Soundbars can be an essential part of a home theater system. However, many people may be concerned with the amount they need to pay for that quality sound.
You don’t need to pay through the nose and we’re here to give you some options of soundbars that sound good and are affordable.
The 5 Best Budget Soundbars
1. Vizio SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar
The best budget soundbar can also come with a variety of features like Dolby Atmos expansive sound. The Vizio soundbar includes DTS Studio Sound ™, Tru Volume ™, and TruSurround ™.
The 29-inch sound bar is a good fit for any TV above that size and can pump out 95 dB (decibels) of room-filling sound. Enjoy the sound and music from anywhere in the room as long as you have a Bluetooth supported product, and it saves on clutter.
It comes with everything you need in the box, just connect the soundbar to your TV with the included cable. Still, this option doesn’t have a subwoofer.
Bluetooth streaming makes it easy to cast your favorite tunes through your soundbar. With the easy to set up Vizio soundbar and its ability to enhance and upgrade your audio experience, get ready to enjoy your TV shows and movies on a whole other level.
2. TaoTronics Three Equalizer Mode Audio Speaker Soundbar for TV
Here is another budget soundbar in our reviews that shows you the best soundbars don’t need to cost over three digits. The Taotronics soundbar has quite a slim profile that glides into small spaces for storage and can find a place anywhere near your TV.
Other than the value of excellent room-filling sound, the soundbar supports many wireless and wired connections for convenience. It will blow your TV speakers far out of the water with the enhanced audio.
Even a budget soundbar can feature sound modes (game mode, music mode, movie mode) to make entertainment with movies, music, or tv shows better. The soundbar does add a remote control for easy setting and an LED screen that will display your adjustments.
Measuring at just 32 inches, the TaoTronics soundbar is still capable of turning your living room into a good home-theater. In our review, it produces a full range sound that’s quite impressive.
3. Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Soundbar
For those with much more space or those who want more bass, this slim and affordable TV soundbar is one of the best in our list. It includes a wireless subwoofer for that deep and thumping bass you crave.
Complete with Polk’s voice adjust technology and Dolby Digital decoding, the sounding bar is capable of producing clearer sound and reducing delays. Even at the more affordable price point, this soundbar can match the best top and second-tier sounding bars on the market.
Enjoy a better home theater experience through multiple links since this soundbar supports HDMI inputs, optical digital, and AUX inputs as well.
As with most new products, expensive or affordable, the Polk Audio Signa S2 also has Bluetooth and the setup is quick. Setup only takes a few minutes, much like other value brands like Yamaha and Samsung.
4. TCL Alto 7+2.1 Channel Home Theater Soundbar
For the best budget soundbar, this one from TCL has it all. It features two channels and one wireless sub to give you that punchy and rumbling bass you crave. The minimalistic design is contrary to the high-tech abilities of this soundbar.
It gives you the freedom of choosing between 3 sound modes (music, movies, news) to make sure you get the best sounds depending on the content. Enjoy accurate sound and tweeters to balance the bass, giving you the full range of audio.
Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream your favorite tunes or podcasts from your mobile straight through the soundbar. At an affordable price tag, the soundbar will guarantee an enjoyable and luxurious movie night to share with your family.
The setup is seamless, with the flexibility to connect the soundbar to your TV through multiple connections including IR pass-through, HDMI arc, optical digital, and AUX inputs.
5. BYL Bestisan Soundbar Wired and Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Speaker for TV
The Bestisan budget soundbar has a highly sensitive and intuitive remote control designed to control the different sound modes. The soundbar displays settings via colored LED lights and saves power.
This best budget option comes with customizable modes as well as factory modes (news, movie, music). The budget sounding bar also memorizes your preferred settings and won’t require adjustment in the future.
The 360-degree surround sound capability of the soundbar will immerse you in movies or TV shows with good sound quality.
This soundbar also has Bluetooth which won’t create any interference and loss of sounds during streaming. This good soundbar has a slim and relatively light design that can sit flush on your tabletop or be mounted on the wall.
Budget Soundbar Buying Guide
Soundbars are advanced technological devices that really enhance your TV speakers. How can someone still guarantee they are getting a good product if they don’t want to dig through long reviews?
Even for those on a budget, your soundbar speakers can create an unmatched experience and even mimic a cinematic feel. If you are not sure where to start, read our review and list of features to help you in looking for the best soundbar.
Design and Size
The best soundbar on our list and review will definitely be compact and slim enough for you to easily set up and handle in your living space. Look for ones that are sleek and can be placed where you desire without taking up much space.
You should also consider the size of your TV. Some soundbars are better suited for 65-inch sets than others.
It should be placed near your TV (below is recommended) either on the wall or on your entertainment unit. Buy something that’s lightweight to be safe when you wall-mount it.
If you’re looking to buy something with this feature, this can be simulated in a number of ways. The best option is to choose a soundbar that has Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Like our top choice on the list, the Vizio soundbar can generate Studio Sound ™, Tru Volume ™, and TruSurround ™.
Even with the absence of Dolby Atmos, there’s another way to make sounds surround the room — and that is with the number of channels. 5 and above (7) is the industry standard for surrounding sound. This means the soundbars have 5 points of sound emission (left, right, center, 2 rear).
Since the purpose of purchasing a soundbar is to elevate your TV speakers and your overall entertainment, we suggest definitely going for expansive room-filling sound.
The connections your soundbars provide to your TV is another consideration aside from the price. The best budget options may not support all the connections you’d like in full, but there are a few that you should make sure the system has. Read a review or two to find out the specs.
You should be looking for something with HDMI, optical, aux, and RCA inputs. This gives you the option and flexibility to link to different devices that support different connections. Soundbars like the Yamaha YAS-209 is one that supports HDMI arc capability.
