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 2019-08-23 at 02:45 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our Recommended Sound Bars:
Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System
Bose Solo 5 is a great addition to your TV and the sound quality for this soundbar will definitely be an upgrade compared to your TV speakers. It is designed so as to provide clear dialogue and clarity that the built-in speakers of a TV cannot reproduce, and it’s pretty easy to set up under your TV in seconds. You can connect the soundbar to the TV via the optical audio input or the Coaxial audio input, which are digital connections, or with the 3.5mm aux input for TVs that have analog output. Moreover, it features Bluetooth connectivity which will allow you to wireless stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device like your phone, tablet or media player. Overall, a great soundbar with all the necessary input options to connect your TV, the only drawback is its price, since you can for the money Bose asks for the soundbar you can easily grab a soundbar with a subwoofer which is more suited for movie nights. If you want one of the best soundbars for your TV but not need a subwoofer, this one worth a closer look, otherwise, look for a combo package elsewhere.
VIZIO SB2821-D6 28-Inch 2.1 Channel Soundbar
Vizio has created a series of soundbars that are quite popular in the market, ranging from 28-ich up to 38-inch ones. Vizio has a great advantage compared to other brands since they include a subwoofer in the package while keeping the price close to that of competitors. The wireless subwoofer is a great addition to your home theater system and the built-in Bluetooth will help you also pair Bluetooth enabled devices and stream your favorite music. This is a budget-friendly option that is ideal you anyone in search for a 2.1 sound system, and the 28 inch is aimed towards those with smaller TVs due to its compact design.
VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar
This SB2920-C6 is the 29inch option from Vizio for those of you looking for a small soundbar for their TV or PC and it’s one of the most compact soundbars you can find in the market. It comes with built-in Bluetooth connectivity so as you can pair your music lists via Bluetooth and enjoy your favorite artists. A great compact soundbar for anyone who doesn’t need a subwoofer for their application and it’s price is the lowest price you can find a soundbar at the present time. If you are on a limited budget you should probably start with this one, unless you go for the alternative model that comes with the subwoofer.
VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
This is the largest soundbar from Vizio, a great 2.1 system for those with a larget TV screen. The soundbar is 38″ wide, among the largest in the market, and can provide crystal clear sound with no distortion. The wireless subwoofer is a great addition to any home theater, especially if you plan to watch movies that can make use of the built-in decoders. Comers with a wireless remote so as to conveniently control volume and inputs of the soundbar and the Bluetooth connectivity will allow you to pair Bluetooth enabled devices so as to enjoy your music playlists.
Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar
The Yamaha YAS-207BL is our recommendations for anyone looking for absolutely the best soundbar under 300$. It features HDMI, optical and analog connections to connect your sources and Bluetooth connectivity in order to pair your Bluetooth devices. The wireless subwoofer is very powerful and can easily fill your home theater making placement quite flexible. The YAS-207BL also features DTS Virtual 3D surround sound via a firmware upgrade which makes this soundbar unique. If you like the slim design and it fits your budget, this is a purchase you won’t regret.
The Yamaha ATS-1070R is an older model from Yahama, that I wanted to include in the list for anyone looking for a great soundbar, from a well-known brand, without breaking the bank. This is among the cheapest options in the market and even though it is an older model, the ATS-1070R will satisfy with its built quality, making it ideal for those on a budget that can live without a stand-alone subwoofer. Its built-in subwoofer is more than enough for most applications especially if you factor the low price. It features HDMI, optical and analog connectivity, along with the built-in Bluetooth.
VIZIO SB3621n-F8M 36″
This Vizio 36″ system is one of the cheapest options for anyone looking for DTS virtual surround sound. The sound bar can provide crystal clear dialogue and the wireless subwoofer will handle room-shaking bass for the best home theater experience. It comes at a very attractive price making this combo a great alternative for anyone searching for a great 2.1 sound system without breaking the ban. Moreover, it features Bluetooth connectivity so as to connect your tablet, laptop or smartphone and enjoy streaming music from your Bluetooth enabled devices. Overall a great 2.1 system that definitely worth a closer look.
This YAS-108 model from Yamaha is great for anyone on a budget that can live with the built-in subwoofer. The soundbar can provide enhanced dialogue clarity and the built-in subwoofer are a great upgrade compared to the TV builtin speakers. It features HDMI, optical and 3.5mm aux connectivity but also Bluetooth streaming, and its compact and slim design will easily fit any room. It comes at a very attractive price considering it features DTS Virtual 34 Surround sound and will be a great addition to any home theater.
VIZIO SB3820-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar
The SB3820-C6 features the same soundbar as the SB3821 minus the wireless subwoofer. Overall a great 38″ soundbar that is ideal for anyone with a large TV. Even though the soundbar comes without the wireless subwoofer, the Deep Bass module of the soundbar can provide even bass for your home theater without the use of an external subwoofer. Comes with Bluetooth connectivity so as to pair your media players and features a slim, stylish design that can fit any room. This is one of the cheapest 38″ soundbars in the market, so if you are on a budget you would really appreciate this model and the upgrade it will be for your home theater.
Samsung HW-N450 Soundbar
The HW-N450 is our recommendation for anyone looking for a 2.1 sound system that can easily integrate with their Samsung TV. It features a great wireless subwoofer for deep bass and a great soundbar for improved clarity of sound. Moreover, the built-in Bluetooth is handy if you want to connect your Bluetooth enabled media players and due to its stylish design, it will be a great addition to your room. If you already have a Samsung TV, this 2.1 sound system is a great addition to your system for a great listening experience.
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.