Search Posts

Best soundbars under $200 for 2020 – CNET

You’re on a tight budget, but your TV’s built-in speakers sound terrible and you’re hoping to find a way to get better audio when you watch movies and TV shows (and maybe when you’re trying to play Spotify through your phone via Bluetooth).

Plenty of dirt-cheap options exist from no-name brands, and they probably sound better than your TV speakers. But if you are looking for the best soundbar under $200 for TV, for just $80 and up, you can grab a ‘bar that performed well in CNET’s hands-on tests.

All three of the affordable soundbars on this list of our picks for the best soundbar under $200 have Bluetooth (for wireless music streaming from your phone and Bluetooth-enabled devices) and an optical connection (for hooking to a TV), plus a remote control. Both the Vizio V21 and the Creative Stage also include an HDMI input, which makes connectivity even easier. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

My previous recommendation, the Vizio SB3621n-e8, is about to be replaced with a new version but in the meantime you can nab the V21. For $180 the V21 includes a wireless subwoofer, HDMI connectivity and both Dolby and DTS decoding. Like its former stablemate this is an absolute movie machine, and an impressive speaker to stream music via Bluetooth as well.

Read our Vizio V21 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If your budget is a Franklin and no more, the most sound option is this Vizio. With a larger-than-most cabinet the SB362An-F6 offers levels of bass that even the $200 Yamaha YAS-108 can’t touch. The Vizio SB362An-F6 doesn’t boast as many features as some of the bars below, but it does have Bluetooth connectivity and a remote control for controlling volume and three bands of EQ. If you just want the best sound quality for the lowest price, this sounder with bluetooth is it, but if you can spend a bit more, keep scrolling.

Read our VIZIO SB362AN-F6 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Soundbars are able to make a lot of noise from a tiny box, but nothing can compare with the bass that a dedicated subwoofer can bring. The Creative Stage offers a lot for just $80, including HDMI cable connectivity, but it’s the wired subwoofer which makes the system really sing. This soundbar also offers bluetooth connectivity and a USB port for playing MP3s from an external drive.

Read our Creative Stage review.

Can you spend a bit more?

At $250, for example, not only will you get better audio experience and sound, but a better assortment of features, including a subwoofer as standard and a greater number of inputs. Some of these soundbars, such as the Sonos Beam, even have Amazon Alexa built-in. While the sky’s the limit to how much you can spend on upgrading your sound, the real sweet spot is between $300 and $400. See our list of best soundbars here, which includes models that offer state of the art Dolby Atmos audio effects.

Read more:


Now playing:
Watch this:

Vizio’s SB362 solo sound bar is great value for money

1:52

This article was originally published two years ago and is regularly updated with new products and advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *