soundbar for projector

The speakers on most projectors are relatively weak and don’t have the best sound quality, especially when it comes to the lower end of the sonic spectrum. A soundbar is a compact means of adding an external sound source. You can find quality options at every price point, too, so it’s an affordable way to meet your sound needs.

We’ve picked out our top soundbars for projectors and reviewed them below so you can consider their strengths for yourself. If you’re looking to get the most output and best sound quality, the Klipsch Cinema 600 is the best option on the list. >>> Find the current price on Amazon That doesn’t mean it will be the right choice for every home, though. Let’s take a quick look at the most important features to see how it stacks up against the other projectors on the list.

Best Soundbar for Projector – Top Picks for 2021

Sonos Arc SAMSUNG HW-S60T Klipsch Cinema 600 Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Sony HT-G700
Power No data 180W 600W(103 dB) 180 watts 400W
Subwoofer
Connectivity HDMI Bluetooth, HDMI, Wi-Fi HDMI, Bluetooth Bluetooth, HDMI, Wi-Fi HDMI, Bluetooth
Dimensions 3.4 x 45 x 4.5 40.1 x 5.3 x 8.5 50 x 20 x 17 4.02 x 26.58 x 2.21 38.6 x 4.38 x 2.63
Price Check on Amazon Check on Amazon Check on Amazon Check on Amazon Check on Amazon

Power

The main reason most people buy external soundbars for their projectors is they need more volume. If you get a wimpy speaker, you won’t get the big sound boost you’re looking for. All of the soundbars on this list can reach at least 90 decibels, which isn’t quite rock concert loud but is plenty to fill most rooms. For the loudest soundbar, the Klipsch Cinema 600 is the only soundbar on the list capable of producing over 100 decibels.
Most powerful soundbar: Klipsch Cinema 600

Overall Sound Quality

Bass is the main thing lacking from the built-in speakers on projectors. They just don’t have the heft to produce deep, rumbling sound effects. Many soundbars have the same problem, making an external subwoofer a necessity if you want truly immersive sound.

Balance is important too, though. If there’s too much bass or the sound is too “dark” it can be hard to hear dialogue and other details. The best soundbars for home theaters have dialogue enhancement features and content-specific settings that maintain this balance between clarity and power.
Best overall sound: Klipsch Cinema 600

Surround Sound

Soundbars are cheaper than speaker systems but they have an inherent flaw: they produce sound from a single source. That prevents them from emulating a sense of space and movement.

Modern soundbar manufacturers use technology to overcome this issue with varying degrees of success. The Dolby Atmos support on the Sonos Arc does a good job replicating the surround sound experience, and the Klipsch Cinema 600 and Samsung HW-S60T are fairly immersive, as well. For the best surround sound emulation, the Vertical Sound Engine on the Sony HT-G700 comes the closest to replicating the experience of a full surround system.
Best surround sound: Sony HT-G700

Smart Features

If you have (or want) a smart home theater, getting a soundbar with voice control features built right in will be very handy. Amazon Alexa voice control is the most common system, and is supported on the Sonos Arc, Samsung HW-S60T, and Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Bose also supports Google Assistant, giving it more versatility for different smart home set-ups.
Best smart features: Bose Smart Soundbar 300

Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is built for use with large screens, making it a perfect choice for projectors. Its immersive sound quality is its main strength. It supports Dolby Atmos for immersive three-dimensional sound, with 11 drivers for a sound that’s powerful and well-balanced through the entire frequency range.

The tuning on the Sonos Arc is perfect for home theater use, too. Its Speech Enhancement technology produces noticeably clearer dialogue than less sophisticated soundbars, with enhanced tuning that adapts the sound to meet the acoustic needs of your space. While the sound is on the brighter side, it’s not lacking in bass power and does justice to movie sound effects and soundtracks.

Another benefit of the Sonos arc is that it’s easy to install and use. Its slim profile mounts easily to the wall. For content, you can stream music through Wi-Fi or using the Sonos app. It can be controlled using the included remote or with voice control through Amazon Alexa, so it’s a good choice for smart homes, too.

Pros

  • Supports 3D sound through Dolby Atmos
  • Excellent mid-range clarity for dialogue
  • Built-in voice control through Amazon Alexa
  • Trueplay tuning optimizes sound to the room’s acoustics
  • Stream music through Sonos app or Sonos Radio

Cons

  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Some compression artifacts at higher volumes

Samsung HW-S60T

SAMSUNG HW-S60T

The Samsung HW-S60T all-in-one soundbar and subwoofer system is our top choice for mixed-use space because it sounds equally good when you’re watching movies or listening to music. Its bass response is especially impressive. Not only does it have a powerful low end but you’ll get the same sonic detail for bass frequencies that you do in the mid-range and higher end.

 

In a home theater, the Adaptive Mode on the Samsung HW-S60T adjusts the sound for each scene, maximizing the clarity of dialogue even in quieter scenes and giving you the powerful room-filling sound you want in more intense action sequences. Its Music Mode is just as smart, sensing the style of music being played and adjusting accordingly so you’ll hear all your content the way it was meant to be heard.

