The 5 Best Soundbars Under $200 - Fall 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Soundbars Under $200
120 Soundbars Tested
  • Store-bought soundbars; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
  • Supported directly by you via insider access and when you purchase through our affiliate links
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

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 110 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: Samsung HW-A550

    7.1
    Mixed Usage
    7.6
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.6
    Music
    6.5
    Movies
    Channels
    2.1

    The best soundbar under $200 that we've tested is the Samsung HW-A550. This 2.1 setup comes with a dedicated subwoofer, and it offers a neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, making it suitable for most types of audio content. There's even a graphic EQ and presets available to help you customize its sound more to your liking.

    Despite its small size, this soundbar can still get loud enough to fill up large rooms and crowded parties, and there isn't a lot of compression present when you push it to max volume. It's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar. If you like to listen to a lot of dialogue-centric content like TV shows, you can also use its dialogue enhancement feature to make voices clear and crisp.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, which can be disappointing for movie fans. Also, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in bass-heavy music or action-packed movies. That said, it still offers versatile performance for a more affordable price.

    See our review

  2. Alternative With Atmos: TCL Alto 8i

    Channels
    2.1

    If you're looking for a soundbar under $200 for Dolby Atmos content, consider the TCL Alto 8i instead. While its default sound profile is more bass-heavy than the more neutral Samsung HW-A550, it comes with height channels that support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content. It also comes with bass and treble adjustments and some EQ presets so you can customize its sound. It's Bluetooth-compatible, and it even comes with a Full HDMI In port that supports high-quality passthrough. However, like the Samsung, it struggles to reproduce an extended low-bass, which can be disappointing if you like to feel the deep thump and rumble in your audio.

    If you want a soundbar with a more neutral sound out-of-the-box, check out the Samsung. However, if you want a soundbar that supports Atmos, consider the TCL instead.

    See our review

  3. Best Small Soundbar Under $200: Sony HT-S200F

    6.3
    Mixed Usage
    7.0
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    6.6
    Music
    5.7
    Movies
    Channels
    2.1

    If you prefer a small setup, the best soundbar under $200 that we've tested is the Sony HT-S200F. This 2.1 setup has a compact design with a subwoofer integrated into the bar, so it doesn't take up a lot of space in your setup. Despite its small size, it can still get pretty loud without a lot of compression, which is handy for listeners who like to crank up the volume.

    Thanks to its balanced mid-range, this soundbar can reproduce voices and lead instruments clearly, though it can also sound a bit dark and muddy. There are a few sound enhancement features available though, including some EQ presets as well as a bass adjustment feature. Also, like some of the other Sony soundbars we've tested, it has an always-on surround sound mode called S-Force Front, which is advertised to help create a more immersive sound.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar struggles to reproduce an extended low-bass, so you don't really feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. It doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, and its surround performance is poor. That said, it's still pretty suitable for listening to dialogue-centric content like TV shows and podcasts.

    See our review

  4. Better-Built Alternative: Roku Streambar

    Channels
    2.0

    If you're looking for a better-built small soundbar under $200, consider the Roku Streambar instead. While it doesn't come with an integrated subwoofer and its bass doesn't extend as low as the Sony HT-S200F, its plastic build feels more solid and durable. Out-of-the-box, it still offers a pretty neutral sound profile that's suitable for dialogue-centric content, though you don't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. It comes with a few EQ presets and a dialogue enhancement feature and allows you to access different streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu in one place via Roku's media streamer. You can even upgrade it with a subwoofer and satellites if you prefer.

    If you want a soundbar with an integrated subwoofer and a more extended low-bass, check out the Sony. However, if you prefer a better-built setup, consider the Roku instead.

    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 comes with a dedicated subwoofer that helps reproduce an extended low-bass, so you really feel the thump and rumble in your audio. Its default sound profile is also slightly bass-heavy, so it's well-suited for fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM and hip-hop.

    This soundbar also comes with some sound enhancement features to help customize your listening experience. If you want even more thump and punch in your audio, you can adjust the bass and subwoofer levels. There are also some EQ presets available, as well as a dialogue enhancement feature to make voices more crisp and clear.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, and it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which isn't as immersive. It also lacks a Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it for high-quality passthrough. That said, it's still a solid choice for fans of a thumpy, punchy sound.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Vizio V Series V51-H6: The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is a versatile 5.1 setup with a very neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. You may be able to find it for less than $200, though its price tends to fluctuate. 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
  • 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 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
  • Samsung HW-A450: The Samsung HW-A450 has a similar overall performance to the Samsung HW-A550, but it isn't as well-built and doesn't come with as many physical inputs. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 17, 2021: Added the Vizio V Series V51-H6 to Notable Mentions. Minor updates to the text for accuracy.

  2. Jul 20, 2021: Replaced the Samsung HW-A450 with the Samsung HW-A550. Added the HW-A450 to Notable Mentions.

  3. May 21, 2021: Replaced the Vizio V Series V51-H6 with the Samsung HW-A450 since the Vizio is above our $200 price point. Replaced the Bose Solo 5 with the Sony HT-S200F as 'Best Small' as the Bose has been discontinued. Added the Roku Streambar as 'Better-Built Alternative'. Removed the Samsung HW-T450 from the Notable Mentions as it's no longer widely available, and the Samsung HW-T550 and the Sony HT-S350 as they're above $200.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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.

Discussions