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A soundbar, as the name suggests is a bar-shaped device that contains a number of speakers for the audio output from a computer, television set, or MP3 player. The most common use of sound bars is with televisions, and it is considered to be a much-needed upgrade to the default speakers on most TV sets. If you are looking to make your very own home theater, then a robust and reliable sound bar is what you need to fill your house with crisp and clear sound.
In this guide, we take a look at what makes up a good soundbar and review some of the top sound bars available in the market today to assist you in making the right choice for your home theater.
See more: Best Soundbar Under $200
Best Soundbars Under $300 For Your Home Theater
You know what exactly it is that you need to look for in the perfect soundbar for your home theater, let us now take a look at reviews of some of the best soundbars under 300 available in the market today so that you have a better idea of how to choose the right sound bar.
VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar
VIZIO’s V-Series home theater sound bar is a great way to get the immersive surround sound you love from your favorite shows and movies. The VIZIO V-Series features a 5.1 channel audio system with high-performance drivers for crisp vocal and detailed music reproduction, paired with a wireless subwoofer that delivers deep bass. This sleek sound bar also supports Dolby Audio, which brings out the best in your 4K HDR content by adding dynamic effects to enhance picture quality.
The VIZIO V-Series 5.1 home theater soundbar offers amazing audio quality that is loud, clear, and immersive. The 96dB sound pressure level delivers dynamic and accurate sound with deep bass and crisp vocal ranges. DTS Virtual:X creates a virtualized 3D soundscape with richly detailed directional surround sound. You’ll notice more depth and realism in your entertainment experience. Best of all, this high-end audio is not only immersive but lightweight for less clutter in your living room.
VIZIO sound bar offers a simple solution for adding smart home control and immersive audio to your HDTV. With Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant, you can play music, check the weather and control compatible smart home devices by simply using your voice. It also offers a simple solution for adding Bluetooth, Auxiliary and HDMI connections to your TV.
- Easy setup
- Dolby Audio, DTS Virtual:X
- Works with Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant voice control
- Bluetooth compatible; Auxiliary; HDMI connection
- Has Four EQ presets
- Some people complain about a bad time pairing with Amazon Alexa
Bose Solo 5 Soundbar
This incredible standalone device by Bose is considered to be the best sound bar under the $300 range. The sound bar features a 5.1 configuration with five dedicated speakers and a built-in subwoofer for blowing you away with high-definition, premium quality audio output. As for the power, the Bose has not disclosed the power rating for this sound bar.
Moving on to connections, this sound bar features all of the necessary input options that you will need – these include an HDMI port, Bluetooth connectivity, and digital audio data but sadly there are no USB ports or wireless connectivity available.
- Excellent audio quality – one of the best performers in this price range.
- Good connectivity options – almost everything is covered with the input options.
- 5.1 channel configuration for a surround-like experience.
- No USB port
- A slimmer design would make it more compatible with smaller spaces
SAMSUNG 5.0ch S60A S Series Soundbar
The Samsung 5.0 Channel Soundbar is a premium design soundbar that features side horn speakers with acoustic beam technology and a built-in center speaker for an immersive surround sound experience. The Samsung Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer is a perfect fit for your TV room, home theater, or den so you can enjoy the ultimate sound experience. It features an elegant design that complements any interior decor, with a built-in voice assistant with Alexa and a wireless subwoofer for deeper bass.
And it offers adaptive sound technology to automatically adjust the audio based on surrounding conditions. Use your voice to control this soundbar and other connected devices through the SmartThings app or Amazon Alexa. You can also wirelessly connect compatible devices to play audio through this soundbar. You can also stream audio from Apple AirPlay 2 compatible iOS devices to this soundbar with just a simple touch.
- Easy wireless setup
- Bass is good
- Clear and concise remote
- More than 3 speakers are responsible for the greater sound and clarity.
- There are no levels or indications for volume and settings
Sony HT-S350 Soundbar
Sony HT-S350 Soundbar with Built-In Subwoofer – Black is a great way to upgrade your home theater system. With its 320 watts of total power output, it delivers a powerful sound experience that will bring you right into action. The wireless subwoofer adds bass for an even more immersive audio experience. It comes with built-in Bluetooth and HDMI ARC compatibility, so you can connect it easily to your TV and other devices.
The Sony HT-S350 soundbar is a perfect companion to your TV. The 6.3″ speaker unit and 6.16-gallon volume deliver rich, deep bass sound for an immersive experience that will make you feel like you are at the movies. Choose from 7 sound modes including Auto Sound, Cinema, Music, Game, News, Sports, and Standard Audio Mode to personalize your listening experience based on what you’re watching or playing. And with voice enhancement technology that isolates voices and amplifies them over background noise for greater.