 

The connection options on the Samsung HW-S60T are another factor expanding its versatility. It can connect through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a wired HDMI connection. It also comes with Alexa voice control capability so it’s easy to integrate into smart home entertainment systems.

Pros

  • Massive output thanks to side horn speaker
  • Powerful bass response
  • Wireless subwoofer included
  • Dedicated sound modes for music and movies
  • Sleek, easy-to-install design
  • Built-in Alexa voice control

Cons

  • Higher cost than other soundbars
  • Some sound distortion at higher volumes

Klipsch Cinema 600

Klipsch Cinema 600

Klipsch is a brand name audiophiles know and love, with a well-earned reputation for making durable high-quality audio equipment for listening rooms and home theaters. The Klipsch Cinema 600 system includes a 3-speaker soundbar and an 8” wireless subwoofer, both of which have the elegant design and high sound quality Klipsch is known for.

 

The clarity of the signal from the Klipsch Cinema 600 is its most impressive quality. It stays crisp and detailed throughout the frequency range and at all volume levels, with three different dialogue enhancement modes. It gets louder than most subwoofers, too, with 600 watts of peak power for an output that can exceed 100 decibels.

 

The Klipsch Cinema 600 comes with an HDMI cable for quickly connecting to your projector. Audio Return Channel (ARC) technology lets you control the soundbar and subwoofer easily with one remote and it pairs with the Klipsch Connect app for updates, support, and EQ adjustment. While it doesn’t have the smart features you’ll find on other soundbars, it’s the top choice if sound quality is your main consideration.

 

Pros

  • True hi-fi sound for music or home theater
  • Unique, elegant design, especially on subwoofer
  • Virtualized 5.1 surround sound emulation
  • High peak power and maximum output
  • Pairs with Klipsch Connect app

Cons

  • No voice control support
  • Larger and heavier than other soundbars

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has a sleek profile that’s less than 3” in height, ideal for those who don’t have a lot of room to spare on their entertainment center. You can also mount it to the wall with the included brackets, expanding its placement versatility even further. The installation is easy, too, with an included optical cable for connecting to the TV and a guided set-up process through the Bose Music app.

Along with HDMI and optical audio inputs, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and is compatible with streaming and mirroring programs like Spotify Connect and AirPlay2. It works both Google and Alexa voice control systems and pairs easily with other Bose products, like headphones or stand-alone subwoofers.

From a sound quality perspective, this Bose soundbar is better for home theater use than listening to music. Its output is powerful and clear enough for movies and TV shows but its low end does suffer from the lack of a subwoofer and its overall sound isn’t as immersive or three-dimensional.

Pros

  • Slim profile
  • Clear, detailed sound ideal for home theaters
  • Works with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • Extensive connectivity
  • Simple set-up through Bose Music app
  • Easily expand the system with compatible Bose products

Cons

  • No subwoofer included
  • Doesn’t support 3D sound

Sony HT-G700

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 is the ultimate home theater soundbar. It supports the latest in audio and visual signal technology, including DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, and HDR video signals at 4K resolution. The Immersive Audio Enhancer and Vertical Sound Engine upscale the sound to mimic a 7.1.2 surround system and has the best three-dimensional sound of any soundbar we’ve compared.

With a powerful wireless subwoofer included, the Sony HT-G700 has exceptional low-end output and clarity. You can adjust the response of all the drivers by changing the sound modes, with options for cinematic sound or listening to music. While it’s not the loudest soundbar on the list, it puts out plenty of volume for most, and does a better job maintaining the integrity of the sound at higher volumes.

The only significant downside of the Sony HT-G700 is its lack of voice control or other smart features. That’s not a deal-breaker necessarily but is something many users expect at this price point. On the plus side, it’s easy to set-up and navigate with the included remote and has the connectivity and versatility you need in more extensive home entertainment systems.

Pros

  • Customizable sound modes for music and movies
  • Vertical sound engine for 3D sound
  • Slim design gives you more placement flexibility
  • Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • Multiple connections let you hook up all your devices
  • 4K HDR pass-through for visual signals

Cons

  • No voice control
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS support limited to HDMI (not Bluetooth)

Finding the Best Soundbar for Your Projector

The biggest question you need to answer when you’re shopping for a soundbar is what kind of audio you want to use it for. If you’ll mostly be watching TV shows and movies, the clarity of the spoken word is arguably more important than the bass response or maximum volume. Many soundbars offer speech-specific settings that are great for this kind of content. While the Klipsch Cinema 600 (>>> Check the current price on Amazon) is the top pick from a sound quality standpoint, you’ll find any of these models can be a solid choice in a home theater.

The great thing about soundbars is that they offer quality sound in a compact package—often at a better value than other speaker styles. Consider your space and your budget along with the sound quality and you’ll be guaranteed to find something that satisfies all of your sonic needs.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING