Soundbars represent one of the best options for an enjoyable audio experience. Suitable for all devices including smartphones, laptops or the TV, soundbars can dramatically improve sound quality. They also come with the advantage of mobility and wireless connectivity. Most importantly, sounds bars can be used for watching movies, playing games and listening to music. The immersive experience soundbars come with recommends them for home use and even out of home use for the battery-powered soundbars.
- Features to Consider in Cheap Soundbars
- Top 10 Best Cheap Soundbars 2020 (Under $100)
- 1. TaoTronics SoundBar
- 2. Vizio 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar
- 3. AmazonBasics 31″ 2.0 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar
- 4. Vizio 28-Inch 2.1 Channel Soundbar
- 5. BYL Soundbar
- 6. DBPowers 29-inch Soundbar
- 7. Vizio 38-Inch 2.0 Channel Sound Bar
- 8. TaoTronics 36-Inch 4 Speakers Sound Bar
- 9. Vizio 32″ 2.0 Channel Sound Bar
- 10. FRESHeTech Television Sound Bar
- Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Soundbars under $100
Features to Consider in Cheap Soundbars
Even if finding cheap soundbars under $100 seems unlikely, there are a few interesting products to consider. The main differences can be found in the following characteristics.
The physical size of the speakers’ influences volume. However, choosing the biggest speakers can sometimes defeat the purpose of a soundbar, as most should maintain their mobile and practical profile.
With wired and wireless designs, it is advisable to choose the products most suitable for versatility. Touch controls can also be a great addition for enhanced user experience.
The design of a soundbar often influences a purchase. Soundbars come in different shapes and sizes and most of them can easily fit into any modern home. The following products are a selection of the best options of the moment.
Top 10 Best Cheap Soundbars 2020 (Under $100)
With a modern look, the soundbar is one of the most appealing designs in its class. It manages to offer a complex solution for those seeking top-quality audio for their home. There are 4 small speakers inside the soundbar, together with 2 passive radiators.
The 34-inch soundbar even allows the speakers to offer reliable bass. This is why it can have many applications. It can be sued to enhance the audio in movies. But it can also be used to offer a more immersive experience for gamers playing the latest games on their consoles or on the PC.
Connectivity options are at a top level with the affordable soundbar. Bluetooth connectivity allows smartphones to connect to them quickly. But the soundbar can also connect with a 3.5mm input, an optical coaxial and an RCA AUX input.
The wireless connectivity does not subtract audio quality from the soundbar. However, for the more convenient results, it is recommended to properly place the soundbar around the room as needed. It can be placed below or above the TV. It can be fixed on the wall. Most importantly, the soundbar can be moved around the room as needed.
The good news is that based on Bluetooth connectivity, the soundbar can actually be one of the practical solutions to listen to music from any corner of a room. Even while sitting on a couch, users can still connect their smartphones to the soundbar for a comfortable relaxing listening experience.
Other convenient features include the ABS plastic case. This type of plastic is known for its durability. Practically, it is the base for a durable product which can be used for years and years.
A distinct convenient feature comes with the touch controls of the soundbar. Users can select the volume level based on this touch control. With an included remote control, using the soundbar becomes a matter of approach and preferences.
With a great 20W performance and a solid design with touch controls, it is one of the complete soundbars on offer.
As one of the simple soundbars, it is suitable for a minimalistic look. It offers impressive results for a small room. With a modern design, the soundbar is up to date with the connectivity and the functionality it needs to have for today’s user.
Made to offer a realistic sound, the soundbar features physical controls. They work to turn the soundbar on, to switch Bluetooth connectivity on/off and to raise or lower the volume. Of course, this can also be done from the TV or from the smartphone.
TVs can be connected by wire to the soundbar so even older sets will work with the high-quality audio speakers. But the soundbar can also be connected to a laptop, mainly via Bluetooth. When the Bluetooth function is not activated, it can also be switched off.
One of the distinct convenient features of the soundbar comes with its DTS TruSurrond technology. Made to offer surround sound, the soundbar is suitable for a complex audio experience. The actual volume of the soundbar reaches 95db which is mainly suitable for small rooms and small living rooms.
