Soundbars are the perfect choice between the tiny noise made by the speakers of your TV and the clutter brought on by a full-range home theater system. They are compact, easy to set up, and they deliver an improved audio experience for most people out there.
However, prices tend to get quite steep, especially for well-known brands. Luckily, you can still find affordable devices with good features on the market – you just need where and how to look for them.
To give you an idea, we put together a quick how-to guide and started the search for the best soundbar under $100.
Last update on 2022-01-14 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose the Best Soundbar under $100
Of course, the number one concern when it comes to soundbars is sound quality. After all, you’re buying a device to improve the entertainment experience!
For this, check the number of channels – most affordable devices will come with 2.0 or 2.1 settings, but if you want a surround experience, you may want to look for models with five or seven channels.
Also, check if it has predefined sound modes such as Movies, News, Games, and so on. These modes are specially set to adjust the background sound and dialogue for an optimal experience. This way, you don’t have to waste time with manual settings every time the content changes.
Most soundbars have two main placement options: on the wall or on a shelf/table in front of the TV. However, some designs also allow you to attach the soundbar to the TV, if it is mounted on the wall.
Quick note: If you plan to place it in front of the TV, make sure it doesn’t cover the remote-control sensor.
In today’s day and age, we have several devices for entertainment, not just TV. So, you should consider getting a soundbar that supports different inputs, both wired (RCA, optical, AUX, 3.5mm audio input) and wireless (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi).
As you will see from the products we reviewed, most low-cost soundbars come with several input ports, so you can connect your smartphone, TV, and a gaming console.
Best Soundbars Under $100
Majority K2 Bluetooth Sound Bar
2.1 Surround Sound System with external Subwoofer
With a sleek and modern design, the K2 soundbar is quite useful for a wide range of sound applications around the house. First, it can be wall-mounted or placed on a shelf, so it’s not too pretentious regarding setup. Second, it comes with a wireless subwoofer, which means the bass is quite punchy.
It also has a wide range of connectivity options (like HDMI ARC, Optical, Bluetooth, USB, AUX, and RCA). And you can control it from a distance due to the built-in remote control. As such, it’s easy to pair it with any other modern device around the house.
- A wide range of connectivity options
- Included remote control
- Easily connected to a wide range of devices
- Wall Mount Compatible
- Can get very loud
- There are only 3 equalizer settings
- The sub could’ve been more powerful
A Sleek-Looking 2.0 Channel Sound Bar
Featuring quite the minimalist look, this soundbar is easy to pair with any TV or modern device around the house. It supports BT connectivity, so you don’t have to worry about wires, and the sound quality is decent (it supports DTS Studio SoundTM, DTS Tru Volume, and DTS TruSurroundTM).
It comes with an attached remote control, which allows users to controls sound and volume from a distance, but it also has built-in controls on one of the sides. Lastly, it’s easy to mount it on a wall (provided you buy the mounting kit separately) but it also looks great on a shelf, in front of the TV.
- Powerful & clear sound (95 dB)
- Good frequency range (70 Hertz – 19 KHertz)
- BT connectivity
- Easy to setup
- It can be difficult to identify the inputs
Great Brand, Great Sound, Great Price
If you only have a hundred bucks (give or take) to spend on a sound bar in order to improve your cinematic experience on your smart TV, the Hisense HS205 is one of the best choices you can make, and there are many reasons for that.
First, you get 60 Watts of pure unadulterated sound from a prestigious brand, then there’s Roku TV compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, 3 EQ modes, and all the connectivity options you’ll ever need, including HDMI ARC/Optical/AUX/USB.
Moreover, you can use the Roku TV remote to control both the soundbar and the TV for a better navigation experience and easier setup, and thanks to the HDMI (ARC) thing, the soundbar can connect to your TV via a single HDMI cable.
The design is minimalist, compact and elegant in the same time, featuring 2 full-range speakers, not to mention that the HS205 will inconspicuously fit your living room, bedroom, or family room space. On top of that, you can always upgrade your HS205 with a 200 Watt subwoofer for deeper bass (costs extra obviously).
There are three modes to choose from, depending on the content you’re viewing: news, music and movie, and bottom line, if you’re shopping for a decently priced and well designed sound bar, the HS205 would definitely fit the bill.
- Amazing value for money
- Nice design
- Solid connectivity options
- Wireless sub available
- Center LED may be annoying
TCL Alto R1
Roku TV Ready Soundbar
The TCL Alto R1 is a $100ish 2.0 channel wireless Roku TV ready soundbar with Bluetooth connectivity, which is incredibly easy to use/connect and will give you a nice ride for the proverbial buck asked. Okay, maybe we’re confusing terms here, but what’s important for you to know is that the TCL Alto R1 is the perfect addition to your Roku TV, whether it’s a Hisense R7G series or TCL R6 series.
There’s no support for simulated surround sound or spatial audio, no fancy stuff, just strong audio quality for the price asked, and that’s great in our book.
