Best Soundbar Under $200 – Reviews and Guide
Well, these days we can’t depend on our televisions for a great sound and we’re glad that soundbar is there to save our souls.
However, trying to find the best soundbar under 200 is a little tough on one’s own.
Because most soundbars under 200 aren’t equipped with good speakers and you don’t wanna end up with a trash after spending your hard-earned money.
Good for you, we picked some soundbars that feature splendid units and they’re all under 200. We’ve reviewed these soundbars based on their quality and features they offer for customer convenience. See them for yourself and choose the best one.
And, yeah, we put out a buying guide in case you’re having problem taking a decision. You can check it out for some help.
Guide to Buy Best Soundbar: How Should You Choose Your Piece
Why A Soundbar?
Yes, there was this one time, when Disney Channel was good, Michael Jackson was alive, Cartoon Network still had its old logo and our Televisions looked like some heavy treasure chest……..or giant microwave oven, you decide. Now the table has turned and things have changed, and so has our TV.
To be honest, in last couple of years, all the houses I’ve visited (of my relatives and friends), I’ve seen slim screens everywhere. Yes, it’s been said, Slim TV it is, those old giants are literally dead. And why shouldn’t they? These flat panel digital TVs have brought the theater-like experience right at our home! Amazing picture, wonderful details! No wonder people pass on a Saturday night out just for binge watching new shows on Netflix.
However, no matter how much the display quality has developed, one thing has dropped unfortunately and that’s a MAJOR drawback. Yes, I’m talking about sound quality.
Remember, in 2016, how everybody freaked out when Apple got rid of the headphone jack? Well, this was new for smartphone users that time, but ‘Modern Televisions’ started the similar thing way before that.
Nowadays, manufacturers’ main headache is this, how can they make it slimmer? Like, if it was possible, they’d get rid of the screen as well. (Well, it may happen in distance future, who knows?) To make it skinny, they’ve reduced the size of units and drivers, and that’s where the problem started.
The speaker modern day television features are not quite what you can call a speaker. To fit it to the flat attire, they’ve cut some slack here too. And the consequence?
These speakers don’t have what it takes to produce quality sound. The driver’s specs have totally been ignored. They’re equipped with small, low powered, poorly engineered components and the outcome is pretty vague.
Let it be a dialogue, some explosion in an action movie, a music video, or spooky background music of a Stephen King movie – you can’t enjoy anything because of the disgusting sound quality.
And it’s not just poor component engineering. Designing has also failed terribly. Speakers of modern televisions are always placed in disappointing places, like downwards or faced towards the wall. You can’t expect something coming right towards your ears, let alone a good surround sound effect if they’re faced in the wrong direction.
Briefly put, TV speakers are added for delivering sound but they can’t. (At least not good sound, to be precise)
And this is why soundbar was invented. To compensate for those speakers’ incapability.
How Does Soundbar Work?
Soundbar is kind of an everything-is-at-one-place package. What do you need for good sound? Some drivers that work to produce distinct and detailed frequencies. Soundbar features those drivers, sometimes tweeter, super tweeter and mid-range drivers particularly. And it also includes a unit for bass, since this is the main attribute for loud sound. Sometimes there’s a subwoofer to enhance the bass quality. With all these things crammed in one place, a soundbar is manufactured.
Oh, this is not it. A lot of soundbars have an amplifier to amplify weak signals. Many companies introduce brilliant technologies (often of their own) to add more thrill, improve the effects and create an atmosphere for surround sound.
After purchasing a soundbar, you have to connect it to the TV. There is no specific way for this. It can be AUX, RCA, Bluetooth or some other medium. Once it’s connected, all you gotta do is just start playing. Everything inside the bar will do their part and you’ll get what your TV couldn’t give.
Just Soundbar or Pedestal Soundbar
Yeah, the choice that everyone comes across and gets stuck at one point. Admit it, it’s hard to choose, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
However, our suggestion is, stick with soundbar.
