VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar Review


 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar Review

If you want to take your indoor entertainment to the next level, a home theater system can prove to be a good investment. The only problem is that all the wiring and cabling makes for unnecessary clutter, and this is not something you want to deal with in a confined apartment. 

Luckily with the introduction of soundbars there are no longer issues with wiring and cabling. A soundbar comes with a minimalist design that saves you all the clutter while offering you the kind of sound quality upgrade you were looking for in a home theater. 

One of the best soundbar options you can get in the market is the VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar, and this review will tell you just why!

VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.0 at a Glance: Specs and Features

  • Dimensions of the product: 38 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Weight of the product: 5.7 pounds
  • Wattage consumption: 100 Watts
  • Frequency Range: 60 Hz to 19 kHz
  • Maximum Sound Range: 100dB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Built-in Features: Dolby Digital, DTS Studio SoundTM, DTS Tru Volume TM, DTS TruSurroundTM
  • Warranty: 1-year 

Last Updated: December 1, 2021

SB3821-C6 Review

While there are numerous soundbar models in the market, the VIZIO SB3821-C6 boasts a reputation of being among the best for those looking to buy on a budget. It’s been described as a high-performance affordable sound bar with amazing audio quality and enough punch to offer you a memorable sound experience. 

However, this could easily pass as hearsay without putting the SB3820-C6 to the test. That’s why in this review, I want to delve deeper into the features and specs of the sound bar to find out if the hype around it is legit. 

Whether you’re searching for an early Christmas present or looking to get a home audio system without breaking the bank, this VIZIO SB3820-C6 review will let you know if it’s worth investing in!

VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Design and Construction

VIZIO SB3820-C6 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar Review

It seems like designing a sound bar is a relatively thoughtless process when you consider the overall simple look. Well, this is almost true for the VIZIO brand, looking at the design history of their products. 

I’ve noticed that the manufacturer tends to stick with a minimalistic and streamlined design, and this is exactly what you get on the SB3821-C6. 

Simplicity, after all, saves you the trouble of finding the right fit for your home decor. With dimensions of 38 x 3 x 3 inches, the VIZIO is among the larger soundbars in the market yet maintains a lightweight build at only 5.7lbs.

While most brands use a metal mesh covering on their sound bars, VIZIO chose to go with a breathable black fabric instead. This gives the SB3820-C6 a sleek and modern design that should blend easily into your living room.

The end caps of the sound bar are coated with aluminum and the same goes for the logo. For a larger unit, this soundbar takes very little space, allowing you to fit it into the home entertainment system with very little trouble. 

Its relatively lightweight design ensures that you can perform the installation without needing an extra pair of hands. 

This also saves you the trouble of removing and reinstalling when you want to redecorate your space . Overall, the build quality is decent with a fabric-covered front and top while the underside and rear feature nice quality plastic. 

The only problem is that the fabric covering can easily collect dust and get punctured. So, I recommend you install the unit higher above the ground. 


On the back panel, you’ll find two openings. The first one is used for the detachable power cable whereas the second one features a couple of control and connectivity inputs, including a Bluetooth input button, as well as two volume controls. 

You also get a subwoofer output, a digital optical cable input, auxiliary 3.5mm, coaxial cable digital audio input, RCA, and a USB port for unlimited connectivity. 

The VIZIO SB3821-C6 acts as a reliable alternative to an entire home surround system, which spares you the headache of fitting the extra five speakers in a small room and the complicated installation process. 

The sound is produced via two 2.72-inch full-range drivers and the manufacturer is so confident in the bass quality of the unit that they didn’t include an external subwoofer. 

Thanks to the integrated Dolby Digital and DTS TruSurround, all the sounds are produced clearly. 

This allows you to get the most out of family movie nights. The wireless sound bar can also be connected via Bluetooth to listen to your favorite playlist.

VIZIO SB3821-C6 Performance and Sound Quality

Sound quality is the biggest factor in a sound system; so how does the SB3821-C6 fair? Well, the up to 100dB that the sound bar can produce is a worthy mention. It manages to do this with a crisp clear sound and limited harmonic distortion. You’ll easily be able to distinguish between notes and chords when you listen to solo guitar performances on TV.

There is no vibration at higher pitches and you get to revel in your musical experience without the rattling sound associated with bass sounds. 

With a frequency range of 60 Hz to 19 kHz, I must say the VIZIO SB3821-C6 comes to its own in the midrange. Usually, this is where most dialogs in movies fall, making for unrivaled movie experiences. 


You get to hear the whispers in movies clearly and distinguish who is talking, thanks to 2.0 audio. I like how the sound is evenly spread throughout the room; I didn’t have to focus my attention on the center when watching my favorite movie. This is not something I expected from a speaker at this price range. 

The VIZIO is powered by Dolby Digital, which is the standard of sound used for DVDs, cinemas, Blu-rays, as well as for streaming content. It offers great dimension to any audio tracks you listen through. 

The soundtracks are not only more defined but also make for an unrivaled live listening experience. 

Furthermore, the sound bar comes with built-in TruSurround. This is a virtual surround feature that allows the device to create an actual surround environment, helping to enhance your audio experience. 

The Bluetooth connection also allows you to stream as many music files as you want from a relevant Bluetooth device. You can play your favorite tunes remotely from any room in the house with a simple touch of a button. 

When it comes to bass boost, you’ll notice an obvious enhancement in lower end responses, albeit fairly limited. Overall, VIZIO’s bass boost modules prove to be reliable when you don’t want to beef up the bass with an external subwoofer. 

I like how the manufacturer integrated the LED displays on the relatively simplistic and minimalistic sound bar, helping to give it a touch of contemporary class. However, some people feel that it is unnecessary.

Another great thing about this device is that you can mount it pretty much anywhere.

VIZIO SB3821-C6 Weighing The Pros & Cons 


  • Easy to install, simple yet stylish design
  • Great for watching movies and pretty affordable
  • Gets to 100dB of sound
  • Nice surround sound
  • Powered by Dolby Digital
  • Uninterrupted streaming via Bluetooth
  • Sufficient bass even without a sub
  • Wide frequency range


  • Doesn’t come with a sub (for deep bass lovers)
  • Fabric covering can easily rip


For less than $100, the VIZIO SB3821-C6 is a versatile way to upgrade your home audio system. It provides up to 100dB of high-quality and distortion-free sound, which makes it a great alternative to complicated home theater systems or surround sound setup.

Overall, it will be a reliable acquisition if you’re looking for a soundbar to pair with your 42”+ flat-screen TV for movie watching. The Dolby DTS feature ensures that you get high-quality surround sound to provide you with unforgettable movie nights.

Not to mention that you get a 1-year warranty when you purchase the SB3821-C6 sound bar system!

Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.

The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 


As television technology progresses, the screens are getting bigger and better, while the space for audio is getting squeezed out more and more. The result is sub-par performance in audio, regardless of how well the manufacturers advertise it.

If you want to have a better sound experience from your television, a soundbar is a way to go. They're simple to install, look good and thin to complement your big screen, and sound much better than your stock TV speakers.

Improving the audio quality of your TV comes in three areas - dialogue quality, raw power, and dynamic balance of the sound. High-quality soundbars bring the depth and immersive experience in all three, but they can be quite expensive.

We've addressed the average consumer's price point and found some quite affordable stuff for you to pick from if you don't want to break the bank. Trust us - the choices from our guides pack quite the (all-around) punch!

Finally, the wireless streaming capability, connectivity variations, ease of use, and appearance should be the factor that will determine your choices.

We have selected the best from all worlds, and will guide you through the purchasing decision effortlessly - hop along and find the best soundbar for your 4K TV!


Keep up to date with our latest news and releases:

Best Soundbars Under $300 – VALUE FOR MONEY PICKS FOR 2021

Quantum Plasma 9 Wood

best Soundbars Under 300 - VALUE FOR MONEY PICKS FOR 2021

Whether you’ve got a top-notch OLED TV setup, or a cheap, $500 one, chances are you’re dissatisfied with the audio quality.

Even though flat-panel TV’s these days produce much better sound quality than they did in the past, they’re still no match for soundbars. 

If you’re tired of listening to the muffled sound produced by your TV’s built-in speakers, soundbars are the solution you’re looking for here. 

And no, I’m not going to talk about the high-end options, either. I’m here to offer you a more budget-friendly way out – the best soundbars under $300.

Stick around, and you’ll see what I mean!

In a hurry? The test winner after 23 hours of research:

JBL BAR 2.1 Best Soundbar Under 300

Why is it better?

  • Affordable price
  • Excellent design
  • Powerful subwoofer
  • Good sound separation at higher frequencies
  • Rich and wide soundstage
our score


Researched sources


REviews considered


hours researching


products compared

Last Updated: December 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best soundbar under 300 available for those who are interested in enhancing their home theater sound system. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best soundbar under 300 currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

What is a soundbar? 

The shortest, most straightforward answer to this question would be that a soundbar is a practical solution to boosting your TV’s audio performance. Chances are you figured it out on your own already, though.

Let’s dig a bit deeper and see what makes soundbars what they are: 

Audio-enhancing devices that will keep your home theater dreams alive, without the room being cluttered with speakers. 

A soundbar might not be as powerful as a full-blown home theater system, but it offers significantly improved audio quality by employing virtual surround sound.

That means no actual multiple speakers and no extra cables and wires running through your home.

What do you need to know about soundbars under $300? 

With the latest innovations and technologies such as OLED and QLED, the flat-panel 4K TVs are continuously being improved to be as thin and modern-looking as possible. They’re delivering the best picture quality we’ve ever seen. 

However, they all struggle with one thing – fitting full-range speaker drivers into these minimalistic housings. As a result, you’re often left with perfect picture quality, and less-than-stellar audio – the sub-standard dialog, inadequate bass, and underwhelming sound in general. 

That’s where soundbars come in and steal the show.

But if you’re looking to buy the best soundbar under $300, you’re going to have to pay attention to a few vital factors. Let’s go through them together!

Soundbar sound quality

Okay, first things first. I mean, what could be more important in an audio device than the actual sound quality? 

The sound quality should bring a drastic improvement compared to the one your TV’s speakers have to offer. Besides the mere “loud and clear” part, it should be more detailed and deeper, as well. You should be able to hear everything from simple dialogue to background sounds and vocals in music with exceptional quality.

It may be tricky to access sound quality without hearing the soundbar in action, but it can be done. You’ll have to take a closer look at the specifications list though, and watch out for factors such as the output power, frequency range, and the size and capacity of the drivers. 

To a total novice, these parameters might seem like nothing but a bunch of letters and numbers thrown together. However, they can tell you a lot about the audio quality that the soundbar will be able to deliver.

Surround sound

When shopping for a soundbar, pay attention to the number of audio channels in its configuration. It will determine its performance when it comes to multi-channel surround sound featured in most mainstream movies.

Most soundbars will simulate the surround sound effect by using the technique called virtualization. By cross-mixing the multi-channel sound information, it gives the listeners the illusion of a surround sound experience, even though the sound comes from the front of the room only. 

Of course, dedicated surround speakers are unmatched here because the resulting sound will always be more precise and immersive – but it’s worth giving a shot. 


Soundbars will typically come with several connectivity options to meet your needs and allow you to connect them not only with your TV but other audio and video sources as well. On that note, the options that allow you to stream your content wirelessly are always a welcome addition. 

You’ll need several different inputs to match the outputs on your source components. So, it's vital that you understand what each of these connectivity types offers in terms of the receiving and processing abilities. 


This is, by far, the most advanced digital connection option available for audio and video devices designed for home use. Thanks to the higher bandwidth, HDMI connection transfers high-quality video formats, as well as high-quality multi-channel audio. 

Many HDMI connections these days also support the Audio Return Channel feature – or ARC – as well. This feature allows you to send the audio signal from the TV to the soundbar, and vice versa, in a single HDMI connection. 

Digital audio outputs 

Most soundbars will include at least one digital format of sound transmission, be it Optical or Coaxial, along with an analog stereo RCA or mini-jack outputs. That will give you the option to connect not only your TV but portable music players and other gear, as well. 

However, bear in mind that their outputs are somewhat restricted due to lower transmission bandwidth compared to that of HDMI.


Bluetooth connectivity is the bear minimum found in pretty much all soundbars available on today’s market. It’s most commonly used for pairing wirelessly with mobile devices and playing stereo content from platforms such as iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and the like. 

You’ll even find near-field communication (NFC), two-way Bluetooth, and higher bandwidth codec support in some soundbars, as well. 


Soundbars with built-in WiFi option allow you to communicate with your device within the same network. You can do it anywhere inside your home, rather than being restricted to a certain distance, as you would with a Bluetooth connection. 

As such, it’s no surprise that it’s becoming an increasingly popular and sought-after feature in soundbars.

Moreover, WiFi connectivity also allows you quick access to online streaming services, such as Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, Amazon Prime – and even your network-connected library.

Best soundbar under $300

Let's review the top contenders for this lavish title of best sound bar under 300: 

1. JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Soundbar System

JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Starter System with Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Bluetooth

Our Rating: 87/100

JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Starter System represents a welcome departure from the range of products the manufacturer seems more comfortable – wearable tech.

But, the results are just the same. This package is yet another feather in JBL’s very ornate cap.

The design

Speaking in terms of design, this neat theater system represents everything we’ve come to expect from JBL by now. Simple, yet stylish lines, graced with a slight touch of futuristic.

In this case, that would be a simple grilled body with a hidden LED screen that shows you the selected input channel.

But, taking into consideration that this is not a simple soundbar, but rather a 2.1 system, we also have to talk about the subwoofer you get in the package.

And what to say – it’s a true testament to the idea that beauty lies in simplicity. Also, I dig the matte surface – the dust and fingerprints are no issue here.

As for the connectivity options, JBL has covered almost all things that cross the mind. On the back of the soundbar unit, you will find HDMI ARC, optical port, and USB port (you can play the high-quality lossless music from your portable hard drive).

Unfortunately, the ability to connect to a home Wi-Fi network is sorely missing. But, Bluetooth is very easy to set up (that is, after all, bread and butter), so you won’t have any streaming options. Some compromises had to be made to reach this price point.

I am also very pleased with the dimensions of the units I got in the package. The soundbar is slim and wide which is probably the best option for this type of unit. As for the woofer, substantial as it is, it doesn’t take a heavy toll on your free space. And it looks so good.

Finally, you get to choose between two control options. You can use the remote that easily syncs up with the unit and, most importantly, doesn’t interfere with the rest of the devices you may have in the room.

The other control options are the good old round buttons located at the top of the unit. Both these alternatives work just fine.

best soundbar under 300 - JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Starter System with Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Bluetooth

The sound quality

Let's now move to some more important topics. I briefly mentioned that the soundbar unit is pretty long. This fact is very important because the device sets up one very wide and rich sound stage.

However, the overall performance of the whole system was very inconsistent. In combination with the cable box, the bass felt horribly underutilized. Things got better with a bit of manual adjustment, though.

As for the movies featuring surround sound, the bass appeared considerably stronger – so much so that some of the midrange frequencies ended up lost in the mix. Still, loud explosions sound incredibly satisfying.

On the higher frequencies though, sound separation worked much better and you could hear all the lines of dialogue loud and crisp. The movie scores, especially the big orchestral sounded simply amazing.

I had, however, experienced some issues with a different type of connectivity. Namely, the optical cable had a very hard time staying in place and this issue had a huge impact on the quality of the sound I’ve got.


  • Affordable price
  • Excellent design
  • Powerful subwoofer
  • Good sound separation at higher frequencies
  • Rich and wide soundstage


  • Inconsistent performance
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity option
  • The package lacks HDMI cable

2. Klipsch RSB-3 All-in-one Bluetooth Soundbar

All in one Bluetooth Soundbar

Our Rating: 70/100

Klipsch is definitely a brand with a strong reputation, even amongst casual consumers. The company that has at some point supplied AMC theaters has to know something about putting together good speakers.

Well, the glory days of this audio giant have long since gone, but the brand recognition still remains. So, the question remains – is Klipsch still capable of putting out solid sound equipment, or we’re dealing with the case of riding on the past glory?

The design

Judging by the design, I say both – but not in a bad manner at all. Klipsch RSB-3 somehow manages to marry the contemporary streamlined soundbar design with the retro-looking elements that come straight from the time when Atari ruled the gaming scene.

I especially dig the golden edges at each end of the bar. Klipsch, in general, likes to play with this color scheme, but here – they made something truly wonderful.

The body of the unit is covered with nice-looking, metallic grills, while the center of the unit hosts the branding and a set of appropriately retro-looking controls.

The soundbar unit is, at the same time the only piece of equipment you get in the package since the manufacturer decided to build subwoofer directly into the bar.

The remote is barely serviceable and not really worth talking about. It looks cheap, it feels cheap and it is unresponsive. A huge letdown.

On the other hand, connectivity options are pretty decent. Besides the standard mentions like optical input (no cables included), 3.5mm jack (3.5mm-to-RCA cable not included) HDMI port (no cables included), and a USB port, the unit also supports Bluetooth connection.

Full-blown Wi-Fi connectivity is, once again, MIA, but that’s something to expect at this price point. All in all, after you spend some time buying all the cables the package is missing, you will have a nice set of available device options.

Klipsch RSB-3 All-in-one Bluetooth Soundbar back side

Speaking in terms of dimensions – with its width of 36 inches (91 cm) and weight of 7 pounds (3.2 kilograms), RSB-3 looks and feels quite substantially.

But, taking into account the overall design language of the product this bulk seems oddly fitting. Besides, you have to remember that the unit is hosting dual 2.5-inch woofers, and they too eat some space.

The sound quality

In terms of sound quality, though, RSB-3 largely fails to leave the same impression as to its stellar design. Let’s break things down, shall we?

