Best Home Theater Soundbar Under $300 (Top 7 Reviewed)


Best Home Theater Soundbar Under $300

The built-in speakers in today’s TV are horrible. Because consumers nowadays want borderless and huge TVs.

To meet these needs; brands are focusing on the display to make it better and larger for the new market demand.

And they are focusing less on the built-in speakers of the TV.  Brands don’t leave that much space in the TV body to fit nice speakers in it. 

That’s why built-in TV speakers are so horrible that a very cheap soundbar can deliver a better sound quality than it.

These soundbars can give louder sound, clear dialogues, rich background music, and deeper bass than the TV speakers.

Some newer soundbars can even replicate a 5.1 surround sound system right in your bedroom for under $300.

Although they can’t replace a full-fledged 5.1 surround system, they can give an entry-level taste of it.

I have installed many soundbars in my clients’ theater rooms, bought many for my business, and tested them out in my friends’ houses. That’s why I have the suitable experience to educate you on soundbars.

Let’s discuss each one,  so you can choose the right one for your theater room. I have categorized them into two categories of with subwoofer and without a subwoofer.

Note: The soundbars are classified into soundbars with subwoofer and without it.

Soundbar5.1 Surround SoundHeightWith SubwooferMountableRatingsRead Details HereToday’s Best Deals
VIZIO V-Series – Best For Entry Level 5.1 Surround SoundYes, Real2.24 inchesYesYes4.9Read DetailsCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Polk Audio Signa S3 – Best For 2.1 ChannelJust 5.1 decoding3.2 InchesYesYes4.8Read DetailsCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Sony HT-S350 – Best For Movies and Good For MusicVirtual surround sound3.5 inchesYesYes4.5Read DetailsCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
JBL Bar 2.1 – Best for Movies DialoguesNone2.7 inchesYesYes4.3Read DetailsCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
YAMAHA SR-B20A – Best For Movies & MusicVirtual 3D Surround Sound5.2 inchesBuilt-inYes4.8Read DetailsCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
SAMSUNG HW-S60A – Best For Mids And HighsNone2.7 inchesNoneYes4.6Read DetailsCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Bose TV Speaker – Best For Dialogues ClarityNone2.21 inchesNoneYes3.8Read DetailsCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Height is critical. So it can easily fit under your TV and doesn’t block the Infrared rays of the TV remote
Table Of Contents - Click To Read Your Desired show

With Subwoofer

VIZIO V-Series – Best For Entry Level 5.1 Surround Sound

Opens in a new tab.

Specifications

Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, AUX, and Bluetooth | Sound Format: Dolby Audio | Remote control: Yes | Subwoofer Driver: 5 Inch

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Deep and rich sound
  2. Clear dialogues
  3. Night mode, Eco power, and Dual Audio facility
  4. Well build with beautiful design
  5. All required hardware and wires are included
  6. Nice entry level of 5.1 surround sound

Reasons To Avoid

  1. The pairing with Alexa is not smooth
  2. The display on the remote is small

Who Is It For?

For those who want the best soundbar under $300 for their theater room that is capable of giving 5.1 surround sound and has a wide range of features.

This is the best soundbar in this price range because of its sound, convenience, and value put in the box by Vizio. 

It comes with a Soundbar, two rear speakers, and a wireless subwoofer. The Soundbar itself has three speakers, the front left and right and the center channel speaker.

The rear speakers can be placed at the back of the audience to give that full 5.1 surround sound experience. The subwoofer must be placed near the rear speakers because they need power from the subwoofer.  

The rear speakers are not wireless but are provided with long wires that can be used to Wall mount these speakers.

At the back of the soundbar, you can find an HDMI connectivity port, optical port, AUX, and also Aux VA for any virtual assistant like Alexa.

At the left side of it is a power plug and also a port for the USB drive to stream your audio from the storage.

It comes with a lot of value in the box where you get a wire for each input option. You get HDMI cable, optical cable, 3.5 mm cable, RCA to 3.5 mm cable, and two power cables for the soundbar and the sub.