You shouldn’t pick a soundbase because they’re out of style. C’mon, we’re not trying to be rude, this is the harsh reality. TV manufacturers introducing something new every day and soundbases somehow aren’t being able to keep up with these ‘surprises’.
Moreover, nowadays people tend to mount their TV instead of putting somewhere. And these bases have nothing to offer for your wall-TV.
Again, let’s not mention size. Day by day, TVs are growing wider. It won’t be surprising if in near future, people start building theater venue in their home to fit their big screen-like televisions. Soundbases can’t hold big TVs and that’s why there’s no point of choosing them.
Besides, what’s the purpose of purchasing this again? Greater sound quality, right? Guess what, soundbar performs better than pedestal soundbar/soundbase. The bass quality of soundbase is pretty weak and it doesn’t cope well with additional subwoofers.
In every way, it’ll be a loss. So, soundbar it is. Besides, think of all the benefits a soundbar offers:
- Everything In Shorter Space
Soundbar takes less space than sound base. Soundbases are wider and thus need bigger area for placement. You don’t have to worry about bigger space with a soundbar.
- Offers Great Surround Sound
Surround sound makes the biggest difference. Pedestal soundbars don’t have a good arrangement for this, whilst soundbars are very dedicated to bring the best 3d surround sound effect. When you want theater-like experience, surround sound is mandatory. Another reason why the soundbar comes first.
- Amplifies Better
Soundbars are engineered with greater amplification technology. Audio sounds richer when played via soundbar.
- More Compatible
Soundbar isn’t out of style like soundbase. Its features are compatible with all modern TVs and undoubtedly it will remain this way even in near future.
One more remarkable reason why soundbar is better than soundbase. You can’t mount soundbase, it always requires a top. Plus, it’s impossible to mount something heavy like this. But you can mount a soundbar if you want to.
There Are Different Sizes
You might have noticed, soundbars come in different sizes. It says in lots of soundbars’ descriptions, ‘This is 38 inch, this one is 42’ and so on. Now the questions acutes, does the size really matter?
Sometimes, yes, other times, no.
As we already know, soundbar features a bunch of drivers in order to produce rich sound. Lots of soundbars include a number of specific drivers to ace in a particular field, and these soundbars don’t stop at one place. They do it for all the fields, to make sure that you get a pleasant performance. However, for accomplishing this goal, they have to expand their size and thus those soundbars grow longer.
But, longer soundbar doesn’t always mean a package of quality drivers. Sometimes manufacturers stretch them for a good outlook and they don’t have much to offer compared to many other shorter bars. So, don’t get excited at first, check the specs to see what it offers and then decide.
Again, it’s better to choose a length that goes well with your TV size.
Channel to Go With
Now, if you consider cheap soundbars, the channels you’re gonna usually come across are 2.0 and 2.1.
2.0 channel is gonna offer you the combination of two stereo speakers, where you’ll get an extra subwoofer with 2.1 channel system.
For cheap soundbars, 2.0 and 2.1 channels are the best options available. And some of them do deliver stunning performance. To be true, these channels are enough for great TV sound (movies, TV shows, news). However, if it’s possible to go for higher channel, because some 2.1 channel systems do volunteer for good surround sound, but you have to go higher for its true experience.
Apart from 2.0 and 2.1 channels, the other available channels are 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1.
Among all these three channels, the most significant change is evident in 5.1 speaker. Left and right speakers are already included, accompanied by a subwoofer. A center speaker is introduced that works mainly for speech clarity. And other two speakers are located in the back. These placements are made to create an ideal surround sound effect.
There isn’t any particular change in 6.1 and 7.1 speakers. The only difference is, 6.1 system features one and 7.1 features two more speakers than 5.1 system. The sound gets stronger and more detailed as the number of speaker increases.
Well, we have only one thing to say, just because most soundbars under 200 feature 2.0 and 2.1 system, doesn’t mean they don’t deliver good sound. Most systems deliver quite rich audio and they’re enough for watching TV.