The DTS TrueVolume offers a consistent level of audio quality which gets no distortion, even on the higher volume. The soundbar prides itself of giving less than 1% sound distortion. Another convenient feature comes with the automatic shut off function. The soundbar will power off when not in use. However, this function has also been linked to the most annoying problem of the soundbar as many users simply don’t want it to power off. Luckily, the function can be deactivated. In order to do so, users need to press and hold the power and volume buttons for 5 seconds. Suitable for 32” and above TV sets, the soundbar is capable and versatile.
With 95db, the soundbar offers quality sound with low distortion suitable for small homes.
The soundbar is made with a utilitarian approach. It manages to offer an efficient design hiding its controls, which are situated at the back of the speakers. In terms of speaker layout, the small speakers are positioned to offer dual full-range stereo audio.
On the back of the soundbar, users can find connectivity ports. They include options for optical cables, RCA cables, and AUX cables. The power cable also needs to be plugged in here. Since the soundbar needs power, it needs to be positioned next to a power source, as most products in this category.
Remote control is also available in the pack. The remote control from the TV will not work with the soundbar and this is why users will actually have to use two separate controllers, one for the TV another for the soundbar.
There are many convenient features about the soundbar. But the most important feature includes the 3 audio modes which adapt the speakers to the type of playback content. Users can choose the News Mode to have more intelligible and distinguishable voice audio quality. A Movie Mode is also available. It sets the speakers to offer the best audio quality for movie soundtracks. A Standard Mode is available as well for any other application.
With physical controls, adjusting the audio connectivity and volume is easy. Users can do so from the buttons on top of the soundbar. But the soundbar also comes with Bluetooth wireless connectivity. This is mainly suitable for situations where users are actually pairing their smartphones to listen to music. The good news is that automatic pairing is enabled. It means that once a device has been connected to the speakers via Bluetooth, the speakers remember the device and automatically pair the two in the future.
With 90db, the soundbar is suitable for TVs and it offers clear audio which can be adapted to movies, news and other programs.
Similar to the 29-inch Vizio, the 28-inch soundbar comes with crystal clear sound. However, the main difference is that the 28-inch soundbar also comes with an added subwoofer. This is why it is mainly recommended to fill a room with sound, regardless of the application and types of content to be streamed.
The soundbar comes with both wired and wireless connectivity. The main advantage of wireless connectivity is reduced clutter. Practically, the soundbar is suitable for a cleaner home as wires attract dust particles as well.
There is a remote control which is shipped in the pack. It is one of the more complex remote controls seen with cheap soundbars. It allows users to activate or deactivate Bluetooth connectivity. It also allows users to select one of the dedicated modes featuring movies, music and other TV programs. Interestingly, it also allows the control of the subwoofer. Bass and treble can also be controlled together with the volume level. This is why the remote control is one of the advanced designs in its class and why the soundbar is suitable for those seeking added adjustability.
Some of the convenient features of the soundbar include audio technologies. These include Dolby Digital. This standard is used in cinemas and for Blu-Ray movies. It offers a new spatial dimension to an audio track and with quality files, it can dramatically improve the experience, even when listening to music at home.
As Vizio fans already expect, the soundbar also features the manufacturer’s DTS TruSurround. It is suitable to offer a more immersive surround experience. DTS TruVolume is added as well. It provides a pleasant constant comfortable volume audio quality. Without changing and distorting sound at high volume, it allows users to enjoy the best audio quality. As many of the soundbars from the manufacturer, the auto shut-off function can create some minor issues for a number of users, but the function can be deactivated.
With an added subwoofer which can be activated and deactivated at any time, the soundbar offers improved bass performance.
5. BYL Soundbar
With a distinct design, the soundbar can look great with any TV. It can be placed below or above the TV for proper surround effects. The soundbar is suitable for small rooms and it allows users to control the audio from any location in the room.
Its remote control allows full customization. Bass and treble adjustments have separate buttons, which are rare in the cheap soundbar market. A memory function is added as well. It is suitable for resetting the soundbar to factory settings. For example, if devices are automatically paired with the soundbar, these Bluetooth memory functions can be set back to factory default.
