The 5 Best Soundbars Under $200 - Spring 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Soundbars Under $200
94 Soundbars Tested
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If your budget is under $200, you might be worried you won't find a good soundbar for your home theater system. While budget soundbars usually don't have the same surround sound options as some of the more expensive soundbars out there, you can still find something decent at this price point.

We've tested over 80 soundbars, and below you'll find the best soundbars under $200 to buy. See our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best budget soundbars, and the best soundbars under $300.


  1. Best Soundbar Under $200: Vizio V Series V51-H6

    7.6
    Mixed Usage
    8.3
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.8
    Music
    7.1
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1

    The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is the best soundbar under $200 that we've tested. This 5.1 setup offers versatile overall performance, and it gets loud enough to use in a large room or at a crowded party. It even comes with a dedicated subwoofer and two satellite speakers to help immerse you in your audio.

    Out-of-the-box, this soundbar has a balanced, neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, and it even packs a little extra punch in the bass for fans of bass-heavy music. There are also four EQ presets available to help you customize its sound more to your liking: 'Movie', 'Music', 'Direct', and 'Game'. Since it's Bluetooth-compatible, you can also stream audio to the bar wirelessly from your phone or tablet.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, which can be disappointing for movie fans. It also lacks a Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it as a hub between different devices or for 4k passthrough. However, if you're on a budget, this 5.1 soundbar offers a versatile performance that can please many different types of listeners.

    See our review

  2. Alternative With A Full HDMI In Port: TCL Alto 8i

    Channels
    2.1

    If you're looking for a soundbar under $200 that has a Full HDMI In port, consider the TCL Alto 8i instead. While it doesn't reproduce as much low-bass as the Vizio V Series V51-H6 and doesn't have a dedicated center or surround speakers, it can be used as a hub between your devices thanks to its Full HDMI In port. This 2.1 setup is decently well-built, and it has a punchy, boomy sound profile with its 'Music' EQ preset. You can also customize its sound slightly using the other EQ presets, including 'Movie' and 'TV'. Though it's only a 2.1 setup, this soundbar also supports Dolby Atmos content, though it doesn't provide a very immersive listening experience. It's also advertised as Roku TV Ready, so it should be easy to pair with your Roku TV.

    If you want a 5.1 setup with a more extended low-bass and better center and surrounds performances, check out the Vizio, but if you want a soundbar with a Full HDMI In port and Atmos support, consider the TCL instead.

    See our review

  3. Best Small Soundbar Under $200: Bose Solo 5

    6.2
    Mixed Usage
    6.8
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    6.7
    Music
    5.5
    Movies
    Channels
    2.0

    The best small soundbar under $200 that we've tested is the Bose Solo 5. It's relatively compact, and it has one of the smallest footprints we've seen, which makes it great for smaller TVs or in tighter setups like underneath a computer monitor. The bar itself feels quite well-built and comes with most of the cables you'll need to get it up and running.

    It sounds surprisingly decent, especially considering it doesn't have a subwoofer. Although it can't produce the low-end thump and rumble you'd find in your favorite hip-hop album or action movie, it reproduces vocals and instruments accurately and does a good job at handling dialogue. It's well-suited for TV shows, and it's a good choice if you like to listen to podcasts or audiobooks in the house. For movie lovers, it supports Dolby Digital content found on most Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms via its optical port.

    Unfortunately, its connectivity options feel a bit outdated compared to what some of the other models under $200 we've tested provide. It has an optical input, standard 3.5mm audio jack, and an older digital coaxial connector, but no HDMI. Thankfully, it does support Bluetooth so that you can play media from your phone or laptop wirelessly. If you're looking for a simple, compact soundbar without any bells and whistles, this one is a solid choice.

    See our review

  4. Alternative With HDMI: Sony HT-S200F

    Channels
    2.1

    If you prefer to connect your soundbar to your TV using an HDMI cable, go for the Sony HT-S200F. While its sound profile is less balanced than the Bose Solo 5, it has an HDMI ARC port so it can support Dolby Digital content, which is found on many Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms. It can get slightly louder with fewer compression artifacts, and it also has a dialogue enhancement feature that can help improve vocal quality. However, while it has an integrated subwoofer, it struggles to deliver a deep bass response. It also lacks an AUX jack for easily connecting devices like older media players or turntables to the bar.

    Go for the Bose if you don't really need HDMI connectivity and you're looking for a soundbar with a better-balanced sound profile. However, if you're a movie fan and you need that HDMI ARC port for your favorite movies, get the Sony.

