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Soundbars under 300 Dollars

What can you expect from a soundbar under 300 Dollars?

In contrast to the soundbars below €200, you can expect a somewhat larger feature set. There is already one model with the 3D sound format Dolby Atmos at this price. In addition, the soundbars get a bit smarter from this price level on, so that the Samsung S60A, for example, is already equipped with Amazons Alexa and Wi-Fi connection. Sound-wise, it is also a big leap from the cheaper soundbars, so you really get a better performance in this price range.

Best Soundbar under 300 Dollars: Samsung HW-S60A

  • 200W Soundbar (RMS)
  • Virtual Surround Sound
  • Adaptive Sound & Q-Symphony
  • Center Speaker
  • Slim design
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth connectivity
  • Integrated Alexa
  • Apple Airplay2
  • Lacks low-bass
  • No Dolby Atmos/DTS:X
  • No subwoofer
  • Few ports
Room size
up to 25 m2
(5.2 virtual)

The Samsung HW-S60A has one advantage over the other soundbars in this price range, and that is Samsung’s Acoustic Beam technology. The side- & up-firing speakers create a better surround sound and thus a more immersive feeling when watching movies. It is supposed to be Samsung’s all-in-one solution for every household, with a quite good performance even when playing music and dialogue-heavy content like podcasts. If you do not like the sound profile, you can use the graphic equalizers and calibrate it according to your wishes.

However, a subwoofer would really do the quite compact soundbar good, which would massively improve the home theater experience in particular. It’s a good thing that the HW-S60A soundbar is very easy to expand. It can be expanded with a subwoofer and satellite speakers, so the setup can really impress with movies. But then, of course, the setup is much more expensive than $300.

Also exemplary are the smart features that have been given to the S60A. Wi-Fi ensures access to the Internet, and integrated Amazon Alexa lets you use streaming services without an additional smartphone. However, control via Samsung’s SmartThings app is also possible.

With Dolby Atmos & DTS:X: Sony HT-X8500

  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X
  • Virtual 3D surround sound
  • Compact Design
  • No external subwoofer
  • Mediocre sound profile
  • No network connectivity

The Sony HT-X8500 soundbar is a great option for those who do not have room for an external subwoofer. Compared to the Yamaha soundbar, the sound quality is a bit weaker, but Sony’s model supports Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X. The integrated subwoofer produces quite a decent amount of bass, but it cannot keep up with the other models and shows distortions with intense content.

In combination with the Vertical Sound Engine, a quite convincing surround sound is created despite 2.1 channels, which our Japanese front-runner cannot keep up with. But of course, with virtual 3D sound, you have to keep in mind that a real 3D soundscape from all directions is not really within the realm of possibility with only a soundbar. Nevertheless, hardly any model in this category can keep up in this price range.

With Center Speaker: Samsung HW-A550

  • 410W total power
  • External Subwoofer
  • No Internet Connectivity
  • No Voice & App Control

The Samsung HW-A550 performs similarly well like the S60A in terms of sound quality reproduction. However, the HW-A550 comes with an external subwoofer, which the S60A misses. Thus, the setup has an impressive total power of 410 watts and can create a more balanced sound.

Despite supporting DTS Virtual:X, the surround sound is not particularly convincing. But at least the sound can be adjusted with the graphic equalizer and all sorts of other features. The soundbar also features Adaptive Sound Lite, which automatically adapts the sound to the contents you are viewing. This results in clear voices and dialogs, even though the A550 can not offer a separate center speaker.

Neither via Ethernet, nor Wi-Fi a connection to the Internet is available, so music streaming from your smartphone can only be done via the Bluetooth interface. Voice control is also not integrated for the same reason.

Soundbars under 300 Dollars in comparison

Best Soundbar under 300 Dollars
Samsung HW-S60A
Samsung HW-S60A
Sony HT-X8500
Sony HT-X8500
Samsung HW-A550
Samsung HW-A550
Channels 5 (5.2 virtual) 2.1 (7.1.2 virtual) 2.1 (3.1.2 virtual)
Dolby Atmos
HDMI 2.1
Room size up to 25 m2 up to 25 m2 up to 40 m2
Subwoofer Internal External
Dimensions Height x Width x Depth 68 x 764 x 125 mm 64 x 890 x 96 mm 55 x 860 x 85 mm
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