- Great audio quality, with a deep, rich bass
- It’s simple to set up and customize
- 7 sound modes for different settings
- Easily stream audio through Bluetooth or WiFi
- Wall mountable
- No USB support
- When compared to other Sony products, the remote’s built quality is cheap.
SAMSUNG 3.1ch A650 A Series Soundbar
Turn your TV into a home theater with the Samsung 3.1ch A650 A Series Soundbar. This soundbar has built-in speakers for enhanced dialogue, so you hear every word. It also features Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Virtual X to create an immersive surround sound simulation that draws you in, so you feel like you’re part of the action. The dedicated center speaker enhances dialogue quality so it sounds as clear as possible, while the wireless subwoofer completes the rich audio experience by adding depth and bass for a full sound from any seat in the room.
The all-new Samsung A650 soundbar features Adaptive Sound technology, which allows you to instantly optimize the volume and tone of your audio. The simple touch of a button makes movies and TV shows come alive with clear vocals and powerful bass. With its slim design that fits almost anywhere, the Samsung A650 is an ideal complement to any home theater setup.
Connect your Samsung 3.1ch A650 A Series Soundbar to your TV with one of three connection options: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or HDMI. The included remote control allows you to easily adjust volume levels and switch between different audio sources including streaming services.
- Decent bass
- Sound is pretty good
- 3 connection options for easy setup
- It supports graphic EQ and presets
- The design and build quality are both excellent
- It lacks low-bass
- No Dolby Atmos support
Bose TV Speaker
The Bose TV Speaker enhances the sound of your television. It’s a small soundbar that improves speech clarity and overall TV audio quality. The built-in Dolby decoder helps to enhance the audio capabilities of this compact TV speaker, allowing you to enjoy a more realistic and gratifying listening experience.
The Bose TV Speaker is a soundbar that measures only about 2″ tall and maybe positioned almost anywhere, making it ideal for small spaces. HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) is a technological feature that allows the connected TV and this tiny soundbar to communicate through an HDMI connection. When you switch on the TV, the TV speaker will also turn on automatically.
This soundbar is also a Bluetooth soundbar. Simply press the Bluetooth button on the remote to connect your device to this TV speaker and play music wirelessly. The compact TV speaker has a remote control with which you may use the dialogue mode to improve speech quality or add a bass boost for greater depth.
- Compact and simple design
- HDMI ARC is available
- Hears the dialogue clearly and enhances it
- Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming
- The voice clarity option works wonderfully
- Remote is quite small
- Auto-volume mode is not available
ZVOX SB380 Aluminum Sound Bar
The SB380 is a sleek, brushed-aluminum soundbar that is a smaller version of the SB500 at just over 35 inches. It has a similar design and performs in the same way as the similarly priced SB400. The only distinction is that the SB380 does not have Bluetooth.
The ZVOX SB380 Aluminum Sound Bar is the perfect complement to your flat-panel TV. This soundbar delivers big, full sound with wall-mount convenience and wireless capabilities. With its built-in AccuVoice feature, dialogue is clear and crisp, making it easy to hear what’s being said on the screen.
The SB380 has a four-digit display behind the speaker grille that displays the current volume, bass, treble, and PhaseCue (virtual surround) settings and also shows when you have engaged the Mute, Output Leveling (OL) or AccuVoice (ACCU) features. The display shuts off automatically a few seconds after you stop operating your remote (or front panel) controls.
- It’s simple to use
- Small, slim design
- A solid, well-made device
- Gives you good volume levels
- The four-digit display is easy to read
- Does not have Bluetooth connectivity
- Its lack of HDMI input limits the functionality it can offer
VIZIO Sound Bar for TV, 36” 5.1 Channel
The VIZIO SB3651ns-H6 is a great addition to any home theater system. This soundbar comes ready to use with 6 speakers and a wireless subwoofer that connects easily to your television. This VIZIO Sound Bar System delivers a full 5.1 surround sound experience in one compact unit and can connect to your TV via HDMI ARC or optical audio, giving you easy access to all your favorite entertainment options.
VIZIO’s 36″ 5.1 channel soundbar with DTS virtual: X is a great addition to your TV, and it has everything you need to upgrade your home theater experience. This VIZIO Sound Bar also has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can easily stream your favorite music from your smartphone or other devices.
