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The 5 Best Soundbars Under $300 - Fall 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Soundbars Under $300

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 150 soundbars, and below you'll find the top soundbars under $300 to buy. See our recommendations for the best budget soundbars, the best soundbars under $200, and the best small soundbars.


  1. Best Soundbar Under $300

    The best soundbar under $300 we've tested is the Vizio M Series M51a-H6. It's a 5.1 bar with versatile performance, and it's one of the few bars in this price range that comes with Dolby Atmos support. As a result, you can enjoy more immersive object-based formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, in addition to 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital, which are all commonly found on streaming platforms. With the included rear speakers, you get a pretty immersive sound, so it seems like sound effects are happening in the space around your living room. Dialogue is clear in the mix, and the sub brings plenty of rumble in the bass.

    It's a solid pick for movie lovers and is versatile enough for listening to music and TV shows. Right out of the box, it has a pretty neutral sound, meaning that voices and lead instruments are clearly and accurately reproduced. You won't find as many sound enhancement tools as more premium models, but you still have bass and treble adjustments on hand to switch up its sound, as well as some EQ presets. It's even Bluetooth-compatible, meaning you can stream music and podcasts from your phone right to the bar. Overall, it's a great bar that can please a lot of different listeners for a budget-friendly price.

    See our review

  2. Best Soundbar Without Dolby Atmos Under $300

    Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio format that's found on a lot of streaming platforms. However, if you aren't much of a movie fan, you can find a more affordable alternative to the Vizio M Series M51a-H6 in the Vizio V Series V51-H6. It doesn't support Atmos content, but it still offers good performance with other types of audio content. It still comes with two rear speakers, so 5.1 surround sound is clear and detailed in the space around you as if your sofa was dropped right in the middle of the action on screen. There's also a dedicated sub, and you can feel your seat rumble during action-packed scenes.

    You'll find that the bar does a really good job with music and more dialogue-focused content like sitcoms and documentaries, too. Its balanced sound ensures you don't have any trouble hearing voices and lead instruments in the mix, and bass-heavy genres come to life thanks to the extended low-bass. You have access to a similar array of sound enhancement features compared to the M Series, too, including bass and treble adjustments and some EQ presets. If you don't plan to watch Atmos content, it's a good choice, and it even comes at a lower price.

    See our review

  3. Best Soundbar Without Speakers Under $300

    Depending on the setup of your living space, you may not have room for a soundbar with dedicated rear speakers. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on hand that offer a good sound without rears—and the Samsung HW-B650 is the best of the bunch. It's a 3.1 soundbar that has a balanced sound out-of-the-box, so voices and lead instruments in your favorite music are clear in the mix. You won't have any trouble following the action on screen in your favorite TV shows, as its discrete center channel enhances the quality of dialogue. It stands out from other bars in the price range thanks to its wide selection of sound enhancement features, which includes the standard bass and treble adjustments in addition to a full 7-band graphic EQ that lets you customize its performance across the range.

    Without rear speakers, there's a less immersive feeling with 5.1 surround sound formats. If you watch Dolby Digital or DTS content, the bar has to downmix it into stereo, which doesn't seem as clear or real. Sound feels like it's just coming from a speaker placed in front of you rather than from speakers placed around you. It's ideal if you mostly listen to stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows, but want the flexibility to enjoy a movie every once in a while. However, if you're a real movie lover, you'll probably want to stick with one of the more premium options on our list. You can also add a separate rear speaker kit from the manufacturer, which is nice if you move to a bigger space down the line and want to upgrade your setup.

    See our review

  4. Best Standalone Soundbar Under $300

    If you have a small living area, you might even prefer a standalone bar, which comes without a subwoofer. The best that we've tested under $300 is the Samsung HW-S60A. It's a 5.0 bar that offers a neutral sound right out of the box, so voices and lead instruments in your content are clear and easy to follow. Like other Samsung models, there are many customization tools on hand, including a graphic EQ that gives you the ability to control the bar's sound across the range.

    Since it lacks a subwoofer, you don't feel the same amount of rumble in the bass range as you do with other models. It's especially noticeable with bass-heavy music and intense movie scenes, and you can't customize it enough to replicate a similar sound to models like the Samsung HW-B650. However, it still does an okay job with 5.1 surround sound formats like Dolby Digital, using its Side Horn speakers to simulate sound effects in the soundstage around you. It doesn't offer the same immersive feel you get with rear speakers, but you can always add a Wireless Rear Speaker Kit if you want to enhance its sound.

    See our review

  5. Best Small Soundbar Under $300

    There are even smaller standalone soundbars on the market, which are ideal for smaller-sized TVs and computer screens. The Bose TV Speaker is the best of the bunch, and at less than 24 inches in width, it can easily fit under your TV stand without blocking the screen. It may be small, but this premium setup can still get loud enough to fill the average living room. It's ideal for listening to vocal-centric TV shows and music, with balanced mids that ensure voices and lead instruments are clear and detailed in the mix.

    Of course, without a sub, you notice a lack of bass in the mix, and the 2.0 setup doesn't provide a very immersive sound with surround sound formats. While there's a bass adjustment feature on hand, this bar doesn't offer as many sound enhancement features as the similarly-performing Sonos Ray, which is another solid small pick. The Sonos' room correction feature automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics, which is a premium feature for its price. It doesn't reproduce as much bass as the Bose, but if you want more customization tools, it's worth a look.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Vizio V Series V51x-J6: The Vizio V Series V51x-J6 is the next generation of the Vizio V Series V51-H6. It's a 5.1 bar that isn't very different from its predecessor, but it reproduces less bass and doesn't get as loud, so it doesn't perform as well overall. See our review
  • Samsung HW-B550: The Samsung HW-B550 is similar to the Samsung HW-B650 in its sound quality. However, it lacks a discrete center to improve its vocal clarity. It's a good option if you want a more budget-friendly choice. See our review
  • Vizio V Series V21-H8: The Vizio V Series V21-H8 is a 2.1 setup with a bass-heavy sound right out of the box that makes it ideal for listening to bass-heavy music. However, it doesn't have a discrete center or as many customization tools as the Samsung HW-B650. See our review
  • TCL Alto 8i: The TCL Alto 8i is one of the only soundbars in this price range that offers Dolby Atmos support. That said, it doesn't perform as well as the Vizio M Series M51a-H6, as it lacks a lot of low bass. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 09, 2022: Replaced the Vizio V Series V51-H6 with the Vizio M Series M51a-H6 as 'Best Soundbar' now that the M Series' price dropped into the range. Retained the V Series as the 'Best Without Atmos'.

  2. Jul 12, 2022: Added the Samsung HW-Q600A as 'Best Atmos' as its price dropped. Added the Sonos Ray to the Bose TV Speaker text.

  3. May 13, 2022: Replaced the Vizio M Series M51ax-J6 with the Vizio V Series V51-H6 as the M Series' price rose. Replaced the LG SN6Y with the Samsung HW-A650 as the Samsung's price rose. Added the Vizio V Series V51x-J6 as 'Best Under $200'.

  4. Mar 15, 2022: Replaced the Vizio V Series V51-H6 with the Vizio M Series M51ax-J6 as the M Series' price dropped. Added the Samsung HW-A550 as 'Best 2.1' and the Vizio V Series V51-H6 as 'Best Under $200'. Added the Samsung HW-A450, the Vizio V Series V21-H8, the TCL Alto 8i, and the Hisense HS218 to Notable Mentions.

  5. Jan 14, 2022: Replaced the Samsung HW-S60A with the Bose TV Speaker as 'Best Small' since the Samsung's price rose above $300. Added the Samsung HW-A650 as 'Best Customizable' and the TCL Alto 8i as 'Best For Atmos'.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the top 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.

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