On the more positive side, the manufacturer has equipped this homeboy with a pair of interesting features, that do make a real-life difference. For instance, Virtual Surround mode does its best to simulate the multi-speaker experience. Of course, you won’t be fooled into thinking you are in the theater, but you do get a wider stereo sound which is great.

Second, the dual tweeter dual woofer setup drastically benefits from the inclusion of DPS controlled crossover and separate amplifier channels for each of the output pairs. Things like this make the overall performance much more crisp and refined.

The area where the performance takes a slight drop is the power and the consistency of the woofers. Generally speaking, the built-in units aren’t able to deliver the same performance as the separate units. But, even by these standards, RSB-3 struggles to authentically reproduce the impact of things like gunshots and explosions.

On the other hand, the tunes that feature heavy bass lines produce a very potent booming sound that sometimes engulfs lyrics and lines of dialogue (this can be partially addressed by switching to Dialogue Mode). The reproduction of voices, as well as brass and string instruments, is near perfect.


  • Reasonably affordable
  • Built-in woofers save a lot of space
  • Awesome design
  • Solid connectivity options
  • Different reproduction modes do a lot to improve inherent drawbacks
  • Solid dialogue and music reproduction


  • The package lacks some essential items
  • Poor remote
  • The bass performance is all over the place

Best Soundbar for Gaming

Now, this category requires a different approach & requirements. Let's explore the current options on the market:

1. Soundbar BlasterX Katana Multi-Channel

Sounbar BlasterX Multi Channel

Our Rating: 85/100

I’ve always had a delightful experiences with Creative Labs when it comes to their inexpensive Bluetooth speakers. So, when I first came across the Creative Sound BlasterX Katana, I was intrigued:

Is it worth the money, or is it nothing but an overhyped Bluetooth speaker?

If your first thought here is that soundbars are better suited for home theaters, you’re right – but the Katana works surprisingly well as an under-monitor speaker system. It’s as wide as an average desktop monitor, and doesn’t take up too much space, either.

The design 

The first thing I noticed was that both the soundbar and subwoofer feature quite a bit of plastic parts. Despite that, the soundbar feels surprisingly well-made, yet lightweight at the same time.

The top side features smooth, brushed aluminum that lends it a minimalistic appearance, despite the fact that the buttons and the dual speakers are all located there, as well. 

Speaking of the buttons, I have to say that I was less than thrilled about their build quality. They appear fine at first, but have that cheap, plasticky feel to them.

It’s evident that’s where the corners were cut. It’s not a big deal, but I figured it was worth noting, nonetheless.

Featuring two upward-firing, 2.5-inch mid-bass drivers, two angled 1.3-inch front-firing tweeters, and a separate one long-throw driver in the subwoofer, the Creative Sound BlasterX Katana is a five-driver setup.

BlasterX Katana

But, the real star of the show is the Aurora Reactive System you can find at the bottom of the unit, which utilized 49 programmable LED lights to create different light patterns depending on the sound blasting through the speakers.

I, personally, find this light show a bit distracting, but I can see avid gamers with customized setups having a lot of fun with this piece of tech.

The subwoofer is big and bulky, but still retains the same sleek and almost industrial-like design language like soundbar unit. If anything, it won’t make your room look worse.
Moving onto connectivity.

Here, the unit really shows its gamer-oriented nature. Namely, in spite of covering all the common options like audio-jack, USB and Bluetooth, the unit lacks HDMI connectivity which has, by now, become a staple of home entertainment systems.

This makes a lot of sense, though, taking into consideration that, with its width of 26.7 inches (60 centimeters), the unit creates a soundstage best suited for PC gaming.

The sound quality

As I already briefly mentioned, Katana (the main unit) is a full-blown 5.1 setup which promises a very good output quality and excellent sound separation. And for the most part, the built-in Digital Signal Processor does a very solid job of juggling the different sounds and frequencies.

Lower bass lines are relegated to the booming woofer, while the higher frequency sounds like arpeggios are played through the main speakers with a lot of precision and clarity. Unfortunately, mids tend to suffer through this separation and sometimes fall very stuffy and empty.

But, the overall impression is definitely above the average and well-suited to the range of sounds you may get from your average shooter.

I have to warn you, though, that the whole setup is incredibly loud, especially given the fact you are going to keep it just a couple of inches in front of your face. If you want to get the best performance from this unit, be sure to keep it hushed and well-tuned through software settings (the bass sometimes needs to be tamed).


  • The whole setup looks incredibly good
  • The sound separation works very well
  • Aurora Reactive System will strike a home run with its intended audience
  • Tight bass with a lot of oomph
  • Excellent choice for smaller rooms


  • No HDMI connectivity
  • Sometimes a bit too loud
  • Mids tend to end up overlooked by the system software

2. Yamaha Audio YAS-109 Sound Bar

Yamaha Audio Sound Bar

Our Rating: 88/100

Yamaha has long been known as one of the leaders in producing audio devices that deliver a lot more than you might expect considering the price. The one that I was most impressed with recently falls into their home-theater-oriented line of products – and the YAS-109 Sound Bar, in particular.

Granted, I did decide to include it in my round-up as one of the best soundbars for gaming, and I’ll explain my reasons in a second. Spoiler alert - Alexa integration may have something to do with it.

The design

When you take a look at YAS-109, chances are you will notice two things. First, the thing looks incredibly stripped-down but still beautiful. Second, the thing is huge, or to put it more precisely wide.

Let’s cover both these things in more detail.

So, as for the body. Although it features some varying elements (mainly in the form of the control board), the entirety of YAS-109 is covered in one huge, uninterrupted grill – a solution that is incredibly simplistic, but creates an incredibly elegant and harmonious visual impression. Props to the designers.

As for the length – the unit spreads out to very generous 37 inches (94 centimeters) which makes a lot of sense, taking into consideration that the bar hosts as much as six different units (dual L/R speakers, dual tweeters, and built-in dual subwoofer). The extended width also creates quite an impressive soundstage, but more on that later.

So, we can now agree that Yamaha has pretty much nailed design of this product, and made a very solid foundation for an excellent performance. What about the connectivity options and controls?

Here, things are just peachy. The unit covers a whole range of connection possibilities ranging from the traditional plug-and-play options like optical and HDMI cables to interesting wireless alternatives like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. Finally!

Yamaha Soundbar

This is the point where Amazon’s own Alexa assistant kicks in and elevates the bar on the whole other level. Not, only you are allowed to operate your unit through pretty tight voice controls – the inclusion of Wi-Fi turns YAS-109 into a full-blown entertainment center capable of streaming of music directly from the web. Impressive...

The sound quality

So, rather than adding a separate subwoofer, Yamaha decided to go with dual integrated subwoofers, for an even slimmer, space-saving design. I was a bit skeptical about their performance, but they produce enough bass to add some resonance to dialogues.

However, if you want more “boom” – and you probably will if you plan on making it a part of your gaming setup – you’re better off adding a separate subwoofer. Keeping that in mind, the unit works very solid and puts on the performance on par with similar products with built-in woofers.

And this could be the best way to describe the general performance of the product – roughly on par with the rest of the bunch. Nothing feels overly bad, but the unit rarely rises above the rest of the bunch and aims to impress.

Sure, you do get a lot of interesting modes to play with. For instance, Clear Voice (it prioritizes the dialogue lines in the overall mix) does a good job at making some spoken lines easier to understand. Also, Virtual X makes the whole listening experience more fun by creating more spacious and lifelike effects.

But, when all is said and done, you still get your crystal clear and incredibly satisfying highs, solid mids, and underpowered low bass lines. And that’s ok. Especially if you are using the unit for gaming which traditionally puts less pressure on sound devices than overblown Hollywood blockbusters.

Soundbars feature some inherent limitations. Yamaha Audio YAS-109 Sound Bar leverages these limitations to put on one very solid performance.


  • A whole slew of connectivity options
  • Tight Alexa integration
  • Solid sound separation
  • Good overall performance
  • Simple but very elegant design


  • Some of the frequencies tend to end up muffled
  • Underpowered woofers

3. Polk Audio Signa S2 TV Sound Bar

Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim Universal TV Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth Enabled Music Streaming, Black

Our Rating: 83/100

Although a relatively new contender in the soundbar market, Polk made a pretty damn good impression with their first foray in these waters Signa S1.

It was an excellent little soundbar that offered consistent and reliable performance on a fairly modest price.

Today, we finally get the opportunity to play with its direct successor Signa S2. Looking at its price, it’s easy to observe that Polk has once again released the product that will have a very wide market appeal.

But, has the manufacturer made the necessary upgrades to finally challenge the big sharks heads on?

The design
If you take a look at this soundbar unit you would be hard-pressed to notice what has actually changed with the days of Signa S1. But hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

So we are once again stuck with the fairly bland design that, as bland as it may be, it doesn’t make any major offenses. Leave the unit in the room and you’ll simply stop noticing it after some time.

The good news here is that the very soundbar is still slim enough to fit any TV stand without obstructing the TV remote sensor.

The wireless subwoofer that makes the other essential part of Signa S2 setup follows a similar design pattern.

