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 Atmos, 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.
Best Soundbar under 200 Dollar: Samsung HW-T550/ZG
- 160W Soundbar (RMS)
- 160W Subwoofer
- 7-band Equalizer
- HDMI ARC
- DTS Virtual:X / Dolby Digital
- Bluetooth & USB
- No Surround Sound
- No Dolby Atmos / DTS:X
- No Center Speaker
The Samsung HW-T550 is a good entry-level, all-round solution. It is a 2.1 channel 160W soundbar with 160W wireless subwoofer, with a very pleasant sound profile and a strong bass. The surround sound isn’t quite convincing, which isn’t optimal for movies, but music can be reproduced very precisely. Dialogues are well optimized by the Dialogue Enhancement feature, which makes dialogue-heavy content sound very pleasant. Unfortunately, there is no center speaker, which would be a significant improvement for movies.
Rarely found in this price range is the equalizer with 7 separately adjustable bands, with which the sound of the HW-T550 can be adjusted according to your own preferences. There is also a fully functional HDMI port that supports DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Digital. With the HDMI ARC the Soundbar can be controlled with the TVs remote control.
Compact designed Soundbar: Bose Solo 5
- Small footprint
- Surprisingly good sound
- No HDMI
- No Subwoofer
- No Equalizer Presets
If it should be something more compact, which for example should stand on the desk in front of a PC monitor, then the Bose Solo 5 is the right choice. Of course, you can’t fill a concert hall with the 21.6″ wide soundbar, but you still get a surprisingly good sound with a clear sound profile in smaller rooms – without a subwoofer! Just like the Polk Audio Signa S2, its strength lies in dialogue-heavy content that is reproduced quite cleanly.
The connectivity is a bit limited. HDMI is not available, but there is an optical input that supports Dolby Digital, but also no DTS. However, you can still connect many devices with the small but well-tuned soundbar via Bluetooth.
With great dialog reproduction: Polk Audio 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 ARC 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 cell phone.
Soundbars under 200 Dollars in comparison
Best Soundbar under 200 Dollar
Bose Solo 5
Polk Audio SIGNA S2
|Channels||2.1 (2.1.2 virtual)||2||2.1|
|Room size||up to 40 m2||up to 15 m2||up to 15 m2|
|Dimensions Height x Width x Depth||55 x 860 x 85 mm||70 x 548 x 86 mm||50 x 899 x 79 mm|
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