Soundbars tend to cost quite a bit and for many audiophiles on a budget, it’s difficult to find quality products that worth their money. In this article, we’ll help you with your research for the best soundbar under 300$ so let’s dive in and see which alternatives won’t break the bank in our top 10:
Last update on 2019-01-17 at 05:53 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What to consider when buying a soundbar? A Buyer’s Guide!
If you are unhappy with the sound quality of your TV and you are ready for an upgrade these soundbars will help you up your sound game. Most of them are quite easy to install and will be a convenient alternative to those who don’t want to set up surround sound systems. The most common method to connect them to your TV is the use of optical cable for the best quality of sound. Other methods include the use of HDMI ports connecting your devices or the 3.5mm jacks that are quite common.
Some of the soundbar in the market offer features like Bluetooth connectivity that will let you connect wirelessly in order to play music from Bluetooth enabled devices which may be quite handy. Look for soundbar comparisons that will help you keep a model that comes with the features you are interested in.
If you look for a full range then you’ll also have to include a subwoofer in your purchase since this is clearly the only way to get that cinematic sound in your movies. If you don’t plan to watch movies and want to be able to hear just dialog then a soundbar can obviously stand on its own. Keeping a soundbar for music is also a wise choice as long as it comes with a subwoofer to handle the low frequencies on most songs.
Keep in mind that not all soundbars come with a builtin radio, so if you would like to enjoy some radio stations directly by your soundbar interface you need to double check this feature on their manual. Have a look at each device specifications if you plan to use Dolby technology as many of them have their own algorithm to provide a pseudo surround sound. There are soundbars on the market that can handle Dolby Atmos with their algorithm. If you are using the soundbar with an amplifier you have to make sure that the amplifier can also handle Dolby for the maximum cinematic experience.
Pick a soundbar from a reputable manufacturer that back the products with a long warranty so as to make sure you’ll enjoy the soundbar for the years to come. Most of them are small enough to blend nicely with the rest of the apartment but it is advisable to pick one with a modern design that you would be proud to look at in your living room.
It is wise to look for deals on soundbars and keep in mind that when you find a soundbar that suits you be ready to invest as the deals come and go without notice. Shopping around holidays can get you can great deals that it would be wise not to pass, like on Black Friday. If you want to get a great soundbar cheap, this is your best bet, along with clearance sales or going for a used one.
Connecting your Soundbar:
Soundbar installation is straightforward as it gets. The most common configuration would be attaching the soundbar to your TV directly, in which case you need to make sure the soundbar has the necessary connections. In order to hook up the soundbar to your TV, you would most likely need an HDMI cable in order to transfer video and audio. This will take care of transferring video and audio from your soundbar to your TV and in most cases, you will need to get another media playing device if you want to watch DVDs, Blueray, or watching Netflix. This is where the HDMI input of your soundbar comes in handy.
As you can imagine, connecting more external devices like a PS4 or XBOX One to your soundbar will require more HDMI inputs so it is vital to look for soundbars that come with multiple HDMI inputs so as to handle all your devices without having to buy an HDMI splitter. If your external devices have optical output it would be wise to invest into a soundbar with optical cable input so as to get the best sound you can from those devices.
There are two more options you might want to consider when buying a soundbar. There are soundbar models on the market that feature Karaoke feature, so you can easily connect a microphone to the soundbar and set up a Karaoke party in seconds. The last configuration you might need to consider is buying a soundbar with headphone jack output which can be quite handy if you want to connect headphones, for example at night that you need to watch a movie while people might be sleeping nearby.
If you plan on using the soundbar with a computer, or in your car then most configurations are straightforward. Yet, if you want to connect it to your TV it might be wise to look for soundbars from the same manufacturer of your TV. For example, if you have an LG TV then the best option for a soundbar for your LG would be an LG soundbar as you will be able to use the same remote and have the maximum connectivity between the two devices. The same applies to other manufacturers as well, for example, Samsung or Sony TVs would be ideally connected to Samsung and Sony soundbars respectively.
Some soundbars are able to connect to the internet and provide you with content from online sources like Netflix or youtube through their own interface. Those soundbars will be able to connect to your local network with either wifi or ethernet so depending on your infrastructure it is wise to invest into a model that let you connect to your network the way you prefer. While at it, look for a soundbar that also features USB as it can come in handy, for updates or even some models that feature a built-in media player.
If you are on a tight budget it is advised to go for a soundbar and subwoofer combo as they are the value for money option when it comes to home theaters. Picking a soundbar and a subwoofer separately can be quite costly and you would probably have to pick the subwoofer at a later date. Keep in mind that you would have better results with external subwoofers as the soundbars with built in subwoofers are not able to handle low frequencies that good.
I would like to highlight that recent year Alexa and Google Home become quite popular and the years to come more and more soundbar will be able to communicate with Alexa or Google Home in order to have verbal commands to operate your home entertainment system. There are already plenty of videos online that highlight such home theater automation that will blow your mind, so if you haven’t thought about it yet, maybe its the time for some more research for those soundbars that operate well with home automation.
The first thing to consider when placing a soundbar to your home theater is its dimensions. For example, the smaller soundbars will be more suited for laptops, computers, and up to 32 inch TVs while the larger soundbars are ideal for TVs around 50-65 inches. The best placement for a soundbar is around your chest level so in most cause they would perform better when placed under the TV.
You can always place them behind or above the TV but keep in mind that it would be better if the sound waves are traveling directly towards you instead of hearing the sound reflected on nearby walls. Some models feature a built-in tool that can help you optimize for such delay, but obviously, if you can place your soundbar on chest or ear level directly in front of you, you can except the maximum sound clarity. It is wise to pick some wall mount brackets that can hold the soundbar at the desired height and angle as with any other speaker that you want a wall mounted. Since the soundbar will also handle the center channel where dialogue from movies is played, it is wise to place the soundbar at the center of your viewing area.