Soundbars with detachable speakers allow for a flexible arrangement. Whether you’re short of space or just prefer having your speakers spread out so you can get a completely immersive home entertainment experience, you won’t go wrong with a soundbar with detachable speakers.
In this post, we’d be looking at some of the best models on the market.
Best Soundbars with Detachable Speakers: Our Top 5 Picks
You won’t find tons of options on the market when looking for soundbars with detachable speakers. But nonetheless, making the right choice from the handful of models available can still be quite challenging.
So we decided to compare the various models we could find — in terms of design, sound quality, durability, features, brand trust, and buyer reviews. And after cutting out the low performers, we were left with these top contenders that you won’t go wrong with.
1. JBL Bar 9.1
A 9.1 channel wireless surround system, the JBL Bar 9.1, which sports detachable speakers that are capable of playing Dolby Atmos, is totally an awesome audio gear to own. It might be expensive but the powerful, thunderous audio and immersive listening experience do justify the hefty price tag.
The JBL Bar 9.1 is a sleek soundbar measuring 2.4 x 48.4 x 4.7 inches with the detachable speakers magnetically docked. The speakers attach to the main unit by the way of quite fierce magnets. Both the bar and speakers are black, with a metallic grille covering the drivers.
At the top panel of the bar, you will find a couple of touch-sensitive controls for power off/on, volume up and down, and source. The front side houses the scrolling LED display, which is a nice improvement from an arcane set of lights. As for the subwoofer, it is well put together and measures 884 x 62 x 120mm.
On the recessed area of the bar, there is a decent set of connections. These include a single HDMI input (supporting 4K HDR) and HDMI eARC output, optical digital audio inputter, Ethernet, and a USB port. For wireless streaming, your options are Bluetooth, Chromecast, or Apple Play. WiFi setup is handled by Google’s Home app.
The JBL Bar 9.1’s headline feature is its ability to decode Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. Even more, it can deliver both object-based audio formats using a fully immersive 5.1.4 channel speaker layout.
As for the sound modes, you have the default smart mode, which applies EQ and surround processing to sources but if you don’t want any effects, the standard mode is the perfect option. There’s also a night mode for late-night binging sessions.
The side speakers are rechargeable and deliver roughly 10 hours of playback when detached before needing to be plugged into a wall socket but your results may vary based on your volume levels.
If you’re a fan of soundbars that deliver plenty of shock and awe, the Bar 9.1 is the right system to get. The main unit provides 400W of amplification, the wireless rear speakers 60W, and the subwoofer 300W, which JBL claims can reach down to 34Hz. Very few soundbars deliver an immersive soundstage as effectively as Bar 9.1.
The clarity of the soundbar is excellent, with crisp, clear dialogue and effects complemented by a scalable bass depth that eschews excessive warmth for precision. When you want realistic, immersive audio from a soundbar, Bar 9.1 should be near the top of your list.
- Well made and finished
- Fully immersive 5.1.4-channel system
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support
- Big bassy sound with plenty of height
- Only one HDMI input
- Few audio settings
2. Polk Audio React Soundbar
The Polk Audio React is a competitively priced Alexa-enabled soundbar that’s expandable with a subwoofer and rear speakers. It is one of the least expensive you will find with Alexa built-in and you can count on it to seriously improve your TV’s speakers.
The React actually sells as a one-piece soundbar but with an option to add a rather chunky wireless subwoofer and SR2 speakers for a more immersive, bassy soundstage. At just 34-inches wide and 2.2 inches tall, this bar will sit in front of your TV without drawing too much attention to itself or blocking an area of your TV screen.
A dark grey fabric wraps around the front and sides, giving it quite an upscale appearance. The top of the bar sports a stylish large panel that houses a circular set of buttons and microphones that are a telltale sign that this is an Alexa smart speaker. In the place of a display, Polk provides an LED strip that lights up to indicate what the bar is up to.
The soundbar’s connection options are a little disappointing. You are restricted to a single HDMI with ARC support alongside a USB port (for service/firmware use) and an optical audio input. Thankfully, the React comes equipped with both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. There’s also Spotify Connect streaming but no support for Chromecast or Airplay2.
Perhaps, the biggest attraction to the React apart from its pricing is that it comes with Alexa built-in, which means you can speak to the virtual assistant to carry out functions like adjusting the volume. Right from the moment you switch on the bar, you will be greeted with those familiar Alexa tones, guiding you through setup.
Also, you can ask Alexa to play music for you since the bar features a wide array of audio streaming services including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Deezer, and more. Thanks to support for Alexa Multiroom Music, you can add this bar to Alexa speaker groups so it can play music throughout your home.
Additionally, this bar comes with a few audio presets including movie, music, and night modes. But if you want to hear more clearly what’s said by characters without sacrificing virtual surround sound effects, just adjust the volume up/down buttons.
Tuned by the Polk Audio Team in the USA, it’s no surprise that the React is a really good-sounding bar. It projects a big sound field and sounds pleasingly aggressive with film soundtracks. It is able to get plenty loud despite its relatively small size. It achieves about 95 decibels at full volume, which is enough to fill a medium-sized room.
Going further, the React delivers an ample amount of bass, enough to give you the chills when watching intense scenes. Its punchy delivery particularly makes it entertaining for action movies but for music, the bar is average as it manages to deliver clean, detailed sounds.
