The Best Cheap Soundbars For Sale on Amazon in 2019

Soundbars are popular because most TVs sound bad, not because soundbars sound great (many don't). 

Modern televisions are too thin to fit a decent pair of speakers inside, which makes dialogue tough to understand. A good soundbar can be had for less than $100 and will sound better than the built-in speakers in most TVs. 

Some soundbars can simulate surround sound effects and have a separate subwoofer for bass effects. Advanced models (especially Dolby Atmos soundbars) can cost more than $1,000. But, is it worth it?

For the same price, one can buy a well-reviewed home theater receiver like the Denon AVR-X1500 (which includes support for 4K/HDR10 video, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay and Amazon Alexa voice control) and an excellent 5.1 channel speaker system like the Energy Take Classic.

A $500 alternative is to buy a decent home theater receiver and a center-channel speaker. It's a relatively simple way to get the benefits of a soundbar now with the flexibility of building a home theater later.

If you opt for a soundbar, make sure the input on the soundbar matches the output on your TV. HDMI is the best connection option: It's more secure and futureproof than an Optical connection (which is most common). The 3.5mm (headphone) jack has the worst audio quality of these three connection options.

Here are the best-reviewed soundbars that have sold on Amazon for $100 or less in the past year:

VIZIO SB3220n-F6 32" 2.0 Channel Sound Bar (2018 Model)

Good Price: $90 | Great Price: $80

Vizio's soundbar is easy to install, cables are included, and it sounds considerably better than built-in TV speakers, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers say the remote is difficult to use in the dark. A few customers couldn't pair this soundbar with their universal remote controls.

80 Watt Sound Bar, MEGACRA Soundbar 38-Inch 6 Drivers Wired and Wireless Home Theater Surround Sound Speaker for TV ( IR Learning Remote, Optical, Coaxial, DSP, Bass & Treble Adjustable)

Good Price: $87 | Great Price: $80

This soundbar is a big improvement over TV speakers, according to several Amazon customers. Some reviewers complain that the instructions are confusing; others don't like the soundbar's "auto-off" feature (it turns itself off after a few minutes of no signal).

Pyle PSBV600BT Wave Base Bluetooth Tabletop Soundbar Digital Speaker System with Remote Control, AUX (3.5mm) & RCA Input Jacks

Good Price: $98 | Great Price: $81

Pyle's soundbase has rich, deep and immersive sound, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers say the remote is small and hard to use in the dark; some say the bass is too boomy.

John DeFeo