Best Soundbars Under $200 – Reviews and Buying Guide 2019

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Today, with TVs becoming more and more thinner in dimension, their sound quality has become poorer and getting a soundbar for your television as an add-on has become almost mandatory. Soundbars sit under your television or mount on your wall and help to amplify the audio quality of your television. Soundbars also come with several other features that provide you with the best audio experience. There is no need to break your bank to buy a high-quality soundbar, you can easily get one for below $200 and augment your home-audio experience. Read on to know more about the best under $200 soundbars on the market.

Top 5 Reviews of Soundbars Under $200

  • Best All-RounderVIZIO SB2821-D6 28-Inch Sound Bar: This 28” soundbar comes with a wireless woofer that is Bluetooth compatible and provides crystal clear sound.
  • Best Value for Money PickWohome S9920 TV Sound Bar: The soundbar offers excellent features such as higher power output, at a very affordable price.
  • Best Soundbar with SubwooferSamsung HW-J355 Wired Audio Soundbar: The 37” soundbar comes along with a wireless subwoofer, is Bluetooth compatible and offers clear sound quality.
  • Best Entry-Level SoundbarYamaha YAS-108 Sound Bar: The sleek soundbar comes along with 2 integrated 3” subwoofers, many sound modes and several connection methods.
  • Best Budget BuyVIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch Soundbar: The simple soundbar with its minimalistic design offers decent sound quality at a very inexpensive price.

VIZIO SB2821-D6 28-Inch Soundbar

If you prefer a bass-heavy audio experience, then the VIZIO SB2821 is one of the best value buys on the market. You get a soundbar with powerful speakers along with a wireless, external subwoofer which offers deep and powerful bass, perfect for your television and also to play music. The soundbar has a bar of LEDs on the side that lets you control the volume. The VIZIO SB2821 can be connected to your TV wirelessly and you can also stream from your smartphone or tablet.

Features

  • 2.1 audio channels
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Dimensions of Subwoofer: 7.67”(w) x7.67”(h) x 7.67”(d)
  • Sound Pressure Level: 95 dB
  • Power Input: 120V, 60Hz
  • Bluetooth streaming
  • System Frequency: 50Hz to 10kHz

Pros

  • High-quality audio for the price.
  • Comes along with cables and mounting accessories.
  • Multiple methods of installation.
  • Has Bluetooth capabilities.

Cons

  • Does not have a remote control.
  • Bass can be distorted at high volume.

Wohome S9920 TV Soundbar

The Wohome S9920 is a 2-channel soundbar that has full-range speakers. The ease of use and the caliber makes Wohome S9920 an excellent soundbar to buy for your television. The DSP technology delivers excellent sound clarity and precision even at a low volume. Also, the soundbar has 3 audio modes that offer a dynamic audio experience. The Wohome S9920 soundbar offers Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity which has a 33-foot coverage. The soundbar can be controlled via the remote control or buttons and the mounting kit provided with the soundbar lets you mount it on the wall conveniently or you can place the soundbar on your cabinet.

 Features

  • 40-inch TV soundbar
  • Inbuilt 4 x 15W full-range speakers and 2 x10W tweeter speakers
  • Sound Level: 105 dB
  • Inbuilt 2x bass reflex tubes
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3D surround sound system
  • DSP technology
  • 1-year warranty, 45 days money back guarantee
  • Lifetime technical support

 Pros

  • Crystal-clear sound
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Compact design, lightweight soundbar
  • In-built subwoofer

 Cons

  • Controls may lag
  • Incompatible with the TV remote

Samsung HW-J355 Wired Audio Soundbar

The HW-J355 is a high-quality soundbar from Samsung. Although the soundbar connects to the subwoofer with wires, it comes with Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to pair it to your TV for an excellent audio experience. The soundbar offers crystal clear sound and the bass is clean and punchy — even at a high volume, there is no distortion. You can also hear the vocals through any background music, instruments or audio. Overall, the Samsung HW-J355 is among the best soundbars on our list.

