Sony HT-S100F Lifestyle AltSource: Sony

Best Cheap Soundbars Android Central 2020

If you thought that you needed to spend an arm and a leg to get a solid soundbar, that's not the case anymore. When you have budget options like the TaoTronics Soundbar TT-SK026, it's hard to spring for the big-ticket items. We have found the best soundbars that you can get for under $100 today.

Best Overall: TaoTronics TT-SK026 Soundbar

TaoTronics 2.1 Channel Soundbar LifestyleSource: Amazon

TaoTronics has been expanding out of the headphone market and moving into soundbars with options like its TT-SK026. This soundbar is unique in the fact that it includes both a built-in display and an integrated subwoofer.

Possible connections include RCA, Optical, or coaxial, along with Bluetooth 5.0 for your smartphones or tablets. The LED display shows off what mode is being used, along with the sound level of the soundbar itself. There are even different audio modes for you to choose from, which will help amplify movies, the news, or anything else that you are listening to.

Those looking for HDMI support will have to look elsewhere as TaoTronics omitted that option from this model. The other surprising omission, given the TT-SK026's other features, is smart home integration with the likes of either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Pros:

  • Four different connection options
  • 360 degrees of sound
  • Different audio modes built-in
  • LED display

Cons:

  • Lacks smart home integration
  • No HDMI input

Best Overall

TaoTronics TT-SK026 Soundbar

Great for just about everyone

TaoTronics knocked it out of the park with the TT-SK026 with its LED display and multiple listening modes.

Best for Most Situations: VIZIO SB2920-C6

VIZIO SB2920-C6 LifestyleSource: VIZIO

VIZIO is already known as a budget brand for televisions, so it makes sense for the company to offer a matching soundbar in the SB2920-C6 Soundbar. It has two full-range stereo speakers, Deep Bass technology, and a sleek design.

The SB2920-C6 is capable of producing up to 95 decibels with the two speakers and DTS TruSurround. Plus, there is Bluetooth built-in so you can pair your smartphone, tablet, or even computer to this soundbar. This is an excellent option for those with televisions measuring at least 32 inches, as the SB2920-C6 is 29 inches wide.

Having Dolby Digital integration is all fine and dandy, but the SB2920-C6 sports just two speakers and that's it. The company opted not to include a built-in or wireless subwoofer which may hinder the "punch" you could be looking for with your media playback. Additionally, you are limited to only Optical inputs, as there is no HDMI compatibility to be found with this soundbar.

Pros:

  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Up to 100 decibels
  • DTS TruSurround built-in
  • Good size for smaller TVs

Cons:

  • No subwoofer
  • May be small for larger TVs

Best for Most Situations

VIZIO SB2920-C6

Great for just about everyone

VIZIO's SB2920-C6 is fantastic for those who don't care about a subwoofer or having HDMI input with its integrated Bluetooth.

Best Value: Bestisan 28-inch Soundbar

Bestisan 28-inch Soundbar LifestyleSource: Bestisan

Some soundbars are quite big and can end up taking up too much space after getting them set up with your television. That won't be an issue with the Bestisan Soundbar, as it measures in at just 28 inches long. This is large enough to look compact under even smaller televisions and blends in when placed under larger televisions.

Bestisan has built-in three different sound modes so that you always get the audio quality that matches whatever you are listening to. You can even adjust the bass and treble on your soundbar, giving you even more fine-tuned sound quality with the Bestisan Soundbar.

Unfortunately, that's about all that the Bestisan Soundbar has going for it. There's no HDMI port, you can't use your existing universal or TV remotes to control it, and the soundbar does not support either Dolby or DTS audio. These can be a bit of a bummer, but this soundbar is still pretty solid overall.

Pros:

  • Three different sound modes available
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Bass and treble are adjustable

Cons:

  • Does not support Dolby and DTS
  • No HDMI port
  • Not compatible with universal or TV remotes

Best Value

Bestisan 28-inch Soundbar

Blend into the experience

With Bluetooth and adjustable audio modes, the Bestisan Soundbar offers great value in a small package.

