Although budget-friendly soundbars might not offer the same home theater experience that you’re likely to enjoy from expensive models, you can still enjoy amazing audio quality for the best soundbar under $200. These soundbars offer a decent upgrade from your TV’s built-in speakers. Keep on reading to find out more about these affordable soundbars to enhance the audio quality without breaking the bank.
Reviews of the Best Soundbars Under $200
Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy decent audio quality. Check out our top choices.
Supporting DTS, this soundbar will create 3D surround sound. It features an HDMI, optical and, AUX setup for more versatility. With 2 built-in subwoofers, this is an excellent choice for most music genres and dialogue content. It features a plain minimalist design, with ports on the front, back, and sides.
Although it has a decent stereo frequency, this soundbar might not be the best option for heavy-bass music. However, the mid-range is enhanced correctly, so it’s an excellent choice for movies, podcasts, and audiobooks. It supports 4K.
Thanks to the wireless Bluetooth feature, you can play music from your smartphone or any other device without any cables. You can also switch between 2 devices effortlessly. There’s no display on this soundbar, so it looks pretty basic compared to other models. Nevertheless, the touch-sensitive surface allows you to control power and volume.
What We Like
- ✓ 2 Built-in subwoofers.
- ✓ Supports DTS for 3D audio.
- ✓ Bluetooth feature can play from 2 different devices simultaneously.
- ✓ Supports 4K.
- ✗ Not suitable for heavy-bass music.
Enhancing your TV’s audio quality is possible with this soundbar. The dialogue mode is designed to enhance the clarity of the words spoken, so you can enjoy watching your favorite show with the best audio quality and listening to your favorite music any time you want to.
Featuring a built-in Bluetooth feature, this soundbar will stream music directly from your smartphone or any other device. This soundbar is compatible with most TV sets and comes with all the necessary cables that allow you to connect it quickly. It comes with a universal remote control to manipulate it effortlessly, and you can control the bass using a simple button push.
Installing is straightforward, with one connection that connects the soundbar to your TV. The audio cable can be an optical coaxial or analog, based on your preferences.
However, it doesn’t come with a USB port. With various mounting options, you can place it under or next to the TV or even mount it to the wall. The clarity dialogue feature needs to be reactivated every time you switch on the TV.
What We Like
- ✓ Enhances the audio quality of music and dialogues.
- ✓ Wireless Bluetooth feature.
- ✓ One cable connection.
- ✓ Multiple mounting options.
- ✗ Doesn’t have a USB port.
- ✗ The clarity dialogue feature deactivates once you switch off the soundbar.
Thanks to the smart sound feature, this soundbar will detect the content you’re playing and adjust the sound quality accordingly. As a result, listening to heavy-bass music will be as effortless as enjoying your favorite movies and TV shows. Whether it’s a loud sporting event or a drama show with a quiet dialogue, this soundbar will enhance the sound quality, so you can enjoy an immersive audio experience.
It comes with a remote control that allows you to access all the functions and add sound effects to your audio. There’s a special gaming mode that you can activate if you’re planning to enjoy your favorite game on a game console.
You can activate the Bluetooth function to enjoy the soundbar without any cables. However, it’s rather difficult to pair with your TV, so you might take some time before you can enjoy its full potential.
What We Like
- ✓ Adjusts sound quality based on your content.
- ✓ Provides you with clear dialogue and rich bass.
- ✓ Can add sound effects to your audio.
- ✓ Special gaming mode.
- ✗ The Bluetooth function can be difficult to activate.
Compared to other soundbars, this one is excellent value for money because it’s incredibly affordable. It comes with an HDMI cable and a separate subwoofer to play clear and crisp audio. It comes with an onboard display that shows all the information about the audio quality you’re playing.
This is an excellent choice for a smaller room, so it can be used while you’re watching TV or playing your favorite game. It comes with an optical input and a USB port to play music from an external drive, in addition to the wireless Bluetooth feature. You can even use it as a standalone music player.
Thanks to its built-in power plug, the soundbar provides a clutter-free setup when installed under your PC or TV. Due to its compact size, this soundbar can be easily installed and mounted in any setup.
It comes with a comprehensive remote control that features 4 different audio modes. The dual-drive subwoofer creates an immersive audio experience. When the charging cord is plugged in, you will experience some noise if you’re trying to use the 3.5mm jack.
What We Like
- ✓ Budget-friendly soundbar.
- ✓ Minimalist design to be used with a TV or PC.
- ✓ Remote control with 4 different audio settings.
- ✓ Can be used as a standalone music player.
- ✗ The 3.5 mm jack can’t be used while the charging cord is connected.
- ✗ Not suitable for bigger rooms.
This ultra-slim soundbar is an excellent addition to your home theater setup because it features 5 powerful full-range drivers that enhance the sound quality. With Dolby digital decoding, sound clarity will be improved, and voice delays will be reduced. The Polk Adjust Technology enhances the crispiness of every word, so you can enjoy your favorite shows.