You may have the option to link multiple devices to your audio systems like more than one subwoofer or large speakers via these connections to create your own home theater system.
Most new soundbars nowadays, high-end or not, will support Bluetooth. Bluetooth connection allows your soundbars to link to other devices that also have this wireless connection for streaming if you like.
Some quality devices can support Wi-Fi, which is just as convenient as Bluetooth but might depend on your signal strength.
Your best soundbars can now be used as a loudspeaker for your favorite tracks and podcasts or full audiobooks that are played on your phone or other mobile devices. Bluetooth connection or Wi-Fi can also help better with wires.
Wires can be annoying and get all tangled up, but wireless capabilities will eliminate this problem. Read and check a product review to see if the option has wireless support.
Smart Soundbar Options
For the best budget options, you might be able to get extra smart home option aside from excellent sounds. Built-in functions being voice control, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. While this is a luxury feature and can be quite useful, it’s not essential to the functionality of your soundbars. For some though, it might be a little too much. You’ll see quite a lot of reviews online, so you can check any site reviews if you want to know how others use this function.
Telling Alexa or Google Assistant to inform you about the weather or the latest news or perform a specific action. By just speaking to it will allow you to go about your day with hands-free control over your sounding bar. Sonos speakers like the Sonos Beam equip their sound system with smart functions. It upports streaming from Airplay 2 as well.
This feature may just be as important for your new speakers as surrounding effect is. The audio modes are one of the best features to add that crystal clear sounds depending on the content.
Whether you want to enjoy your TV shows, movies, music, news, and games with a whole other level of audio, soundbars with various modes can deliver in every way.
Plus, audio mode allows the soundbars to analyze the content being played and determine which settings will provide the best audio. Some soundbars even allow you to customize and memorize it so you never have to input them again. So whether you buy from brands such as Samsung, Yamaha, or Sonos, check and see if there are modes in the unit.
A big reason why TV sound just don’t cut it is due to the bass. It’s a far cry from what most want. Many of us want excellent sounds and a heavy bass that permeates the room in full. While we like a lot of soundbars that have a subwoofer built-in, our review reveals they still don’t measure up to having a larger wireless sub.
To really enjoy full, thumping bass that your regular speakers can’t quite provide, find yourself a wireless subwoofer. Though the sub might cost extra, know that it’s money well-spent for the value you get.
Know that this is important and can affect the audio quality of your soundbars, whether they’re from brands like Yamaha or Samsung. Most budget soundbars come with 2 channels. This means that the sounding bar comes with left and right speakers (points of audio emission).
3 means the soundbar has left, right and center channels, and so on. As you can probably imagine, the more your soundbar has, the more immersive it will be.
As mentioned before, 5 is still the industry standard for simulating surround-sound, and soundbars can go up to 7 for full room-filling audio. Reading reviews will help quite a lot in informing you about channels.
Most but not all sound-bars you’ll read about in reviews will come with a remote control. It’s better if your sounding bar can be controlled with a universal remote. You’ll want this because it eliminates the need to have multiple remotes.
Sometimes it can get confusing as to which one controls which device. Wouldn’t it be great if one remote did everything? This is why you want a good remote that’s preferably universal. Many product reviews such as ours value the inclusion of a remote because we want to change settings even when far from the TV.
The soundbars you buy should be quite easy to set up. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes out of the box. The box should also come with everything you need. Hopefully, it will add in a mounting bracket to be wall-mounted to save you time and energy.
You should also expect a full set of cables and perhaps a remote as well. You can buy a lot of products that have a simple plug-and-play setup which means all you have to do is plug in the compatible cable to get started.
Ones with HDMI arcs are the best. They are very easy and are the “plug-and-play” products we were referring to. They are great for multi-channel sound-bars. Plus, they also afford the least amount of lag as well.
Are Soundbars Worth the Money?
Are they even worth it if you find your TV speakers acceptable? The answer is – yes! Your TV speakers can be passable or up to standard, but an excellent soundbar, even one for budgeters can still elevate the sound experience .
Ones with audio modes (like Yamaha) have the capability of focusing on the right content and making adjustments to best suit your needs. For example, soundbars with gaming mode will let you earn your victories and wins more gloriously than ever.
If everything about your sound-bar is perfect for you but it lacks expansive audio, then you can look at the channels.
2 is the most common in budget products, but you can also have 3, 5, or 7. Ones with Dolby Atmos is the height of quality, but to get surround-sound you can opt for 5 or 7 channels. Read reviews to check the specs.
What is Dolby Atmos in my Soundbar?
Dolby Atmos not only helps with great surround sound, but it’s also responsible for creating realistic sounds. The use of Atmos helps immerse the audience in the movies they are enjoying by bringing life-like audio.
It can be found in theaters around the world and can now be brought home to your living space. They work by heightening channels and creating three-dimensional sound-effects.
What Size Soundbar is Best for Me?
Sound-bars come in different sizes, and similar to your TV, a large soundbar usually provides a far better sound quality. However, you shouldn’t exceed the width of your TV when you buy this device.
Smaller sound-bars have more variety and flexibility with the TVs they can complement. The larger the sound-bar, the larger your TVs would have to be.
Our Top Pick: Vizio SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar
As far as budget sound-bars go, nothing beats the Vizio SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar. For one that is so affordable, Vizio comes with top tier tech to give you the most realistic audio, 3D room-filling entertainment, and focused details.
It can pump out up to 95 dB of quality audio with minimal distortion. Of course, it also features Bluetooth and a slim profile for ease of use. Control everything with the included remote and setup is easy!
If you are looking for a sound-bar that is capable of going toe to toe with higher-end models without taking a chunk out of your wallet, then this is the right choice for you.