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The 4 Best Soundbars Under $200 - Fall 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Soundbars Under $200

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 155 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.


  1. Best Soundbar Under $200

    The best soundbar under $200 we've tested is the Vizio V Series V51-H6. It's a 5.1 setup with versatile performance, making it a solid choice for listening to everything from music to movies to TV shows. Though its price fluctuates above $200 from time to time, you can score a great deal on the bar if you keep an eye on it. It's one of the few bars in this price range with discrete satellite speakers right out of the box. That's great news if you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms, where you're likely to come across 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital. The bar's performance with surround sound is more clear and real, thanks to its rear speakers, so you feel like the action on screen is happening all around you.

    This bar has a dedicated subwoofer, which reproduces plenty of thump and rumble in the bass to bring action-packed scenes to life. Its sound profile is neutral, meaning that voices and lead instruments reproduce with clarity, too. You don't have trouble following the action on screen, and everything from music to TV shows reproduces with clarity. Of course, there aren't as many sound enhancement features as with more premium models, but you still have bass and treble adjustments on hand to customize its sound. As with most bars in the budget range, there's no Dolby Atmos support, so you can't take advantage of more immersive object-based formats. Still, it's a great deal, especially if you can find it at under $200.

    See our review

  2. Best Soundbar Without Speakers Under $200

    Depending on your living space, you may not have room for extra satellite speakers in your setup. In that case, many budget-friendly options on the market come without rear speakers—and the best we've tested is the Samsung HW-B550. It's a simple 2.1 setup with a sturdy and solid design that's ideal for listening to stereo content, including most TV shows and music. Right out of the box, you get a clear and balanced sound that ensures voices and lead instruments reproduce with accuracy and detail. Since it has a dedicated subwoofer, you enjoy a power, punchy bass reproduction, which is great if you love genres like hip-hop and EDM.

    The bar stands out from the pack thanks to its wide array of sound customization tools, which you can use to adjust the bar's output based on your preferences. Like the Vizio V Series V51-H6, there are bass and treble adjustments, but the Samsung adds a 7-band graphic EQ so you can switch up the bar's performance across the range. It's a handy tool; however, it's important to keep in mind that without rear speakers, the bar doesn't perform as well with surround sound. Sound effects like gunfire and helicopters don't feel as clear or as real in the space around you, and instead, it seems like all the action is just coming from a speaker in front of your TV. It takes away from the immersive feeling. If you're a big Atmos fan and want to take advantage of the customization tools, you can always add rear speakers sold by the manufacturer separately. It also gives you the flexibility to add them on if you move to a bigger space later on.

    See our review

  3. Best Standalone Soundbar Under $200

    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 when it comes to stereo content, including most music and TV shows. It reproduces dialogue with clarity and detail, and lead instruments are present in the mix, too. There's even a little extra punch in the high-bass, too, thanks to its integrated subwoofer. Of course, it doesn't bring as much rumble in the low-bass as with models that come with a dedicated subwoofer like the Samsung HW-B550, 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.

    See our review

  4. Best Small Soundbar Under $200

    If you have a smaller living room or are looking for something that will fit under your computer monitor, you can take a look at the Sony HT-S200F. It's another standalone soundbar; however, it has a smaller footprint than the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8. At just under 23 inches wide, this compact soundbar can easily fit into your living space. Despite its small size, it can still get loud enough to fill your living room with sound, and it comes with a few customization tools, like dialogue enhancement and a bass adjustment tool.

    It's a 2.1 setup, so it's best suited for listening to stereo content like music and TV shows. Its mids are fairly balanced, so it reproduces dialogue in your favorite podcasts and TV shows with clarity, and instruments in your favorite songs are detailed in the mix. It has an integrated subwoofer, too, but there's still a noticeable lack of bass, and it can't playback Dolby Atmos files like the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8. However, if you mostly watch dialogue-focused content like documentaries, it isn't that much of an issue, and its small design helps it stand out from the crowd.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Vizio V Series V21-H8: The Vizio V Series V21-H8 is a 2.1 soundbar that's a good alternative to the Samsung HW-B550. It packs a lot of punch in the bass range right out of the box, but it doesn't come with as many customization tools. See our review
  • Roku Streambar: The Roku Streambar is a 2.0 bar that's even smaller in width than the Sony HT-S200F. It comes with access to Roku's media streamer, which is handy. However, it doesn't get as loud and reproduces much less bass. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. 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'.

  2. Sep 09, 2022: Replaced the 2.1 Samsung HW-A550 with the LG S65Q as 'Best Soundbar Without Speakers'.

  3. Jul 12, 2022: Replaced the Vizio V Series V51x-J6 with the Vizio V Series V51-H6, as the H6's price dropped.

  4. May 13, 2022: Replaced the Vizio V Series V51-H6 with the Vizio V Series V51x-J6 as the V51-H6's price rose above our limit. Minor updates to the text for accuracy.

  5. Mar 15, 2022: Replaced the Samsung HW-A450 with the Vizio V Series V51-H6 after the Vizio's price dropped. Added the Samsung HW-A550 as Best 2.1. Added the Samsung HW-A450 and the Vizio V Series V21-H8 to Notable Mentions.

All Reviews

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.

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