Audio systems are created for one purpose and one purpose only—to deliver epic sound. Of course, a lot of features and specifications work together to actually deliver the quality you need, whether it’s for a huge, loud party or for just for listening to your favorite songs in your room. Most of the speakers nowadays tend to be all about tweeters and subwoofers, but for those aiming to improve their home entertainment system, there are soundbar speakers that aim to deliver the sound demands of listeners. These compact audio devices are meant to enhance your listening experience right in your very own home without adding any clutter of additional speakers. There is something for everyone, you can get a great cheap system even for $100.
I have given myself the task of putting together a list of those soundbars that actually made the cut in terms of design and specifications and, of course, all of these audio gems cost less than $300:
If you are a self-professed audiophile with a definite need to hear sounds in a full 5.1 channel listening environment, then this system is perfect for you. This gem of an audio system comes with a compact soundbar measuring 42.3” long, 3.7” high and 3.2” deep, making it one of the slimmest soundbars in the market. It also comes with a wireless subwoofer and two satellite rear speakers for a more immersive sound delivery, complete with full-range, crisp output and deep, rich bass that brings music and movies to life. Additionally, it sports Bluetooth connectivity for endless music streaming. This gem also boasts of state-of-the-art sound technology like Dolby Digital, DTS Circle Surround, DTS Digital Surround and DTS TruVolume, offering you a theater-like listening experience without leaving the comforts of your home.
With a smooth curvature and coming in a sleek piano-black finish, this gem is among the most attractive soundbars in the market. It measures 35” long, 4.5” high, and 3.6” deep and it can be placed either on top of a table or against the wall for space conservation. It is rather easy to set up and connect to your HDTV. Bluetooth feature allows you to stream your favorite music wirelessly and listen to it in high quality. Despite the lack of an external subwoofer, this beauty is more than capable of providing you with deep bass sound due to its dual down-firing subwoofers. Two full-range drivers are also present, enabling you to enjoy full-bodied sounds without any additional speakers. But what makes the YAS-103 special is its exclusive Yamaha Air Surround Xtreme that gives you a reproduction of a full 7.1 channel listening environment, allowing you to enjoy highly-realistic surround sounds right within your room.
Coming in a luxurious black finish, this soundbar-wireless subwoofer combination can easily replicate a surround-sound listening experience without any additional speakers. Measuring 31” long, 3.75” high and 3” deep, it can be easily placed in a variety of positions, either on the top of a table or mounted against the wall for a seamless integration with your HDTV. Its 6.5” wireless downward-firing subwoofer gives off powerful bass sounds from anywhere in the listening area. It also boasts of the exclusive Polk Digital Logic and Stereo Dimensional Array that lets you enjoy 3-dimensional sound immersion, complete with crystal-clear, full-bodied sounds.
Despite its compact size of 35.8” in length, 4.57” in height, and 4.6” in depth, this 120-watt soundbar is more than capable of meeting your listening expectations. This handsome system comes equipped with two 3.5” high-excursion woofers, dual 1” tweeters and a bass port, making it deliver premium audio with heart-thumping bass sound. It also allows you to enjoy fully-immersive sounds of utmost clarity, all thanks to the exclusive HARMAN Display Surround technology with built-in Dolby Digital decoding. Bluetooth connectivity is also featured in this system, ensuring that you’d be able to listen to your favorite music in high-definition without worrying about extra wires.
Versatility is the name of the game with this sound system. It comes equipped with a compact soundbar with two detachable wireless speakers that can easily be placed anywhere in the room, and together with a wireless subwoofer, this handsome black soundbar system can effectively replicate a dynamic 5.1-channel listening environment right within your home. What’s amazing about the detachable speakers is that they can remain detached from the main system for up to 8 hours, allowing you to watch movies for long periods of time without worrying about power duration. Due to its compact dimensions of 40.7” in length, 2.75” in height, and 6.14” in depth, it can easily be placed on a table top or mounted against the wall. An orientation sensor feature enables clear audio delivery no matter how the soundbar is positioned in the room. Bluetooth connectivity is also present with this system, much to the relief of music lovers everywhere.
