Finding a good soundbar under 200 dollars isn’t only about the price—it’s about the sound quality, design, compatibility, connectivity and a lot more. You may be worried that you won’t find a decent soundbar for your home theater device if your budget is under $200. While budget soundbars normally do not have the same surround sound features as some of the more expensive soundbars out there, at this price point, you will still find something good. See also our recommendations on the best bose soundbars, the best wireless Bluetooth headphones, the best gaming keyboards, and the best portable hard drives.
Best Soundbars Under $200
The Vizio V Series V21-H8 is the best soundbar under $200 we’ve reviewed. This 2.1 sound bar comes with an excellent subwoofer that gives your music an extra booming and kick. It has a pretty flexible efficiency overall, and it also has a designated AUX port for speakers google assistant.
With a balanced mid-range, it has a bass-heavy sound profile, making it perfect to listen to anything from bass-heavy music styles to audio books and podcasts. There are a few EQ options available, as well as bass and treble changes, if you chose a better tone. It’s also compatible with Bluetooth, so you can stream audio to the bar wirelessly from your phone or tablet.
It doesn’t support Atmos content, unfortunately, which may be a little frustrating for movie fans. While it can get pretty loud, at full volume, there is some distortion, so it might not be suitable for listening to music at crowded parties. However, it’s a decent option if you’re looking for a flexible soundbar on a budget.
- Gets loud.
- Four EQ presets.
- Doesn’t support Atmos content.
- Some distortion at max volume.
Consider the Polk Audio SIGNA S2 if you are shopping for a soundbar that is ideal for listening to dialogue-heavy content such as audio books and Television programs. Although DTS content is not supported and there are less communication options than the Vizio V Series V21-H8, its somewhat excitement sound profile provides a very balanced mid-range that is suitable for heavy-dialog content. To make voices sound clearer and crisp, it also has a dialog enhancing function, and an auto-volume mode that adjusts the volume level between various programs.
It’s Bluetooth-compatible, much like Vizio, meaning you can wirelessly stream podcasts and audiobooks from your computer to the bar. There’s a touch of compression at maximum volume, but it can get loud, but it also doesn’t support Atmos content.
Check out the Vizio if you’re looking for a more flexible sound bar with plenty of compatibility choices. If you are looking for something, but, mainly for dialogue-heavy content such as television programs, consider the Polk instead.
- Decent build quality.
- Decent audio reproduction.
- Can get loud enough for most people.
- Sub-par sound enhancement features, limited customization.
- Poor surround performance, no Atmos support
The best small sound bar we’ve checked for under $200 is the Bose Solo 5. It’s relatively lightweight and has one of the smallest footprints we’ve noticed, making it ideal for smaller TVs or tighter settings, such as a computer monitor underneath. The bar itself seems pretty well-built and comes with much of the wires that you need to get it up and running.
It sounds remarkably good, especially given that it does not have a subwoofer. While the low-end thump and rumble you’d hear in your favorite hip-hop song or action movie can’t be made, it accurately replicates voices and equipment and does a fine job of handling dialogue. It’s fantastic for TV shows, and if you want to listen to podcasts or audio books at home, it’s a good pick. For movie lovers, through its optical port, it supports Dolby Digital content found on most Blu-ray discs and streaming channels.
Unfortunately, relative to what some of the other versions under $200 we’ve reviewed provide, the connectivity choices sound a little outdated. It has a generic 3.5mm audio port, an optical input, and an older digital coaxial connector, but no HDMI. Thankfully, it supports Bluetooth, meaning you can wirelessly play media from your tablet or laptop. This one is a solid alternative if you’re looking for a plain, portable soundbar without any bells and whistles.
- Good build quality.
- Doesn’t support Dolby Atmos.
- Lacking low-bass.
4. Best Budget Soundbar: SONY HT-S200F
If you prefer to use an HDMI cable that connects your soundbar to your TV, go to the Sony HT-S200F. Although its sound profile is less balanced than the Bose Solo 5, it has an HDMI ARC port so that Dolby Digital content can be supported, which is used on many Blu-ray disks and streaming devices. With less compression artifacts, it can get significantly louder, and it also has a dialogue optimization mode that can help enhance voice performance. However, it fails to produce a deep bass response because it has an incorporated subwoofer. For conveniently wireless connections like older media players or turntables to the bar, it also lacks an AUX jack.
