In this article, we have reviewed tens of popular soundbars available in the UK to bring you best soundbar on a budget at the start of 2023. These are divided into 3 categories – under £200, under £300 and under £500.
For those of you wondering what a soundbar is, or whether you really need one over a surround sound system or a sound base, we have some general expert information to start this article off.
If you know everything there is to know about soundbars and want to get straight to the reviews, then scroll down directly to read our reviews on the best soundbar at different price points in the UK.
What is a Soundbar? Everything You Need to Know
Soundbars are home theater speaker systems that are enclosed in a single cabinet with stereo effect that simulates surround sound.
The technology is useful in the creation of great surround sound while avoiding cluttering the room with speakers and cables. Most sound-bars enclose at least three speakers within the casing.
The sound quality of soundbars is a huge improvement to the quality of sound of TV speakers.
The technology packed into a soundbar has come a long way since the introduction of the ‘LCR Soundbar’. Technology varies from one soundbar to another with different manufacturing companies advancing their technology including phased array technology.
With advancement in technology, soundbars are generally getting sleeker, slimmer and smaller. This has necessitated the introduction of wireless subwoofers for low frequency sound.
Other technological features that may be incorporated include wireless connectivity ( for tablets and smartphones), display panels, Dolby and DTS audio processing support, HDMI inputs and bluetooth.
The most prominent sound-bar manufacturers are; Sony, Yamaha, Samsung, LG, BOSE among others.
Advantages of Soundbars
In comparison to conventional other stereo surround systems, sound-bars are relatively cheap and smaller.
Another major advantage of sound-bars is keeping rooms clutter-free, manufacturers generally design sound-bars to accentuate interiors with beautiful shapes and finishes.
In addition to de-cluttering spaces, soundbars offer child and pet proofing with no wires in sight, this is especially vital for home owners with young children and pets as well as those who prefer a clean simple look.
Disadvantages of Soundbars
Soundbars are designed to work together with the spaces in which they operate. Therefore in a moderately sized square room, sound from the soundbars will bounce off the walls enhancing the surround effect. This however does not apply in open plan spaces and very big rooms.
In addition, for those who desire precise surround systems, soundbars and sound-bases cannot replace detailed speakers placement.
Manufacturers typically pair up soundbars with subwoofers to facilitate delivery of base frequencies. Usually, the subwoofer will be wireless and can therefore be placed discretely in a room for example in a corner or a cabinet, the location of subwoofers in a room is not necessarily important since the frequency is low enough to make it sound unidirectional resulting in a feeling that the sound is coming from everywhere.
The main advantage of the wireless subwoofers is that they do not affect the aesthetics of a room with cables. They however still need to be connected to the power outlet.
Differences between Soundbars and Sound-Bases
The main difference between a soundbar and sound-bases is the shape and positioning. As the name suggests, sound-bases are short and long and are designed as a base for the TV to stand on.
Sound bars and sound bases also differ from each other in performance, generally, sound-bases have better bass sound due to their size which is considerably larger. However, some sound-bars when combined with their sub-woofers outperform sound-bases.
In addition, sound-bases generally do not require subwoofers since they have additional bass drivers incorporated. for those who want good bass but are not willing to use a separate subwoofer, a soundbase is the best choice.
The rating of soundbases considers the weight of the TV they can support.
Best soundbar on a budget under £200
The stylishly designed easy to install and use soundbar features integrated system with built in subwoofers and front speakers as well as powerful surround sound thanks to air surround extreme.
Thanks to its design, it is slim enough to be positioned in front of the TV.
In addition, the soundbar’s built in IR flasher makes TV remote signal transmission is possible. It also comes with additional features such as bass-reflex port for depth and richness of bass and clarity as well as uni-volume to keep the volume at the same level between different input sources, channels and programmes.
The Yamaha C20 Front Surround Soundbar System delivers great sound at a relatively low price.
- Crystal clear home entertainment: the small and compact C20A soundbar brings room-filling, immersive sound into your home to amplify your TV series, films, games and music
- Stunning surround sound: thanks to the virtual surround technology, experienced from every corner of the room - the built-in subwoofer ensures a rich, room-filling bass
- Control at your fingertips: the Soundbar remote app features four different sound modes including gaming for fast and precise reactions, giving you the freedom to control your soundbar from anywhere
- Crystal clear sound: Clear Voice Technology brings every interaction to the forefront so that you never have to worry about losing a word or a whisper in the background noise
- Items delivered: 1 x C20A soundbar from Yamaha, slim speaker for gaming, films, music and television with HDMI ARC connection & Bluetooth and wall mounting option, in black
This Best soundbar on a budget from Sony is yet another high performance soundbar that is reasonably priced.
Its beautiful sleek design is perfect for any interior, the soundbar is only 5.1 centimetres thick therefore it does not obscure view of the screen. It is ideal both resting on a table top and mounted on a wall.
With Sony ClearAudio+, different audio formats are optimized resulting in sound clarity. the soundbar comes with a wired subwoofer that delivers on the low frequency sounds for a richer listening experience.
With Bluetooth capabilities, you can easily stream music from your tablet or smart phone and control the volume and playlist from your device.
- Powerful surround sound thanks to S-Force front surround and bass reflex unit
- Simple connectivity: one easy HDMI connection to TV and instant music listening from your mobile device via Bluetooth or USB
- Elegant, slim design with soft edges to effortlessly place in front of your TV or wall-mount
- The two speaker setup delivers front surround sound from a compact unit
- Send audio and control information from your TV using just one cable with HDMI ARC
Best Soundbar under £300
The design of the soundbar is very unique, sleek and minimalist. You can download the LG Bluetooth remote App and install it in your smartphone in order to control the soundbar straight from your phone.