The soundbar comes with 3 audio modes which offer distinct audio qualities. For example, the Movie Mode is advisable for the most distinct audio effects and crystal-clear soundtrack. The Music mode is suitable for music stations or for smartphone music playback. It comes with a clear sound range. A special Dialog mode is also available. It is mainly suitable for news programs, talk show, stand-ups, or other speed programs.
With Bluetooth technology, all of these functions can be automated and wirelessly controlled. The good news is that the soundbar also comes with wired connectivity so that it can cover old and new TVs as well as smartphone and tablet connectivity.
If the standard soundbar comes with a length of 28 inches, it is suitable for most TVs. But users can also choose BYL variations which are suitable for enhanced volume. 34-inch, 38-inch, and 40-inch alternatives are available.
For most TVs, the soundbar comes with improved audio quality, mainly through the 3 dedicated audio profiles.
With a typical soundbar design, the product does not stand out on looks. However, it comes with all modern features which allow it to connect to most devices around the house. One of its uses is with older TVs. In this case, the soundbar needs to be wired. For smart TVs, the connectivity options are practically not able to match the Bluetooth wireless connectivity. It is why most users have the capacity to choose the type of connector to work with.
When it comes to the ultimate connectivity, even using a smartphone’s Bluetooth connectivity with the soundbar is advisable. There is no loss in sound quality when this is the preferred connectivity method. Users will also receive a remote control in the pack. This is where all configuration can be made from. The audio source can be selected from the remote control. This includes optical, line in, AUX and Bluetooth. There are various audio modes which can be selected on the remote control as well. Depending on the type of program they follow, users can select the presets for a more custom audio experience.
A few physical controls are also present on top of the soundbar. They include a standby button which temporarily pauses it. A play and pause button is also available. There is a physical button for increasing and decreasing volume on the soundbar which can be used as an alternative to the remote control buttons.
The 20W speakers offer clear audio. Of course, they cannot really replicate the strongest bass, but it should be enough for movies and playing games. In fact, bass and treble can be adjusted from the remote control.
Practically, the cinematic experience is one of the main effects of using a soundbar with a TV. However, the soundbar also comes with one limitation. Since there is delayed audio compared to the TV, the soundbar needs to be synchronized for perfect audio. Users need to set audio preferences to TCM. At the same time, volume adjustments need to be made both on the TV and on the soundbar.
With good connectivity options and dedicated advanced functions such as the standby mode, the soundbar is suitable for daily use.
Vizio makes soundbars of different strengths. But the 38-inch soundbar from the manufacturer is one of the most powerful in the rang and on the market. It is still made with the same uncomfortable design with two square caps at the ends. Using the same durable plastic materials, the soundbar is a functional choice for small and medium rooms. It has great durability and it can be used for a long period of time with no overheating.
With the same elegant design, the soundbar still comes with the subtle LED lights at the end indicating its volume level. But the sound bar also comes with elegant physical controls to take over the audio quality of a program. Enabling and disabling the Bluetooth connectivity can actually be made from the physical controls as well. Those who do not have Bluetooth technology on their TV can do so. At the same time, volume controls are added as well. But these controls are only one way in which the soundbar can be used as it comes with a remote control as well.
The biggest strength of the soundbar remains the audio quality. Able to play sounds on frequencies between 60hz and 19khz, the soundbar is as suitable for movie soundtracks as it is for instrumental music. At 100db, it is also not the quietest soundbar on the market. In fact, it is one of the loudest solutions to consider at home.
But noise without quality doesn’t mean too much. It is why the manufacturer added the Dolby Digital technology to the pack. With better results in terms of surround sound, the technology has already been proven in the audio space. Other specific technologies include DTS TruSurround for a 3D sound experience. It is especially useful in smaller rooms. Since the speakers are loud, maintaining audio quality at high levels of noise is important. With DTS TruVolume, the speakers are tempered so that they don’t distort sound at any volume level.
While the soundbar can be enjoyed with TV programs, it is also suitable for smartphone connectivity with its Bluetooth technology. Users can listen to their favorite Spotify tracks at the highest audio quality. With instant Bluetooth pairing, music is streamed to the speakers as soon as it played on the smartphone.
