Sound bars have recently seen a huge rise in fame and popularity after companies like LG started making them a lot more common than they used to be. Sure, many people would still prefer listening to music on their high end headphones, but if you are watching movies with a couple of people over, sound bars are the way to go.
At the given moment, the market is filled with some of the best sound bars you can buy; some of them are catering to the audience who wants to go all out and spend as much as they possibly can while others are there for people who do not want to spend a lot of money.
What I am trying to say here is that there are plenty of options for everyone regardless of the budget they want to put into the sound bars. The same number of sound bars in the market also creates a confusion among people and they are normally not able to make a decision properly.
That is why I have created this list; in this list, I will be exploring the best sound bars you can find in the market. These sound bars are already well known in the market, and I can assure you that the experience with these sound bars will be good. Let us go ahead, and start looking at the best sound bars under $200.
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Top 8 Best Soundbar Under 200
1. Sony CT290 Ultra-Slim – View on Amazon
Sony has been prominent in the audio industry; releasing some of the best sound bars in the market, and the Sony CT290 Ultra-slim is no different at all. Following the trend of sound bars that are super slim, and don’t take up a lot of space, the sound bar is aimed at audiophiles who are looking for something beefy but without the need for a lot of space.
From the looks of it, the sound bar feels a lot like a refresh of the CT260 that I have reviewed before as well. There are some minor changes to how the sound bar looks; for starters, the hexagonal shape is no longer there, making the sound bar look a lot uniform than before. Despite the change in design, I still like the design might not be for everyone.
Apart from the somewhat odd design, the rest of the stuff is good news; you get several outputs from the sound bar, making it almost universal as you can pretty much plug in any of your audio device you want. The sub-woofer and the speaker has enough power to fill the entire room with sound that comes out clear.
The sound bar also offers a great range on all frequencies; this ensures that the sound quality is not compromised in any case whatsoever. Sure, it might not be the best looking sound bar in the market, but as far as the performance is concerned, you cannot really hold it back in the first place.
The added remote control is also good; there is enough functionality available to use, and every control you need is available on the remote control. Allowing you to control the sound bar just the way you want. It is super convenient
In conclusion, the Sony CT290 Ultra-slim is an amazing sound bar with a lot of value added to it; the Bluetooth controls are well refined, and apart from the simplistic and cumbersome design, everything else is perfect.
- Great performance.
- Easy to setup.
- Plenty of outputs.
- The design might not be the best of the bunch.
2. LG LAS475B – View on Amazon
LG has spent quite some time in the audio industry, largely catering to home theaters or sound bars for consumers. Over the tenure, I have used some higher end sound bars, as well as some mid-range ones. The one thing I love about LG is the fact that they have been consistent with their products so far. Even if you are not spending a lot of money, you are still getting something worthy.
The next sound bar that I am reviewing is the LG LAS475B. It is more on the mid-range side of the price spectrum. Being an elitist, I had my doubts regarding the sound bar, as I did not know how well it would perform.
To be honest, I was surprised by the amount of power the sound bar has; it is loud, clear, and will fill the room with the sound in no time. Yes, if you are wondering, the clarity factor is also there and works really well. In short, the audio is loud, clear, and does not distort at higher volumes. If you want to watch a movie, or listen to music, the experience is going to be good.
There is a decent amount of output available as well, and you can truly control the sound bar just the way you want to. Considering the price, I do not really have many issues with this sound bar. The sound bar is also easy to setup; the process is simple and straightforward, allowing anyone to install it.
However, I must mention that I really wish there were more features. But then again, that is what you can expect from a mid-range sound bar that is already packing more punch than it is costing. If you are okay with the lack of advanced features, then the LG LAS475B is an amazing sound bar for your money.
- Amazing performance for the price you are paying.
- Easy to setup.
- Decent looks.
- Covers all the basics.
- The sound bar lacks the advanced features.
3. VIZIO SB3821-C6 – View on Amazon
I will be honest here, I had not heard about VIZIO SB3821-C6 before this review. Therefore, when the review unit arrived, I was a bit confused as to how I should deal with this sound bar. After digging a little, I found out that Vizio is actually a well-known company that has been around for some time now. They have developed some amazing consumer goods in the market.
With that said, I started testing the SB3821-C6 to see just how good this sound bar is, and I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed. For the price you are paying, you are getting an amazing sounding equipment. Almost all the tests I did came out positive; however, I did notice that the sound bar had some issues fully playing the lows, but that is okay, because the range is amazing.
The wireless subwoofer manages to hold on its own as well, with a great range and performance. It should go without saying that I am satisfied as far as the performance is concerned. Had it been more expensive than it already is, I would have been more critical about the sound bar.