Besides a rather large branding you can find at the front of the unit, there’s nothing too exciting is going on here.

best soundbars Signa S2

As I previously said, all these things are not bad. It’s just the manufacturer did a really poor job to hide the fact they are selling the budget system. Still, the materials are very solid, and generally speaking, the whole package looks well put together.

In regards to connectivity options, Polk has finally used the solid base we got in S1 (all of the standard audio ports) and expended the connectivity arsenal with the inclusion of HDMI ARC socket – an option that has a drastic impact on the overall usability of the system.

And, I am also very happy to report that, this time, all the cables you will need to hook up the system are present in the package.

Finally, there is an option to connect to the unit wirelessly (via Bluetooth) and stream music directly from your favorite apps and into the soundbar. Overall, I’m very pleased with all these options – especially, taking into consideration the product’s price.

The sound quality

When it comes to the audio quality, Signa S2 performs surprisingly well. As you would expect from a budget unit, the soundbar often struggles to make the lines of dialogue clear in the wake of striking musical sections or heavy bass lines. But, since you are going to use the unit primarily for gaming, this should not be too big of an issue.

Even if you turn on some action blockbuster, you’ll get a fair amount of sound separation and a lot of adjustment options that will help you to deliver crisp lines of dialogue.

As for the bass, the improvement over S1 is incremental but still noticeable. It’s sufficiently loud, deep and booming, and the freedom to place the subwoofer unit wherever you want (a perk of wireless connection) does make a real-life impact.

Overall, the system sets up a pretty rich sound stage, and delivers very gratifying if somewhat compromised, immersive experience. Polk has definitely thrown a punch above its weight this time but delivered a pretty strong blow nevertheless.


  • Great value for the money
  • The system looks good enough
  • All of the basic connectivity options
  • Pretty solid and consistent performance throughout
  • All the cables are included in the package
  • Wireless subwoofer


  • Getting clear lines of dialogue sometimes require a lot of tweaking
  • Throwaway remote
  • The soundbar does not show incremental sound levels

4. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System

Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System

Our Rating: 78/100

With its long tradition and vast lineup of quality audio product, Bose is no stranger to roundups of this sort.

Still, the product I’ve eventually decided to roll with does represent a departure from the things we’ve got used to seeing from this manufacturer.

Bose is well-known for high-quality and expensive audio equipment. Seeing it venture so deep into the entry-level does represent something worth talking about.

The design

It doesn’t take more than a passing look at Solo 5 to see we are talking about a pretty basic device. After all, there are only so many things you can squeeze into a 21.5 inch (55 centimeters) body. The design of the whole thing is appropriately simplistic and blocky.

And still, this unsuspicious look and modest size are, at the same time one of the unit’s biggest assets. If you are short on space, this is one of the most viable options of this scale you can find on the market.

Be aware, though – with the weight of 3.7 pounds and now wall-mount kit included in the package you may need to do a bit of additional shopping to set the unit in place.

soundbars under 300

In terms of connectivity, Solo 5 has one fatal flaw – you are provided with pretty well-made AUX, optical and coaxial input sockets, but the HDMI port of any sort is sorely missing.

That, in itself, wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the product featured a more affordable price tag. With the things as they are though, Bose’s portable sound system has a very limited appeal. So, if you want to use this product, better make sure your device of choice features some of the available connectivity options.

Finally, I have to briefly mention the remote. Instead of making a dedicated unit suited for this system, Bose threw one of their stock universal remotes into the package. If you need a spare unit you want to use on your TV or receiver, you have all the controls you need here.

The sound quality

If compact dimensions were one of Solo 5’s biggest assets in terms of design, it also represents a huge limiting factor when it comes to sound quality. To put it quite simply, with only two front-facing speakers hidden behind the grill, the amount of sound separation you can do is very limited.

This whole problem is only made worse by the fact that soundstage the bar produces is pretty narrow.

With the things as they are, the sound you get is pretty comparable to the output produced stereo speakers. Very expensive and crisp stereo speakers but stereo speakers nevertheless.

Even so, I have to admit that I was rather pleased with the output I’ve got. Taking into consideration all the limitations the system has (it’s pretty barebones), I found gaming very pleasing, especially when I was going through sections with a lot of mids and trebles.

The movie-watching experience wasn’t bad either. Just make sure to turn up the bass to get the most of gunfights and explosions. On default settings, it feels somewhat underpowered.


  • Compact dimensions
  • Solid audio quality
  • Universal remote
  • Bluetooth connectivity


  • No HDMI port
  • Barebones entry-level device
  • Modest soundstage

Best soundbar under $500 

I know that I promised you the best soundbars under $300, and so far, that’s what you’ve got. But in case you’re willing to spend a bit more and get a top-notch soundbar with exceptional audio quality, I’ve got your back. 

1. Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q70R Series Soundbar

Samsung Harman Kardon HW-Q70R Dolby Atmos Q70R Series Soundbar

Our Rating: 90/100

Samsung’s audio lab has been on quite a roll these past few years. Almost every soundbar model they released has been met with nothing but praised for superb sound quality and design.
The new kid on the block, the HW-Q70R, is a part of the Q Series. It’s not considered cheap, but it’s one of their lowest-priced soundbars that support both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.

You’re probably wondering what makes it worth the money, so let’s get straight to it. 

The design
Design-wise, they stuck to the sleek and stylish appearance of the HW-N650, with solid, rectangular-shaped construction and an all-metal grille. Even the four buttons located on the right edge of the unit are identical to the ones on HW-N650, along with the small LCD on the far right.

The HDMI input and output, the optical audio input, the USB port, and the AC connector are all found at the bottom of the soundbar, in a dedicated, recessed area. Wireless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections are an option, as well.

The sound quality

The speakers are arranged in a somewhat traditional 3.1.2 channel configuration, with two upward-firing and three forward-firing drivers, as well as a wireless subwoofer to give an extra kick to the low frequencies.
The soundbar supports both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, which is a massive part of its exceptional performance. It mimics real life, allowing sound to move around you in all directions.

That’s combined with the Acoustic Beam technology that delivers directional sound and panoramic audio experience. The Adaptive Sound mode, one of four available sound profiles, analyzes and optimizes the audio automatically, based on the contents of the scene.

Although a bit front-heavy, it’s tough to beat. I’d say that this is a perfectly executed combination of a soundbar and subwoofer. It sounds equally impressive whether you’re watching movies and TV shows, playing games, or listening to music.


  • The 3.1.2 channel configuration with a dedicated wireless subwoofer
  • It supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 
  • Acoustic Beam technology delivers directional sound 
  • Four available sound profiles, including Adaptive Sound 


  • Limited number of HDMI input
  • Front-heavy soundstage
  • Somewhat pricey 

Best soundbars under $300 - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between 2.1 and 5.1 soundbar?

A: 2.1 soundbar system includes two speakers – left and right – with a separate subwoofer incorporated along with them. The 5.1 soundbar incorporates five speakers, and a subwoofer, with the front channels integrated into the soundbar itself. The surrounding speakers usually come as separate units. Such a setup not only adds more volume but enhances the surround sound experience and builds a more cohesive environment, too.

Q: Where do you place a soundbar?

A: There are several options for soundbar placement. That includes mounting it on the wall, placing it on a stand or shelf right below your TV, or directly on the floor. Whatever you choose, it’s essential that no objects are obstructing or interfering with the sound waves.

Q: Are soundbars as good as surround sound speakers?

A: Soundbars offer sleek design, easy installation, and the ability to simulate the surround sound experience to a degree. They may be a suitable upgrade to the wimpy TV speakers, but my inner nerd votes in favor of the surround sound speakers. Setting up a home theater is no place to cut corners. That said, as with any other audio product, the quality and the associated performance will vary among devices.

Q: Should I get built-in subwoofer?

A: Designed as dedicated speaker drivers that produce low-frequency audio – think deep, intense hums, rumbling bass, and an “extra kick” to any audio output – subwoofers make all the difference. I prefer a separate wireless subwoofer due to more customization options. If you want a more “discrete” setup, though, you can’t go wrong with a built-in subwoofer, either.

After it's all said and done, for under $300 we recommend:

JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Starter System with Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer with Bluetooth

Why is it better?

  • Affordable price
  • Excellent design
  • Powerful subwoofer
  • Good sound separation at higher frequencies
  • Rich and wide soundstage
our score

All of these soundbars had their sets of quirks, but all of them brought something unique to the table. I’m sure, personal taste will play a huge role once you start sorting through your options.

Be that as it may, I’m still convinced that, at least sound-wise, JBL Bar 2.1 Home Theater Starter System the most capable and well-balanced product on the list. Sure, it may feature a somewhat spicy price tag, but this time, the price is earned.

Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.

The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 

Best Soundbar Under $200 – Top Soundbars Picks on the Market

soundbars under 200 dollars

Best Soundbar Under $200 - Top Soundbars picks on the Market

So, you’ve just bought yourself a brand-new, super-slim 60-inch HD TV, and you can’t wait to show it off to your buddies.

