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The 5 Best Soundbars Under $200 - Winter 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Soundbars Under $200
128 Soundbars Tested
  • Store-bought soundbars; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
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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 125 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-A450

    7.0
    Mixed Usage
    7.7
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.7
    Music
    6.1
    Movies
    Channels
    2.1

    The best soundbar under $200 that we've tested is the Samsung HW-A450. This 2.1 setup offers a pretty neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, making it a suitable choice for listening to many different types of audio content. Its dedicated subwoofer adds a little extra boom in the bass range.

    Like many Samsung soundbars we've tested, this bar offers lots of sound customization features, including bass and treble adjustments, as well as a graphic EQ and presets. Its 'Adaptive Sound' preset doubles as a dialogue enhancement mode to make voices more clear and crisp in your audio. It even gets loud enough to fill up a large room, and there's not a lot of compression at its max volume.

    Unfortunately, this 2.1 setup doesn't support Dolby Atmos content. It also has to downmix surround sound into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. However, it's still a versatile choice for a more affordable price.

    See our review

  2. 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 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 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

  3. Best Dolby Atmos Soundbar Under $200: TCL Alto 8i

    6.8
    Mixed Usage
    6.9
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.2
    Music
    6.6
    Movies
    Channels
    2.1

    The best soundbar under $200 for Dolby Atmos content that we've tested is the TCL Alto 8i. This 2.1 setup uses front-firing drivers built into the bar to bounce sound off the ceiling, which creates the illusion of height with Atmos movies. There's even a Dolby Virtual Surround mode to enhance the immersive qualities of your movies.

    This 2.1 setup has a fairly neutral, though slightly dark and boomy sound profile out-of-the-box, though vocals and lead instruments are still reproduced pretty clearly. There are also bass and treble adjustments available to give you some control over how the bar sounds. It's also advertised to be Roku TV Ready, making it easier to integrate the bar with your compatible Roku TV.

    Unfortunately, due to its 2.1 configuration, this bar has to downmix surround sound into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. It also can't reproduce the deep, rumbling low-bass found with bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. However, it's one of the few bars in this price range that can decode Dolby Atmos content.

    See our review

  4. 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. Its compact design can easily fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand, and it even has a subwoofer integrated into the bar to help with bass reproduction. It's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream audio from your phone to the bar.

    Its sound profile is a bit dark and muddy, though the overall reproduction of voices is pretty accurate, making it suitable for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. There's even a Voice Mode feature that can make dialogue clearer and crisper. You can also use its bass adjustment feature to add more thump and rumble to your audio.

    Unfortunately, compared to setups with a dedicated subwoofer, it struggles to reproduce a deep rumbling low-bass. As a result, it may not be ideal for listening to bass-heavy music genres or action-packed movies. That said, it's still a solid choice for listeners who want a budget-friendly soundbar with a compact design.

    See our review

  5. Best Soundbar Under $100: Sony HT-S100F

    6.3
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    6.4
    Music
    5.6
    Movies
    Channels
    2.0

    The best soundbar under $100 that we've tested is the Sony HT-S100F. This standalone 2.0 setup is best-suited for listening to dialogue-centric content like TV shows and podcasts. Its sound profile is fairly neutral, though slightly muddy. However, vocals are still reproduced pretty clearly and accurately.

    This soundbar can get pretty loud, so you can crank up the volume to fill up large rooms or crowded parties. There's even a dialogue enhancement mode to help make voices clearer in your audio, as well as a night mode feature to help balance out the volume when you're watching TV at night. Also, it's Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream podcasts and audiobooks from your phone to the bar.

    Unfortunately, this soundbar struggles to reproduce the thumpy low-bass found in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. There aren't a lot of sound customization features available, either. That said, if you're on a tight budget, it's a solid upgrade over your existing TV speakers.

    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
  • Hisense HS218: The Hisense HS218 is a 2.1 soundbar suitable for listening to dialogue-centric content like TV shows and podcasts. While it comes with a dedicated subwoofer, it still doesn't reproduce a very extended low-bass. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 14, 2022: Replaced the Samsung HW-A550 with the Samsung HW-A450 as the HW-A550's price rose above $200. Added the Sony HT-S100F as 'Best Under $100'.

  2. Nov 16, 2021: Added the Hisense HS218 to Notable Mentions. No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

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

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

  5. 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.

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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