As one of the loudest speakers on the market, the 38-inch option from Vizio is suitable for large rooms and medium living rooms.
As one of the larger TaoTronics designs, the 36-inch soundbar comes with 2 low mid-low frequency speakers and 2 full range speakers. It has the same elegant design suitable for a large number of homes and apartments. The square design of the soundbar is suitable for any home. Furthermore, it is one of the distinct options when it comes to placement. This is why the square design fits perfectly on any wall. At the same time, it complements the look of the TV, making for an elegant combination.
The design of the remote control is modern as well. In some regards, the premium remote control design would not even make it look like an affordable product. Users can select their preferred audio source from the remote control. Of course, they can also select the right volume of the speakers directly from the remote control.
With a total of 4 speakers, the soundbar can be connected via an optical cable, a 3.5mm jack, a coaxial cable, and an RCA aux cable apart from the wireless connectivity. This makes it one of the best options in terms of actual quality and complexity since it can connect to all types of TVs, even those made a decade ago as well as to smart TVs.
The 4 speakers can improve the volume, the bass and the audio quality which comes with standard TV built-in speakers. It also means the soundbar is suitable for a home cinema experience. But the soundbar’s bass level is also suitable for all modern console games, which are also directly connected to the TV.
With 4 capable speakers, the soundbar can cover mid-low and full range frequencies.
Made from the same durable plastics as the rest of the Vizio series, the 32” soundbar is the mid-range solution from the manufacturer. Still available at an affordable price, it represents one of the viable options when it comes to proper fit either below the TV or on the wall.
With its own remote control, users can take full advantage of the adjustability levels the soundbar comes with directly from the couch. Installing the soundbar is not complicated and it should be ready to use within minutes, either with wired or wireless connectivity.
The soundbar comes with DTS Virtual. The virtual overhead sound delivers an immersive experience and it has been developed for that surround sound feeling which is backed by the DTS TruSurround technology.
As many fans already expect, the audio quality remains high. Even if at 97db the soundbar is actually one of the loudest in its class, it still maintains clear sound at all levels due to the DTS TruVolume. But the sound quality goes even further as the soundbar is able to decode Dolby Digital audio. This can enhance the movie-watching experience as much as gaming on the TV. With great technologies and loudspeakers, the soundbar is able to offer a true experience for most users.
With Dolby Digital, DTS Virtual:X and 97db, the sound bar might not be the largest, but it performs as the most capable options in its class.
This compact speaker is one of the distinct designs in its class. It offers an immersive experience which is especially heard in small and medium rooms. Designed with beautiful leather, the speakers can easily fit any space, instantly enhancing the way it looks.
But it is not all about the leather with the speaker. At 24 inches, it is one of the smallest speakers in the class and it represents a viable option which can be fitted in small spaces, under the TV or even on the wall. Without needing to much space, the soundbar can also be considered for smaller TVs.
The premium leather soundbar also comes with a small remote control to ensure maximum comfort while adjusting the program’s volume levels. With multiple wired connectivity options, the soundbar can fit most old and new TVs.
Bluetooth connectivity has also been added to the soundbar. From this perspective, it allows sound to travel freely without cables leading to a decluttered home. It instantly synchronizes with smartphones, making it a suitable option for better practicality.
This powerful soundbar is mainly recommended for its leather design and compact size.
Can I connect a soundbar to any TV?
A soundbar can be connected to both older and new TVs. The best soundbars include all connectivity options to allow this.
Do I need to use wires if I have Bluetooth?
Those who do not want to use wired connectivity can link the sounder to the TV via Bluetooth if the technology is supported by their TV.
Where can I install a soundbar?
The soundbar can be installed under or above the TV. A few designs also allow wall installation.
My sound is not synchronized with the image, what can I do?
This common problem can often be addressed from the settings of the TV. Consulting the user manual is recommended.
Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Soundbars under $100
Some of the best cheap soundbars of the moment are made to offer constant performance at a high level. Even if it seems unlikely good sound can be enjoyed at such a low price, the products above prove this is not actually the case. If the sound quality is comparable to what is offered by more expensive products, connectivity options are absolutely the same and users don’t need to feel as if they are missing out from this perspective.