One more thing that I should mention is that the design on the sound bar is convenient, practical, and simple. This means that you are not going to have a difficult time figuring out what goes where as everything is self-explanatory.
In conclusion, the VIZIO SB3821-C6 is the sound bar that surprised me the most so far. I started my tests with almost no expectations, but surprisingly, it end up becoming one of the best sound bars on the list so far. Sure, it might not be good enough for playing music that emphasizes on bass, but if you are okay with that, you are getting your hands on a damn good sound bar.
- Surprisingly amazing performance.
- Pocket friendly.
- Easy to setup.
- Convenient design.
- The sound bar is not suitable in lows.
4. Yamaha ATS-1060-R – View on Amazon
The thing I love about Yamaha is that despite the competition, the company is always bringing out some of the best products in the market. I am a fan of Yamaha’s audio division, and have been for some time now. They have produced some of the best sounding equipment in the market, and that is something very admirable.
Same is the case with the Yamaha ATS-1060-R; a sound bar that has 2 subwoofers built into it. This is different from the rest of the products that I have reviewed so far. This made me interested in the sound bar even more because I wanted to know just how powerful things could get.
The Yamaha ATS-1060-R is without a doubt, one of the most amazing sound bars I have used so far. The performance is solid, and all the frequencies shine through without a problem. The two sub woofers really shine here on the sound bar. You also get an app that you can use to control the sound bar as per your requirements.
One more thing that stands out the most is the design; it is not outlandish by any means, but the way Yamaha has designed this sub woofer makes it look wonderful. In addition to that, it also has the neutral look to it, meaning that it will go well with every setup without looking like something that does not belong in the place.
In conclusion, I would only say that the Yamaha ATS-1060-R exceeded my expectations by a long shot, and became the best sound bars that I have tested so far. I just have one minor issue with it; finding the Yamaha ATS-1060-R is somewhat difficult, since most of the units I found were factor refurbished. Other than that, you are getting yourself an amazing deal.
- Amazing sound quality.
- Dual sub woofer setup is amazing.
- Brilliant and practical design.
- The home theater app is decent.
- Finding the sound bar might be difficult.
5. Samsung HW-M450/ZA – View on Amazon
It will not be a list about sound bars without talking about something by Samsung. The Samsung HW-M450/ZA bring a strong competition into the mix with its simplified, and blacked out looks. The sound bar does not focus on how fancy it has to look, because it proves its superiority with the amount of features it has.
For starters, Samsung has cooked in some really nice features into the HW-M450/ZA; and most of them are on the hardware level since software does not really play a huge part in the sound bars. Judging by the size of the sound bar, it is safe to say that Samsung was targeting the audience who have smaller or medium sized rooms.
The sound bar sounds amazing, everything from lows, mids, and highs is clear, and there is no distortion. But due to the small size of the sound bar, it is not possible to fill in the larger rooms. I was let down because of this but after considering the price and the size of this sound bar, it rather makes sense.
You also get a wireless sub woofer, and the sound bar allows you to add wireless surround speakers, transforming your system into the realms of home theater. The remote control is wonderfully designed; however, it does lack some of the options you will see on other remote controls.
One thing I really did not like about the HW-M450/ZA is the fact that it comes with a feature called Clear Voice technology, and while on paper it sounds great, but when turned on, everything sounds a lot more unnatural.
If you are okay with the small inconvenience, then I believe that the Samsung HW-M450/ZA is one of the best sound bars you can buy for the money. Sure, it is made for smaller or medium sized rooms, but it works wonderfully, and will deliver the performance you are looking for.
- Small footprint packed with a plethora of features.
- Gives you the option to add more wireless surrounds.
- The remote control follows simplistic and practical approach.
- The Clear Voice feature is useless and makes everything sound unnatural.
6. Mighty Rock Sound Bar – View on Amazon
If I am being completely honest here, the Mighty Rock Sound Bar surprised me even more than what some of the other sound bars have done so far. It is packed with some impressive features, it also is one of the cheapest sound bars I have reviewed so far, and it sounds amazing.
The reason why I got so surprised by this sound bar is the price, and because before this review, I had no idea what Might Rock is. That has changed after going through this sound bar and testing it for some time now. The sound bar comes with a dual 15-watt speaker that has enough power to fill any room with music.
It works in tandem with almost all the home theater systems you would want it to, and delivers excellent sonic performance. Sure, many in the market do not know it, but from what my testing can tell, the sound bar happens to be extremely impressive.
Even the build quality of the sound bar is solid as it is constructed with solid ABS plastic, and apart from that, it is covered with a soft touch cloth. I have not seen this approach on many sound bars, but I will say that I really like it.
