The best
Soundbars with HDMI 2.1
compared

The best connection for fast and lossless data transfer

The available connection options also play an important role when choosing the right soundbar. After all, some features can only be used via certain interfaces. You should therefore think about how you want to connect your soundbar to the TV and which other devices should be connected to it right from the start.

The HDMI 2.1 port is the further development of HDMI 2.0 and usually comes with eARC. Over the HDMI 2.1 interface, a higher bandwidth of data can be transmitted in a shorter time. In addition, soundbars with HDMI 2.1 can easily transmit 4K content when plugged between a player and the TV. Below we present you some soundbars that come with the new HDMI port.

You want to know how to install a soundbar? Our buying guide answers the most important questions!

Best Soundbar with HDMI 2.1: Sony HT-A7000

  • 500W total power
  • DTS:X & Dolby Atmos
  • Integrated subwoofer
  • Up-firing speakers
  • Room correction feature
  • Many input ports
  • Bluetooth & Wi-Fi
  • Chromecast & Apple Airplay
  • Poor surround performance
  • Low volume
  • No voice assistants
Room size
above 40 m2
Channels
7.1.2
Connections
HDMI 2.1 InHDMI OutHDMI eARCDigital optical3.5mm JackUSB for playback
Dolby Atmos
Set
Soundbar

The HT-A7000 is Sony’s flagship and has two HDMI 2.1 inputs. Other connection options include an HDMI output, an optical input, an AUX port and a USB interface. The model also supports eARC via the HDMI 2.1 port, which ensures a particularly fast transmission of uncompressed audio content.

The 7.1.2 channel system has up-firing speakers and uses them to reproduce three-dimensional sound. Thereby, the sound is reflected at the ceiling, so that it falls back on the viewer from above. Besides the 3D sound formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the soundbar can play back almost all other available formats. Dolby Vision and HDR10 can also be transmitted without any problems – even at 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz!

For an all-in-one soundbar – that is, a soundbar that already has the subwoofer integrated – the A7000 has a solid 500 watts of total power. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get particularly loud nevertheless, which is why the sound experience is not very convincing in large rooms. However, the soundbar’s many smart features are a plus, because it has Chromecast, Airplay, Bluetooth and a Wi-Fi interface. Thus, all sorts of options are available for wireless streaming.

For large rooms and parties: Samsung HW-Q900A

  • Higher volume
  • External subwoofer
  • Better surround sound
  • No Chromecast
  • Fewer ports

The Samsung Q900A has two HDMI 2.1 inputs as well and supports eARC. It can also transmit uncompressed Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound. Likewise, 4K content is passed through losslessly from a connected console or player to the TV. The other connectivity options of this model are rather limited, because apart from the HDMI ports, there is only a USB port for updates and an optical input.

Both the A7000 and Q900A are a 7.1.2-channel setup, but Samsung’s model comes with an external subwoofer. This results in a much better surround performance and the bass is really noticeable in action-packed scenes. If you want an even more immersive sound experience, you can upgrade the setup with external satellite speakers. The total power of 406 watts is a bit lower than Sony’s model, but this soundbar is much louder and can also fill larger rooms or parties with sound.

The Q900A can be easily controlled via voice command with the integrated Amazon Alexa. Other smart features include Bluetooth, Airplay and Wi-Fi compatibility. Unfortunately, the soundbar does not support Chromecast for wireless transmission.

Space-saving solution: JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

  • Small dimensions
  • Low price
  • No subwoofer
  • No height channels

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is without question the smallest soundbar on this list. With a width of just 71 centimeters, it is also suitable for use with smaller TVs and finds space almost everywhere. However, you have to accept some compromises due to the smaller size. For example, it only has one HDMI 2.1 input and one output with eARC. In addition, there is an Ethernet interface and an optical input. Via the HDMI port, the soundbar can transmit 4K content without any difficulties.

Both treble channels and a subwoofer are not found in this model from JBL. However, since it is equipped with the MultiBeam technology developed by the manufacturer, it can still produce a spacious sound. Unlike the other soundbars, this is simulated virtually. Consequently, the JBL MultiBeam can play back Virtual Dolby Atmos. DTS content on the other hand is unfortunately not supported.

The smart features of the small soundbar leave nothing to be desired. For wireless content transfer, it has Bluetooth, Chromecast and Airplay. Thanks to its WiFi compatibility, it can also be connected to voice assistants and controlled conveniently. Integration into a multi-room setup is also possible due to the network connection.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam Review

With extra powerful bass: LG DSP8YA

  • Powerful subwoofer
  • High volume
  • Fewer channels
  • Poor surround sound

A soundbar from LG has also made it into this list. The DSP8YA offers a solid overall package and combines all sorts of features with an affordable price. We’re dealing with a 3.1.2-channel system here, so in contrast to the other soundbars, there are fewer main channels. Due to this, surround sound is downmixed to stereo by the soundbar to be able to play it back. Unfortunately, this is also audible, which is why the surround performance of the DSP8YA is not very convincing.

The connections of the soundbar include an HDMI 2.1 input and an output with eARC, an optical interface and a USB port. The HDMI port also ensures lossless 4K pass-through and the soundbar supports almost every audio format currently available. With the help of its up-firing speakers, it can also reproduce 3D sound in the form of DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. Especially the external subwoofer performs quite well, since it has a power of 220 watts. However, this also makes the sound profile of the DSP8YA a bit bass-heavy overall.

Streaming fans are well served with this soundbar from LG, because it has many wireless connectivity options. With Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility, integrated Chromecast and Apple Airplay, there are all sorts of options for streaming content.

Soundbars with HDMI 2.1 in comparison

Sony HT-A7000
Sony HT-A7000
Samsung HW-Q900A
Samsung HW-Q900A
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
LG DSP8YA
LG DSP8YA
Channels 7.1.2 7.1.2 5 3.1.2
Dolby Atmos
DTS DTS HD-Master + DTS:X DTS HD-Master + DTS:X DTS HD-Master + DTS:X
HDMI 2.1 2x In + 1x Out 2x In + 1x Out 1x In + 1x Out 1x In + 1x Out
eARC
WLAN
Room size above 40 m2 up to 40 m2 up to 25 m2 up to 40 m2
Subwoofer Internal External External
Satellites
Dimensions Height x Width x Depth 80 x 1300 x 142 mm 69,5 x 1232 x 138 mm 58 x 709 x 101 mm 57 x 1060 x 119 mm

Frequently asked questions about Soundbars with HDMI 2.1

How to connect a soundbar?

To connect the soundbar to a TV, various interfaces are available. The best solution is to use the HDMI port, which almost every soundbar and TV nowadays have. The highest data rates can be transmitted via the HDMI connection.

Is an optical or HDMI connection better?

An HDMI connection is superior to an optical connection in some points and thus overall better. A much higher data rate can be transmitted via HDMI, while the optical interface quickly reaches its limits. Especially for the innovative 3D sound formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, you have to use the HDMI connection.

What is the difference between ARC and eARC?

HDMI eARC is the extended version of ARC. Both stand for an audio return channel, which transmits audio data via the HDMI input. Compared to its predecessor ARC, eARC allows a much higher bandwidth of transmitted data. Audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X can therefore be transmitted uncompressed via HDMI eARC.

Is HDMI 2.1 worth it?

An HDMI 2.1 interface is primarily worth it when the soundbar is to be connected between the TV and another device. Then it is important that it can forward uncompressed data. Most soundbars with an HDMI 2.1 port can transmit the innovative sound formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, but the interface is not a requirement for it.

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