If you just don’t need HDMI compatibility, go with the Bose and you’re aiming for a sound bar with a better-balanced sound profile. If you’re a movie enthusiast, and you need the HDMI ARC port for your favourite films, get your Sony.
- Great for dialogue content.
- Performs well at max volume.
- Doesn’t get very loud.
- Doesn’t support DTS.
- Always-on surround sound feature.
The best sound bar we’ve checked for bass under $200 is the TCL Alto 5+. Its bass-heavy sound can impress fans of action films and EDM lovers alike, thanks towards its wireless subwoofer. Particularly for its inexpensive price point, it is very well-built.
It does a decent job of producing deep and punchy sounds, packing more of a punch than other versions on this chart. The mid and treble ranges are reasonably well-balanced, meaning that vocals and dialogue are not lost in the mix, although it does sound a little blurry. Additional cables including an optical and IR passthrough cable are also available, which is a nice touch. It’s pretty thin, which means that most 55 inch TVs can comfortably sit between the legs.
- Good build quality.
- Small and fits between legs of TV stands.
- No DTS support.
- Doesn’t get very loud.
- Bass-heavy sound profile.
6. Best Soundbar Under $200: Sony HT-S350
The Sony HT-S350 is a 2.1 soundbar system that has sub-par performance with stereo content due to an always-on surround sound mode. This contributes in a sound profile that sounds deep, but helps to expand the soundstage a little bit. For most users, the HT-S350 is a very well sound bar and is loud enough. It doesn’t support DTS or Atmos, though. It also fails at peak volume and in the bass range there are compression artifacts.
For mixed use, sub-par. There is an always-on surround sound feature on the Sony HT-S350 that influences the stereo soundstage. Although it improves a little with the soundstage, the audio performance is very dark-sounding. It could make films a little more interactive on the upside, but it influences the performance of music and voice-oriented content such as audio books, podcasts, dialog, and TV shows. The HTS350 is loud enough for most uses at a standard level, but when forced to the full volume, it might struggle slightly.
- Well-built design.
- Gets loud enough for most uses.
- Decent soundstage.
- Always-On surround sound mode.
- Dark-sounding audio reproduction.
- Struggles at max volume.
- No DTS support.
A good sounding soundbar with stereo content is the TCL Alto 7+. It gets very noisy and has an ultimate frequency response that is strong. It lacks a bit of sub-bass even though it has a wireless subwoofer. The Alto 7+ is well-built, but to configure its sound to your preference, the bar itself lacks a few specifications. At max volume, there is still significant compression and the soundstage is fairly small. The Alto 7+ has a simple replication of vocals and voices on the upside and you would be able to stream content through Bluetooth quickly.
- Good overall sound profile.
- Good for dialogue content.
- Well-built design.
- No DTS support.
- Lacks bass.
- Doesn’t perform that well at max volume.
The Samsung HW-T550 from 2020 is a decent overall entry-level sound bar. With a wireless subwoofer that provides strong and deep bass, it features a 2.1 speaker configuration. It has a good and very well sound profile, with the bass having a little extra kick. It’s a really well-built sound system that looks a little bit more like Samsung’s 2019 high-end models, but doesn’t look quite as sleek and premium.
It has a few features for sound improvement, including a 7-band EQ, which is perfect for customizing the sound to your taste. Unfortunately, for the latest-gen console or PC gaming, 4k pass-through is not allowed. Nevertheless, for people on a budget who want a decent update to their TV speakers, it’s always a good choice.
- Well-balanced sound profile.
- Good build quality.
- 7-band EQ for customization options.
- Doesn’t support Atmos content.
- Downmixes surround sound content.
- No app.
How to Choose a Sound bar
It is important to have the soundbars for TV to get better-sounding performance. When compared to the home theater, soundbars deliver a few benefits: they generally occupy less space and are easier to set up and are affordable. Whether you’re looking for a smart soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos, there are many models out there that’ll do what you need. However, not all soundbar has the same quality and features, some offer a better experience of sounding and listening.
When you watch more TV shows, sports, or listen to music often at home, you’ll need something that sounds good and is compatible with your existing devices. Don’t compromise with the built-in speakers of your smart TV. Investing the money to the best soundbars for TV will carry your TV shows, films, and games to get better-sounding performance.
Soundbars have always been an easy way of upgrading the audio quality on your TV. But they can do a lot more these days than obviously boost the sound of TV shows and movies. Want some help over the designs, features and control options? We will cover what’s in the sale to help you find the perfect fit.