But when you finally get your crew to come around for movie night, the sound lets you down terribly…it is just too flat!

I know how deflating this can be, especially when it dawns on you that you might have made a sloppy investment. But what can you do to salvage the situation?

One word…soundbar!

In this post, I’ll tell you about the kind of magical impact that a soundbar for less than $200 can have on your TV sound quality. And I know just how tough the economy is right now, so I won’t trouble you with top-shelf models like the Bose 500.

Instead, let me interest you in a couple of bargain soundbar models that will help you save face the next time someone comes to actually watch netflix and chill!

In a hurry? The test winner after 19 hours of research:

Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speakers for Home Theater, Surround Sound (6 Drivers) and Premium Music | Powerport Technology | Detachable Magnetic Grille

Why is it better?

  • Rich and solid bass performance
  • Clear overall sound signature
  • Good price for its performance
  • Great design with multiple placement positions
  • Precise detail during dialogues
our score


Researched sources


REviews considered


hours researching


products compared

Last Updated: December 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best soundbars under 200 available for those who are interested in enhancing their audio experience. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best soundbars under $200 currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Rating: 90/100 View Latest Deal →
Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System Rating: 90/100 View Latest Deal →
Yamaha YAS-108 Sound Bar Rating: 89/100 View Latest Deal →
Sound Bar, TV Sound Bar with Subwoofer by Vmai Rating: 82/100 View Latest Deal →
VIZIO SB2821-D6 28-Inch 2.1 Channel Sound Rating: 85/100 View Latest Deal →

What is a soundbar under $200?

This is a long and slim electronic device featuring several individual speakers positioned side by side that can be mounted below your TV to enhance the sound quality.

It connects to your telly via a single cable to eliminate the need for loads of trailing wires as is the case with a home cinema system.

Soundbars offer the easiest way of boosting your TV’s sound quality by delivering high-precision audio without requiring a separate home theater system.

They are easy to set up and provide you with a virtual surround sound that your television speakers lack.

What do you need to know about soundbars?

Before you go out to buy a particular model, keep in mind that there are several features which improve the overall quality of the soundbar you’re acquiring.

The best soundbars under $200 will take your home entertainment level to the next level by offering more sound clarity and fidelity and if you looking for something cheaper you can check our Under $100 Soundbars article.

Be sure to take note of the following soundbar aspects when you go out shopping for a model for your home TV:

Sound Quality 

Soundbars enhance the sound quality of your TV. How do they do this...Well, soundbars basically comprise multiple speakers in one, whereby the speakers are fitted next to one another inside the bar and positioned in such a way to achieve surround sound.

This psycho-acoustic effect implies that the sound literally bounces off your wall, giving you the “punch”, you need to enjoy your music or movies.

Good sound quality from your soundbar also means that dialogues on TV and movies are clearer and easier to understand. Typical TV speakers often make speech sound muffled and inaudible. The majority of soundbars in the under $300 price range still feature built-in subwoofers for that extra bass to greatly improve the listening experience.

However, the quality of sound from your soundbar won’t be as good as the one coming out of a home theater system. This is because of the many size concessions that limit the kind of fidelity offered by separate speakers.

As modern TV sets keep on getting sleeker and slimmer, the speakers are forced to the back or bottom, significantly reducing their size in the process. The problem is that speakers need to be bigger to deliver decent sound.

And it does not help that they are usually facing away from you. This results in a faint, often inaudible, sound.

Surround sound

Surround sound refers to the technique of enriching the depth and fidelity of sound reproduction using multiple speakers, which results in the sound “enveloping” the entire room. Soundbar technology achieves this without needing multiple audio channels.

Soundbars offer you a virtual surround sound that will simulate the speakers which would ordinarily be placed behind sofas and in corners on a traditional home theater system. Although the speaker won’t be as strong as a home cinema system, it saves space and is generally easier to set up.


In most cases, you’ll need just a single cable to connect your soundbar to the TV. While some models rely on optical cables, others utilize HDMI cables, which are more preferable. 

This is because HDMI supports more audio formats compared to the optical interface, which also means that the sound quality is higher and more immersive with an HDMI cable.

HDMI-switching also makes it easy to shift between audio sources without having to re-route the cable. This will allow you to control the power and volume using a single remote and will turn your soundbar into an entertainment bar so that you plug in all components for easy control.

Generally, the more connectivity options on a soundbar, the better. Aside from HDMI connectivity, many soundbars come with RCA, as well as 3.5mm stereo connectivity. 

Additionally, you can find models that offer wireless connectivity, allowing you to transmit sound from your TV, PC. smartphone, tablet, etc to the soundbar VIA Bluetooth or WiFi.


Sometimes, the bass from your subwoofer may not offer the kind of punch you’re looking for when watching an action flick. This is especially true if the model you’re using does not come with a dedicated subwoofer, and as a result, you might want to consider getting a sound base.

A sound base is no different from a soundbar, only that it is visibly thicker and has more room for bigger bass drivers and built-in amplification. If you want more bass without the trouble of installing a stand-alone subwoofer, a sound base might just offer a viable solution.

Although it will be tough to top the bass of a home cinema system or stand-alone subwoofer, it is a definite improvement from a soundbar as far as the bass is concerned.

Now that you have a better idea of what a good soundbar entails, we can go ahead and delve into the best soundbars under $200 available to you:

Best Overall Soundbar Under $200

Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Soundbar

Polk Audio Signature SoundBar

Our Rating: 90/100

The Polk Audio Signature S35 has an impressive 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. It is designed to bring a huge boost to your TV’s surround sound and take the movie experience in your living room to a whole new level.

It features a slim design that allows for various placement arrangements, whether below or in front of your TV without interrupting viewing on the screen. The S35 is only 4.5 inches tall with a slender profile that allows it to fit in spaces that other center channel speakers cannot.

This fantastic speaker delivers a crisp and clear dialogue on TV with an excellent soundstage. Apart from its retro design and charming looks, it comes with a host of superior features that stamp its name among the best budget soundbars you will find today.

Key Highlights

The S35 comes with a dedicated double power port technology at the back of its build that makes for a smooth sound profile in the listening position. These further offer a larger surface area via an extended bass port, helping to eliminate sound distortion, turbulence, and deliver a deeper and more musical bass impact.

You get a Terylene dome tweeter that is responsible for delivering detail and clarity when it comes to high frequencies of around 40kHz. This guarantees realistic simulation for both vocals and instrumentalists, resulting in a high-resolution audio performance.

Polk Audio Soundbar

The Polk audio signature S35 is also compatible with many Dolby and DTS sound technologies. It has been designed to reproduce a clear, realistic, spacious, and enveloping sound, whether you plug it into a vintage rig or a brand-new digital processor.

A dynamic balance Acoustic array on the S35 ensures that it produces a full-range sound that is clean and rich, irrespective of what you are watching. This is made possible by examining the speaker’s electro-acoustic and mechanical system for improved geometry and selection of material.

Additionally, it highlights and cancels out any issues that may interrupt the overall speaker’s performance.


  • Rich and solid bass performance
  • Clear overall sound signature
  • Good price for its performance
  • Great design with multiple placement positions
  • Precise detail during dialogues


  • Boominess with certain voice ranges
  • Strains at low frequencies


For just under 200, the Polk audio signature series S35 is, without a doubt, an exceptional center channel speaker that delivers an outstanding performance.

If you are looking for a good-looking, resonant, and quality soundbar, this will be a great choice to improve the home entertainment experience.

Top TV Soundbar Under $200

Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System

Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar

Our Rating: 90/100

If you are looking for a TV soundbar, the Bose Solo 5 is among the most compact stereo systems that you will come across. It is designed for individuals who might not have enough space for a complete home theater system in their living rooms.

Measuring just 7cm tall and 55cm long, the Solo 5 can easily fit under your tv set. And despite this compact build being one of its strong points, it also offers a disadvantage. This is because the size of your TV will have an impact on the sound profile.

Technically, a smaller television will more likely benefit from the Solo 5’s features compared to a larger set. Not to mention that this soundbar lacks as far as the bass is concerned. Eventually, you might lose out on the proper sound effects experience in an explosion or other action sequences.

To the front is a black grille, while the top and sides are made of black plastic to result in an overall lightweight build. Two drivers are positioned on the rear end of the device and angled in such a way to offer a full sound field.

Overall, it has a relatively simple design that enables it to sit under your TV set with minimal hassle. You won’t find any unnecessary switches and buttons on the Solo 5 to complicate its operation.

It also has LED indicators that light up when certain functions are being used and when you increase or reduce the volume. With a 4.0 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, this tv soundbar comes with an exciting array of features that any movie freak will appreciat

Key Features

Bose Solo 5

The Bose Solo 5 is a quality soundbar that uses a universal remote that is half the system’s size but offers double the functions. This means it can be utilized as a universal remote for your TV, Blu-ray player, as well as other infrared devices.

For just under $200, the Solo 5 comes with a range of connectivity options for this price range. These include auxiliary and coaxial inputs, as well as optical and built-in Bluetooth to stream your music.Voices are well projected with good clarity, you won’t need to use the dialogue mode included in the soundbar. The overall presentation has more solidity to it, unlike the thin, hard sound you get from many slim TVs.

