Panasonic is an exceptional brand with a wide range of electronic products to its credit. Panasonic TVs deliver an impressive display performance. But, as with modern TVs by other brands, Panasonic TVs are below par when it comes to audio quality — no thanks to the flat-panel design that gives no room for robust, bassy speakers.
No worries, though. This ugly side of modern TVs prompted the invention of soundbars. So, if you’re looking to get a completely immersive home entertainment experience from your Panasonic TV, just invest in a good soundbar.
Soundbars for Panasonic TVs: Our Top Recommendations
Although Panasonic has a few soundbar models (such as this one) to its credit, they don’t come near the top in the rankings of the best soundbars on the market. So, if you’re looking to buy the best soundbar for your Panasonic TV, consider a model by other top brands.
In this post, we have carefully handpicked and reviewed some of the best soundbars for Panasonic TVs. Aside from their compatibility with Panasonic TVs, these soundbars have been selected and compared based on durability, design, features, sound quality, and buyer reviews.
Now, let’s cut to the chase.
1. Sony HTX8500
Sony is one brand particularly known for making high-quality sound gears and slapping an affordable price on them. The Sony HTX8500 is an entry-level 21-channel unit that proves that you don’t need to spend big for a truly entertaining Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar.
Simplicity is the watchword of this soundbar. It’s an all-in-one soundbar that comes with an inbuilt subwoofer and wireless surround speakers, implying that it is designed to hide out of sight anywhere in your room. If you don’t have much space available, this soundbar might just be what you’re looking for.
For an affordable soundbar, the HTX8500 isn’t ugly as its cosmetic finish has a style that sees a smart-rolled grille distinguished with grey trim covering most of the front side which curves at both ends. On the top panel is a range of LED indicators to show the bar’s status and other information. Touch-sensitive buttons are also provided for power, input selection, volume control, and Bluetooth pairing.
Connectivity options are relatively sparse as the HTX8500 sports only two HDMIs, one of which is an eARC output. As expected, you also get an optical audio input and a power input. The bar is limited to Bluetooth connectivity but you can use a Chromecast dongle as a workaround for WiFi.
There’s very little to look forward to in this department, especially since we’re dealing with a low-end soundbar. The HTX8500 comes with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X alongside Vertical Surround Engine, which helps to deliver an immersive sound experience.
Along with the package is a full-fledged remote control, which enables you to switch to different audio presets including Standard, Cinema, Voice, and Sports. The Night mode can come in handy when you don’t other family members to be woken up in the midnight hours.
Sony claims this bar is capable of knocking off a sound field approximate to that of a 7.1.2 system. While that is a bit stretched, it gives an idea of what to expect. The performance of the HTX8500 is so good that it clears up any possible reservations about the value it is capable of offering. It makes a total sound output of 320W, which makes it a beast at full volume. It also has strong bass, reproducing nearly the same intensity a dedicated subwoofer would do.
What’s more, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X alongside the S-Force Pro front surround audio processing coupled with the Vertical Surround Engine help to create a sense of expanded height and width so you could almost feel a wall of sound rise up from the bar. It does a good job of creating a convincing illusion of sounds coming from all around you.
Movie playback is great as the HTX8500 delivers clear dialogue that remains very audible even if there’s a background song playing. For music, the audio reproduction is also quite good as you can distinguish vocals from instrumentals. Either way, you can expect to feel every aspect of whatever sound goes into the soundbar including the revving up of the engine, the various sounds in the wood, a splash of water, the screeching of a tire, and more. Overall, the HTX8500 offers a truly exceptional soundstage at an unbeatable price.
- All-in-one 2.1 design
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Plug and Play setup
- Decent price
- No WiFi support
- No display
2. Sony HT-Z9F
The Sony HT-Z9F is a 3.1-channel soundbar, comprising the main unit and a subwoofer. It might not look much like a powerhouse but it is packed with a range of features you could possibly want in a midrange soundbar.
The first impression you’d likely get about the HT-Z9F is that it’s lighter than most soundbars with Dolby Atmos but the loaded rear panel reassures that this bar can live up to expectations. Out of the box, the main unit looks sleek, measuring about a meter long, which is a little less than the typical width of a 49-inch TV. It is fronted by a removable grille on the front to hide its drivers while the rest of its body is made of mostly good quality plastic.
Touch controls are located on the top panel of the bar and these are for power, source, and volume as well as a small display to show the current status of the bar. As for the subwoofer, it is a larger piece of equipment coated in black finish with a glossy bass port upfront.
