TV and Audio

The Best Soundbars Under $300 in 2021

the best soundbars under 300


Today’s TVs are amazing when it comes to video quality. However, when we’re talking about sound, it’s like they forgot to make the upgrade.

So yes, you may have a 4K or HDR OLED TV, but the sound is less than satisfactory. Luckily, we have the perfect solution – a soundbar! These compact speakers are specially designed to sit in front of a TV (or under it) and come equipped with high-end speakers that deliver a wider range of audio options.

Today we’ll review the best soundbar under $300 to make sure the features match the quality of your TV. However, if you want something more affordable, check our reviews and guides here.

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Last update on 2021-10-22 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon

How To Choose The Best Soundbar Under $300

While we could list a litany of features that matter when selecting a soundbar, there are only a few that are crucial.

Sound Quality

First, it’s the sound quality, of course. This means looking for a product that’s equipped to deliver clear audio regardless of the content (movies, games, music, and so on). Given the price range (under $300), you shouldn’t expect audiophile quality, but the soundbar should be able to make the dialogue clear and provide a good audio balance across a wide frequency range.

A good soundbar in this price range should be able to deliver a stereo setup or more (3D sound, for instance) and should come with a subwoofer (built-in or external). If you’re going for a product with built-in subwoofers, you’ll have a compact speaker with all the necessary drivers in one housing.

Connectivity

The second feature that matters is connectivity. Your device should accept both on-cable and wireless (usually BT) connections. This way, you can connect it to the TV (via cable) and add other devices like smartphones and tablets for streaming. Also, the location of the ports on the soundbar is important – you need to make sure you can reach it with the cable without going through a lot of hoops.

Design

Lastly, let’s talk about design. While there isn’t much variety (all soundbars are elongated rectangles) it’s best to choose one that fits your TV and entertainment settings.

For instance, if the soundbar is too tall, it can block the IR sensor on your TV and it can look weird. Also, if the housing is white and all your devices are black, it will stand out like a sore thumb.

Best Soundbars Under $300

Sony HT-S350

Great for Updating your Home Theater at an Affordable Price

sony ht-s350
Upgrade your home theater with this 2.1 channels soundbar and its powerful subwoofer! You’ll get 320W of total power output, with great volume and clarity. In addition, the soundbar is supported by a subwoofer with a 6.3-inch speaker unit that can produce rich and deep bass.

Before you start thinking that you can’t truly bring your content to life because this is a 2.1 channel soundbar, we need to talk about the S-Force Pro. This is a virtual surround sound technology that makes you feel like in a theater, creating a full surround sound experience. This means you don’t have to drill holes in all your walls – just place the soundbar under your TV and enjoy the experience!

Furthermore, the soundbar has 7 sound modes you can choose from (music, game, cinema, and more). Each mode has pre-designed settings that focus on the type of audio you need. For instance, the bass will be more booming for games but you’ll hear the better dialogue in News mode.

Sony HT-S350 has two types of connections: Bluetooth and on-cable. The BT module allows users to stream music, audiobooks, podcasts, and more from their smartphone or tablet as long as they are within range. The on-cable connection is for TVs that have an HDMI Arc port.

Pros:
  • Slim design that fits easily in a modern entertainment room
  • A powerful subwoofer that creates deep bass
  • The sound is clear and rich
  • Equipped with virtual surround sound technology
  • Accepts BT and on-cable connection
  • 7 sound modes to choose from
Cons:
  • The connectivity is rather limited (only 1 HDMI port)
  • The subwoofer could be better

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JBL Bar 2.1

The Best Soundbar Under $300 With Bluetooth

jbl bar 2
JBL is a great brand in the world of audio entertainment so their soundbars are supported by some of the best expertise of the industry. For instance, this 2.1 channel soundbar comes with an impressive 300W of total system power and a 6.5″ wireless subwoofer.

These two elements combine in a deep and rich audio experience, that keeps everyone entertained. In addition, the built-in Dolby Digital technology provides an authentic cinematic experience (frequency response is between 40Hz and 20KHz) right in your living room!

In addition, the soundbar has JBL Surround Sound technology that helps enrich the emotions of movies, sports, and music. You can connect your TV (via the one HDMI port) or you can use the soundbar to stream content from BT devices (like your phone or tablet).

