6 Best Budget Soundbars of 2020 for TV, Music, and Gaming [Updated]

Table of Contents

Going to the movie theater to watch your favorite movies is one of the most fun activities.

Viewing films on a large screen with surround sound is an excellent way to feel the movie and immerse yourself with what you are watching.

Many people want to recreate that same experience at home, but building a home movie theater is way too expensive.

You have to buy a massive television, a set of surround speakers, theater couch sets, and not to mention you will also need a spare room in your house or apartment.

If you want to set up a home theater experience without spending a fortune, there are budget-friendly options such as buying a soundbar.

Adding a budget soundbar to your 4K TV can make watching movies, binging your favorite TV shows, or playing video games more exciting.

It may not be the home theater you’ve always dreamed of, but with a decent soundbar with surround sound, it can get pretty close.

Soundbars are excellent alternatives to your 6-piece stereo sets.

They are not only much more affordable, but they are also space savers, as you can mount them under your TV.

They also function as Bluetooth speakers so you can play music on your phone.

They have multiple inputs for other devices like your gaming console, and various outputs if you want to connect it to more speakers.

Before coming up with this list of the best budget soundbars, I have tested some for myself and researched what soundbars my friends have at their homes.

Depending on your budget, you will find the right soundbar for your home entertainment system.

You don’t need to be spending thousands of dollars for multiple speakers and components anymore.

All you need to do is read this list and find out which of these budget soundbars will fit your tastes.

6 Best Budget Soundbars of 2020

In a rush? Here is a quick rundown for you:

Most Affordable
Sony S100F 2.0ch Soundbar with Bass Reflex Speaker, Integrated Tweeter and Bluetooth, (HTS100F), easy setup, compact, home office use with clear sound
Best For Under $300
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In
Top Pick
Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System with Universal Remote Control, Black
Best For Under $400
Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black
Best Bass
SAMSUNG HW-T550 2.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Audio / DTS Virtual:X (2020)
Sony S100F 2.0ch Soundbar with Bass Reflex Speaker, Integrated Tweeter and Bluetooth, (HTS100F), easy setup, compact, home office use with clear sound
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In
Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System with Universal Remote Control, Black
Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black
SAMSUNG HW-T550 2.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Audio / DTS Virtual:X (2020)
-
-
Most Affordable
Sony S100F 2.0ch Soundbar with Bass Reflex Speaker, Integrated Tweeter and Bluetooth, (HTS100F), easy setup, compact, home office use with clear sound
Sony S100F 2.0ch Soundbar with Bass Reflex Speaker, Integrated Tweeter and Bluetooth, (HTS100F), easy setup, compact, home office use with clear sound
-
Best For Under $300
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In
Top Pick
Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System with Universal Remote Control, Black
Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System with Universal Remote Control, Black
Best For Under $400
Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black
Sonos Beam - Smart TV Sound Bar with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black
-
Best Bass
SAMSUNG HW-T550 2.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Audio / DTS Virtual:X (2020)
SAMSUNG HW-T550 2.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Audio / DTS Virtual:X (2020)

Alright, let’s get to our list now!

#1 Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System
Top Pick

Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System - best budget cheap affordable soundbar for listening to music

I choose the Boss Solo 5 TV soundbar as my top pick for several different reasons.

Not only am I a fan of Bose speakers ever since, but this particular soundbar is compact and will fit any minimal setup.

It is also very affordable, and you can get one for less than $200.

The Bose Solo does not include a subwoofer, but it has premium quality sound in a small package.

It may not have tons of features or an HDMI ARC, but it still deserves the top spot because of its size and versatility.

You can use it in your living room, but in my case, I have one in my bedroom, which fits perfectly.

#2 Sonos Beam:
Best Soundbar Under $400

Sonos Beam - best bluetooth wireless smart budget soundbar system under 0

The Sonos Beam might be the most expensive item on this list of budget picks, but it does pack the most features that you might appreciate.

The Sonos Beam is a smart and compact soundbar with a high-definition sound that will give you the ultimate audio experience.

It has voice control features and a remote.

You can also connect it to the Sonos smartphone app and control it with your phone whenever or wherever you are.

The voice control has a built-in assistant, but not just any assistant.

The Sonos bar comes with Amazon’s Alexa.

You can connect all your devices, play music, and set alarms completely hands-free.

This compact system can also connect to any Sonos wireless speaker to enjoy the sound in any room in the house.

Plus, it is easy to set up and connect to your TV right out of the box with wireless and wired connectivity options.

#4 Yamaha YAS-209:
Best Soundbar Under $300

Yamaha YAS-209 - best cheap soundbar with subwoofer and wireless bluetooth connection under 0

The Yamaha YAS-209 is another excellent choice under $300.

It has 2.1 channels that make for an outstanding stereo soundbar setup.

It comes with a wireless subwoofer that can produce deep bass sounds, making every movie more exciting.

The YAS-209 works with a variety of different content.

Still, in my experience, it is excellent for watching thrillers and horror films.

This speaker also supports a wide range of digital surround audio from Blu-ray movies and streaming apps.

The only drawback of otherwise a perfect speaker is the mesh fabric cover.

