At the price of a few hundred dollars, basic features are a given, but you can also expect some fancier bells and whistles. To make sure you get the most out of your money and get a soundbar of quality build and not one that will stop working in a short time, here are the best soundbars under 400 our audio experts have tested.
Reviews of the Best Soundbars Under $400
1. Sonos Beam
The Sonos Beam can capture all layers of audio from your media and create a realistic experience for viewers. The Beam was specially tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to further enhance dialogue spoken onscreen to guarantee you never miss an iconic line.
With the help of Amazon Alexa, you can easily check the news, set alarms, and get answers to your questions all completely hands-free.
The Sonos Beam is also a buildable system and can be connected to other components to create up to 5.1 channels of surround sound, letting you enjoy the sound on a deeper level.
2. Yamaha YAS-207BL
As the world’s first soundbar to feature DTS Virtual: X Virtual 3D surround sound, the Yamaha YAS-207BL is a pioneer in immersive audio. The Yamaha soundbar comes with a powerful external subwoofer that will complement the expansive sound with rich and thundering bass.
The slim soundbar offers flexible placement and supports wireless streaming with Bluetooth. You can enjoy your favorite tunes and podcasts with enhanced sound from your soundbar.
The setup is simple, which is surprising knowing what this soundbar can do. The YAS-207BL offers HDMI, optical, and analog connections to guarantee compatibility with your flatscreen TV.
3. Bose Solo 5
The Bose Solo 5 soundbar is one of the most compact options available on the market. Its small size does not compromise its power, as the soundbar can simulate realistic 3D sounds and enhance speech.
The Bose Solo 5 itself is lightweight, giving the user multiple placement options. The soundbar can also be controlled with the included universal remote from the comfort of your own chair.
Bluetooth is built into the soundbar to further increase convenience. Through this wireless connection, you can stream content from your mobile device directly to your soundbar to elevate the audio quality.
Soundbar Under $400 Buyer’s Guide
At this price, the best soundbars under 400 should give you more than just enhanced audio that beats out your TV speakers. It should also provide more features aiming for convenience and versatility. To help you find the best one for your needs, follow our guide below.
Size & Design
Soundbars generally have a slim profile, which allows them to fit into your entertainment system easily. The compact design also makes them lighter, and gives users the freedom of wall-mounting or placing it on a flat surface.
However, the more drivers and features a soundbar has, the larger it becomes. Some components can be moved around the room, but not every purchase has this flexibility.
The size of your TV is another factor. A larger TV would require a larger soundbar to be able to match its audio capabilities.
It’s difficult to find a soundbar that is of the same length as your TV screen, so we suggest giving yourself some leeway and finding options for a soundbar that are just a few inches shorter. Being compact just like the Samsung HW-J250 also helps.
HDMI, digital optical, and analog connections can be found on soundbars. Analog cables are a more outdated method of connection often used to connect older devices, such as a CD player, to your soundbar.
HDMI is the best option when setting up your soundbar because it is a single connection that connects all your home devices to your soundbar. The inputs are easily switched via your remote control, which eliminates the need for the soundbar to be controlled from your TV.
HDMI inputs can also pass 4K and HDR content easily to make sure you get the full range of sound frequencies with none of the latency.
As for wireless options, Bluetooth is often enabled in soundbars for streaming purposes. You can pair your mobile device with your soundbar to enjoy elevated sound.
Wi-Fi is similar to Bluetooth in terms of capability but with a few upgrades. It allows users to build a multi-room system and makes the soundbar compatible with virtual assistants and other technologies such as AirPlay and Chromecast.
Most soundbars can be controlled with a remote. You can find one included with your purchase or configure your existing universal remote to control your new soundbar.
Having a remote control eliminates the need to make your way to the soundbar’s control panel for simple adjustments. Some soundbars will also have a compatible app that serves as a one-stop control center for all preferred settings.
Indicator lights and display screens on a soundbar do not affect performance, but we find that having them makes it easier to monitor your settings. Some soundbars will have a basic control panel built-in to give viewers one more control over the soundbar.
Many great soundbars will boast about having surround sound capabilities. In reality, to create theater-like 3D surround sound, the soundbar needs to be equipped with advanced audio technologies and feature compatible hardware.
The industry standard for surround sound includes 5 channels (left, right, center, and two rear speakers) and can go up to 7 . Only with this many channels can your soundbar fully utilize the space and propel sound around the room.
Having 5 or more channels plus advanced technologies such as DTS:X, Dolby Audio and brand-specific surround sound technologies such as S-Force and Harman Kardon will further guarantee cinematic sound in your home.
A powerful subwoofer is needed for deep and heavy bass notes. It is important for a soundbar to have a subwoofer to relay all the tones on the lower spectrum.
While some soundbars can have a sub built-in, it won’t compare to a larger and more powerful external subwoofer. External subwoofers operate on a wireless connection, giving users the freedom to find the best placement to maximize its bass capabilities.
Getting the Most out of Your Soundbar
To get the most out of your new soundbar, make sure that you disable your TV speakers first. While having more than one audio source may seem like a good way to add channels to your system, the sound will actually be incongruent.
Disabling the TV speakers will allow the audio to be funneled out from one source, therefore fully optimizing your soundbar.
Are you willing to spend a few hundred bucks more? We also have our top recommended soundbars that won’t cost more than a thousand dollars.
What should I look for when buying a soundbar?
When buying a soundbar, you should look for one that can enhance audio details with premium drivers and can fill rooms of any size with high definition sound. Start by identifying the audio technology included, the number of channels, and the preset sound modes.
Our Top Pick For Soundbar Under $400: Sonos Beam
The renowned Sonos Beam takes the top spot in our best soundbar under 400 review for its audio capabilities with emphasis on clear speech and its compact design. The Beam is expertly tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to deliver enhanced speech even at low volumes.
Amazon Alexa makes using the soundbar simple, and basic commands can be made with your voice. If the Beam alone doesn’t satisfy your craving for impressive sound, you can build on the system with other Sonos add-ons to create