Along with the wires you get mounting hardware to mount the soundbar and the rear speakers, a mounting template, setup guide, and a user manual.

How To Set It Up?

  1. Just plug the power cable into the Soundbar and connect it through the HDMI cable with the TV or projector.  After that, power up the subwoofer.  
  2. Connect the two rear speakers to the subwoofer by plugging the color-coded plugs into each matching color port. Don’t mix it up.
  3. Set the audio of the TV to external
  4. Now test each speaker by the test option. 
  5. You can access the option by clicking on the setup button of the remote then toggle to the test option by the large circular button on the remote.
  6. This will test each speaker if that is on and working fine.

You can also utilize the Audio Delay facility on the remote if there is a synchronization error between the TV and soundbar audio.

The remote is very robust and I have never seen such a robust remote in this price range with any soundbar.

The levels of each speaker can be adjusted by this remote. The dialogue can be enhanced and can switch to the preset gaming mode, music mode, or movies mode by the remote.

The other two features that I really like. One is Eco Power mode that will switch off the Soundbar when it is not getting the signal from the TV or projector.  It will save energy.

The other is a night mode that will reduce the bass and will balance all the levels of the sound so nobody in the house or the neighborhood feels uncomfortable.

My client wanted the best Soundbar for his small theatre room on a budget. I installed this soundbar with his projector.

I love the sound of it. The dialogues were clear, the background music was clear and louder, and the bass was the best in this price range. 

There was an option on the remote for dialogue enhancement and that truly brought the change.

I love everything about it except the virtual:X option. 

Because I am a full-fledged Dolby Atmos surround sound guy that’s why I don’t feel the charm of the virtual:X.  But you can try out this virtual:X sound and let me know what you think of it.

You can choose a project of ultra-short throwOpens in a new tab. to go with it. They will give you a fantastic theater experience in your bedroom. Click on the bluish words to read my review about it.

Build

The build quality is good. The soundbar and the rear speakers are mountable. The rubber legs at the bottom of the soundbar and each speaker are capable of holding the products firmly and preventing sliding.

The indicator lights on the soundbar are convenient and look good.

The remote build quality is the best in this price range. You can control each and everything on the soundbar and it is ergonomics friendly.

Features

  1. Night mode to balance the sound
  2. Ecopower to save energy
  3. Preset modes for each kind of home entertainment
  4. Dual audio to experience stereo sound on all speakers
  5. Virtual:X to experience sound bubble from each side when the rear speakers are at the rear
  6. The 5.1 sound replication while all the speakers and sub is at the front
  7. Each speaker level adjustment separately
  8. You can also try to calibrate it with SPL meterOpens in a new tab.. Read my review about it.

Sound

The sound was detailed and rich. The dialogues were clear and the rear speakers tricked me into thinking that there are movie characters behind me.

Features That Keep It Apart

  1. The 5.1 surround sound
  2. All wires and hardware included
  3. A wide range of features

Polk Audio Signa S3 – Best For 2.1 Channel

Opens in a new tab.

Specifications

Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, AUX, Wifi, and Bluetooth | Sound Format: Dolby Digital | Remote control: Yes | Subwoofer Driver: 5.25 Inch

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Dialogues are clear and crisp
  2. The music felt great
  3. It is Google assistant enabled
  4. It can connect with Wifi to stream music on Chromecast
  5. There are a wide variety of music options
  6. It is future proof because it supports 4K TVs

Reasons To Avoid

  1. The remote is low quality made
  2. I have to hold it straight to the soundbar to work

Who Is It For?

For those who want the best 2.1 channel soundbar that is best for both movies and music with some great modern age features.

This one is the best 2.1 soundbar for music and movies. With the dialogues enhancement technology by Polk, now the dialogues in music-heavy TV shows and movies sound clear and distinctive.

The build quality looks really stunning; there are huge fabric grills on the sub and the soundbar.

On the top of the soundbar, you get buttons for Bluetooth, volume adjustment, source, and power on and off.