Technologies That Come Along
Driver quality isn’t everything for good sound, it depends on included techs as well. For a decent TV watching experience (specially movies), Dolby Digital sound technologies are recommended. DTS is devoted to emit virtual surround sound effect to bring you theater-like experience right at home.
Apart from Dolby digital, every company have some patented technologies of their own which are included to cover for the drawbacks of featured speakers. These technologies are always mentioned in product descriptions. Always look up the description to learn about the technologies that are introduced for better performance.
An Additional Subwoofer
Soundbars are made slim. Their slim attire isn’t quite in the favor of producing bass frequencies because there isn’t sufficient arrangement for that. That’s why most soundbars can’t produce strong bass like treble or mid-range.
However, this is not an absolute fact. Some soundbars do include dedicated bass reflex tube, booster or subwoofer of their own that performs brilliantly. But if it’s not the case for your soundbar, you should definitely bring an additional subwoofer home. Speaker sound is never enough without good bass.
Soundbars feature both wired and wireless options since both of them come handy time to time. If a soundbar says ‘it can operate via wireless connection’, there’s an obvious chance that Bluetooth is being mentioned. Every soundbar primarily uses Bluetooth for wireless streaming. A few soundbars run on NFC or Wi-Fi. NFC is quite helpful if we’re talking old TV models here. Wi-Fi is better than Bluetooth but isn’t quite a familiar option yet.
For wired connection, more options are available than wireless mediums. AUX, USB, RCA, optical – you name it!
AUX is often featured because it’s the most common medium. However, since we’re talking about TV here, our best choices are RCA and optical. Why? Let us explain!
RCA is always featured in TV and other A/V devices. It’s easier to connect to TV via RCA connectors. Moreover, AUX isn’t common in flat panel TV.
And if you’re thinking of making the soundbar the part of your home theater system, you should go with optical and HDMI input.
When you’re going for optical, all you have to do is link all the drivers directly with TV and then connect the TV to soundbar using optical connection. In this case, the TV functions as a switcher. If your TV doesn’t have enough ports for all the drivers, you have to add an HDMI switcher to work this out.
Soundbars can be placed anywhere. You can place it on the top of a furniture, a stand, anywhere below your TV or just simply mount on the wall.
Now, some soundbars feature bracket, kit and keyhole slot for mounting. But there are few other soundbars as well, that have nothing in this regard. For the one without mounting kit, you’ll have to make a separate purchase for kit if you want to mount it on the wall.
If you’re thinking of putting it on the top of something, don’t forget to check a few things. Like, make sure that there’s enough space for placing it and it mustn’t block the view or signals of remote control. Some soundbars feature built-in IR repeater so that you can control the TV with your soundbar. If it doesn’t feature any and the signals are getting blocked because of the placement, bring an additional IR repeater.
So, here we are. These were the things that should be known by everybody to make the right purchase. We hope you got everything in one place.
Now, as you’re fully prepared to make the choice, let’s get down to the reviews.
Top Ten Soundbar Under 200 Reviews
1. TaoTronics 36-Inch 4 Speakers Strong Bass Sound Bar
TaoTronics 36-Inch 4 Speakers Strong Bass SoundBar is 36 inches long. What’s so special about it? Um, what’s not? These inches are expanded because of those four speakers it holds. Yes, this soundbar’s main attraction is its four drivers featured for powerful audio.
Two drivers give a full enclosure of treble and bass, whilst the other two function to boost mid-low frequencies to give you the taste of more profound bass.
Wired or wireless? How about both? Both of these connections have their privileges and keeping that in mind, this soundbar includes both options. Bluetooth is featured for wireless connection. You can stream your favorite song from any Bluetooth enabled device. The device has to be within the range of 33 ft. For wired linking, in-line, optical and RCA connections are available.
You can operate it directly or from afar, choice is yours. Comes with in-unit buttons and remote control. Features LED light to inform you about every step with splendid illumination.
You can either put it on a furniture or mount on the wall.
