoofers this side of the $500 line, it’s easy to see why Klipch’s Cinema 400 is our pick for the most musical soundbar and subwoofer pairing.

This bar looks, feels, and sounds more like a traditional set of speakers than most models in its class because that’s how it’s built. It doesn’t hurt that Klipsch has been designing traditional home theater speakers since the ’40s. You’ll get crisp, clear treble and dialogue, along with a smooth and refined midrange. And the Cinema 400’s supercharged bass hits harder than anything we’ve tested at this price point, thanks to its eight-inch subwoofer cone packed into a cabinet that stands over 16 inches tall. Combined with the powerful two-channel bar, the sub provides stellar performance for everything from TV and movies to jazz and hip-hop.

As with previous models in this series, the Cinema 400 strives for sound quality over features. Missing here are extras like WiFi or smart assistants, opting for Bluetooth streaming only. There’s just one HDMI connection, with no spare port for plugging in outboard devices, but that’s pretty common at this price, as is the bar’s lack of Dolby Atmos support.

But despite these omissions, if pure stereo sound quality is your main objective, Klipsch’s Cinema 400 delivers outstanding performance.

Best surround sound on a budget

Vizio’s 5.1-channel V-Series soundbar (V51-H6) offers fantastic surround sound value at a budget-friendly price. For well under $300, you get immersive and accessible audio performance, Bluetooth streaming, and easy-to-adjust settings wrapped in a slick, matte-black package with wired satellite speakers and a wireless subwoofer. 

The V51-H6 provides clear and present dialogue for TV and movies, as well as solid sound quality for streaming music. The adorably pint-sized subwoofer isn’t nearly as potent as what you’ll find in pricier offerings on our list, but it drives home some good thump, serving as the foundation for the soundbar’s cinematic skills. It also does a great job blending with the smaller speakers inside the bar for good balance and true immersion with surround sound sources.

The V-Series soundbar system includes satellite speakers, but they must be wired to the subwoofer using included cables.

There’s something of an old-school vibe in the V-Series V51-H6’s design, starting with the wired surround speakers, which must be plugged into the subwoofer. This limits placement options to some degree, but the included cables are long enough for most setups, and you don’t need to track down power outlets as you do for most wireless surround speakers.

A Casio-style digital face on the remote and small LEDs on the bar combine for clear settings adjustments like EQ and center-channel volume, while the HDMI ARC connection lets you use your TV remote to control power and volume. The bar skimps on advanced features like WiFi and digital assistants, and there’s also no spare HDMI input or support for 3D sound formats like Dolby Atmos.

But good luck getting anywhere near a similar setup at this price elsewhere. If you’re looking to dip your toes into surround sound at a serious bargain, this is the best soundbar with a subwoofer for your needs.

Check out our guide to the best budget soundbars.

How we test soundbars with subwoofers

We put each soundbar we evaluate through a series of tests.

To find the best soundbars with subwoofers, we tested multiple models for hours on end across various sources. Sound quality is our top priority, with a particular emphasis on potent and foundational bass. We also consider other factors, including supported audio formats, how easy each soundbar is to set up and use, and support for advanced features like WiFi streaming, smart assistants, and multiple HDMI inputs.

We assess each soundbar’s design, considering its aesthetic qualities and how well it fits into the average TV room. We then spend multiple days with each bar we evaluate, putting them through various tests with familiar material, from movies and TV shows to specific music playlists. We test a variety of sound sources, from streaming services to physical media, as well as listening to both compressed and lossless audio via apps like Spotify and Amazon Music. We also use each bar for regular daily listening, striving to get a feel for how it is to own it from a buyer’s perspective.

When testing sound quality, we look at many elements, from dynamics and dialogue clarity to tonal balance across the treble, midrange, and bass registers. To find the best soundbar with subwoofer combos in particular, we’re looking for smooth, accurate, and musical bass, as well as good balance and fluidity between the subwoofer and soundbar. Any obvious difference between the tonal color of the subwoofer and the bar is grounds for dismissal.

Finally, we test parameters like WiFi and Bluetooth reliability, navigation of connected apps and settings, and the responsiveness and accuracy of smart assistants, where applicable.

