Elsewhere the 300W-toting SC-HTB770 houses Bluetooth for streaming music from a phone, three HDMI inputs, and two optical audio inputs – crucial inclusions that pushes convenience still further – while a subwoofer sits alongside. Expect a price north of £500.
5. Samsung HW-F750, £TBC
Samsung has been playing around with vale amplification for a few years, so the appearance for 2013 of the first valve-amplified soundbar is no surprise. It's used primarily to add some warmth to digital audio, though the Samsung HW-F750 connects to a TV over Bluetooth something that's a hallmark of convenience-focused products rather than those vying for ultimate sound quality. Using SoundShare, which is embedded in Samsung's Smart TVs, the HW-F750 has its own built-in gyroscope to gauge its position in a room, and adjusts sound accordingly. A feature called AirtrackON wakes-up the HW-F750 when the TV is switched-on as well as allowing the TV's remote control to operate its volume.
6. Yamaha YSP-4300, £1,299
It was Yamaha that invented the soundbar several years ago with its first-gen Digital Sound Projectors, and it's still going strong. Perhaps the ultimate upgrade to a flat TV available without plumping for a full surround sound system, the YSP-4300 uses Yamaha's tried-and-tested beam tech that uses 22 separate speakers to bounce soundwaves off walls and ceilings to create an enveloping surround sound effect. If that wasn't serious enough for you, the YSP-4300 comes with two wireless subwoofers; this is home cinema in all but shape.
7. Orbitsound M12, £399
Comprising eight separate speakers inside a one-box soundbar, the key claim of the Orbitsound M12 is one of 'spatial' sound', which we've heard before with the Orbitsound T9; it's genuinely capable of creating a moving sweetspot and a balanced stereo sound. British-designed and hand-painted, the powered M12 adds a ninth speaker in its downward-firing wireless subwoofer, and also includes Bluetooth streaming from phones and tablets. A nice touch is its one-touch 'grab' feature, which automatically plays the last song it played from a paired device.
If Bluetooth adds some convenience, the M12 doesn't have HDMI inputs, instead connecting to a TV via an optical audio cable, 3.5mm jack or left/right stereo phonos.
8. Roth SubZero, £99
British-designed and with a subwoofer built-in (the clue's in the name), the SubZero is a thoroughly affordable way to increase sound quality, though it's not the 'AV hub' that some soundbars promise. Best used with relatively small TVs – say, 32-40-inch in size – the SubZero is another that lacks HDMI switching, though it does cater for three different types of audio connection; left and right stereo audio (phono), optical digital and a 3.5mm stereo mini jack. At around 89mm in depth, there's an option to wall-mount, too. Great value for those looking for a simple boost to a TV's slim speakers.