Sound bars are becoming more popular among homeowners because they are easier to set up than more elaborate home theater systems which require a receiver, a center channel, separate subwoofer and multiple satellite speakers placed strategically around the room, often requiring running speaker wire through the walls or ceilings. At most you will have a sound bar connected to a separate subwoofer placed nearby, but there is no need to run wires around the room because most are actually connected wirelessly to the main bar.

However, if you consider yourself an audiophile, you are probably not going to be satisfied with anything less than a separate sub-woofer with a receiver and tower speakers on each side of the TV. So this option is not geared toward hardcore sound enthusiast but more towards the average person that wants to pump up the sound on their weak factory TV speakers without breaking the budget or bringing down the house.

Some models offer the option of linking up together with units in other rooms via your wireless network so that if you want to stream music from your TV, it will fill each room around the house where you have placed separate wireless speakers.


What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a wireless communication technology that allows people to connect various devices to other devices. It can be used for transferring data such as files, photos or music between two phones, tablets of from phones to speakers for use on portable ear pieces of the speakers inside your car.

You can also pair a tablet or smartphone to wireless Bluetooth enabled speakers to stream the music from your phone to the device for audio output or connect wireless keyboards or mice to gaming consoles.  Furthermore, the phone or device you are using can be used to control the volume and selection of music on the speakers.

What are the Best Options for a Sound Bar?

There are sound bars for home theater that can be had for $50, but they are obviously not going to have the volume or bass of some of the more expensive models. In fact, they may not be any better than the speakers inside your flat screen TV.

If you are serious about home audio and would like a real upgrade to the speakers that came inside your TV, here are some of the most popular models currently available, all under $300.

Best Soundbars Under $300

Boston Acoustics TVee 10

Price:    $199.00

  • Powerful audio performance for any TV
  • One-wire hookup enables
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Sound bar utilizes your existing remote control by “learning” it
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding
  • Boston's Digitally Optimized Virtual Surround
  • 5-inch drivers with BassTrac technology
  • Dedicated music and movie mode
  • 3.5mm input and digital optical
  • Integrated keyholes allow mounting to a wall
  • No Bluetooth
Boston Acoustics TVee 10 Soundbar Home Theater System
Amazon Price: $199.00 $149.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 20, 2015)

Samsung HW-F450 2.1 Channel 280-Watt Soundbar

Best Soundbars Under $300

Price: $215.00

  • 2.1 sound bar
  • 3D Sound Plus
  • Connects to the TV and a separate wireless active subwoofer
  • Can be mounted on a stand or on the wall via a wall-mount bracket included
  • Stream music from portable devices via Bluetooth connectivity
Best Soundbars Under $300

LG Electronics NB3530A Sound Bar System

Price: $229.00

  • 2.1 sound bar
  • 3D sound
  • Wireless subwoofer to reduce cord management and more freedom for placement
  • Stream music wirelessly from your smart phone or iPads via Bluetooth
  • 2 optical inputs to connect multiple devices at the same time
  • Wall mount bracket included.

VIZIO S4251w-B4 5.1 Soundbar

Best Soundbars Under $300Credit: Amazon.comPrice: $245.33

  • 5.1 surround sound home theater solutionDolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround decoding, plus DTS TruVolume and DTS Circle Surround audio post processing
  • Its 3.74-inch height may be an issue wen placed in front of a TV, so it may block the remote sensor on your TV
  • 42-Inch; sound bar with left, right and center channels
  • Wireless subwoofer and rear satellite speakers
  • 102dB with less than 1% total harmonic distortion.
  • Bluetooth enabled to wirelessly stream your music from a mobile devices
VIZIO S4251w-B4 5.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer and Satellite Speakers
Amazon Price: $329.99 $199.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 20, 2015)