What to look for in a soundbar with a subwoofer

Most soundbars have HDMI ARC or eARC ports to easily connect to modern TVs.

Once you’ve established that you want a soundbar with a subwoofer, there are a few primary things to target as you hone your search. First, you’ll want to check for good connectivity options. Every modern soundbar should have HDMI ARC or eARC, which makes it simple to connect to an HDMI ARC-compatible TV and use its remote to control power and volume.

All of the best TVs sold today have this feature, but if your TV doesn’t have HDMI ARC or eARC (it should be labeled in the inputs cubby), you can often use an optical connection as an alternative. However, HDMI ARC is required to play Dolby Atmos.

Virtually every modern soundbar includes Bluetooth support, but higher-quality systems also have WiFi for over-the-air updates and better streaming quality. Features like AirPlay 2 for iPhones, Chromecast for Android devices, and Spotify Connect are also relatively standard, making it handy to stream songs from the best music services. The more options your bar supports, the better.

Soundbars with WiFi support may also offer built-in voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. If you’re interested in using your soundbar as a smart home hub or controller, you’ll want to ensure the bar has built-in microphones for voice commands.

With a soundbar subwoofer combo, you’ll be looking at a 2.1-channel configuration at the low end, while advanced systems with Dolby Atmos will generally offer multi-channel configurations like 5.1.2. The first number in the series represents the front-facing channels in the soundbar, the middle number represents the subwoofer (bass) channel, and the last number defines how many height or upfiring channels the bar supports (if any) for Dolby Atmos.

Speaking of Dolby Atmos, you’ll usually pay a premium to get a soundbar that supports it or its primary rival DTS:X. Sometimes called 3D, spatial, or object-based audio, these advanced formats include traditional surround sound channels on the horizontal plane, as well as height channels to add a vertical element that creates a deeper sense of immersion. Check out our Dolby Atmos guide for more details. 

FAQs

If you want the best bass performance, there’s no substitute for a dedicated subwoofer.

Why do I need a subwoofer?

The simple answer is physics. When it comes to producing true, authoritative bass, advanced acoustics and digital processing are no match for bigger speaker drivers. The larger drivers inside dedicated subwoofers can physically move more air than smaller speakers, which helps them properly recreate the low-frequency waveforms that eventually make their way to our ears with authenticity and accuracy. If you’re looking for powerful explosions, floor-rattling thunder, and rich, low musical performance, a subwoofer is all but necessary.

Can I add a subwoofer to a soundbar later?

Some soundbars offer the option to add a subwoofer or surround sound speakers after the fact. These are commonly referred to as “modular” systems, allowing you to purchase extra components later. Some soundbars, including options from Klipsch and Sennheiser, even have a standard subwoofer output, letting you connect a traditional subwoofer from any brand. 

That said, many companies charge a major premium for soundbar models that use modular designs. Adding a subwoofer made by a different brand may also make it harder to balance the two components tonally. If bass is an important factor for you, we recommend buying a soundbar and subwoofer combo from the start to get the best value.

What size soundbar and subwoofer should I get?

Size is always a determining factor when purchasing a soundbar. The first thing to consider is whether your entertainment console is long enough to support your soundbar of choice. Many soundbars range from 36 to 46 inches or longer, especially for high-performance bars with many drivers, such as those that support Dolby Atmos.

You’ll also want to ensure your soundbar won’t block your TV screen, especially if your TV sits on a stand rather than being mounted on a wall. Most soundbars are designed to sit around three inches tall or less, but you’ll want to do some measurements so you don’t run into an issue.

For the soundbars on this list, you’ll also want to make sure you’ve got space for your subwoofer. Subwoofers can range from tall and skinny to short and stout, so again, do some measurements to ensure you’ve got good placement options. Most setups work well with the subwoofer placed on the ground to the left or right of the TV console, but it’s best to have some room to experiment.

Finally, if you want to add a soundbar with surround sound (or satellite) speakers, make sure you’ve got stands or shelves that will allow you to properly place the speakers slightly behind and to the sides of the main listening position. Dolby offers some helpful speaker configuration guides for this purpose. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got power outlets in reach for wireless surround speakers or long enough cables to plug in wired options comfortably.

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