Everyone wants clear and crisp audio from the TV when you are having a Netflix night, and soundbars allow us to have just that. However, as these little devices are growing in popularity, so is the price.
This makes it harder to find the best soundbars out there on a budget with smaller channels, and it can be a challenge to find a soundbar for cheap that doesn't compromise on sound quality.
So with that being said, we have decided to round up the best affordable soundbars for sale and compare them to help you find the best model under your budget so as you can enjoy your movie nights.
If you are looking for a very affordable sound bar under budget, it could be worth considering this unit by BOMAKER. The budget soundbars model comes with a 4 speaker unit and has 2 bass reflex tubes with a built-in subwoofer for listening on low sound frequencies.
Notable features of this device are the range of EQ modes which allows you to select HDMI ARC options that enable you to use your TVs remote to control the device. It also has other modes such as; movies, music, bass+ and more.
Connectivity-wise, the model, can be used with Bluetooth to stream music or USB ports, it also supports HDMI ARC and digital optical input. Its design measures in at 37-inch length and is suitable for any 40 inch to 60 inch TVs. An optical cable and RCA cable is also included with the model.
Overall, this budget soundbars model by BOMAKER is one of the best speakers on our list in terms of sound quality and range of features due to its variety of EQ modes and built-in subwoofer design. This, therefore, boasts a much more powerful output than when compared to other speakers on our list.
However, this affordable sound bar does have some negatives. For example, the soundbars EQ presets are said to be restricting and don't allow you to change the bass and treble.
This Creative Stage sound bar on sale comes with a 2.1 speakers channel system and has a 160 watts output power with an individual wireless subwoofer to enhance bass.
Feature-wise, this model has preset EQ collections for a range of audio modes such as music or movie, it also has easy to use buttons on the side of the unit and can be controlled with a remote control too. This soundbar can be connected to via; Bluetooth, optical cable, HDMI, 3.5mm AUX or USB.
The budget soundbars design additionally comes with a wall mounting kit for easy installation.
Overall, this Creative Stage model features a high power speaker unit with a sound quality subwoofer that can allow you to improve your TVs audio or play crisp music easily thanks to its preset modes and remote control.
This model also allows you to get the perfect sound from your TV thanks to the adjustable bass and treble options.
Some downfalls of this soundbar have to be its bass which is reported to be too heavy. The AUX cable is also said to be on the short side.
This highly-rated Sony soundbar comes with a two speakers channel and has a front surround sound system with a bass reflex unit for a more resonant sound.
Main features of this model are its slim, compact design which can be placed mounted or under your TV. It also has an HDMI connection system and Bluetooth connectivity with USB ports.
To manage this device, remote control is also included for changing sound modes and volume.
Overall, this Sony device is one of the best soundbars under 100 on our list due to its bass reflex unit and surround sound performance which gives out a high sound quality for its price.
The model is also excellent thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to stream music from your phone.
Negatives of this Sony soundbar have to be its lack of instruction manual which can make set-up complicated. It is also said to have a lack of built-in modes to choose from.
Panasonic is well-known in the TVs and music industry for creating durable and relilable audio products. This soundbar, in particular, features an 80W volume output and can be adjusted from 0-90 degrees depending on the direction of the sound you want.
Significant specifications of this soundbar have to be its two speakers and Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect the unit to your phone to stream music.
The soundbar additionally comes with a digital input option and has a small size that allows you to place the unit under 32-43 inch TVs.
This Panasonic soundbar is an excellent option if you are looking for a low-price model to fit a small room thanks to its adjustable sound direction and easy to use Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to stream music to the speaker.
Some downfalls of this wireless soundbar have to be its lack of bass and treble modes. The soundbar also comes without an optical input cable that has to be brought seperatley.
The Majority model features a 150W output power and has a 2.1 channel speaker system that comes with a free-standing subwoofer to boost the power of lower frequencies.
