best soundbars under $300

The Best Soundbars Under $300

Soundbars can provide high-quality sound while remaining discreet and easy to set up. They can be used alone or with other speakers to create a surround sound system. In this article, we look at the best soundbars available for under $300.

bose tv speaker soundbar

Bose TV Speaker

The Bose TV Speaker is our top pick. Its simple plug-and-play approach makes it an ideal soundbar for buyers who don’t know what it is they’re looking for. While it lacks some features, the audio quality and ease of use are its strengths.

Our Top Picks

Top Pick For Gamers

The Katana V2X is designed specifically for gamers. It is small enough for monitors and televisions and includes adjustable LEDs along the front base for adding flare. Super X-FI technology also improves headphone audio quality when routed through the soundbar.

Deepest Bass

With its 5.25” subwoofer and additional bass boost function, the Samsung HW-B550 is a powerful soundbar with a lot of bass. It is well-suited to gaming, music, and home theatre purposes.

Most Affordable

Vizio’s M-series is an extremely popular soundbar, partly due to its affordable price tag and overall value for money. If you’re looking for great sound at a budget price, we recommend going with the Vizio.

Even though TV displays and connectivity have improved over time, we haven’t seen the same progress around the built-in audio. Built-in TV speakers usually don’t have much depth, with limited bass. They also tend to have relatively low volume levels and lack clarity.

It is highly recommended that you factor the cost of additional speakers into your TV purchase. Traditional left and right-channel options like bookshelf speakers or tower speakers are fairly large and don’t always work well with wall-mounted TV installations. This is where soundbars come into play; they are a versatile solution that can improve your TV’s sound without taking up much space.

Soundbars With Superior Sound At Under $300

The following soundbars were selected for their sound quality and functionality. A few of these soundbars form part of a 2.1 surround sound system, meaning they come with a dedicated subwoofer, which improves the bass and makes for a more immersive home theatre design.

1. Bose TV Speaker

The Bose TV Speaker is a simple compact soundbar that focuses on refining the basics without loading redundant features for an additional premium. It is well-suited to those looking for a quick installation and superior sound quality. It is the quickest and easiest way to improve your stock TV sound quality.

It has two full-range drivers located near the speaker’s center and is angled outward on both the left and right to provide a wider dispersion of sound. A center-mounted tweeter ensures crisp and detailed upper frequencies. This soundbar strongly focuses on intelligibility, making it useful to the hard of hearing, where vocal frequencies may otherwise be challenging. There is a bass boost feature to add some more low-end, but it benefits from the addition of a dedicated subwoofer for a more comprehensive multimedia solution.

You won’t get a feature-packed speaker with this soundbar. While somewhat basic, there is still HDMI-CEC support, which, when enabled, will turn your television on when you turn the soundbar on, reducing the need to locate both your remotes. It’s a small feature, but one that owners regularly use. It features Bluetooth connectivity, too, allowing you to pair it to supporting TVs or your phone.

Overall, this speaker is a good choice if you aren’t looking for bells and whistles and simply want to improve the quality of your television’s audio at an affordable price.


  • Easy to setup
  • Vocal clarity
  • HDMI-CEC support
  • Compact design


  • No subwoofer included
  • Limited bass

2. Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X

Creative’s Sound Blaster Katana V2X is an improved iteration of the Katana V2 soundbar series. It is a unique speaker for gamers, with a customizable RGB lighting strip along the bottom. There are three versions of the Katana V2X, with varying levels of connectivity and power output. The recommended 180W option without Bluetooth connectivity is for under $300, while the more powerful iteration exceeds this budget.

The V2X features 5.1 multi-channel audio for a rich and detailed sound with improved immersion over traditional TV speakers. For gamers, including Super X-FI technology, allows for improved soundstage performance when using a headset by utilizing algorithmic audio adjustments to increase the directionality of sound. 

It has modern Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, as well as numerous wired connection options. It features HDMI-out, SXFI-out, USB input, auxiliary input and output, optical input, and of course, a subwoofer output.

The compact design makes it well-suited for both televisions and monitors. It is 40% smaller than the original Katana V2, and the compact subwoofer design assists in getting this soundbar set up in smaller spaces. 

This soundbar best suits those sitting at a desk or near the television. It is ideal for gamers but falls short of competitors regarding home theatre applications in larger rooms.


  • Vibrant LED panel
  • Compact design
  • SXFI Technology


  • Not enough volume to fill large rooms

3. VIZIO M-Series 2.1

The Vizio M-Series 2.1 is a soundbar and subwoofer set that features Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio for an immersive sound. It houses five speakers, which include dedicated woofers and tweeters to achieve impressive detail. The addition of passive radiators creates more depth and improves clarity. The inclusion of a dedicated 5-inch subwoofer ensures it is able to produce enough bass for any entertainment purpose. It is especially useful for adding more immersion during action movies.

