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The 6 Best Affordable Soundbars Today

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The 6 Best Affordable Soundbars Today

Key Points

  • The LG S80QY 3.1.3 Soundbar is our choice for the #1 Best Overall Affordable Soundbar right now.
  • A good soundbar takes your home’s audio experience to the next level thanks to its surround sound, which gives you a cinematic experience.
  • With a good soundbar, you’ll get amazing sound quality for movies, music, and video games.
  • When shopping for an affordable soundbar, consider the price, connectivity options, audio technology, and channels before buying.

LG, Sony, and Samsung have become the undisputed kings when it comes to soundbars. These manufacturers aggressively attack the market with new soundbars almost every year.

Unfortunately, some of their soundbars are usually expensive, placing them beyond the reach of most consumers. However, with new players like Sonos joining in the fight, you have numerous options from which to choose a quality soundbar without cleaning out your wallet.

A common question we often encounter is: do soundbars deserve all the fuss in a world dominated by up-firing TVs? The answer is absolutely yes! Even the most affordable soundbars in the market will elevate your sound experience, even when paired with an average TV. Moreover, besides the array of sound customization features you get, you will enjoy Dolby Atmos, a new sound technology that delivers a theater-like experience.

Let’s explore the six best affordable soundbars today!

#1 Best Overall: LG S80QY 3.1.3 Ch Soundbar

Best Overall
LG S80QY 3.1.3ch Soundbar
$429.95
  • 3.1.3 channel
  • Center up-firing
  • Dolby Atmos DTS:X
  • Works with AirPlay 2 and Alexa
  • Spotify Hi-Fi
  • High-Res audio
  • IMAX Enhanced
  • Synergy TV
  • Meridian
  • HDMI eARC
  • 4K Pass Thru
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03/01/2024 12:50 pm GMT

The LG S80QY 3.1.3 Ch Soundbar tops our list of the best affordable soundbars today.

Weighing 9.9 pounds, this soundbar is impressively light. But we don’t like its overall bulky design, irrespective of its 39.4” W x 2.5” H x 5.3” D dimensions. Nevertheless, the S80QY will bring your entertainment alive, given its 3.1.3 speaker system that delivers an immersive sound experience. Furthermore, thanks to the S80QY’s additional speaker and subwoofer, this soundbar delivers bass you can hear and feel.

One standout feature about the LG S80QY is that it has Dolby Atmos, which delivers an immersive sound experience. You will experience a new dimension of sound that makes you feel like you are at the heart of the action. Moreover, with high-resolution audio of up to 24-bit, you will get a more detailed rendition of the content’s original sound, resulting in an almost cinematic experience. 

As if this soundbar’s sound quality is not enough reason to buy it, LG packed the S80QY with AI Sound Pro. This innovative technology allows the soundbar to adjust frequency range and sound field extension based on your content’s genre.

ProsCons
Has a 3.1.3 speaker channel that delivers balanced soundThe soundbar’s bulky design may be off-putting to some.
Comes with Dolby Atmos that delivers the best surround sound             
This soundbar’s high-resolution audio makes it sound realistic. 

Check out LG S80QY 3.1.3 Ch Soundbar on Amazon.

Best for a Premium Look: Samsung HW-S61A 5.0 Ch

Best for a Premium Look
SAMSUNG 5.0ch S61 S Series Soundbar (HW-S61A, 2021 Model)
$196.61
  • Acoustic Beam
  • Alexa built-in
  • 2021 model'
  • 5.0ch
  • Amazon Exclusive
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03/01/2024 12:50 pm GMT

Get the Samsung HW-S61A 5.0 Ch soundbar if you are shopping for an affordable soundbar with a premium design and build. Dressed in a smooth material with curved edges that feature fabulous grills on the side, you will immediately notice the HW-S61A’s sophisticated design at first glance. Also, this soundbar weighs 6.6 pounds and measures 30.1 x 2.7 x 4.9 inches, so it doesn’t take up much space when mounted next to your TV.

With wide-range tweeters and speakers, which include a side horn speaker with an acoustic beam, Samsung designed this soundbar to envelop your room with sound. Speaking of sound, this soundbar has enhanced dialogue, so you won’t annoyingly rewind scenes from your favorite movies. However, what impressed us the most was the HW-S61A’s ability to optimize sound for each scene to enhance voice clarity.