At the back, it has connectivity options like optical, aux, and HDMI ARC. It also has holes for mounting.

The subwoofer is equipped with a 5.25-inch driver. The sub connects wirelessly to the soundbar and I have never experienced any discontinuity error with it.

The best part is that it is Wi-Fi enabled and Chromecast is built-in. Users can stream music from a plethora of music apps like Amazon Music, iheart radio, Google play music, and much more.

With the Google Home app; users can connect Google speakers across the home and they will play the same music in harmony.

This soundbar is future-proof because it supports both 4K and 8K TVs.

My friend has this in his bedroom because he was so impressed by all the features it provides. 

I tested it out with the music and movies. The dialogues were clear because of the dialogue enhancement technology and the music experience was great.

I tried the Google Assistant feature and I was able to change the music and volume without touching the remote.

The remote is simple and easy to use. Night mode, Cinema mode, and music mode can be applied by the dedicated buttons on the remote. Bass and volume can be adjusted by the dedicated button on the remote.

You can choose affordable satellite speakers to go with it for the surround sound channels. Read my best satellite speakers reviewOpens in a new tab. to know more.

Build

The soundbar and sub are made of good quality products. The front grill is made of fabric on both the soundbar and sub. 

The sub integrates very well with the soundbar.

But the remote is very cheaply made.

Features

  1. Built-in Chromecast
  2. Wifi-enabled
  3. Google Assistant voice commands
  4. 5.1 surround sound decoding
  5. The connectivity with Google speakers

Sound

The dialogues are crystal clear with great music experience.

Features That Keep It Apart

  1. Built-in Chromecast
  2. Wifi
  3. Connectivity with the Google speakers

Sony HT-S350 – Best For Movies and Good For Music

Opens in a new tab.

Specifications

Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, and Bluetooth | Sound Format: Dolby Audio | Remote control: Yes | Subwoofer Driver: 6.3 Inch

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Clear and deep dialogues
  2. The bass really add up to the movies
  3. Nice music experience
  4. The build quality is one of the best
  5. The remote is of good quality and easy to use

Reasons To Avoid

  1. HDMI ARC is a pain. It is not working as expected
  2. It doesn’t come with mounting hardware

Who Is It For?

For those who want to have a soundbar for the best movie experience and the good music experience.

The build quality of this soundbar is one of the best in this price range. The Soundbar body is made up of good quality plastic and the front grill is metallic. The indication lights are behind the grill.

The plastic on the top of the soundbar has a leather texture, with touch-sensitive buttons for power and volume adjustment.

The subwoofer too is well built. The front grill is made up of metal and there is a port below it.

The green light inside the grill of the sub when blinking means it is pairing but on stable, it means it is paired.

A link button is given at the back of the sub in case there is any connection problem with the  Soundbar. The subwoofer connection is wireless with the soundbar. The sub is equipped with a 6.3-inch driver.

At the back of the soundbar, it has all the connection ports with mounting holes. It does not come with mounting hardware.

This soundbar has 7 sound modes for every kind of need. These modes can be easily accessible from remote by its dedicated buttons on the remote.

My client wanted a 2.1 channel Soundbar for movies and music that look good too. I installed this soundbar in his bedroom.  

This soundbar doesn’t come with mounting hardware. That’s why I took one from home depot on the way to my client’s home.

I tested it out with the music and movies.

The dialogues were clear and deep and the subwoofer bass was able to give that realistic touch to the movies. The sounds of guns, punches, and cars engines, and crushes felt real.

The music experience was good too. I enjoyed every note of the music.

The music will not sound better than the complete 5.1 surround sound but it can definitely sound the best from any TV speaker.

You can set up affordable wall mount speakers with it to have a real 5.1 surround sound. Read my best wall mount speakers’ review here.

Build

The build quality is one of the best. The sub and soundbar are made up of good plastic and their connection is flawless.

The sub and soundbar grill is made up of metal.

Features

  1. 7 sound modes
  2. Sony patented S-Force feature give 5.1 surround sound effect to 2.1 channel
  3. Night mode

Sound

The dialogues are clear and deep and the bass was good in its harmony with all the levels of the sound.