The back of the Sony HT-Z9F features ports that are well placed and easy to reach with ample space between them. Input options include two HDMI inputs plus an HDMI out with ARC. There’s also a USB, an analog stereo 3.5mm jack, optical digital audio input, and an Ethernet port to hardwire your network into. For wireless connectivity, you get both Bluetooth and WiFi.
As stated earlier, there is an abundance of features in the HT-Z9F. For starters, this bar is compatible with Chrome cast and Spotify Connect so you can enjoy your favorite streaming options. It is also compatible with the Sony Music Center app that allows you to yoke Alexa to it and stream music online.
From the big remote, you can adjust the soundbar to six different presets including Cinema, Music, Sports, Movies, and News. If you’d like to hear dialog clearly, turning on the voice adjustment feature will help cut down on the background noise so you can hear what is being said.
With regards to surround sound processing, the HT-Z9F is stocked with pretty much everything under the sun including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and more. Add all these to the Vertical Surround Engine and it’s not hard to see that this soundbar is a really good deal.
Processing might seem like a regular word in most industries but it is a big deal when used for audio gear. Sony claims that the soundbar produces 7.1.2 surround sound, thanks to its best-in-class audio processing. The Vertical Surround Engine gives greater dimensionality to non-Atmos tracks. It enlarges the soundstage, giving a sense of height and width to sounds.
Going further, the bar can get quite loud, especially when you crank up the volume but without any distortion. Also, where many soundbars only shine at cinematic playback, the HT-Z9F strikes the balance of delivering smooth midrange frequencies matched by a rich bass for an impressively robust sound signature.
Overall, the HT-Z9F is the soundbar to get if you want immersive audio without the clutter and complexity of a true surround setup.
- Premium, durable look and feel
- Lots of connectivity and audio formats
- Clear dialogue
- Impressive virtual surround
- Can get muddled during complex scenes
- Operationally confusing
3. Samsung HW-S50A
Most smaller soundbars usually have fewer speakers but the Samsung HW-S50A does the exact opposite, sporting more speakers than the usual soundbar so you can enjoy your audio experience. It is a 3.0-channel soundbar designed to deliver clean, clear sounds for shoppers on a budget.
Like most Samsung bars, the HW-S50A feels well-built and has a sleek look. With dimensions measuring 30.1 x 2.7 x 4.9 inches, this bar won’t take up much space in your room. You can lay it on your shelf, underneath your TV, or even mount it on a wall (it ships with brackets in the package.)
Samsung keeps things simple with HW-S50A. It comes with a fabric mesh that wraps from the front to the back while the sides and underneath are made of plastic. The top panel features the brand’s logo at the extreme end while the buttons for control are positioned in the center.
On the back, there’s very little to wow you. You simply get 1 HDMI (ARC) and 1 optical sound. That’s all! To connect wirelessly to the bar, Samsung provides WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
The HW-S50A boasts a few features including Adaptive Sound Lite, which is Samsung’s technology for optimizing the sound for movies, games, and music. In other words, it adjusts the sound output based on the viewing environment and audio components of what you’re watching.
Plus, there’s the multi-connection feature that allows you to connect two different audio sources at the same time so you can conveniently switch between devices. Additionally, the bar supports Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Virtual:X, indicating that the HW-S50A can produce surround sounds.
For a soundbar of its size and pricing, the HW-S50A offers real value for money. For instance, it comes equipped with 5 channels including a dedicated center speaker for voices when watching TV and movies. The sound quality is amazing as it produces a clear, enveloping, wide, and entailed sound.
Admittedly, the bar lacks punch in that the bass is not explosive but it is good enough to deliver a positive experience. Overall, if you’re looking for a simple soundbar with minimal connectivity options, the HW-S50A is for you.
- Great sound clarity
- Decent bass
- Small size
- The fabric cover is a dust collector
- Sparse Connectivity options
4. Bose TV Speaker
Bose is a household name in consumer electronics known for its quality. Successor to the Bose Solo 5 TV, the Bose TV Speaker is an affordable soundbar that’s perfect for small spaces, offering fantastic audio quality and extra features like Dolby Atmos immersive sound.
The Bose TV Speaker is one really good-looking soundbar that blends nicely into any home interior. Measuring 23.4 x 2.2 x 4 inches and with a weight of only 6.61 lbs, this soundbar is so compact that it can fit just about anywhere you want.
Despite its small design, the soundbar’s build is still high quality. The main material used for its construction is plastic but unlike other cheap offerings, the one used here feels more solid and sturdy with a metal grille on the front and sides to make it feel more luxurious.