See also: Gospyreviews.com
What is a soundbar?
A soundbar or media bar is a form of loudspeaker transmitting audio from a large enclosure. It is much broader than tall so that it can be placed above or below a device, e.g. above a computer monitor or under a home theater or TV screen. Basically, in a soundbar, multiple speakers are placed in a single cabinet, which helps to create surround sound and/or stereo effect. A single subwoofer is usually included with a soundbar or may be used to support it.
What is a sound base?
A sound base is a specific loudspeaker device equipped for being on a TV. This produces a realistic stereo effect from a single cabinet and was designed to replace the relatively poor sound quality of flat-screen TV loudspeakers. Sound bases are identical in nature to soundbars, but the latter is designed to be mounted independently from the TV on a stand, or on the wall below.
What to consider when buying a soundbar.
When manufacturers compete to make the sleekest TVs, it is the TV speakers that are impacted. Of the squeezed-out TV speakers, you can not get the best sound. While most people prefer full-on home theater systems, soundbars are designed to produce amazing sound while taking up as few spaces as possible. But what does it take you to know before you buy a soundbar?
You need to know exactly what to look for when you’re looking for the best soundbar for your home. You don’t want to have an audio system that won’t suit your house or one that probably won’t match your style and quality.
1. Where should it be placed?
How you position your TV and how much space you have around your TV will decide which type (soundbar or sound base) should go best for you— and where you place it, the type can impact. When it comes to design, soundbars are more flexible-they are designed to hang on the wall or lie behind (and in front of) the TV.
It is easy to set up. If your Television is on a table, simply place the soundbar immediately below the television on the same shelf. Just make sure you have enough room between the bottom of your TV and table-check the details of the soundbar and weigh the place before you buy it. If your TV is wall-mounted, install the soundbar immediately behind it onto the wall. Even some soundbars come with mounting kits to allow DIY a cinch build.
2. What size soundbar should you get?
The new soundbar shouldn’t be any wider than your television — and in an ideal world, both are almost the same distance for an even look. However, technically a soundbar can be paired with just about any size TV. And use your choice when it comes to mounting. Only make sure your television has the correct connections to link up your new soundbar, particularly if your television is 8 years old or older.
3. What are active or passive soundbars, and why is that important?
Passive implies that the soundbar has no built-in control adapter, and therefore allows a receiver or amplifier to operate. They do have better speakers too— and better speakers mean better performance. A passive soundbar will cost you a little more, and you will have to attach more components together. If you want extra bass, you’ll need a typical subwoofer attachment too.
Active ensures the soundbar comes with built-in amplifiers to power up everything, as well as channel processors that isolate speakers in the soundbar from left, right and center.
Our recommendation: When you just want to boost the audio from your TV, go with an external soundbar. Passive soundbars are best suited for custom installations for example if you want your soundbar to go as part of the TV, or you want a full-blown Dolby Atmos system.
5. What connections do you need?
The latest soundbars of today come with a range of connectivity options — and more than one way to do things. A few main connections to keep an eye out for:
So easy. Just connect your soundbar to your TV’s audio return channel (ARC) input with an HDMI cable, and you’re all set. HDMI is especially good for multi-channel soundbars.
Would you like the ability to stream audio directly from your soundbar, or through your phone or tablet? Here is what you should look for:
Bluetooth: Many soundbars today come with Bluetooth built-in, making it easy to stream music from your computer, smartphone, and tablet.
Wi-Fi: There are wireless soundbars, which come with Wi-Fi so they can hop on your home’s Internet network and stream pretty much anything from anywhere (Spotify, TIDAL, Pandora, you name it).
An optical patch cord gives you a solid, best-case scenario connection between your TV and soundbar. It’s also one of the easiest, simplest and most reliable connections available. However, it does not have the bandwidth to carry over a 5.1 signal.
Normally, USB inputs are only included for firmware updates. But most soundbar updates today are done through software updates. We say you don’t need this — unless you’re looking to plug in a thumb drive with your songs on it.
Our suggestions above are what we found are the Best Soundbars Under $200 available on the market. These are the Best Soundbars to buy in every price range for you. We have analyzed the features and functions of each product and reviewed our best for the buyers.
Hopefully this buyer’s guide has given you a good idea about your soundbar options within a $200 budget.