Yamaha YAS-103 Soundbar

Best Soundbars Under $300Credit: Amazon.comPrice: $249.95

  • 7.1-channel surround sound
  • Bluetooth enabled to wirelessly streaming music
  • Compatible with HT Controller app for iOS and Android
  • TV remote repeater forwards infrared signals so even if you place it in front of the sensor on the TV, the remote will still function properly
  • Dual front speakers and dual-driver subwoofer built-in
  • Clear Voice
  • UniVolume keeps programs and ads at a consistent volume level
  • Single-cable setup
  • Allows use of your own remote via its learning feature
Yamaha YAS-103 Soundbar with Bluetooth
Amazon Price: $299.95 $249.95 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 20, 2015)

Vizio S4221w-C4

Best Soundbars Under $300

Price: $245.33

  • 2.1 sound bar
  • Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming from most smartphones and tablets
  • Its 3.74-inch height may be an issue wen placed in front of a TV, so it may block the remote sensor on your TV
  • Separate wireless subwoofer
  • Dolby Digital and DTS decoding
  • DTS TruSurround
  • TruVolume maintains the same volume level with movies and TV shows
  • Best remote in its class
  • Contains an optical, coaxial, minijack, and analog port in the back

Pioneer SP-SB23W

Best Soundbars Under $300Credit:

Price: $296.99

  • Separate wireless subwoofer which is smaller than most in this class (9 inches wide by 10 inches high by 9 inches deep) making it the easiest of the bunch to hide
  • Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming from mobile devices, however, Pioneer has acknowledged issues with their Bluetooth on some units so research further before purchasing.
  • 4-inch height might block your TV’s remote sensor if placed in front.
  • Longer and bulkier than the average sound bar in this category
  • Better than average sound quality
  • There are better looking sound bars in this class if you value looks over performance
  • Cheap looking and feeling remote so if you have hardwood or tile floors, you better not drop it
  • Ports on the back include an analog and optical input
  • Includes Dolby Digital, but not DTS decoding
Best Soundbars Under $300

Philips HTL5120

Price: $299.00

  • 2.1 sound bar
  • One of the best looking sound bars on the market
  • Two HDMI inputs, two digital inputs
  • Bluetooth enabled to connect portable music devices
  • Virtual Surround Sound
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Low profile made to set in front of the TV or mount on the wall
Philips CSS2133B/F7 Bluetooth Soundbar Speaker with Subwoofer (Black)
Amazon Price: $109.99 $99.24 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 20, 2015)
Best Soundbars Under $300

Sony HTCT260H Sound Bar


Price: $299.00

  • 2.1 Channel 300W (85W x 2 + 130W) sound bar
  • Wireless subwoofer
  • HDMI input and output
  • Analog audio and digital optical inputs
  • Virtual Surround Sound technology
  • Bluetooth enable connections to stream music from your smartphone, PC, tablet, or music player
  • Place on a tabletop in front of the TV; Lower than average height will not interfere with most TV’s infrared remote sensor
  • Wall mountable

VIZIO S2920w-C0 29-inch 2.0 High Definition Sound Bar

Best Soundbars Under $300

Price: $64.99

  • 2.0 Sound Bar: No subwoofer
  • Comes in three sizes: 29-Inch ,38, 40
  • 95dB with less than 1% total harmonic distortion
  • Bluetooth enabled to wirelessly stream from a mobile device
  • DTS TruSurround
  • DTS TruVolume
  • One cable setup

RCA RTS735E Home Theater Sound Bar

Price: $58.00

  • 25W Total Power
  • Cabinet or wall-mounted: Removable stands function as wall-mounts
  • 2 sets of AUX inputs
  • Line-In jack for listening to music through a portable device

Philips CSS2123B/F7 SoundBar Home Cinema Speakers

Price: $99.99

  • DoubleBASS with Virtual Surround Sound and 2 dedicated tweeters
  • Compact with a low profile so that it will fit in front of your TV without obstructing the view


If you want decent sound in your home, but do not want to invest in an elaborate stereo system with a receiver and separate tower and satellite speakers, an all-in-one sound bar may be the best option for you to improve the sound of your TV.

Consider the space in your room before selecting a sound bar. If space is at a minimum, you might want to select a bar with a built-in subwoofer, although it will produce less bass than a separate unit.

Also, if you have a TV that sits low on a stand and are planning on placing the sound bar in front of the TV on the table, consider one of the lower profile models, or one that has a remote repeater feature.