Best budget soundbar under £300
Looking to buy the best soundbar under £300? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the right one for you.
Our top budget soundbar picks will help you boost your home audio without breaking the bank.
If you’re looking for a low-cost way to improve the sound on your television, our recommendation is to get the best budget soundbar you can find.
Soundbars can greatly improve the sound quality of your TV and, best of all, you can get one for a fraction of the price of a fancy 4K TV.
We’ve tested a lot of soundbars at a lot of different price points, and this article covers the ones we think are the best for under £300.
The finest budget soundbars may miss some of the bells and whistles seen in higher-priced versions, but they all have one thing in common: excellent sound quality at a low price.
We’ve put up a useful buying guide covering everything you need to know before making a purchase if you don’t know your 2.0 from your 2.1 or simply want to learn more about the features you can expect to find in a budget soundbar.
How do you pick the best soundbar for your money?
When looking for the best budget soundbar, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Sound quality should be at the top of your priority list. It’s pointless to invest your hard-earned money on a soundbar if it doesn’t dramatically improve the audio on your TV.
The size and kind of speaker drivers utilised, the audio formats supported, and the number of audio channels a soundbar has all have an impact on audio quality.
What is the ideal number of channels for a budget soundbar?
Two numerals separated by a full stop show the number of channels included in a soundbar. The first digit denotes the number of primary channels, while the second denotes whether or not a subwoofer is included to handle low-frequency frequencies. A 2.0 soundbar has two audio channels – left and right – whereas a 2.1 soundbar adds a third through the use of a subwoofer.
Subwoofers are occasionally included into soundbars, but they’re also available as standalone units. Both styles have advantages: soundbars with built-in subwoofers take up less room, while standalone subwoofers provide more powerful, richer bass.
Soundbars with three or even five primary audio channels are more difficult to get for around £300. In comparison to its 2.0 and 2.1 predecessors, a 3.0 or 3.1 soundbar has a central channel in addition to the left and right ones, and is generally better at conveying dialogue. 5.0 and 5.1 devices, on the other hand, add two more channels to produce a surround-sound effect and increase immersion.
Those extra channels are usually added via back speakers that are connected to the soundbar wirelessly or via cords. You can occasionally find “all-in-one” 5.0 and 5.1 soundbars that contain everything in one unit, but expect to pay more than £300 for one.
For a budget soundbar, how crucial is power output?
The peak and average (Root Mean Squared or RMS) power of most soundbars are stated in watts (W). Larger soundbars with more speaker drivers can produce louder sound than their smaller counterparts, but don’t expect to discover one with a tremendous audio output.
What’s the best way to get a soundbar connected?
Even low-cost soundbars come with a variety of connectivity choices, and the more ports present, the better.
An HDMI cable is the simplest way to connect a soundbar to your TV. Both your TV and soundbar should have HDMI ARC (audio return channel) connectors, which you can use to link the two and have your bar play audio from your TV and any connected devices. Additional HDMI inputs are available on certain soundbars, which can be used to connect external devices such as games consoles or a Sky TV box if all of the ports on your TV are already used.
Apart from HDMI ports, most inexpensive soundbars offer the option of connecting via an optical digital connection (also known as TOSlink or S/PDIF). This is the most straightforward way to connect a soundbar to a TV that doesn’t support ARC. Although analogue 3.5mm inputs aren’t as prevalent as they once were, soundbars with them are nonetheless plentiful.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are becoming more common in soundbars, and not just the more expensive ones. Voice assistants — in the case of the Polk React, Amazon Alexa – may be used with Wi-Fi-enabled bars like the Polk React, which can be included into multiroom wireless speaker systems. If you’re in the mood for a casual listening session, Bluetooth is ideal for streaming music and podcasts directly from your phone, laptop, or tablet.
Other factors to consider before purchasing a low-cost soundbar
Consider what size soundbar would be appropriate for your television setup. Make sure it fits in your AV cabinet and fits nicely in front of or beneath your TV without obscuring your vision or getting in the way of any infrared sensors it may have.