Lastly, the bar can be controlled using the buttons at the top, or the remote control that’s delivered in the box. The interface is rather simple (there aren’t many controls), but this may be a bit of an issue with audiophiles who like to customize their sound experience.

Pros:
  • The soundbar performs well even at high volumes
  • Clear and rich sound quality
  • Slim design that fits modern spaces
  • Easy to install on the wall or under your TV
Cons:
  • It only has 1 HDMI port
  • Not a lot of settings adjustments

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SAMSUNG 3.1ch A650

One of the Best Budget-Friendly Soundbars

samsung 3.1ch a650

SAMSUNG 3.1ch A650 is a reasonably priced soundbar that brings a neutral sound, appropriate for listening of a wide variety of audio content. There is also a decent set of features, such as the Gaming mode, and support for Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. Moreover, this soundbar comes with multiple audio enhancement functions that include bass boost, graphic EQ, and several presets.

More importantly, there is also the adaptive sound lite that optimizes all sorts of audio content, including dialogues, and makes them clear and crisp.

For that reason, this soundbar is an ideal option for the fans of TV shows and podcasts, and a little less for music fans. The main reason for that is its not that great low bass, which may result in insufficient rumble in the hip-hop, and EDM melodies, as well as action movies.

SAMSUNG 3.1ch A650 comes with a built-in center speaker, as well as a wireless subwoofer. However, it lacks satellites, yet it is compatible with Samsung’s Wireless Surround Kit, which can easily overcome that problem. Moreover, this soundbar offers BT, HDMI, and USB connection, and features mostly wood build, enhanced with metal grills, on top, and at the front, adding additional strength to the overall build and durability.

All in all, SAMSUNG 3.1ch A650 is a pretty good soundbar for the money and it offers enough for a budget-friendly device. Yes, the fact remains that that maybe it isn’t enough to compete with the best soundbars available; nonetheless, it is more than enough to position it neck and neck with the devices such as the LG GX Soundbar, the TCL Alto 9+, and the Klipsch Cinema 600.

Pros:
  • Graphic EQ and presets
  • Loud sound
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Adaptive sound
Cons:
  • Not the best low bass
  • No Dolby Atmos
  • No built-in Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and Chromecast

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Polk Audio Signa S3

The Place Where the Fun Sound Lives

polk audio signa s3

If you are seeking an easy-to-use soundbar that is packed with features and offers a well-balanced, natural sound, good stereo soundstage, and enough power when needed, Polk Audio Signa S3 is the device for you. This isn’t some high-end soundbar, but an affordable and practical device. Its features include the Dolby Digital 5.1 experience, as well as solid connectivity that involves Bluetooth connection, Google Chromecast, HDMI Arc, optical input, and the 3.5mm aux connection.

To make thing seven better, Polk Audio Signa S3 is fitted with a wireless subwoofer and supports streaming from a whole bunch of services, such as Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, and many others. For the most part, this soundbar is built out of wood and, in contrast to its class, it brings a bit larger dimensions. Its large dimensions are also the key reason for its very good performance, best shown in voice-based content, due to the sound-enhancing functions such as Voice Adjust Technology.

Polk Audio Signa S3 also supports voice commands and is compatible with Google Assistant. In other words, Polk Audio Signa S3 delivers a pretty good overall package and brings an excellent value to the customer. On top of that, it provides a pleasant audio experience, good connectivity and ultimately makes a well-balanced product that rightfully positions itself among the best soundbars under $300.

Pros:
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Good connectivity
  • Chromecast
  • Google Assistant
  • Good sound reproduction
  • Feature-rich
Cons:
  • Not a perfect fit for the movies
  • No Dolby Atmos support

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Yamaha YAS-109

A Minimalistic Design with Lots of Features

yamaha yas-109
Not everyone loves having their technology out in the open. So, if you’d rather listen and not see, the YAS-109 is the perfect option. It’s just the soundbar (the subwoofer is built-in) and the design is slim and simplistic. Depending on your preferences, you can either place in front of the TV or install it on the wall.

You can choose between HDMI and optical connection with the TV, and due to DTS Virtual: X technology and Virtual 3D surround sound, you can enjoy an immersive experience with clear sound and deep bass (due to the dual subwoofer).