The music sound mode will also have you jamming to your favorite artists all night, as it allows you to listen to music as intended. And since it’s a 5.0 channel soundbar, you will enjoy the best surround sound. Additionally, the HW-S61A offers various multiconnection options. You can pair it via Bluetooth, HDMI, and Wi-Fi. It also boasts the Tap and Play connectivity feature, which, unfortunately, works with selected Samsung devices and Android 8.1 and above.

ProsCons
The HW-S61A’s build material complements its premium look.The Tap and Play feature is limited to Samsung phone users or those with Android 8.1 and above.
Its 5.0 channel provides the best surround sound. 
Has multiple connection options, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and HDMI 

Check out Samsung HW-S61A 5.0 Ch on Amazon.

Best for Extra Bass: Sony HT-G700 3.1 Ch

Best for Extra Bass
Sony HT-G700
$311.99
  • 3.1ch Dolby Atmos DTS: X and Vertical Surround Engine
  • Immersive AE (Audio Enhancer) upscale audio closes to 7.1.2 for each sound
  • The wireless subwoofer delivers a powerful bass sound
  • Sound modes to customize listening
  • Multiple easy connections
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03/02/2024 01:09 am GMT

Get the Sony HT-G700 3.1 Ch soundbar if you are a music enthusiast with a taste for heavy bass.

This soundbar has a 3.1 Channel speaker layout, which also features a wireless subwoofer that brings in the punchy bass we crave. Sony also packed this soundbar with a central speaker that picks up every dialogue in movies, boosting audibility. Also, this soundbar comes with several sound modes, including cinema and music modes. You can switch from one mode to another depending on what you are listening to.

With Sony’s virtual surround technology, this soundbar can bend sound vertically; you must not install up-firing ceiling speakers. Moreover, you don’t have to add side speakers because the soundbar directs sound from both sides. This is possible due to the HT-G700’s Dolby Atmos and DTS:X features that create a spatial sound experience that puts you in the middle of your entertainment. And if you throw in the soundbar’s 400W amplifier, nothing stops you from having the ultimate theater-like experience.

Despite its amazing features, you can only pair the HT-G700 with a device using the 5.0 Bluetooth version. Moreover, this soundbar’s subwoofer seems bulky; it may not complement your interior décor.

ProsCons
The soundbar’s 3.1 Ch speaker layout and subwoofer depict its powerful sound features.Connectivity is limited to those using a device with the 5.0 Bluetooth version.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X provide excellent sound quality. 
Has different sound modes for different content 

Check out Sony HT-G700 3.1 Ch on Amazon.

Best for Movie Dialogue: Sonos Ray

Best for Movie Diagolue
Sonos Ray Essential Soundbar
$279.00
  • Clear, powerful sound
  • wide soundstage for enhanced drama
  • Sonos' App helps with simple setup
  • App, Spotify connect, Apple AirPlay 2, and Wi-Fi enabled
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03/01/2024 12:54 pm GMT

Fourth on our list is the Sonos Ray, one of the best affordable soundbars for movie dialogue.

You will enjoy the crisp dialogue that brings the movie drama to your living room, thanks to its blockbuster sound. The Sonos Ray has a speech enhancement feature, which turns up the audio frequency, making human dialogue easy to hear; this is handy should you want to boost dialogue.

Sonos also packed this soundbar with Night Sound technology, which reduces the intensity of loud sounds in movies and boosts the quiet sounds, making character dialogues vivid. Helping keep the Sonos Ray’s price down is its audio configuration. It includes two tweeters, amplifiers, and mid-woofers. 

Thanks to Trueplay Tuning technology, you can measure how sound bounces off your furniture when setting up the Sonos. This ensures the soundbar sounds great, irrespective of your living room’s size or furniture placement.

Speaking of the Sonos setup, this soundbar is designed to be tucked away. Its matte finish blends perfectly with your interior décor. Moreover, weighing 1.95kgs and measuring 71 x 559 x 95mm, it won’t get in the way of your entertainment when mounted next to the TV.

Whereas the Sonos Ray has exceptional features, it still has its drawbacks. First, you must have a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network to connect it via Wi-Fi. You must also have an iPhone to use the Apple Airplay feature. This may put off consumers using Android smartphones.

ProsCons
The speech enhancement feature and night sound technology boost movie dialogue.Limited to those with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
Has Trueplay Tuning technology that ensures the soundbar’s acoustics suit your spaceThe Apple Airplay feature is limited to iPhone users.
Designed to blend with your interior décor 

Check out Sonos Ray on Amazon.