The midrange is direct and focused, with a crisp treble. Generally, the Bose Solo 5 will improve the quality of sound but its small dimensions tend to limit its performance.


  • Nice budget buy
  • Good-looking build
  • Sound quality better compared to most tv speakers


  • Works better for smaller TVs and not larger sets
  • Lacks a bit in sound quality


Overall, the Bose Solo 5 is a plug-n-play device that involves pretty simple operations with no new equalizer or sound settings.

Although you won’t get the best sound quality, it is a viable option for boosting the sound profile of a smaller TV.

Best soundbar with standalone or built-in subwoofer under $200 

Yamaha YAS-108 Soundbar

Yamaha ATS1080-R Sound Bar

Our Rating: 89/100

If you are in the market for a high-performance soundbar with a built-in subwoofer and comes at an affordable price, the Yamaha YAS-180 is a great point to start.

It makes use of the DTS Virtual X technology that offers an enveloping sound profile in your home and has a 4.1 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.

The YAS-108 measures 35 by 5.1 by 2.1 inches with rounded edges. Its encased in a black mesh which gives it a modest design. Given that it doesn’t feature a stand-alone subwoofer, this soundbar is quite space-saving.

But don’t be fooled by its small size - YAS-108 packs enough power to engulf a medium-size room and this can be credited to the double 2.1-inch woofers, two 3-inch onboard subwoofers, as well as two 1-inch tweeters.

This results in just the right level of bass to add resonance to dialogues, and if you are looking for more boom, a wired connection allows you to add a separate subwoofer.

Key Features

According to Yamaha, the YAS-108 produces a total of 120W of power, with 60W dedicated to the subwoofers while 30W powers the soundbar’s stereo drivers. When it comes to sound quality, it comes very close to its predecessor, the YAS-107.

The soundbar features just about all input options you’ll need, including Toslink optical, HDMI, Bluetooth wireless, and 3.5mm analog. But it does not have WiFi, meaning it won’t support Yamaha’s MusicCast music-streaming technology.

This soundbar also supports HDMI Audio Return Channel, so if your TV set is compatible, you’ll be able to transfer audio to the soundbar via a single HDMI cable. For this feature to function, you have to enable HDMI CEC on the Yamaha soundbar, as well as your TV.

Yamaha YAS-108

The YAS-108 supports multiple Bluetooth connections, with Bluetooth 5.0 being standard on this soundbar. It also enables multipoint connections, allowing you to connect more than one Bluetooth device on the soundbar simultaneously. And you can further connect it to Amazon Echo if you have one at home.

This soundbar also comes with a transparent voice mode that makes dialogue and narrations on your TV crystal clear. The sound remains intact and you get to enjoy a deep and rich sound quality that improves your watching and listening experience.

Finally, the remote-control options on the soundbar are nothing short of excellent, especially for a model at this price range. The buttons on the remote are clean and have been laid out logically, with different colors to distinguish between them.

The most basic functions can be determined without even looking at the remote. When pressed, the LEDs on the soundbar will switch between bright, dim, and off, with the dimmer feature being notably useful when the device is mounted on the wall and the lights facing your direction.


  • Amazing dialogue clarity
  • Supports DTS Virtual X
  • Can be connected to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously


  • Subwoofer needed to reproduce deepest bass notes
  • Not compatible with Yamaha’s MusicCast audio technology


If you are searching for an entry-level home entertainment device, the YAS-108 is one of the best soundbars with a subwoofer under $200 you will come across.  It provides a superb sound quality that brings clarity to dialogue, as well as an enveloping effect with DTS Virtual: X.

The only fault is in its deep bass production, although this can be rectified by adding an aftermarket subwoofer. You can never go wrong with the Yamaha YAS-108 if you intend to take home entertainment to the next level.

TV Sound Bar with Subwoofer by Vmai

TV Sound Bar with Subwoofer

Our Rating: 82/100

The Sound Bar TV soundbar with subwoofer by Vmai is another budget speaker that will be great for your TV set. It will hugely impact the sound delivery in your living room and take the whole music listening experience to a new level.

Vmai is an electronics manufacturer based in China that is focused on providing consumers with affordable yet high-performance products. This soundbar is just an example of how they combine cost-effectiveness with functionality in their products.

This speaker comes with a sleek design that features a jet-black surface with hexagonal sides. It is only 2.5 inches high, which makes it ideal to place in front of your TV without interfering with the viewing.

Alternatively, there’s a mounting bracket in the package that enables you to comfortably mount this cute soundbar on the wall below your TV. A luxury touch-button design on the side allows you to control the power and volume easily.

Key Features
The 120W Sound Bar from Vmai will deliver a prominently better sound than the speakers on your TV. With the help of advanced technology, the audio produced is very clear with a detailed midrange, and the subwoofer delivers a powerful bass to help you make the most of a gripping home entertainment experience.

The fast Bluetooth 5.0 and DSP technology will enable a seamless transmission in long distances and stable connectivity. You can position the soundbar anywhere in the room and the fast Bluetooth connectivity allows you to play your favorite playlist on your phone or tablet from anywhere.

This speaker also features multiple input options to offer an overall straightforward setup process. Wired connections include Optical, Aux, HDMI ARC, as well as USB input that is compatible with TVs, tablets, PCs, projectors, Blu-ray players, amplifiers, etc. The package further includes a 5’ Optical cable and a 5’ RCA to 3.5mm cable.

You also get to switch between four different sound modes for your listening pleasure. These include Movie, Music, News, as well as 3D, and you can adjust them with the help of a remote control.

The remote also gives you the luxury of increasing or reducing the bass and treble to your preferred level.

The soundbar will also shut down automatically after 10 minutes of being idle, saving on power in the process.


  • Multiple sound modes
  • Great value for money
  • Sleek design
  • Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity


  • Not the best audio quality
  • Soundbar turns off without warning sometimes


If you are interested in getting the best soundbar under $200 and are willing to try a brand which isn’t popular this will be a nice option for your home. It is easy to install and comes with an array of premium features that you wouldn't expect from such an affordable speaker.

Best Budget Soundbar Under $150

VIZIO SB2821-D6 28-Inch 2.1 Channel Soundbar

 VIZIO SB2821-D6 28-Inch 2.1 Channel

Our Rating: 85/100

When it comes to notable players in the best soundbars under $150, VIZIO is not a name that may stand out, but it is definitely gaining traction, thanks to its highly durable models with top sound quality.

The SB2821- D6 sound bar is a good example of a soundbar that you can buy at a pretty decent cost yet still expect impressive performance, which explains its 4.2 out of 5-star rating on Amazon.

It features a relatively simple black design with dimensions of 28 by 3 by 3 inches and a weight of 3.85 pounds, allowing it to be mounted on the wall below your TV set easily.

The package is delivered with a separate subwoofer, which will give your bass just the punch it needs to enhance your movie and music experience.

This is an amazing feature that you won’t find even in higher-priced models. It makes spending your money on this amazing speaker all the worthwhile.

Key Features
The wireless subwoofer will deliver a deep and pronounced bass, which is just what you need when watching your favorite action flick. Everything from the low roars to the bass aspects in a song will be reproduced clearly for your listening pleasure.

Your whole room will be enveloped by a rich sound that will immerse you into the movie with vibrations from the audio.

Apart from connecting to your TV, these wireless subwoofers can also be connected to other devices like smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth or WiFi to act as the central entertainment hub.

The main speaker features a bar of LED lights on its side that show the volume level when it’s on. SB2821-D6 is also compatible with Dolby Digital sound, as well as DTS TruSurround and Truvolume, which goes a long way to show the level of quality you can expect from this economy model.

When it comes to connectivity, there is a 5’ digital coaxial cable and a 4’ digital optical cable that you can link to your TV. You also get an RCA, USB, and a stereo mini-jack for this purpose.

Despite the high-quality audio output that the SB2821-D6 provides, the soundbar may experience some setup issues, which can be a turn-off to many. Not to mention that it does not come with a remote control.


  • High-quality wireless subwoofers
  • Great price for performance
  • Best sound bar under $150 you can find


  • Complaints about setup issues
  • No remote


The VIZIO SB2821-D6 offers great sound quality and delivers on the bass. It has several superior features that will rival higher priced models and ensures that you won’t break the bank to acquire a new one.

Aside from the setup issues, this one is among the best budget soundbars you can get in the market. It comes with a 1-year warranty which will come in handy when the setup issues start to bother you.

Soundbars under $200 - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I get a built-in subwoofer?

A: The choice between a built-in and stand-alone subwoofer in a soundbar will depend on the amount of bass you want in your living room. If you are a relatively quiet listener, a built-in subwoofer will do just fine; after all, you don’t want too much bass and the sound quality is balanced enough for you to enjoy your movies.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a boom in your bass, a built-in subwoofer may not be enough. As an alternative, you might want to get a separate sub to achieve the ideal depth of bass.