Significant specifications of the soundbar are its easy connection system which includes; an optical cable, HDMI ARC cable, and an RCA cable. The soundbar additionally comes with a remote control that allows you to change treble and bass settings as well as volume.
Other notable features of this Majority soundbar is its Bluetooth connection option and 3.5mm AUX line-in, you can also insert a USB for easy listening. A 36-month warranty is further included with the soundbar once registered for the buyer's confidence.
This Majority soundbar is overall a very high-quality soundbar for sale at a low-price, it has all the features need to improve your TVs sounds such as a free-standing subwoofer and two speakers.
It additionally comes with easy connection cables to set-up the unit.
Negatives of this model have to be its lack of control for the volume which is said to either be very loud or very quiet. The device further has been reported to have a very low-quality subwoofer that has a flat volume output.
To conclude, the best sound bar under budget has to be the BOMAKER Soundbar 2.0. This sound bar has great power from its speakers and high-quality bass considering its small price, the model also has a range of connection options, such as Bluetooth allowing you to play music.
All these features combined make this soundbar the top and most reliable speaker on our list for improving the audio from your TV.
As a runner up we would also recommend the Creative Stage 2.1 Channel Soundbar thanks to its high output power and relilable set-up. This virtual surround sound unit additionally has an easy installation if you are looking to wall mount it.
Looking for the top soundbar on sale can be an overwhelming process due to the sheer amount on the market, there are many features to consider in your model, along with the pros and cons of using a sound bar and if they match up to a home theatre system.
So with that being said, we have put together our fool-proof buying guide below to give you all the knowledge you need when looking for your low-price unit.
A sound bar is a slim device which usually has one power cable and another cable to connect to your TV unit. The bars contain several speaker channels side by side and often come with a separate subwoofer if you get a high price model.
These bars typically have two channels up and can be mounted under your TV or on a wall unit, the design of these speakers improve bass at low frequencies and can help you hear the dialogue in movies better.
The channels on a soundbar mean the amount of individual digital speakers inside of the device, for example, a 5.1.2 speaker has 5 speakers (some located at the rear), 1 separate subwoofer to improve bass and 2 drivers to improve virtual surround sound.
Typically, the higher the number of channels, then the better the range and power of sound will be.
Well, if you are someone who wants an easy way to improve your TVs audio on a low money budget, then a soundbar is your answer.
There are also some other key indicators that might show a sound bar is worth investing in.
There are some essential features to consider in your best budget soundbar model if you are looking to find the top on the market for your money.
From channels to Bluetooth and a range of audio options, you should make sure you consider what feature is a priority for you, especially if you like listening to music or want more control over your TV's audio.
We have put together a list of the key features to consider in your soundbars model below -
If you are looking to improve the sound from your TV, you have likely come across the idea of installing some home theatre speakers at some point.
So you might be wondering whats the difference between the two?
Home theatre speakers tend to come as a set of speakers and allow you to place them around a single room for a surround sound cinema feel.
These sets require a receiver/amplifier to work and tend to have a better design for improving audio.
However, home theatre set-ups are more expensive and much more complicated to set up than a soundbar, they also have more wires which can lead to a more cluttered space around your living room, unlike a wireless soundbar.
As you know, sound bars have a wireless design and typically consist of a single unit with an extra subwoofer, making them much more compact than a home theatre set up.
Some of the higher-end power models have more channels which give a surround sound effect that is comparable to a home theatre set-up; they are an excellent option for basic TV audio running.
On the other hand, however, when compared to a home theatre set-up, these devices do lack sound depth due to the fact their design only emits front-facing audio, giving a less cinema-like sound effect.
Overall, for everyday viewing on TVs, a wireless soundbar is the perfect solution to help enhance audio and give clearer dialogue. Nevertheless, if you are keener on a professional sounding cinema-like set-up, then a home theatre option could be worth investing in.
Sound bars are relatively easy to set up and connect to your TV; however, there are several different connectivity options you can choose.
