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The 5 Best Soundbars Under $200 - Summer 2024 Reviews

Updated May 27, 2024 at 09:09 am
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 190 soundbars; below, you'll find the best soundbars under $200. 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 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 designed to improve vocal clarity in the mix. As a result, it's really easy to follow along with conversations between characters on screen. Plus, the 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 compatible 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 many different types of listeners.

    See our review

  2. Best Soundbar Without Satellites Under $200

    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-B550 is worth a look. Released in 2022, this 2.1 well-built setup offers a balanced performance without taking up too much space in your home. Thanks to its sub, it delivers a boomy, punchy bass. At the same time, dialogue and instruments sound clear and natural. If you prefer something different, there are a few sound enhancement features like an EQ and presets to give you a bit more control.

    This bar can get loud, and even though there's a little bit of compression at max volume, it isn't very noticeable. It only delivers stereo sound, so your audio isn't the most immersive or dimensional, as sound effects seem to come from out in front of you rather than around you. It lacks support for height formats like Dolby Atmos, which is common on Blu-rays and streaming platforms. That said, it's not a dealbreaker if you mostly listen to stereo content like most music and dialogue-centric TV shows. On the other hand, if you're a diehard movie lover, you'll either want to upgrade this bar with rear speakers or go with the Vizio V Series V51x-J6 instead.

    See our review

  3. Best Soundbar For Bass Under $200

    Love to feel thump and rumble in your audio? Check out the Vizio V Series V21x-J8. This 2.1 soundbar is great for fans of bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop and those who want to shake the floor during action-packed scenes in their favorite shows. Out of the box, this soundbar has a bass-heavy sound that emphasizes the punch and boom in the mix. Its impressive low-frequency extension also means it can reproduce all the thump and rumble in the low bass. Its bass adjustment tool lets you add even more warmth to the mix.

    Like the Samsung HW-B550, this soundbar is mostly meant for stereo sound. It has to downmix 5.1 surround formats like Dolby Digital into stereo, too, so you don't get the same life-like sound as with more premium models. Unlike the M Series, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos formats. Still, it's a great choice for bass lovers, especially those who don't watch a lot of Atmos content, as it packs a big punch at an affordable price.

    See our review

  4. Best Standalone Soundbar Under $200

    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 elsewhere in your living room setup. The bar 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'll notice much less rumble in the low bass than with bars like the Vizio M Series M215aw-K6 and the Vizio V Series V21x-J8, especially during action-packed scenes or intense movie scores. Depending on the layout of your space, though, 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.

    See our review

  5. Best Small Soundbar Under $200

    A small soundbar is a great way to improve your TV's sound without taking up much space in your living room. The Bose TV Speaker is one of the best we've tested and is available at a low price. Though it can fluctuate a little above $200, you may find that it's worth it, especially given its clear and accurate sound right out of the box. Measuring less than 24 inches wide, this soundbar is a great way to improve your TV's sound without cluttering your living area.

    This soundbar has some customization tools, like bass and treble adjustments. That said, given its smaller size, it can't get as loud as larger options on our list, like the Vizio M Series M213ad-K8. It lacks a lot of rumble in the low bass, though you can improve this by adding on a subwoofer that's sold separately. It's a simple bar without many extra bells and whistles, but that may be more than suitable for you, depending on your listening habits and living room setup.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Roku Streambar: The Roku Streambar is a 2.0 bar that's even smaller in width than the Bose TV Speaker. It comes with handy access to Roku's media streamer. It also regularly costs less than $200. However, it reproduces much less bass. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 27, 2024: We've checked our picks for product availability and accuracy, but our recommendations haven't changed.

  2. Mar 28, 2024: We've replaced the Vizio M Series M215aw-K6 with the Samsung HW-B550 as the Vizio is no longer available.

  3. Feb 01, 2024: The Vizio M Series M215aw-K6's price dropped to below $200. It supports more audio formats than the Samsung HW-B550, so it's our new 'Best Without Speakers' pick. The Samsung soundbar moves to the Notable Mentions.

  4. Dec 12, 2023: Due to pricing changes, replaced the Samsung HW-A550 with the Samsung HW-B550 as the 'Best Without Satellites' and the Vizio V Series V21-H8 with the Vizio V Series V21x-J8 as the 'Best For Bass'. The Bose Solo 5 is hard to find at less than $200, so we replaced it with the Bose TV Speaker.

  5. Oct 18, 2023: Due to pricing changes, we replaced the Vizio M Series M215aw-K6 with the Samsung HW-A550 as 'Best Without Satellites'. Added the Samsung HW-B450 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.