Q: Are soundbars as good as surround sound?

A: Soundbars offer an easy and convenient way of improving your TV’s sound profile. They are easy to install and provide a better sound quality compared to your TV speakers, although they are slightly limited compared to a conventional surround sound.

If you are serious about taking your home entertainment experience to the next level, a surround sound system will have a noticeable edge. Sure, it may be troubling to set up but it makes for more detailed sound delivery.

The sound will be more enveloping with clearer dialogues and the bass is very powerful; just what you need to get absorbed into the latest action blockbusters.

Unfortunately, a soundbar produces a weaker bass and the overall audio quality plays second fiddle to an actual surround sound system.

Q: Is a soundbar better than TV speakers?

A: Most TVs nowadays come with trashy speakers. This is because more emphasis is placed on image quality and producing a slim set, which leaves little room for good speakers. That’s why most people look to soundbars to upgrade the TV sound.

Soundbars are easy to install and don’t involve too much clutter of connecting wires and separate speaker units. There may only be one cable to plug into your TV to get it working.

Besides, soundbars provide improved dialogue clarity when watching a movie and the bass is also deeper and more defined when listening to a booming song. Generally, you’ll realize that soundbars offer better sound quality than TV speakers.

Some even come with separate subwoofers, which further improve the sound delivery, and the best part is that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a quality soundbar.

Q: Where should a soundbar subwoofer be placed?

A: The best placement of your subwoofer will depend on the kind of model you are acquiring. For instance, if your sub requires a direct wire connection to the soundbar, you might want to ensure that the wires are hidden wherever you choose to place the subwoofer.

This is because if you have wires lying carelessly across the floor, it is easy to repeatedly trample on them, which results in damage over time. Not to mention that the wires can easily trip you or turn into a chew toy for your pet.

Meanwhile, a wireless subwoofer is convenient because it can be positioned anywhere in the room you deem appropriate. Placing it in a corner may end up increasing the sound output, which makes the bass too loud; not what you want!

Technically, there’s no formula for establishing the best spot; it all boils down to preference. However, to find a sweet spot, you can try plugging in the subwoofer and turning on a movie with a good level of bass.

Sit in your favorite movie-watching spot and try moving the subwoofer around the room to find the ideal position. If you have roommates who you’ll be watching the movie with, try and see how the sub sounds in other spots that your friends will be sitting.

After it's all said and done, we recommend:

Polk Audio Signature

Why is it better?

  • Rich and solid bass performance
  • Clear overall sound signature
  • Good price for its performance
  • Great design with multiple placement positions
  • Precise detail during dialogues
our score

For a full audio experience when watching a movie or listening to music on your TV set, you might want to go for a quality soundbar model. These devices go a long way to improve the sound quality on your TV and save you the trouble and expense of installing a home cinema system.

If you are looking for the best tv soundbars under $200, the above-listed model from Polk Audio is a great option. Use it to transform those boring TV sessions into an entertaining and gripping experience.

Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.

The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide! 

Best Soundbars Under 100 – The top budget soundbar for 2021

best soundbar under 100

Top 5 cheap SOUNDBARS: THe Best soundbar under $100

Flat TVs and laptop computers, no matter how good they are, suffer from one major flaw.

That flaw is incredibly flat sound.

You can't have an ultra-slim design and a good speaker, there's nothing to reverberate the sound. Thankfully there's an easy fix for that - soundbars.

Today, I won't be speaking about the best soundbars like Sennheiser Ambeo or Bose 500. Instead, I'll be talking about more affordable models that'll still significantly improve the sound quality of your TV or computer with an amazing soundbar for less than $100.

So, If you're looking for a budget solution to your flat sounding tv and computer, keep reading!

In a hurry? The test winner after 19 hours of research:

Yamaha ATS1080-R Sound Bar
Yamaha ATS108 soundbar

Why is it better?

  • High-end sound for a low-end price
  • Has 4K HDMI passthrough
  • Features two in-built subwoofers that give incredible depth to the sound
our score



Researched sources


REviews considered


hours researching


products compared

Last Updated: December 1, 2021

By Barry Allen: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best soundbar under 100 available for those who are interested in improving their TV sound without breaking the bank. The best 5 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best soundbar under 100 currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.

Yamaha ATS1080 R Rating: 90/100 View Latest Deal →
Vizio SB3820 Rating: 85/100 View Latest Deal →
TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Computer Speaker Rating: 70/100 View Latest Deal →
TaoTronics Wired Computer Sound Bar Rating: 60/100 View Latest Deal →
Dell AC511 Rating: 60/100 View Latest Deal →

What to look for in home theater soundbars under $100?

what to look for in a sound bar under 100

Here's the thing: a wallpaper-thing TV can only fit a wallpaper-thin speaker inside. A small speaker is suitable for a smartphone or a tablet, but if you're watching "BladeRunner  2049." on a 4K HDR TV, you'd want the sound to be just as crisp.

One Amazon search will yield a ton of results for soundbars. Some are excellent, and some aren't worth the packaging they come in. 

When it comes to features, every soundbar is different. And, not all features have equal weight. Having a smart soundbar that you can control with a smartphone app is cool and all, but if it has only one or two HDMI ports, you won't be able to plug in all your devices. 

There are many more factors you’ll have to consider when purchasing a soundbar (especially a budget one). And for that reason, I've prepared this short guide.


While the total size of the soundbar obviously affects the size of the internal speaker's resonating area, in any well-built soundbar, this shouldn't really affect the quality or tone of the sound produced.

When it comes to size, you should consider where and how are you actually planning to use the soundbar. If you just plan on just having it sit under your TV, as long as it can fit snugly, it will satisfy your size demands. 

If, however, moving it around the house and oft reconfigurations are your forte, a smaller soundbar will be a lot more practical.


Looking at different models, you might get caught up and order a seemingly perfect soundbar. Then, once it arrives, you realize it only has a single HDMI input with no Bluetooth connectivity. 

Depending on your needs, it might even be the most essential factor in deciding which best soundbar under 100 is for you. Although Bluetooth isn't necessarily ubiquitous, soundbars that support it work reliably. 

A common feature in soundbars is their reliance on optical cables for input. However, most TVs today lack these kinds of audio outputs, and instead offer HDMI as their sole way of connecting to other devices. 

Furthermore, HDMI supports more audio channels and formats, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, thus providing a more immersive and dynamic experience.


When shopping for a soundbar, you will notice two or three numbers separated with a comma. These numbers represent the number of channels and whether the model comes with a subwoofer or not. The first number refers to the number of drivers, and the second number tells you whether a particular model comes with a subwoofer.

For instance, if you see "3.1" in the product name, that means it has three drivers (left, right and center) and a subwoofer. Generally speaking, the more channels a soundbar has, the better the sound experience.

If a soundbar has a third number such as 5.1.4, that number indicates that it supports Dolby Atmos -- a technology that uses dedicated drivers to fire the sound into the ceiling for a more immersive surround sound. This third number specifies how many dedicated Dolby Atmos drivers the soundbar has.

Built-in subwoofer

No matter which soundbar you choose, it will significantly improve the sound quality of your TV. However, there is still the option of a subwoofer.

A subwoofer is a driver that delivers explicitly low-frequency sounds such as rumbling, growling, and bass. Some soundbars can produce good low-frequency sounds by themselves, but nothing can substitute a dedicated subwoofer.

I personally wouldn't buy me a soundbar that comes without a subwoofer, since it gives so much depth and color to the sound.

Some products come with a built-in subwoofer, and some with a separate wireless one. I prefer the latter because it gives me more room for customization. However, you won't make a mistake if you get a soundbar with a built-in subwoofer.

Best TV Soundbar under $100 - Cheap Home Theater Roundup

Now that we have looked at some basic characteristics and what to look for in soundbars, we can start checking out products.

I've divided this list into three parts: best soundbars under $100, under $50, and best computer soundbars. Feel free to jump to the section you find most interesting, and if you are looking for something with a little bit more oomph, check out our best soundbars under $200 review.

1. Yamaha ATS1080 R Soundbar

Yamaha ATS1080-R

Our Rating: 90/100

What if I told you that you were able to buy a high-end soundbar at a massive discount? This is precisely the case with the Yamaha ATS1080 R.
How is this possible?

As it turns out, Costco bought a warehouse of a custom model of the Yamaha ATS108s and failed to sell them on time. Their solution? Give them to Amazon to sell them as refurbished. They put a new model code at the end, and we have a great affordable soundbar!

Dimension-wise, the Yamaha ATS1080 is quite beefy for a soundbar. It's 35 inches wide, about 8 inches deep and 2 inches high. This soundbar is also quite deep, and might not fit on your table. Be sure to do the necessary measurements before ordering it.

The Yamaha ATS1080's drivers are located peculiarly on the bottom of the unit. This, however, doesn't impede its ability to deliver realistic warm sounds. What's more, this location helps it reverberate a lot better, especially if you put it on a wooden surface.

Although I haven't done a precise measurement, I estimate the soundbar can deliver sound as loud as 100dB. Even at max output loudness, the ATS1080 can play sounds clearly, with no harmonic distortion.