If you want to place your soundbar on the wall, be sure the device you choose supports it and comes with the necessary accessories. Although many do, it’s worth double-checking.
It’s also worth looking for EQ adjustments and different audio modes. Many soundbars allow you to adjust the bass and treble, while others have audio presets tailored to specific genres of entertainment like music, movies, or sports. A Night mode designed for low-volume viewing is especially useful if you watch a lot of TV in the evening and don’t want to disturb your neighbours.
Surround-sound audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are supported by more modern soundbars. These multidimensional, object-based codecs can add height effects to a soundbar’s soundscape for a more realistic audio experience, but you’ll almost always need additional speakers to get the most out of them.
DTS Virtual:X, which aims to recreate a surround-sound experience without the use of additional speakers, is a good option for inexpensive soundbars.
The best budget soundbars to buy in 2021
- Cinematic Living With The Q600A Soundbar – with a powerful subwoofer for a greater bass range, and offering 5 channels of surround sound, our Q600A Soundbar for tv delivers entertainment excellence along with limitless connectivity and Dolby Atmos.
- Be Part Of The Action With Acoustic Beam - Samsung Acoustic Beam technology mixes & delivers sound, so it appears to come from precisely where the action is happening on the screen when paired with a TV, making for realistic film and gaming moments.
- Get Connected Like Never Before – With HDMI and Bluetooth capabilities, as well as Samsung’s Smart One Remote Control, you can seamlessly connect your soundbar to your TV and other devices and easily control them all together.
- Experience a breath-taking level of realism - Hear the precise location of a helicopter landing or feel the sound of rain falling from above. With our technology that combines true Dolby Atmos & DTS:X on your tv soundbar with Object Tracking Sound.
- Audio Synchronisation Like No Other With Q-Symphony - Perfectly Synchronise sound from your Samsung TV and Samsung Soundbar with Q-symphony that syncs the TV Speakers And Soundbar Channels for immersive audio not possible with other pairings.
- COMPATIBLE WITH TV, PHONE AND PC: Using the assortment of connectivity options, the Bowfell can be connected to your phone, computer and most TVs using Bluetooth, Optical input and RCA input. The Bowfell also comes with an easy-to-use remote control.
- MULTI-CONNECTION: The Bowfell boasts a wide range of connectivity including Bluetooth, Optical input, RCA and AUX port. The Bowfell comes with an RCA cable and 3.5mm AUX cable. Designed for the eager audiophile, you can select which mode you want to listen to: Music, Movies and Dialogue.
- COMPACT DESIGN: The Bowfell’s slim design is ideal for any desktop space especially student accommodation. Ideal for gaming with restricted space, the Bowfell delivers a powerful and clear sound. An ideal sound bar for TV, the Bowfell fills the room with your favourite movies and tv shows.
- BUILT-IN SUBWOOFER: Small but mighty, the Bowfell is equipped with a built-in subwoofer delivering outstanding cinematic sound.
- WARRANTY: Majority offer full technical support for every item, as well as including a comprehensive 36 month warranty (registration required).
- Bring TV viewing or gaming to the next level with this sleek channel soundbar, combining automatic JBL multiBeam calibration and virtual dolby atmos for an immersive and exciting 3D sound experience
- Your home cinema experience is enhanced and intensified with HDMI eArc providing deep, punchy bass coupled with four built-in passive radiators, so there is no need to reach for an extra subwoofer
- With AirPlay, alexa multi-room music and chromecast also built-in, you can create a multi-room setup to wirelessly stream your favourite online content in high sound quality at the touch of a button
- Compact and simple to use via Bluetooth on your chosen device, the minimalistic design features a grille pattern and metallic finish, making the JBL Bar 5.0 fit to any home decor
- Items delivered:one x JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam Soundbar, remote control with two batteries, power cords, HDMI cable, two x L-shape wall-mount bracket with screws, start guide, warranty card and safety sheet
- BLUETOOTH: Experience superior audio using powerful sound. Simply pair and play, begin streaming from your favourite music apps including Spotify and Soundcloud or radio stations. If your Smart TV has Bluetooth, you can also use the Snowdon II as a Bluetooth soundbar for TVs to create an effective and discreet TV sound system.
