We’ve been reviewing soundbars for 15 years – these are our 5 most highly rated for Black Friday

Soundbars from Sonos, Samsung, Bose in a collage
(Image credit: Sonos, Samsung, Bose)

It’s sales season, and as the Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday discounts roll in, it’s an excellent excuse to upgrade your home entertainment system. Although lots of devices are reduced at this time of year, we’ve found from experience that Black Friday is a great time to buy one of the best soundbars at a reduced price. 

Although not all of the best soundbars get discounts during Black Friday, many are seeing serious reductions – and several fantastic deals are already rolling in. So if you know which sort of soundbar you want – or maybe which specific model you want – you can act fast and grab a bargain if the soundbar you had in mind gets reduced. 

But it isn’t easy to choose the best soundbar for you, especially as deals go live. We all tend to panic, buying the first ones we see. But this year, we’ve got you. We’ve selected the five top soundbars you should look out for this Black Friday in the sales. We’ve included a mixture of brands, soundbar types, and prices for you to consider that should keep everyone happy. 

If you’re already overwhelmed by which discounted soundbar to choose, here are some of TechRadar’s top recommendations for soundbars to look out for this Black Friday. Also, be sure to check out our favorite Black Friday soundbar deals for more. 

Samsung HW-Q990C

The Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar system pictured in a living room on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

The Samsung HW-Q990C is a high-end soundbar, which means you’re not going to find it for a relatively cheap price (at least by soundbar standards) this Black Friday. But we’ve selected it as a soundbar to look out for over sales season as it’s already being reduced on a few third-party retailer sites and the Samsung website. This means if you’re looking for a top-tier soundbar but would like to spend a little less than top-tier prices, now is the time to do it. 

This soundbar is packed with features, like SmartThings Hub functionality, enabling you to monitor and control other devices in your home. There’s also built-in support for Amazon Alexa voice control and Alexa device grouping to create effective multi-room setups. You’ll also find an improved auto-calibration system, and Samsung has tweaked its Adaptive Sound mode, claiming to deliver a more lively, detailed sound at low volumes. There’s also a new generation of Samsung’s Q Symphony here, which enhances how the speakers in Samsung’s TVs and soundbars work together.

Design-wise, the Q990C’s four components certainly make it more of a presence in your living room than most soundbars – especially compact options, like the relatively small Bose Smart Soundbar 600 below – but, as we wrote in our Samsung HW-Q990C review, we still consider it compact relative to the truly huge sound it produces. What’s more, the setup is simple. All four components connect automatically from the first install, and there are control options galore. So, if you’ve got some space in your living room and want to make the most of it, don’t let the size put you off. 

But the sound here is stunning and almost impossible to beat. Samsung HW-Q990C is our top choice for high-end sound and total immersion. With 11.1.4 channels and more than 600W of power, this Samsung soundbar creates a true dome of sound around you, into which it places all the perfectly positioned effects that make Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks so special. If you’re willing to pay more than the other options in this list, we recommend you immediately snap up any discount you see that’s within your budget. 

Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Bose Smart Soundbar 600 on TV stand with remote control

(Image credit: Future)

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 is our top choice in our best soundbars guide if you want a compact Dolby Atmos option. The good news is that it’s already been discounted by a few retailers ahead of Black Friday, meaning it’s an excellent time to bag yourself a bargain if you’re looking for an option for a smaller TV packed with smarts and specs.

To give you some context about where this Bose soundbar sits, it currently costs $499/£499/AU$799, meaning it’s a more compact and more affordable Dolby Atmos model than previous Bose bars, slotting in beneath the Smart Soundbar 900 ($899/£1399/AU$799). It’s aimed squarely at those with smaller TVs and smaller spaces who want actual up-firing speakers for Atmos height effects – which is rare for a budget bar.

Although the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 might be half the price of the 900, as we wrote in our Bose Smart Soundbar 600 review, it delivers a similar feature set with a more limited speaker array. Five drivers, including two up-firing ones, are used to deliver Dolby Atmos soundtracks, allowing the 600 to provide stiff competition to the best soundbars that use virtual Atmos processing in the same price range. The results are a sound that’s bigger and better than you’d expect, with effects that extend above the TV screen, and the audio presentation extends well to the sides.