We have listed out some of the most common ways to connect your soundbar to your TV below -
A digital optical cable has a design that can support a limit of 5.1 channel audio. They are one of the easiest ways to connect a wireless soundbar to your TV if you don't have an HDMI port.
Simply place the ends of the cable in/out into the correct plugs of your TV and speaker then change the source on your bar to match.
HDMI is the best way to transfer high-quality digital Dolby audio or any channels from 5.1-7.1 and higher without any sound loss.
If your TV can support HDMI ARC, then make sure the HDMI out is the side connected to your soundbar, most of the high-quality wireless soundbars have an HDMI connector and will come with a cable included.
If you are looking for a way to connect your soundbar to your TV without HDMI or an optical cable you could try using a line out option. Still, this connection is not capable of supporting higher quality sound and can only deliver analogue audio.
To connect your line out cable, plug it into the port on your TV labelled line out, for RCA, plug the red connector into the red socket and the white into the white socket.
This method once again might not support high-quality audio but will work as long as you turn up your TVs volume to be slightly higher, just simply plug each end of the AUX cable into the ports on your soundbar and TV.
If your AUX connection is producing a quiet result, then this may mean you haven't turned your TV volume up as headphone jacks tend to quiet the device for safety reasons automatically.
The best way to connect your soundbar to your TV has to be through HDMI ARC as this gives the most high-grade sound transfer possible and is also the easiest method. Choosing this connection method allows you to stream high-quality Dolby Atmos sound.
If you are reluctant to invest in a full-blown home theatre system, a soundbar is a great way to improve your TVs sound.
However, rather than tirelessly adjusting your device throughout a movie, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make your sound bar sound better!
Can I play music with a soundbar?
Yes, you can play music by connecting your phone via Bluetooth or using a USB stick; however, these bars may not be as good for playing music than stereo.
How many channels should I look for in a soundbar?
You should look for 3 channels minimum if you want a surround sound effect. However, lots of cheaper models tend only to have two channels which are sufficient for most TV viewing.
What are some of the best soundbar brands to look for, which are under budget?
Some of the most popular budget sound bar brands to look for are Bose, Sony, Samsung and the above on our list.
What is Dolby Atmos?
Dolby Atmos is a new modern technology that adds height channels to sound and allows you to hear audio three-dimensionally from all angles, giving a better 3D sound experience for music and movies.
For a large room, what size sound bar should I look for?
Concerning a larger room, you should look for a sound bar which has 5 channels or 7 channels, the actual size of the soundbar has nothing to do with the power of the built-in speakers.
A 2 channel speaker will still help enhance audio but will be much less powerful as its built-in speaker will only producing front-facing sound.
Can I connect a sound bar with Amazon Alexa?
On some of the higher-end models, you can connect your wireless bar to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant through wireless technology, this allows you to remote control your bar via voice or even play Amazon music.
Could I use a budget sound bar with an old TV?
Yes, as long as your TV has compatible ports such as optical input or an RCA port, you can connect your sound bar to any TV.
Is it possible to connect other speaker models to one of these bars?
You can connect other speakers to your model with different ports and connectors; however, this is not recommended unless it comes as a set due to potential sound distortion.
Why is the HDMI connection the best?
HDMI is the best option as it can carry more massive amounts of uncompressed high audio data, making it great for Dolby Digital audio or speakers with higher amounts of channels.
Is there a difference between passive and active soundbars?
Passive soundbars require an external receiver to work and come typically as a set of speakers that can be placed around a room, much like a home theatre system. Active sound bars have this amplifier/receiver built-in.
Can I use one of these devices without a TV?
Yes, you can use your device without a TV via Bluetooth or with an AUX cord for music purposes only or streaming a movie on your laptop.
What kind of ways can I connect my soundbar to a TV?
You can connect your soundbar to your TV in four typical ways; HDMI ARC, optical cable, 3.5mm cable, RCA cable or by AUX. HDMI and optical tend to be the best options for high-end sound.
What are some of the main feature specs I should look for in a model?
