(Pocket-lint) — The Shortlist nominees for the EE Pocket-lint Awards has been announced, celebrating the best devices across a number of categories including smartphones, cars, laptops and cameras.
There are 20 main categories this year and the Best Soundbar 2022 category focuses on the best kit dedicated to improving your TV viewing that we have reviewed over the last 12 months.
The Shortlisted nominees for Best Soundbar 2022 are:
You can click on each of the titles above to read our full reviews on each nomination, which will give you an idea as to why they have been nominated, or you can read more detailed short verdicts on each of the products below.
B&W Panorama 3
As a single-unit solution, the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is adept at delivering a soundstage with scale, solid bass and a good degree of immersion. It handles Dolby Atmos with skill and is also very capable with music. Its delivery is understandably front heavy, and it lacks expansion options for rears and a sub, but this soundbar is ideal for anyone searching for a solution that’s attractive, discreet and sonically impressive.
Devialet has already earned a strong reputation in the audio world for its willingness to create new design concepts in its quest to deliver better sound quality, and the Dione successfully extends this reputation into the home cinema arena too. The power and dynamic range the Dione is capable of from such a compact unit — especially at the bass end of things — beggars belief, while its unique spherical centre speaker proves as useful to sound quality as it is to the soundbar’s placement flexibility. Devialet’s debut soundbar may well be expensive, but it has enough unique strengths and features to its name to justify its price. Even if the market of people able to afford that price may well be pretty limited these days.
Harman Kardon Citation Multibeam 1100
The Harman Kardon Citation Multibeam 1100 might have a long-winded name, but everything about its looks and performance is crisp, sharp and to the point. Its power, dynamics, projection and detailing are a revelation with film soundtracks for such an elegantly designed soundbar, while it gets one up on the vast majority of other good-for-movies soundbars by also adapting its talents brilliantly for music. A rather hefty extra £1k is needed to add Harman Kardon’s external subwoofer and rear speakers for anyone who wants to achieve a full surround sound home cinema experience with the Multibeam 1100. For most people, though, the standalone Multibeam 1100 will be all they’ll ever need.
The Samsung HW-Q990B is a class-leading soundbar that flawlessly delivers Dolby Atmos and DTS:X using a room-filling and highly immersive 11.1.4-channel system. Effective room correction ensures the overall system is performing optimally, with tight and well-integrated bass, and the overall sound is superb, with plenty of power, immersion and low-end impact. There are a host of useful new features, and aside from some minor gripes about the HDMI connections, it’s hard to fault. It’s among the soundbars to beat this year.
If you’re looking for a soundbar for your living room, we’d recommend the Sonos Beam over the Sonos Ray if your budget allows for it. However, the Sonos Ray is an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade their sound in other rooms. For the price, the overall package the Sonos Ray delivers is brilliant.
As an all-in-one solution, this soundbar is adept at delivering expansive and immersive sound quality from numerous sources. It’ll put other standalone Dolby Atmos soundbars, such as the Sonos Arc, to task. But the Sony’s Immersive AE and somewhat crude bass settings ought to be more eloquent — then this would be a standalone soundbar package with little better.
How the Pocket-lint Awards judging works
The winner for the Best Soundbar category is decided by the Pocket-lint team, along with a panel of expert judges from publications across the industry. Following the scoring process, the Best Soundbar winner for 2022 will be announced at an in-person event on 30 November 2022 in Central London, along with the winners from the other 19 categories.
A Product of the Year winner will also be announced, chosen from the winners of the 20 categories and a winner of the EE Superfast Award, will also be revealed at the event. We will be announcing the results on the Pocket-lint Twitter handle as they unfold on the night so keep an eye out there.
Writing by Britta O’Boyle.