Today’s TVs are amazing when it comes to the quality of the image and depiction of movement, but they still fall short when it comes to sound. The slim design doesn’t allow for large speakers, so it’s only natural to look elsewhere for a better audio experience.
Luckily, the best soundbar under $200 is not difficult to find in a market that promotes brand and product diversity. But now you have a different dilemma. Which one is best for your needs?
We took the burden of research and learning upon our shoulders, and below you can read about the best products on the market that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Also, we have a comprehensive buying guide, in case you want to continue looking.
How to Choose the Best Soundbar Under $200?
Compatibility with your TV
Most soundbars will connect with most modern TVs using an HDMI (ARC) or optical connection. However, just because it plays the sound coming from the TV, it doesn’t mean the arrangement is 100% a fit.
First, think about the size. Esthetically, the soundbar should be shorter than the TV so that you can place it right in the center, under or above. It’s also a good idea to make sure both the TV and the soundbar come in a similar color.
Second, think about the remote control. If they are compatible, you’ll be able to use the one from your TV, which means less clutter on your coffee table.
Finally, modern devices have preset sound modes (gaming, movie, news, and so on). And, to access them, they must match with the input received from the TV.
Some bars come with their own remote control, but all of them have integrated buttons (usually at the top). These should be easy to access, whether the bar sits on a flat surface or is mounted on a wall. If you have a remote control, it should be slim and easy to understand (no useless buttons).
Sound Quality & Power
Pay attention to the bass and treble settings. These should be easy to adjust during setup, and the bar should come with pre-set modes that let users change the settings by simply pressing a button. Furthermore, if the bar comes with a subwoofer, make sure the bass is not over- or under-powering.
Setup & Connectivity
You shouldn’t have to spend more than 10 minutes setting the soundbar up (including deciding where to install it and how to run cable management). A good soundbar doesn’t need anything else besides the cable connection with the TV.
Furthermore, look for a device that supports WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity. This way, you can use the bar to stream music or videos from a phone, tablet, laptop, or gaming console without having to mess around with the cables.
Now, there’s a clear difference between a soundbar under $100 and one over this price tag, but the price is not always a clear indicator of quality. To get the best, keep in mind the features mentioned in this guide.
Best Soundbars Under $200
A Solid Sound in an Affordable Package
SAMSUNG HW-T450 is an affordable and solid performing 200W soundbar that comes as the successor, of the already well established HW-R450 model and brings a very good entry-level 2.1 setup to the customers.
This is, for the most part, the basic device, with the most standard functions, but above all, affordable price. It comes with Bluetooth connectivity, support for Dolby Digital and DTS sound, as well as a Smart sound function that adapts the sound depending on content.
On top of that, it is fitted with an Optical Audio In port and USB port and has a few nice touches such as, for instance, special Game mode and ability to be used with the help of your Samsung TV remote, which aren’t knock-down characteristics; nevertheless, present the nice addition.
The build quality of the SAMSUNG HW-T450 isn’t at the peak level and isn’t really up to Samsung standards; however, it is good enough for the most and is in the class with the competition. More importantly, its sound quality is pretty decent and with the help of its wireless subwoofer produces clear audio, with deep rich bass, making this device more than a solid option and one of the best soundbars under $200, available on the market.
- Game mode
- Very good sound quality
- Smart sound function
- Dolby Digital and DTS support
- No Atmos support
- No room correction feature
An Excellence in a Budget-friendly Edition
Yamaha YAS-109 is easy to use and feature-rich soundbar that brings the great audio performance and excellent build quality in the middle tier segment of the market.
With this device, you are getting great connectivity that involves a subwoofer port, Ethernet port, USB port, and two HDMI ports, as well as both Wi-Fi and BT4.2 connection. Furthermore, there is support for Dolby Digital, DTS and DTS Virtual:X, and a variety of audio formats that involve MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, ALAC and more.
