A soundbar is an inexpensive way to boost the quality of your audio experience. Most TVs come with their own built-in speakers, but not particularly good ones. A soundbar will upgrade the sound without requiring you to invest in a whole system of speakers. They will work well for music, shows, movies, and anything else you want to use them for. Soundbars are not limited to TV connectivity, either. Many models now have wireless and/or Bluetooth support so that you can link many different devices to their input.
For soundbars under $300, you can strike an ideal balance between cost and quality. Soundbars in this price range are superior to stock audio gear without breaking the bank. Moreover, you still get access to features like connectivity and other extras. In this post, we will review 10 of the best soundbars on the market that cost less than $300. That way, you can decide which one fits your needs and your budget, or at least learn more about what is available.
This model from TaoTronics contains 4 speakers, two of which are subwoofers. It has three different wired connections: line in, RCA, and optical, plus Bluetooth compatibility. The unit comes with its own remote control or you can just use the buttons located on the top surface. You can place it on a table, deck or media console, and it also has a set of holes that function as a wall mount.
The sound quality of the 36-inch bar is good. The two subs give it an extensive bass presence, although all four speakers could do with some more detail. It is capable of more volume than you might expect for such a slim bar. In terms of visual design, the bar is silver and covered with a grille, so it will fit in with just about any decor. It has a basic rectangular shape with the exception of the small recess for the buttons on top.
TaoTronics makes a 34-inch model of their sound bar that differs in several key ways from the bigger version. First of all, it uses two speakers instead of four, opting out of including the subwoofers. Next, it has a somewhat different design. It is black instead of silver and has a cloth covering. It also has an angle built into it that makes it slightly obtuse compared to the straight square of the 36-inch model. This last feature makes this a better choice if you plan to place the bar at or below ear height within the room because it provides better coverage.
Like its larger cousin, the 34-inch bar has additional emphasis on bass. It has the same set of connections and about the same sound quality. It also has the same remote control feature. The ports are located in a niche in the back of the unit at the center. There are also wall mount holes in the back as well. Note that these are passive speakers. That means they will not work if the power cord is not plugged in.
Bose is a popular brand in audio equipment. Their Solo 5 soundbar is meant as a TV accompaniment. It has the usual assortment of connections, which includes coax, aux, and optical as well as Bluetooth. It has a few special features that deserve some attention, The first of these is dialogue mode. Dialogue mode rebalances the sound so that spoken dialogue becomes more detailed and isolated, which makes it easier to hear. It also comes with a universal remote that includes a separate button for controlling the bass. Often, the bass is the part of the spectrum that needs the most personalization, so this is a valuable feature with respect to equalization.
The Solo 5 is a step up in terms of sound quality. This is especially true with the addition of the bass adjustment button. Because you can adjust all the settings from the remote, you can optimize from song to song and episode to episode or just keep things more or less the same. The clarity of the sound is especially good and the dialogue mode enhances that when it comes to spoken audio.
The SB3821-C6 is an interesting model from Vizio. The most intriguing aspect is the fact that it comes with its own separate subwoofer. Of course, a separate sub provides the best configuration for bass tone quality, but it is not the norm to see a combo of a bar and a sub. The bar itself is larger than usual at 38 inches across. The C6 has its own wireless remote and Bluetooth connectivity in addition to the usual wired options.
On top of its separate sub, the C6 also has a select group of encoding and balancing technologies for enhanced audio. These include Dolby Digital and both DTS TruVolume and DTS post-processing. The total effect is a high degree of fidelity combined with a high maximum volume. Normally, distortion increases as volume goes up, but the C6 has the ability to play up to 100 decibels of volume and the quality holds steady throughout its range.
Both the bar and the sub use simple black cloth and silver siding as their primary visual elements. The sub needs to be in line of sight to the bar and should not be any farther than 60 feet away to ensure that it maintains its connection to the source audio.
Monochef is not exactly a well-known company, but their contemporary soundbar has all of the key elements. It is clear that the company made their bar as a supplement for TV speakers. It has Bluetooth capability as well as RCA and aux ports to connect via wires. The two speakers inside the bar can deliver up to 80 decibels of sound across a range of 300 square feet. The remote control lets you make any adjustments you need.
One interesting application of this soundbar is the idea that you can use its range and wireless connectivity to take it outside. This can liven up a party or just extend the listening experience to the outdoors. It is not waterproof, so be careful of any kind of weather than could damage the bar. Remember that you can pair it to any device that has Bluetooth, which includes smartphones, tablets, and music players.
Monochef might not be the first name you think of, but this bar combines sound quality with decent volume and portability. Not many bars are easy to move, especially when they are mounted on the wall, but it’s a way to get more use out of your gear.
In contrast to the Vizio model, this Yamaha soundbar places the subwoofers inside the unit. Just like the first bar on this list, the YAS-207BL has a pair of subs included along with four other speakers- two woofers for midrange tones and two tweeters for the top end. This configuration allows for the most detail and clarity across the spectrum of audio. Each speaker is able to specialize in what it does best.
That means that the tone on the YAS-107BL is excellent. It has one HDMI, one digital, and one analog input plus Bluetooth. The total power draw is 120 watts, which means it is capable of considerable volume. The bar is 35 inches long. For design, it is a simple dull black, so it will go with nearly anything. With the HDMI output, you also have the option of adding an additional subwoofer if you want a separate one or if you already own one. Like the Bose Solo 5, the YAS-107BL has a mode to enhance dialogue and make it easier to hear.
The KY-3000 from Meidong is a sound bar 43 inches long that comes with RCA, optical, aux, and Bluetooth connections. As per usual, it also has its own remote to help you control it from a distance. The Meidong has dual bass ports for enhanced low end output. This is especially valuable for movies.
In terms of special features, the Meidong is limited to the speakers themselves. Even the remote is simple. However, this is an advantage if all you want is a soundbar that is easy to set up and doesn’t take much effort to configure. It does its basic job well and delivers consistent sound quality, although some distortion does start to enter at the higher volumes.
Mighty Rock is another new brand on the scene. Their combo package includes a 36-inch soundbar that has two woofers as well as a separate subwoofer. It has the usual connectivity suite of RCA, optical, aux, and Bluetooth. The subwoofer is connected to the soundbar over a wire, so make sure you take that into account when positioning both parts of the package.
The remote control is standard and is matte black to match the black cloth of the bar and the sub. Note that the sub is large at 11.5 inches tall and 17 inches deep, so you will need enough space to hold it. You should position the sub in the center of your system because it will be producing bass tones for all directions.
Meidong makes a second appearance on this list with a smaller model. This unit is similar to their bigger 43-inch version. The smaller size limits the max volume it can put out because the speakers necessarily have to be smaller as well. Moreover, the smaller model is also missing one feature that the larger one has, and that’s the bass ports. This slightly reduces the bass response and bass tone output. However, if you aren’t playing the soundbar at high volumes, then the difference is small.
The standard remote and set of connections is present with the Meidong, and it shares the simple black design of its bigger cousin. The soundbar is easy to set up and comes with a user manual if you need help connecting it or pairing your device with it over Bluetooth.