Can You Use a Soundbar Without a Subwoofer?

Most modern TVs have integrated speakers with low-quality audio, so if you want to have a better sound experience you need to invest in a sound system. Surround sound systems are expensive, but you can get a surround sound effect with a compact device called a soundbar.

In this article, we will give a brief explanation of the important features you need to consider when buying a soundbar.

Also, we will introduce to you our choice of 9 best soundbars without a subwoofer.

What Is a Soundbar And Can It Replace TV Speakers?

Since modern TVs are becoming thinner, there is less space for speakers which affects the audio quality.

A soundbar contains multiple speakers that produce better sound and they are also better at spreading the audio across the room which is why soundbars are a great alternative to surround sound systems.

A soundbar is a lightweight and thin device that’s usually placed in front of the TV. Some models can even be mounted on the wall.

You can choose between soundbars that have a wired-only connection and those featuring wireless connectivity. A wired connection is, by default, more stable and it’s recommended.

If you buy a soundbar that supports Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, you can also stream audio wirelessly from your TV to the soundbar and get a satisfying performance, but you will never get the same kind of audio output and the same reliability.

Do You Need a Soundbar With Subwoofer?

Some soundbars come with a built-in or external subwoofer. On the other hand, some soundbars don’t have a subwoofer. If you’re wondering whether you need a subwoofer or not, you need to understand the purpose of it. A subwoofer produces low frequencies that some soundbars can’t produce.

If you’re planning on making a home theater and want a better sound, you should consider buying a soundbar with a subwoofer. But, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution, a soundbar without a subwoofer will still give you a great listening experience. 

Another reason for buying a soundbar without a subwoofer is limited space. A subwoofer occupies more space, so if you have a small room, you might not have enough room for it. 

Our Top Picks

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Now that you’ve learned the basic information, see our list of the 9 best soundbars without a subwoofer and find the one that suits you the most. We divided them into 3 main groups depending on the price.

So, if the price is an important criterion for you, you can simply find models within your budget.

If you’re looking for specific features and you’re ready to invest more money, read about all the features and specifications these models have and find the best one for yourself.

Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer Under $150

Low-budget soundbars have basic features like Bluetooth connectivity, and limited audio modes, and they have less than 5 channels. Since they have fewer channels, they occupy less space, which makes them suitable for limited spaces. 

Best Gaming Soundbar Without Subwoofer Under $100 – TaoTronics TT-SK027

TaoTronics TT-SK027

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.3]

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TaoTronics soundbar is one of the cheapest soundbars on the market and it’s also popular among gamers. It has dual 7W drivers. It’s small, so you can easily place it under your monitor or TV. It measures 16.5” x 2.8” x 3”.

This gaming soundbar has an amazing colorful RGB lightning which you can simply turn on and off while gaming. You can choose between 3 RGB modes including Flow, Pulse, and Sync. If you’re a professional gamer, this soundbar allows you to set the timer so you can effortlessly record your gaming.

The wireless connectivity of this soundbar allows connecting audio devices via Bluetooth. You can also connect your gaming headphones via the 3.5 mm aux cord. The frequency range goes from 60hz to 20khz.

This low-cost soundbar is great for listening to music since it produces 360° surround sound. Although it’s small in size, it produces loud audio without distortion. 


  • Suitable for limited spaces
  • Colorful lightning
  • Timer for recording games
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 3.5 mm aux connection
  • produces 360° surround sound


  • Not battery powered
  • Doesn’t come with a wireless remote
  • Limited sound adjusting

Bestisan BYL-S6520-3

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.7]

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This budget-friendly soundbar features a DSP technology that provides three modes for different sound effects depending on what you’re watching/listening to. You can choose between the News, Movie, or Music Mode. 

The wireless Bluetooth 5.0 transmission technology allows for easy connection to various devices. This soundbar has a strong anti-interference to make movie-watching and music listening more enjoyable. 