Before anything else, Yamaha YAS-109 provides clear and crisp sound and comes with enhancing sound features such as Compressed Music Enhancer that optimizes the quality of streamed audio from Amazon Music and Spotify connect that is also supported on this soundbar.
This is a 120W device, with two 30W front channels and two 30W subwoofer drivers, as well as built-in subwoofers for deep bass. More importantly, this is an easy to use and setup device that brings great value for the price and overall presents an excellent option for anyone seeking a compact, but highly capable soundbar.
Yamaha YAS-109 weighs only 3.4Kg and has a built-in microphone that allows for its control with the help of Amazon Alexa voice control.
Moreover, it provides five different audio modes (Movie, Sport, Music, TV, and Game), dedicated to different audio-video content, and altogether presents everything that the best soundbar under $200 should be. It is easy to use, feature-rich and above all, it provides excellent audio performance for the price.
- Built-in Alexa voice control
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- DTS Virtual and Virtual 3D surround sound support
- Clear and crisp sound
- Not that great surround sound performance
A Compact & Elegant Solution
If you don’t like running wires throughout the house or installing big and bulky subwoofers, the Sony S200F soundbar is a wonderful option! It is compact, it can be mounted on the wall or simply placed on a shelf or table, and it comes with an integrated subwoofer.
The soundbar uses Bluetooth connectivity to avoid wires and can be used with your TV, smartphone, and even PC (it also has USB connectivity). Of course, for those TVs that don’t support Bluetooth, you can use the HDMI ARC port, which reduces the entire connection to just one cable.
The system features virtual surround sound technology with 2.1 channels so you can enjoy a truly cinematic experience without having to install speakers all over the room.
- Compact and elegant design
- Integrated subwoofer
- Virtual surround sound
- Impressive audio quality
- Supports Bluetooth and HDMI ARC connectivity
- Easy to set up and use
- Not powerful enough for big rooms
- No WiFi connectivity
- It only supports HDMI ARC out
Polk Audio Signa S2
A Compact Design with a Lot of Power
Signa S2 is marketed as a universal soundbar that delivers a room-filling home theater experience without taking up the space that an advanced audio system would. It has a low-profile, which means it will fit under most TVs and can be mounted on the wall.
Among its most convincing features, we need to mention Dolby Digital decoding (for the perfect audio experience) and the fact that it is compatible with most 4K and HD TVs. It also comes with Leverage Polk Adjust Technology, which enhances the voice whenever there’s a dialogue in your movies or games.
The system is easy to install (it comes with all the necessary cables), and it supports both wired and wireless connectivity. Furthermore, it comes with a wireless subwoofer, which helps improve the bass output to new levels.
- Setup only takes a few minutes
- Low-profile design that’s easy to integrate in any room
- Excellent sound quality due to Dolby Decoding technology
- Impressive value for the money
- Bluetooth connectivity
- It shuts itself off a bit too quickly
- Not powerful enough for a large room
- The included cables are not the best quality
Bose Solo 5
Elevate your TV Sound to New Levels
This soundbar is designed to enhance the sound of your TV, so you would understand dialogue in news and movies, but also enjoy games and music. The device can connect to your TV using one out of three different ports (optical audio – digital, coaxial audio – digital, and a 3.5 mm aux input – analog), but also supports Bluetooth connectivity.
As such, the soundbar can be used with the TV, or with Bluetooth devices for streaming music. Also, setup is incredibly simple, as once you insert the right cable, the soundbar will know which port you’re using and will apply the necessary settings.
In terms of design, the Solo 5 is easy to integrate in your home and can be either put on a shelf, under the TV (on a flat surface) or on the wall (with the additional wall mount).
- Easy setup
- Elegant design that integrates easily in your home
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Three types of supported ports
- Comes with universal remote
- Integrated dialogue mode
- The remote is large
- No separate subwoofer
- The remote has a lot of buttons you’ll never use
Roku Smart Soundbar
A Great Sound and Features at a more than Fair Price
If you are seeking a decent, but affordable soundbar that has a good build quality and first and foremost produces a nicely balanced sound, Roku Smart Soundbar is the device you should seriously consider for.
