Even the best TVs need a bit of help in the sound department. A full home theater or surround-sound system can be costly and often rather large. An affordable yet remarkably powerful option is a soundbar. It will take your movie soundtracks, music, and other audio to new levels. We take a look at the 10 best soundbars under $200.
One that stood out for us as a winner in this category is the Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System. It has a sleek compact design and delivers excellent sound. It has a remote control and is easy to use.
Many people are concerned that they might not find a quality solution in this price range but that is simply not the case. We have only reviewed quality products that receive excellent feedback.
The 10 Best Soundbars Under $200:
|3.4 x 21.5 x 2.8 inches
Bose is one of the leading names in audio and related equipment and this sleek compact unit does not disappoint. The single slim soundbar will drastically improve the audio from the TV including dialogue.
It is a breeze to set up and operate and comes with a handy universal remote control. The compact design makes it easy to place although it can also be wall-mounted if you prefer.
It delivers decent volume with clarity and no distortion. Bass can be adjusted to suit your preference although it does not have a separate woofer. The subs are included in the soundbar. It supports Bluetooth technology.
It has an optical audio input as well as an analog input however there is no USB or HDMI connection.
This is a quality product that looks great and performs exceptionally well in this price range.
|23.7 x 6.69 x 16.06 inches
You get a lot of bang for your buck with this affordable soundbar. It is great value for money and comes with a dedicated subwoofer. The design is modern and elegant. This unit will be perfect for your TV, PC, or gaming console without demanding a huge amount of space.
If space is a concern there is an option to wall-mount the unit. This is easy to do and everything you need is included.
The volume is impressive and the soundbar delivers 160 watts of peak power. It has a user-friendly remote that allows you to control all functions. There are also conveniently located controls on the side of the soundbar.
Connectivity should never be a concern as it offers multiple options. It has a 3. 5mm aux-in, Bluetooth, USB MP3, and optical Audio input, TV (ARC). The USB MP3 works as an independent storage device. No other devices need to be on for this to work.
If you are looking for a quality versatile soundbar on a budget this is one to consider.
|25.38 x 6.31 x 7 inches
Sony is a brand most people trust and believe in. They are known for quality reliable products at affordable prices. What really stands out about this soundbar, apart from the superb performance, is the compact slimline design. Space is often an issue and you don’t want the soundbar to dominate your setup. This sleek unit fits in perfectly in any environment.
It lacks a separate subwoofer but this is not an issue as they are integrated into the soundbar. Bass is deep and rich despite the compact design. The device is easy to set up and user-friendly. It has a Bluetooth connection and comes with a remote control.
Another area that impressed me is the voice enhancement technology. This feature means you never miss a word in your favorite song. Music, soundtracks, and games will be enhanced by the quality powerful audio output.
The unit is affordable, looks great without being in your face, and is reliable. It is a very popular choice.
|3.2 x 36 x 2.28 inches
Another top-selling and highly rated soundbar is the popular VIZIO V-Series 2.1 Home Theater Sound Bar. There is very little not to like about this model. It has a great frequency range and delivers crisp clear sound.
Bass is enhanced by the separate wireless subwoofer. The result is a rich powerful sound that you can “feel” as well as hear.
The dynamic speakers deliver accurate sound. For full room sound, the DTS Virtual:X delivers. It is an immersive almost 3D sound. It also has a setting for Dialogue EQ Enhancement that works particularly well.
You can use your TV remote to control functions but a nifty feature that is becoming increasingly relevant is voice control. You can use Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri to control your VIZIO soundbar. This is a great convenience.
|28.3 x 3 x 2.6 inches
The Samsung brand needs no explanation and is one of the leading technology and audio options available. They have been around for a while and know what they are doing in their field. They are normally not a budget brand but the HW-N300 2-Channel TV Mate Soundbar is an affordable model from a leading brand.
It has an impressively compact design that will not take up much space or look out of place anywhere. The design is simple but elegant at the same time. It uses Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and less clutter. Setting it up could not be easier and operation is user-friendly.
If you use Android, the Samsung Audio Remote app will give you, even more, convenience and benefits. One app allows you full control over the device.
