Is there a soundbar with good performance at budget price?
Finding a good all-round solution in this price category is really not easy. Therefore, you should think carefully about what you want in a soundbar or what you can do without. Most manufacturers save the upscale features like Dolby AtmosDolby Atmos is a 3D sound format that adds sounds from above to surround sound systems and can also assign additional information to sounds so that they can be reproduced even more realistically., wireless satellite speakers and a well-rounded surround sound for the higher-end models. However, you can also find soundbars at a good price that put the meager sound of most flat-screen TV speakers to shame.
You want to know what to consider when buying a soundbar? In our buying guide, we answer the basic questions!
Best Soundbar under 200 Dollars: Samsung HW-B550
- 410W total power
- Wireless subwoofer
- DTS Virtual:X
- Sound modes
- HDMI ARC
- USB playback
- No real 3D sound
- No HDMI eARC
- No Smart Features
In our opinion, the Samsung HW-AB550 is one of the best affordable soundbars you can get your hands on at the moment. The 2.1-channel system comes with an external subwoofer and a total power of 410 watts, which makes it quite loud. Both Dolby Digital and DTS content can be played back, the latter even as DTS Virtual:XVirtual 3D sound that can be reproduced by setups without height or down-firing speakers. Psychoacoustic algorithms are used to create surround, height and overhead effects., for which two additional main channels and two height channels are simulated. This does not sound really immersive, but at least an expansion of the sound is audible. Otherwise, the frequency response is quite balanced and the HW-B550 is especially convincing in the mids.
Despite the low price, the Samsung soundbar comes with settings for sound optimization. Besides various sound modes, it also has Adaptive Sound Lite, which adapts the sound to the played content. A graphic equalizer is also on board for adjustment. The soundbar and TV can be connected via HDMI ARCAudio Return Chanel: With the HDMI ARC connection, the higher bandwidth allows data to be both sent and received over one HDMI cable, saving additional cables in many setups. or optical connection, as well as another HDMI 2.0 input and a USB interface. However, you have to use the classic Bluetooth interface for wireless transmission – the HW-B550 does not have any other smart features.
Virtual Surround Sound: LG SL5Y
- Powerful subwoofer
- Virtual surround sound
- No HDMI 2.0
- No smart features
Just like the Samsung HW-A550, LG’s cheap competitor, the SL5Y, can also reproduce DTS:Virtual X. The setup includes a wireless subwoofer that is also quite powerful. Thus, the setup reaches a total power of 400W. If you want to create an even more immersive listening experience, you can expand your setup with additional rear speakers.
The connectivity is a bit limited. You can connect many devices via Bluetooth, but the soundbar does not come with any other smart features beyond that. Moreover, it only supports HDMI 1.4 but not HDMI 2.0.
With great dialog reproduction: Polk SIGNA S2
- Higher max. Volume
- Only few Equalizer Presets
- No DTS
- Distortion at high Volume
The 2.1 soundbar with wireless subwoofer has a powerful, pleasant sound profile and can especially shine when it comes to dialog-heavy content, such as TV Shows. Dialogs sound clear and crisp thanks to the Dialogue Enhancement feature. Nevertheless, the sound is a bit bass-heavy, but this can be somewhat compensated by the equalizer presets.
The Polk Audio Signa S2 has an HDMI ARCAudio Return Chanel: With the HDMI ARC connection, the higher bandwidth allows data to be both sent and received over one HDMI cable, saving additional cables in many setups. interface, which allows practical operation with the TV remote control. Unfortunately, DTS is not supported as a sound format, but Dolby Digital is supported via HDMI and the optical input. Wi-Fi is usually not available in this price category, but Bluetooth is available for wireless playback – so you can conveniently use your favorite music streaming portals via smartphone.
Soundbars under 200 Dollars in comparison
Polk SIGNA S2
|Room size||up to 40 m2||up to 40 m2||up to 15 m2|
|Dimensions Height x Width x Depth HxWxD||59 x 860 x 75 mm||57 x 890 x 85 mm||50 x 899 x 79 mm|
Frequently asked questions about Soundbars under 200 Dollars
How much should a soundbar cost?
Most of the soundbars available nowadays cost between 200 and 600 dollars. However, you can still find an improvement for your TVs sound at a lower price or invest a lot more for real cinematic feeling.
Why are soundbars so expensive?
Soundbars can be very expensive if they have features like support for Dolby AtmosDolby Atmos is a 3D sound format that adds sounds from above to surround sound systems and can also assign additional information to sounds so that they can be reproduced even more realistically., room correction or integrated voice control. However, you can already find soundbars that reproduce good sound starting at a price of just 100 dollars.
Are soundbars a waste of money?
A soundbar is definitely not a waste of money. Most TVs nowadays have a thin and meager sound, so a soundbar can bring a significant improvement.
Is a soundbar worth it for a small room?
Especially for small rooms, a soundbar can be a great alternative to a surround sound system. In comparison to various, separate speakers, a soundbar does not require much space and still delivers great sound.