Best Budget Soundbar in 2020

Votes 4 4
Rating 4.2 4.2

When looking for a soundbar, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the costly options out there. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a fortune to find something that works well enough. For less than $300, you can find a decent soundbar that suits your needs, whether you're watching the latest blockbusters with friends and family or just listening to your favorite albums yourself.

We made a colossal work and gathered the most decent devices in our rating for you to choose the best soundbar under 300. All models have Bluetooth support and a separate sub with the ability to wirelessly connect to it.

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Samsung HW-J355 - best overall

Our rating
6/10

Samsung HW-J355

The HW-J355 Samsung Soundbar is one of the best products from the technology titan. It comes with a bunch of features that put it on par with the popular and most advanced soundbars of its class. It was built to provide multi-device compatibility, convenience, and sound quality.

It boasts Bluetooth connection for wireless connection with Bluetooth devices. There is easy wall mounting function, it is small and designed for easy wall mounting with screws and the kit that comes with the kit. Compatible with multiple devices i.e., it can play from your phone, tablet, computer, and even TV.

It is delivered in the next setup: wireless subwoofer that connects to the soundbar via Bluetooth, Samsung application for remote control using Android phones or tablets. It comes with wireless remote control.

The best soundbar with subwoofer under 300 available for today produces 120 watts with 2.1 channel output. With it, you can enjoy a rich, balanced, and dynamic sound output that provides even distribution of power between the soundbar and the subwoofer.

All these functions mean several things, firstly, it is possible to connect this soundbar to almost any device in the house without using wires. If you are one of those people who have lost the remote control, you have nothing to worry about anymore. You can use your phone as a remote control on this soundbar. This compatibility means you just need to buy one product for all your gadgets. Samsung HW-J355

One of the main problems is that it is not related to older gadget models. This is a very specific product for modern gadgets. This means that, for example, if you buy to use with your old TV, you will also need to buy a new TV. Another thing is that it is only compatible with Android smartphones, which excludes the possibility of connecting to phones that do not use the Android operating system. Although it has the ability to connect using an optical audio cable, this is a drawback with some televisions that do not have an optical output.

Many people who have had this product admit that it represents well-spent money. There is general recognition that the price is reasonable, given all the features that it has. On the other hand, the fact that you can use this soundbar only with modern devices stands out among the complaints of many people. There were also complaints that it was delayed for several seconds before transmitting sound from the source. However, this is a settings problem that can be solved using the adjustment button. Users of this soundbar widely agreed that it produces clear and high-quality sound.

Key specs

  • Built-in channels: 2.1
  • Separate subwoofer (in package): yes
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Size (Wx H x D), cm/in: 94 x 5.1 x 5.1/37.1 x 2.3 x 2.6
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • The subwoofer delivers depth and feels as needed without overpowering
  • Offers bluetooth and several customizable functions such as treble, bass, and subwoofer adjustment

Cons

  • I think the dynamic range is too wide

Yamaha YAS-207

Our rating
5.3/10

Yamaha YAS-207

Yamaha soundbars impressed us, and many received our best recommendations in various categories. Yamaha's 2019 entry, the YAS-207, marks a big step forward. This is the first soundbar with the technology of DTS Virtual:X. This is such a significant and impressive feature that owners of entry-level Yamaha soundbars will want to switch to it.

Yamaha's YAS-207 is a compact soundbar and wireless subwoofer. Although the rectangular design of the YAS-207 will not win a single award, it will surely appeal to customers who need a soundbar with small dimensions and the possibility of wall mounting. You get a template, so you know exactly where to make holes. Wall mounting the YAS-207 does not require special equipment, although you will need to get the required screws. You can also put it on top or inside the cabinet. There are no built-in equalizer options to compensate for these different placements.

The included wireless subwoofer avoids the square box design of most subwoofers. Instead, the Yamaha wireless subwoofer is vertically tall and thin. The subwoofer with the front port looks more like a tower computer, which makes it ideal for installation near a sofa or in tight places. The volume of the subwoofer can be adjusted independently of the main soundbar so that you can customize it to your taste. The remote control has an additional bass boost function that further enhances the bass sound. We don't like the bloated effect that comes from these tricks, although we know that some consumers love them.

The YAS-207 provides you with HDMI, optical Toslink, Bluetooth, and analog inputs. You get both an HDMI input and an HDMI output at this price. The HDMI output supports HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC), so one HDMI cable can be used to send AV signals to the TV, and also receive sound from the TV through the same cable. HDMI ARC is a convenient feature, although you need to make sure that your TV's CEC option is turned on so that ARC works. Most TVs come with HDMI CEC turned off by default. Yamaha YAS-207

The supported version of HDMI is not explicitly specified, but it is most likely HDMI 2.0a, as Yamaha claims that the YAS-207 supports 4K UHD signals with HDR (high dynamic range). Support for video signals is generally not important, as most people use the soundbar to process only sound. However, there are situations where it is convenient and practical to have an HDMI input on the soundbar.

As we mentioned above, the big selling point of the YAS-207 is the DTS Virtual:X. Yamaha's YAS-207 is the first available soundbar to provide this technological advancement. DTS Virtual:X is DTS technology, which analyzes the incoming audio signal and uses Yamaha speakers to simulate a 3D sound scene, including creating virtual speakers where none exists.

