4 best soundbars with HDMI ARC you can buy

4 best soundbars with HDMI ARC you can buy

Modern televisions offer great graphics, but the default audio part leaves a lot to be desired. TV and monitor makers sacrifice the speaker part to make the overall profile look sleeker and slimmer. This is why the audio output from the default speakers is rarely good. With the right soundbar by your side, you will be able to achieve powerful and rich sound in your entertainment room. At the same time, HDMI features like ARC (Audio Return Channel) will make your setup clutter-free and clean.

4 best soundbars with HDMI ARC you can buy

HDMI ARC or HDMI Audio Return Channel allows TVs and computer monitors to route sound to a compatible speaker or soundbar without the need for a separate audio cable. What’s more, you can control the sound with just one remote.

And if your soundbar supports voice assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, you get the double benefit of changing the volume of the TV with voice commands. Cool, right?

Here are some of our recommendations for the best soundbar with the added HDMI ARC functionality. Let’s go.

1.Samsung HW-Q90R: Best Premium

Samsung HW-Q90R

Samsung HW-Q90R

If you are looking for a high-end soundbar with a powerful and immersive audio experience that justifies the price, the Samsung HW-Q90R is a good choice. Samsung’s flagship soundbar brings a host of features to the table. Most importantly, it delivers 7.1.4 channel sound. The speakers are divided into 12 channels of which four are upward facing speakers which add more height to the audio broadcast.

Moreover, it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X audio standards. The former will ensure that you will get an increasingly wider soundstage. Overall, you’ll get a rich, refined sound with just the right amount of bass.

While the unit has a fairly straightforward appearance, what sets it apart are its dedicated units. Besides the dedicated subwoofer, it contains two rear speakers. The build quality is solid and considering the price, chances are this soundbar will last you a long time.

When it comes to connections, the options are a bit limited considering the price. In addition to the HDMI ARC output, you just get two HDMI inputs, audio input, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

The power cords are 4.5 feet long and that might make setting up the soundbar a bit difficult. On the positive side, HDMI connections support HDR10 +, HDCP 2.2 (see HDCP 2.2 compatible HDMI 2.0 cables) and Dolby Vision.

It should be noted that using the HDMI ARC option means that you will have to compromise with the lossless formats such as Dolby TrueHD.

2.VIZIO SB36512-F6: the best value for money

VIZIO SB36512-F6

VIZIO SB36512-F6

The Vizio SB36512-F6 also supports audio standards such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital and DTS. However, it is priced much lower than its counterpart above. In fact, the SB36512-F6 is often considered one of the best soundbars at a great price. On the one hand, it offers an immersive audio experience. The vocals are clear and the subwoofer produces the bass perfectly.

Unlike the one above, this is not a 7.1 channel sound bar. Vizio organizes its setup as a 5.1 channel soundbar with three front firing pilots and two vertical firing pilots, and a dedicated submarine. The front presence of the Vizio SB36512-F6 is considerably greater. You will be able to enjoy its high presence function as long as the ceiling of your entertainment space is not too high. And when you listen to vocals, you will get a great, immersive soundstage.

The connection options are pretty decent. Besides the HDMI ARC connection, there is a USB port, 3.5mm audio input, Wi-Fi connection, and support for Bluetooth and Chromecast.

3. Sonos Beam: the best smart soundbar

Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, the Sonos Beam is a good option. It contains several great features at the price. You can enjoy voice control using Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa. Second, this 3.0-channel speaker offers impressive audio output, although it does not have a dedicated subwoofer.

The soundbar is light and compact enough to fit almost anywhere. Despite this, it packs enough power and packs four full-range drivers and three passive radiators. Sonos has cleverly positioned them on the front and sides to deliver great sound.

However, it does not support Dolby Atmos but incorporates internal Trueplay technology. You can use it to adjust the speaker output to suit your sitting position and room. For now, the app only works on the iPhone.

Besides controlling the speaker with voice commands, you can also stream music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal, among others.

The audio is rich and impressive, and as long as you’re not looking for punchy bass (no subwoofer), you’re in the safe here. The sound bar can still hear “Hey Google” or “Alexa” commands, even when you are playing music at a high volume.

It’s priced under $ 400 and there’s a good chance you’ll find some discounts during the holiday season.

If you want to get Dolby Atmos support from the same company, you can check out the sleek new Sonos Arc.

4. Sony HTX8500: the best affordable

Sony HTX8500

Sony HTX8500

The Sony HTX8500 is one of the good options priced at $ 300. Like the Sonos Beam, this is also a compact soundbar and brings the benefit of Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. In addition, it contains a built-in subwoofer. The latter means that you will get significant bass while listening to your favorite songs or movies. At the same time, you will likely save on your floor space which is typically required for a dedicated submarine.

The Sony HT-X8500 soundbar is a 2.1 configuration and there are two front facing drivers. Interestingly, there are no top-facing drivers, even though it does support Dolby Atmos. On the other hand, you also get support for HDMI eARC, ensuring you get your share of lossless audio formats.

Although it lacks a bit from a setup standpoint, the HT-X8500 offers impressive sound for its price. It’s loud, clear, and the current system ensures that you’ll get a wide soundstage. And for less than $ 300, that’s quite a feat.

Did you know: ARC It was first introduced with HDMI 1.4. With HDMI 2.0 we have an improved version of the same, named eARC.

Ring the bell!

When it comes to buying a sound bar, the idea is to find the one that best meets your concerns. If you are an audiophile and don’t mind spending a few hundred dollars, the good news is that there are plenty of soundbars like the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar with the best features.

However, if you want the best of everything without spending a lot, I would say the Sonos Beam and the VIZIO SB36512-F6 are good choices.


Are you looking to play music and sound without interruption? Check out the article below to see our list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers with reliable battery life.

Last updated on Nov 6, 2020

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