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Speakers

Best sound bars, starting at just $100

The cheapest ways to add sound to your TV no longer have to suck.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The speakers built into your TV are terrible. You want better sound for movies and TV shows, and maybe something that can Bluetooth from your phone to play Spotify too. But you're on a tight budget.

Plenty of dirt-cheap options exist from no-name brands, and maybe they do sound better than your TV. But for just $100 and up, you can grab a bar that performed well in CNET's hands-on tests.

All of the affordable sound bars on this list have Bluetooth (for wireless music streaming from your phone) and an optical connection (for hooking to a TV), plus a remote control. Some models, such as the Yamaha YAS-108, also include HDMI, which makes connectivity even easier, while the subwoofer lends others more authority and musicality -- in other words, bass -- than you probably expect for the price.

Here's our favorites.

Disclaimer: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.   

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Vizio SB362An-F6

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Now Playing: Watch this: Vizio's SB362 solo sound bar is great value for money
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Vizio SB362An-F6

Price: $100

Rating: 8.7/10

Why do we like it? If your budget is a Franklin and no more, the best option is a Vizio. With a larger-than-most cabinet the SB362 offers levels of bass that even the $200 Yamaha YAS-108 can't touch. It doesn't boast as many features as some of the bars below, but it does have Bluetooth. If you just want the best sound quality for the lowest price, this is it, but if you can spend a bit more, keep scrolling.

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Vizio SB3621n-e8

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Vizio SB3621n-e8

Price: $150

Rating: 9.1/10

Why do we like it? If you have a bit more to spend, this Vizio is worth it. Thanks to the included wireless subwoofer, the SB3631 is an absolute movie machine, and it sounds impressive with music over Bluetooth as well. It's our favorite budget soundbar, and earns our Editors' Choice in the category.

See it at Amazon
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Polk Signa S1

Price: $180

Rating: 8.2/10

Why do we like it? An included sub contributes to some of the best sound with music (as opposed to home theater) we've ever heard from a budget sound bar. The Yamaha below sounds better with movies, but the Polk is a great choice for music fans. Wall-mounting options and an attractive design help too.

See it at Amazon
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Yamaha YAS-108

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Yamaha YAS-108

Price: $200

Rating: 8/10

Why do we like it? Despite the lack of a subwoofer, the sleek Yamaha YAS-108 offers excellent sonic intelligibility and a great mix of features. The included HDMI ports, available on no other bar from this list, ensure optimum soundtrack compatibility with connected devices like Blu-ray players.

See it at Amazon

Can you spend a bit more?

For $300 not only will you get better sound, but a better assortment of features including a subwoofer as standard and a greater number of inputs. Some of them even have Alexa built in. Check out the gallery below for our picks.