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 170 soundbars, and 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. For a budget-friendly price, this versatile soundbar shines with different audio content, from music to movies to TV shows. Notably, it's one of the few bars in its price range 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. Needless to say, 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 Samsung HW-B450 is a great alternative. For less than $200, you get a soundbar and a dedicated subwoofer designed to bring out the thump and rumble in the low-bass, which is great if you love action movies and bass-heavy music genres. Plus, the bars' rear satellites are optional, so you can decide whether or not you want to add them on. Overall, it's a versatile setup for its price point, with a clear and accurate reproduction of dialogue in TV and movies, as well as voices and instruments in your favorite songs. With bass and treble adjustments and a dialogue enhancement tool available, it's pretty customizable, too.
Without satellites, this soundbar isn't quite as impressive as the Vizio V Series V51x-J6. Surround sound formats like Dolby Digital are downmixed into stereo, meaning you don't get the same immersive feel. Sound effects seem like they're coming from a speaker placed in front of you rather than from the areas around your couch. It's not a dealbreaker for everyone—if you mostly listen to stereo content like most music and TV shows, you may even find it's a better deal overall. Still, it's worth noting for movie lovers in particular.
If you're low on space, you can also look at standalone soundbars, which come without dedicated subwoofers and take up a little less room. The Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 is the best we've tested in this price range, and its compact design means that it doesn't need much space under your TV. It's also one of the only bars under $200 with Dolby Atmos support, letting you take advantage of more immersive formats found on many different streaming platforms. Its performance pales compared to more premium picks, but it's a fair choice if you're on a tight budget and want the flexibility to stream premium content.
Ultimately, this 2.1 bar shines for stereo content, including most music and TV shows. It reproduces dialogue with clarity and detail, and lead instruments are present in the mix. There's even a little extra punch in the high-bass, thanks to its integrated subwoofer. Of course, it doesn't bring as much rumble in the low-bass as with models with a dedicated subwoofer like the Samsung HW-B450, so you don't feel your seat shake when you listen to bass-heavy music like EDM. That said, if you mostly listen to dialogue-focused content like sitcoms, which don't have a lot of bass mixed in, you won't notice much difference. It's a solid pick if you're low on space, with an affordable price tag.
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 follow along with the dialogue in your favorite shows with ease. There's even a subwoofer 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.
May 04, 2023: Product picks are relevant and accurate, but we've made minor text updates for accuracy.
Mar 07, 2023: Confirmed that product picks are valid; minor updates to the text for accuracy.
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.
Nov 08, 2022: Replaced the LG S65Q with the Samsung HW-B550 as the LG's price rose. Replaced the TCL Alto 8i with the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8 as 'Best Standalone'.
Sep 09, 2022: Replaced the 2.1 Samsung HW-A550 with the LG S65Q as 'Best Soundbar Without Speakers'.
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.