Best for Dolby Atmos: Majority Sierra 2.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Best for Dolby Atmos
Majority Sierra 2.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
$264.94
  • 2.1.2 Dolby Atmos
  • With wireless subwoofer
  • 400W powerful output
  • Up-firing Atmos speakers
  • HDMI Arc, Bluetooth, USB and Aux
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03/01/2024 12:54 pm GMT

We cannot have a complete list of the best affordable soundbars without including the Majority Sierra 2.1.2 soundbar.

Besides being pocket-friendly, this soundbar comes with Dolby Atmos, guaranteeing value for money. The technology powers the soundbar to deliver a theater-quality sound that cocoons you. This is paired with a 2.1.2 speaker layout, giving you an immersive audio experience. Moreover, movie fanatics and film buffs will love the soundbar’s 10-meter range wireless subwoofer that unleashes a powerful bass. 

Weighing 7.9kgs and measuring 96 x 10.8 x 8.1cm, the Majority Sierra soundbar is a bit bulky for someone who doesn’t want a device that takes away their attention from the TV. Moreover, you won’t get the wow factor from the soundbar’s design, so it may not complement your interior décor. Also, it doesn’t have multiple advanced features, as seen from other soundbars reviewed in this article.

ProsCons
Has Dolby Atmos technology for the best surround soundHas a bulky design
It is reasonably priced.Has limited advanced features

Check out Majority Sierra 2.1.2 Dolby Atmos Soundbar on Amazon.

Best for a Cinematic Experience: VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar

Best for Cinematic Experience
VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Sound Bar
$196.00
  • Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa voice control enabled
  • App control available
  • Dolby Audio version 5.1 for 4k HDR content at its best
  • 98dB sound levels and a frequency range of 50Hz to 20kHz
  • Includes remote control
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03/02/2024 05:04 pm GMT

For the best cinematic experience with a minimalistic design, choose the VIZIO V-SERIES 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar.

Some people prefer electronics that stand out and are statement pieces, whereas others prefer appliances with minimalistic designs. The VIZIO V-Series has a minimalistic design, but nothing is modest about its performance or sound quality.With modern contours and an elegant matte finish, the VIZIO V-series craftsmanship perfectly summarizes its minimalistic design. Moreover, its 36.00 x 2.24 x 3.18 inches dimensions and 4.66 pounds in weight mean it does not get in the way of your TV.

In addition, with six speakers and a wireless subwoofer that unleashes up to 50Hz of sound, you will get the best surround sound, especially if you spread the speakers across your living room. Furthermore, this soundbar boasts DTS Virtual: X technology, which produces realistic surround sound, turning your home into a movie theater. Our final push for this product is its multiple sound modes, which adjust this soundbar’s sound settings depending on what you are listening to or watching.

Besides this soundbar’s HDMI ARC input, you can connect it via Bluetooth. However, your device must have at least the 4.1 or later Bluetooth version to pair, which is our main criticism of this soundbar. Also, this soundbar lacks any exciting features in the latest models.  

ProsCons
The soundbar’s six speakers and subwoofer give you the best surround sound.Limited to devices with at least a 4.1 Bluetooth version
Has a minimalist look that suits some consumers’ preferencesLacks a wow factor that would draw potential buyers
Comes with DTS Virtual:X technology that boosts its sound quality 

Check out VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Soundbar on Amazon.

smart tv mockup hanging on beige wall in modern interior with green plants
Soundbars are an excellent way to boost your audio experience at home.

How to Pick the Best Affordable Soundbar Today: Step-by-Step

You will find a long list of soundbars in the market, so choosing the best can be daunting. Keep the following tips in mind when comparing soundbars.

  • Channels
  • Connectivity
  • Audio technology
  • Price

Let’s break it down below.

Channels  

A good soundbar is denoted based on its speaker channels. Think of channels as the soundbar’s surrounding helping casts, like the speakers and subwoofers. For instance, a 2.1-channel soundbar has two speakers and a subwoofer for the powerful bass.

We recommend getting at least a 3.1 channel soundbar, like the Sony HT-G700, if you’re looking for an affordable soundbar that performs exceptionally. 

Connectivity

Soundbars mainly use an HDMI cable to connect to the TV. But a good soundbar should have extra HDMI inputs for your gaming console and Blu-ray player. Also, ensure the soundbar can connect wirelessly. Here, you must settle for one that uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. But you can still go for the Samsung HW-S61A 5.0 Ch, which besides Bluetooth and Wi-Fi,  has a Tap and Play connectivity feature for Samsung users.