- It is easy to set up
- HDMI ARC connection is available
- It is well-made and of great quality
- Nicely built for durability and functionality
- Sometimes it has difficulties connecting to Bluetooth
Recent Updates (14/09/2021)
Added SAMSUNG 5.0ch S60A S, Sony HT-S350, Bose TV Speaker, ZVOX SB380 Aluminum, VIZIO Sound Bar B3651ns-H6
Removed ZVOX SoundBase 570, VIZIO SB3821-C6, Samsung HW-K450, Sony HTCT390, Apex Digital ASB-900, Samsung HW-J551.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Soundbar
There are numerous features that you need to look out for when buying a sound bar and while some features will be more important to some people, we have highlighted the key factors that make up the ideal soundbar.
If you are an audiophile that wants the sound quality to be high-definition (just like real life), then you will need a powerful subwoofer to help you in fulfilling your desires. Whether you are watching an action movie or playing your favorite video game, you would want to have the extra bass for a livelier audio experience.
If you are an audiophile that loves bass, then it is essential to look for a sound bar that either has an integrated subwoofer or comes with a subwoofer combo – note that not all sound bars have a subwoofer with them, so you will need to pay higher for the ones that do!
If you are looking for a powerful sound bar, then the feature that you should be considering is the wattage of the device. A simple rule of thumb is: The higher the wattage, the louder the sound and deeper the bass will be. Look for sound bars that have a wattage of over 120 watts (that should be enough to fill up your entire house with high-quality sound).
This is another important aspect to consider when buying a sound bar – how many channels (or speakers) do you want in your sound bar? The most common configuration is the 2.1 sound bar which has two dedicated speakers and a separate subwoofer for the bass.
Other channel configurations include 2.0 (two dedicated speakers with no subwoofer) and 5.1 (five dedicated speakers – one center speaker, two front speakers, and two rear speakers with a subwoofer). Obviously, the 5.1 configuration is the most powerful and offers the complete surround sound but it is more expensive, and you will find very few options under the $300 mark.
Not all sound bars with the same specifications will perform the same, and the primary reason behind this is the build quality and reliability of the parts that have been used. Choosing a reputable brand is important because you guarantee value for your money and high performance. A Bose sound bar would beat an off-brand name with the same specifications nine times out of 10 which is why you should always consider the brand name before making a purchase decision.
You need to find the placement of the sound bar before you can make the purchase i.e. where will you be placing the sound bar on your TV stand or computer table. Check that the sound bar is not too tall or bulky and there is not enough room to place it in your desired location. Ensure that you choose a soundbar that offers you sufficient space to easily control the TV with a remote control.
Last but not the least, you need to check the input connection options that are available on the sound bar. You will be needing a variety of input type for connecting the various audio (or video) sources that you have, and you need to ensure that that the inputs on the sound bar are compatible with the outputs that are available to the audio source.
Here is a breakdown of what connections can be found on a sound bar and where will you need them:
HDMI is the default connection port for connecting a television set to a sound bar. Most sound bars come with one or more input ports for HDMI connections and may even include an HDMI output to the television set as well (that allows you to switch the video source via the sound bar itself). Most HDMI connections support ARC (audio return channel) which will allow the TV to send back audio to the sound bar.
This means a single connection from the sound bar to the TV can be made for outputting the audio and sending the video to the TV. If you are looking to connect a Blu-ray player to the sound bar, then ensure that your sound bar can send these signals to your television set before making the purchase.
The sound bars of the modern era now even support Bluetooth which means that you can wirelessly connect your tablet, smartphone, or laptop to the soundbar speaker. Not just this but high-end sound bars even have a feature for two-way Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to send music from your device to the soundbar and then from your sound bar to your Bluetooth headphones!
Sound bar models that have a built-in WiFi feature allow you to directly stream music services such as Spotify, Pandora, or SoundCloud. Other sound bars may include an Ethernet port for wired connectivity to the internet. Another variety of these sound bars even allows you to stream TV shows and movies directly from services such as Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu.
This is quite a handy feature if you do not have a TV with streaming capability. Note that you can stream the video from the Soundcloud and send it to the video source i.e. your television via an HDMI port.
- Audio Inputs
This is the default input port found on almost every sound bar these days – there will be at least one digital audio input (coaxial or optical) combined with analog mini-jack inputs and RCA inputs for connection your disc players, smartphone, televisions, portable music players, and cable boxes to the sound bar.
Choosing the right sound bar can be a difficult choice to make, especially if you have no idea about what to look for! For this reason, we have put together a thorough guide that explains all the specifications that you need to look out for when choosing the ideal soundbar for your home theater.
We have also reviewed seven of the best sound bars available in the market today for under $300 to make your choice even easier!