The music experience was good.

Features That Keep It Apart

The best build quality and S-Force sound feature


JBL Bar 2.1 – Best for Movies Dialogues

Opens in a new tab.

Specifications

Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, AUX, and Bluetooth | Sound Format: Dolby Digital | Remote control: Yes | Subwoofer Driver: 6.5 Inch

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. All levels of the sound are very well balanced
  2. The build quality is premium
  3. The subwoofer has deep bass

Reasons To Avoid

  1. The remote is made up of cheap plastic
  2. The standby mode is painful sometimes
  3. No HDMI cable is included in the box

Who Is It For?

For those who want to have the best soundbar for dialogues and can compromise on music quality.

This is the 3rd best 2.1 channel soundbar by JBL. The sub is wireless and syncs with the Soundbar flawlessly.

The soundbar looks premium. The front grill is made up of metal and the whole body is made up of good quality plastic.

There is a LED light display behind this grill. This display tells you about the input type, pairing, and much more.

At the top of it, you get buttons for power, source, and volume. At the bottom, it has rubber feet that hold it tight.

At the back, it has all the connectivity ports. There is HDMI out and in port with optical and Aux ports.

The subwoofer body is small but it is equipped with a 6.5-inch driver. The bass is punchy and deep. 

In the box, you get optical cable, aux cable, and power cable for the soundbar.

The remote is made up of cheap plastic and very few options to play with.

My friend has this in his small bedroom. I want to test it out from the setup to the sound quality. I unplugged everything and started the setup process over again. 

The setup was easy and it was complete within 6 minutes.

How To Set It Up?

  1. Power up the soundbar, TV, and sub
  2. Connect the one end of the HDMI to ARC of the TV and the other end to the HDMI Out of JBL bar 2.1 (because this one is the ARC enabled).
  3. Set the audio of the TV to external
  4. The sub will sync automatically to the soundbar. The light behind the sub will blink once it is pairing and will be stable when it is paired.

I tested it out with music, movies, and games.  With games and movies, the bass was deep and the sound was crystal clear. It gives a realistic touch to the movies and games. 

The sound was best for movies and games but it was good for music.

It needs improvement in the music department. The music quality was not for audiophiles but a normal person can enjoy it for music too.

Build

The build quality is premium with a metallic grill and good plastic. The subwoofer quality is good too but the remote is made up of cheap plastic. 

Features

  1. Night mode
  2. Surround sound mode from 2.1
  3. HDMI In option to connect additional media source

Sound

The sound is tight in the mids and clear in highs and the lows are deep.

Features That Keep It Apart

The punchy bass and the HDMI in option.


Without Subwoofers

YAMAHA SR-B20A – Best For Movies & Music

Opens in a new tab.

Specifications

Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, AUX, and Bluetooth | Sound Format: Dolby Audio | Remote control: Yes | Subwoofer Out: Yes

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Clear dialogue
  2. Great music experience with a good amount of bass
  3. 3D surround sound feature
  4. Clear voice feature
  5. Mobile app for controlling the soundbar
  6. Nice beautiful design

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Not enough lights indications or display to know which feature is on
  2. The subwoofer has distortion on high volume
  3. The indication lights are on the top and it is hard at a glance to tell which sound mode is active.

Who Is It For?

For those who want to have a fair amount of bass along with great sound for their movies and music experience at home.

This is the best solo soundbar for movies and music because it is equipped with high-quality speakers. 

It has two 2.1-inch midrange drivers, two 1-inch tweeters, and two 3-inch subwoofers, and a port.

It looks premium. The Top, front, and sides are covered by good-looking fabric. 

On the top, it has volume up and down, Bluetooth, source, inputs management, and sound modes adjustment buttons.

At the back, it has all the input options and a power plug. It has optical and HDMI ARC connectivity options. It also provides a subwoofer-out connection option.

It has a few cool features like voice clearing and 3D surround sound. 

