The 3 Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer in 2024

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Reviewed By

Evan Shephard

(ISF Certified)

True Score Methodology

v1.5

400,918

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Apr 2, 2024 2:54 PM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

best soundbar without subwoofer guide that shows the top best soundbar model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

When you’re looking for the best soundbars without a subwoofer, the absence of a subwoofer often means a decrease in bass performance. This results in less punchy and booming audio. However, these soundbars offer greater ease of placement in your home theater setup. Prioritize features like strong treble response, minimal distortion, and balanced sound to enhance your listening experience​​​​.

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From analyzing 140+ soundbars, only 3 made it to our buying guide. We meticulously analyzed 394,661 reviews, with 91% of experts failing our trust checks. The top performers impressed us with their sound quality and ease of integration. We used a combination of True Score certification and Trust Rating to eliminate fake reviews, ensuring you get the best and most reliable soundbars.

When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission.

  • 🔉Get the Devialet Dione for unbeatable volume in large spaces.

    $1,999.00

    Best Budget

    Best Mid-Range

  • 🕹️ Gamers, pick Sonos Beam Gen 2 over the HT-A9 for flawless sync.

    $475.00

    Best Budget

    Best Mid-Range

  • ✨  Audiophiles, get the Sony HT-A9 for crystal-clear highs.

    $1,498.00

    Best Budget

    Best Mid-Range

How Did We Rank the Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer?

By analyzing over 200 websites, we developed a buying guide for the best soundbars without subwoofers that cuts through the noise. We combined rigorous testing methods, detailed customer reviews, and expert insights to pinpoint the top models. Our criteria included 2 essential test results, 2 desirable features, and 1 vital specifications. This ensures our guide is both comprehensive and trustworthy, providing you with the key information needed to choose the best soundbar for your 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

  • Subwoofer Included = No

? Test Criteria

  • Low-End Roll-Off: A low-end roll-off of <95 Hz to ensure there is some rumble in the bass to enhance your music or movie-watching experience.
  • Volume Output: The soundbar should be able to deliver a powerful and immersive sound performance, exceeding 85 decibels in volume output.

? “Nice To Haves”

  • Latency: With a latency under 100 milliseconds, it ensures minimal delay in data transmission or audio processing.
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: A total harmonic distortion (THD) below 1% at 80 decibels to guarantee high-fidelity audio reproduction without unwanted frequencies.

Latest Updates

  • 04/02/2024: Published the list of best soundbars without a subwoofer based on our True Score system.

Top Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer For 2024

See how we test the testers

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

To secure a spot on our list, a soundbar without a subwoofer must meet our criteria for audio performance and quality. If it doesn’t meet these standards, it won’t be featured!

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Devialet Dione

    For uncompromised volume and clarity in a premium package, the Devialet Dione excels, though gamers might seek alternatives due to high latency.

    Devialet Dione Review →

    True Score

    88
    87
    11

    Experts

    92
    26

    Customers

    $1,999.00

    Snapshot

    Reasons to Buy

    • Fairly well-balanced sound quality
    • Satisfactory voice clarity
    • Strong bass
    • Immersive Atmos
    • Subpar surround performance

    Reasons to Avoid

    • No Full HDMI In and high latency
    • No remote, display, and voice assistants
    • No remote, display, and voice assistants

    Specifications

    Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
    DepthDepth6.5"
    Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement FeatureYes
    Equalizer SettingsBasic
    HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
    HeightHeight3.43"
    Number of Audio ChannelsNumber of Audio Channels5.1.2
    SubwooferSubwooferBuild-in
    Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD
    Wall MountableWall MountableYes
    WeightWeight26.5 lbs
    WidthWidth47.2"
    Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi
    Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer Connectivityna
    Works WithWorks Withn/a

    All Specs

    Test Results

    Low End Roll Off (Hz)53.39
    High End Roll Off (Hz)2.15k
    Max Volume Test (db)98.47
    Latency (ms)125
    THD @ 80dB0.24

    All Retailers

    • $1,999.00

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

    • $1,999.00

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $2,198.00

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      No

    Our Verdict

    If you love to crank the volume up and money is no object, the Devialet Dione is an excellent soundbar designed to operate without a subwoofer. Its remarkable ability to fill a room with sound is evidenced by a best-in-class maximum volume of 98.5 decibels, which makes it particularly valuable if you have a larger living space.

    With its impressive capability to deliver expansive sound, the soundbar also features the lowest total harmonic distortion (THD) on our list at 0.24. This guarantees clear and pristine audio even when the volume is turned up for intense movie sequences or high-energy music tracks. This ensures an immersive and distortion-free listening experience, allowing you to fully engage with your preferred shows, films, and music.

    Another standout aspect of the Devialet Dione is its low-end frequency performance, which rolls off at 53.39 Hz. This ensures that bass-heavy content, such as certain music genres or action scenes in films, is delivered with a depth and clarity often missed in similar setups. However, it has an awful high-end roll-off of 2,152.70 when compared to the 13,279.64 of the similarly priced Sony HT A9. It also has the worst latency on our list at 125 ms, which is not ideal for gamers or content where audio and visual synchronization is crucial.