    See our review

  5. Best Soundbar Under $200 For Bass: Vizio V Series V21-H8

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.7
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.4
    Music
    6.4
    Movies
    Channels
    2.1

    The Vizio V Series V21-H8 is the best soundbar under $200 for bass that we've tested. This 2.1 setup has a boomy sound profile that's well-suited for genres like EDM or action-packed movies. It also has good stereo dynamics, so it can get loud enough to fill a large room, although there are some compression artifacts present at max volume.

    It comes with EQ presets which can help you customize its sound. It also has both a subwoofer level and bass adjustment feature so that you can adjust the bass to your liking. Via its ARC port, it supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, and DTS content, which is great if you like to watch movies on Blu-ray or from streaming services like Netflix. It also has a designated AUX port if you want to connect your voice assistant to the speaker.

    Unfortunately, it downmixes surround content into stereo to play it, and it doesn't support Atmos, which is disappointing if you're looking for an immersive audio experience. It also doesn't support Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay if you prefer to wirelessly stream your podcasts or music. Still, if you're looking for a bass-heavy sound, this budget-friendly soundbar is a suitable option.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sony HT-S350: The Sony HT-S350 is a disappointing budget soundbar. While it's well-built and comes with a separate subwoofer, it can't reproduce as much low-bass as the TLC Alto 5+. It has an ARC port and supports Dolby Digital, which some users may prefer. See our review
  • Samsung HW-T550: The Samsung HW-T550 is a 2.1 soundbar with a well-balanced sound as well as a deep and powerful bass. It also has a graphic EQ and presets, which is nice if you like to finetune its sound. Its price point tends to hover just above the $200 mark, and it has a very bad surround performance. It also doesn't get as loud as the Vizio V Series V51 H6. See our review
  • Roku Smart Soundbar: The Roku Smart Soundbar is great for dialogue-heavy content, and it gives you access to Roku's streaming media player. While it can get loud, there are compression artifacts at max volume. Its center and surround performance isn't as good as the Bose Solo 5 either, and it doesn't feel as well-built. See our review
  • Samsung HW-T450: The Samsung HW-T450 is a customizable 2.1 setup with a well-balanced sound profile. It can get louder than the TCL Alto 5+ with fewer compression artifacts, and it supports DTS content via Optical. However, it doesn't reproduce as much low-bass as the Alto 5+, and it isn't as well-built. See our review
  • Polk Audio SIGNA S2: The Polk Audio SIGNA S2 is a 2.1 setup that's very good for dialogue and TV shows as it has a fairly well-balanced mid-range. However, it isn't as versatile as the Vizio Series V51-H6 as it has a poor overall center and surrounds performance. While it has a boomy sound profile, the Samsung HW-T550 can also reproduce more low-bass. See our review
  • Vizio M-Series M21d-H8R: The Vizio M-Series M21d-H8R is a 2.1 setup with a slightly bass-heavy sound profile out-of-the-box, and some EQ presets to help you customize its sound. However, it doesn't get as loud and doesn't have as good of a soundstage performance as the Vizio V Series V21-H8. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Mar 22, 2021: Replaced the Samsung HW-T550 with the TCL Alto 8i as 'Alternative With Full HDMI In Port' as the Samsung is no longer available under $200. Added the Vizio M Series M21d-H8R to Notable Mentions.

  2. Jan 21, 2021: Replaced the Vizio V Series V21-H8 with the Vizio V Series V51-H6 as 'Best Soundbar Under $200'. The price of this soundbar has dropped and may represent a better value to users. We also replaced the TCL Alto 5+ with the Vizio V Series V21-H8 as the TCL is no longer available. We removed the Alto 7+ as it's no longer available. The Polk Audio SIGNA S2 was replaced with the Samsung HW-T550 as it has a Full HDMI In Port and has a better overall performance than the Polk. The Polk was moved to Notable Mentions.

  3. Nov 13, 2020: Replaced the Polk Audio Signa S2 with the Vizio V Series V21-H8. Added the Polk as an 'Alternative for Dialogue'.

  4. Sep 15, 2020: Added the Roku Smart Soundbar and the Samsung HW-T450 as Notable Mentions.

  5. Jul 17, 2020: Replaced the Samsung HW-R550 with the Samsung HW-T550.

  6. May 19, 2020: Replaced the TCL Alto 7+ with the Polk Audio Signa S2.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best soundbars under $200 for most people to buy. 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 choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews of soundbars under $200. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. No soundbar is perfect. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.

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