Bestisan soundbar has two 20W full-range drivers that deliver smooth audio. Two built-in bass reflex ports deliver a surprisingly strong bass. Using the remote, you can turn up or turn down the bass.

This soundbar is 28 inches wide. If you have a large TV, it will look great below it. But, if you have limited space, you should calculate whether it fits in.

You can connect the soundbar to the TV via Bluetooth or via optical cable, depending on your preferences (optical cable is the preferred way). This soundbar can be mounted on a wall, but the mounting brackets are sold separately.


  • 3 sound effect modes
  • Latest Bluetooth 5.0 transmission technology
  • Strong anti-interference technology
  • 360° sound
  • lossless audio transmission
  • 2 built-in bass reflex ports


  • Mounting brackets not included
  • No volume levels showed
  • Not suitable for limited spaces


Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.9]

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This elegant soundbar comes in black color, has a minimalistic design, and is just the right size. It’s easy to set up and you only need one wire that is included in the package to connect it to your TV. Also, this soundbar has an energy-saving feature that puts it on standby after a period of inactivity.

The Vizio 2.0 soundbar produces up to 95dB SPL. The frequency goes from 70Hz to 19 kHz. It features 2 stereo speakers that reproduce stunning audio. When you feel like just listening to music, you can connect your phone to your soundbar via Bluetooth.

This soundbar stands out for a harmonic distortion that’s less than 1%. It uses DTS TruSurround technology that provides realistic surround sound. It also uses DTS TruVolume technology that gives a balanced volume for multimedia playing.


  • Minimal number of cables required
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Easy to set up
  • DTS TruSurround technology
  • DTS TruVolume technology
  • Energy-saving feature


  • Sound levels can be extreme
  • Hard to know what input you are on

Best Wall Mountable Soundbar Without Subwoofer Under $150 – Sony HTS100F

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.8]

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With a Bass Reflex port, this soundbar delivers deep sound. It also has a built-in tweeter to reproduce high frequencies. The S-Force Pro Front Surround technology enables you to have a surround sound experience.

This two-channel soundbar is compact which makes it suitable for limited spaces, but it delivers powerful sound output. You can even mount it on the wall, although the wall mount brackets are not included in the package. It’s easy to connect it to the TV using the HDMI ARC port.

Sony soundbar features the Voice Enhancement Mode you can use while watching TV or during a conference call. Other modes you can simply turn on using the remote include Auto Sound, Standard, Cinema, Music, and Night.

Via Bluetooth or USB, you can enjoy your music. You can even control your soundbar and TV using only one remote.


  • Bass Reflex technology
  • Built-in tweeter
  • S-Force Pro Front Surround technology
  • Multiple audio modes
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Surprisingly powerful sound


  • Wall-mount brackets not included
  • Subwoofer can’t be connected
  • Volume levels not shown

Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer Under $250

Some of the mid-range soundbars, along with Bluetooth connectivity, offer Wi-Fi connectivity. They also have more audio modes available and can have more channels which ultimately results in better sound reproduction and listening experience.

Samsung HW-S40T

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.2]

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The Samsung soundbar features 2 built-in woofers and tweeters that bring out impressive audio all across the room. Along with innovative technology, the curved shape design and material contribute to amazing sound.

It has two channels and a total of 4 speakers. It supports Dolby 2ch and DTS Digital 2.0. If you want to connect the soundbar to a subwoofer, you should know that this one is only compatible with Samsung subwoofers.

You can connect your TV to your soundbar via Bluetooth, you just have to check first if your TV supports Bluetooth connection (works best with Samsung TVs). If you choose a wired connection (preferred option), you can connect the soundbar and TV via an optical cable.

There is also a Bluetooth connection available for connecting to your phone, and you can even connect two smartphones at the same time. You can listen to your favorite music and turn on the Music Mode.