    Despite its high-end frequency response and latency limitations, the Devialet Dione remains an excellent choice for those prioritizing powerful, distortion-free sound in a sleek package. While it may not be the best fit for gaming enthusiasts due to the latency issue, its exceptional performance in delivering deep, clear bass and room-filling volume makes it an ideal soundbar for music and movie lovers.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Sonos Beam Gen 2

    Ideal for gamers and movie buffs, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 excels with low latency, Dolby Atmos, and easy smart home integration.

    Sonos Beam Gen 2 Review →

    True Score

    87
    86
    17

    Experts

    90
    11k

    Customers

    SAVE $24
    $499.00
    $475.00

    Did you know 91% of soundbar reviewers are

    untrustworthy?

    Our research found 10 of 122 soundbar reviewers as of July 2024 can be trusted. To do this, we give every soundbar review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    400,918

    Soundbar Reviews Analyzed

    151

    Total Products Analyzed

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Sony HT-A9

    The Sony HT A9 offers a unique design and immersive sound, ideal for detailed audio in movies and music, though bass enthusiasts and gamers seeking perfect sync may find limitations.

    Sony HT-A9 Review →

    True Score

    81
    81
    5

    Experts

    84
    498

    Customers

    SAVE $502
    $1,999.99
    $1,498.00

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    If you just got an excellent TV, complementing it with a soundbar can significantly enhance your audio experience. Considering the differences between soundbar vs surround sound systems can influence your choice, with options like the best 5.1 soundbar or the top Dolby Atmos soundbar offering immersive audio experiences.

    For exceptional audio quality, check out the top-rated Sony soundbars. If you’re looking for premium sound, the best Sonos soundbars might be just what you need. Bose offers some of the finest options available, so see our picks for the top Bose soundbars. Additionally, for a balance of quality and value, explore the best LG soundbars.

    Whether you’re figuring out how to connect a soundbar or troubleshooting why your soundbar is not working, knowing the basics ensures a smooth setup. For those exploring high-quality audio devices, a Bose Home Speaker 500 review might offer insights into advanced sound technology.

Which Criteria Matters for Testing the Best Soundbars Without a Subwoofer?

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
Low-End Roll-Off< 95 HzYesThe point at which bass begins to sharply fall below the target response point on a frequency response graph, making harder to hear.
Max Volume> 85 dBYesThe maximum volume that a soundbar reaches when it’s output it turned up to 100%.
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.
Total Harmonic Distortion< 1No (nice to have)The amount of distortion introduced by the soundbar when it processes an audio signal at a given volume (typically 80, 85 or maximum dB output.)

Our Trusted Data Sources

(Publication category Score is 80%+)

We looked at 120+ soundbar reviewers and while 10 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating), we only use data from the testers that are “very trusted” which means a Trust Rating 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 Ratings 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.

Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer Test Data & Results

1. 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 95 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 95 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)

2. max volume test result

Maximum volume is the easiest aspect of a soundbar to understad: 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 and the higher you go, the better your soundbar is at filling larger and larger rooms.

Max Volume (in dB; higher is better)

3. 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)

4. 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)

Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Disregarding Connectivity Options: Ensure the soundbar has the connectivity options you need. Whether you use HDMI ARC or an optical cable, ensure it’s compatible with your TV and other devices. Also, check for features like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity for streaming music and updates. When considering the best gaming soundbar, prioritizing HDMI ARC compatibility ensures seamless audio transmission from your gaming console to the soundbar.
  2. Neglecting Size and Placement: Consider the size of your TV and the space available for the soundbar. Opt for a soundbar that complements your TV size without overpowering it. For smaller TV setups, the best small soundbar can provide excellent audio quality without taking up too much space. Additionally, pay attention to the placement options – wall-mounted, tabletop, or shelf-mounted – to ensure it fits seamlessly into your setup. Proper soundbar placement is crucial for optimal audio performance, so consider the acoustics of your room and the layout when deciding where to position your soundbar.
  3. Underestimating Power Output: Don’t overlook the power output of the soundbar. While subwoofers typically handle low-frequency sounds, the soundbar should still deliver sufficient power for clear and dynamic audio. Look for models with adequate wattage and consider the size of your room to ensure optimal sound projection. For those who prioritize clear conversations in movies and TV shows, finding the best soundbar for dialogue is essential as they are designed to enhance vocal clarity, making every word stand out even in complex soundtracks.
  4. Believing Soundbars Can Replicate Deep Lows Like a Subwoofer: A common misconception is that high-quality soundbars can reach the deep, rich bass frequencies that a subwoofer is specifically designed to handle. Even the best soundbars without a subwoofer are limited in their ability to reproduce the depth and quality of bass that a subwoofer can. So, if you love bass, a top soundbar with a subwoofer can significantly enhance the low-frequency response, providing a more immersive audio experience.

The Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer Tests Compared

Product
True Score
Low End Roll Off
High End Roll Off
Max Volume Test
Latency
THD @ 80dB

Devialet Dione

  • Best for Without Subwoofer

88
  • 53.39 Hz

  • 2,152.7 Hz

  • 98.47 db

  • 125 ms

  • 0.24 dB

$1,999.00
87
  • 57.39 Hz

  • 6,736.4 Hz

  • 90.1 db

  • 32 ms

  • 0.43 dB

$475.00
$499
$24
81
  • 92.43 Hz

  • 13,279.64 Hz

  • 86.4 db

  • 74 ms

  • 0.41 dB

$1,498.00
$2,000
$502

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