The soundbar has an integrated USB port which makes connectivity easier and makes the device more versatile. The “ Expansion surround sound” gives you a complete room sound that has power and impact. It allows you to enjoy your media without other devices thanks to the USB port.
The output is impressive. It delivers an immersive sound that hits all the notes with power and clarity.
|2.08 x 5.15 x 35 inches
The Yamaha name is legendary in music circles and for good reason. They produce quality equipment that delivers good sound with reliability. They are not always the cheapest option on the market but the YAS-109 Sound Bar offers great value for money without compromising on quality and performance.
It also looks amazing. The design is super-sleek and streamlined. It will not get in the way of your TV and other devices. It has a decent 120-watt output and delivers crisp clear audio. The integrated subwoofers help with deep powerful bass. Voice clarity is impressive.
It has Alexa voice control which is a great convenience. This makes the device extremely versatile. You can access multiple functions through the convenience of your soundbar. You can take advantage of all the voice commands and control from the convenience of your Yamaha soundbar.
This device is versatile and supports multiple connectivity and format options. It is easy to set up and easy to operate. Most users are very happy with this product and it has high ratings.
|34.25 x 13.75 x 10.25 inches
This is a sleek and sexy soundbar. There is no other way to describe it. TCL might not be the best-known brand name but that is not t say they do not deliver exceptional equipment. The Alto 6+ features a separate wireless subwoofer. This is not only highly convenient but enhances the sound. The result is a deep rich immersive sound.
The audio output is crystal clear and the Dolby Digital decoding technology helps with this. Combined with the subwoofer, it creates an immersive sound that is powerful. You can select the sound mode according to the audio to make it even better.
It has Bluetooth connectivity so connecting is quick and easy. There are also optical as well as HDMI options so you are not limited. You get great value for money with this popular soundbar.
|4.3 x 13.4 x 3.2 inches
This small unit packs a lot of punch. It has multiple speakers, including a wireless subwoofer. It is a top-selling model that receives many rave reviews from happy customers. Despite the quality power and performance, it is a compact unit.
It has 5.1 Dolby Digital coding so the clarity and delivery are exceptional. The sound is immersive thanks to Polk’s SDA technology, something that they patented. It allows a small unit to give you a surround-sound experience without all of the additional speakers and equipment. This is great if space is limited.
One feature that stands out is the ability to adjust and control voice levels independently. This makes your enjoyment all the better. You can customize the audio output according to your needs for better clarity. This is great for music, TV, sports, and any other audio you enjoy.
The device is Bluetooth enabled and easy to connect and operate. For added convenience, it comes with a nifty IR remote control. This soundbar is packed with features and the latest technology to improve your audio experience. It is highly recommended by many.
|3.1 x 17 x 3.1 inches
This is a great option for those that battle to hear the spoken word. This is a common issue and sadly gets worse as we age. You need something like the ZVOX to enhance and improve the sound, particularly voice audio so that you can enjoy the experience.
ZVOX uses advanced digital algorithms that they have developed to separate and enhance the voice content on soundtracks and TV shows. This makes it much easier to hear a clear voice without interference from distracting background “noise”. You still get the full effect of the audio but the voice is improved making it clear and vibrant.
There are 12 levels to the voice boost feature depending on the soundtrack and your needs. The settings are a combination of “AccuVoice boost plus” as well as their “SuperVoice” technology. The results, according to most reviews, are impressive.
Another benefit of this technology is it reduces the sudden loud adverts that irritate many viewers. This is thanks to a feature ZVOX call Output Leveling.
This can all be controlled via the user-friendly infrared remote control which features large clear buttons.
The unit is a breeze to install and operate. It is reliable, affordable, and performs well. The design is sleek, compact, and stylish.
|17.87 x 11.46 x 7.6 inches
This is a well-priced soundbar that is highly versatile and able to adapt to any audio format. It will improve your enjoyment and listening pleasure. It delivers impressive volume with 100-watt output and has riveting bass thanks largely due to the separate (wired) subwoofer.
