Attempting to improve your home entertainment setup without going over budget?
When choosing the best soundbar under 200 dollars it’s most important to consider what kind of connectivity options you need and whether your TV will have the correct compatibility.
Of course, you’ll also be looking for a unit that delivers a sound quality which will enhance your overall viewing experience.
We’ve compiled this list to help you find the best soundbar under 200 dollars, perfect for you to use for your entertainment needs.
Which Soundbars Under $200 Made The Cut:
1. Best Overall Soundbar - VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Soundbar
2. Best Premium Soundbar -Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System (slightly over $200)
3. Best Budget Soundbar - Pyle 300 Watt Bluetooth Soundbar with USB/SD/FM
4. Best Bluetooth Soundbar - Sony HTCT390 Ultra-slim Bluetooth Soundbar
5. Best Soundbar for Gaming - Razer Leviathan - Elite Gaming & Music Soundbar
Top 3 Soundbars:
The Best Soundbars Under $200
1. Vizio SB3821 - Best Soundbar Under $200
The VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Soundbar features a wireless subwoofer, Bluetooth connectivity, and 100 dB of clear sound which boasts less than 1% total harmonic distortion.
The soundbar has a great and powerful bass sound that will allow movies, music, and other types of entertainment to fill a room and sound excellent.
For such an inexpensive soundbar, the VIZIO SB3821-C6 is packed with great features and some unique functionality and versatility that is well above others in the same price range.
The soundbar offers some advanced integrations and technology that is not easily rivaled by more affordable soundbars.
The soundbar offers integrated Dolby and DTS audio technologies for all of your sound needs. With the built-in Bluetooth, you can play music using a device such as an iPhone or iPad.
The design is attractive and sleek with a classic box shape. The design makes the soundbar look like it is more expensive than it is.
The package also includes everything you need to mount the soundbar on the wall, making the product suitable for all kinds of rooms and spaces.
The wireless subwoofer is 5" in size and works well to help provide movies with a deep bass sound with a frequency of 50 Hz - 90 Hz in the bass. Especially considering the size of the subwoofer, it packs a surprising punch.
This VIZIO soundbar is meant to suit a 38-inch TV, but will also work well with other sizes.
Overall, the VIZIO SB3821-C6 is an excellent soundbar that sounds great, looks good, and offers some useful features and functionality options. Although the soundbar is ideal for use with 38-inch televisions, it can work with other sizes as well. The VIZIO soundbar is a great value and punches far above its price range.
- Excellent features for the price
- Great sound with a strong, deep bass range
- Attractive design
- Wireless subwoofer range could be improved
- Ideal mostly just for 38-inch televisions
2. Sony Slim - Best Bluetooth Soundbar Under $200
The Sony HTCT390 Ultra-Slim Soundbar is another excellent option for your entertainment needs that can offer some excellent sound quality for your home.
The soundbar has a sleek and attractive design that can work well with a television setup.
The soundbar even provides a display which shows words when you change settings such as when you change the volume of the sound or change sound modes.
The soundbar sits flat on your television with the front face angled upwards, allowing the soundbar to avoid blocking the television remote receiver. The blocking of the receiver has been a common complaint among other soundbar options, so it's nice that Sony has addressed the issue with this design.
The soundbar can also be mounted on the wall instead, and with its ultra-slim design, does well to fit in with any style of a room.
The Sony HTCT390 is also a Bluetooth soundbar, so you can easily use computers, tablets, and smartphones to play music if you would like.
The soundbar is a 2.1 channel system with 100 watts and features a wireless subwoofer that offers some good functionality for your basic sound needs.
Although this soundbar is a pretty good option, the sound quality does leave a little bit to be desired. The soundbar doesn't provide quite as much volume, resonance, or strength as other soundbar options.
On the other hand, the Sony HTCT390 does provide some excellent clarity in the sound, perfect for dialogue heavy television programming such as the news.
Overall, an excellent soundbar that provides Bluetooth functionality and has a sleek ultra slim design, all for a reasonable price. The soundbar provides some impressive clarity, ideal for speech and dialogue heavy programming, but isn't as loud as alternative products.
- Excellent Bluetooth functionality
- Slim design that prevents blockage of television remote receiver
- Great dialogue clarity
- Not as loud as other options
- Sound quality could be better
3. Pyle 300w - Best Soundbar Under $200 w/ Subwoofer
The Pyle 300 Watt Bluetooth Soundbar is another excellent option for your home entertainment needs that sounds great and is available at an affordable price.
For the features and quality of this soundbar and subwoofer combo, this product is one of the best budget soundbar options on the market.
The soundbar package provides a combination that includes a subwoofer. The set offers superior sound quality that is crystal clear while also being full and strong. Additionally, the soundbar also has a booming and lively bass that sounds great.
This soundbar subwoofer combo also includes some unique and helpful features that may be just perfect for your entertainment needs.
Like other options, the soundbar features Bluetooth connectivity but also comes with the addition of a built-in FM tuner as well as the ability to use the SD memory card slot and a USB flash drive reader as an audio source.