Despite the obvious lack of an external subwoofer, this compact audio system from Sony is more than capable of producing solid bass sound with its dual down-firing subwoofers. It is also rather sturdy as it is able to support televisions weighing up to 66 lbs. It measures 28.4” long, 2.9” high and 12.2” deep. This sleek soundbar system is easy to use and you can easily stream your favorite music wirelessly via Bluetooth connectivity. Boasting of the 170 watt S-master amplification technology and S-Force Digital Processing, this gem of a speaker immerses you with powerful, room-filling sound that puts you right in the middle of the action. Independent adjustments for the Bass, Treble, and Subwoofer can also be done to control the sound delivery according to your own taste. Seven sound field settings are also fitted in its small frame, allowing you to enhance your listening environment according to your type of listening preference.
Much like our previous entry on our list, this simple sound board from Panasonic features a somewhat flat and compact design measuring 18.2” in length, 2.5” in height and 11” in depth. Its design allows it to be fitted underneath televisions with pedestals, but unfortunately, it cannot be mounted on the wall. There are several features that placed this system at the 7th spot on our list. It is fitted with full-range speakers as well as dual built-in subwoofers to give dynamic sounds and punchy bass that bring life to movies and music. It also sports wireless Bluetooth technology, allowing streaming of high-quality music. The latest in sound technology are also featured in this sleek soundbar and these include Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Virtual Speaker and DTS Digital Surround—all of which work together to offer you high-definition audio that effectively replicate surround-sound delivery from only one soundbar. There are also 6 sound modes (Standard, Stadium, Music, Cinema, News, Stereo) that you can easily choose from, each with their own corresponding features that serve to enhance your listening experience, depending on what you are listening to.
It’s somewhat hard to believe that this simple, unassuming, compact box is more than capable of providing your room with a surround-sound environment. With the use of 5 full-range speakers, and a built-in subwoofer, this system is will fill your living area with crystal-clear sounds and room-filling bass. It also boasts of the ZVOX PhaseCue virtual surround system that enables you to actually experience 3-dimensional sound while watching your favorite movie or listening to music, putting you in the middle of the action. This simple beauty is also equipped with a Dialog Emphasis feature that enables you to hear the dialog with a higher level of clarity and intelligibility. An output leveling feature is also seen in this ZVOX and this feature balances out the levels of volume in the system, as a result there are less unpleasant moments of having to hear unexpected loud sounds when switching the channel. All of these features are encased in a handsome MDF cabinet with dimensions of 28” in length, 3.5” in height and 14.5” in depth.
What to expect with soundbars under $300
With the development of high-definition televisions, sound delivery often leaves a lot to be desired, and more and more individuals are looking for a cheap soundbar (under $200) that would meet their expectations (and their budget). Spend a little more and the potential becomes huge! They all come in various shapes and sizes and best of all, they tend to be rather affordable. Well-known brands like Philips and Sony are also dishing out inexpensive systems that are all equipped with the latest sound technology. These devices are well-received by audiophiles everywhere, especially those who are worrying about expenses. For the fussy movie or music enthusiast, the best things in life come in the form of beautifully-delivered sound. The problem is many audio devices tend to be very expensive (like $1000 or less) and those who are money-conscious would be forced to just settle with mediocre systems with affordable prices.
Today, there are many manufacturing companies that offer very affordable soundbars, you actually have a lot of options to choose from. There are those that cost relatively less than a hundred dollars and there are also those that cost less than a thousand dollars. But, if you’re the type to go for the middle priced range, there are also those that cost less than $300.
Of course, there are also various limitations that are found in these models, but let’s be real we are still talking about budget bars and if you spend the extra you won’t see these limitations in their more expensive counterparts. That does not mean that the delivery of the sound of the $300 sound systems is considered substandard in comparison to $500 soundbars for example.
Which one of the models mentioned above is the right one for you? They are all solid picks. If you find a specific feature that attracts you to a certain soundbar you can buy it. None of the options that you will see on our website are actually “bad”. We always do our best to show and review nothing but the systems that are over delivering in terms of quality and value provided.