Best Affordable 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-SK019, 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 Soundbar TT-SK019
- Best for most situations: VIZIO SB3820-C6 Sound Bar
- Best Value: Creative Stage Air Portable Soundbar
- Best All-in-one System: Pyle TV Soundbase Soundbar
- Best for starters: AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Sound Bar
- Best for the biggest sound: Majority Ben Nevis II Soundbar
Best Overall: TaoTronics Soundbar TT-SK019
TaoTronics has been expanding out of the headphone market and moving into soundbars with options like the TT-SK019. This soundbar is unique in the fact that it includes both a built-in display, along with an integrated subwoofer.
Possible connections include RCA, Optical, or coaxial, along with Bluetooth 4.2 for your smartphones or tablets. The LED touch-display shows off what mode is being used, along with the sound level of the soundbar itself.
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-SK019's other features is smart home integration with the likes of either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- Built-in display screen
- Built-in subwoofers
- Works with wired or wireless connections
- Lacks smart home integration
- No HDMI input
Great for just about everyone
TaoTronics knocked it out of the park with the TT-SK019 with its built-in display and a built-in subwoofer. Just be prepared to not have HDMI support.
Best for most situations: VIZIO SB3820-C6 Sound Bar
VIZIO is already known as a budget brand for televisions, so it makes sense for the company to offer a matching soundbar. That's what you get with the SB3820-C6 Soundbar with its two full-range stereo speakers, Deep Bass technology, and sleek design.
The SB3820-C6 is capable of producing up to 100 decibels with the two speakers Dolby Digital tuning. 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 42-inches, as the SB3820-C6 is 38-inches wide.
Having Dolby Digital integration is all fine and dandy, but the SB3820-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.
- Built-in Bluetooth
- Up to 100 decibels
- Dolby Digital Premium Audio
- No subwoofer
- Can only connect to TV via Optical output
Best for most situations
Great for just about everyone
VIZIO's CB3820-C6 is a fantastic pick for those who don't care about a subwoofer or having HDMI input. The soundbar includes two speakers and Bluetooth.
Best Value: Creative Stage Air Portable Soundbar
When you think about a soundbar, it's usually for the reason of mounting it below your television. The Creative Stage Air Soundbar does so much more than that in a very compact package.
Measuring in at just 16-inches long, you can place this soundbar just about anywhere in your home and reap the rewards. In addition to being able to connect this to your television, Creative includes Bluetooth, auxiliary, and a USB port to fit your needs. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is the built-in battery which will last for up to 6-hours and allows you to take the Creative Stage Air anywhere.
It's important to note that this soundbar will not blow you away with its output, as it's limited to a peak output of 20 watts. This point is driven home by the lack of a subwoofer, and you don't have the option for HDMI or optical inputs for connecting to your TV or monitor.
- Use wired or wirelessly
- Portable with up to 6 hours of battery life
- Plug and play with USB devices
- No subwoofer
- No remote control
- Limited wired output options
Take it more places than your living room
If you want to be able to take your soundbar to more places, then the Creative Stage Air with its built-in 6-hour battery and Bluetooth capabilities.
Best All-in-one System: Pyle TV Soundbase Soundbar
Back in the old day, soundbars were a bit different than what you think of when you see soundbars in your brick and mortar stores. The Pyle TV Soundbase is a call-back to those days as it acts more like a base station than a traditional soundbar.
The Soundbase offers a bottom-mounted subwoofer, along with multiple input and output methods including Bluetooth. With its size, you can even put your TV on top of it, allowing you to save space without needing to make space for a new speaker system.
As one can expect with a soundbar of this size, you will not be able to mount it on the wall without building some type of shelf. On the connection side of things, you won't want to get too excited for Bluetooth as it is only equipped with Bluetooth 3.0, which is a thing of the past. Plus, the 20-watt speakers may not give you the crispest playback for your movies and TV shows.
- Built-in Bluetooth
- Bottom-mounted subwoofer
- Multiple input/output methods
- 20 Watt speakers
- Only includes Bluetooth 3.0
- Cannot mount on a wall
Best All-in-one System
Works as a TV stand and speaker system
The Pyle TV Soundbase is great if you're looking to save some space as it doubles as a TV stand. But you can't mount it, and there's only Bluetooth 3.0.
Best for starters: AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Sound Bar
Amazon has its hands in a lot of different categories, including many smart home products and areas that you wouldn't expect. The Amazon Basics Soundbar falls in that category with its two channels and a built-in subwoofer for a surprisingly decent experience.
Between the two speakers and the included subwoofer, the Amazon Basics Soundbar is capable of reaching 100 decibels and even consists of the kit needed to mount it on your wall. A surprising addition is the different modes that are included for "Standard," "News," and "Movies" so that you get the best results based on what you are watching.
Not everything is rosy here though, as you won't be able to use your existing universal remote. You will have to rely on Amazon's included option. There is also no HDMI input available, so you will need to use Optical, RCA, or Auxiliary. However, there is the added benefit of having Bluetooth if you want to connect your smartphone or tablet.
- Offers up to 100 decibels of power
- Different modes based on media playback
- Includes wall mount kit
- Not compatible with universal remotes
- Heavier than comparable models
- No HDMI available
Best for starters
The Amazon Basics soundbar is an excellent pick with its adjustable EQ settings and surprisingly good output, despite not being the flashiest option.
Best for the biggest sound: Majority Ben Nevis II Soundbar
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 Majority Ben Nevis II Soundbar as you get two powerful speakers and a wireless subwoofer for the best output possible.
You won't have to worry about relying on older input methods like RCA or Optical, as the Ben Nevis II is compatible with the HDMI-ARC standard. Plus, there are other connection possibilities such as auxiliary or Bluetooth, and there's even a built-in FM radio if you want to go old school with it.
For some, this may not matter, but if you have a 42-inch or larger television, the Ben Nevis II may look a bit comical. That is due to its smaller size, as it measures in at just 30-inches long, but that may not matter considering the included subwoofer. We were also disappointed to notice there is no smart home integration in an age where the smart home has become increasingly popular.
- Includes wireless subwoofer
- Compatible with HDMI ARC
- Built-in FM Radio
- Includes mounting kit and wired cables
- May look odd with larger televisions
- Lack of smart home integration
Best for the biggest sound
The included subwoofer changes everything
Majority has created a compelling soundbar with the Ben Nevis II thanks to its HDMI-ARC support, and wireless subwoofer.
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 Soundbar TT-SK019. With this soundbar, you get a built-in subwoofer, Bluetooth 4.2, and a great stereo experience to improve your movie nights.
When you dive into the budget market, there are definitely 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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