If you find a good deal on the Bose Smart Soundbar 600, but you’re not sure a compact soundbar is for you – what if you want to upgrade your TV to a bigger one? – it’s worth remembering that this soundbar may seem basic, but it’s expandable. The Soundbar 600 can be augmented with optional wireless surrounds and subwoofers should you want that further down the line. What’s better than a reduced soundbar? One that’s relatively future-proof.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

White Sonos Beam Gen 2 soundbar sitting in front of TV

(Image credit: Future)

Sonos devices always get good reductions around Black Friday, and 2023 is no exception. The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is already reduced on the Sonos website, as well as on the sites of some third-party retailers. This is good news, considering it’s our top choice if you’re looking for a compact soundbar to suit smaller TVs and smaller living spaces, especially if you want it to double up as a solid way to listen to music. 

As we wrote in our Sonos Beam (Gen 2) review, this is a compact soundbar, but it’s powerful. This is largely down to Dolby Atmos support, and while the soundbar doesn’t contain the upfiring drivers you’d need for ‘true’ Atmos, it uses psychoacoustic techniques to give the impression of height from your movie soundtracks. During testing, we didn’t experience the overhead sound you get from its larger sibling, the Sonos Arc (with up-firing drivers). Still, we were impressed by its vast soundstage and powerful audio performance – especially considering its size.

Set-up is easy with the Sonos S2 app, enabling you to connect the soundbar to your Wi-Fi network and set up your voice assistant. This app also gives you access to the company’s TruePlay technology, calibrating the soundbar’s audio to your room’s dimensions. Another notable feature is eARC compatibility, allowing the soundbar to handle more advanced audio formats than before, including hi-res audio codecs.

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is one of the older soundbars in this list. We hope that means discounts will roll in thick and fast, making it a solid bargain if you’re looking for a reliable and compact soundbar, whether you’re looking to add to your Sonos ecosystem or start building one from scratch. On that note, don’t let the size of this soundbar put you off. This mid-range speaker might be on the small side, but it can easily be upgraded in the future. Just add a subwoofer or rear speakers. 

Sony HT-S2000

Sony HT-S2000 soundbar on TV stand

(Image credit: Future)

One of the cheaper options in our list of soundbars to look out for, and our top budget pick in our guide to the best soundbars around right now, the Sony HT-S2000 could get some serious discounts ahead of Black Friday. 

As we wrote in our Sony HT-S2000 review, it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a soundbar option that packs in a good amount of performance and features for a relatively affordable price. Sure, you could spend more on a soundbar with a wider range of features, but the HT-S2000 should suit most people.

Overall sound performance is fantastic for the price. Dialogue is consistently clear, even when we were testing the soundbar and pushing it to a high level, and bass output is better-than average for an all-in-one soundbar, too. Sony’s proprietary processing allows for the height effects in Dolby Atmos soundtracks to extend beyond and above the screen boundaries of a TV the soundbar is connected to, and there’s also a notably good surround sound ‘wrap-around’ effect when the S-Force Pro Front Surround feature is active.

Setup is easy thanks to Sony’s Home Entertainment app, and the soundbar’s alphanumeric front-panel display provides great visual feedback during use. A better-than-average soundbar remote control is also included, too. A detail that’s often overlooked. 

The good news for anyone unsure whether they want a budget option or should splurge on something more high-end is the HT-S2000 can be paired with Sony’s optional wireless surround sound speakers and subwoofers, giving you a future upgrade path if you’d like to expand on the soundbar’s basic capabilities further down the line. 

JBL Bar 1300X

JBL Bar 1300X soundbar on TV stand

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking for a soundbar that delivers ultimate flexibility, doesn’t require a complicated set-up and packs a Dolby Atmos punch, keep an eye out for deals on the JBL Bar 1300X this Black Friday. We’ve already spotted several retailers knocking huge amounts of money off this JBL soundbar, and we imagine others will follow suit as we get closer to the big day of deals. 

As we wrote in our JBL Bar 1300X review, this soundbar is ideal for those who want high-end sound and specs. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are on board, bringing you immersive soundtrack formats while upmixing regular stereo tracks for Atmos presentation. The result is a truly immersive sound, but one of exceptional quality more generally. During testing, we said this was easily one of the best-performing soundbar systems we’ve ever reviewed, leaving most rival soundbars in the dust. 

Other notable features include four HDMI ports onboard, which means you can run multiple sources through the Bar 1300X, including disc players, streaming boxes, and game consoles.

The JBL Bar 1300X will never be as cheap as chips, but if you want a top-performing soundbar to add to your home entertainment set-up and find a reduction on this outstanding system, grab it before it’s gone. 

Follow TechRadar on TikTok for news, reviews, unboxings, and hot Black Friday deals!

Becca Caddy

Becca is a contributor to TechRadar, a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than ten years, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality.