When you stick to a budget, there are two things that can happen: you get a value-for-your-money product, or you get ripped off. Obviously, you want the former, and that’s why we listed some great budget soundbars below. These are some of the best products we’ve tested that are a bang for your buck, so you can expect great quality at an affordable and cheap price.
The 5 Best Cheap Soundbars On A Budget
1. Majority Teton 32 Inch 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar
At 32 inches, the Majority Teton sound bar is the perfect size for most TVs. You can choose where to place the soundbar—you can put it below your TV screen or mount it on the wall to save space.
The brand makes sure the soundbar is compatible with most devices by including HDMI ARC, RCA, Optical, 3.5 mm, and Bluetooth connection options.
Don’t worry about the bass, the Majority Teton Sound Bar can still boost the deep tones with its unassuming profile. The subwoofer is built directly into the soundbar for high-definition audio relays.
2. Pheanoo Sound Bar with Subwoofer
This soundbar is another proof that the best soundbars don’t need to cost over three digits.
The Pheanoo sound bar is paired with its own subwoofer. You get great value with this combination as the external subwoofer is much more powerful than built-in options. The entire system comes together with harmonic distortion lower than 1% — meaning it delivers high-definition audio.
You can also find multiple connections with this device and it comes with a smart and intuitive remote. You can find different sound modes offered by the device that can transform your music, movie, and gaming experience.
Pheanoo allows you to mount the soundbar securely on the wall and comes with the accessories to do so.
3. Polk Audio Signa S2 Ultra-Slim TV Soundbar (Subwoofer Included)
If you have a larger space and you want something with more bass, the Polk Audio Signa S2 is among the best budget speakers in our list and reviews. It’s an affordable TV soundbar that includes a dedicated wireless subwoofer, making the low frequencies pop.
Including Polk’s voice adjust technology and Dolby Digital decoding, this soundbar is capable of producing clearer sound and reducing delays. When we tested this in our listening room, its performance rivals some of the best midrange products you can buy on the market.
When it comes to the setup, the available connections aren’t sparse. This supports HDMI inputs, optical input, and AUX inputs as well. Just connect the soundbar to your TV through the HDMI and you’re good to go.
4. TCL Alto 7+2.1 Channel Home Theater Soundbar
From the TCL models, this is one of the best budget soundbars from the brand. It’s equipped with two channels and one wireless sub to give you a satisfyingly punchy and rumbling bass. While the design is unassuming, this soundbar is pretty high-tech.
TCL gives you the freedom of choosing between 3 modes (music, movies, news) to make sure you get the best sounds depending on the content. The tweeters also work to balance the bass.
The setup is seamless in our review, with the flexibility to connect the soundbar to your TV through multiple connections, including IR pass-through, HDMI ARC, optical digital, and AUX inputs.
Overall, this TCL 2.1 channel soundbar delivers great quality and excellent performance.
5. BYL Bestisan Soundbar Wired and Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Speaker for TV
The last soundbar on our list is the BYL Bestisan. It’s a pretty basic soundbar with no bells and whistles, but it’s a good upgrade to your normal TV speakers.
Equipped with DSP technology, the dialogue on this soundbar is crystal clear. If you’re someone who loves watching movies or TV shows, you can skip the captions because the voices really pop.
In our reviews, we found the remote control to be highly sensitive and intuitive, which is plus points in our book. It makes the setup extremely easy to use so you don’t have to stand up and use the side panel buttons for control.
Overall, this is one of the best soundbars in our review for those looking for a basic upgrade.
Cheap Soundbar Buying Guide
Even if you’re pinching pennies, the best budget soundbar can still potentially create a cinematic feel in the absence of multiple speakers. But you do have to review a couple of things to make sure you’re still getting your money’s worth with a soundbar.
Design and Size
If you have limited space, a soundbar should be small and slim enough to be easily set up. Then again, even if you have a large space in your living area, it’s better for your soundbar and sub to look sleek as well.
You should also consider the size of your TV when picking out the right design. Some soundbars are better suited for fifty-five inch sets and large TVs than others.
