With the latest advances in technology, everyone wants a powerful home theater system. We all want to feel like we do when we go to the movies. However, not everyone has space or the money for a large, expensive home theater sound system.
As recently as a few years ago, you would have just had to deal with the inferior sound coming out of your TV. That’s before soundbars came along.
The 5 Best Soundbars Under $300:
Nowadays, soundbars have revolutionized what can be done in small spaces and on small budgets. Since soundbars have become so popular, there are many options out there. So which one do you pick? We’ve compiled and reviewed the best soundbars available for sale online below.
1. VIZIO SB3851 38-Inch 5.1 Channel Soundbar
Finally, we have our top contender: the VIZIO SB3851 soundbar. This soundbar comes with a 38-inch front bar, two back speakers, and a subwoofer that is wireless. It has left, right, and center sound channels for optimal surround sound and can produce up to 100 decibels of sound.
It can be wall-mounted or sit on a table and connects via Bluetooth. An interesting feature of this bar is the remote. The remote comes with a digital screen for many of the controls. This will be something either loved or hated by users.
The bar is reputed to have clean sound and has lots of various system options once set up. This is at the top end of the price category at around $260 but the optimized surround sound is the closest you’ll get to movie theater quality for under $300.
2. ZVOX AccuVoice AV200 Soundbar
The AccuVoice soundbar is designed for a very specific purpose: to increase the clarity of voices even at low volumes. This is what they call their built-in hearing aid technology. As a whole, this seems like a great idea for those that are hard of hearing or beginning to be hard of hearing.
The idea is that the soundbar uses technology to separate the voice track from the whole soundtrack. Then it raises the volume of only the voice track so that the voices carry over top of the rest of the soundtrack such as music and sound effects. For those that have trouble with voices, this could be just the thing they need.
The speaker itself is a 17-inch wide aluminum box with one simple connection cord. It does not appear to have Bluetooth connectivity or a subwoofer but it does come with a remote and can connect to universal remotes.
It has been noted that this particular soundbar doesn’t seem to connect well to Samsung TVs so this is something to keep in mind before purchasing. This unit comes in at the top end of the price range at around $250, but for the hard of hearing the technology might be worth the price. For those who don’t need the voice to boost technology, you can probably find a unit more suited to your needs for a better price.
3. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar
Bose is a brand name that has instant recognition in the audio world. They have long been held up as the pinnacle of sound clarity and quality. This soundbar looks like many other soundbars with its features. It offers Bluetooth connectivity for a wireless set up.
It does not feature a separate subwoofer and mimics surround without additional speakers. It does have a dialogue mode which is supposed to increase the clarity of voices when watching TV and it seems to work.
However, this feature turns off every time the TV is powered off so it can be a real hassle to keep it on. A nice feature of this soundbar is the universal remote that comes with the package. It can connect to your TV, can control the bass, and can control Bluetooth connections which make the remote perfect for simple operation.
This unit is also at the top end of the price range at around $250. With this soundbar, it does feel like you pay a bit more for the Bose name. For some people, this is what they want but others may find a model that suits just as well under other brand names.
4. Polk Audio Command Soundbar
The Polk Audio Command soundbar is about as modern as a soundbar gets with built-in support for Alexa voice control, Fire TV, Dolby, and DTS surround sound, and over the air automatic software updates.
It comes with 2 HDMI inputs, optical cables, a wireless subwoofer, and 22 000 HZ sound clarity. It has two simple keyhole mounting options, including tabletop and wall.
Overall customer satisfaction is very high, with only a few users complaining about volume issues, but Polk is generally quick to replace any faulty hardware and help get the product set up correctly.
For under $300 this is a great soundbar.
5. Amazon Basics 2.1 Soundbar
Amazon has been slowly expanding its empire and soundbars are no exception. The Amazon Basics 2.1 Soundbar with Subwoofer is a 31.5 inch long unit with mid to high ranger drivers and a capability of up to 92 decibels of sound. It has Bluetooth connectivity and also comes with EDR and A2DP technology.
EDR is an enhanced data rate that allows the audio tracks to be conveyed at a faster speed which reduces the chance of audio track lag. A2DP is an Advanced Audio Distribution Profile. This allows sound to be seamlessly streamed to speakers or headphones over Bluetooth which is great if you are trying to keep a house quiet.
It comes with three sound modes for enhanced viewing: Standard, News, and Movie. Remote control and wall mount hardware are included. However, this unit is not compatible with universal TV remotes so you can’t control the soundbar and your TV with the same remote. Even though it has a few minor flaws, this unit will definitely appeal to those on a small budget. At around $95 you get a lot of features for your money.
Why buy a soundbar?
Let’s start this off by discussing the point of a soundbar, which is ultimately to replace your built-in TV speakers. The reason you would want to replace your built-in TV speakers is simply quality. A soundbar, which includes soundbars under $300, will be much better at delivering crisp clear high-quality audio than your built-in TV speakers.
It’s also more cost-effective. Instead of buying a new TV with better audio quality, which could easily go into the thousands of dollars, you simply upgrade your TV with a soundbar.
What to look for when buying a new soundbar
There will be 3 main features to consider when buying a new soundbar, which is audio quality, connectivity and price.
As improving audio quality is the main purpose of a soundbar this is the most important thing to look for when buying your new soundbar. However, as we’re focused on soundbars under $300, you won’t be able to get every feature possible, so you need to focus on what’s really important.
Most quality soundbars, in this price range, should include stereo speakers (left/right), an external subwoofer and tweeters (for the high and mid frequencies).
In terms of software, the soundbar should include support for Dolby and DTS Surround Sound, 4K HDR, and voice control (Alexa or Google Home for example). As a standard, the soundbar should include brand-specific audio quality software which ties everything together and ensures a quality audio experience.
Most soundbars should be able to connect over Bluetooth, WIFI, or directly to an HDMI or optical cable. This will depend on the TV, the remote, voice controls, etc. Remember there will be a connection to the TV as well as a connection, normally wireless, to the remote or voice control system. A Bluetooth transmitter is a great way to extend the range of the controller, remote or voice.
As we’ve shown here, you can get a great soundbar for under $300. If you want a larger, more powerful soundbar, with added features such as Dolby Atmos for example, and support for more voice controls then it will most likely cost you more than $300. Is it worth paying more than $300? Well that’s up to you, but we won’t think it is.
There are many soundbar options available so make sure to review all the features out there. Once you figure out what you need, it’ll be much easier to narrow down the model that will work best for you.