Stiftung Warentest Soundbar winners and alternatives in check

Stiftung Warentest Soundbar test winner – the most important things in brief

Stiftung Warentest has tested 20 soundbars, including ten models with a separate subwoofer. (Status: Edition 08/2021) The sound quality of the soundbars made up 65 percent of the Stiftung Warentest overall rating that a model was able to achieve. (Status: Edition 08/2021) The Stiftung Warentest test criterion handling made up 20 percent of the overall rating, power consumption 15 percent and data protection 0 percent. (Status: Edition 08/2021)

The best Stiftung Warentest soundbars in the test check and comparison

In the following, we present the two soundbars that Stiftung Warentest has rated as “good”, as well as a cheaper soundbar alternative that we recommend.

Stiftung Warentest Soundbar test winner JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam (edition 8/2021)

The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam is a 2.1 channel system with WLAN support and can therefore also stream high-resolution music. As the only soundbar in this comparison, it also offers an eARC interface and is therefore able to support high-resolution Dolby Atmos 3D sound. In addition, the Stiftung Warentest-Sieger is also suitable for use with a Blu-ray player thanks to 4K and Dolby Vision support.

Soundbar with Virtual Dolby Atmos and MultiBeam Surround Sound. With integrated WLAN and Bluetooth.

Soundbar with Virtual Dolby Atmos and MultiBeam Surround Sound. With integrated WLAN and Bluetooth.

Alternative: Samsung HW Q60T soundbar with integrated subwoofer at a budget price

The Samsung HW Q60T soundbar is a bit older, but still impresses with its inner values. The sound bar is currently offered very cheaply and also supports 4K resolution for operation with Blu-ray player and HDR +. Compared to the JBL Bar 5.0, Dolby Atmos is not supported and the HDMI eARC interface is missing, but there is a 5.1 channel system with subwoofer.

Soundbar with Dolby Digital and DTS support. Supports 4K playback devices such as Blu-ray players with HDR10 +

Soundbar with Dolby Digital and DTS support. Supports 4K playback devices such as Blu-ray players with HDR10 +

Stiftung Warentest "good": Teufel Cinebar 11 soundbar with subwoofer (issue 8/2021)

The Teufel Cinebar 11 soundbar was also rated “good” by Stiftung Warentest. The 2.1-channel system is supplied with a subwoofer and, like the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam, also supports 4K content with Dolby Vision transmitted from a Blu-ray player the soundbar can be passed on to the TV. WLAN or Dolby Atmos is not supported, but high-quality Bluetooth audio streaming with aptX.

Soundbar with subwoofer for virtual surround sound and aptX for high-quality Bluetooth music streaming.
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Soundbar with subwoofer for virtual surround sound and aptX for high-quality Bluetooth music streaming.

Alternative: Teufel Cinebar One + all-rounder soundbar with subwoofer

If you have little space and like to stream music, the Teufel Cinebar One + Soundbar is a small and fine alternative to the Cinebar 11. It is only a 1-way system, but with a subwoofer it has plenty of power. Thanks to Teufel's Dynamore technology, the small Cinebar also develops spatial sound and turns out to be a high-quality all-rounder and aptX Bluetooth speaker. A CD player can be connected via an optical input.

Compact all-rounder soundbar with Teufel sound and Bluetooth aptX as well as an integrated USB sound card for PC
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Compact all-rounder soundbar with Teufel sound and Bluetooth aptX as well as an integrated USB sound card for PC

Stiftung Warentest soundbar selection and alternatives in comparison – technical data

If you only look at the RRP of the soundbars, the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam is the first choice. However, there are already models on the market that are around 100 euros cheaper. The HW Q60T soundbar offers a good alternative if you can do without Dolby Atmos and WLAN. The same applies to the Teufel Cinebar 11 soundbar. If you have limited space, you can use the Teufel Cinebar One + as an alternative, which has the same subwoofer as the larger model. (As of: 12/2021)

Status: 12/2021

JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam

Samsung HW Q60T

Teufel Cinebar 11

Teufel Cinebar One +

Number of speakers

5 speakers

9 speakers

8 speakers

4 speakers

Subwoofer

no

Yes

yes (T6)

Yes

volume

250 W

360 W

150 W soundbar and 60 W subwoofer

60 W soundbar and 60 W subwoofer

Dolby

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II

Dolby Digital

WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS

yes (dual band)

no

no

no

Bluetooth

yes, V4.2

yes, V4.2

yes, V5.0 with aptX

yes, V5.0 with aptX

AirPlay 2

Yes

no

no

no

Optical entrance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

HDMI

1x HDMI eARC, 1x HDMI

1x ARC

1x HDMI ARC, 1 HDMI

1x HDMI ARC

Voice assistant

no

no

no

no

size

70 x 10.1 x 5.8 cm

59.4 x 10.2 x 5.6 cm

94.8 x 8.3 x 6 cm

35 x 11.3 x 6.8 cm

Price (RRP)