The built-in Bluetooth connectivity lets you pair the soundbar to supported televisions and allows you to connect to it from your phone easily. It also features a voice assistant and the latest HDMI eARC, letting you control the speaker with your television remote.

At 36″ long, the Vizio M-series is best suited to televisions between 50″ and 65″ in size. It has a slim design that allows for easy mounting, made even simpler because Vizio includes a mounting bracket (along with HDMI & optical cable) in the package.


  • Affordable
  • Balanced sound
  • Includes 5″ subwoofer


  • Limited soundstage
  • Too large for small televisions

4. Polk Audio Signa S3

The Polk Audio Signa S3 is a soundbar and subwoofer combo intended for home entertainment purposes. While it is tailored more to music listening, it is well-suited to movies as well. It features a slim design that can be used in areas of limited space and is easily mounted to the wall. The Signa S3 supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Chromecast connectivity, the most comprehensive of the Signa series.

The slim 5.25″ subwoofer ensures a deep and powerful bass, increasing the immersion during movies and improving your music listening experience without taking up much floor space. Polk has used their voice adjusting technology, which helps to improve dialog clarity.

With universal TV compatibility, the Signa S3 works with every television, supporting 4K and 8K with HDMI Arc. It has two 1.25 x 4.4″ mid-range drivers and two dedicated 1″ tweeters. It has a maximum power output of 80W. The Signa S3 is a versatile solution for your home theatre setup. Whether you’re entertaining friends with music or being immersed in an intense action scene from your favorite movie, the S3 is able to perform the task with efficacy.


  • Voice adjust feature for improved dialog clarity
  • Includes wireless subwoofer
  • Slim design that’s easy to mount


  • Limited dynamics result in some distortion at high volume
  • Limited soundstage

5. LG S40Q

LG’s S40Q is a powerful and affordable soundbar that caters well to all purposes. It forms part of the LG’s S-series of soundbars and is the cheapest of the three models. The S65Q and S75Q offer more volume and additional surround sound features, but the S40Q is the only one with an RRSP of under $300. 

The S40Q is Bluetooth-compatible, allowing you to easily play music directly from your phone. You only need one wired connection between your soundbar and television, making this soundbar an easy installation. 

It’s small enough to be used by gamers who use monitors but also powerful enough to fill a medium-sized room with sound. This soundbar comes with a wireless subwoofer for improved bass response. It also features algorithmic sound adaption that adjusts the frequency levels depending on the content you’re watching. 

There is no high-resolution audio support with the S40Q, something to keep in mind. If this is a deal breaker for you, you should consider the S65Q, which is sometimes sold for under $300. The S65Q has both high-resolution and meridian audio technology support, as well as offering DTS Virtual:X over the S40Q’s Dolby Digital support.

This bundle comes with a mounting bracket included, as well as a remote control.


  • Regularly on sale for good prices
  • Clear and detailed dialog
  • AI Sound Pro feature for algorithmic sound adjustments


  • Limited soundstage

6. Samsung HW-B550

Samsung’s HW-B550 is a 2.1-channel soundbar with Dolby 5.1 DTS Virtual:X support for a wider soundstage. It also includes Adaptive Sound Lite. This modern feature makes changes to the sound according to what you’re listening to or watching, providing better dialog clarity and more immersive action scenes. It has a maximum power output of 200 watts and features a slim design measuring 3″ x 33.9″ x 2.3″. This form factor makes it well-suited to large televisions and medium room sizes.

The wireless 5.25″ subwoofer comes bundled with the soundbar and is able to bring additional low-end bass, creating more depth while also improving immersion. If you’re still looking for more thump, you can use the bass boost feature to bulk up the low-end even more. For the upper bass, midrange, and treble, the HW-B550 has four drivers powered by a 250W amp. It can reach fairly high volume levels and is suitable for moderate to large-sized rooms. For larger rooms, we’d recommend pairing it with additional surround sound speakers for better coverage.

For gamers, there’s the inclusion of a Game Mode, which improves directionality and detail. This can prove useful for FPS gamers who need a good awareness of the enemy’s position.

It has Bluetooth connectivity which lets you connect wirelessly to either your TV or your smartphone, as well as the standard inputs and outputs. There’s ARC-supported HDMI input and output, optical digital audio input, and a USB port if you like to play your movies over a USB drive. The package includes a wall-mount kit and a remote control (though the One Remote function allows you to control the sound bar with your Samsung TV remote if you already own a Samsung TV.


  • Dolby 5.1 DTS Virtual: X support
  • Capable of reaching good volume levels
  • Gaming mode
  • 5.25″ subwoofer included


  • Somewhat harsh midrange, particularly at high volume

Buyer’s Guide – Important Considerations When Buying Soundbars

Soundbars are relatively simple in their construction. Still, there are sonic variations and differences in design that should be considered when one is looking to purchase. Knowing what to look for when buying a soundbar at under $300 is important, especially as this price point limits some features found in more expensive alternatives.