- STEREO SPEAKERS: With 2.1 Channel Sound, the Snowdon II offers a superior audio experience for any home theatre set-up.
- MULTI-CONNECTION: The Snowdon II boasts a wide range of connectivity including Bluetooth, Optical input, RCA, and AUX-input. The Snowdon II comes with an RCA cable. Designed for the eager audiophile, you can select which mode you want to listen to: Music, Movies or Dialogue.
- BUILT-IN SUBWOOFER: Delivering high definition sound, the Bluetooth stereo speakers fill the room with your favourite sounds using the provided remote control.
- WARRANTY: Majority offers full technical support for every item, as well as including a comprehensive 36-month warranty (registration required).
- Hear your TV better—Designed with simplicity in mind the Bose TV Speaker is a small soundbar that clarifies speech and is a simple fix for better TV sound
- Wide natural sound—Two angled full-range drivers deliver a more realistic spatial audio experience for overall better TV sound from a small soundbar
- Enhanced dialogue—This TV speaker is designed to specifically focus on clarifying and elevating vocals and pronunciation
- Bluetooth TV speaker—Pair your device to this Bluetooth soundbar to wirelessly stream your favourite music and podcasts
- Simple setup—A single connection from this compact soundbar to the TV via an optical audio cable (included) or an HDMI cable (sold separately) has you up and running in minutes
- Powerful surround sound thanks to S-Force front surround and bass reflex unit
- Simple connectivity: one easy HDMI connection to TV and instant music listening from your mobile device via Bluetooth or USB
- Elegant, slim design with soft edges to effortlessly place in front of your TV or wall-mount
- The two speaker setup delivers front surround sound from a compact unit
- Send audio and control information from your TV using just one cable with HDMI ARC
- All-in-One - Sound from all ranges-40Hz-20kHz.
- Design - Simple and compact design with 65cm length and elegant leather pattern.
- Multiple Connections - Supports Line-in, USB, Bluetooth, Optical, HDMI OUT (ARC). Compatible with flat-panel TV, Fire stick, DVD player and more.
- Universal Remote - Supports TV remote or Universal Remote.
- Three Audio Modes - Movie, Music, News.
- 3.1 channel Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundbar with powerful, immersive surround sound
- Immersive AE (Audio Enhancement) button to upscale even regular stereo audio to near 7.1.2 surround sound with Sony’s unique Vertical Surround Engine
- Dedicated centre speaker for brilliantly clear vocals, whether in movies or music
- Includes a powerful, wireless subwoofer for deep, rich bass sound and flexible placement
- Impressive 400W of power
- POWERUL HOME CINEMA SOUND - Transform your TV into a home entertainment centre and experience an immersive surround sound with this Denon soundbar that supports Dolby Digital, DTS Decoding & DTS Virtual:X.
- UPGRADE TO 3D SOUND - With two built-in down firing subwoofers, dual mid-range drivers and two 1” tweeters, you’ll enjoy an amazing movie and TV show audio experience without the need for a separate subwoofer.
- STREAM YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC – Easily connect the TV sound bar via Bluetooth with your smartphone or tablet with Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, Deezer and many other music streaming services.
- NEVER MISS A WORD - Use the Denon dialogue enhancer to improve the dialogue intelligibility, ideal for movies and TV shows with complex audio soundtracks. Simpy turn up the dialogue without having to adjust overall volume.
- SIMPLIFIED SETUP - The soundbar comes with a HDMI cable and Optical input to quickly start your home theatre enjoyment without missing cable frustration. Once connected, control the DHT-216 with your own TV remote control. Designed to work with any TV.
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