If you think your TV speakers don't sound good at all and you don't want to spend a lot of money, a cheap soundbar is the perfect solution. 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.
The three budget soundbar models highlighted here are ones that performed well in CNET's hands-on tests. 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 bingeing experience.
Best cheap soundbar
CNET TAKE: For $190 MSRP, the Vizio 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.
Best smart soundbar
CNET TAKE: 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.
Best for dialogue
CNET TAKE: 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.
The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Editor Ty Pendlebury and Copy Editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.
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