However, if you feel you need more power, you can always find a compatible external subwoofer, for that extra oomph. We have a great buying guide on the best subwoofer for your needs, so make sure to check it out!

In addition, the YAS-109 comes with Alexa features for voice control, which makes it a lot more fun to use. You can stream music (via Spotify connect, WiFi, or Bluetooth), set alarms, or even connect it with other smart home devices. For instance, you can control your Fire TV with just your voice by asking Alexa to play a specific show or movie.

Lastly, the soundbar is equipped with the Clear Voice module, which brings the conversation to the forefront, allowing users to hear dialogue clearly.

Pros:
  • Ultra-slim design with built-in subwoofer
  • Easy to install
  • Supports HDMI and optical connectivity
  • Clear Voice module for better dialogue
  • Built-in Alexa feature
  • Supports BT, WiFi, Amazon music, & Spotify Connect
Cons:
  • The bass is not very strong
  • The surround is not that great

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Bose TV Speaker

As Simple as They Come

bose tv speaker

Bose TV Speaker is a more basic-oriented soundbar that offers a decent sound experience and before anything else, ease of use that makes it suitable for every age. This compact soundbar features a 2.0 setup, and is a very good match for a TV show, podcast, and music fans. For the most part, that is so because it offers multiple audio enhancement functions that are doing a great job in clearing the audio.

Bose TV Speaker delivers a wide, natural sound and offers well-balanced mid-ranges. Unfortunately, it lacks the rumble, which makes it not that great of an option for action movies. Its bass is strong for the size, while the list of connectivity options includes HDMI Arc connection, Bluetooth connection, as well as a 3.5mm aux.

In other words, there is a limited number of features. However, this device isn’t designed for the feature-hungry users in the first place, but for the people who are seeking a solid audio experience and ease of use, which is especially important for the elderly audiophiles.

Pros:
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Multiple sound adjustment features
  • Compact
  • Strong bass
  • Effective dialog mode
Cons:
  • No app and voice controls
  • It isn’t very loud
  • No EQ or room correction feature
  • No HDMI inputs

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VIZIO V-Series 5.1

A Highly Versatile and Practical Soundbar

vizio v-series 5.1

VIZIO V-Series 5.1 is a simple and sleek-looking soundbar that offers an exceptional audio experience and great versatility suitable for multiple music genres and various types of video content. To be exact, this soundbar delivers a well-balanced, neutral sound, and a solid bass due to its 5” Wireless Subwoofer.

This soundbar supports DTS, Dolby Audio 5.1, and offers decent connectivity that, among others, includes Bluetooth and 3.5-inch aux connection. Moreover, this device supports voice controls and is compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. More importantly, it is fitted with multiple audio enhancement features such as Bass Adjustment, Treble Adjustment, Dialogue Enhancement, Subwoofer Level Adjustment, and Surround Level Adjustment that are some of the key reasons for its great audio performance.

VIZIO V-Series 5.1 comes with four EQ presets, offers performance-optimized for 4K HDR content, and it handles every content equally successfully, whether it’s movies, TV shows, or plain music. Therefore, if you want a good-quality soundbar with a lot of versatility and a fine sound at a reasonable price, VIZIO V-Series 5.1 is more than a good choice and the device that is certainly among the best soundbars under $200 out there.

Pros:
  • It can get loud
  • Multiple audio and voice enhancement features
  • Well-balanced sound
  • Highly versatile
  • Four EQ presets
  • Surround speakers
Cons:
  • No Dolby Atmos support
  • No Full HDMI In port
  • No Wi-Fi and Chromecast connectivity

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Summary

Soundbars are (usually) an extension of your TV as they complete the entertainment with great audio quality without crowding up the place. They have a slim and minimalist design and can be easily integrated with a modern entertainment system to create a cinematic experience.

Furthermore, some of the most advanced models can deliver surround quality without the need for additional speakers. This way, you enjoy the full potential of movies, games, shows, and more without having to massacre your walls and mess up the interior design.

So, if you’re on the look for a device that will enhance your TV but can also stream music via BT, you are in the right place. Check out our reviews and select the product that works best for your needs!

About author

In her work, Mirela studies, tests and reviews the latest releases in audio, video, gaming, gadgets, and more. Mirela has been writing about tech for over 5 years now, during which she collaborated with people all over the world on various projects.
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