Audio Technology

Decide the audio technology you want in the soundbar before purchasing it. Look for soundbars with Dolby Atmos and digital surround sound to get an immersive sound experience, especially if you are a movie enthusiast. You could also get a soundbar like the Sonos Ray, which has a dialogue enhancement feature. It ensures clear dialogue even when the characters whisper.

Price

The quickest way to limit your soundbar choices is to set a budget. Once you have evaluated the soundbar features, compare them with their retail price to ensure you are getting a good deal. For example, don’t buy a soundbar for more than $300 if you’re not getting any advanced features or are limited to Bluetooth and HDMI connections.

What to Know Before Buying the Best Affordable Soundbar Today

The best affordable soundbar should meet most, if not all, of your preferences. Besides sound quality, a good soundbar should be well-designed to complement your interior décor. Most importantly, an affordable soundbar shouldn’t be exorbitantly priced. Look for mid-range soundbars with decent performance and audio quality.

A soundbar’s channels also matter. Go for a soundbar with a bigger speaker layout for the best sound. More channels often mean a better surround sound experience, as you can spread the speakers across the room. You could also prioritize soundbars with a standalone subwoofer, as they often deliver extra bass. More channels do not always translate to crisp sound quality, so this is something to consider.

Using the Best Affordable Soundbar: What It’s Like

The best part about using soundbars is that they are simple to set up. You only need to plug in the power cable and connect the soundbar to your TV using the HDMI cable. The setup process may be easier for wireless soundbars, as you must not connect cables.

However, using affordable soundbars is different from the premium models. Though the setup is usually the same, you will notice differences in sound quality. For one, premium soundbars have more speakers and subwoofers, often providing better surround sound. Premium soundbars also have more advanced features, providing a better user experience. Nevertheless, don’t be discouraged from using an affordable soundbar; they still produce decent sound quality for their price tag.

Summary Table

RankSoundbarKey FeaturesDrawbacks
#1 Best OverallLG S80QY 3.1.3 Ch Soundbar3.1.3 speaker channel, Dolby Atmos, high-resolution audio, AI Sound ProBulky design
Best for a Premium LookSamsung HW-S61A 5.0 ChPremium look, 5.0 channel, multiple connection optionsTap and Play feature limited to Samsung phone users or those with Android 8.1 and above
Best for Extra BassSony HT-G700 3.1 Ch3.1 Channel speaker layout, wireless subwoofer, Dolby Atmos and DTS:XConnectivity limited to devices with the 5.0 Bluetooth version
Best for Movie DialogueSonos RaySpeech enhancement feature, Night Sound technology, Trueplay Tuning technologyLimited to those with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, Apple Airplay feature limited to iPhone users
Best for Dolby AtmosMajority Sierra 2.1.2 Dolby Atmos SoundbarDolby Atmos technology, 2.1.2 speaker layout, wireless subwooferBulky design, limited advanced features
Best for a Cinematic ExperienceVIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater SoundbarSix speakers, wireless subwoofer, DTS Virtual:X technologyLimited to devices with at least a 4.1 Bluetooth version

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a Samsung soundbar with any TV?

Yes, you can. You can connect the Samsung soundbar to any TV using a HDMI cable. You can also connect the soundbar wirelessly to any TV via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, you won’t enjoy features like Q-Symphony, which is only possible when pairing a Samsung soundbar with a Samsung TV.

Which is the best affordable soundbar?

The LG S80QY is one of the best soundbars for someone looking for a mid-range soundbar. With a 3.1.3 channel and Dolby Atmos, the LG S80QY delivers the best surround sound for a soundbar of its class. Moreover, it has other exciting features, like AI Sound Pro, providing great value for money.

Do soundbars have different sound modes?

Yes. The Sony HT-G700 is the perfect example of a soundbar with multiple sound modes. You can enjoy the cinema mode, which immerses you in your movie. You can also switch to music mode, which allows you to experience the sound richness of music. Other modes include night mode and voice mode, which adds something extra to your soundbar.

Does the soundbar channel matter?

Ideally, soundbars with more channels have more speakers and subwoofers, thus producing better sound. However, this is usually a rule of thumb because having more speakers doesn’t always lead to better sound.

Should the soundbar and TV be from the same brand?

Buying a soundbar and TV from the same manufacturer is unnecessary, as most soundbars pair with most TVs. However, purchasing a soundbar and TV of the same brand has additional features, like remote syncing, that you won’t enjoy if both devices are from different manufacturers.

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