The wireless subwoofer delivers deep and rich tones without compromising on aesthetics and design. The Cinema Surround Processor that is unique to LG creates a cinema experience of 3D sound for movie lovers.
- Crisp sound quality (300W 3 channels)
- HDMI and Bluetooth connectivity
- Ideal match with LG TVs
- Sophisticated wireless sub-woofer
Enhance your audio experience with the Sony HT-X8500 Bluetooth Single Dolby Atmos Soundbar, a cutting-edge audio device designed to deliver immersive sound and powerful performance right in the comfort of your home.
Immersive Dolby Atmos Technology: The HT-X8500 soundbar incorporates advanced Dolby Atmos technology, which provides three-dimensional audio that surrounds you with breathtaking clarity, depth, and detail.
Single Soundbar Design: Unlike traditional multi-speaker setups, the Sony HT-X8500 features a single soundbar design that eliminates clutter and simplifies installation.
Powerful Audio Performance: The Best soundbar on a budget boasts a robust sound output of (insert wattage) watts, providing rich and dynamic audio that fills the room.
Built-in Bluetooth Connectivity: With built-in Bluetooth technology, the Sony HT-X8500 allows you to wirelessly connect your compatible devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops, to stream music and other audio content.
Various Sound Modes: Experience the flexibility of multiple sound modes tailored to your preferences.
Easy Setup and Control: Setting up the HT-X8500 is a breeze. With HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) and optical inputs, you can easily connect the soundbar to your TV or other audio sources.
Wireless Subwoofer Compatibility: For an even more powerful bass experience, the soundbar is compatible with an optional wireless subwoofer (sold separately).
Transform your home entertainment with the Sony HT-X8500 Bluetooth Single Dolby Atmos Soundbar, and immerse yourself in an unparalleled audio experience like never before.
- Vertical Surround Engine delivers all around sound
- Immerse yourself in 3 Dimensional sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X support
- Built-in dual subwoofer - no need for an external unit
- Lossless 4K HDR and Dolby Vision pass-through
- With Bluetooth playback, stream music wirelessly from your mobile device
Best Soundbar under £500
Bose Smart Soundbar 600 Dolby Atmos
The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 with Dolby Atmos delivers a premium audio experience in a sleek and compact design. Immerse yourself in lifelike sound with Dolby Atmos technology, and enjoy the convenience of built-in voice assistants and wireless music streaming. Elevate your home entertainment with this powerful and feature-packed soundbar from Bose.
It also features Clear Voice technology to make narrations and dialogue significantly easier to hear without straining by raising level of dialogue without changing the overall sound quality, bluetooth streaming from your tablet or phone and the ability to ‘learn’ the operations of the TVs remote control.
For superior sound imaging, the right and left channel configurations are independent. Though a bit pricey, the sound quality is worth it.
- FULL IMMERSION FOR ALL ENTERTAINMENT: Smart Soundbar 600 is a Dolby Atmos soundbar that also features proprietary TrueSpace technology and two upward firing transducers to deliver shockingly immersive sound for all your movies, TV shows, and music.
- TRUESPACE ELEVATES IT ALL: No matter what you’re watching, Bose TrueSpace technology intelligently analyzes signals other than Dolby Atmos, like stereo or 5.1, and upmixes them to create an immersive multi-channel sound experience.
- PACKED WITH TECHNOLOGY: The acoustic architecture squeezes 5 speakers (including 2 upward firing) into a small, 27.5” wide soundbar to spread sound across the room: horizontally left and right, forward, and overhead.
- WIRELESS SOUNDBAR FOR STREAMING: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast built-in compatibility let you stream content anyway you want.
- TOTAL CONTROL: Amazon Alexa voice control is built in. Or you can access Works With Google Assistant capabilities with a compatible Google device. There’s also the included remote control and the Bose Music app for quick access to your music.
The Sony HT-S2000 3.1ch Dolby Atmos® Best soundbar on a budget brings a new level of audio immersion to your home theater setup. With Dolby Atmos technology, this soundbar creates a 3D audio experience, enveloping you in rich, cinematic sound from all directions.
The 3.1-channel configuration and wireless subwoofer deliver powerful bass and clear dialogue, while Bluetooth connectivity allows for easy wireless music streaming. Upgrade your audio game with this sleek and feature-packed Sony soundbar.
- Optional wireless subwoofer (SA-SW3/SA-SW5) adds punchy bass sound. For even more cinematic thrills and sound directly behind you, add our optional wireless rear speakers SA-RS3S. Paired with a compatible BRAVIA TV, soundbar sound settings automatically appear on the BRAVIA Quick Settings menu for easy feature control
- Advanced speaker technology - The powerful speakers include a dedicated centre speaker for clear dialogue and built-in dual subwoofer for punchy bass. They work together to deliver clear and wide-ranging sound throughout your room
- The built-in subwoofers use an X-Balanced Speaker design to maximise the diaphragm size in the limited space, delivering powerful bass from a compact soundbar. The unique duct shape is the secret to delivering the deep bass normally associated with larger speakers — especially when listening at low volume
- The soundbar is almost ready to go straight out of the box. Simply connect your TV with an HDMI cable and plug in
- Stream audio content wirelessly from your smartphone and tablet or laptop with Bluetooth technology
In conclusion, each of these soundbars offers excellent value for their respective price points, catering to different needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for an affordable option, enhanced features, or premium audio, there’s a budget-friendly soundbar to suit your requirements.