Look for the number of channels, sizes, mode options and connectivity options. Make sure your model will be compatible with your TV before purchasing.
Can I use a soundbar without a subwoofer?
Yes, the device will still help you hear sound from your TV better; however, a subwoofer can help amplify bass in music and movies and is worth considering if you want a surround sound set-up.
What does a wireless feature do on a sound bar?
A wireless connectivity feature allows you to connect the device to many different models without Bluetooth, making it easy to use apps and tools such as Amazon Alexa.
Does a soundbar need to be plugged in?
Yes, a sound bar device needs to be plugged into the mains to work and the TV to transmit sound.
What is a 3.1 channel bar?
A 3.1 channel soundbar will have three speaker channels inside and a subwoofer. These channels will be located in the centre, left and right.
Where should I place my device?
You should place your soundbar directly underneath your TV or mount it underneath on a wall unit.
How do I fix my soundbar as it's not playing any sound?
A couple of ways to check and troubleshoot your soundbar, in this case, is by turning it on and off, turning up the volume, checking the cables are inserted correctly and switching through sources slowly.
What are some of the best brands to buy a soundbar from?
Some of the top high-end brands to buy from are; Sonos beam, Sony, Yamaha, JBL and more.
What acessories should my bar come with?
Your model should come with a subwoofer if it has and some connector cables such as an HDMI cable and an optical cable. The device should additionally have a remote control too.
Is a sound base any different to a sound bar?
Both perform similarly; however, a sound base is circular and sits as part of your TV base; these devices are much more suitable for playing music and enhancing bass.
Are these devices suitable for gaming?
Yes, soundbars can be great for gaming due to their surround sound, enabling you to place them below your monitor directly during play.
Can I connect them to my phone to play music without Bluetooth?
You can connect your device to your phone via an AUX cable which doesn't require Bluetooth. You could also try via WIFI if your model has wireless connectivity.
Why doesn't an active soundbar need an amplifier/receiver?
An active soundbar doesn't need a receiver as it already has them built inside the design; this is why they often cheaper than passive bars.
Can I adjust the bass and treble on a soundbar?
Yes, most of the top soundbars have this option to adjust bass and treble via their mobile apps, on the device directly, or via the TV itself.
Is a soundbar better than a home theatre system?
No, a soundbar can't compete with a home theatre system in terms of depth, although, soundbars do have some advantages over home theatre systems such as fewer wires and easier set-up, they also tend to be much cheaper.
Does a large wattage mean a better soundbar?
No, although a higher wattage may mean more power for your soundbar, it has nothing to with how good the channels are, this is down to the design and how many channels your bar comes with.
Are soundbars worth the money?
Indeed, if you can't afford a home theatre set-up or you are tight on space, then a soundbar is worth it as it's a cheap way to upgrade your TVs sound.
Are there any disadvantages to using a soundbar?
Yes, the drivers are closer together, which means sound comes from only one front-facing position, this proves less useful than home theatre speakers which produce audio from all positions in a room.
Can a soundbar help me if I have trouble hearing a speech from my TV?
Certainly, especially if your bar comes with a voice or dialogue mode, this can help you understand speech much better in movies and shows. It's best to go with a higher channel soundbar in this case.
What are some benefits of using a soundbar?
Better sound, less space, no wires, affordable, and easy to install. They allow you to use them for multiple uses to such as streaming music via Bluetooth. The design is often very sleek as well which can fit nicely under the matching width of a TV or wall-mounted.
Our number one budget soundbar recommendation is the BOMAKER Soundbar 2.0. This soundbar is our top model thanks to the higher amount of channels and a broader range of connection options which allows you to use the device with and old and new TVs or even via Bluetooth.
We also suggested checking out the Creative Stage 2.1 Channel Soundbar because of its high-end sound output and easy wall mount installation kit. This device is also one of the cheapest on our list, making it great value for money.
The only reason we placed this soundbar below the BOMAKER is due to its lower-end channels.