Soundbars are incredible devices that can help enhance the sound of your TV or other entertainment sources. However, a lot of them are crazy expensive. But what if you were told that you could get the best soundbar under $200?
High-quality soundbars don’t have to be expensive; price doesn’t mean quality after all. Sure, some may be over $100, but if you are spending over $200, you’re spending too much.
What Is a Soundbar?
Before we dig into the best soundbar under $200, you should understand what a soundbar is, in case you aren’t familiar. Soundbars are great tools that can help kickstart a full surround sound system or improve your primary TV.
A soundbar is a long, thin array of speakers that sit below your TV and promise higher fidelity audio than is possible with just the speakers from the TV. Why is this important?
Are TV speakers that bad? Well, yeah, they are. Most TVs nowadays are pretty thin, and it’s impressive how great the picture is when you see it. But because of their size, there isn’t much room for prominent speakers in there.
Audio quality is a huge thing when watching TV. It helps to create an immersive experience we all crave when watching movies, videos, shows, pretty much anything. And if that quality is deficient, your viewing experience is not going to be the best.
Surround sound feel
Even though a soundbar is not a full-fledged surround sound system, they do a pretty great job at replicating the sound of one. A surround sound system typically consists of five speakers, set up around your room, which all focus on a specific type of sound.
The best soundbar under $200 can easily give the feel of a surround sound set-up if the room is right.
Now, a soundbar won’t shoot sound at you from all angles like a surround sound system will, since it sits below or above the TV. But in a small room, the power of a soundbar can give you a similar experience.
That’s especially true if your bar also has a subwoofer that acts as the base speaker.
A soundbar consists of anywhere from 2 to 13 speakers (or more). Because of this, your the best soundbar under $200 will have enough speakers that each one can take on a specific level of sound, like surround sound.
And as all the sounds together reverberate off of the ceiling and walls, it will give the illusion of surround sound.
Is a soundbar better than a surround sound system? Everyone has different tastes, and many will prefer the sound of a full surround sound system. However, if you are on a budget, a soundbar can get you to where you want to be.
How to Buy a Soundbar
Trying to find the best soundbar under $200 is a lot easier if you know what to look for. There’s a lot that goes into buying a soundbar, and you want to be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Even though the investment may be a substantial one, spending money on a quality soundbar is better than wasting it on a cheap one that isn’t going to last let alone give you a good sound.
However, spending too much is an issue as well. You want to find that perfect balance between quality features and a reasonable price.
While it may sound confusing, we can assure you that it’s not as hard as it sounds. There are plenty of soundbars that can count as the best soundbar under $200, and many are well under $100. So when you’re looking, be sure to consider some things.
Two of the most essential components you want to look at is the type of soundbar and how it connects. Your TV setup will affect your overall choice.
Types of soundbars
There are two types that you will be looking at when choosing the best soundbar under $200: the standard soundbar, and a sound base.
Both are great devices, but depending on where you want to set it up, the size of your TV, and how much space you have available, one may be better suited for you.
Soundbars, of course, you know already. But what you don’t know is that they can be mounted pretty much anywhere around your TV. They’re also great because you can pair them together and get double the power.
If you’re looking to get creative, a standard soundbar is what you want, assuming you have space.
A sound base, on the other hand, will sit and support your TV, assuming it isn’t a wall-mount TV. These are great if you have less space. All you have to worry about is if your base can support the weight of your TV. Nowadays that’s less of an issue because modern TVs are relatively light compared to old CRTs.
Another great feature of the sound bases is that they will usually have a built-in subwoofer and speaker arrays, so you don’t have to worry about extra speakers as you do with a soundbar.
Being able to connect to your TV is a big part of what makes a soundbar great. There are many different options, and all depend solely on the type of TV you own. Luckily, most soundbars will give you options and will feature at least two different ways to connect.
Regardless of which design you go with, there will be various connection options you can choose from. Usually, you’ll have about five styles to choose from: HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, streaming, or audio inputs.
The HDMI connection is the most standard among many entertainment hook-ups. Whether it’s TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, or whatever, if your bar has multiple HDMI ports, you’ll be able to connect multiple devices.
Bluetooth is a relatively new connection method that more and more bars are supporting. It allows you to connect your sound system wirelessly to your TV, phone, laptop, or whatever else you want that has Bluetooth capabilities.
