Have you ever thought that your TV’s sound system could be improved? Buy a soundbar and see the difference in your TV’s audio. Soundbars are designed to boost the audio quality of your built-in monitor /TV speakers. It can also be used to stream music over bluetooth.
If you want a booming audio in every direction every time you play a movie, you need to invest in a soundbar. Priority while choosing a soundbar should be given to the sound performance. The problem is that there are numerous soundbars from multiple industry giants which boasts excellent performance. Therefore if you don’t choose the right one you might end up with one that doesn’t suit your home theatre setup.
We have put together eight best soundbars under $200 that will give you praiseworthy performance and fit comfortably in your budget.
Our Top 3 Picks
Best Soundbar Under $200 – Comparison Table
|Model||Subwoofer||Bluetooth Maximum Communication Range||Price|
|Yamaha YAS 108||In-built||32ft||Click Here for Price|
|Wireless||30ft||Click Here for Price|
|Wired||30ft||Click Here for Price|
|No||30ft||Click Here for Price|
|No||100ft||Click Here for Price|
|No||32ft||Click Here for Price|
|Wireless||30ft||Click Here for Price|
|Wireless||32ft||Click Here for Price|
Yamaha YAS 108 is one of the best soundbars in the market boasting a slick design with features like HDMI and dual Bluetooth connectivity. The built in subwoofers ensure that your bass is loud and the music booming.
The 2-inch high sound bar can either sit flat on a TV stand or be attached to the wall. The speaker is equipped with an onboard gyroscope that optimizes the sound depending on the position of the soundbar.
The YAS 108 is an entry-level sound bar with no on screen display. There are a series of LED lights corresponding to the input selection and volume. Positioned to the right of the indicators are capacitive touch controls for source selection, volume/mute and power. These are not the only controls for the device. There is also a remote control featuring subwoofer volume control.
The YAS-108 sports twin 3-inch subwoofers plus with a pair of dome tweeters and woofers with bass ports at each end of the bar. One noteworthy feature of the soundbar is that it has a subwoofer out. Unlike some other sound bars, the Yamaha’s analog output lets you to add any subwoofer you like if you want to enhance your bass performance.
The sound quality is further elevated by two different sound modes that comes with the sound bar namely; Clear Voice and DTS Virtual:X. The Yamaha Clear Voice is designed to give the bar an extra boost to the sound while Virtual:X simulates surround from a small, single box.
If you choose to watch movies with the sound bar, the two movie sound options, Surround and 3D Surround can work wonders for you. 3D Surround option will fill your room with movie effects and background scores. Since the YAS-108 is a two channel soundbar you can opt out of surround and listen in stereo for greater clarity.
However, if you want to watch a movie with a lot of CGI and special effects the YAS-108’s built-in subwoofers might disappoint you.
|Built in subwoofers|
|Deep bass notes not audible|
One among the best soundbars that are sold under $200, the Vizio SB3621 is a stylish device with a black and silver color scheme. 36 inches wide the soundbar boasts a modern flair and a sleek design.
The rectangular bars silver endcaps matches with the compact wireless subwoofer that accompanies the soundbar. The company has redesigned its ported sub to be thinner, therefore it is easier to place it under couches and chairs for optimum volume.
The tiny subwoofer can pickup deep bass at moderate volume levels. . It can dish out decent sound quality for all music genres and also features a well-balanced sound signature.
The sound signature is further boosted by the simulated surround sound called TruSurround. This gives the soundbar a wider sound stage. However, while using this mode, the sound can seem hollow compared to when it’s turned off.
The bass heavy movies are also disappointing due to the fact that we become aware of the subwoofer as a separate source of sound. However, if you place the sub right next to the soundbar it can improve the blend between sub and sound bar.
Sound signature can be adjusted to your room
The LED display is not good
Razer’s Leviathan is one of the best Bluetooth enabled gaming soundbars. It is tiny enough to work under your monitor as well as your HDTV. It lacks any remote control therefore it is better suited for your monitor rather than your HDTV.
Leviathan features drivers in its soundbar that will resonate the audio all around the room. You can stream wireless music to the soundbar without any cables and go completely wireless. However, if you need your music to be played via subwoofers then you will have to plug in the subwoofer to the soundbar.
Though the subwoofer is a separate device, sold along with the Leviathan, the former is a great asset. This little box pushes a significant amount of air through its 5.25-inch driver which produces a rich, bass-heavy sound and doesn’t distort at its highest volume. Some of you might find the low a little overpowering, but if you like your bass to drop harder, then Razer Leviathan is the soundbar for you.
Apart from the subwoofer playing thunderous lows, it can produce clear highs and mids. While testing we found that the rear channels sound similar to left and right channel speakers. The lack of clarity that you feel is because the rear channel is a virtual simulation of the two side channels.
If you decide to stream music over Bluetooth, the sound bar has three tuned equalizer settings. Though these settings produce some change in the soundstage it is not noticeable enough to make a difference. However, streaming music on any of the three settings sounds better depending on what the speaker is playing.
