For building up your home theater with a tight budget, there’s nothing quite like a soundbar. These thin slivers of audio goodness provide excellent quality sound in a package that’s easy to set-up, with maybe only a wire or two required.
In the case of TaoTronics, the budget can be even less. This company produces mainly Bluetooth speakers and headphones, but their sound bars are nothing to put down either. This 34-inch one provides excellent sound for only $90 Soundbar, TaoTronics Sound Bar Wired Wireless Bluetooth Audio (34-inch Speaker, 2 Passive Radiators, Dual Connection Methods, Touch Remote Control, Wall Mountable), with connectivity for just about any device you own. It’s simple, sleek, and, considering the price, excellent at what it does.
|Speaker Output||2 x 20 watts|
|Connections||Coaxial, Bluetooth, Optical, RCA, 3.5mm|
|Dimensions||34 × 3.4 × 2.6 in|
|Price||$89.99 . The all-plastic construction does feel cheap, but the unit as a whole does not. It’s lightweight but certainly doesn’t feel like it will fall apart any time soon.
This Soundbar, TaoTronics Sound Bar Wired Wireless Bluetooth Audio (34-inch Speaker, 2 Passive Radiators, Dual Connection Methods, Touch Remote Control, Wall Mountable) has enough in terms of features alone to justify the cost. While you won’t be setting up as the centerpiece of a surround setup, the bar functions perfectly as a standalone unit and is packed with features to aid in that area.
First, and most obvious, would be Bluetooth connectivity. While most TVs won’t use this feature, it’s not to convert the soundbar into a Bluetooth speaker. The connection was always simple, and switching to the Bluetooth input was a breeze.
Which brings us to switching. All controls are found on the included remote. It’s made completely out the plastic and feels super cheap, but it gets the job done. There are all the media controls you need, as well as dedicated buttons for each of the five inputs.
If you prefer a hardwired connection, the soundbar has you covered as well. There is a 3.5mm jack located on the side of the unit so you can plug in in any device. I like this placement as opposed to the back. That way, you can easily plug and take out a cord without having it hanging off the unit at all times.
For connecting, you do have five options. We’ve been over two, Bluetooth and auxiliary, but are two others. Mainly for connecting to the TV, you have the option of an RCA connection, coaxial connection, or an optional connection.
The features here are made for the purpose of the soundbar. There are no apps or anything ridiculous like that. There’s just enough for the role this bar serves, and that’s a good thing.
Features and looks aside, this Soundbar, TaoTronics Sound Bar Wired Wireless Bluetooth Audio (34-inch Speaker, 2 Passive Radiators, Dual Connection Methods, Touch Remote Control, Wall Mountable) isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t good. Thankfully, that’s not the case. This car impresses for money, sound comparable to ones that are twice the price.
The low-end is provided through two bass radiators on the side. Instead of trying to force bass out of the front, the low-end is amplified by radiators, providing clean bass that doesn’t crowd the drivers. Still, there isn’t a ton of bass, especially at low volumes.
Bass really only comes into play when turned up. At low volumes, you can perceive it, but it feels more like a low-mid bump and less like true bass. Still, it beat TV speakers.
The midrange is pretty scooped. This sounds similar to the low-end bars from Vizioo and Samsung, and less like the offers from Klipsch. There is a definite dip here, but that doesn’t present an issue. Only people going after that “natural” sound will find a gripe.
Highs are very present, but, with movies, that’s a good thing. Dialogue comes through crystal clear, and things like gunshots explode out of the speaker. The highs are present, and I love it. They stick out a bit too much at low volumes but are easily balanced out when turned up a bit.
For watching movies, imaging is good too. The two separate drivers provide a stereo signal, so there is no surround sound. However, the bar is long enough at moderate distances that things can be picked out from either speaker. The imaging is anything compared to a real surround setup, but there’s enough there to know that things are flying from ear to the other.
Sound is really what matters and, thankfully, this bar doesn’t disappoint. It’s perfect for getting an inexpensive source that oozes value for the money.
All this Soundbar, TaoTronics Sound Bar Wired Wireless Bluetooth Audio (34-inch Speaker, 2 Passive Radiators, Dual Connection Methods, Touch Remote Control, Wall Mountable) would have to get right is the sound to win my favor. Fortunately, it gets just about everything else right too. From the look, to the connectivity options, to the sound, this sound bar is incredible.
You can’t expect much for $90, but you can expect more than what the price tag says on this device. It’s lightweight, sleek, has plenty of hookups, and provides excellent sound.
Alternatives to Consider
AmazonBasics 2.0 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar – $69.99
Basics is correct, this sound bar is about as basic as they come. It’s just a simple black bar, coming in at a modest 31 inches. You’re going to find similar features here, for a few less dollars. Amazon Basics 31" 2.0 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar with Dual Neodymium Magnet Speakers connectivity, RCA, optical, and auxiliary inputs are all included.
Despite having a wall bracket, the controls are located on the back, so the bar is less thought out than the TaoTronics. Still, for $70, it’s hard to complain. This soundbar isn’t excellent, but it does the job.
Klipsch Reference Series R-4B 2.1 Channel Sound Bar – $149.99
If you’re looking for a more natural sound, then this is the Klipsch Reference Series R-4B 2.1 Channel Sound Bar to look at. It’s quite a bit more expensive, but the price is worth what you’re getting. Included is a 40 inch sound bar, and a 6.5 wireless subwoofer.
This combo yields amazing results for the money. It’s a far cry from the sound of the TaoTronics, focused more on authenticity and less on hype. IF you have the extra change to spare, this would be my go-to recommendation.
Samsung HW-M360/ZA 2.1 Channel Wireless Soundbar – $136.36
This Samsung HW-M360/ZA 2.1 Channel 200 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar (2017 Model) bar is the closest in sound to the TaoTronics with one unique difference. This setup includes a wireless subwoofer. SItting between the TaoTronics and Klipsch in both price and sound quality, this rig is an excellent value for the money.
You can also purchase a wireless surround kit to turn the bar into a 4.1 surround setup. The two bookshelf speakers are designed to integrate with the soundbar seamlessly, and Samsung does a good job providing expandability without the fuss or the wires.