Wi-Fi is pretty much the same. But it also allows you to connect to your online music services, like YouTube and Spotify, directly from the soundbar.
Streaming is one of the more exclusive options to choose from. A streaming connection requires a SmartTV with streaming capabilities. This method will allow you to stream directly and wirelessly from the TV to the soundbar for applications such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, and more.
Audio inputs are usually included as a backup method of connecting to the soundbar. Many TVs, even new ones, will have audio plugs in the back or bottom of the TV to connect any device that doesn’t have an HDMI port. Nearly all soundbars and TVs will feature these ports.
How We Reviewed
While we have not personally been able to test out the products on our best soundbar under $200 list, we can assure you that all of the information here is of the utmost quality. We do in-depth research and only reputable sources for our review. All to give you the most accurate information possible.
We also take into account heavily customer opinions. After all, who can better tell you if something is worth it than someone who has used it?
Best Soundbar Under $200
Below are our picks for the best soundbar under $200. These come highly rated on Amazon and fit all the criteria for being excellent choices for you. If anything, these will give you a good place to start your search and provide you with something to compare others to.
This list is in no particular order. If you want more information, feel free to ask in the comment section below!
It was a natural choice for the best soundbar under $200, and not just because it’s the number one bestseller on Amazon, though it’s easy to see why.
The Vizio soundbar features 95 decibels of clear sound with less than 1 percent harmonic distortion. With a built-in Bluetooth connection, you can lose the wires and set up this bar wherever you like.
And yes, this device also comes with standard audio ports in the back of the bar. It also has a remote so you can control it from a distance.
Easy set-up and premium DTS Studio sound, DTS Tru Volume and DTS Tru Surround give the Vizio a solid 4.0 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. An excellent choice for boosting your TV volume.
- Great sound
- Multiple connections
- Easy set-up
- No HDMI
- A bit small
Samsung makes a lot of great products, their best arguably being their smartphone, but they also have a killer soundbar. With a wireless subwoofer, this soundbar can also detect what you are watching and adjust the sound accordingly.
It’s what they call “Game-mode,” which boosts game sound effects to give you the best experience possible.
The whole device connects via Bluetooth, so you have more range of freedom when setting the Samsung soundbar up. This device also can pair with Samsung’s wireless surround kit, so you can quickly expand on your soundbar.
- Specialized gaming mode
- Wireless subwoofer
- Dedicated dialogue channel
- Easily expandable
- No secondary connection option
Looking for the best soundbar under $200 with the most connection options? The Yamaha soundbar is precisely that. Not only does this soundbar give you DTS virtual 3D surround sound, but it can also connect via Bluetooth, HDMI, and has audio ports as well as a headphone jack.
That way, no matter what TV you have at home, this soundbar is sure to be an excellent match. Not to mention it also features built-in subwoofers, so you won’t have to worry about extra speakers.
Oh, and it has 4K pass-through and plays well with Alexa as if you needed more of a reason to get this legend of a device.
You’ll be saying “YASSS” with the Yamaha YAS-108’s stellar performance.
- Built-in subwoofers
- Virtual 3D surround sound
- Bluetooth, HDMI, audio ports
- 4k pass-through
If you’re looking for a soundbar with more visual tells, TaoTronics’ soundbar has a nifty display screen right out in front. While it may be an unknown brand, TaoTronics is looking to make you remember them with dual built-in subwoofers and connection methods.
This device features a Bluetooth connection, as well as audio ports, for secure connectivity and interruption-free listening. Convenient touch controls and a remote ensure that you can get access to your device whenever you need to.
- Bluetooth and audio ports
- Visual representation
- Two subwoofers
- Sound may only slightly improve upon that of your TV
- No HDMI
Bring Theater Quality Home
Buying a soundbar doesn’t have to break the bank. You can find a quality system, like the ones we have here on our best soundbar under $200 list relatively easily. That is if you know where to look.
Before you make a choice though, be sure that the soundbar is compatible with your TV and that you have enough room for it. Also, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to test it out a bit in-store before buying.
Did you find your soundbar on our best soundbar under $200 list? Or did you pay too much for the one you have currently? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!
Last update on 2021-01-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API