399 euros

499 euros

449.99 euros

399.99 euros

This is how our soundbar rating came about

Stiftung Warentest repeatedly tests popular groups of technical devices. Often, however, it depends on the point of view which criteria are considered to be particularly important. In the case of a soundbar, at first glance this is clearly the sound. But here, too, there are differences: while movie buffs may attach particular importance to Dolby Atmos support, ambitious movie fans are often satisfied with good surround sound. Other users have little space and are looking for a soundbar that can also be used as a music system. Series fans may just want to improve their TV sound and are looking for a device that can also serve as a Bluetooth player.

So it is not always easy to consider all perspectives and recommend the right device. In our comparison, we from Stiftung Warentest looked at devices rated “good” from our 360-degree perspective and suggested cheaper alternatives. Ultimately, of course, it is up to the consumer's personal demands which device is best for him.

Soundbar purchase advice – you should pay attention to this when choosing a soundbar

As already mentioned, it always depends on personal requirements which soundbar is the right one. The following criteria should help you find the right device.

Dolby Atmos 3D sound: Moviegoers love 3D sound, in which sound objects can be freely positioned in the room. So z. B. the impression that a locomotive is moving from the rear left in the room to the front right. The Dolby Atmos sound format is popular in the film industry. The disadvantage: The format is very data-intensive and mostly uncompressed. An eARC HDMI interface is required to be able to transmit the information.

Bluetooth streaming: Many music lovers use music streaming services such as Spotify or Amazon Music Unlimited. The playlists can then be streamed from the smartphone app to the Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speakers via the Bluetooth interface. Almost all soundbars now support Bluetooth. But here, too, there are differences in the coding. Particularly high-quality Bluetooth audio is provided by devices with aptX support, with which the compressed music transmission experiences little loss.

WiFi streaming: Compared to Bluetooth streaming, WiFi streaming offers a much larger data bandwidth, which is why WiFi speakers usually sound better than Bluetooth speakers. In addition, some WLAN loudspeakers can also be integrated into a loudspeaker multiroom environment. This means that a music stream can be played on several speakers in the house at the same time – to the delight of many party-goers.

4K UHD and HDR: Soundbar and 4K UHD and HDR support? Actually, only music is played through the soundbar. That's correct. However, it is a special case when films come from Blu-ray players. Then the soundbar sits between the TV and the player. The sound information is transported to the soundbar and played back there. The image information has to pass through the soundbar in order to get to the television. So that there are no losses here, the soundbar must also support 4K and HDR.

Soundbar JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam in the editorial rating – almost perfect

Conclusion: With its soundbar JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam, JBL has brought a cutting-edge sound bar onto the market whose functions set a benchmark in the mid-range segment. The competition has to be measured against this device. If you want to buy the soundbar, you have to be quick because the model is regularly sold out. (As of: 12/2021)

Advantages of the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam

Disadvantages of the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam

WLAN streaming ARC interfaceDolby Atmos supportBluetoothApple AirPlay supportAlexa multiroom capableNo subwoofer high-priced

The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam soundbar has two special features among the devices considered in our comparison. On the one hand, the integrated Virtual Dolby Atmos. In this way, the soundbar simulates the 3D sound and creates a wide surround sound. Normally around 7 loudspeakers are required for real Dolby Atmos, i.e. a 5.1 system plus two speakers that emit the sound upwards and can thus imitate this 3D effect. Although no subwoofer is included in the scope of delivery of the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam, four passive membranes are integrated in the sound bar, which can certainly build up bass pressure – here the company can benefit from the experience with its JBL Bluetooth speakers.

JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam is not only fun in terms of sound, it also cuts a fine figure on the wall

JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam is not only fun in terms of sound, it also cuts a fine figure on the wall

(JBL)

Another special feature is the WLAN integrated in the soundbar in connection with Google Chromecast, Apple Airplay and Alexa multi-room music function (MRM). This means that users of the Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant voice assistants can stream their connected music streaming service to the sound bar via WLAN. In addition, the bar can be integrated into an Alexa-compatible multiroom loudspeaker environment. Those who do not use a voice assistant can also stream their playlists to the soundbar via a Bluetooth-enabled device.

JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam – important tests and ratings

The sound experts from hifi-journal.de made a recommendation after their soundbar test of the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam. (Status: 04/2021) The soundbar professionals from areadvd.de certified that the JBL Bar 5.0 soundbar had an “excellent performance” in terms of space and spoke of a “very well equipped Dolby Atmos soundbar”. (Status: 04/2021) In the soundbar test by hifitest.de, JBL Bar 5.0 achieved 4.5 out of 5 stars. (Status: 05/2021) Stiftung Warentest gave JBL Bar 5.0 the test grade “good” (2.2) in its soundbar comparison test in issue 08/2021.

JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam – Price and best offers

Soundbar with Virtual Dolby Atmos and MultiBeam Surround Sound. With integrated WLAN and Bluetooth.

Soundbar with Virtual Dolby Atmos and MultiBeam Surround Sound. With integrated WLAN and Bluetooth.

Samsung HW Q60T in the editorial check – optimized for Samsung QLED TVs

Conclusion: The Samsung HW Q60T soundbar can call itself a tried and tested evergreen. The soundbar is still compact and offers a very good price-performance ratio. Those who like to stream films and series will get a lot of soundbar technology for their money.

Advantages of the Samsung HW Q60T

Disadvantages Samsung HW Q60T

Including subwoofer 5.1 channel system low price Bluetooth integrated no Dolby Atmos no WLAN

The Samsung HW Q60T has been on the market for some time. Compared to the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam, however, this soundbar does not offer any support for virtual Dolby Atmos, as the device lacks the necessary HDMI eARC interface. However, if you mainly stream films, you will not find this to be a major shortcoming, because most streaming content uses the Dolby Digital audio format, which supports 5.1 surround sound.

The Samsung HW Q60T soundbar offers virtual 5.1 surround sound

The Samsung HW Q60T soundbar offers virtual 5.1 surround sound

(Samsung)

If you look at the inner values ​​of the Samsung HWQ60T, the soundbar is still up-to-date. The system pushes a maximum of 360 watts of sound output into the living room environment. In contrast to the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam, a subwoofer is also included in the package. Music streamers can stream their playlists to the device via Bluetooth.

With a length of almost 60 centimeters, the Samsung HWQ60T can also be considered compact. Who z. B. has a 32 inch TV on the Ikea IVAR shelf, does not have any problems with a shelf width of 70 centimeters.

Samsung HW Q60T under review – important soundbar tests and ratings

Stiftung Warentest rated the Samsung HW Q60T soundbar with the test grade “satisfactory”. (Status: 07/2021) The soundbar experts from hifi.de rated the Samsung HW Q60T as “good” after the test. (As of: 02/2021) Amazon customers gave an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. (As of: 12/2021)

Samsung HW Q60T Soundbar – Price and best deals

Soundbar with Dolby Digital and DTS support. Supports 4K playback devices such as Blu-ray players with HDR10 +

Soundbar with Dolby Digital and DTS support. Supports 4K playback devices such as Blu-ray players with HDR10 +

Teufel Cinebar 11 in the editorial rating – quality is the program here

Conclusion: Anyone looking for a sophisticated soundbar with good sound properties will make a good choice with the Teufel Cinebar 11. Thanks to the included subwoofer, bass fans will also get their money's worth. Bluetooth with aptX ensures high-quality streaming sound.

Advantages of the Teufel Cinebar 11

Disadvantages of the Teufel Cinebar 11

Relatively compact, powerful subwoofer, Bluetooth with aptXDynamore surround sound technology, no WiFi, no Dolby Atmos support

The Teufel Cinebar 11 is a sophisticated soundbar that, thanks to Teufel's Dynamore technology, conjures up virtual surround sound in the room. In contrast to the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam, the Teufel Cinebar does not support WLAN, which is a shame. Music fans can stream their sound selection to the sound bar via Bluetooth. AptX support ensures good sound. However, the source device, such as B. the smartphone be aptX-capable.

The subwoofer of the Teufel Cinebar 11 soundbar can be placed vertically or horizontally

The subwoofer of the Teufel Cinebar 11 soundbar can be placed vertically or horizontally

(Devil)

Teufels T6 subwoofer is included in the scope of delivery. In contrast to other subwoofers, this has a special feature: it can be used lying down or standing up. So if you don't have a lot of space, you can easily place the subwoofer lying under the couch. As expected from the loudspeaker professionals, the device setup is very successful.

Teufel Soundbar Cinebar 11 in all important tests and evaluations

In the Teufel Soundbar Cinebar 11 Soundbar Test by computerbild.de, the device achieved the test grade “good” (2.4). (Status: 04/2021) After testing the Teufel Cinebar 11 soundbar, the editors of gameswelt.de titled their conclusion “Strong soundbar at a fair price” and made a purchase recommendation. (Status: 07/2021) The renowned Stiftung Warentest awarded the test grade “good” (2.4) in its soundbar comparison test in issue 08/2021.