The balancing audio innovation makes sure that you get a clear sound. It adjusts sound accurately depending on what is playing so that all voices and instruments sound perfect. This soundbar also senses what you are watching and modifies the sound.

To achieve this, you just have to turn on the Smart Mode.


  • Built-in woofers and tweeters
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Music and Smart Mode
  • Premium fabric design


  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Can’t be mounted on a wall
  • No dedicated center channel

Best Soundbar Media Player Without Subwoofer: Roku Smart Soundbar

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.4]

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The Roku Smart soundbar is ideal for home theaters. It has an expanded frequency range and the 4 integrated speakers provide dynamic bass. The built-in Roku media player allows 4K streaming with HD and HDR support for vivid colors and sharp resolution.

Also, it supports Dolby Audio so you can really enjoy your movies.

Different modes available are designed to make specific frequency bands clearer. The Speech Clarity Mode lets you increase the volume of voices. With the Volume Leveling Mode, you can lower those loud commercials.

Finally, with the Night Mode, you can peacefully watch your TV without disturbing others.

The provided remote can be used with most TVs. You can also use voice controls as the soundbar is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

In the package, you will get a Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable that you can use to connect the soundbar to your TV. Via Bluetooth, you can connect your phone to stream music wirelessly.

For movie watching, you can plug in a USB. Unlike other soundbars in this price range, this model features Wi-Fi connectivity.


  • Built-in Roku media player
  • Dolby Audio
  • Speech Clarity, Volume Leveling, Night Modes
  • Voice search
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Premium High-Speed HDMI Cable


  • Voice operating has to be turned on using the remote
  • No memory card slot
  • No subtitle and language buttons on the remote

Bose Solo 5

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.4]

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The Bose Solo 5 soundbar has different inputs available including optical audio, coaxial audio, and 3.5 mm aux input. The soundbar will automatically detect which one you are using. For music listening, you can connect to any device via Bluetooth.

You can connect up to two Bluetooth devices (multipoint pairing). Using the universal remote, you can control the bass, Bluetooth connection, and TV. You can also customize the power button on the remote to power on/off your soundbar, TV, and cable/satellite box at the same time.

You can place the soundbar under the TV or you can mount it on a wall. The wall mount kit is sold separately. With an included mounting ring, you can hide the power supply behind your mounted TV.

While watching your favorite movie or TV show, you can turn on the Dialogue Mode to make the dialog clearer. You can also decrease or increase the bass using the remote. The soundbar powers off automatically after 60 minutes of inactivity.


  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Universal remote
  • Can be mounted on a wall
  • Dialogue Mode
  • Bass adjusting
  • Auto power off


  • No USB connection
  • No Wi-Fi connection

Best Soundbars Without Subwoofer Over $300

If you’re ready to invest more money into your subwoofer, the next two models offer numerous features and settings that are designed to bring the best out of the audio. Both of these models are quality devices, but it depends on what features you are looking for.

Best Smart Soundbar Without Subwoofer Under $500- Sonos Beam BEAM1US1BLK

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.7]

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Sonos Beam soundbar can be bought in black or white color to match your living room or bedroom. It measures 25.6” so it perfectly fits in front of any TV. This soundbar is also wall-mountable, but the mounting kit is sold separately.

This soundbar is designed to emphasize the vocals so you can enjoy movies and TV shows even more than you did before.

It has five drivers built-in. You can control the soundbar with a remote, the Sonos app, and even your voice using the built-in Amazon Alexa (you have to use the HDMI ARC connection with CEC support).

It will not work if the soundbar is connected via an optical adapter. The voice control is easy since 5 far-field microphones are built into the soundbar to detect your voice.

You can connect all your Sonos speakers from any room in the house using the Wi-Fi connection and make a huge multiroom system. When watching TV at night, there’s a convenient Night Mode you can turn on.

The Sonos app allows you to browse and stream your favorite music, podcasts, radio, and audiobooks.