These extra features give you a lot of options for playing audio and music using the soundbar, which is an excellent addition to this model.
The soundbar also offers three stereo RCA inputs and a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack, expanding the functionality of the soundbar even more.
The design of the Pyle 300 Watt Bluetooth Soundbar is also attractive and features a piano black finish painted wooden case and a blue backlight LCD display. The soundbar also includes built-in controls and an included remote to get the settings just right.
Overall, the Pyle 300 Watt Bluetooth Soundbar is an excellent option for someone who is looking for a combo that includes a subwoofer. The soundbar combo offers great sound along with some excellent functionality and audio input options as well as an attractive design.
- Clear and full sound quality
- Plenty of input options including SD, USB, and built-in FM
- Attractive design with nice LCD display
- Bluetooth audio quality could use some improvement
- Mid-range is somewhat lacking
4. Razer Leviathan - Best Soundbar Under $200 For Gaming
When it comes to gaming, it's important to use a soundbar that can keep up. The Razer Leviathan is a soundbar that is perfect for gaming and provides some excellent sound features.
The Leviathan is incredibly compact and makes it ideal for fitting into many different entertainment setups, but despite the small size the soundbar still provides some amazing sound and booming bass frequencies.
The design is nice, and many people will appreciate how compact it is. However, it is pretty small and would be most suitable for smaller television sets. It may not be ideal for general living room usage.
The system uses some advanced technology, is powered by Dolby, and has up to date and superior sound drivers. The system also features the award-winning aptX technology and connects wirelessly to devices using Bluetooth v4.0 technology.
The Razer Leviathan also comes packaged with a dedicated 5.25" downward firing subwoofer that is impressively powerful and provides distortion-free highs and lows.
The sound is bright and works great for dialogue in games or in movies and other entertainment you view. The price of this system is affordable and ideal for many people who are working within a smaller budget.
Unfortunately, unlike other soundbars, this device doesn't include a remote. The treble of the soundbar also leaves a little bit to be desired and isn't as crisp as it could be.
Overall, the Razer Leviathan is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a soundbar that was made with gaming in mind. The system offers some amazing sound and functionality at a low price and in a compact, attractive design. Unfortunately, no remote is included.
- Nice compact design that offers versatility
- Made with gaming in mind
- Great sound quality
- Too small to mesh well with larger televisions
- No remote included
5. Bose Solo 5 - For A Few Dollars More
The Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System may be a bit more expensive than other options on this list, but the extra little bit of money is well worth it.
The Solo 5 is the best soundbar under 300 dollars and offers some great sound quality and advanced functionality that will truly elevate your entertainment viewing and listening experience.
The system offers Bluetooth connectivity, simple setup, and booming bass sounds that make this soundbar stand out. The setup of the soundbar is also very simple and easy.
The sound is pretty high-quality on this soundbar and offers plenty of clarity in dialogue. However, it could be a bit more dynamic and pack and doesn't pack as much punch as some other options on this list.
The sound field also seems like it's somewhat narrower than it should be.
During this Bose soundbar review we also discovered that this model offers a sleek and attractive design that has some handy positioning features that allow it to easily be mounted on the wall, or on a shelf or surface.
The soundbar is also rather compact and can easily fit into a variety of setups. The Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System utilizes one connection to hook up to your TV.
The Solo 5 system also features some excellent dialogue sound quality, meaning that you can hear every word and detail clearly when watching your favorite television programming or film.
The soundbar also includes a universal remote control that can easily manage and control your television, the bass, Bluetooth connections and much more.
Overall, the Bose Solo 5 is a great option for a soundbar, and though it is a bit more expensive than other options, the sound quality and features make the system stand out. The compact design and the addition of the universal remote help to seal the deal.
- Easy to use and simple setup
- Quality sound with plenty of clarity
- Includes universal remote
- A bit pricier
How to Choose a Soundbar
Now you know about some of the absolute best options for soundbars, but how do you go about selecting a soundbar on your own? How do you make sure a soundbar will meet your specific needs?
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a soundbar and there are different features in each one. Different soundbars have different strengths and weaknesses and some are better than others.
If you're looking to choose an excellent soundbar, there are some things that you'll want to keep in mind.
Active or Passive Soundbar
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want an active or passive soundbar.
An active soundbar will allow for an easy installation and include everything you need in one box.
An active soundbar includes speakers, amplification, and signal processing. You will simply need to connect your source or sources directly to the soundbar, and you're all set to go.
A passive soundbar will have no built-in power amps and is similar to a traditional speaker. You will need to power it off of an external amplifier or AV receiver.
A passive soundbar doesn’t include any special inputs, but certain people will find the more traditional connections more flexible.
Number of Channels
Many soundbars on the market are 2.1-channel systems. That means that the soundbar will include two speakers and a subwoofer.