- Slim, low-profile design
- Built-in Alexa with Multiroom support
- Clean, aggressive powerful sound
- Excellent value
- Limited inputs
- No Dolby Atmos or DTS:X
3. Vizio Soundbar SB3651-F6
The Vizio SB3651-F6 is a 5.1 channel setup that delivers an impressively immersive Dolby Atmos experience. It includes the subwoofer and additional speakers for a lower-than-expected price.
Design-wise, the SB3651-F6 might not win any awards but its build quality is reasonable, reflecting its price point. It measures 36-inches wide, which makes it ideal for TVs 55 inches and lower. The main unit is wrapped around with a black fabric with Vizio’s logo embossed at the extreme end.
The front side features a simple display with dots to indicate the status of the bar. On the top side of the bar, you will find all the control buttons such as the power on/off, volume up/down, and Bluetooth. The 6-inch subwoofer is durable and has a large grey panel just like the main unit.
In terms of inputs, the SB3651-F6 offers HDMI in/out (with ARC), coaxial, optical, USB (for WAV playback, strangely), and a 3.5mm analog input jack. Wireless connections include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with Chromecast support.
The major features here are Dolby Atmos and Smartcast. Unlike other affordable soundbars that rely on artificial processing for immersive sound, the SB3651-F6 delivers a genuine Dolby Atmos experience using actual speakers.
As for the Smartcast, it is essentially an extension of Chromecast in that it allows you cast content from your mobile device to the soundbar. Plus, the SB3651-F6 also features the regular audio presets including Movies, Music, and Night while an additional Direct Mode suits all types of content.
For a relatively small bar, the SB3651-F6 does sound larger than it really is as it produces room-filling sounds. Dialogue is detailed and crystal clear, and the sound effects are distinct, making the soundbar great for movies. Unfortunately, the tuning only delivers an average performance for the bar.
Bass reproduction is fairly robust and you can expect a decent level of thumps. Overall, the sound presentation of this bar is within the range of its pricing but Dolby Atmos makes it sound better.
- Compact design
- Decent music performance
- The Smartcast app doesn’t connect
- Narrow sound field
4. Polk Audio MagnFi Max SR
If you’ve ever tried out Polk Audio sound systems, you probably can relate to the saying “once you try it, you can’t go back.” The Polk Audio MagnFi Max SR is another superb soundbar from the brand that features a wireless subwoofer and detached speakers.
The central unit of MagnFi Max SR looks like most soundbars and is sized to be a great fit for large flat-screen TVs. A metallic grille wraps around the front, extending to its round edges. The soundbar is black, so in that sense, it should match up with most TVs.
On the top are essential controls: power, source selection, Bluetooth, volume up and down, and mute. An additional button for Voice Adjust sits just beside other small buttons. The bar is accompanied by a wireless downward-firing soundbar and two rear speakers – all dressed in black like the main unit.
Flip the MagnFi Max SR around and you will find a range of connections. You get three 4K-ready HDMI inputs and HDMI ARC output, TOSLINK optical in, 3.5mm aux in, and Ethernet. If you’re looking to go wireless, your options include Bluetooth and WiFi.
The MagnFi Max SR comes with a remote control that’s pretty decent and big. It also sits well in the hand but the nice touch made to it is that it is pre-programmed to respond to the IR commands from most big-name TV manufacturers. In other words, you can control the bar using your TV remote.
Furthermore, the bar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for surround sounds. It also supports pass-through of 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Vision. Additionally, there’s Chromecast support, which means you can connect and stream wireless from your Android device to the bar.
For sound optimization, the MagnFi Max SR has three preset modes (Movies, Sports, and Night) that adjust the bass and voice levels to give you the best experience based on what you’re watching. At the top of the bar, you can press a button for Voice Adjust – Polk’s clever tech for adjusting the volume of speech without affecting the sound effects.
Additionally, the bar supports voice commands via Google Assistant, which is managed through the Google Home app on your phone.
There are better-sounding systems if you’re willing to spend $100, $200, or more but for this price, the MagnFi Max SR is a great performer. It handles detail and articulation well so you can hear everything the character are saying clearly.
Given its physical proportions, it’s unsurprising that this bar delivers heavy bass that controls the lowest frequencies without much distortion even though it lacks precision in some areas. For cinema immersion, the Polk has a decent sonic performance.
- Decent surround effects
- Clear dialogue
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Heavy bass
- Not subtle enough for music
- Relatively pricey
5. Samtronic SM2120
The Samtronic SM2120 is a 2.0 channel soundbar that offers a better sound output than what today’s TVs offer. It is an inexpensive way to enliven your movie nights.
Design is mostly a matter of taste but the SM2120 adopts a minimalist approach. Although it’s a standalone bar, it is very compact in that you can split it into two tower speakers for a bigger soundstage in your room.
A metal grille covers the front of each speaker with a plastic edge on each side. There are two ways to control the SM2120 and this is via the remote control and the buttons located at the top panel. An LED display shows what the bar is playing.
Input options are basic, which is a letdown. Wired connections include a 3.5mm line-in input, and optical and aux input while Bluetooth is the only wireless option.
Features on the SM2120 are almost nonexistent, which may be a good idea for those that want to simply listen to audio without any fuss. However, it does have six equalizer settings including flat, clas, roc, pop, jazz, and live for optimized sound output.
The SM2120 won’t deliver like pricey home theaters do but it does the simple job of giving TV audio a little boost. It is actually very loud that you can hear what’s playing from another room.
- Simple design
- Can be separated into two towers
- The sound quality could be better
- No HDMI