2 Top Sony Soundbars of 2024 Ranked

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Evan Shephard

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True Score Methodology

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Updated Apr 9, 2024 12:04 PM
best sony sound bar guide that shows the top best soundbar model

The best Sony soundbars should have low latency so that your audio and video are in sync as well as a good max volume for room-filling sound. But when buying your next one, you should know there is a problem of low quality or fake expert reviews. 91% of reviewers don’t actually test the soundbars and as a result you might end up buying the wrong one. That’s why we verify each of our 140+ soundbars as certified tested and shortlist the best 2 based on our True Score, a product rating system based on actual test data, expert and customer ratings. Remember, the best soundbar should offer a harmonious blend of design, performance, and user-friendliness.

Below is our list of the 2 best Sony soundbars. No matter what movie you watch or games you play, you’ll feel the “punch” of the onscreen action. If you are curious about other brand offerings, we also have recommendations for the top Bose soundbars and excellent soundbars from LG.

How Did We Rank the Best Sony Soundbars

We’ve redefined soundbar buying guides, setting us apart from any other site on the planet. Our unique approach combines in-house verification (when we can) with a comprehensive dataset from over 200+ trusted sites, focusing on key testing metrics (2 required, 2 nice to have) and 1 specification to rank the top-rated Sony soundbars and ensure our recommendations meet your specific needs. Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission. Dive deeper to see how.

🛠️ Minimum Specifications

  • Must be Sony

🧪 Test Criteria

  • Total Harmonic Distortion: High-fidelity audio reproduction is ensured with total harmonic distortion (THD) kept below 1% at 80 decibels.
  • Volume Output: Experience powerful and immersive sound performance with volume output surpassing 85 decibels.

👍 “Nice To Haves”

  • Latency: With latency maintained under 100 milliseconds, data transmission or audio processing experiences minimal delay.
  • Low-End Roll Off: A low-end roll-off of <45 Hz to ensure there is plenty of thump and rumble in the bass to enhance your music or movie-watching experience.

Latest Updates

  • 04/09/2024: Published the list of best Sony soundbars based on our True Score system.

Top Sony Soundbars For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

To earn a place on our list, a Sony soundbar must meet our rigorous standards for audio performance and quality. Failure to meet these criteria means it won’t make the cut!

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Sony HT A5000

    Ideal for gamers, the HT-A5000 offers ultra-low latency, premium Dolby Atmos support, and crisp audio. However, it has less bass unless an extra subwoofer is purchased.

    Sony HT A5000 Review →

    True Score

    83
    81
    10

    Experts

    88
    1k

    Customers

    SAVE $252
    $999.99
    $748.00
  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Sony HT-S400

    The HT-S400 delivers strong bass, high volume, and overall great value on a budget, making it perfect for casual entertainment and filling large rooms with sound.

    Sony HT-S400 Review →

    True Score

    80
    77
    4

    Experts

    86
    3k

    Customers

    SAVE $42
    $299.99
    $258.00

Our Approach to Evaluating Sony Soundbars

We’ve revolutionized soundbar buying guides, distinguishing ourselves from any other website on the planet. Our innovative methodology relies on a comprehensive dataset sourced from trusted sites, emphasizing crucial testing metrics such as volume output, total harmonic distortion, latency, and low-end roll-off.

We gather and analyze data to tailor our recommendations to individual needs, especially when it comes to Sony soundbars. This involves choosing models renowned for outstanding audio quality for watching movies, TV shows or playing video games. Discover our data-driven approach for precise and reliable soundbar suggestions.

Which Criteria Matters for Best Sony Soundbars

By focusing on these criteria (2 required, 2 nice to have), anyone can quickly and easily compare these soundbars and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a soundbar that will sound great.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
Total Harmonic Distortion< 1YesThe amount of distortion introduced by the soundbar when it processes an audio signal at a given volume (typically 80, 85 or maximum dB output.)
Max Volume> 85 dBYesThe maximum volume that a soundbar reaches when it’s output it turned up to 100%.
Low End Roll Off< 45 HzNo (nice to have)The point at which bass begins to sharply fall below the target response point on a frequency response graph, making harder to hear.
Latency< 100 msNo (nice to have)The time it takes for a soundbar to process audio signal from a source and output it through the speakers.

Our Trusted Data Sources

(Publication category Score is 80%+)

We looked at 120+ soundbar reviewers and while 10 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Score), we only use data from the testers that are “very trusted” which means a Trust Score above 70%. The three we have listed below are our most trusted for soundbars.

  1. Becca Fischer – Rtings, MuckRack
  2. Matt Bento- Techgear Lab, MuckRack
  3. Sam Moore – Sound Guys, MuckRack

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every soundbar review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Scores from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Soundbars Test Data & Results

1. total harmonic distortion test result

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) measures the fidelity of soundbars by indicating the percentage of unwanted harmonics added to the original audio. A THD under 1 ensures minimal distortion, critical for preserving audio quality across music, movies and games. This low distortion level enhances clarity, maintains detail, and ensures a high-fidelity listening experience, crucial for understanding dialogues, appreciating music nuances, and immersing in game sounds.

