Sounding out the lockdown: PriceSpy analyses a selection of top sound systems
Product: Bose Soundbar 500
Best price: £399
First up on our list is Bose. The American audio company founded over 50 years ago is regarded as a one of the leading premium brands in the speaker world. This model is no exception.
Released in 2018, this speaker offers value with substance. It’s compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and can easily interact with other voice-assisted products in your home. It also has Bluetooth, HDMI and WIFI connectivity. The sleek design makes it discreet, but it packs a punch, delivering 90 decibels.
The smart, practical features and design live up to the high standards of quality expected of any Bose product, and at a lower price than its top of the range models.
Product: Sonos Beam
Best Price: £357
Sonos has emerged as a challenger to Bose’s crown. The Californian company, which specialises in smart speakers, released the Sonos Beam in 2019, in direct competition to the Bose Soundbar 500.
Similar in sleek design, the Sonos Beam is compatible with both Alexa, Google Assistant but also Apple TV and Siri, making it more universal.
What sets it apart is Trueplay. This software feature calibrates its sounds to the sound of your room, giving a fuller sound coverage. Easy to set up and compatible with most smart devices, the Sonos beam offers slightly better value than its Bose counterpart, but goes that little bit further.
Product: Yamaha Yas 209
Best Price: £299
Established Japanese tech giant Yahama, throws its hat in the ring with its Yas 209. This device, released in 2017, delivers an excellent all round performance, with a host of features at a lower price than Bose and Sonos.
Through DTS: Virtual X technology, the speaker offers stimulated surround effects and has specific pre-settings, ideal for music, gaming, sports and more.
A sticking point for some may be the absence of Google Assistant, though it is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Despite this, the Yas 209 does everything you can expect, with powerful output levels, straightforward set up and value for money.
Product: Samsung HW-N300
Best available price: £69.99
No stranger to the electronics world, Samsung also has a sound device which could cover all your bases. Hitting the shelves in 2018 the HW-N300 is a great entry-level soundbar which offers value for money.
Key features include Bluetooth connectivity and wireless connectivity to Samsung TVs. It offers both standard and surround sound but lacks voice control assistants and HDMI inputs. If you want to simply improve the audio of your tv shows, games and music it’s up to the task.
This device won’t be hitting the high standards expected with the likes of Bose, Sonos and Yamaha. But it will deliver a good-all round performance, without breaking the bank.
Our shopping tips
Always shop around
It's obvious but it really is the only way to be sure you're getting the best deal. The best prices aren't always the first that pop up on search engines. Take the leg work out of comparing by using a price comparison site.
Check the history
Online prices are updated constantly. Often retailers inflate prices to later drop them once the initial hype of a new product launch has died down. Do not take the first price given to you. PriceSpy can give the price history and prediction for certain products so you can evaluate the best time to buy to get the cheapest rate.
Be smart on specs
Not every new model is the right one for you. Look at trusted review sites so you can get a clear idea of what you are getting from your money. Also, check the model before it, or the one before that, to weigh up how many new features are on this device. Why fork out extra for one tiny change in the spec, when the older model is often much cheaper, with little difference in functionality?