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 110 soundbars, and here are our recommendations for the best soundbars under 100 dollars. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars under $200, and the best small soundbars.
The best soundbar under $100 that we've tested is the Vmai 2.1 Channel Sound Bar. This decently-built 2.1 setup has a simple design. Its soundstage sounds a little wider than the bar itself. It also has good focus, so objects in the sound image seem to come from an accurate pinpoint location instead of from a general area.
With its 'Music' preset enabled, it has a well-balanced sound profile with a touch of extra brightness, making it suitable for listening to vocal-centric audio content like TV shows and podcasts. There are EQ presets, as well as bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It can also get pretty loud with little compression present at max volume, so your audio sound clean during louder listening sessions.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos and surround content, which may disappoint some movie fans. Also, while it has an integrated subwoofer, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble typically present in action-packed movies. However, if you're looking for a soundbar for under $100, its balanced sound profile and sound customization features make it a good choice.
If you're looking for a soundbar for under $100 that supports surround content, check out the TCL Alto 5. While it isn't as customizable as the Vmai 2.1 Channel Sound Bar, and while it doesn't get as loud, the TCL can play surround content by downmixing it to stereo. It while it doesn't have a dedicated center channel, it uses the left and right speakers to create a phantom center. With its 'Music' preset enabled, it has a fairly well-balanced sound profile, suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. However, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes. Unfortunately, there isn't a graphic EQ, or bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound.
If you're looking for a setup that can get louder and that has a wider-sounding soundstage, get the Vmai. That said, consider the TCL if you prefer a soundbar that supports surround content.
The LG SK1 is the best small soundbar under $100 that we've tested. This 2.0 setup is decently built, and its compact design makes it easy to place it in your existing setup without taking up a lot of space. It's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar.
With its default preset enabled, it has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. Its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments are clearly reproduced. You can also use the 'Bass Blast' EQ preset to add more boom to your audio if you prefer.
Unfortunately, like many small soundbars, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music. It also doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, which may disappoint some movie fans. However, while it doesn't get very loud, there are very few compression artifacts present at max volume, so your audio sounds clean at louder volume levels.
The best soundbar under $100 for bass is the Vizio SB2020n-G6. Compared to other soundbars in this price range, it reproduces a pretty extended low-bass, so you can feel a bit more rumble in your audio. Out-of-the-box, it has a bass-heavy sound profile that's suitable for bass-heavy music, and its balanced mid-range can still reproduce dialogue and lead instruments clearly.
This soundbar has a small, compact design that can easily be added to your existing setup. If you want to customize its sound, you can use its bass and treble adjustments as well as its EQ presets. Also, you can wirelessly stream audio from your phone to the bar via Bluetooth, which is handy.
Unfortunately, this soundbar can only support PCM-formatted content, which can be disappointing for some users. It also doesn't reproduce as much low-bass as some more premium models, so your audio may still lack some thump and rumble. However, if you're looking for a soundbar under $100, it still offers a good bass performance with a solid amount of sound enhancement features.
Sep 24, 2021: Removed the Sony HT-S100F and the Roku Streambar since they're currently over $100. Made the Vmai 2.1 Channel Sound Bar the 'Best Soundbar Under $100', added the TCL Alto as an 'Alternative With Surround', and made the LG SK1 the 'Best Small Soundbar Under $100'.
Jul 27, 2021: Replaced the LG SK1 with the Roku Streambar as 'Best Small' now that the Roku's price dropped. Added the LG as 'Alternative With Better Bass'. Added the Vizio SB2020n-G6 as 'Best For Bass'.
May 28, 2021: Replaced the TCL Alto 6+ with the Sony HT-S100F as the TCL now retails for above $100. Added the Vmai 2.1 Channel Sound Bar as 'Alternative For Music'. Removed the Insignia NS-HSB318 2.0 and the Bomaker Odine II from Notable Mentions as they aren't widely available, and the TCL Alto 5 and the TCL Alto 8+ as they're over $100. Added the TCL Alto 6+ to Notable Mentions.
Mar 30, 2021: Minor updates to the text; no changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability. Added the TCL Alto 5 to Notable Mentions.
Jan 29, 2021: No changes to product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 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.