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 Yamaha YAS-209, for example, is already equipped with an Ethernet 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: Yamaha YAS-209
- 100W Soundbar & 100W Subwoofer
- Balanced Sound Profile
- Great Stereo Sound
- DTS Virtual: X (Virtual 3D Surround Sound)
- HDMI ARC, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth
- Wi-Fi, Smart Features & Amazon Alexa
- No Dolby Atmos
The Yamaha YAS-209 is a very well-tuned 2.1 soundbar that is by no means inferior to multi-channel models in this price range. The soundbar has a well-balanced sound profile, which has a pleasant sound and also powerful bass, which is surprisingly precise, thanks to the wireless subwoofer with 100W. Especially music can be reproduced impressively by the Yamaha YAS-209 and even more difficult genres can be handled by the Japanese device.
Despite the lack of satellite speakers, it can produce a good surround sound through DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Digital Surround, even if soundbars with a similar price can do a bit better in this regard. Yamaha’s Clear Voice feature definitely improves speech intelligibility so that dialog-heavy content is reproduced crisp and clear. Unfortunately, only equalizer presets are available, which contain quite good options, but unfortunately the sound cannot be completely adjusted according to one’s preferences.
Besides the usual connections like HDMI ARC with CEC, the Yamaha soundbar also has an Ethernet and Wi-Fi interface, which adds some smart features to the soundbar. Thus, the soundbar can be controlled via app and also has Amazon’s Alexa as a voice assistant, which means Amazon Music and Spotify are integrated. Otherwise, music streaming can of course be done via Bluetooth.Furthermore, 4K@60Hz passthrough works, so the soundbar can be used in many setups.
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-T650/ZG
- Center speaker
- 340W total power
- Expandable Setup
- No Internet Connectivity
- No Voice & App Control
The Samsung HW-T650 performs similarly well like the Yamaha YAS-209 in terms of sound quality reproduction. The sound profile is well-balanced and pleasing, but unlike the other soundbars listed here, the HW-T650 has a center speaker, which brings a noticeable advantage especially when listening to dialogs. The wireless 160W subwoofer has a bit more power and provides a great atmosphere – without annoying distortions being audible at higher volumes.
Neither via Ethernet, nor Wi-Fi a connection to the Internet is available, so music streaming can only be done via the Bluetooth interface via smartphone. Voice control is also not integrated for the same reason.
A big advantage of the Samsung soundbar is that the system can be expanded with satellite speakers to improve the surround sound considerably.
Soundbars under 300 Dollars in comparison
Best Soundbar under 300 Dollars
|Channels||2.1||2.1 (7.1.2 virtual)||3.1 (3.1.2 virtual)|
|DTS||DTS HD-Master + DTS:X|
|Room size||up to 40 m2||up to 25 m2||up to 40 m2|
|Dimensions Height x Width x Depth||62 x 924 x 102 mm||64 x 890 x 96 mm||58 x 980 x 90 mm|
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