The remote is minimalist and very easy to use but I liked its mobile app. It can be controlled by a dedicated mobile app.

Its sound mode, volume, and input can be changed by the mobile app along with applying 3D surround sound and voice clearing function.

I installed this soundbar for one of my clients. 

 As I said, the setup was straightforward. 

I tested it out with movies and music. The movie’s dialogues were clear and a good amount of bass was there for the realistic touch.

The music experience was great because a good amount of bass was there as well.

The sub was good in the low and mid-volume but on high volume it gets distorted.

The sound experience is the best for a normal person that needs an upgrade from the TV speakers but for an above-average person, a separate subwoofer will be needed for robust bass.

You can choose an affordable subwoofer under $300Opens in a new tab., to go with it. Read my review about it.

Build

The build quality is great with nice looking design. But there are no lights and no display to know the volume levels well and other features.

Features

  1. Clear voice
  2. 3D surround sound
  3. Built-in subwoofer

Sound

The sound was good but the bass is good for those who want an upgrade from TV speakers. But the bass is not for those who want to buy a soundbar just for bass.

The clear voice feature was good and I heard all the dialogues very well. The 3D surround sound feature is again good only for those who want an upgrade from their TV speakers.

Features That Keep It Apart

Built-in subwoofer and 3D surround sound feature.


SAMSUNG HW-S60A – Best For Mids And Highs

Opens in a new tab.

Specifications

Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, AUX, Wifi, and Bluetooth | Sound Format: Dolby Audio | Remote control: Yes | Subwoofer Out: No

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Clear dialogues with little bass
  2. The music was very good at the Mids and Highs
  3. Nice amount of speakers
  4. Wifi connectivity
  5. Built-in Alexa
  6. Works with Airplay 2 compatible devices

Reasons To Avoid

  1. The bass is flat and not good 
  2. No sub out. Only Samsung sub will work wirelessly
  3. No display or lights for indicating levels or volume
  4. The app is not robust

Who Is It For?

For those who want clear dialogues and average quality of movies and music experience.

This soundbar is the best for the mids and highs of sound because it is focused so much on it.

It consists of 2 tweeters and 2 woofers with the dedicated Centre channel speaker for dialogues.  There are 2 horns, one on each side of it.

The upper body is covered by fabric and it looks very nice. At the top, it has volume up and down buttons with indicator lights. 

At the back, it has all the connectivity options with HDMI Arc, optical and it has no output for a sub. A separate subwoofer by Samsung can be connected to it via Bluetooth.

It has Apple Airplay 2 functionality and any apple device can be connected to it via Bluetooth or Wifi.

It also has Built-in Alexa.  Volume up and down and music can be changed by voice commands. Also, all other features of Alexa can be utilized through it.

It was packed in the box with my friend’s TV when he bought it. 

 I tested it out with music and movies. The dialogues were clear but there was very little bass.

The mids and highs were very good and refined. With the music, a very little bass was present too.

The bass is good as compared to TV speakers and normal people can enjoy it who just want an upgrade. 

But a person that is looking for a robust bass then a separate subwoofer will be needed with it.

Build

The build quality looks amazing and can blend with indoor decoration very well. The fabric looks amazing but there is no display or lights indication for volume or modes.

Features

  1. Airplay 2 compatibility
  2. Wifi connectivity

Sound

The sound quality was right but not amazing. The mids and highs were good and detailed but the bass was flat.

Features That Keep It Apart

Wifi and Apple Airplay 2 compatibility. 


Bose TV Speaker – Best For Dialogues Clarity

Opens in a new tab.

Specifications

Connectivity: HDMI, Optical, AUX, and Bluetooth | Sound Format: Not specified | Remote control: Yes | Subwoofer Out: Yes

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Good dialogues clarity
  2. Nice and punchy mids and clear highs
  3. Very convenient size and shape
  4. Music and movies experience was good

Reasons To Avoid

  1. No bass to give a realistic touch to movies
  2. Don’t know how much up is the volume as there are no indicator lights for it
  3. No surround sound replication feature
  4. A lot of colors for only two lights. Remembering which color represents what is very difficult

Who Is It For?