Key specs

  • Built-in channels: 2.1
  • Separate subwoofer (in package): yes
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Size (Wx H x D), cm/in: 92.9 x 5.8 x 10.9/36.6 x 2.3 x 10.6
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • It's Clear Voice option, if enabled, will make dialogues and narrations sound clearer
  • The wireless subwoofer delivers dynamic sound

Cons

  • I noticed a crossover issue. The sound level and Base wavers up and down

JBL Bar 2.1

Our rating
5/10

JBL Bar 2.1

JBL Bar 2.1 also stands among the best soundbars under 300 dollars. It looks very similar to the archetypal black image of the soundbar that you probably think. The shaft itself weighs 4.2 pounds and can be mounted on a wall or lying on a long surface with rubber feet to prevent movement. On its top panel are controls for power, volume, and a button for switching between sound sources. The rest of the upper part and the entire front panel are covered with a metal grill. Under this grille are four 2.25-inch racetrack-style speakers and two 1.25-inch tweeters that provide a maximum power of 100 watts. Also, under the grill is a white LED that shows which mode you are in.

The black 11.5-pound sub sits on rubber feet. It contains a 6.5-inch buck driver with a maximum power of 200 W, resulting in a total maximum system power of 300 W with a frequency range from 40 Hz to 20 kHz. The subwoofer power cable is connected to the rear panel, which also has a wireless pairing button for connecting the subwoofer to the sound panel, as well as a large bass port for efficient driver movement. It automatically communicates with the soundbar when both are turned on, but you can use the manual pairing button in case of a connection failure.

The rear panel of the soundbar has connectors for optical output, HDMI input, HDMI output (ARC), an additional 3.5 mm input (cable included), and a USB port for audio input (without the included cable), as well as a connection for the supplied power cable. JBL Bar 2.1

The remote control is powered by two AAA batteries (included) and larger than your regular credit card-sized remote, which is lost on the couch.

What is missing? Wall mounting brackets, unfortunately, include only screws for attaching them to the soundbar - you need to purchase your own screws for attaching them to the wall. Although connecting an optical cable is good, it seems it doesn't hold in place very well - the cable is easily removed from the optical port. The inclusion of an auxiliary cable is welcome, but it is not necessary, given the capabilities of Bluetooth - it is better to use the included HDMI cable.

Key specs

  • Built-in channels: 2.1
  • Separate subwoofer (in package): yes
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Size (Wx H x D), cm/in: 96.5 x 5.8 x 6.8/38 x 2.3 x 2.7
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • JBL Surround sound brings an immersive sound experience for your TV without any extra wires or speakers
  • HDMI or optical cable connection is super simple to set up and use

Cons

  • The sound on talk shows and news lack depth

VIZIO SB2821-D6

Our rating
4.2/10

VIZIO SB2821-D6

The VIZIO SB2821-D6 is one of the most appropriate values ​​on the market if you prefer the bass sound. For a reasonable price tag, you receive a soundbar and an external wireless subwoofer that provides deeper and more powerful bass than even the much more expensive models from leading sound-producing companies. The soundbar itself also offers its buyers a huge improvement over the integrated TV speakers, increasing sound quality in everything from comedy performances to music. If bass boosting isn't your top priority, and you're mostly looking for clearer sound, there are some better options, though.

An external subwoofer is by far the main advantage of the VIZIO SB2821-D6. This can pump out a serious amount of low frequencies, adding a tangible rumble to your favorite action movies or music. The bass is also pretty well defined, avoiding the darkness that can be heard in some other budget soundbars.

VIZIO SB2821-D6 offers almost all user-friendly touches that it really needs, but it does not have any useful bells and whistles, which again puts it in first place in this indicator.

The best part of the SB2821-D6 user experience is the Bluetooth subwoofer. When we encountered some inconvenience when connecting other brands of wireless subwoofers, the SB2821-D6 subwoofer automatically connects to the soundbar during setup.

In addition to this convenient pairing, the SB2821-D6 provides almost everything you need. It provides convenient Bluetooth connectivity. It means that now you can stream any audio files from any Bluetooth enabled device. It has a remote control that is easy to use, as well as built-in controls when you cannot find the remote.

What the SB2821-D6 lacks is some additional, sometimes superfluous, but often useful features that many other soundbars offer. For example, many other models use the corresponding application, which allows you to stream via WiFi instead of Bluetooth and to fine-tune the equalizer. WiFi streaming is good, as your music will not be interrupted every time your phone receives an alert, but it is certainly not a necessity. The SB2821-D6 also lacks any built-in virtual assistant, which is gradually becoming common in many soundbars. Finally, the SB2821-D6 does not have an HDMI input; instead, it selects optical, coaxial, or RCA inputs. This is not so difficult, since the soundbar comes with cables for each option, and the vast majority of TVs have at least one of these ports. However, HDMI is quickly becoming popular with most audiovisual products, so the lack of such a port is a bit strange. VIZIO SB2821-D6

The SB2821-D6 offers easy tuning of high frequencies using the remote control. You can also adjust the bottom of the soundbar and subwoofer independently of each other. In addition, there are several predefined sound modes for music and movies.

In general, SB2821-D6 looks pretty attractive. Everything is very simple, with lots of clean lines and right angles. The metal ends on the soundbar and subwoofer look high quality, and the black mesh coverings on top of the speakers themselves also give the impression of quality. The only minor issues for some people may be the accents provided by these metal finishes. This appearance is certainly suitable if you want a clean, modern aesthetic, but placing this soundbar on an old wooden TV stand may seem a little strange, depending on the finish of the wood.

Key specs

  • Built-in channels: 2.1
  • Separate subwoofer (in package): yes
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Size (Wx H x D), cm/in: 28 x 3 x 3/71.1 x 7.6 x 7.6
  • Official website
  • Full specs

Pros

  • When setting up properly, I found this Sound Bar to have very good sound.
  • Some complaint about the bass not being that strong, but we found it to be excellent

Cons

  • If you grab subwoofer from the bottom, you could damage it very easily

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