Quality with style. This soundbar follows an elegant sleek design that’s bound to enhance the beauty of your home decor. The extended and slim design is everything you want to see with your TV.
TaoTronics 36-Inch 4 Speakers Strong Bass SoundBar is definitely the best soundbar under 200. How? Well, look at its sleek attire and brilliant driver arrangement, you’ll understand yourself.
2. Meidong 36 inch 2.0 Channel Bluetooth Soundbar
Meidong 36 inch 2.0 Channel Bluetooth Soundbar is literally the best thing that can ever happen to an HDTV. This 36 inch soundbar is equipped with 3-way speakers to ensure high
quality sound for your home theater. Features two full-range stereo speakers and a subwoofer to blend all the frequencies at one place and deliver detailed audio. Four separate amplifiers are included to boost the sound to a theatrical level. 2.0 channel system works to deliver the most detailed sound with rich treble and deeper bass.
It uses the latest 4.2 version Bluetooth for online streaming. You can pair the soundbar with any Bluetooth enable device nearby, doesn’t take more than a second to connect. The Bluetooth module is dependent on RF technology for smooth connection.
For wired connection, it uses RCA and 3.5mm AUX input.
This soundbar comes with a remote control so that you can operate it from a distance. Or you can do that directly just by pressing the buttons located on the bar.
Speaking of sound quality, Meidong 36 inch 2.0 Channel Bluetooth Soundbar is one in a million. 3-way speaker system and amplifiers, along with 2.0 channel effect bring theater-like experience right at your home. Moreover, let’s not forget the length and the stunning outlook, shall we? Have to admit, it’s a deserving name for the list of the best soundbar under 200.
3. ASIYUN 10W Wired and Wireless Soundbar
ASIYUN 10W Wired and Wireless Soundbar includes 40mm drivers with 5W power. It covers a frequency response range of 100Hz-18kHz. The impedance is 4 ohm. Uses 2.0 channel system for high quality performance. Equipped with noise reduction effect to ensure distortion-free audio. Dedicated to deliver profound bass.
It uses several connection modes. 3.0 version Bluetooth technology allows you to stream audio files from any Bluetooth enabled device located within the range of 10 meters. HSP, HPP, A2DP, AVRCP formats are supported. The module’s functionality depends on RF technology.
It is one of those few soundbars that feature TF card slot. Enter the TF card inside and turn the bar on, enjoy. It also supports line-in connection. Micro USB and 3.5mm AUX inputs are required for cable connection. You have to use the AUX cable to connect to the TV.
This soundbar features LED indicator light to inform you about every step with splendid work of illumination. Spin buttons are added for control.
After observing all the privileges that come along, there’s no way you can deny the fact that ASIYUN 10W Wired and Wireless Soundbar is the best soundbar under 200.
4. RCA RTS7131B Home Theater SoundBar
RCA RTS7131B Home Theater SoundBar is the best soundbar because it has something that only a few soundbar does: powerful unit. 4W, 5W – not unusual numbers, but 10W! Yes, you heard it right! 10W it is! The soundbar features two drivers with each holding 10W power. Also, it’s stereo system is dedicated to deliver powerful bass, just like you want in your home theater.
This RCA soundbar comes with several options for wired connection. You can easily form line-in connection following simple steps. It also includes optical and AUX connections. For wireless transmission, it uses Bluetooth. If your TV isn’t Bluetooth enabled, you will have to add an adapter.
It comes with a remote control for turning it on/off, adjusting volumes, selecting playing options or pairing with Bluetooth. In case you don’t have the remote nearby, you can use the buttons integrated on the soundbar.
You can either put it on a surface or mount on the wall.
The soundbar follows a low profile design so that it doesn’t look exaggerated. Its design helps it to easily blend with any home decor.
Design and feature – RCA RTS7131B Home Theater SoundBar deserves to be applauded in every way.
5. Mighty Rock 2.0 Channel SoundBar
Home theater system, here we come! Mighty Rock 2.0 Channel SoundBar is equipped with extremely powerful drivers to give you the proper taste of everything you’re watching on the screen. Each driver comes with 15W output power. 2.0 channel system ensures wonderful surround sound with detailed treble and profound bass.
