It’s no secret that TVs generally need a helping hand when it comes to audio. In the race to be the thinnest, brightest, most feature-laden rectangle out there, not much room is left in the chassis for one of the most important parts: the speaker.
Enter the soundbar. Built as a consumer gadget to replace your TV’s speakers (but without replacing high-end surround sound systems), these products can outperform just about any tube on the market when it comes to audio. If home theater headphones just won’t cut it, you need a soundbar.
However, these things can get expensive. If you don’t have $700-$2,000 to blow—nor do you need an audiophile setup—what do you do? Well, I’m an expert, and I’m here to tell you that there are ways to stretch your dollar. If you’re tired of having to suffer tinny, distorted audio, there’s plenty of ways you can skate by if you have $100-300 lying around.
Considering the fact that soundbars are an ever-changing and growing category, new models will be released that dethrone some of our picks. In that light, be sure to check back periodically so you don’t miss a good deal if there’s one to be had. There are also many soundbars out there that offer quite a lot even under $1000, but we figured $300 was a good cutoff point for most people who just want something that handles what their TV can’t.
Did we miss anything? Sound off in the comments with your favorite budget soundbar!