It feels like it could rip at any moment if you decide to transport or clean it, so make sure to be careful when mounting it on the wall.

#4 Polk Audio SIGNA S3:
Best Soundbar Under $200

Polk Audio SIGNA S3 - best budget soundbar for under 0 with a subwoofer for watching movies

This 2.1 channel soundbar is excellent for listening to music.

It has Bluetooth connectivity so that you can listen to music wirelessly with your smartphone.

As a treat, it also comes with a wireless subwoofer for better bass.

This soundbar is a well-rounded all-around speaker that works well with most applications.

It can get pretty loud, but I would not suggest cranking it up to the max if you want to protect your eardrums.

#5 Sony HT-S100F:
Best Cheap Soundbar

Sony HT-S100F - best cheap soundbar for tv, music, and gaming

The Sony HT-S100F is a 2-channel stereo soundbar that is an excellent choice if you want a budget upgrade.

It looks sleek, and it is easy to setup.

If you do not have much knowledge about audio and connections, this is an excellent entry-level speaker.

The one thing that I did not like much about this soundbar is its size.

It seems to be too big, but it does sound decent, especially for its price.

#6 Samsung HW-T550:
Soundbar with Best Bass

Samsung HW-T550 - cheap budget soundbar with best bass

If you want to turn your living room into a dance floor, make sure you check out the Samsung HW-T550.

This soundbar is suitable for EDM lovers who want to get lost in the sound of deep bass.

It also comes with a handy EQ that makes it more versatile for most applications.

The build quality is outstanding.

It may lack some features like an AUX input, but it does have Bluetooth connectivity for most modern devices.

This soundbar system is for people who want full control of the EQ.

It gives the user more tweaking options, making it an excellent choice for experienced sound enthusiasts.

How to Choose the Best Budget Soundbar?

How to Choose the Best Budget Soundbar

Here are some tips on how to choose the best budget soundbar to help you decide.

Soundbars come in different sizes and equipped with various features, which is why you need to know which features to consider, and connectivity options that will cater to your needs.

How Many Channels?

Channels determine how many sound sources or individual speakers are built inside your soundbar.

Different TV shows and movies offer different audio channels to heighten your experience, such as center, left, right, and sometimes, two more speakers in the rear.

Most of the choices above have 2 channels, which is a left and right stereo setup.

If you want to have more channels, you will need to purchase a more expensive unit.

However, most stereo soundbars are good enough for the price.

Active or Passive?

Active soundbars are far better than passive ones.

Active soundbars have a built-in amplifier to power up your speakers for a more powerful sound.

All of my suggestions on the list above are active speakers, which is always better in a space-saving scenario.

Size

The size will depend on your preference and your budget.

However, a good rule of thumb when picking a soundbar is that it should be longer than your TV for aesthetic reasons.

Choosing the right size is up to you and the space you have for it in your entertainment system.

Since most soundbars can be mounted to your wall, choosing the right size shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Connectivity

Choosing one with the right connectivity options is essential.

You have to choose a soundbar with connectivity ports to accommodate your TV and the rest of your appliances, like your media player or gaming console.

Today’s newest soundbars come with a variety of connectivity options such as:

HDMI ARC

HDMI is a one-wire connection option that you can connect to most TVs.

Bluetooth

Having Bluetooth connectivity is convenient if you want to listen to music wirelessly from your smartphone.

Wi-Fi

Some soundbars can connect to your WI-FI, which makes listening to music with the devices connected to your home WI-FI a lot more convenient.

If you own a smart TV, you can also connect the audio to the soundbar wirelessly.

Optical Port

Some TVs have an optical port, which gives you a more robust connection.

USB inputs

Since most songs are streamed through apps, most of the new soundbars do not have USB inputs.

However, if you are old-school and like to download music to your thumb drive, you can choose a soundbar with USB connectivity.

Some soundbars have USB inputs for firmware updates as well.

Related Questions:

Are soundbars worth it?

Yes. Soundbars are definitely worth buying.

They are cheaper than speaker systems, and they also save you a lot of space in your entertainment center.

If you are a minimalist and do not want tons of wires and clutter, buying a soundbar is your best bet.

What is Dolby Atmos?

More expensive soundbar choices will have a 5 or 7-channel Dolby Atmos system.

These soundbars give you multiple channels that can make your movie night a lot more enjoyable.

However, in this case, a 2 or 3-channel soundbar is good enough, especially if you are on a budget.

Can you add more speakers to your soundbar?

Some soundbars have multiple outputs if you want to add more speakers.

Some soundbars even include more speakers and a subwoofer.

By adding more speakers, you can achieve the cinema sound you are going for, but it will defeat the purpose of trying to save space and save money.

However, if you do want to add more speakers in the future, make sure you get a soundbar with multiple outputs for additional channels.

Conclusion

The future seems to be more minimal when it comes to appliances.

Everything that used to be huge, now come in small packages, which in my opinion is better.

TVs are thinner than ever, and stereo speakers can now be bought in the form of a space-saving soundbar.

I hope this list helped you figure out the best budget soundbar for you and experience better audio quality the next time you want to watch movies and favorite TV shows.

Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API