Best Compact Design: Sony HT-S100F

Sony HT-S100F LifestyleSource: Sony

Soundbars usually sport a sleek design, but some of them end up looking too large or sticking out like a sore thumb. That's not the case with the Sony HT-S100F. You'll find a sleek and slim design that is sure to fit with the layout of just about any room in the house.

There are touch controls on the top to turn on the speaker, activate Bluetooth, and adjust the volume. With Bluetooth built-in, to go along with the USB Port, you can pair up your smartphone, tablet, or even computer with your soundbar. Plus, with HDMI (ARC) support, you'll be able to cut down on the number of cables needed for your living room setup and can use just a single remote to control everything.

The biggest pitfall with the HT-S100F is the inability to pair this with other wireless speakers to create a wireless surround sound system. While Sony packed a slew of features to help improve the audio quality without sacrificing size, the company stopped short of providing a subwoofer to go along with the HT-S100F.

Pros:

  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • HDMI (ARC) support
  • Multiple input/output methods
  • Slim and compact

Cons:

  • Cannot pair with wireless speakers
  • No subwoofer available

Best Compact Design

Sony HT-S100F

Works anywhere and with any TV

The Sony HT-S100F is great if you're looking for a compact design and don't care about the lack of a subwoofer.

Best for Starters: TCL Alto 7

TCL Alto 7 LifestyleSource: TCL

When you think about a soundbar, it's usually for the reason of mounting it below your television. The TCL Alto 7 does so much more than that in a very compact package.

The Alto 7 offers many different connection methods — you'll get HDMI, Auxiliary, Optical, and even Bluetooth. This gives you plenty of versatility to connect any device that you can think of. For those who don't want to put the soundbar on a stand, TCL has included a wall-mounting kit so you can save space.

In 2020, we would have liked to see Bluetooth 5.0 built-in, but TCL only opted to use Bluetooth 4.2 since you'll get an increased range. The Alto 7 is a fantastic-looking soundbar, but maybe a bit on the larger side, as this measures in at 36 inches.

Pros:

  • Sound modes optimize content playback
  • Many input methods
  • Wall-mounting kit included
  • Built-in subwoofer

Cons:

  • Only Bluetooth 4.2
  • A bit large for smaller TVs

Best for Starters

TCL Alto 7

Surprisingly solid

The TCL Alto 7 has almost everything you could want including Bluetooth, multiple input methods, and more.

Best for the Biggest Sound: Wohome TV Sound Bar S28

Wohome TV Sound Bar S28 LifestyleSource: Wohome

A lot of budget soundbars don't have subwoofers included, or they are smaller options that don't give you much punch. That's not the case with the Wohome TV Sound Bar S28 as you get six total drivers, including dual-subwoofers for the best output possible.

There are four different sound modes available on the Wohome S28 to provide a more fine-tuned experience when watching an array of content. And with Bluetooth 5.0 you can pair your computer, tablet, or smartphone and stream some music or podcasts while you're having a party or doing some housework.

For some, this may not matter, but if you have a 42-inch or smaller television, the Ben Nevis II may look a bit comical. That is due to its smaller size, as it measures in at 38 inches long, but that may not matter considering the built-in subwoofers. We were also disappointed to notice there is no smart home integration in an age where the smart home has become increasingly popular.

Pros:

  • Built-in dual subwoofers
  • Output of 105dB with six drivers
  • Four different sound modes
  • Bluetooth 5.0 onboard

Cons:

  • No HDMI
  • Lack of smart home integration

Best for the Biggest Sound

Wohome TV Sound Bar S28

The biggest punch available

Wohome has created a surprising soundbar with the S28 thanks to its dual-subwoofers and Bluetooth 5.0.

Bottom line

Soundbars come in all different shapes and sizes, and there are ways to use soundbars that one may not have thought of before. Plus, you don't need to throw cash at the problem of improving your home stereo system anymore with picks under $100 like the TaoTronics TT-SK026 Soundbar. With this soundbar, you get a 360-degrees of sound, Bluetooth 5.0, and a great stereo experience to improve your movie nights.

When you dive into the budget market, there are corners to be cut, and it's evidenced by issues like lack of HDMI ARC support or an external subwoofer. Other omissions include the lack of smart home integration, which could leave you looking elsewhere for a soundbar.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he'll get back to you.

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