The Best Soundbar Under 200 Dollars – Finding the Right Soundbar for You!

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The technological advancements of electronics components such as large flat screen televisions have created a wide chasm between video quality and quality of the sound that emanates from the entertainment systems.

Hollow sounding speakers project tinny audio that makes it difficult to enjoy the corresponding high-resolution videos. Adding a sound bar to your home entertainment represents the perfect balance between splurging on a surround sound system and accepting poor quality audio as the status quo.

Sounds bars either mount on a wall or walls, as well as sit on tables strategically located throughout a large living or entertainment room.

Benefits of Sound Bars

Although sound bars bring music to life, the real audio enhancement benefit involves increasing the volume and richness of dialogues. Many big screen televisions include installed speakers that barely project dialogue, making it hard to follow your favorite movie or televison show.

Most sound bars include dialogue enhancement functions that project the voices of characters carrying on conversations. High quality sound bars under $200 project evenly distributed volume to ensure a comfortable listening experience.

If you don’t have enough space to install multiple speakers to create surround sound quality audio, a few sound bars mimic surround sound, at a fraction of the cost. Sound bars reflect sound off walls, which trick you into thinking you have speakers located all around you.

How to Choose the Right Sound Bar

Don’t let the name fool you. Sound bars come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. The most popular features offered by sound bar manufacturers include real surround sound, faux surround sound, USB ports, digital audio inputs, Bluetooth support, and a built-in subwoofer.

1) The Right Size and Design

You first need to measure the room where you expect to place the sound bars and find a name brand that carries the size. A sound bar selection often boils down to aesthetic preferences and ensuring the design of a sound bar complements room décor.

Some sound bars match the shape of high definition televisions, such as a curved sound bars that seamlessly fit next to curved television screens. The same company has to manufacture both the television and sound bar for the design coordination to work.

2) Built-In Subwoofer

Subwoofers do a great job of increasing bass lines, but some sound bars do not include built-in subwoofers. This means you have to spend more money on an audio system, as well as find places to locate the subwoofer.

If you live in apartment complex replete with hardwood floors, the subwoofer that you add to the sound system tends to disturb those that live directly below you. By hanging a sound bar that includes a built-in subwoofer on a wall, you prevent loud bass audio from pulsating against the floor.

3) Surround Sound

Fake surround sound adds audio depth to music and dialogue, but you need the real thing to optimize your listening pleasure. The real surround sound bar feature makes it seem like you are enjoying a movie at a theater, especially if you mount several sound bars on different walls. You can also pair sound bars that include real surround sound capability with surround sound speakers.

4) Price

Sound bars range from less than $100 to more than $1,000. Advanced production technology allows major electronics manufacturers to cut costs and still provide many of the most popular sound bar features. You can find high quality sound bars made by reputable manufacturers that run less than $200. Let’s review the top 3 best sound bars under $200.

Vizio S2121w-DO 2.1

At around $170 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), the Vizio sound bar receives almost universal praise from both experts and consumers for including an integrated subwoofer than enhances bass audio. Owners of the S2121w-DO 2.1 enjoy up to 101 decibels of pristine audio, with less than a 1% harmonic distortion.

The integrated subwoofer adds rich bass tones at low frequency responses around 55 Hz. You easily steam music over wireless networks from a tablet or smartphone due to the Vizio sound bar possessing Bluetooth wireless technology. The compact sound bar allows owners to place it virtually anywhere in a living or entertainment room. You can place it beneath a television or on top of a multimedia cabinet.

DTS Studio Surround quickly processes more than five channels of audio that delivers an authentic and inclusive surround sound listening experience. Post-processing and psychoacoustic techniques ensure you enjoy complete surround sound. DTS Tru Volume projects even distributions of volume to provide one of the most comfortable listening experiences.

The sturdy design of the Vizio sound bar supports up to 60 pounds of pressure. Setting up the Vizio S2121w-DO 2.1 sound bar only requires a connection of a single audio cable to the sound bar audio input slot. Consumers get more bang for the buck buying this inexpensive sound bar than they get by adding other types of electronics components to their home entertainment systems.

Sony HTCT260H

Sony entered the affordable sound bar niche by introducing consumers to the HTCT260H. The sound bar works great for 40-inch or more high definition television screens. One HDMI input and one output work alongside both analog and digital optical inputs. The digital optical cable requires little effort to connect the sound bar to a high definition television.

Consumer and expert reviews rave about the incredible sound projected out of the Sony sound bar, with pulsating bass coming from a powerful built-in subwoofer. Set up is simple by taking advantage of Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity allows you to listen to high quality music from your smartphone or music player. The built-in Sony subwoofer brings tinny television speakers to life by projecting audio that possesses extraordinary clarity from a compact design.

Sony designed the HTCT260H with six sides to provide placement flexibility.

The hexagon shape of the Sony sound bar ensures you maximize the audio quality by locating the sound bar near a wall or you simply mount it about ten feet up a wall. Sony delivers the company’s proprietary Virtual Surround Sound that allows users to enjoy surround sound audio quality, without forking over more cash for extra speakers.

Dolby Digital Pro Logic II makes it seem like you and your family has entered a surround sound movie theater. Easy to use and the no hassle installation makes this affordable sound bar a hit among audiophiles that operate on tight budgets. This sound bar generally retails for $299 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).

Sceptre SB301523

The 60-watt power that travels through two channels makes the Sceptre SB301523 the perfect audio match for 32-inch and larger television screens. An internal subwoofer heightens the bass notes of your favorite songs, while not reverberating throughout your home or apartment.

Owners of the Sceptre sound bar that position it near a telelvison enjoy optimal sound quality. Wall mounting the SB301523 maximizes audio output by reflecting sound waves in myriad directions. Use the remote control from your favorite easy chair to increase or decrease volume.

Sceptre latest entry into the sound bar market complements most digital entertainment systems by creating high-impact sound. The cinematic quality shines from the implementation of surround technology. An audio L/R and SDIF coaxial cable allows you to connect the sound bar to numerous electronic devices, such as a tablet or smartphone.

Sceptre has created four different listening modes to capture the audio projected by different types of sources. You turn on one mode to watch the news and then kick the audio up a notch by turning on a different mode for listening to classical music.

Incredibly, Sceptre offers all of this for less than $100. I’ve actually found it available at this listing for only $60 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).

Final Take on Finding the Right Soundbar

The move towards electronics components built with smaller parts means consumers can expect the same principle applied to sound bars. As sound bars decrease in size, yet retain powerful audio, you can expect to have more options for positioning the audio devices in your home. Smaller sound bars also mean consumers can expect to pay less, with eventually most sound bars running less than $200.

Juan Alexander

Juan is a self-professed sound-nerd and the webmaster / lead author & tester for AllSoundLab. You might literally walk into him on the street because he's tuned out to the world and tuned into his beats...

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