Like built-in monitor speakers, TV speakers are not that great. If you want a better audio experience, get an external sound system. However, not all speaker systems will work well for everyone, as not everyone has the same aesthetic preferences or the same amount of space for their TV setup. If you want a more minimalist setup and/or don’t have enough space for a powerful 7.1 sound system, then soundbars are for you.
While they are not as good as traditional home theater sound systems regarding sound quality, they are more compact and are easier to set up. They will look great in your home entertainment setup, whether they are sitting in front of your TV or mounted on the wall. Some also come with a separate subwoofer for better bass performance.
The bad news is that shopping for the best soundbars for TVs can be extremely difficult, considering there are dozens of options to choose from. But don’t worry, we already got you covered. In this guide, we have compiled some of the best soundbars on the market, all of which sell for $300 or less.
The JBL Bar Studio is a high-quality soundbar selling for less than $150, featuring a relatively compact design, multiple input options, and an easy initial setup. You can use it as an external sound system for your TV and computer, with its 24.2-inch long casing making it compact enough for the latter. It comes with a fully-featured remote control for convenience.
Featuring a sleek, all-black casing, this soundbar will look good in any TV setup, whether you have a 65-inch OLED TV or a 40-inch 1080p TV. The control panel is conveniently placed at the top for easy access while the input ports are at the back. With analog, optical, and Bluetooth input options, this soundbar is a versatile sound system that will work well in different home entertainment setups.
While not as good as some of the more expensive items on this list, the Bar Studio offers good sound quality with decent bass response. It’s great for watching both action-packed movies like the Mission Impossible series and Oscar-worthy dramas with a lot of dialogue. Overall, this sound system is a good option if you are in the market for soundbars under $300. It offers good value for the money and works well for both TV and computer setups.
Selling for less than $200, the Sony HT-CT290 is a 2.1 sound system with a slim profile, measuring only around two inches tall, which allows it to sit inconspicuously in front of your TV. It comes with a wireless subwoofer for more powerful sound output and features a user-friendly remote control. It’s also wall-mountable, which is great if you prefer a wall-mounted TV setup to save space in your living room or bedroom.
The 35-inch long HT-CT290 has a no-frills design. The control panel is easy to use while the input ports are discreetly implemented at the back. In addition to the usual inputs seen in soundbars, the HT-CT290 also features a USB port, allowing it to function as a standalone music player. The included subwoofer is also well-designed and can be positioned either horizontally or vertically.
A recommended soundbar for watching movies/TV shows and console gaming, this Sony product has good overall sound quality. It has a Voice Mode and a Night Mode – the former is great for watching dialogue-driven movies while the latter is useful if you prefer to watch TV at night when everyone in the house is asleep. If you want a good-sounding soundbar that comes with a subwoofer but don’t want to spend more than $200 on one, consider the HT-CT290.
At just 17 inches in width, the Zvox AccuVoice AV200 is a lot more compact than the previous two soundbars, which makes it easy to position in your TV setup. It’s a well-built unit that sells for about the same price as the Sony HT-CT290, featuring a patented hearing aid technology for exceptionally clear sounds even at low volumes.
The AV200 has a sturdy casing that comes off as rather bland, at least when compared to some of the other soundbars listed here. Instead of at the top, the controls are located on the right side of the unit; they are easy to use and don’t feel cheaply implemented. Regarding input options, this soundbar is not as good as the Sony and JBL soundbars above, with no Bluetooth option. On the plus side, it comes with a nice remote control that features an Output Leveling button for keeping those loud commercials in check.
If you love to watch dialogue-driven movies, you’ll love this Zvox soundbar due to its capability to reproduce crystal-clear voices regardless of the volume. On the other hand, it’s not a recommended sound system if you mostly watch action-packed movies such as John Wick, Mad Max: Fury Road, and any installment in the still-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While the company is best known for its TVs, California-based Vizio also makes good-sounding soundbars for a home theater setup. Of the company’s soundbars, the SB3621n-F8M is one of the best, featuring multiple inputs and hassle-free initial setup. It sells for around $180, which makes it another great option if you don’t want to spend over $200 on a soundbar.