For those who want the best dialogue clarity out of a solo soundbar.

This is the best soundbar for dialogues. Because with its dialogue mode It can separate the dialogues from the sound and enhance it more.

I have tested this feature and it is delivering very well.

The build quality is firm and good. It is not the best but good. The whole body is made up of good quality plastic and the front grills are made up of aluminum.

At the top of the grill, there are two LEDs, one for the TV and another for the Bluetooth. The two lights change color for each functionality and it is very difficult to remember which colors turn on for which function.

There are no physical buttons on the soundbar; the only way to control it is by remote.

The remote is minimalist and very easy to use.

At the back, it has one power plug and on the opposite side of it, there are connectivity options. It provides HDMI, optical, AUX, USB, and bass out for a separate subwoofer.

My friend’s father has it in his theatre room. His father bought it because of its dialogue enhancement feature. Because he is old and has hearing loss problems.

I tested it out and the dialogues were very clear and easy to understand. There was no bass with the music but the mids and highs were detailed and well defined.

Build

The build quality is good. Good quality plastic is used for the body and aluminum is used for the grill.

Features

Dialogue enhancement

Sound

It can enhance the dialogues and make dialogues feel so clear, but there is no bass to give a realistic touch to the movie’s action.

The music experience was good but still no bass.

Features That Keep It Apart

The dialogue’s clarity can really help with hearing loss.


FAQs

Are soundbars as good as home Theatre?

No, they can’t be. Soundbars can just replicate the surround sound. Some soundbars can give tough competition to home theatres but they cost way high but still, they can’t beat home theatre.

This was my opinion, read discussion about this question on QuoraOpens in a new tab.


What is the difference between a 2.1 and 5.1 soundbar?

In the 2.1 soundbars, you get two speakers for the mids and highs at the left and right with a subwoofer for the lows. 

In the 5.1 soundbars, you get three speakers for the left, right, and center channels with two speakers for the rear left and right and a subwoofer for deep lows.


How much should I spend on a soundbar?

You should not spend more than $500 on a soundbar because you can get a complete 5.1 surround sound system for more than $500. That 5.1 system can be converted to 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 over time and will give a more robust experience than any soundbar.


Can you get surround sound from a soundbar?

Many soundbars nowadays are made to deliver surround sound. Their surround sound will always be entry-level and they can’t beat actual surround sound. 

They can only replicate it to give you a nice starter taste of it.


Are soundbars worth it?

If you want an upgrade from your TV speakers then yes it can be worth it. Because you can get a soundbar under $300 that will give you an entry-level taste of surround sound as well. 

They can blow any TV speakers out of the water.

Learn more from this discussion on QuoraOpens in a new tab.


Which is better: a soundbar or speakers?

Speakers when they are arranged in a 5.1, 5.1.2, or more than no soundbar can reach this level. But if you want to just place a single speaker to replace the soundbar, you are missing a lot of sounds, my mate. Because a soundbar is more robust than a speaker.

Learn more here from this discussion on RedditOpens in a new tab.


Is a cheap soundbar better than TV speakers?

Yes, a very cheap soundbar can give you a better quality sound than the TV speakers. Because you usually get very small one or two speakers on a TV and a lot of time they are pointed down to bounce the sound back at the audience. They don’t have separate woofers and tweeters and also no wide dispersion technology for sound spreading in the room.

On the other hand, a very cheap soundbar can have all of these.


Where should a soundbar subwoofer be placed?

There is no ideal place or point for a subwoofer. You will have to change its place continuously throughout the room unless the bass feels right in your chest. That will be the right place for your subwoofer.

This was my opinion read more on DummiesOpens in a new tab.

Ayaan Khan

Hi, it's Ayaan khan a freelancer and a computer science degree holder from P.E.S. College. I write articles on Homelytainment.com. The facts and research is provided by Daniel and the writing job is mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

1 × four =

Recent Posts