One major problem with the speaker is the subwoofer connector. The cable sits loosely in the port, therefore if you pull at it you can find the wire dangling in your hands.
Lack of cables and small size contributes to easy setup
|Lacks high-end clarity to make movie effects stand out like game effects|
A budget-friendly bluetooth enabled soundbar, the JBL Bar studio comes with a variety of inputs and sound options. It’s a little over 22 inches wide and doesn’t take up much room. The device features a classic soundbar design with a wire mesh covering the front and the top.
The top of the soundbar has all the onboard controls namely; power, volume and source selection. The control of the device extends to the tiny remote. You can find all pre calibrated sound options on the remote for surround, sound mode and night mode. The sound mode lets you switch between standard, movie, music, voice and sports.
A vertical line of white LED status lights on the left side of bar indicates the mode you are in. This same row of lights rises and falls with volume/bass changes while playing music.
The rear of the soundbar houses HDMI (ARC) and optical sockets. The ARC (Audio Return Channel) helps the soundbar accept sound from the TV’s tuner and also loop through video from another source like a Blu-ray player.
Coming to the sound quality of the device the highs are on the tinnier side and it cannot pick up deep bass. But the vocals are prominent. The power output is just 30 W so you can’t expect a rumble in your room but the sound quality matches the price.
One problem with the JBL Bar Studio is that it has no subwoofer. It will not pick up any deep bass but it suits your TV as an efficient speaker system by striking a good balance between bass and mids.
|Good range of features|
Has Virtual surround
Pyle PSBV200BT is a great soundbar that comes under $100. It is a great asset for the price and has decent bass pick up. The soundbar involves a 2.1 sound system, multiple inputs, and a 3D surround sound system.
The front of the speaker features a blue backlit display surrounded by a square command center. The command center houses a set of onboard controls, a memory card slot and a USB port and is flanked by the system’s 4 main drivers.
The drivers consist of a pair of 2-inch midrange drivers flanking the command center and a pair of 1-inch tweeters near the outer edges of the soundbar. On the back panel is a small port for the sub, along with 2 RCA aux inputs, a 3.5mm input which doubles as an FM antenna input and a power cable input. The soundbar has no digital audio input which limits connectivity choices.
A unique feature of the soundbar is the built in FM radio with up to 30 stations. It is also equipped with a sound amp and EQ audio configuration.
One major gripe with Pyle PSBV200BT is that its bluetooth connectivity is disappointing. The machine doesn’t have aptX low latency codec which helps deliver sound in sync with what’s on screen. Even though the bluetooth connectivity range is 100 ft, the sound quality while music is streamed over bluetooth is poor.
Besides, the mids and highs lack detail. The Bluetooth version used in the soundbar is over nine years old and is poor in performance.
|Impressive 3D virtual surround processor|
Supports SD cards, flash drives, and FM radio
|Poor bluetooth audio quality|
No digital sound output available
Just 55cm long and 7cm tall, the Bose Solo 5 is one of the most compact soundbars perfect for your bedroom or kitchen television. It is a budget-friendly soundbar with sound quality that matches the price. This tiny soundbar is enough to satisfy your volume needs for a small bedroom.
Behind the grille of Bose Solo 5 lie two drivers, placed in the centre of the unit and slightly angled out as if to deliver a wider soundstage. You will find that the soundbar doesn’t have any controls on it. The only prominent physical feature the soundbar has is the couple of LED status indicators that illuminate and change colour to indicate the mode enabled. It also blinks in response to changes in volume.
All the controls of the Solo 5 lie on the universal remote control. Unlike other remotes, Bose universal remote can be programmed to control other devices using the database of manufacturer IR codes included in the user’s manual. The remote control is therefore equipped with additional buttons to control other devices. Channel control, menu buttons and other buttons that you regularly see on your television remote is present on the universal remote control.
The Solo 5 has an auto-wake function when it detects a sound source. So you don’t have to manually turn it on with your television. The device takes 60 minutes of inactivity to power down, which is quite a long time and can eat your battery.
Coming to the sound quality there is no surround sound ability like the other soundbars. Solo 5 is loud enough to fill a medium-sized room. Mids and trebles were crisp and loud. However, the lack of subwoofers is prominent as the lower frequency sounds are barely audible. If you turn up the bass from the factory setting you can hear the lower frequency sounds better.
Universal remote control
|Average sound quality|
This plug and play soundbar comes with an easy setup and a reasonable price. The Taotronics 2.1 Channel Soundbar measures approximately 40 inches wide and is quite light for its size. This device can be used to boost the audio performance of your secondary TV or some other less critical appliance. The soundbar seeks to strike a balance between performance and cheap price.
Volume, input, and power buttons are featured as on bar controls. Controls are further extended by the remote accompanying the machine. On the rear end the soundbar offers a few basic ports to get audio from your display: 3.5mm, optical and yellow coax. However, the soundbar lacks an HDMI input, therefore, if you have an HDMI hub in mind we suggest you go for another soundbar.
