When shopping for a soundbar, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the expensive options out there. Thankfully, you don't need to spend a fortune to find something that performs reasonably well. For less than $300, you can find a decent soundbar that meets your needs, whether you're watching the latest blockbusters with your friends and family or just listening to your favorite albums by yourself.
We've tested over 110 soundbars, and below you'll find the best soundbars under 300 dollars to buy. See our recommendations for the best budget soundbars, the best soundbars under $200, and the best small soundbars.
The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is the best soundbar under 300 dollars that we've tested. This versatile 5.1 setup has a very neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, so it's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There are even some EQ presets as well as bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound.
This setup comes with a dedicated subwoofer and two satellite speakers, and it supports surround sound content like Dolby Digital. You can even use its dialogue enhancement feature to make voices in your TV shows and movies more clear and crisp. It's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly stream content from your mobile devices to the bar.
Unfortunately, this soundbar doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, which can be disappointing for some movie fans. Also, the fabric on the bar and the satellites seems like it could rip or get dirty easily. That said, it still has a decent build quality overall, with plastic that feels solid and durable.
If you're looking for a better-built soundbar under $300, consider the Samsung HW-A650 instead. This 3.1 setup from 2021 doesn't get as loud as the Vizio V Series V51-H6, and it doesn't come with dedicated satellite speakers, but its plastic and metal build gives it a more solid, durable feel. It also has a very neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, making it a solid choice for listening to lots of different types of audio content. Some users may also prefer that it comes with a graphic EQ in addition to EQ presets for sound customization. It gets loud, too. However, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which isn't quite as immersive-sounding.
If you want a 5.1 setup with discrete surround speakers that gets louder, check out the Vizio. However, if you want a better-built bar with more sound customization features, consider the Samsung instead.
The Bose TV Speaker is the best soundbar under $300 with a small design that we've tested. At less than 24 inches wide, this small soundbar can easily fit into your existing setup. It also has a sleek all-plastic design, with metal grilles to help protect its drivers inside.
This soundbar has a pretty neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, making it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There's also a bass adjustment feature available to help you customize its sound more to your liking. If you like to listen to dialogue-centric content like TV shows, its discrete center channel helps to more accurately localize voices in the sound image, and there's even a dialogue enhancement feature to make them sound more clear and crisp.
Unfortunately, this soundbar struggles to reproduce an extended low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music or action-packed movie scenes. Also, it doesn't get very loud, so it's not really suitable for use at large parties or in crowded rooms. Even if you crank it up to max volume, there's a lot of compression present, which can be disappointing.
If you're looking for an even cheaper small soundbar, consider the Sony HT-S200F instead. While it isn't as well-built as the Bose TV Speaker, this soundbar still offers a fair performance at a more affordable price. Its default sound profile is quite neutral, especially in the mid-range where voices are reproduced, though higher frequencies can sound a bit dark and dull. There are some EQ presets as well as a bass adjustment feature so you can customize its sound. You can make voices in your audio more clear and crisp using its dialogue enhancement feature, and there's also an auto-volume mode available for watching at night.
If you want a better-built soundbar with a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, check out the Bose, but if you want a cheaper option, consider the Sony instead.
The best soundbar under $300 for bass is the Vizio V Series V21-H8. This 2.1 model comes with a dedicated subwoofer that reproduces a very extended low-bass, so you feel the deep thumps and rumbles in bass-heavy music and action-packed shows. It gets pretty loud, though there's a bit of compression at max volume.
Out-of-the-box, it has a boomy, bass-heavy sound profile that adds a lot of thump and punch to your audio. If you prefer a different sound, there are some EQ presets and bass and treble adjustments available. It's also Bluetooth-compatible, so you can wirelessly play audio from your mobile devices on the bar.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support Atmos content, and it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. It also lacks a more comprehensive graphic EQ for sound customization, which can be disappointing for some listeners. That said, if you love a boomy, bass-heavy sound, this soundbar's a solid choice.
Sep 17, 2021: No changes to product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Jul 20, 2021: Added the Samsung HW-S60A and the Samsung HW-A550 to Notable Mentions.
May 21, 2021: Replaced the Samsung HW-T550 with the better-built 3.1 Samsung HW-A650. Removed the Yamaha YAS-209 from Notable Mentions as it's over $300, and the Bose Solo 5 as it's not widely available. Added the Klipsch Bar 48 and the Samsung HW-T550 to Notable Mentions.
Mar 23, 2021: Replaced the Vizio SB36512-F6 with the Vizio V Series V51-H6 and the Samsung HW-T650 with the Samsung HW-T550, as both of our previous picks are now retailing for above our $300 price point. Added the LG SN6Y to Notable Mentions.
Jan 22, 2021: Replaced the Vizio V Series V51-H6 with the Vizio SB36512-F6 as 'Best Soundbar' since the latter's price recently dropped. Added the Samsung HW-T650 as 'Better-Built Alternative'. Added the Vizio V Series V51-H6 and the Yamaha YAS-209 to Notable Mentions. Removed the Samsung HW-R550 from Notable Mentions as it isn't widely available.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best soundbars under $300 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 $300. 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.