The performance is amazing too, with details retaining them in all the frequencies you would play your music on. You also get a plethora of connectivity options, both wired and wireless; ensuring that you are not going to be left out of the party.
Overall, I do not really mind the Might Rock sound bar at all, it has all the features one could ask for and to top it all off, the price to performance ratio is excellent. However, just keep in mind that if you are buying it to fill the entire room with music, it is not going to work as it caters more to the medium sized rooms.
- Extremely affordable.
- Solid build quality.
- Many connectivity options that you can go for.
- Dual 15-watt speakers are a treat to listen.
- Not loud enough for larger rooms.
7. TaoTronics Sound Bar – View on Amazon
With only one more sound bar left to review after this, I have now turned my focus towards the sound bars that are mostly the unsung heroes. Not many people are aware of their presence in the market, and that is why they go overlooked. However, when you actually test them, you realise the hidden gems that those sound bars actually were.
The TaoTronics sound bar is one of the more affordable options in the list. I was skeptical when I got this for reviewing, so I decided to jump in with expectations, because that seemed the only way to fairly judge this sound bar. Right now, I am somewhat glad that I did that.
The sound bar comes with 4 speakers, and loads of connectivity options that you can go with; it does not matter if you are looking for something wired, or wireless, the sound bar will take care of that regardless. You also get a decent featured remote control that will handle all the requirements.
There are multiple outputs for you if you want to go that route, and the sound bar sounds decent for what you are paying for. It is a medium sized sound bar, so do not expect it to fill the room with the sound, but it can easily fill medium sized rooms in a good fashion.
I did feel some distortion at loud volumes, but that is if you are going to be nitpicky. In most cases, you will not be able to hear any distortion whatsoever. To sum it all up, I could only say that the TaoTronics sound bar is cheap, it is practical, and it is effective.
Sure, it does leave a little to be desired, but considering how the price tag is very pocket friendly, and you are still getting a fair number of features, it is only fair if we show some leniency to this otherwise great sound bar.
- Surprisingly good performance.
- Easy to setup.
- Multiple output options.
- Good connectivity.
- Not ideal for larger rooms.
- Higher volumes show some distortion.
8. AmazonBasics 2.1 Sound Bar – View on Amazon
I have been reviewing technology for as far as I can recall, and I have never had the chance to review and Amazon Basics product. For those who do not know, Amazon Basics products are usually products that are offered for a low price, and they are made for people who happen to be on the budget. They do not cost a lot, but at the same time, they don’t deliver the same amount of performance you would expect from something higher end.
With that said, the usual formula was applied in reviewing this too. I had no expectations to begin with, but to my surprise, the sound bar turned out to be decent. I mean, it is not the best sound bar available in the market, and even in terms of looks or features, it is only covering the basics.
However, when you consider the pricing factor, and what you are getting with this sound bar, it all starts to make sense. This is the cheapest sound bar I have reviewed in this list, and I have to say that I am thoroughly pleased with it. Sure, if it had a price tag higher than it already is, I would have some issues with it, but you are paying for a sound bar that does not cost much to buy.
You get wireless and wired connectivity and a good amount of output selection as well. In addition to that, the sound bar also has a built-in sub woofer. Now the thing you need to understand about built in sub woofers is that they are not as good. Therefore, the sound quality and range is average at best.
I could be much harsher on the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar but it is the cheapest option on the list, and it is always on sale for one reason or another. Keeping all of that in mind, I really do not think there is a reason to judge this sound bar as harshly as I did judge some of the others.
In short, it is perhaps the most basic, and the simplest sound bar available in the market at the moment. It is built for people who just want to have something decent enough that they can use to play music in their rooms. It is not meant to be life of the party, and to be honest, it is perfectly all right.
- Offers decent sound quality.
- Easy to setup.
- Does not really provide much of the goodness outside the basic sound quality or features.
- Sounds just average.
Reviewing the sound bars was not easy, the reason being simple; I find myself as an elitist, and it is necessary for me that the product I am reviewing is actually good enough. However, things were a bit different this time around; all the sound bars I have tested with a different perspective gave me a new understanding about how things work.
Some were amazing, while others just did not impress me all that much, but I can assure you that the list has something for everyone. You get top of the line performers like the Yamaha ATS-1060-R, and you get some average performers as well.
If you are looking for the winner, or the editor’s choice, after carefully deciding, I have to say that it is the Yamaha ATS-1060-R. It is because the sound bar performs exceptionally, and albeit it is a bit difficult to find in today’s market, if you get your hands on it, I would advise you to keep it with you, because it is that good.