We believe soundbars should have less than 1% THD because this helps confirm their ability to accurately reproduce a wide range of audio without perceptible distortion. We say “perceptible” because it’s impossible to remove all distortion, but you can reduce it to the point it’s impossible to notice. Low THD also helps improve your comfort by preventing fatigue during extended use, making it an essential for anyone that marathons movies, games or music.

Total Harmonic Distortion (lower is better)

2. max volume test result

Maximum volume is the easiest aspect of a soundbar to understand: it’s just how loud the soundbar itself will actually get. What’s less clear is why a soundbar getting loud is so important. While higher max volumes give you the ability the fill rooms with sound or use a soundbar as makeshift party speakers, they’re also responsible for helping ensure that audio stays clear when listening at normal listening levels.

This is commonly referred to as “headroom”, and having enough headroom on a soundbar means that the soundbar is able to play back sounds at a high enough level (and with good enough clarity) that the volume level you’ll normally listen to music, movies or games with will sound perfectly clear and distortion free. We recommend your soundbar have no less than 85 dB of maximum volume, but getting past 91 dB is ideal, and the higher you go, the better your soundbar is at filling larger and larger rooms.

Max Volume (in dB; higher is better)

3. Low end roll off test result

When it comes to getting the most bass you can out of your soundbar, low-end roll off is a great indicator of just how deep the bass on it can get. If a soundbar doesn’t have a roll off that starts deep enough into the bass part of the audio spectrum, then it’ll result in quiet or even absent bass, which removes most of the punch and impact of not only music, but also movies and video games. the longer it takes bass to roll off, the better.

When it comes to most soundbars for most use cases, we recommend a roll off that doesn’t start until at least 45 Hz, but it only gets better the further you go down. It’s worth noting that the roll off will only get so low, so don’t expect to find soundbars hitting the teens for roll off, but it isn’t uncommon for very bass-forward options to hit 30 Hz before roll off starts. By aiming for at least 45 Hz, you have a much better chance of getting the deep, rumbling bass you’re looking for out of your music, movies or games.

Low end roll off (in Hz; lower is better)

4. latency test result

Large amounts of latency create problems when trying to sync up audio and video. While you’ve got a bit of wiggle room with how much of a delay can exist between the audio that comes out of your soundbar and the images on your TV, it’s not a ton. If there’s too much latency the mismatch starts to become obvious, and people start looking like they stopped talking while dialogue is still playing. This is especially concerning for gamers, who rely on audio and video to sync up well enough that the footprints you hear around the corner are accurately getting closer.

It’s for these reasons we recommend a latency less than 100 ms. For most content, this is a low enough delay that any mismatch is going to be largely unnoticed. If you’re a highly competitive gamer and don’t want to do calibration out of the box to line up the A/V, the lowest latency you can find is going to work best. For music and moves, though, 100 ms or less will work great.

Latency (in milliseconds; lower is better)

Best Sony Soundbars: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Neglecting Compatibility: Ensure that the soundbar is compatible with your existing audio setup, including your TV and other devices, to avoid compatibility issues and ensure seamless integration. Knowing how to connect a soundbar properly is also crucial, as it involves understanding the various connection options, such as HDMI, optical cables, or Bluetooth, to ensure seamless integration with your TV and other devices.

  2. Overlooking Room Size: Consider the size and layout of your room when selecting a soundbar. A soundbar that is too small may not fill a large space adequately, while one that is too large may overwhelm a smaller room. Proper soundbar placement is essential for achieving the best audio experience; it should be positioned centrally below your TV, ensuring it’s neither too close to the floor nor too high up to maintain sound clarity and direction.

  3. Ignoring Connectivity Options: Check the connectivity options of the soundbar to ensure it meets your needs. Whether you prefer Bluetooth, HDMI, optical, or other connections, make sure the soundbar has the necessary ports and features to connect to your devices. Read our comparison of HDMI ARC vs optical and HDMI vs Bluetooth to see which options is best for you. For avid gamers, finding the best gaming soundbar can significantly enhance your gaming experience with immersive audio that brings games to life, especially when the soundbar is equipped with features like surround sound and low latency modes.

  4. Not Considering Audio Features: Look beyond just the brand name and price and pay attention to the specific audio features of the soundbar. Consider factors such as sound quality, virtual surround sound capabilities, built-in equalizers, and additional audio enhancement technologies to ensure you get the best audio experience for your needs and preferences. Finding the best soundbar for dialogue with advanced clarity and speech enhancement features is crucial for those who prioritize clear conversations in movies and TV shows. However, if a cinematic audio experience is what you’re after, the top 5.1 soundbar can provide an immersive surround sound setup, bringing theater-quality sound into your home with its multi-speaker configuration.

Best Sony Soundbars Tests Compared

Product
True Score
Low-End Roll Off
High-End Roll Off
Max Volume
Total Harmonic Distortion
Latency

Sony HT A5000

  • Best for Large Rooms

83
  • 62.59 Hz

  • 18,510.99 Hz

  • 90.4dB

  • 0.38

  • 14 ms

$748.00
$1,000
$252

Sony HT-S400

  • Best for Sony

80
  • 44.3 Hz

  • 16,500 Hz

  • 92.8dB

  • 0.41

  • 79 ms

$258.00
$300
$42

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