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
Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450
The Best Soundbar With Subwoofer Under $200
The HW-R450 features an elegant yet simple design that fits any TV. The sharp edges and black tones blend well with most modern TVs and devices, and the fact that it comes with a wireless subwoofer placed at the top of our list.
The soundbar works amazingly well with movies, games, and music without you having to make any settings. Equipped with Smart Sound mode, the system analyzes the type of content being played and adjusts the settings accordingly.
Overall, the sound is rich, the bass is powerful, and you get easily immersed in the action you’re watching. Users also have the option to purchase a wireless surround kit (separately), to create a more accurate audio depiction.
Finally, the HW-R450 is optimized for Samsung TVs, which means all the options will work seamlessly (once the soundbar is connected via Plug-and-Play). Furthermore, you can control the TV and the soundbar using Samsung’s OneRemote (where it is available), so you don’t have to use several remotes.
- Powerful & rich sound (Dolby 2ch technology)
- Wireless subwoofer with a frequency response (amp) of 43Hz~20kHz
- Supports Bluetooth connectivity from other devices
- Smart Sound technology
- Optimized to work with Samsung TVs
- Some difficulties during setup
- Not designed for surround sound
- It’s not a system for audiophiles
Yamaha YAS-108 Sound Bar
For the True Sound Experience
Did you ever have to increase the volume on your audio system because the background music overpowered the dialogue? This won’t happen with the YAS-108 soundbar due to the vocal frequency range enhancing technology. You will be able to hear dialogue without losing anything from the background.
Furthermore, the built-in subwoofers create a beautiful bass experience without it being too much. Finally, the DTS Virtual: X technology is responsible for creating a natural sound experience that many TVs can’t replicate.
The soundbar is perfect even for a 75-inch TV because it features a slim, rounded design. It can be placed on the wall (it has the necessary keyholes) or it can lay flat, right under the TV. It also comes with a compact remote control, a companion app, and is compatible with Alexa.
But it’s not just for your TV or gaming system! The YAS-108 soundbar supports Bluetooth connectivity, which means you can use your phone or tablet to play your favorite tunes when the TV is off.
- Slim design, easy to mount
- Built-in subwoofers
- Vocal frequency range enhancement
- Perfect for movies, games, and music
- Supports Bluetooth connectivity
- Supports 4K passthrough
- Can be controlled via the companion app
- Can connect with Alex
- It takes a bit to get used to the controls
- The bass is a little light
- Wire management is a bit difficult
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
JBL Bar Studio 2.0
The Ideal Audio Companion for your TV
The JBL stamp of approval is a guarantee for incredible sound quality and reliable design. As such, there’s no wonder that the Bar Studio 2.0 channel is one of the most sought-after soundbars!
Equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, HDMI (ARC) connection, and a built-in dual bass port, the device delivers punchy audio with good dialogue recognition. You can use it with the TV for movies, games, and news, or with your wireless devices, for music and more.
It’s also slim, compact, easy to set up, and doesn’t need a separate remote control (works with the one you have on your TV).
- JBL sound quality
- Slim & compact design
- Doesn’t need a separate remote control
- HDMI (ARC) connection
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Mostly designed for small rooms
- The treble strains at high volumes
- A bit underpowered
One Sound Bar to Rule Them All
If you’re looking for a soundbar that can deliver power and reliable acoustics without being too expensive or overpowering, the Razer Leviathan 5.1 Channel Surround Soundbar is a fantastic option. And it’s definitely one of the best tv soundbars under $200 on the market right now!
First, it features a compact design and comes with a dedicated subwoofer that can be stashed in a bookshelf or on the floor. The soundbar features Dolby technology and superior sound drivers that manage to deliver the best quality regardless of the content being played.
As such, users will be immersed in their games and movies, while the Bluetooth v4.0 aptX technology makes sure your music sounds heavenly. Furthermore, whenever you want bass, the dedicated 5.25-inch downward firing subwoofer delivers a punchy and rich experience.
- Compact design
- Dolby technology
- Dedicated subwoofer
- Fantastic sound quality
- Great value for the money
- The bass starts to impede at higher volumes
- The cables should’ve been longer
- The control buttons are poorly located
Elegant Design & Sound that Moves You
While you may be tempted to think that the Vizio soundbar is a perfect fit for Vizio TVs, this is far from the truth. The device fits a wide array of TVs due to the plethora of sound enhancement technologies it packs (Dolby Digital, DTS Studio Sound, DTS TruSurround, DTS TruVolume).
It also comes accompanied by a wireless subwoofer that delivers room-shaking bass, creating a more interesting audio experience. Of course, the bass doesn’t interfere with the crystal-clear sound quality delivered by the soundbar.
To make sure everyone in the house is happy with the soundbar, Vizio also included Bluetooth connectivity and TS virtual: X technology that manages to create an immersive experience with movies and/or games.
- Compact design
- Impressive sound quality
- Easy to set up (comes with all the cables)
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Wireless subwoofer
- The remote is a bit difficult to operate in low-light
- The power cord is a bit loose
- The bass can be overpowering
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.