Regarding aesthetic, this Vizio soundbar is unsophisticated, featuring a minimalist profile that will look good in any home theater setup. The user-friendly controls are at the top of the unit while all the ports are at the back, separated into two groups. Unlike the Zvox AccuVoice AV200, this soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer, which gives the sound output more juice. Like the soundbar itself, the subwoofer has an unassuming design.
The overall sound quality is good, with a well-balanced output and a good bass response. This Vizio soundbar is great for watching sports and movies. You can also use it for PS4 and Xbox One gaming, with the soundbar making games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Nier: Automata even more enjoyable. If, however, a 2.1 sound system is still not enough for you, check out the more expensive 5.1-channel variant instead.
The Yamaha YAS-108 is one of the best soundbars that you can get for around $200. It’s a well-designed sound system that offers good sound quality, user-friendly controls, and multiple input options, including analog and optical. It comes in a well-secured box and is very easy to set up at the onset.
Compared to the Vizio SB3621n-F8M, this Yamaha soundbar has a more stylish aesthetic, with its rounded edges giving it a more appealing look. There is a thin strip on the top side, where the controls are located. The connection ports are at the back, but they are not well positioned, so some of you might find them a bit awkward to access. Like most soundbars in the same price range, this product also includes a remote control.
Featuring two built-in subwoofers for more bass, the YAS-108 has a clear and well-balanced sound with good bass. It’s great for watching movies and sports, listening to music, and gaming, but don’t expect too much from the surround sound feature. Overall, the YAS-108 is an excellent product that works well in small and medium-sized rooms. It looks great whether it’s sitting in front of your TV or mounted on the wall.
If you have a Samsung TV, the Samsung HW-N450 will make for a great sound system, not only for watching movies and sports but also for gaming. Although it’s a bit more expensive than the Yamaha soundbar above, it similarly offers good value for the money. It has a separate subwoofer, which means you get deeper bass, and comes with a remote control for convenience.
Featuring high-quality speakers behind the metal grille, this Samsung soundbar has a slim casing with not much branding. It’s about 36 inches long and weighs less than five pounds. You can place it either in front of the TV or on the wall, with the latter being the recommended setup if you don’t have a lot of space for your home entertainment setup. The controls are located on the right side and are very minimalist in design.
The HW-N450 offers multiple connection options, including HDMI and Bluetooth. You can also use it as a standalone music player using the USB port. Concerning sound quality, this Samsung offering is great, reproducing a clear sound output with good bass. It can get very loud as well, with the output staying clean even at high volumes, which can’t be said for most cheap soundbars. All in all, the HW-N450 is a great product and is a recommended external sound system for TVs.
An American audio equipment company, Polk Audio is one of the best brands when it comes to speakers built for home entertainment, offering a wide range of products, from tower speakers to in-wall speakers. The company also sells soundbars, with the Signa S2 standing out as one of best ones in that product category.
Selling for just under $250, the Signa S2 is a slim soundbar that measures around two inches tall and 35 inches wide – it will easily fit in front of your TV. If you want to save space, you can also mount it on the wall. The Signa S2 comes with a dedicated wireless subwoofer, which is 13.4 inches tall and 6.7 inches wide. Setting up this sound system is easy. The control panel, located at the top, is easy to use while the included remote control is simple, featuring a separate control for the bass.
Considering Polk Audio’s reputation for producing good-sounding sound systems, it’s not surprising the Signa S2 has good overall sound quality. It’s got a deep bass and features Polk Audio’s Voice Adjust technology for crystal-clear dialogues when watching movies. If you are in the market for a multi-input soundbar with a slim profile and good sound quality, check out the Signa S2.
The Sony HT-MT300 is a fantastic option if you want a 2.1 sound system that comes with a compact wireless subwoofer. Compared with most other products, this soundbar’s dedicated subwoofer has a much slimmer profile, measuring less than four inches wide, which allows it to easily fit in tight spaces.
The soundbar itself is also ultra-slim, measuring just around two inches tall, so it’ll sit inconspicuously in front of your TV. Featuring a user-friendly remote control, this Sony sound system is easy to set up out of the box, whether you are setting up a wired or wireless connection. The minimalist control panel is responsive while the connection ports are easy to access, especially the USB port, which is used for music playback.