Price and best offers for the Teufel Cinebar 11 soundbar (2021)

Soundbar with subwoofer for virtual surround sound and aptX for high-quality Bluetooth music streaming.
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Soundbar with subwoofer for virtual surround sound and aptX for high-quality Bluetooth music streaming.

Soundbar Teufel Cinebar One + in the editorial rating

Conclusion: The Teufel Cinebar One + offers an excellent price-performance ratio and is the first choice for everyone who has limited space and is looking for a compact soundbar that is also suitable for playing music. It improves TV sound, can be used as a high-quality Bluetooth speaker and, thanks to the integrated sound card, can be linked to the computer. The plus in the name stands for the Teufel T6 subwoofer. Users should make sure to purchase the updated version from 2021. (As of: 12/2021)

Advantages of the Teufel Cinebar One +

Disadvantages of the Teufel Cinebar One +

Plus version includes subwoofer T6 Bluetooth with aptX integrated sound card compact size Dynamore surround sound technology no WiFi no Dolby Atmos

Those who cannot or cannot afford the Teufel Cinebar 11 will find an inexpensive alternative in the smaller Teufel Cinebar One +. The soundbar impresses with a powerful music performance for its size.

The Teufel Cinebar One + mini soundbar is particularly suitable for film fans with little space

The Teufel Cinebar One + mini soundbar is particularly suitable for film fans with little space

(Devil)

As with the Cinebar 11, Teufel's Dynamore technology is responsible for the surround sound. Although the mini soundbar cannot keep up with its big brother when it comes to surround sound, buyers receive a real power pack that also includes Teufel's T6 subwoofer. The aptX function for high-quality Bluetooth streaming is also not missing. A special extra of the Teufel Cienbar One + is the integrated sound card, so that the soundbar can also be used as a sound system for the computer.

Important soundbar tests and ratings for Teufel Cinebar One +

In the Teufel Cinebar One + Soundbar test by hife.de, the device received a total of 7.6 out of 10 points and the test grade “good”. (Status: 10/2021) In the soundbar test by modernhifi.de, the Teufel Cinebar One + achieved a test rating of 9.1 out of 10 points. The model was tested without a subwoofer. (Status: no date) The soundbar experts from areadvd.de wrote in their test result of the Teufel Cinebar model version without subwoofer of a “fair purchase price”. (As of: 06/2021)

Teufel Cinebar One + Soundbar – Price and best offers

Compact all-rounder soundbar with Teufel sound and Bluetooth aptX as well as an integrated USB sound card for PC
-5%

Compact all-rounder soundbar with Teufel sound and Bluetooth aptX as well as an integrated USB sound card for PC

What are the best Stiftung Warentest soundbars?

Stiftung Warentest tested 20 soundbars in 2021. Only two models were able to achieve the top grade “good”, all other models only received the test grade “satisfactory” or worse. In addition to the test criterion “sound”, “handling” and “power consumption” were also included in the final score. Curious: The “data protection” criterion was also examined, but had no influence on the final score. (As of: 12/2021)

What are the best sound bars?

In our large soundbar test comparison, we recommend the following models:

Bose Solo Soundbar Series II – inexpensive soundbar for HD TVsBose TV Speaker – higher quality soundbar with a focus on good dialogue playbackSamsung Soundbar HW-Q60T – surround sound with 4K UHD and HDR supportTeufel Cinebar One + (2021) – powerful all-rounder for music lovers with little spaceSonos Beam ( Gen. 2) – Smart soundbar with Dolby Atmos and WiFi streaming

What does a good soundbar cost?

Good sound doesn't have to be expensive. Good soundbars are available from around 150 euros. There are hardly any upper limits. (As of: 12/2021)

Which soundbar is recommended?

A soundbar recommendation always depends on the personal preferences of the user. If you are looking for an inexpensive all-rounder that enhances TV sound and is well suited for music streaming, we recommend the Teufel Cinebar One + (model 2021). We recommend the Samsung Soundbar HW-Q60T or the smart Sonos Beam (Gen. 2) to movie buffs. (As of: 12/2021)

When did Stiftung Warentest test soundbars?

The last soundbar test by Stiftung Warentest was published in the magazine issue 8/2021. The booklet can be ordered as a PDF version for 5.99 euros.

How often does Stiftung Warentest test soundbars?

With the exception of 2019, Stiftung Warentest tested the popular soundbars annually. Stiftung Warentest Soundbar Tests took place in the following issues:

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