This is the sound system that comes with solid connectivity, which involves Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, optical input, and HDMI connection. It is easy to setup and comes with a plenty of streaming options that make it suitable for a wide variety of users.
Roku Smart Soundbar remote is identical to Roku TVs remote and offers all the necessary functions, while its audio performance delivers full and powerful sound and allows for clear dialogue reproduction. The sound itself produces a fairly wide sound field and comes along with the nice dynamic bass that, on the other hand, can be a bit stronger.
This soundbar supports HDR10, as well as voice commands, or to be exact, Roku Assistant. Moreover, it is fitted with the Speech Clarity function that fine-tunes your sound and overall delivers more than a good value for its price, which ultimately makes it one of the best soundbars under $200 available on the market.
- Ease setup
- Amazing sound quality
- It supports HDR10
- Plenty of streaming options
- Decent connectivity
- There are no commands on the device itself
- Not the strongest bass
- No Dolby Vision support
The Best There Is in Entry-level Market
Sony HT-S350 is an affordable 320W soundbar with a subwoofer that brings the premium build quality and excellent sound performance in the entry-level market. This is the device that produces great voice clarity and deep, rich bass that makes it suitable for every sort of multimedia.
Sony HT-S350 is a lightweight device (2.4Kg), with seven different sound modes (Game, Cinema, Auto sound, News, Sports, Standard Audio, and Music) and above all, it is very easy to setup and use. This soundbar is fitted with a special S-Force PRO Front Surround feature, for the enhanced surround sound experience and also comes with the boost audio frequency feature that isolates voices and by increasing their volume neutralizes background noise.
When talking about the connectivity, Sony HT-S350 comes with Bluetooth connection, an HDMI port, with ARC functionality, as well as the digital optical input, which pretty much sums its Spartan list of connectivity options. On top of that, there is also a USB port; however, its functionality is limited only to firmware updates and nothing more than that.
Moreover, this sound system comes in the package with a solid remote controller, which has only the basic functions, but before everything else, this soundbar offers a powerful audio experience, with strong bass and clear sound that rightfully position it among the best soundbars under $200.
- Excellent build quality
- Deep, rich bass
- Seven different sound modes
- Easy to use and setup
- No Dolby Atmos support
- Limited connectivity
- A bit unbalanced from time to time
VIZIO 2.1 Sound Bar SB3621n-H8
An Affordable, yet Very Good Sound System
VIZIO 2.1 Sound Bar SB3621n-H8 is an entry-level soundbar that doesn’t bring a ton of features; nonetheless, it brings all the necessary ingredients for a good user experience.
It is easy to use, it is equipped with a wireless subwoofer that creates booming bass and on top of that it is pretty compact and lightweight (2Kg), which lets you use it anywhere.
VIZIO 2.1 Sound Bar SB3621n-H8 comes with a built-in Bluetooth connection, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, USB port and Optical Audio Input. Unfortunately, it lacks HDMI connectivity, which is one of its major downsides.
Looking from the bright side, VIZIO 2.1 Sound Bar SB3621n-H8 is fitted with the DTS Virtual:X sound enhancement and more importantly, delivers good quality sound, with plenty of basses. In other words, this soundbar probably doesn’t bring the same level of features as its competition; however, it brings what it matters, great sound and excellent usability, which is the key function of any soundbar in the first place.
- Excellent bass
- Strong bass
- Very good sound quality
- No HDMI port
Because they are low-profile, slim, and occupy less space, soundbars are the best alternative to a home theater system when you don’t have the room. But are they worth the hype?
Well, modern devices manage to deliver a great audio experience, even though it’s not at an audiophile level. Furthermore, in small to medium-sized rooms, a soundbar may be a better choice because it is powerful enough to fill the space with amazing sound details.
In conclusion, soundbars are the ideal option when you don’t have the budget or the room for an authentic home theater system.