  • Compact
  • Can be mounted on a wall
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Sonos app


  • Not suitable for large rooms

Sonos Playbar

Editor’s Rating: [usr 4.8]

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Sonos Playbar and Sonos Beam have some similarities, but the Sonos Playbar is a bit bigger and has more speakers, so it produces more bass and it’s louder. The sound is clear and detailed.

It’s more suitable for larger spaces and it can be mounted on a wall. The mounting kit is sold separately. Unlike the Beam model, this one doesn’t have Alexa built-in.

Just like the Sonos Beam, this soundbar is designed to emphasize the human voice. Also, different Sonos devices can be connected via Wi-Fi and you can use the Sonos app to stream the same audio across your house.

For watching movies during the night, you have the Night Mode. The soundbar has 9 drivers. To connect the Playbar to your TV, you can use the included optical cable.

There is also an included Ethernet cable so you can connect it to your home network.


  • 9 drivers
  • Can be mounted on a wall
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Sonos app


  • No built-in Alexa
  • Not suitable for limited spaces (small rooms)
  • Lacks HDMI port

Buyer’s Guide – Things to Look for When Buying a Soundbar Without Subwoofer

If you don’t understand what the most important features and specifications a soundbar should have and what you should consider when buying one, don’t worry.

We made a short guide to help you understand what features are important and what kind of specs are considered good. 


When buying a soundbar, you should go for a model that has 3 or more channels to get a better and more spacious sound. More channels mean better sound. Channels represent sound sources or you can think of them as separate speakers inside a soundbar.

Two-channel soundbars have two speakers left and right. Three-channel soundbars have speakers in the middle, left, and right.

Some soundbars that are usually more expensive, support even Dolby Atmos surround sound. They have dedicated up-firing drivers that direct the sound up at the ceiling so it can bounce down to make a nice height effect.

Today’s movies and TV shows often have 5.1 audio. That means six audio channels. Soundbars usually downmix those six channels into two or three making it less spacious but still better than what you can hear from your tiny built-in TV speakers.

Connections (HDMI, optical, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi)

For connecting a soundbar to a TV, you’ll usually need one or two cables, so your TV area can look neat. Most soundbars can both be connected with an HDMI or optical cable. If you can use HDMI with your TV, it’s a better choice since it supports a greater number of audio formats.

For connecting with an HDMI, your TV must support HDMI ARC or HDMI eARC. If your TV is older, you might not have this feature. 

You also need to consider if you’ll have enough HDMI ports for other devices since the soundbar will take one. Some soundbars have one or more HDMI inputs so you don’t have to worry about this. Ultimately, you can buy an HDMI switch that turns one HDMI port into two or more. 

Cheaper soundbars have Bluetooth connectivity, while more expensive soundbars have Wi-Fi connectivity. They allow you to stream audio wirelessly from any Bluetooth or wi-fi enabled device.

Some Wi-Fi soundbars even support the multiroom feature and can be integrated into a multiroom speaker system (Sonos soundbars, for example).

Audio Quality

Soundbars produce better audio quality than integrated TV speakers. You can also look for some audio modes and settings some soundbars have and get an even better sound.

Some soundbars have a voice enhancement mode that clears and sharpens the vocals and makes them more intelligible. Whether you love watching TV shows or movies, this mode brings audio quality to the next level.

Furthermore, some soundbars have specific audio modes like news, music, night, and movie modes made specifically to optimize the sound quality for the given content.

Front display panel

A display panel can be of great use for listening to music without turning on your TV. Sometimes a display can be too bright, so if you think that could be a problem for you, look for a soundbar that has a display that can be turned off or dimmed.

Remote Control

Most of the soundbars without a subwoofer come with a remote. Some of them can be used with a TV. Also, some TV remotes can control the soundbar (at least some basic settings).

If that doesn’t work or if you experience troubles when trying to control everything with your TV remote, you can buy a universal remote.

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