Thanks to its minimalist design, this soundbar can fit in different spaces without blocking your TV’s sensor. It features several connection options that allow you to connect several devices for the most incredible audio quality experience. The plug and play soundbar can be connected to any audio source via HDMI ARC, optical input, or AUX.
It comes with all the HDMI and optical cables that allow you to set it up in a few minutes. The soundbar is universally compatible with all 4K and HD TVs. The wireless built-in Bluetooth technology allows you to stream live streams from your smartphone or TV.
However, the soundbar doesn’t show incremental sound levels, so it’s difficult to customize. The fabric is prone to collecting dust and can be ripped easily.
What We Like
- ✓ Well-built soundbar with an ultra-slim design.
- ✓ Enhanced technology to enhance the sharpness of the audio.
- ✓ Comes with all cables for fast installation.
- ✓ Can be loud enough for a large room.
- ✗ Fine-tuning the sound volume isn’t that easy.
- ✗ The fabric collects dust and is easy to rip.
Do I Actually Need a Soundbar?
Soundbars were invented to compensate for the shortcomings of flat TVs. While these screens produced clear and crisp images, the small built-in speakers were never able to match the audio quality with the visual one. When the sound is of extreme importance, like in a concert, a sporting event, or an action movie with multiple explosions, the soundbar became a necessity that would enhance your entertainment experience.
- A soundbar will enhance the audio quality without occupying much space. It’s more compact than a full home theater but would still enhance the audio quality more than the original speakers.
- Soundbars are less expensive than home theaters and come with built-in speakers that highlight bass, mid-range, and treble for an immersive listening experience.
- Soundbars come in various shapes and models, allowing for multiple mounting options. This means that regardless of the size of your room, the available space, and the overall setup of your entertainment unit, you can definitely find a soundbar that fits.
- You can use the soundbar with multiple devices. Most soundbars have a built-in Bluetooth feature, so they can be connected wirelessly to a TV or a smartphone. Even with cables, there are several cables that allow you to enjoy the best audio from multiple devices.
- Most soundbars feature different audio modes that enhance the sound quality for every occasion. As a result, listening to your favorite movie’s dialogue will be as easy as engaging in a bass-heavy experience.
How to Choose the Best Soundbar?
There are several features to think about when you’re shopping for a soundbar. The cost is set aside in our case because all the models on our list cost less than $200, so they’re suitable for people on tight budgets. Here are some factors to think about before buying your soundbar.
Since you bought the soundbar to enhance the audio produced from your device, you want to make sure that you can enjoy excellent sound quality, regardless of the volume. Soundbars are available with different features to cater to the needs of various users. If your main concern is to enhance bass while listening to your favorite tracks, you need to buy a bass-rich soundbar that won’t disappoint you.
Some models feature smart audio controls. This feature allows you to pick the most suitable sound setting based on the content you’re displaying on your TV or PC. Some models come with a unique mood for games, so you can enjoy the best audio quality while playing your favorite game on the PC or game console.
Soundbars come with various connectivity options, and this makes them more versatile, so they can be easily connected to multiple devices. The HDMI is probably the most basic one, as you can connect it to the TV to enhance the audio quality of whatever you’re watching on the screen. An optical cable is another easy to use connection and is probably the most reliable one when used with your TV or PC.
A wireless Bluetooth connection is a must because it allows you to stream music from your smartphone, tablet, or any other compatible device. Some soundbars come with AUX or USB ports. These will enable you to connect more devices.
As a matter of fact, the soundbar’s size doesn’t affect the quality or volume of the sound produced. So if you’re looking for a bigger model for better audio quality, you might need to reconsider.
The size, however, affects the number and quality of subwoofers installed. Bigger soundbars might have 2 subwoofers instead of one, and this will definitely affect the audio quality. Moreover, a bigger soundbar might have more ports that allow you to connect it to more devices.
Most soundbars are quite easy to install and can be set up in a few minutes. More versatile options can be mounted under the TV, on the wall, or under a PC. Installing the soundbar under the TV is probably the best option as it won’t obstruct the TV’s sensor and will also produce excellent sound quality that you can enjoy wherever you sit.
However, in some cases, there might be no space to install the soundbar under the TV, especially if you keep it in a cabinet. In this case, it might be better to mount the device to the wall. You need to check the instructions to make sure that you’re able to drill the right holes to mount the soundbar successfully.
A soundbar is an excellent addition to your entertainment station, as it’s designed to enhance the audio quality of whatever you’re playing on your TV or PC monitor. We chose the Yamaha YAS-108 Sound Bar as our top choice because it provides you with 3D audio from 2 separate subwoofers. It can also stream music simultaneously from 2 different devices, thanks to the Bluetooth connection. If you’re looking for a soundbar that supports heavy bass, you can take a look at the Samsung HW-T450 2.1ch Soundbar.
Buying a soundbar is an excellent investment as it allows you to enjoy various sound output options in the best quality. Luckily, there are several excellent models on the list that would still be within your budget range and can offer decent audio quality.