Mid-range models with great features
From 400 Dollars on, the soundbars’ functionality grows immensely and design aspects slowly move further into the center of consideration, because anyone who spends that much money on a product also wants to get something attractive for it. In terms of functionality, however, you still have to think carefully about what you value. Should the soundbar be as smart as possible, for example with a Wi-Fi connection with voice control and streaming service support, or should it have the best possible surround sound? Unfortunately, both are not yet available at this price level.
Our buying guide tells you what to look out for in terms of sound when buying a soundbar.
Best Soundbar under 400 Dollars: Yamaha YAS-209
- 200W total power
- 100W Subwoofer
- Balanced Sound Profile
- Great Stereo Sound
- DTS Virtual:X
- 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 Virtual 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. 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 Audio 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. with Consumer Electronics Control: HDMI CEC makes it possible to control various consumer electronics devices with just one remote control., 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.
Smart with integrated Amazon Alexa: Samsung HW-S60A
- Integrated Alexa voice control
- Apple Airplay
- Acoustic beam technology
- Center speaker
- Lacks some bass
The Samsung HW-S60A does not offer 3D sound with Dolby 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. or Just like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X is also a 3D sound format, with which the surround sound is expanded by height speakers. In addition, it is also an object-based sound format, whereby additional information is assigned to sounds, making them sound even more realistic. either, but it is equipped with Samsung’s Acoustic Beam technology, which can create a listening experience that is quite immersive. The 5.0-channel system also includes a center speaker that ensures clear speech comprehensibility, because dialogs are output separately from other sound effects.
Since it does not come with an external nor an integrated subwoofer, the soundbar does lack some bass. However, the sound performance can be corrected a bit with the help of the graphic equalizer and a multitude of adjustment features.
The S60A comes with quite a few smart features: It has Amazon’s Alexa built-in and can be connected to your WiFi network. Moreover, it supports Bluetooth and Apple Airplay, so you can stream content from many apps using your smartphone.
3D Surround Sound: Samsung HW-Q600A
- Surround Sound
- High volume
- No Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa or Apple Airplay
The HW-Q600A is Samsung’s most affordable premium soundbar. The 3.1.2 setup includes a wireless subwoofer and also features Samsung’s Acoustic Beam technology. Moreover, it owns These speakers are positioned diagonally upwards so that the reflection of the sound from the ceiling reaches the viewers from above. They are mainly used for 3D sound formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. speakers and can reproduce Dolby 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. and Just like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X is also a 3D sound format, with which the surround sound is expanded by height speakers. In addition, it is also an object-based sound format, whereby additional information is assigned to sounds, making them sound even more realistic.. Anyhow, regarding its price, you cannot expect too much from its surround performance.
Since Samsung has equipped the HW-Q600A with all kinds of features for adjusting the sound, it is very convenient for mixed usage. However, it does not come with as many smart features as the HW-S60A. That is to say, it lacks Wi-Fi connectivity and support for voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. Apple Airplay2 is not supported either.
Soundbars under 400 Dollars in comparison
|Channels||2.1||5 (5.2 virtual)||3.1.2|
|DTS||DTS HD-Master + DTS:X|
|HDMI 2.1||1x In + 1x Out|
|Room size||up to 25 m2||up to 25 m2||up to 40 m2|
|Dimensions Height x Width x Depth||62 x 924 x 102 mm||68 x 764 x 125 mm||58 x 980 x 105 mm|
Frequently asked questions about Soundbars under 400 Dollars
Is Dolby Atmos worth the price?
Dolby 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. is worth every dollar you spend, if you are watching a lot of movies and are looking for an immersive listening experience. However, you should invest in soundbar that can reproduce good 3d sound, which often is the case with more expensive setups that include satellite speakers.
Are cheap soundbars worth it?
A cheap soundbar may be an improvement compared to the audio quality of your TV, but if you want cinema sound, you should go for a high end soundbar. Especially the reproduction of surround sound and 3d sound – if it is even supported – is quite poor with the cheap models.