The best
Soundbars without Subwoofer

Is a woofer really necessary?

When looking for the right soundbar, you will encounter a variety of different setups. A fundamental question thereby is how big the setup should be and whether the soundbar should be equipped with a subwoofer or not. But can soundbars without a woofer produce a satisfactory sound at all?

First of all, we can say that soundbars with an external subwoofer can naturally reproduce low frequencies better than soundbars that don’t have a subwoofer at all. However, if you do not attach too much importance to a strong bass, you can definitely get a balanced sound with a setup without a woofer and even save space. How the sound of the setups can differ in other ways, is also explained in our buying guide.

You’ re longing for a few deeper tones? Then you should take a look at our list of the best soundbars with internal subwoofers.

Best Soundbar without Subwoofer: Sonos Arc

  • Dolby Atmos
  • Up- & Side-firing speakers
  • Wi-Fi, Smart Features & Voice Control
  • Easily expandable & Multiroom Option
  • Automatic room correction
  • No DTS
  • No Bluetooth
  • No HDMI IN
Room size
up to 25 m2
HDMI OutHDMI eARCDigital opticalLAN-Ethernet
Dolby Atmos

In our opinion, the Sonos Arc has the best overall package in a single body. It is a 5.0.2 setup, so the soundbar comes without a subwoofer. With a total output of 270 watts, it has a decent amount of power and features a total of eleven speakers. Among them are also up-firing and side-firing speakers that are used for playing surround and 3D content. The Sonos Arc can play uncompressed Dolby Atmos via its HDMI eARC port, and DTS content is also supported thanks to a software update.

Fans of dialogue-heavy content, such as podcasts or audiobooks, should also be satisfied with the sound of the Sonos Arc. Since it has a separate center speaker, voices are reproduced clearly and distinctly. An additional dialogue enhancement feature ensures even better comprehensibility. Besides this feature, the soundbar comes with room correction, which automatically adjusts the sound to the conditions of your interior.

The contents of the soundbar’s packaging might be surprising at first, since it comes without a remote control. Instead, the corresponding app or one of the two integrated voice assistants Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant can be used for control. For this, the soundbar has a Wi-Fi interface. Streaming content via Apple Airplay is also supported.

Affordable & compact solution: JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

  • Space saving design
  • Bluetooth
  • Chromecast integrated
  • No Dolby Atmos
  • No DTS
  • No integrated voice assistants

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is without question the most compact solution in this list. Despite the small width of just twenty-seven inches, the 5.0-channel system has a total output of 250 watts and can get quite loud. Its powerful sound profile also gives your content an extra punch.

The soundbar features JBL’s MultiBeam technology, which is supposed to provide an immersive listening experience by bouncing the sound off your walls. As a result, the soundbar supports Virtual Dolby Atmos, which means that Atmos content can be played, but it is converted to surround content. In contrast, DTS content cannot be reproduced at all.

This soundbar also comes with a separate center speaker. Plenty of streaming options are also available thanks to the Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi compatibility, Apple Airplay and the integrated Chromecast. The only thing the JBL 5.0 MultiBeam lacks are integrated voice assistants, as an external third-party device is required to use them.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam Review

With smart room correction: Bose Smart Soundbar 900

  • ADAPTiQ room correction feature
  • Neutral sound profile
  • Bluetooth
  • No DTS
  • Few connections

With the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, we are also dealing with a 5.0.2 setup. This all-in-one soundbar can play uncompressed Dolby Atmos as well, for which it has two up-firing and side-firing speakers. It is also equipped with Bose’s PhaseGuide technology, which is supposed to provide a room-filling sound. In addition, the ADAPTiQ room correction ensures that the sound is optimally adapted to your surroundings. To set up this feature, the soundbar even comes with an included ADAPTiQ headset.

Users don’t have to miss out on the separate center speaker with this soundbar either. However, besides a dialog enhancement feature and bass adjustments, the sound optimization options are severely limited on the Bose 900. The same applies to its connection options: Only an optical port, an HDMI eARC port, and an Ethernet interface are found on the back of the soundbar. At least it has further wireless connectivity options with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Apple Airplay. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are also integrated for voice control.

Soundbars without Subwoofer in comparison

Sonos Arc
Sonos Arc
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
Bose Smart Soundbar 900
Bose Smart Soundbar 900
Channels 5.2 5 5.2
Dolby Atmos
HDMI 2.1 1x In + 1x Out 1x In
Room size up to 25 m2 up to 25 m2 up to 25 m2
Dimensions Height x Width x Depth HxWxD 87 x 1141 x 120 mm 58 x 709 x 101 mm 58,1 x 1045 x 107 mm

Frequently asked questions about Soundbars without Subwoofer

Do you really need a subwoofer?

A soundbar without a subwoofer does not necessarily sound bad. Instead, whether you need a subwoofer depends on the content you want to use it with. If you are a fan of action movies or bass music, you should invest in a subwoofer, as soundbars without a subwoofer often cannot produce low frequencies that well.

Is a soundbar with subwoofer better?

An external or integrated subwoofer can produce better bass than a standalone soundbar. However, if you do not value low frequencies that much, a soundbar without a subwoofer should be alright for you as well.

Is a soundbar necessary?

A soundbar is a good way to get better audio quality from your TV. They do not require much space and can easily improve the thin sound from your TV.

More Soundbars by type
The best surround sound with soundbars
5.1 Surround Soundbars
Small but mighty: These soundbars are particularly space-saving
Mini Soundbars
Powerful sound from just one body
Soundbars with internal Subwoofer
For action-packed scenes & bass-heavy music: Setups with proper "thump"
Soundbars with Subwoofer