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The 3 Best Soundbars Under $100 - Summer 2022 Reviews

Best Soundbars Under $100

It can be a little tricky to find the right soundbar for your needs, especially if you're shopping on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are some more affordable options on the market, so you can stay within your budget without sacrificing too much. Most models in this price range might lack more premium features and connectivity options, but they can still be a decent upgrade over your existing TV speakers. Whether you're watching your favorite shows or listening to music, these soundbars can offer a good overall value for their price.

We've tested over 150 soundbars, and here are our recommendations. You can also check out our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars under $200, and the best small soundbars.

  1. Best Soundbar Under $100

    The best soundbar under $100 that we've tested is the TCL Alto 6+. It's a simple 2.1 setup that you can plug right into your television to enjoy a better quality sound. While its price can fluctuate a little above our price point, since it's one of the only bars in the range that comes with a dedicated subwoofer, it's still worth checking out. The sub brings extra thump and rumble in the bass compared to other standalone models, so you feel more emphasis in bass-heavy music genres like hip-hop and EDM.

    Despite the extra bass, voices and lead instruments remain clear and present in the mix, and you can even use its 'TV' preset to enhance dialogue. As a result, it's suitable for listening to stereo content, which includes most music and dialogue-focused TV shows like sitcoms. If you watch lots of movies, the bar can playback 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital, which are often found on streaming platforms. Unfortunately, it has to downmix them into stereo to play them since it's a 2.1 setup. The resulting sound isn't quite as immersive as what you get with more premium models, but it still performs pretty well for its price.

    See our review

  2. Best Standalone Soundbar Under $100

    If you don't have space in your room for a dedicated sub, check out a standalone bar like the Sony HT-S100F. Like most setups in this price range, it's an entry-level 2.0 setup ideal for listening to vocal-centric TV shows like sitcoms and documentaries. It lacks the extra bells and whistles you find with more premium soundbars, but it's still a pretty solid choice. It shines with stereo content, as dialogue is reproduced clearly right out of the box. There's even a dialogue enhancement mode on hand, which is nice.

    Unfortunately, without a dedicated subwoofer, it can't reproduce the deep thump and rumble in the low-bass. As a result, you don't feel the punch in action-packed scenes in your favorite shows. However, there usually isn't a lot of bass mixed into dialogue-centric TV shows, so you aren't likely to notice the lack of bass unless you listen to bass-heavy music like EDM. You won't find many sound enhancement features, which is pretty typical with budget-friendly bars, but there's still an auto-volume mode to help balance the volume level when you watch TV at night.

    See our review

  3. Best Small Soundbar Under $100

    If you don't have a lot of space in your setup, a small standalone bar like the Roku Streambar is a solid choice. At under fourteen inches in width, this compact bar fits easily into your living room setup, and you can even place it under your computer monitor if you're a gamer. It's a well-built 2.0 bar with balanced mids that reproduce voices and lead instruments with clarity and detail, making it ideal for music and dialogue-heavy TV shows. Sound enhancement features are limited, but there are adjustable dialogue enhancement and night modes and some EQ presets to add more boom in the bass range.

    If you watch a lot of streaming services, you're in luck. The bar gives you access to Roku's media streamer, which organizes your favorite streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu into one place for easy access. There's Dolby Digital support, too, though it has to downmix it into stereo to play it. If you move to another space or change your mind down the line, you can add a separate subwoofer and satellites, which is handy. You just need to buy them from the manufacturer separately.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG SK1: The LG SK1 is another small soundbar that's a fine alternative to the Roku Streambar. It doesn't have Roku support, and it's not as well-built, but it does offer a little more rumble in the bass. See our review
  • Hisense HS218: The Hisense HS218 retails for a little more than $100, but it's better built than the TCL Alto 6+, and it comes with bass and treble adjustments to give you more control over its sound. It might be worth the extra cost if you care a lot about sound enhancement. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 16, 2022: Updated article for clarity. Removed Samsung HW-B450 as it became consistently way above the article's $100 price line.

  2. Jul 19, 2022: Replaced the LG SK1 with the Roku Streambar as the Roku's price dropped. Added the Samsung HW-B450 as 'Best Under $150'.

  3. May 20, 2022: Replaced the Sony HT-S100F with the TCL Alto 6+ as 'Best Soundbar' since the TCL's price dropped. Replaced the Roku Streambar with the LG SK1 as the Roku's price rose.

  4. Mar 22, 2022: Added the LG SK1 as 'Cheaper Alternative'. Added the TCL Alto 5 and the Vizio SB2020n-J6 to Notable Mentions. Minor updates to the text for clarity.

  5. Jan 21, 2022: Replaced the TCL Alto 6+ with the Sony HT-S100F since the TCL's price rose above $100. Replaced the LG SK1 with the Roku Streambar since the LG's price rose above $100. Added the Vmai 2.1 Channel Sound Bar as 'Best For Music' and the TCL Alto 3 as 'Best Surround'. Added the TCL Alto 6+ to Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the top soundbars under $100 for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper soundbar wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no soundbars that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of soundbars under $100. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no soundbar is perfect, most soundbars are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you look for them.