Considering its length (19.7 inches), the HT-MT300 is a suitable soundbar not only for TVs but also for computers, easily fitting under most monitors, including monitors smaller than 27 inches. In terms of sound quality, this Sony product is very good, with the separate subwoofer allowing for a more powerful sound reproduction. If you love to watch movies and play games with the volume cranked up, you’ll love the HT-MT300.
Selling for about the same price as the Sony HT-MT300, the Klipsch RSB-3 is a sleek soundbar that works well in both wall-mounted and table-top setups, featuring keyholes for the former and non-skid feet for the latter. It offers multiple connection options, including Bluetooth, analog, and digital, which makes it a versatile sound system.
The RSB-3 is a well-designed soundbar with good build quality. It’s got an integrated subwoofer, which is great if you have a small space for your home entertainment setup and don’t want to get a sound system that comes with a separate subwoofer. The control panel is user-friendly while the remote control is simple, with input change buttons for hassle-free switching between inputs.
Featuring a virtual surround sound mode and a dialogue mode, this Klipsch soundbar has good sound reproduction. The bass is good but not on par with more powerful sound systems, and the overall sound quality is clean even at high volumes. You can use this soundbar for watching movies and sports and for streaming music. If you want a soundbar that comes with an internal subwoofer and works great in small rooms, get the RSB-3, which is easy to set up.
Like Polk Audio and Klipsch, Bose is an American company that offers an extensive lineup of audio equipment, not only for home theater setups but also for other applications. While the company’s products are notoriously expensive, they are of good quality, and the Solo 5 is a good example of that.
The Solo 5 is a sound system with no separate subwoofer, which makes it an ideal option if you don’t have a lot of space for an external sound system. It’s also more compact than most of the soundbars in this guide, measuring just around 22 inches wide. It has a minimalist profile, with the well-built casing not featuring any fancy aesthetics, and comes with a universal remote control.
Capable of reproducing clear sounds, this Bose soundbar is a great sound system for movies, sports, games, and music. You can use it as an external sound system for your TV and computer, with the unit’s compact design allowing it to easily fit in front of a TV or monitor. Overall, the Solo 5 is one of the best soundbars on the market and is well worth the money.
The Command Bar is another great option from Polk Audio, especially if you want a soundbar that works with Amazon Alexa. It’s more expensive than the Signa S2, selling for just under $300, which makes it one of the most expensive items on this list. It offers multiple connection options, including dual HDMI ports and Bluetooth, all of which are easy to set up.
Compared to the Signa S2, the Command Bar is a bit longer, measuring around 43 inches in length, but it’s an equally slim soundbar, measuring just two inches tall, which allows it to easily fit in front of your TV. It comes with a separate subwoofer, which is good news if you love to watch action-packed movies and TV shows. You can mount the soundbar to the wall if you want to save desk space, with the control panel proving to be easily accessible whether the unit is wall-mounted or on the table.
The Command Bar offers good sound reproduction, with a well-balanced sound and a good bass response. Like the cheaper Signa S2, it has the Polk Audio Voice Adjust technology for exceptionally clear dialogues, which is great if you are a fan of dialogue-driven movies such as Pulp Fiction and The Social Network.
The Yamaha YAS-207 is an outstanding soundbar for TVs, offering good sound quality, multiple input options, and easy initial setup. It sells for $300, which makes it significantly more expensive than the YAS-108. It comes with a separate subwoofer for more bass and can be mounted on the wall for a space-saving setup.
This soundbar has a minimalist design, featuring simple touch-sensitive buttons out front. It’s housed in a slim casing that measures around 37 inches wide and less than three inches tall. In addition to Bluetooth, it offers both analog and optical connectivity. At the back of the unit, you’ll find a pair of keyholes for wall mounting. Although some of you might find the control panel too simple, the soundbar’s design is good, featuring indicator lights and well-secured speakers behind the metal grille.
Regarding sound quality, the YAS-207 is excellent. It’s got a well-balanced sound with good bass and works great for movies, sports, and games. The virtual surround sound feature doesn’t really add much, however, which is quite disappointing. In all, this Yamaha soundbar is a highly recommended product if you want a great-sounding unit that’s easy to set up out of the box.