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.
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.
7 Best Soundbars Under $100
Samsung 2.1 Soundbar HW-R450
A Slim & Elegant Soundbar with Impressive Audio Features
This gorgeous soundbar is supported by a wireless subwoofer (equally elegant in design) that helps bring your movies and games closer to reality. The subwoofer helps the soundbar reach a frequency response of between 43Hz and 20KHz.
In addition, the soundbar features Bluetooth connectivity, meaning that you can connect a wide array of devices to it (TVs, smartphones, tablets, even smart speakers). Also, due to the integrated Smart Sound Technology, there’s no need for complicated settings every time you change the device. HW-R450 will analyze the content and the source and deliver the optimum quality according to these factors.
While this soundbar works with other devices, it is optimized to work flawlessly with Samsung TVs. So, for the best entertainment experience, you should keep this in mind.
- Simple & elegant design
- Wireless subwoofer with powerful bass
- Pairs well with Samsung TVs
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Smart Sound mode
- It is wireless surround sound-ready
- It’s difficult to attach to an already wall-mounted TV
- The bass could be a bit stronger
The Best TV Soundbar under $100
If you’re looking for a solid-built soundbar, with stereo speakers and a slim design, this VIZIO device is a great option. In addition, the model comes with DTS Virtual: X, for virtual overhead sound.
In terms of performance, the sound is crystal clear and immersive, almost like with a high-quality home theater system. This is also helped by the DTS TruVolume technology, which controls the volume level according to your preferences, and Dolby Audio technology.
Moreover, the soundbar supports Bluetooth connectivity, it’s powerful (it can go as high as 97 decibels), and the harmonic distortion is less than 1%. Lastly, the soundbar is easy to set up and supports a wide array of Bluetooth-enabled devices.
- Slim design that fits most TVs
- Bluetooth connectivity
- DTS Virtual:X & Dolby Sound technologies
- Control buttons on the soundbar
- Easy setup
- You have to use the soundbar’s remote and the TV remote
- It doesn’t adjust the volume according to the content
- It takes a while to switch the device input
TaoTronics 2.1 Channel TV Soundbar
A Superb Combination of Elegance & Sound Performance
With this TaoTronics 2.1 soundbar you get a lot of bang for your buck! Just by knowing that it provides clear 360° stereo sound, with deep bass, it’s enough to understand why we find it to be the best budget soundbar under $100. The soundbar is equipped with two full-range and two sub-range drivers, and has a total sound power of 90W.
Due to the DSP technology, the sound output is adjusted according to the type of content it’s playing. Also, it supports four different types of connections (optical, coaxial, a 3.5mm aux-in, and Bluetooth 5.0) and features three modes (music, news, and movie).
In terms of design, the soundbar is slim and easy to integrate with any TV. Moreover, it allows remote control, but it also features buttons and a LED display that lets you know the state of the bar.
- Elegant & slim design
- Impressive sound power
- Immersive 360-degrees audio experience
- Four types of connections
- Several listening modes
- Easy to setup
- The LED display can be annoying and can’t be turned off
- The remote feels a bit cheap
TCL Alto 5 – Ts5000
A Versatile Device for Most Small-to-Medium Rooms
Easy setup, wireless connectivity, remote control, and an overall slim design – these are the main features that put the Alto 5 on our list. Moreover, the soundbar can be used as is, or it can be the central channel speaker in a more advanced home theater system with speakers for a true surround experience.
Regardless of how you use it, the sound is clean and loud, without distortion and with deep bass. Users also get to enjoy a smart technology that adapts the sound based on the type of content being played (music, movies, or news). As a result, you won’t lose dialogue quality over background sound and you won’t have to cover your ears during a movie with lots of explosions.
Lastly, the Alto 5 soundbar comes with several types of connections, such as Bluetooth, optical, aux, and IR pass-through.
- Hassle-free setup
- Impressive audio experience with clear sound & deep bass
- Multiple connections and listening modes
- The design is pleasing
- Easy to pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices
- No ARC connection
- The remote is rather small
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
A Compact & Stylish Design of Audio Goodness
If you don’t own a huge TV or you’re looking for a low-profile soundbar, you may like the reduced size of this one (25 inches). This also makes it perfect for smaller living rooms, bedrooms, and other spaces that are more intimate.
In addition, the soundbar is easy to set up and control using the high-sensitivity IR remote control, or the buttons placed cleverly on the side. It also supports wired (3.5mm port, RCA, and optical) and wireless connections (Bluetooth). The Bluetooth range is up to 33ft (10m), which gives you plenty of room to move around and still keep in touch with the soundbar.
The sound quality is clear and powerful, so you can listen to music, enjoy movies, and listen to your favorite news channel.
- Compact design and a low profile
- Easy to control from a distance
- Wired and wireless connectivity
- Good sound quality
- LED status indicators
- Solid build quality
- It doesn’t get very loud
The Ideal Soundbar to Enhance Your Entertainment Experience
Measuring only 31.5-inches in length, and featuring a compact design, this soundbar’s setup is completely hassle-free whether you decide to install it on the wall or just place it on a shelf in front of the TV.
Due to the built-in subwoofer and the full-range stereo speakers (2.1 channels), the soundbar manages to deliver an impressive audio experience (up to 92dB). However, if you’re looking for thundering bass and deep low-end, you should consider buying a high-end subwoofer, compatible with the soundbar.
To deliver the best sound experience, the device supports three sound modes: standard, movie, and news. Also, to make things easier, the soundbar features both wired (RCA, Aux, optical) and wireless connections (Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR with A2DP & AVRCP for seamless streaming from other devices).
- Compact design that fits any settings
- Easy to setup
- Wired & wireless connectivity
- Remote control & buttons on the device
- Solid build
- Great value for the money
- The plug for the power cord is big
- The sound can be a bit muddy
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!