Just like the HS205 reviewed earlier, the Alto R1 can be easily paired to a Roku Wireless subwoofer, of deep bass and a realistic cinematic experience, but that would cost extra, obviously. However, this soundbar is a solid alternative to Roku’s built-in speakers, especially if you’re shopping for a no hassle/all-in-one kind of a deal.
Design wise, the Alto R1 is kind of boxy, featuring flat, rectangular panels and right-angle edges, with zero curves or embellishments that may interrupt its minimalist design. Also, the Alto R1 is compact and it will fit below most standing TV screensm, as it measures 2.5 by 31.5 by 3.9 inches (HWD).
Setting it up is shockingly easy and seamless, that if you own a Roku TV. Keep in mind that the Alto R1 works ONLY on Roku TVs or devices that use the Roku TV platform, or with Roku media streamers, such as the Roku Streaming Stick 4K.
The soundbar is rated at 120 watts peak power, and sounds good enough for the price, supports Dolby audio, (forget about Dolby Atmos), and gets surprisingly loud despite its slim size. Bottom line, if you’re shopping for an affordable audio-upgrade for your Roku TV setup, this is as good as it gets.
- Decent SQ
- Easy setup
- Compact design
- Good value for money
- Lacks audio input ports
- Roku-only deal
Wohome Bluetooth Soundbar S11
The Best Soundbar with a Subwoofer Under $100
Most soundbars don’t provide a deep bass experience, and it is easy to understand why. However, the Wohome soundbar comes with one dual 3-inch subwoofer, two 3-inch full-range speakers, and four drivers that manage to deliver up to 80W or 105dB of sound power.
You’ll also get to enjoy clearer dialogues, better movie sound quality, and improved music richness due to the DSP technology that supports four sound modes (music, news, movie, and default). Moreover, the device features Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and several wired connections such as RCA, AUX, optical input, or coaxial.
In addition, the 38-inch soundbar is a great fit for most 40-inch and above TVs since it is compatible with all major brands (VIZIO, LG, Samsung, TCL, Philips, and more). The design is also easy to integrate with most TVs, since it features a minimalist approach based on elegance.
- Elegant design
- Powerful bass and clear sound
- A wide array of connections
- Easy to setup
- Works with the most popular TV brands
- Great value for the money
- Low profile so it’s easy to place in front of the TV
- It doesn’t remember the last volume setting
- The automatic power-off feature can’t be disabled
- It doesn’t respond to TV control remotes
VMAI Sound Bar with Dual Built-in Subwoofer
2.1 Wired & wireless Sound Bar for TV
Whether you install it on the wall or place it in front of the TV (on a shelf), this soundbar will deliver the best cinematic experience it can. The built-in speakers and subwoofers help boost the bass and create an amazing cinema-like experience, while the high-quality of the other components keep the sound clear.
In addition, the soundbar has 4 distinct sound modes (Music, Movies, News, or 3D surround sound) that allow users to fine-tune the experience to their liking. This way, it’s easy to feel like you are part of the action!
Since it supports both wired (RCA, AUX, HDMI ARC, and Optical input) and wireless (BT 5.0) connections, the device can be paired with a wide range of devices like TVs, projectors, gaming consoles, amplifiers, and more.
Lastly, the design is slim and sturdy, and users can control it from a distance using the provided remote control.
- Dual Built-in Subwoofer
- Wired & Wireless connections
- 4 speakers for more powerful sound
- Precise cinematic surround sound
- 4 distinct sound modes
- Easy to set up
- It is a bit on the heavy side
- The included wall mounting kit is flimsy
Great Sounding Soundbar under $100
Truth be told, Bestisan is not my go-to brand when it comes to audio gear, but the S7020P soundbar is kind of interesting, to say the least.
The thing is, for a hundred bucks, you’ll end up with a well-made nice looking and great sounding soundbar for your TV. The Bestisan has 3 EQ modes, optical/aux/coaxial connectivity, bass and treble controls, and delivers 100 watt of pure music (peak) via its four full range speakers, two tweeters and two bass reflex tubes for deeper bass.
Basically, if you’re looking for dynamic theater-quality audio on the cheap, this is the answer to your prayers. Obviously, there’s also Bluetooth 5.0 for fast connections and stable transmission, and the low profile of the sound bar allows it to sit flat below your TV, or, if one so inclined, be mounted to the wall with the screws included.
There’s also a remote control included in the retail package, with 3 presets and basic controls , which allow you to adjust the sound to your liking. There’s also a Bestisan subwoofer available, the SW65D respectively, and it must be mentioned that these 2 units sound great together.
Build quality is good, the soundbar has quite a bit of heft to it, i.e. it does not feel light and flimsy, and even the remote control is responsive and well built.
- Solid SQ for the money
- Well built
- Nice compact design
- Remote control included
- Easy to setup
- Good value for money
- Nothing we can think of
While it’s true that the best soundbar under $100 can’t match the sound quality and build of some of the more expensive models, there are still great devices that deliver decent performance for the price.
So, if you’re not looking for an audiophile-quality delivery, but you’re fed up with the speakers on your TV, a low-cost soundbar is a perfect choice. As you can see from our reviews, they come with interesting features, and the best models are quite amazing for the price you pay!