We can create exceptionally clear recordings in surround sound with incredible special effects—but we often listen to media through compressed streaming files on tiny devices, with even tinier speakers. Sound bars are a great middle ground to appreciate everything your TV has to offer without turning your living room into a multi-channel speaker showroom. These superb choices will help you enjoy your favorite movies, shows, and games the way they were meant to be heard.

The best: Samsung Harman Kardon 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Upgrade Your Home Theater

Are those footsteps on the screen or in the room? Amazon

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The best surround sound isn’t just behind, in front of, or next to you. With the Samsung Harman Kardon 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar, it’s also above you, and moving through space like the characters on screen. This Dolby Atmos and DTS:X supporting soundbar has 13 built-in speakers with a standalone subwoofer. If you are a Samsung TV owner you can derive even more benefits like gaming sound optimization if you have a model that’s from the RU7400 series or above, or a QLED TV. You can use your Echo to ask Alexa to find and stream music and podcasts through the system.

Best value: Soundcore Infini Pro Integrated 2.1 Channel Soundbar

All-In-One Listening Fun

The slim design easily fits under or in front of most televisions. Amazon

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Get the cinematic sound of Dolby Atmos on a smaller, more affordable system with the Soundcore Infini Pro Integrated 2.1 Channel Soundbar. Clarity and depth is packed into a single 3-foot bar with two bass reflex ports designed to deliver a strong low end. Choose Movie Mode, Music Mode, or Voice Mode to customize sound depending on what you’re watching. Never miss a critical moment of dialogue again. It’s compatible with Bluetooth 5 for all your streaming needs, and comes with a wall mount bracket and screws for easy installation.

For going big: JBL Bar 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Soundbar

Most Clever Design

You can also use Bluetooth to pair your laptop or phone with the it to stream your favorite playlists. Amazon

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Enjoy customizable wireless 5.1 surround sound with the JBL sound bar. You’ll get five speakers and a subwoofer in this sleek system, which delivers 510 watts of power. Install the sound bar on your wall below your TV, and when you’re watching an epic action-adventure, remove the two detachable wireless speakers from the left and right of the bar and place them in the room around you at a comfortable range. A 10-inch wireless subwoofer adds deep bass to complete the sonic picture. Connect Ultra HD/4K devices using the three HDMI ports, and use your TV’s remote control to adjust volume settings.