This can be simulated in more than one way. The best option you can buy is one with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. There are topnotch Dolby Atmos soundbars or DTS:X readily available in the market, as well. Like our top choice on the list, it should generate Studio Sound ™, Tru Volume ™, and TruSurround ™ to give you an almost full and immersive sound in your living room. You can add a sub for loud sounds, especially in low frequencies.
Since the purpose of purchasing a new soundbar is to elevate your TV speakers and your overall entertainment, we recommend to at least go for a sound bar with Virtual Surround Sound support.
Buying something with optical, aux, RCA, ARC, and HDMI inputs is a good way to get much more connectivity support. Review your choices because it gives you the flexibility to link different devices or components, such as a sub. Although, if you have a really tight budget, it’s much harder to find a cheap speaker with HDMI ARC capability.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are the wireless connection options that the best soundbars have. Make sure the product you buy on Amazon has these features as well.
A lot of new devices, high-end or at a lower price range such as TCL Alto 5, support Bluetooth. For many users, a sound bar built with Bluetooth provides much more value due to streaming.
Some quality soundbars like the Yamaha YAS 209 can also support Wi-Fi, but you have to read the specs if it’s available. Plus, keep in mind that the connection stability depends on the signal strength, so it may be a little sloppy at times.
Cheap and Smart Soundbar Options
For the best budget devices, you may be able to get extra smart home functions aside from excellent sound quality. Voice assistant features such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa can be pretty handy for users looking for smart functions.
Sonos speakers like the Sonos Beam are great examples of soundbars with smart functions. The system supports streaming from Airplay 2 as well, making it even better for Apple users. You may even play TV shows directly by voice. However, having Amazon Alexa built right in can be expensive.
Still, a smart soundbar can have Amazon Alexa without Google Assistant. The Yamaha YAS 209 is an example of this.
Aside from the fixed settings, the best soundbar should have audio modes to automatically analyze the media being played and determine which settings will provide the best sounds.
For example, soundbars with gaming mode are great for gamers. Movie mode is good for TV shows too. So whether you buy from brands such as Samsung, Yamaha, or Sonos, read the label if the unit supports different modes.
The number of channels directly affects the audio quality, regardless of whether you buy from brands like Yamaha or Samsung. In our reviews, a lot of budget soundbars have 2 channels. This means that the soundbar has left and right speakers which are points of sound emission.
If you’re looking for the best soundbar on a budget, a 2.1 channel system like that on the Yamaha YAS 209 is best.
Most soundbars include their own remote control, but there are also models that can operate with a universal remote. If you’re one who doesn’t want the hassle of using multiple remotes for every device, then you may want the latter option.
And if you want hands-free control, soundbars with built-in Alexa can read and accept voice commands.
For an easy assembly, the box should have everything you need. In some units, they add in a mounting bracket if you choose to mount the sound bar on your wall.
If everything’s complete, including the cable, you should be able to get your speaker up and running in no time. It’s supposed to be simple, although you might need to make a quick Google search and read some reviews.
Need more recommendations? Read our review on soundbars from iLive that are best known for their versatility.
Are Soundbars Worth the Money?
Yes, soundbars are worth the money even if you find your TV sound acceptable. For some, TV speakers can be passable or up to standard, but an excellent soundbar, even one for budgeteers, can still elevate the sound experience .
What Size Soundbar is Best for Me?
Soundbars come in different sizes, and similar to your TV, a large soundbar usually provides a far better sound quality. You shouldn’t exceed the width of your TV when you buy this device, though.
Smaller sound-bars have more variety and flexibility with the TVs they can complement. If you have a smaller TV or limited space, compact soundbars like the Yamaha YAS 209 and Sonos Beam are best.
Our Top Pick: Majority Teton Sound Bar
Our audio lab experts have chosen the Majority Teton Sound Bar as the best budget option. It’s a congregation of everything you would need in a soundbar including built-in subwoofers, Bluetooth streaming, and more. You can choose to set up this device in multiple ways including wall-mounting to save some space.