The shortcoming of the soundbar is that it does not have any internal sound customization options. This might be a problem for those of you who prefer to have your custom settings dialed into the soundbar.
|Good remote control|
|Distortion at louder volume levels|
The Sony HT-S350 is a 2.1 channel soundbar which accompanies a wireless subwoofer at an affordable price. The sound quality is commendable and the device can function as an excellent sound booster for your TV.
The soundbar has plenty of modes that you can tweak your audio with. It is dotted with buttons for volume, subwoofer level, and multiple sound modes including music, game, news, cinema, sports, and standard.
There is an auto sound key to adjust the sound of the system according to the content being played on it. The voice key is for dialogue clarity. Switching on the mode amplifies the mids to make dialogues sound livelier but anything with a higher pitch sounded shrill.
With upto 320 W of power, the soundbar can get loud. However, regardless of the mode you are in, the soundbar fails to find a balance between lows, mids and highs. At higher volumes the booming bass overpowered the mids and highs. Another major shortcoming is that it doesn’t have controls to adjust the treble or bass.
|Adjustable subwoofer levels|
Multiple sound modes
|Distortion at higher volumes|
Are you doubtful about buying a soundbar with a subwoofer or without a subwoofer? We recommend buying one with a subwoofer. Subwoofer boosts the audio quality and helps pick up the low key notes adding originality to your music. Most audiophiles will prefer using a soundbar with a subwoofer. Some today have as many as four subwoofers kept in the corners of their room for a heart rattling bass feel.
Have you ever wondered what the decimal numbers after the name of a soundbar mean, for eg; labels like 2.0, 3.1 or 5.1 ? Well, the first digit denotes the number of channels the soundbar has. 2 means it has a left and a right channel, 3 denotes that along with the left and the right channel there is a center channel which improves the voice clarity.
The second digit denotes the number of subwoofers the device has. If there is a third number, such as 4.1.2, it indicates that the soundbar supports Dolby Atmos surround sound and/or DTS:X. The third number marks the number of dedicated drivers that face upwards at the ceiling, bouncing sound down to create a 360 degree effect.
New soundbars support streaming music over bluetooth from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, making for a quick and easy to hear your Spotify playlist from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. If you want to step up your wireless music system experience then choose a soundbar that can be connected to whole-home wireless music systems over Wi-Fi. Companies like Bluesound, Bose and Yamaha are offering soundbars like these which would help you expand into a larger wireless music system in the future.
Bluetooth is the most preferred connection while listening to music. To connect your soundbar to a TV you would just require one cable. Some soundbars use optical cables but, HDMI is the most preferred. HDMI interface supports more audio formats than optical which means a higher quality sound and a more immersive audio experience.
1. What is the best wireless soundbar?
Our vote for the best wireless soundbar goes to the Samsung HW-Q90R. It is class apart from the competition by including wireless rear speakers and four upward-firing drivers which combines to create an immersive surround experience with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Albeit expensive, this flagship soundbar is unlike other soundbars because it can deliver any object-based audio formats like Dolby Atmos using a 7.1.4-channel setup.
Performance wise the soundbar gives one of the best audio experiences. The device features 17 drivers, and 12 channels. With 512 W of power, the soundbar is capable of making your party go wild with heart thumping music. It is also WiFi enabled, meaning it can be a great addition to your multi room audio setup.
2. What is the best affordable soundbar?
We recommend the product that makes it to our list right on top as the best budget soundbar. Yes, the Yamaha YAS 108 comes with built in subwoofers so there is no worrying about finding space to fit a wireless subwoofer.
The device also has a subwoofer out port which lets you add another subwoofer to the mic and create booming bass. This device scores well when it comes to performance, connectivity and design making it the best budget soundbar in the market.
3. What is the best computer soundbar?
Since computer is a one stop shop for all your entertainment needs, we would suggest you pick up a soundbar that can handle any audio requirement with efficiency. Razer Leviathan is one such device that comes with a separate subwoofer to make your sound more powerful.
The soundbar itself can fit under your computer table but the subwoofer would need some space. But the soundbar is well worth the money because it can handle all your entertainment needs including gaming, movies and music.
It goes without a saying that that our favorite soundbar is the Yamaha YAS 108 from our listicle. YAS 108 delivers the promised audio performance and has built in subwoofers at a reasonable price. The soundbar provides a punch to the overall music quality and can easily fit on a tabletop because of its sleek design.
If you are looking for a soundbar under $200 you will have to sacrifice on some features like a built-in subwoofer. But if you are ready to shell out a tidy sum of money you can go for high end options like the Samsung HW-Q90R Soundbar or the Klipsch R-10B Bluetooth Soundbar. High end soundbars can give you a window rattling effect with a loud bass output. These soundbars have quality components and therefore deliver top grade performance.
Even though there are numerous soundbars available in the market, the choice is ultimately yours . Depending on your budget and your requirements you need to choose the right one.
Hope our listicle helps you choose the right soundbar based on your needs.
Last update on 2020-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API