The TaoTronics TT-SK15 strikes a near-perfect balance between low cost (it is currently available for nearly half of its list price) and sound quality that is good enough that it will still blow your TV's built-in speakers out of the water. If you're really not happy with how your TV sounds, but just can't justify spending money just to make your Netflix binges sound better, the TaoTronics TT-SK15 may just be cheap enough for you to pull the trigger. And while it won't produce cinema-quality sound, it will definitely make the soundscape of your next Breaking Bad marathon much more engaging. If you don't mind spending a bit more the Yamaha YAS-108 provides a decent bump in sound quality, but ends up costing about twice as much.
TaoTronics TT-SK15 Review
Pros: Inexpensive, good sound quality considering the price
Cons: No sound customization available,
Our Analysis and Test Results
The TaoTronics TT-SK15 earned one of our Best Buy Awards by combining respectable performance with a rock bottom price. If you're looking for the most inexpensive way to make your TV sound better, this is it.
The TaoTronics TT-SK15was on the lower end of our overall scoreboard, as you can see in the table above, but it's low price still makes it a good option for deal seekers. Below we detail how it performed in all of our individual tests.
The TaoTronics TT-SK15 earned a respectable score of 5 out of 10 in our sound quality testing.
Bottom line, this soundbar isn't going to blow you away, but it will enrich your movie watching experience. Both the bass and the overall clarity are on the weaker end of the spectrum when compared to most of our other soundbars, but are significantly better when compared to pretty much any TV built-in speakers. If you're looking for an audiophilic experience on a budget this isn't the soundbar for you, and honestly, that soundbar may not exists (unless you consider $800 low budget). However, the if you're just fed up with the tinny sound of your TV's speakers, the TaoTronics TT-SK15 is a worthwhile and low-cost upgrade.
If you're looking for better quality sound on a budget, you might consider upgrading to the Yamaha YAS-108. It has significantly deeper bass and slightly better overall clarity than the TaoTronics TT-SK15, but sells for about double the price.
Ease of Use
The TaoTronics TT-SK15 picked up an above average score of 7 out of 10 in our ease of use testing.
We found setup to be very straightforward, and we were listening to the dulcet tones of Matt Damon trying to escape hi martian exile within 5 minutes of opening up the box. The on bar controls are also very intuitive with basic volume, input, and power buttons. The only place it lost points was in the design of the remote control. The controls on the remote are easy to understand, but it just felt kind of flimsy. Also, this soundbar lacks an HDMI input. That really isn't a huge deal, but we have found that some users prefer the simplicity of an HDMI connection.
This is one area where the TaoTronics TT-SK15 did quite poorly, earning only a score of 2 out of 10.
The TaoTronics TT-SK15 does not have any internal sound customization options. For some, this won't be a huge deal, as you can generally adjust bass and treble levels on whatever device you use with the soundbar. However, if you switch between listening to your TV and your phone quite a bit, it can be nice to have your preferred sound settings already dialed in on the soundbar. All of the other soundbars we tested allow for at least some sound customization within the soundbar itself and some have special sound modes to dampen loud noises so your late night movie marathons don't disturb the neighbors.
Overall we feel that the TaoTronics TT-SK15 is a fairly handsome soundbar, and it earned an above average score of 7 out of 10 in this metric. The (mostly) all black body and clean lines look sharp and blend in well below almost any TV. The light grey accent in the middle is a little distracting. We kind of wish they went for a completely black body, but it's not too bad.
The TaoTronics TT-SK15 lists for $140, but at the time of this writing could easily be found online for less than $100. At this price, the TaoTronics TT-SK15 is an incredible value if you just want to up the quality of your TV's speakers. If you're willing to pay a bit more for better bass, the Yamaha YAS-108 is the next step up the budget-friendly ladder, listing for $200.
The TaoTronics TT-SK15 is a near perfect model for those that don't want to spend a lot, but wish their TV had better sounding speakers.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata