Being audiophiles and tech enthusiasts, we all want to improve our life through gizmos and updates of the things we care about the most. A good sound is something that can bring the sensation of enjoyment to an entirely different level. Being on a budget, a decent sound bar might be the upgrade you’re looking for. Today we’re checking some of the finest models you can get currently on the market, to find the best soundbar under 200 dollars. Let’s dive in!
What to look for in best soundbar under 200 dollars?
1. Sound Quality
Most of all, a fine sound bar will raise the quality of your sound system to the very high level. The richer, deeper, very detailed, and clear sound that these speakers provide will make you think “How did I ever manage to live without them?” So first and foremost, look for the audio quality. Read reviews and do your research before considering any of the products.
2. Easy to set up
There are misconceptions in the world of audio & TV – having a good system or investing in a better product might solve the case, and getting a separate sound bar can be a big hustle, especially if you don’t know how to set it up.
This is wrong. An excellent sound bar will be easy to set up – just use HDMI slots and good cables. The signal transportation through these channels will bring your audio setup to a completely new level. So, having good HDMI ports is advised, followed by quality cables. The price of this feature might be a drawback if you’re on a budget, but it all depends on what you’ve found on the market.
3. Wireless or not?
Next, there is the famous wireless connectivity. Many audiophiles are against it, while others advocate this connectivity feature as useful, and ultra-easy to set up. Having it, you definitely get some advantages, but it’s up to you to decide.
Size and design aren’t as important as technical specs and connectivity, but you surely should consider the size based on the TV system you’re using. The basic aesthetic requirements should be met before the decision.
Top 5 Soundbar Under $200 Review
Let’s check the five very popular sound bars on the market and see how they cope with our standards and requirements. We’ll list them and highlight their pros & cons accordingly.
Samsung is a leading brand in the tech industry, and its brand name gives you an impression of the quality & availability. The HW-K450 sound bar is a big, strong and robust product, with enough power and sound quality to blow you away from the first time.
This sound bar is heavy, made out of quality materials, and can be connected wirelessly. Other than that, it is wall-mountable (mounts are included in the package) and has one optical and one HDMI input jacks.
The system isn’t completely wireless, though. You need to have a Samsung TV and Samsung Connect to have it set up wirelessly, and use only the power cord. If you don’t, you’ll need to use a cable (optical or HDMI) to connect the sound bar to the TV. The six-foot optical cable is supplied for this connection, and if you want a high-quality audio, you’ll have to use your own HDMI cable.
We had that luck to connect this one to the Samsung 40-inch TV and felt its power. The sound is very good and strong, makes you feel excited, like a part of the movie. The Bluetooth is a preferred connection for the output, and it performs great in range. With some obstacles on the way, expect some clutter and minor issues streaming from your phone or remote.
- Great, crisp sound
- Strong bass
- Easy to set up, especially if you have a Samsung TV
- Decent value for the money
- The Bluetooth doesn’t perform well
- Won’t respond to TV remote volume signal
VIZIO is a trusted brand in the audio market, and their products receive a solid support from customers around the world. Their politics are based on well-designed, easy-to-use products that sound and look great.
This sound bar copes well with the company’s standards; the design is modern, minimalistic, and features a wide bar on the front, a big subwoofer, and multi-functional remote.
With 38” in length and 100dB in power, SB3821 – C6 is a good feature for the price, without doubts. The build quality is decent, and the strength of the woofer is substantial. Expect some tremors when you turn the volume up a notch. The whole set is wall-mountable, and you get the necessary equipment.
The sound this bad boy produces is loud, crisp, and sounds amazing – sends chills down the spine when you play some live concerts on it. When we consider the price, the impression this sound bar leaves is even better. Connectivity-vise, SB3821 – C6 can be set up through Bluetooth, and the connectivity is decent, promising as long as 90 feet of uninterrupted connection.
This is an exaggeration of course – expect way less, with required vision between the speaker and audio source. An optical cable is necessary and supplied in the delivery package, and the term “Wireless” refers to the source/speakers connection, not the TV/Speakers connection.
This sound bar is modern, sounds great, and is a great bang for the buck.
- Amazing, loud, & crisp sound, Dolby Digital standard
- Solid & robust bass
- Easy to set up
- The remote has issues switching between inputs
- Remote is very sensitive to volume control
A world’s leading tech brand, Sony, is innovating and progressing in many fields, with audio and visual as primary areas. The HTCT380 is a superb 2.1 channel system that incorporates a 38-inch long sound bar and a thunderous wireless subwoofer.
Dolby TrueHD support is something you need to experience firsthand to understand that words “superb” and “fantastic sound” aren’t exaggerations. The immersion in the sound gives you a feeling of content and excitement when you play your favorite blockbuster, and provides an amazing atmosphere when you play some chill music.
The HTCT380 looks very slim & futuristic, and its speaking power equals 300dB of balanced sound power. Your TV audio setup will reach new heights with the subwoofer which sounds amazing for its size. The whole thing is wall-mountable, and the subwoofer is easy to handle and place anywhere in your room.
Connectivity-based, there is three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, enabling this sound system to be connected with several audio systems, enabling you to create the next-gen audio experience in your room. The Bluetooth connectivity is standard for the sound bar of this type and price, including one-button pairing for Android or iOS device.
All in all, this sound system brings the great quality audio to your home, has crisp sound even at high volume. Its price is even surprising, considering the features and quality it brings.
- Top-notch sound
- Loud and very clear
- Multiple ports
- Some might not like the design and speakers facing upwards towards the ceiling
Yamaha’s YAS-105 is the company’s attempt to deliver a quality sound bar around the $200 price tag. The whole product consists out of a single speaker with subwoofers built-in, very functional connectivity solutions and a single-cable connectivity feature as well. With 120 dB of power, Bluetooth wireless connectivity and very functional remote, Yamaha have stated that they are very serious in this market section.
YAS-105 features a virtual surround technology called AIR SURROUND XTREME, which reproduces a sound that resembles 7.1 surround sound. The sound is very good, crisp at all times and very robust. The woofers are good, but not near separate woofers that you get from 2.1 systems included in today’s reviews.
To the experienced audiophile, the artificial 7.1 sound is nothing like a real deal, but it does sound loud and gives the sensation of a somewhat surround sound.
The remote controller is good, and the learning feature is something you need to respect – you won’t need a separate controller since the sound bar “learns” and responds to your TV controller’s volume signals. You can even turn the sound bar on or off with your TV remote.
Connectivity-based, YAS-105 offers a solid Bluetooth connectivity, among the best between today’s compared sound bars. Single-cable connection to the TV is definitely easy to set up, and you don’t have to buy it separately.
Overall, this is a great product for those who want minimalism and “set-and-forget” approach.
- The best Bluetooth connectivity among the today’s tested sound bars
- One-piece design, ideal for minimalists
- Very easy to set up
- The bass isn’t at the level of the competition
- Sound can be muffled at times
We’re wrapping up with HW-J355, Samsung’s cheap sound bar that is one among the best for this price. You simply can’t expect something as good from a device which costs less than $150. HW-J355 manages to outperform some more expensive sound bars in several categories, especially at high volume settings. R’n’R sounds amazing on this bad boy, and we had an amazing time playing some all-time classics.
Although not too strong (120 Watts, equally divided into the bar and subwoofer), this bar sounds excellent, especially when paired with a Samsung TV, or through Samsung Connect. You get an optical cable to have a secured connection (and for other TV brands), no HDMI ports, a fairly simple remote, batteries, and the user manual in the package.
Connectivity via Bluetooth is decent, and we didn’t experience any interruptions throughout the testing, keeping the distance to at least 8 feet. For this price, we wouldn’t expect much more, and it delivered exactly what we hoped for.
Setting up is fairly easy – you only need to remove the plastic tips of the digital cord, and that’s it. The bar itself provided multiple options to choose from in settings (we used it on a Samsung TV), which added value and functionality.
All in all, this is a great product for the people on a budget. You won’t get fancy new tech, but you’ll get the most value for your money.
- Decent sound
- Surprisingly clear on high volume
- Multiple settings for sound presets (on Samsung TV)
- Great value for the money
- Not being able to control your bar with the TV remote
Of course, the Sony’s HTCT380. A number of quality features and possibilities you get with this sound bar is simply worth more than $200, and you can have it for less. There’s hardly any possibility to beat that at the moment. The market is fluctuating though, and many manufacturers are fighting for the part of the market share, but among the today’s five presented sound bars, HTCT380 is the absolute winner.