Speakers and decoding
The speakers are the most important for audio quality. But the way they are used is important as well. It is not common to find Dolby Digital decoding on cheap speakers as it is not common to find high-frequency ranges. But a few exceptions apply, as with any unwritten rule.
Most soundbars use 4 speakers. Two of these speakers can be used for bass. But soundbars with extra subwoofers can be found as well. Many products on offer actually don’t offer an additional subwoofer as this would defeat the soundbar’s purpose in the first place.
The real audio quality might not be as those of the premium soundbars, especially for the bass quality. But then, the affordable soundbars are sufficient for watching movies, talk shows or playing occasional games. They are mainly made for home use and in a compact environment, they can provide enough audio quality to suit all needs.
Soundbars today are very different then what they used to be. They are more compact and better suited for all types of TVs as they come with a universal design. This is why they can easily fit into any room and on any type of furniture. Where there is no furniture, the soundbar can also be installed directly on the wall. Under normal circumstances, the soundbar is placed next to the TV.
When it comes to further capacities, the best soundbars come with premium-inspired features such as touch control and wireless connectivity. It is these features which allow the soundbars to remain as elegant as they are at the moment. However, most soundbars also have at least one power cable attached. This cable is typically attached to the back of the soundbar. But another cable such as RCA can be connected as well. The more cables are connected to the soundbar, the less it can actually be moved to another location. The soundbar location does impact the audio quality more than users might think.
Remote control designs are very different as well. But the best remote control can surprise many of those on a budget. These remote controls are fully able to control the bass, the treble or various audio profiles, not just the volume of the speakers. This is why remote controls are important as they are the friendly interface between the user and the speakers.
Controls and connectivity
Physical controls can be seen on many soundbars. They should at least allow the users to select the volume level and control features such as the Bluetooth connectivity. Together with the remote control functions, it is the foundation of good user experience. Connectivity options also have their own buttons on the remote control. Users can select the audio source on many remote controls with dedicated buttons for Bluetooth synchronization.
Other controls include a dedicated pause mode and a dedicate auto shut-off function. This is why the soundbar can actually be paused and the audio source changed back to the one on the TV. At the same time, a few sound bards immediately shut off the speakers when not in use for a particular number of minutes.
Pre-saved audio profiles
The best soundbars also allow users to choose from pre-defined audio profiles. Since not all products have this feature, it is advisable to understand their role. As with all types of speakers, the soundbar can actually be improved in audio quality depending on the type of program on the TV.
Movies have a dedicated program with many soundbars. The result of this is a better audio interpretation of sound effects and soundtracks. News programs have a dedicated voice program which makes speech easier to understand. More general presets are also available for the rest of the programs on the TV. But they have their own clear advantages even if they can take a while to get used to.
Some of the best cheap soundbars under $100 are now made to a high standard. They use quality materials which are never wood, but rather ABS plastic which is known for its durability. In rare cases, users can also see leather insertions for a more prestigious look on the soundbars.
Most importantly, affordable soundbars are now made to offer better audio quality. This means they need to abide by the increasing demands of the users. While the speakers themselves can be similar from brand to brand, the decoding they use as well as the presets they come with can create different audio effects. It is also important to choose the soundbar which is able to offer a surround audio experience. The good news is that all of these characteristics are found in a select number of affordable sound bars. Even Dolby Digital standards can be met by some of the soundbars.
Connecting the soundbars to the TV should not be complicated. All users should have the capacity to connect the two within minutes. Wired connectivity is easy and it requires going over just a few installation steps. Bluetooth connectivity needs to be based on device pairing. The good news is that the memory function of the technology can remember the device for future use. Users don’t actually have to pair their smartphones to the soundbar on every use. Furthermore, most users can also have the capacity to reset all device pairing options and go back to factory or default settings.
With this type of versatility, the only discussion remains on the actual size of the soundbar. Simple guidance for this purpose involves choosing the soundbar which is comparable in size with the TV. But with more power from smaller speakers in the future, this will become less of guiding criteria.