And guess what? This soundbar is portable! It’s meant for your TV room, but you can bring it to an outside party as well. The soundbar performs promptly regardless of the place, all you need to do is just plug in and start!
It supports both wired and wireless connection. Connect to the TV using RCA or AUX input or stream your favorite songs from any Bluetooth enabled device using Bluetooth.
The stylish attire suits every home decor. But what lies beneath this outstanding look is more interesting. The soundbar is constructed with ABS plastic for durability, the soft touch cloth above is added to deliver spontaneous notes.
You can place the soundbar anywhere you like.
A remote control is featured for power, volume adjustment, pairing and other operations for playing. However, you can directly operate as well.
Mighty Rock 2.0 Channel SoundBar, without any doubt, is the best soundbar under 200! How? It offers great power, surrounds the environment with emotions driven by strong audio, connects to the thrill of the show you’re watching! It’s everything one can dream of when it comes to the idea of the perfect home theater. Besides, it’s portable!
6. Dansrue Multifunctional SoundBar
Dansrue Multifunctional SoundBar is equipped with 10W drivers with each units holding 5W output power. It’s proficient in delivering 3d surround sound which enhances TV watching thrill and brings a theater-like vibe. And the bass is profound, perfect for feeling the suspense of action movies. It has a great arrangement for full-range stereo sound.
Covers a frequency response range of 100Hz-18kHz. The impedance is 8 ohm.
You can connect the soundbar to TV or any other audio device using line connection. However, if you’re a fan of wireless streaming, it has a way for this too. The soundbar uses 4.0 version Bluetooth, stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device. It also has a TF card slot for micro SD card.
Sturdy metal has been used in frame construction to make the soundbar durable, the case is made of plastic. It follows 360-degree elegant high-grade design with smooth finish. The attire adds to the beauty of any home decor.
It works with rechargeable 2000mAh lithium battery. One charging session provides with 6-7 hours of playback time.
Dansrue Multifunctional SoundBar offers everything for a theater-like TV watching experience: profound bass, 3d surround sound, you name it! And it includes multiple connections so that you don’t have to compromise on your fun time. Still need something to call it the best soundbar under 200?
7. Sony HT-CT80 Soundbar
Sony HT-CT80 Soundbar Home Speaker is equipped with 3-way speaker system. Two drivers offer a combined output power of 80 watts. They balance the frequencies for spontaneous sound. The addition of a subwoofer brings out the bass for more powerful response.
This soundbar uses virtual surround sound response to form a 3d surround sound effect that will make you feel like everything that’s happening on the screen is happening right before your eyes.
It introduces company’s S-Master digital amplifier. Unlike other amplifiers, it uses a simplified full-digital mode for amplifying signals, which results in more powerful sound without causing much distortion.
The soundbar comes with ClearAudio+ technology to volunteer for this purpose. It controls the settings and helps to produce clearer sound.
There are two options available for wireless streaming: Bluetooth and NFC. For wired connection, it supports USB and optical input.
Well, the brand name is enough to describe the quality. Sony has always been promising to bring its customers the best performance, similar attitude is reflected in Sony HT-CT80 Soundbar too. Well, this is why it’s the best soundbar under 200 in the first place.
8. Wohome 80 Watt 38-Inch TV SoundBar
Wohome 80 Watt 38-Inch TV SoundBar comes fully prepared to give you the best audio experience of lifetime. This 80 Watt soundbar is equipped with 4 full range speakers each holding 15W power and two tweeters with 20W power (10W each). While these six drivers take care of treble and mid, two built-in bass reflex tube volunteers to increase bass power.
DSP technology has been used for a rich surround sound system. Enjoy splendid home theater moments with amazing clarity and detailed audio.
It covers a frequency response range of 40Hz-20kHz.