At the top, the company’s logo sits prominently at the center. Strangely, there are no buttons on the panel, which means you will have to fully rely on the accompanying remote. Thankfully, Bose thought it necessary to add an onboard display that consists of two lights. These lights both can mean different things, depending on their combinations, so it may be confusing to really understand the status of the bar when in use.
Located on the recessed area of the bar are a group of connectivity options including HDMI ARC input, digital optical, AUX port, and a bass port to connect a subwoofer. For wireless, the speaker offers only Bluetooth connectivity.
From the design and connectivity options, you can probably tell that the Bose TV Speaker offers exceptional simplicity. This also comes to bear in its array of features as the bar comes with support for Dolby Digital and DTS. In effect, this means there’s no compatibility with Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
As for sound modes, there isn’t much to expect either. There’s only one sound mode other than the default mode and it’s called Dialogue mode, which allows the bar to improve the clarity of dialogue and vocals in movies. This is seriously disappointing.
Other notable features include the audio wake-up and shut down function. When activated, the bar turns on when it detects an audio signal from one of its inputs. Additionally, there’s third-party programming, which allows you to teach the soundbar to recognize and be controlled by any remote control available.
For a small-sized soundbar without a subwoofer, the Bose TV Speaker puts up a decent performance. It is a genuine upgrade from built-in speakers in that it has more volume, more clarity, and more details but it is incapable of turning your living room into a home theater. Its surround capabilities are also underwhelming.
Nonetheless, the Bose TV Speaker knocks out a decent amount of bass even though it’s not enough to compete with a subwoofer but Bose offers a range of Bass modules to strengthen bass production. It also does a good job of enhancing voices when the dialog mode is on. Overall, the Bose TV Speaker is suitable for those looking for a soundbar that fits small spaces.
- Sleek and compact
- Clear sound
- Dialogue enhancement features
- No Wi-Fi
- Lack of features
5. Yamaha SR-B20A
Opting for a budget-friendly soundbar typically means throwing your money away but the Yamaha SR-B20A is a happy exception. It builds on the success of the affordable YAS line, serving as a serious upgrade to TV speakers.
The first thing to know about the Yamaha SR-B20A is that it’s an all-in-one soundbar, which means it won’t fill up your space. Despite being an entry-level unit, the SR-B20A looks and feels solidly built. It is minimalistic, and black, with a fabric wrap and pleasantly-rounded edges. It stretches 91cm wide, which makes it a good match for 55-inch TVs and larger ones.
On the top panel of the soundbar, you will find LEDs that are usually large but is a good thing since it allows for better visibility. You can easily establish what the bar is up to via the display and also control it using the touch-sensitive buttons on the right side. Thanks to its large rubberized, glossy legs, you can place the SR-B20A on any surface without worrying about slips or scratches.
Physical connectivity runs to a single HDMI AC output with ARC support, a pair of optical inputs, and Bluetooth 5.0. Plus, there is a USB port but it is only for installing firmware updates and not for connecting a flash drive.
Like most soundbars, the Yamaha SR-B20A comes with remote control, which is ergonomic and easy to use. Alternatively, you can use the well-realized soundbar remote app for both iOS and Android via Bluetooth. The app is simple and covers all the essential functions needed to control the bar.
Furthermore, the SR-B20A comes with a typical selection of sound modes including Movie, Standard, and Game – upmixing the audio with Dolby ProLogic II processing. The fourth generic mode is Stereo, which does without the upmixing, making it more suitable for listening to music.
Additionally, there’s a dialog-boosting Clear Voice mode, which is perfect if you want clearer audio reproduction but this seems to be at the expense of the Night mode that most soundbars feature. There’s also the 3D surround, which opens up the sound field and gives a suggestion of immersive audio.
Despite its slim profile, the Yamaha SR-B20A carries that welcoming full Yamaha sound quality. It is compatible with Dolby Audio, DTS Digital, and DTS Virtual:X – all of which aim to simulate the DTS: X/Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound that is the current state of the home cinema art. In other words, this soundbar does a great job of expanding and deepening the soundstage.
The size isn’t really a disadvantage as it does provide a benefit by spreading effects. You may not get 3D sounds but you can get something close to it with this soundbar. It manages to retain plenty of details while at it.
Generally, the Yamaha SR-B20A delivers a sonic experience that is altogether more complete than when listening to a TV alone but switching to a movie preset instantly supplies a wider sound field even though a little, almost unnoticeable bit of the focus falls away. Music playback is decent across multiple genres of music. Overall, this soundbar offers real value despite being a budget all-in-one unit.
- Compact and unobtrusive
- Nicely finished
- Impressive bass
- Enveloping 3D sound
- No Wi-Fi support
- Some EQ presets are less effective than others
- No late night audio