It can provide a warm, equal-tone, clear sound out-of-the-box. It's suitable both for music listening and enjoying clear movie dialogs. The soundbar is classified as 2.0, though it has 2 mid - and high-range drivers and 2 dedicated subwoofers, making the label 2.2 more suitable.

It has one HDMI input and one HDMI output, supporting 4K passthrough and ARC. It also has one digital optical input and the regular 3.5mm stereo jack.


  • Has HDMI 4K passthrough
  • Has two built-in subwoofers
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Delivers natural and clear sound
  • Huge discount because of its refurbished status


  • Doesn't come with wall mounts

2. Vizio SB3820 Soundbar

best soundbar - VIZIO SB3820-C6

Our Rating: 85/100

For the second item on my list, I've decided to pick out one of Vizio's soundbars because they're seasoned veterans in the soundbar industry. The reason I picked SB3820 is that it offers the best bang for the buck.

Let's go over the size first. This soundbar is a whopping 38-inches wide and 3 inches deep and tall. The dimensions are suitable for most TV tables. And, if you can't fit it under your TV, there is always an option of hanging it on the wall.

Now on to the drivers. The Vizio has only a 2.0 wide-range stereo. Although the manufacturer advertises this product as having a "special" Deep Bass technology, I wouldn't get hung over it.

Don't get me wrong, the drivers have a more-than-decent mid and high range capabilities, but the bass leaves a lot of room for improvement.

What it lacks in the bass, it compensates with loudness. You can turn it up all the way to 10, clocking at 100dB. Throw in a half-decent sub, and you have a $300-sounding audio system at less than half the price.

When it comes to connectivity, the Vizio features one analog stereo RCA, one 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, one digital RCA jack, one Toslink optical jack, RCA output for a subwoofer, and a USB input for .wav file playback.

I've noticed the lack of HDMI ports - however, SB3820 makes it up with the inclusion of built-in Bluetooth.

This soundbar also comes with several Dolby features and filters. Namely, it supports:
Dolby Digital -- providing dramatic spatial dimension to cinema and soundtracks,
DTS TruSurround -- improving the surround sound effect, and
DTS TruVolume -- a technology that provides consistent and comfortable volume levels.


  • Decent wide-range drivers
  • Excellent mids and highs
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Has output for a dedicated subwoofer
  • Good entry-level option for watching TV and gaming


  • No HDMI ports
  • The subwoofer is sub-par

Top Soundbars Under $50

I'm well aware that some of you are shopping on a tight budget, and a high-end soundbar costing $300 or more might be out of your price range. This is why I compiled this short list to help out those not too sure about their purchase or those on a budget.

1. TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Computer SoundBar

TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0

Our Rating: 70/100

Although TaoTronics isn't as big of a name as Vizio or Yamaha, they're one of the leading manufacturers of cheap, high-quality soundbars.

The size of this product is quite compact for a soundbar; it can easily fit on most desks, as it's only 16 inches wide and around 2 inches deep and tall. This makes it suitable both for use as a TV and a computer speaker.

It has support for Bluetooth 5.0, allowing you to play music from just about any device, provided the soundbar is plugged in and turned on. The range on the Bluetooth is 30 feet, meaning it covers only the room it's in. Other connection options are limited to just a single 3.5mm stereo jack, but you can't expect much from an affordable unit like this.

It has tactile controls, in the form of a circular button control on its right side which provides basic media and volume controls, such as Play/Pause and Next, Prev.

It can be wall-mounted on keyhole mounts. You might opt for using it as a Bluetooth speaker in your living room, either for casual music listening or parties.

The name would imply the soundbar can handle 5.0 audio. However, it only has two wide-range drivers, and simply physically cannot deliver true surround sound. This is not to discredit their quality, which is exceptional for the low price tag.


  • Exceptionally affordable
  • Decent sound quality for the price
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Supports Bluetooth


  • No HDMI ports
  • No digital or optical ports
  • No remote control
  • No subwoofers or subwoofer output

2. TaoTronics Wired Computer Sound Bar

TaoTronics Wired Computer Sound Bar

Our Rating: 60/100

Once again, TaoTronics is my brand pick for this slot. They seem ubiquitous in the lower price range, and it is easy to see why. With a low price tag, they pave the entryway for most people to get into quality soundbars.

Size-wise, this soundbar is more-or-less the same size as the last one: 16 inches wide, and about 2 inches deep and wide. This allows it to fit snugly on nearly any surface. Especially considering its power supply, which I'll talk about a bit later, you can even use it to replace the built-in speakers on your laptop.

Sadly, unlike all other soundbars I reviewed, this one lacks Bluetooth connection and doesn't have any other wireless connectivity alternatives.

The only way you can connect to the device is through a 3.5mm stereo jack. Even the manufacturer advises customers, should their TVs have only RC outputs, use respective adapters to connect to the 3.5mm jack.

The only saving grace is its other 3.5mm mic input, allowing you to play music and sing along simultaneously. Although it's unclear to me why the manufacturer included this in their final product, some people might find this as a solution to their problems.

Once again, the number of drivers in this soundbar is only two, perhaps unsurprisingly. The drivers, as far as I can tell, are identical models to the other TaoTronics model, and the price difference comes from the lack of Bluetooth.

It seems this soundbar is geared towards PC users, as the source of power for this soundbar is a USB connection. Don't worry, the cable is included.

It goes without saying that the power provided over USB isn't significant and, consequently, the drivers can't play too loudly.


  • Affordable
  • Has microphone input
  • USB powered
  • Decent driver quality for the price


  • Only has two 3.5mm inputs
  • No HDMI
  • No optical or digital inputs
  • Cannot be wall mounted
  • No Bluetooth

Best Computer Soundbar in 2021

Soundbars are usually associated with TVs. Using soundbars with computers is often overlooked, but is quite a viable solution, providing much of the same at a lower price.

1. Dell AC511 Soundbar

Dell AC511 USB Wired

Our Rating: 60/100

Dell is a well-respected consumer electronics manufacturer that has brought many innovations to the market. Their AC511 soundbar is no exception, as it combines many practical features geared towards PC users.

Namely, it's compact design, at 16 inches wide and about 2 inches deep and tall, allows for comfortable desk use. This is accentuated by its physical volume knob and headphone output passthrough.

It features an integrated T-Hook for compatible monitors, allowing a single-cable connecting to your monitor to draw sound, while a USB connection draws the power it needs for sound delivery.

The drivers on this best soundbar under 100 are not perfect by any means, but at this price tag, they provide a more-than-perfect replacement for standard computer speakers.

Rated at 1.5 watts, the drivers deliver flat and muffled sound, so don't expect crisp and clean sound. I wouldn't use this soundbar for anything but basic system sounds and light Youtube browsing.

Thankfully, you can always plug in a good pair of headphones and enjoy the decent sound quality.

This brings us to connectivity. Other than two 3.5mm jacks for audio input and headphone out, there is nothing else. It has no Bluetooth, HDMIs, or optical audio inputs, and it doesn't have to since it's basically a form-factored computer speaker.

Because AC511 works best with Dell monitors, there's no point in buying it if you don't own one of the compatible models. If you do decide to buy it, think about getting a Dell monitor to boot so you can get the most out of it.


  • Affordable
  • Incredibly compact
  • Fits well on compatible Dell monitors
  • Can serve as a decent substitute for laptop speakers


  • Has only 3.5mm audio inputs
  • Sound is muffled and flat
  • Dell monitor compatibility is a double-edged sword

Best soundbars under $100 - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are soundbars worth the money?

A: If you enjoy listening to music at a higher fidelity or are dissatisfied with the sound of your TV, soundbars are worth investing in. They greatly improve the surround sound effects and clarity of dialog.

Q: Can I connect a soundbar directly to my TV?

A: It depends on what inputs your soundbar has and what outputs you TV has. Generally speaking, you should have an HDMI output on your TV and an HDMI input on your soundbar. Other options include RC, Toslink optical or analog 3.5mm jacks. You may need adapters to connect your TV with your soundbar if there isn’t a matching port.

Q: Will a sound bar improve TV sound?

A: Definitely yes. The main issue with today’s TVs are their flatscreen design, which disallows large areas to be used as speaker resonating areas. This results in TVs sounding flat, hollow and muffled. A soundbar fixes this by being a dedicated speaker with the sole purpose of providing quality sound and tone.

Q: Can you use any sound bar on any TV?

A: Theoretically, yes. It only depends on the types of inputs your soundbar takes and the outputs you have on your TV. The most common inputs/outputs are HDMI ports, which are ubiquitous in modern TVs. You might also have RC, Toslink optical or analog 3.5mm jacks, which may require adapters to transform the output of your TV to the input of the soundbar before use.

After it's all said and done, we recommend:

Yamaha ATS1080

Why is it better?

  • $500 sound for around $100
  • Has 4K HDMI passthrough
  • Features two in-built subwoofers that give incredible depth to the sound
our score

Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.

The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide!