Whether you have a, or only a tiny place to fit an external speaker, there’s no reason to sacrifice sound quality as result. There are quite a few great-sounding soundbars that can fit into cramped spaces, and they come with a surprising number of features. For example, the Roku Streambar is not only a compact soundbar but also a capable — which is great for a bedroom setup. Or if is your aim, the Polk or the Yamaha may be a better fit.
All of the systems here feature soundbars which are about a foot in width, though two of the systems do include separate subwoofers. While you will need to find a place to put those subs, they do bring with them an elevated level of performance.
If there was ever a solid gold bargain, it’s undoubtedly the Roku Streambar, which combines both audio and streaming in one device. This is a two-channel soundbar with a fully fledged 4K streamer onboard, and even if you don’t use the streaming functions it works well as a standalone soundbar. As a smaller soundbar it doesn’t have the deepest bass, but it does offer an expressive mid-range with a dedicated voice mode for clearer dialog. It’s an unbeatable value and frequently on sale for under $100.
Read our Roku Streambar review.
Yamaha is one of the most dependable makers of soundbars, but its designs tend to cost a little more than competitors. The SR-C20A, on the other hand, is affordable and also manages to sound great when paired with your TV.
Read our Yamaha SR-C20A review.
At 13 inches wide, the soundbar part of the Mini fits the moniker, even if you do need somewhere to put the gallon-sized subwoofer. The inclusion of the sub is worthwhile, however, as the system punches well above its weight with great sound in movies and with music. In addition, having Google’s Chromecast tech built-in enables a wealth of streaming and multiroom capabilities.
Read our Polk MagniFi Mini review.
Though I’ve yet to formally review the diminutive LG Eclair, I’ve found it to have a big expansive sound from only two compact boxes. The subwoofer is a little larger than a cereal box, but it packs a punch, and the Dolby Atmos compatibility gives the system more home theater flexibility than the other soundbars here. At $600 it’s pretty pricey, but you should be able to find it for around $400 on sale.