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 175 soundbars; below, you'll find the top soundbars under $200 to buy. See our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best budget soundbars, and the best soundbars under $300.
The best soundbar under $200 we've tested is the Vizio V Series V51x-J6. This versatile soundbar shines with different audio content, from music to movies to TV shows, for a budget-friendly price. It can retail for a little more than our $200 price point at times, but it's still worth a mention, especially since it's one of the few bars at this price with discrete satellite speakers. Adding satellites into your setup makes a huge difference in the sound, especially when watching surround sound content like Dolby Digital. Sound effects stretch into the space around your couch, so you feel like your favorite scenes are taking place all around you.
Since this soundbar has a 5.1 setup, it comes with a discrete center channel that's designed to improve vocal clarity in the mix. As a result, you don't have any trouble following along with the action on screen. Plus, its dedicated sub brings out the thump and rumble in more intense scenes. If you want a different sound, you can customize this bar's output thanks to its bass and treble adjustments. Music and podcasts are easy to stream to the bar over Bluetooth, and if you own a voice assistant device like an Amazon Echo, you can even connect it to the bar for voice control. This bar offers a great price-to-performance ratio, making it a standout pick that can please make different types of listeners.
Depending on the shape and size of your living room, you might not have space for a setup with rear speakers. In that case, the Vizio M Series M215aw-K6 is a great alternative. Thanks to a recent price drop, this sleek soundbar is available for less than $200 with certain retailers, and it offers a versatile performance that can please many different listeners. Out-of-the-box, you get a clear and detailed sound, complete with a deep rumble in the bass, thanks to its dedicated sub. Many of the same customization features are on hand, too, including bass and treble adjustments to switch up its sound.
How does this soundbar compare to the Vizio V Series V51x-J6? Without satellites, there's a noticeable difference in sound quality with multi-channel audio formats like Dolby Digital and DTS, which are often found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays. As with most budget-friendly setups, this bar has to downmix them into stereo to play them. The resulting sound is less clear and real than what you get with discrete satellites— sound effects seem to come from a speaker placed in front of you rather than from all around your living room. However, this trade-off may be worth it, especially if you're tight on space.
Want to control the bar's sound? The Samsung HW-A450 is for you. This simple 2.1 setup stands out from similarly-priced models thanks to its wide array of sound customization features, which let you adjust the bar's bass, mids, and treble according to your preferences. Thanks to its graphic EQ, you have much more control than with similar models like the Vizio M Series M215aw-K6, which are limited to more basic bass and treble adjustments alone. The Samsung has many preset EQ modes for easy adjustment, like Bass Boost, Surround Sound, and Adaptive Sound, which doubles as a dialogue enhancement feature.
Unlike the Vizio, this soundbar doesn't support Dolby Atmos content. If you don't watch much of this, you may find it isn't a big deal. This 2.1 setup shines regarding stereo content, including most music and TV shows. Dialogue is clear and accurate in the mix, and instruments reproduce with great detail. The sub brings a little more oomph in the bass range, too. For a more affordable price, this simple setup is a great way to make the most of your listening experience.
Love to feel thump and rumble in your audio? Whether you love bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop or floor-shaking action movies, the Vizio V Series V21-H8 is a great pick for you. Right out of the box, this soundbar brings lots of punch in the bass range to amp up your favorite tunes. Its dedicated subwoofer can reproduce an extended low-bass, so you feel the rumble. Plus, its bass and treble adjustments let you control the overall sound. While there's plenty of bass out-of-the-box, you can even add some more to the mix if you choose.
This 2.1 setup best suits stereo content, including most music and TV shows. It doesn't come with as many sound customization features as the Samsung HW-A450, nor does it support Dolby Atmos content like the Vizio M Series M215aw-K6. Still, it offers a good sound for the price, all in a simple package that's easy to use. If you love bass, this soundbar's worth a look.
Standalone soundbars come without satellites and subwoofers, so they take up much less room than our top picks. The Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 is the best we've tested in this price range. It's a 2.1 bar, but since the sub is integrated into the bar itself, you don't have to find space for it elsewhere in your living room setup. It offers a decent sound with a little extra boom in the high-bass, likely due to the integrated sub. Its bass and treble are adjustable, too.
This soundbar is ideal for listening to stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows like sitcoms. Without a true dedicated subwoofer, you notice much less rumble in the low-bass than with bars like the Vizio M Series M215aw-K6, especially during action-packed scenes or intense movie scores. Depending on your space, you may find that this standalone option is still the best bet. Plus, it may be a better value if you listen to content without a lot of bass mixed in, like sitcoms and documentaries. With an affordable price tag and a solid sound, this bar has what it takes to please many different types of listeners.
Another great option for smaller spaces is the Bose Solo 5. It's another standalone soundbar, but at just under 22 inches in width, it's a much more compact alternative to the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8. Despite its small size, this bar packs a punch, offering a great sound at an affordable price. Voices and instruments reproduce with great clarity and detail out-of-the-box, and you can easily follow along with the dialogue in your favorite shows. A subwoofer is embedded into the bar to improve its bass reproduction.
As a 2.0 setup, this soundbar is ideal for listening to stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows. Since it's Bluetooth-compatible, you can stream audio right from your phone to the bar, and it connects to your TV via its Optical port to enhance the sound quality. That said, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, and its performance with surround sound formats like Dolby Digital isn't the most impressive since it has to downmix them into stereo for playback. If you're looking for a slightly more premium option with HDMI ARC connectivity, you can check out the Bose TV Speaker, though it's a bit more expensive.
Jan 06, 2023: Replaced the Vizio V Series V51-H6 with the Vizio V Series V51x-J6 and the Samsung HW-B550 with the Samsung HW-B450 due to price changes. The Sony HT-S200F is no longer widely available, so it was replaced with the Bose Solo 5.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the top 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.