Features

  • 37” soundbar
  • 2.1 channel, 120W
  • Wired subwoofer
  • Bluetooth connectivity enabled
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Inputs: Optical, Bluetooth, USB, TV Sound Connect

Pros

  • The soundbar is lightweight and sleek
  • The audio is detailed and loud
  • Multiple input ports

Cons

  • The soundbar is wired to the subwoofer
  • The soundbar is very basic

Yamaha YAS-108 Soundbar

With its sleek interface, the Yamaha YAS-108 soundbar is a value for money buy. The setup of the soundbar is very easy and it also connects to other devices seamlessly. The soundbar has inbuilt subwoofers that deliver a deep bass sound and you can use the clear voice function of the soundbar that makes every dialog easy to understand by boosting the mid and highs. Apart from Bluetooth connectivity, you can also connect via aux, HDMI and optical inputs. Overall, the Yamaha YAS-108 soundbar packs a lot of features, making it an excellent buy.

Features

  • In-built subwoofer
  • Clear Voice function
  • Virtual 3D surround sound
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Can be connected with aux, optical or HDMI input

Pros

  • Crisp and clear sound quality
  • Can be wall mounted
  • Attractive looking soundbar

Cons

  • May not be suitable for large rooms
  • The dialogs may get fuzzy

Related: 7 Best Wireless Surround Sound Systems In 2019

VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch Soundbar

The VIZIO SB2920-C6 Soundbar offers excellent audio quality packed in a compact size. The sophisticated design makes it a great addition to your television. You can use Bluetooth connectivity to stream music from your phone, computer or tablet. The soundbar is equipped with 2 full-range stereo speakers which boost the audio and deliver great sound. Setting up of this soundbar is also very easy. Simply plug it into your TV and sit back and enjoy the amazing DTS audio of the VIZIO SB2920-C soundbar. 

Features

  • In-built Bluetooth
  • Soundbar Frequency: 70Hz to 19KHz
  • 95 dB sound, less than 1% of total harmonic distortion
  • DTS Studio Sound, DTS TruVolume and DTS TruSurround

Pros

  • Clear, immersive audio quality
  • Streaming is very easy
  • Bass is adjustable

Cons

  • Wireless subwoofer range is quite short
  • Bass is not as good as other models

Buying Guide

How Do Soundbars Work?

Soundbars provide sound in the same way as a standard speaker. A soundbar is basically a one-speaker set up which allows you to boost your television’s inbuilt speaker without investing in a large configuration. Apart from just for your TV, you can use the soundbar to play music from any other compatible devices in your home. The most important part is that most soundbars have an in-built amplifier that allows them to be a one-speaker installation. Soundbars are extremely convenient, they are compact and provide a wide variety of sound and are a great option if you want high-quality sound without taking up a lot of space.

Why Do You Need a Soundbar?

The paper-thin televisions today cannot produce the quality of sound you want from them, which is why soundbars have become must haves for the home entertainment setup in your home. Today, you don’t have to spend a lot to buy a good quality soundbar and you can get a pretty decent one for under $200 and setting it up is also super easy. All you need to do is plug it into your TV and you’re good to go. Today, with TVs becoming thinner, several companies have started manufacturing soundbars and there are a plethora of choices out there.

Types of Soundbars

There are 3 types of soundbars:

Active Soundbar

An active soundbar includes all that you need – speakers, an amplifier, a subwoofer, a processor and connection ports in a single box. It can be placed on the console or be wall mounted.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Very small footprint
  • Less wiring

Cons

  • The fixed configuration that cannot be expanded

Passive Soundbar

This requires a separate audio-video receiver for signal processing, amplification and connection ports. The passive soundbar can be kept on the console or you can mount it on the wall.

Pros

  • Is quite flexible and configuration can be expanded

 Cons

  • Setup is quite costly
  • Large footprint
  • Needs more cabling

Soundbase

This is a standalone speaker, which acts as a pedestal for your television and also improves the sound quality. The soundbase is usually placed under the TV on the console. 

 Pros

  • Simple setup with a single unit
  • More depth which improves the bass output

 Cons

  • Stereo separation is limited.
  • Not usable for larger televisions with feet at both ends.
  • Bass effect is limited compared to a soundbar with an external subwoofer.

Soundbars vs Home Theatre Speakers

Soundbars

A soundbar as we have discussed earlier is a compact and convenient solution that can be placed in front of your TV to boost its sound. You can get a soundbar on its own or one with an external subwoofer. Subwoofers produce more depth in the sound in terms of the base and the power. Soundbars can be single bars that are equipped with speakers; however, these days, you have soundbars with various audio options such as surround sound. 

Home Theatre Speakers

Home theatre speakers, on the other hand, come in sets and let you have a surround sound setup. You can set up several speakers around the room, which lets you get the sound from all sides. However, home theatre speakers are more expensive, they are more complex to set up and take up more room. You can also choose the kind of surround sound effect you want with home theatre speakers.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Soundbar

Type of Soundbar

As we have already discussed, soundbars are classified on the basis of their design – active and passive soundbars. In active soundbars, the speakers, amplifier, etc. are housed in a single bar, whereas, in a passive soundbar, the amplifiers are outside the unit. Both active and passive soundbars differ in their audio quality and setup process. Active soundbars are easier to install, while passive soundbars offer an excellent way to control the audio. You must decide on the type of soundbar that will work best for you. 

Bluetooth Connectivity

Connecting the soundbar is not the only way to connect it, you can also connect the soundbar to your smartphone or tablet. However, for this, your soundbar must be Bluetooth compatible and then you can stream audio directly from your device. So, Bluetooth connectivity is a very important function that you must check for when buying a soundbar. 

Subwoofer

If you want a complete experience of all kinds of audio effects, then you should opt for a soundbar with a subwoofer. A subwoofer is an external device that comes along with the soundbar and delivers enhanced sound effects.

Dimensions

Soundbars come in varied shapes and sizes; however, not all of them will fit your television or your stand. So, you must opt for a soundbar that will fit well with your current TV setup.

Installation

Choose a soundbar that is easy to set up. Most of the models available today are designed for easy installation and usually, soundbars do not have many wires or speakers like a regular sound system. Typically, you have only a single cable that will connect the soundbar to your TV or any other device.

Soundbar Dos and Don’ts

Dos

  • Ensure that the soundbar is around the same width as your television. This will help to camouflage the soundbar and enable it to integrate with your setup seamlessly.
  • Ensure that there is a minimum of 1-meter space between both sidewalls and the soundbar. This will ensure that the sound is reflected and dispersed in a balanced manner.
  • Most soundbars do not cover low and mid frequencies very well, so buying a subwoofer along with the soundbar may be a good idea, as this will help to provide a richer and fuller sound.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on mounting the soundbar carefully. A solidly mounted soundbar will provide better sound.

Don’ts

  • Subwoofers and speakers produce better sound when they are in the open, so don’t place your soundbar in a cupboard or closed shelf.
  • Before you buy a soundbar, don’t forget to try it out at a local store, even if you plan to buy it online. 

FAQs

Can I use a TV remote to control the soundbar after connecting it to the TV?

To be able to use your TV remote to control the soundbar, your TV and soundbar must be synced and usually, it is simpler and more cost effective to have 2 different remotes.

If the soundbar is mounted on the wall, will the sound be better?

Mounting the soundbar on the wall does not necessarily guarantee better sound. Ensure that there is sufficient space around the soundbar and make sure that the speakers are not covered. As long as there is clear space in front of the speakers, there will not be a difference in the sound if your soundbar is on the cabinet or shelf or mounted on the wall.

Can the soundbar be installed vertically?

While the soundbar can be installed vertically, you will lose the surround sound design that you get by mounting the soundbar horizontally.

Can I add speakers to my soundbar?

Some of the newer models of soundbars come along with additional speakers that are part of the system, which makes it closer to the sound of a home theatre. The only other way in which you can add wireless speakers is if the soundbar has a multi-room capability and this is a great option if would want a multi-room audio system in your home.

Conclusion

Now, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a full-fledged sound system to enjoy a great audio experience on your TV. Soundbars have now completely revolutionized sound systems and shrunk them into sleek and compact devices that offer the same incredible sound effect. Buying a soundbar has many benefits and the soundbars that we have reviewed in our article are known for their reliable performance. So, before buying a soundbar for your home, do check out the soundbars in our reviews before deciding on the best one for your TV.

Last update on 2019-12-13 at 00:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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