This model covers the full range of frequencies well and delivers a rich sound. Distortion and hiss are practically non-existent. The device is user-friendly and has a choice of 5 settings depending on the AV you want to enjoy. This makes the delivery and performance crisp, clear, and enjoyable.
The Bluetooth connection is fast and effective for uninterrupted pleasure. There is no lag or delay between the various drivers. All work together in great harmony.
Connection options are in abundance including a TF card or USB drive option. This makes the soundbar extremely versatile for multiple applications. It is a great addition to your TV but will work equally well with your PC or gaming console.
Other impressive features include the LED display as well as a night mode. The soundbar is reliable, easy to use, and comes with a decent warranty. Reports on customer service are positive.
What to look for when buying a soundbar
While there are many great options in this market finding the best soundbar under $200 can be a bit of a challenge. Here is what to look for when making a decision:
This is an important factor to consider as space is often limited. You do not want the soundbar to dominate and take up too much space. Importantly, you also do not want it to block your view or TV functionality. Buy one that is in relation to the size of your TV.
Generally, smaller is better. A soundbar is not a feature so you want a streamlined compact model. While big volume and powerful bass need some size, there are many amazing soundbars that are sleek and small.
You do not want something too large that it obstructs your TV control or view.
This is not a necessity but tends to improve the quality of the deep thundering bass found in music and movie soundtracks. That being said, there are many great soundbars that manage to achieve the full frequency range without the need for an additional subwoofer.
Note that most are wireless allowing you to position it with ease while some are wired. This is not a big factor but something to think about when planning your setup.
There is a range of options so you need to find what works best for your needs. Most modern TVs have Bluetooth which is the most common connection method. It is wireless so convenient and cable-free.
Others might use HDMI or other options.
USB is always handy. The main point is to simply ensure that it will work with your TV or other equipment.
This is a feature that is essential to some users and insignificant to others. If you use it often and rely on voice control, look for a model that supports this feature.
Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant can be useful and open up additional functionality and benefits as well as convenience.
Many people assume that all soundbars will come with a remote control but this is not always the case. So do not have this feature. You can use your TV remote control in most cases but if you want to ensure you have full remote control over your device ensure it comes with its own remote.
This is not critical but does come in handy for some users. Some have a display or at least LED lights. Decide if this is an important feature for your needs.
One of the main reasons to invest in a soundbar is to improve or boost the volume of your TV. Sound is measured in watts. What is more important is the clarity and quality of the audio. You want to ensure that it is loud when you want it to be but still crisp and clear.
The spoken word is often difficult for many listeners and some soundbars are better at this than others.
Here are a few questions that pop up when we talk about soundbars.
Can I use my soundbar with my computer or gaming console?
In most cases, yes. Provided it has the right connectivity, which most decent ones do, it will be a great addition to your PC or game console.
Which is better, a soundbar or a soundbase?
A soundbase is often quite a bit larger. While this does have the potential for better sound this is not always the case. The quality, as with any product, is paramount. Most quality soundbars will perform as well if not better than the average larger soundbase.
How important is connectivity?
While more options will make the unit more versatile it is not as critical as many people assume. Provided you can connect easily to your TV, once connected you should have no issues. The only time it might be a concern is if you have an older TV that lacks Bluetooth or other options.
Will a soundbar improve my audio?
Undoubtedly, yes. TV speakers, even on the leading TVs are limited. A soundbar will enhance, improve, and increase the experience.
Why does my soundbar suddenly stop working?
Many have an energy-saving feature that shuts the device down if no activity is detected for some time. This is generally a setting that one can adjust. Alternatively, simply push a button to “wake it up” again.
Why is my audio out of sync with the video?
Depending on the system and technology you use this can be an issue. Again, it is a setting that simply needs to be adjusted.
Look for the “audio delay” setting or something similar. Adjusting this will solve the problem.
We have reviewed the 10 best soundbars for under $200. They are all quality products that are popular and highly rated. Some might be more suited to voice while others are more versatile. Some are more compact than others. Consider what is important to you and your needs. This will help to guide you to buy the perfect soundbar for your environment.