This soundbar has multiple options for wired connection. You can connect the bar to a device using RCA, coaxial, USB or optical input. Moreover, a TF card slot is included to play files from a particular drive. To stream audio wireless, it uses 4.0 version Bluetooth.
You can place it on a plain surface or mount on the wall. Mounting kit is included.
It comes with a remote control for operating the system or adjusting volume. You can do this directly using the buttons situated on the bar.
Wohome 80 Watt 38-Inch TV SoundBar has a splendid arrangement for sound. The combination of those speakers and tweeters, along with bass reflex tube, offers the splendid journey you’ve always been willing to go on. It’s the best soundbar under 200 for a reason.
9. Sony CT290 Ultra-slim 300W Sound Bar
Sony CT290 Ultra-slim 300W SoundBar is one of the most powerful soundbars in the market with 300W power. Its drivers are dedicated to give you clear audio, so you don’t have to worry about distortion anymore.
Moreover, it features 2.1 channel S-Force surround sound technology. S-Force surround sound technology brings an amazing combination of treble and mid. And quality bass? The wireless subwoofer is already on it!
This soundbar introduces two new modes. Now you will get to enjoy every dialogue of your favorite drama, thanks to the voice mode that’s contributing for clearer speech. Night mode allows you to hear great sound even at low volume.
Bluetooth is featured for wireless connection. For wired input, you can use USB or HDMI cable.
The soundbar is wall-mountable, but it can be placed on a furniture too.
You can control the TV with soundbar remote. All you have to do is connect your TV to soundbar via HDMI ARC.
Sony never cease to amaze. Whether it’s sound, design or compatibility – Sony CT290 Ultra-slim 300W Sound Bar is the best soundbar under 200 in every way.
10. JBL Boost TV Compact Bluetooth Soundbar
JBL Boost TV Compact Bluetooth Soundbar’s main attraction is JBL’s signature arrangement for sound. It features Harman Display Surround technology to deliver theater-like surround sound right at your home. Good bass is everything. Keeping that in mind, it follows a dual bass port design in order to produce more profound bass. As always, Dolby Digital tech is included to bring the best of those frequencies.
It uses company’s patented Soundshift tech. This tech allows you to connect the bar to the TV and the phone at the same time wirelessly. You can switch between them as well.
The soundbar uses both wired and wireless connection. Music can be streamed from any Bluetooth enabled device using Bluetooth. And for your TV or any other device, where wired connection is mandatory, AUX and optical inputs are right at your service. Just plug and play.
It comes with its own remote control to operate the soundbar. However, you can control via your TV remote as well.
And the most interesting thing is, although this soundbar itself produces quite amazing sound, you can boost the magic anytime by connecting it to other JBL speakers. Yes, it has an option for that!
JBL, the name that’s an obvious option in every top sound-related gadget list, so there’s no way it comes as a surprise that their JBL Boost TV Compact Bluetooth Soundbar is in our ‘the best soundbar under 200’ list as well. It features the best, it deserves the best.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is a full-range speaker?
Ans. A full-range speaker is the speaker that covers for as much frequency as possible. In other words, the speaker with wider frequency response range is known as a full-range speaker.
- What is the difference between 2.0 channel and 2.1 channel system?
Ans. There are not much differences between these two system. 2.0 channel system consists of two stereo speakers. A subwoofer is added with these two speakers in 2.1 channel system.
- How does frequency response range work?
Ans. The frequency response range we see in the description of speakers, tell us how many Hz those speakers are capable of covering.
The first number of the range depicts the least of low end and the last number depicts the highest of treble. In this way, you can learn how detailed, clear and good the audio is going to sound with a specific speaker.
- What does RCA mean?
Ans. RCA is a type of electronic connector that is used for transmitting audio and video signals to TV.
- My soundbar doesn’t have a wall-mounting kit. What should I do now?
Ans. If it doesn’t have a mounting kit, there are two options for you. You can either purchase a separate mounting bracket for this or if you happen to own a flat TV, check its back. Most flat televisions include a soundbar mounting slot.