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The 4 Best Budget Soundbars for 2023: Vizio, Roku and More

Upgrade your TV's audio for the least amount of money with the best soundbars around.

Even the best TVs can't compete for sound with dedicated soundbars. Thankfully, you don't need to break the bank after you've already spent a ton on your newest entertainment system. A cheap soundbar is the perfect solution for when you aren't getting the audio you'd like out of your TV. Whether it's for watching movies and TV shows or streaming music over Bluetooth, you can make your TV sound better for less than $200 with the best budget soundbars. 

The budget soundbar models highlighted here are ones that performed well in CNET's hands-on tests, including one that costs under $100. All of the affordable soundbars on this list have Bluetooth, HDMI and an optical connection, making hooking up to a TV easy. It's time to abandon poor TV sound and turn up the volume on a better binging experience.

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For $190 MSRP, the V21 includes a wireless subwoofer, HDMI connectivity and both Dolby and DTS decoding. Like many of its stablemates this is an absolute movie machine and an impressive speaker to stream music via Bluetooth as well.

Read our Vizio V21 review.

 

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The compact Roku Streambar offers a lot for your $130 (or even cheaper on sale). This is a fully fledged 4K HDR streamer with hundreds of supported services, plus the ability to connect via Bluetooth. It's an instant upgrade on your TV speaker too, with excellent vocal clarity.

Read our Roku Streambar review.

 

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If you're after a compact soundbar that offers Bluetooth, HDMI and really clean dialogue, the Yamaha SR-C20A has you covered. It also includes DTS Virtual:X for excellent simulated surround from a single box. 

Read our Yamaha SR-C20A review.

 

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Soundbars are able to make a lot of noise from a tiny box, but nothing can compare with the bass that a dedicated subwoofer can bring. The Creative Stage offers a lot for just $90, including HDMI cable connectivity, but it's the wired subwoofer that makes the system really sing. This soundbar also offers Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port for playing MP3s from an external drive. It's nearing the end of its availability, having been replaced by the Stage V2, but the Creative site lists the original as still in stock. 

Read our Creative Stage review.

 

$90 at Amazon
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FAQs

Can a cheap soundbar sound any good?

TV speakers traditionally perform very poorly, so spending even just a little can improve your shows immeasurably. For around $100 you can buy something that doubles as a Bluetooth music streamer and a TV sound system. The quality of cheap soundbars has increased significantly in the past few years, and the addition of subwoofers at this level has also helped boost performance. Bass is something that no onboard TV speaker can offer. 

Is it worth spending more than $200?

All of the above soundbars will sound great and do so for a minimal amount of money, but there are advantages to increasing your budget. At $280, for example, the Sonos Ray not only will get you better audio experience and sound, but a better assortment of features, including multiroom music. While the sky's the limit to how much you can spend on upgrading your sound, the real sweet spot is between $300 and $400. See our list of best soundbars here, which includes models that offer state of the art Dolby Atmos audio effects.

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