Sound Quality

Sound quality broadly describes the different aspects of sound and how they influence the listening experience. Speakers have different sound qualities depending on how they are intended to be used. Soundbars tend to focus on intelligibility, as improved dialog quality is the most noticeable improvement when upgrading from built-in TV speakers.

Having a soundbar with a subwoofer for home entertainment will be beneficial. While many soundbars can produce sufficient bass, a dedicated subwoofer ensures a deeper, more immersive sound, which makes action movie scenes sound particularly thrilling. They are also beneficial for music purposes.

Consider the soundstage and immersion offered by the soundbar. Small soundbars can be limited in their overall dispersion of sound. Models that have a diverse array of drivers are prone to more immersion and soundstage.

Finally, consider the volume capabilities of a soundbar. It’s better to have too much volume than too little. With a budget of $300, there are plenty of soundbars available that can fill a medium-sized room with sound. Models that are intended for gaming or small rooms may be insufficient to cover large rooms.

Design Considerations

Despite the similarities between soundbar models, differences in design mechanics can influence which soundbar is best suited to the purpose you require. Smaller soundbars are useful for gamers playing with monitors or those in bedrooms. Large soundbars are best suited as home entertainment speakers where you can fill a room with immersive audio.

A few brands offer lighting effects, typically with models targeted towards gamers. While these lights don’t add anything to the sound quality, they provide a certain flare that can add energy and excitement to the room.

Consider your mounting situation. Speakers like the SoundSlayer are quite wide; mounting them can be challenging and unsightly. If you’re looking to wall-mount your soundbar, opt for a model that has a slim profile, many of which come with their own mounting bracket included.

Connectivity Types

Soundbars can be wired or wireless. For high-resolution audio with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, you’ll need to use a cable to connect to your TV or a soundbar with Wi-Fi connectivity. Bluetooth is able to provide sufficient audio quality for casual purposes. Still, if you’re looking for the best possible audio experience, you’ll want to connect with Wi-Fi or a wired connection.

Additionally, there are various wired connection types offered:

HDMI-ARC (Audio Return Channel): HDMI-ARC is a common digital audio connection that supports high-quality audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Optical Audio: Optical connections use light to transmit audio signals over fiber optic cables.

Analog Audio Input (3.5mm): Also known as an aux/auxiliary input, this type of connection is commonly used to connect CD players, radios, or other Bluetooth speakers to the soundbar.

USB Audio Input: A digital audio input that connects your soundbar to a computer or other USB device. It’s commonly used for playing audio files or streaming music from a USB drive.

Subwoofer Output: A pre-out connection attaches a dedicated subwoofer to your soundbar.

Limitations of a $300 Budget

When budgeting for audio equipment, it’s worth considering the trade-off. In some cases, it’s worth stepping outside of your budget for a more comprehensive solution that provides you with some future-proofing.

Thankfully, one doesn’t need to spend a fortune on a soundbar, and all speakers in this article have merit. However, the biggest limitation with their speakers is the fact that these products either consist of just the soundbar or a soundbar and subwoofer. For most uses, this will be sufficient. However, when installing a comprehensive home theatre setup, you’ll get better sound from a more comprehensive array of speakers.

For home theatre purposes, it’s worth looking for bundles with additional surround sound speakers. Whether it be 5.1 channel surround sound or more robust 7.1 or even 9.1 setups. We recommend checking for special prices on bundle packages, which are frequently available online.

There are also limitations in volume. Most soundbars that fall under $300 have 400W of output or lower, which, while sufficient for most rooms, may not be enough to cover a large entertainment area. You may want to dig a little deeper for more power if that’s the case.


Buying a quality soundbar doesn’t need to be a chore. I know that it can be challenging to know what to buy when there are hundreds of different models online. That’s why I created this list, to provide a comprehensive selection of soundbars under $300 that offer high-quality sound and modern features.

bose tv speaker soundbar

Bose TV Speaker

The Bose TV Speaker is our top pick. Its simple plug-and-play approach makes it an ideal soundbar for buyers who don’t know what it is they’re looking for. While it lacks some features, the audio quality and ease of use are its strengths.

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Written by
Bryn De Kocks

Bryn De Kocks is the lead editor for Audiostance, as well as one of our trusted reviewers. He has more than 15 years of experience in online publication and stands firm in being transparent with both the benefits and drawbacks of the products he reviews. Outside of editorial work, Bryn has been an avid online gamer and casual digital music producer since his teenage years, bringing his understanding of audio and especially headphones to the table. His daily driver is a humble pair of Fidelio X2HRs powered by a Fiio E10K. In his spare time he enjoys nature photography.

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