You can also choose a soundbar that has three channels. A three-channel soundbar will have a left, right, and center speaker. These options may be able to utilize a virtual surround sound mode, but nothing more.
Multi-channel options such as a five channel or seven channel soundbar deliver the option for a more equipped surround sound system and multi-channel configurations.
Do You Need a Subwoofer?
You should also decide whether you would like a soundbar with a subwoofer or not. A subwoofer will help to create a stronger sound and greatly increase the impact of the lower frequencies of your entertainment setup.
Types of Connectivity
Another aspect of choosing a soundbar is to decide what kind of ports you will need. Typical ports included on a soundbar include HDMI ports, optical ports, USB ports, and standard 3.5mm ports.
You should also decide if a wireless capability is important to you. A soundbar with Bluetooth will allow for a lot of conveniences when listening to music and will allow you to stream music and audio directly from your phone, iPad, tablet, computer, and other Bluetooth connected devices.
Mounting and Design Options
You should also decide what size you would like your soundbar to be and positioning options. Do you want a compact soundbar? Is size an issue?
Additionally, you should decide whether you would like to be able to mount the soundbar on the wall or if you would prefer to put the soundbar on the entertainment center with your television.
Why Are Some Soundbars So Expensive
Soundbars can be found in a wide range of prices. You may be wondering what the difference is. Soundbar prices vary in different ways, and often the most expensive soundbars don't sound any better than cheaper alternatives.
It's possible to spend anywhere $100 to $1,000, although most range around $200-$600 range.
There are several major things that differentiate the more expensive options from the more affordable soundbar choices.
The cheaper soundbars will provide all the basic functionality you need but don't always offer the more advanced features and perks that you want. The soundbars on the lower end of the price range often don't have advanced features such as an HDMI input, wireless streaming, or multiple audio formats.
The lower end options also don't include speaker drivers that are as advanced as more expensive options. The power in the cheaper soundbars doesn't always compare to the more expensive options either.
Overall, even cheaper soundbars will be a huge improvement over the sound of your built-in television speakers. But for extra options and features, you may have to end up paying a little bit more.
Important Ports (What You Need to Know About Ports)
To connect your soundbar to the television, you will use an HDMI port or optical ports.
Many cheaper soundbars do not include an HDMI port. If a soundbar doesn't include HDMI ports, you will need to connect the soundbar to your television with optical cables instead.
In the case that your soundbar and your television both have HDMI jacks marked ARC (for audio return channel), a single version 1.4 or higher HDMI cable will be all that you need.
In the case that your television doesn't have an HDMI/ARC port, you'll need to use both HDMI and optical connections to go between the TV and the soundbar. You may also need to activate ARC on your TV to connect properly.
In addition to the primary ports you need to connect your television to your soundbar, there are other connection options as well.
You may choose to use a soundbar that has USB ports or an SD card slot. Many soundbars will also have a standard 3.5mm jack as well.
USB and SD card slots allow you to use SD cards and flash drives with the soundbar and can be convenient for listening to music on your soundbar in addition to the other ports.
Although not a connection in the same sense as the other ports, many soundbars on the market will also include Bluetooth connection capabilities that will allow you to listen to music from your Bluetooth-connected devices.
Getting the Most Bass Out of Your Soundbar
To get the most bass out of your soundbar, it is important to choose a soundbar that includes a subwoofer. A subwoofer will do an excellent job in creating that big booming bass sound you crave.
While some soundbars provide only limited channels, many soundbars will include more channels and can be expanded to 5.1-channel surround sound with wireless rear speakers. This setup can further enhance the bass sound and can create a robust and powerful entertainment setup.
When setting up your soundbar and entertainment system, it is important to pay attention to the setup of your subwoofer, if one has been included with the soundbar. Subwoofer positioning can have a large effect on the bass sound in the room it is located.
Experiment with different options to discover the best possible setup in your room. By positioning your subwoofer close to the corner of your room, the bass increases.
The bass frequencies also are strengthened the closer to the wall a subwoofer is placed. It can also make some different the way that your couch is angled in relation to the subwoofer position as well.
Finally, be sure that all EQ settings on your television and soundbar are optimized to your liking. Using the built-in controls can help to make your bass sound as loud and strong as it should be.
Final Words - Wrapping It Up
It may be difficult to get lost in the shuffle of all of the soundbar options available, but be sure to determine which features are the most important to you, and you'll be sure to make the right choice.
This list will give you a perfect place to start if you're looking for the best soundbar under 200 dollars.
Out of all of the options on this list, we especially believe that the VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 is the absolute best option.
The SB3821-C6 has all of the best features you need in a soundbar such as Bluetooth capability, a wireless subwoofer, an included remote, and excellent sound and bass quality.
Additionally, the Vizio soundbar doesn’t suffer from a lack of volume like the Sony HTCT390 or from a narrow sound range like the Bose 5.
A great soundbar will do a great job in improving your enjoyment when listening to movies, watching television, listening to music, and even playing games. An excellent soundbar may be one item you don't regret purchasing anytime soon.
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