I am a guy who loves nothing more than kicking back with a good movie. The sound is a huge part of what makes a movie special to me and that is why a good soundbar is something that I feel every home entertainment center needs. Today I am looking at the best soundbar between $300 to $500. Now, these are a little more pricey than many of the budget ones you see in places like Walmart. But I feel that these offer you great sound at a reasonable and realistic price.
Why Do I Need A Soundbar When I Have An Expensive TV?
As I write this I have a pretty high end 4K Samsung TV and the speakers are far from great. I have probably had 5 different HDTV’s since they became the standard and everyone one of them has been lacking in the sound department. I have an older and small 19 inch HDTV in the kitchen and honestly, the sound on that is no worse than my large 4K Samsung! In making TV’s ultra-thin, the sound has really taken a hit and that is why you need a good soundbar.
Why Are Some Soundbars Under 50 Bucks?
Many of you will jump online, see a soundbar for 50 bucks or less an buy that. There is some great budget priced soundbars out there that will certainly offer an improvement over your TV speakers. But if you want as close to cinema sound as you can get, you are going to have to widen up the wallet a little bit more and spend a little bit extra.
Go For Bluetooth
As we are looking at the best soundbars between $300 to $500, you certainly want to make sure they have Bluetooth. Honestly, at this price range, I would be more surprised if one did not. While you will have the soundbar physically connected to your TV (only way to go in my opinion) with Bluetooth, you can connect things like your phone, tablet and even some stereos. You can then use it to play music as well which is a nice touch, especially if the days of you having a large hi-fi in the living room are long gone.
The Best Soundbars Between $300 To $500 Reviews
- Q Acoustics Media 4 Soundbar with Built In Subwoofer
- Sony CT800 Powerful sound bar with 4K HDR and Google Home Support
- ZVOX SB500 Aluminum Sound Bar with Built-In Subwoofer
- Klipsch R-20B Bluetooth Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
- Klipsch HD Theater SB 3 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
- Samsung HW-M550 3.1 Channel 340 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar
- Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1Ch 400W 45″ Sound Bar with 8” Wireless Subwoofer & Rear Satellite Speakers
I was sent five of the most popular soundbars in this price range to test out and test them out I did. I watched at least two movies with each of them and of course played music via Bluetooth as well. I gave each one of these a really good work out and what you will read are my honest opinions about each one. As well as the five I personally reviewed, I also have another couple that I feel are pretty interesting and worth taking a closer look at.
1. Q Acoustics Media 4 Soundbar with Built In Subwoofer
- Price is very reasonable
- Has a really classy design
- Cables can be hidden away
- Very easy to set up
- Has a built in subwoofer
- No way to change settings
- Remote is tiny
At a little over the 300 bucks mark this one here form Acoustic Media appears to tick all the right boxes. I really like the design of it, the jet black goes very well with the TV unit I have and I love how they have gone for a really classy kind of look. They have made it so that if you want to hang this on the wall, you can do so easily and even hide the cables away which is a nice touch.
Sound wise this is quite impressive. I connected it to my TV and the first movie that I tested was Spider-Man Homecoming. It connected very easily and I was impressed with the sound it put out. There is some kind of “special technology” that makes this sound the same no matter where you sit in the room and I can tell you, it actually works. There is a built in subwoofer which is pretty good actually. Usually these tend to be weak or tiny, but thre is just the right amount of bass offered here so action scenes are booming and speech is just right.
A very cool and easy to use remote comes with this and I thought I would have a play around with the settings…. But there is no way to! You can change the overall volume and pick a device, but there is no way to mess around with the treble, bass or any other settings. Not a big deal for most people I know, but it was kind of surprising not to see this on here.
Bluetooth works great, I was playing Spotify via my phone through this and it worked like a charm. Sound was great too, so if you are looking for a way to ditch the big stereo in the living room and stream all your music this makes this soundbar and even more attractive prospect. I have a feeling that the kind of consumer this is going for is the person who wants to buy a soundbar, plug it in and then just let it do its thing. I say this as there are no settings to worry about, something I am sure some people will see as a positive.
2. Sony CT800 Powerful sound bar with 4K HDR and Google Home Support
- Really sleek design
- Price is very affordable
- Could not be any easier to set up
- Comes with a wireless subwoofer
- Google Home support
- Not the most high end soundbar
- Some reports of connectivity issues
Next up we have this soundbar from the good folks at Sony. I really do dig the design of this. It is almost flat looking and if you have a black entertainment center like I do, you can barely even notice it which is pretty cool. They are currently asking $299.99 for this which is probably why it is so popular at the moment.
So it looks cool, but what about the sound? Well the movie that had the pleasure of testing this out was Star Trek Beyond. This is a 2.1 soundbar so you get some very nice stereo sound out of the speakers. Also included is a wireless subwoofer. The subwoofer is not the best I have ever used and it kind of sticks out, but it is still cool to get one and I am sure most people will be happy with the deep bass that it provides. I will be honest and say that it is not the greatest sound I have ever heard, but with a little tinkering on the remote you can get it just the way you want.
Set up was nice and easy, I used HDMI as I have a 4K TV and it connected no problem at all. I have read that some people reported synching issues when using their phone to stream music via Bluetooth, but I never had that problem. Speaking of which, those 2.1 speakers really do make music sound great.
It is compatible with Google Home, but I am not quite at the level of talking to my devices just yet! But if that is your kind of thing, more power to you and it is built right into the device! In, all not the greatest soundbar, but at this price, it is sure as hell does a good job.
3. ZVOX SB500 Aluminum Sound Bar with Built-In Subwoofer
- I really like the large design
- Sound is fantastic
- 3D sound
- Build in subwoofer offers a bit more kick
- Asking price is more than fair
- Would have liked to be able to tinker around with settings a bit more
- None that I can think off!
Many of the best soundbars between $300 to $500 have their own unique look and this one here from ZVOX certainly stands out. It is one of the larger soundbars I have seen, but I love how big, powerful and expensive this things looks. Speaking of which, this is actually coming in at well under 400 bucks so I feel the asking price is great.
3D sound is what this is all about. The idea is that it fills the room with sound and makes it as close to surround sound as you can get without adding extra speakers. In all, the sound is fantastic and right out of the box, the treble and bass were just what I wanted and when I fired up the classic Terminator 2, I was blown away. The subwoofer that is built in is not the most powerful, but it does provide enough rumble and kick to let you know it is there and in intense action scenes I really comes into its own.
As far as the set up goes, I plugged it in, connected my TV and it was good to go. They have made sure this is very simple to get up and going and honestly it is the kind of soundbar that I would buy for my grandparents as they could plug it in and get it going. It does have AccuVoice technology so if you like to speak to your devices, you will love this.
Connecting my phone via Bluetooth and using Spotify was very easy. It picked up my phone as soon as I turned on the Bluetooth and the sound was fine. In all this does exactly what I want a soundbar to do and it looks cool doing it.
4. Klipsch Reference RSB-6 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
- One of the coolest designs I have seen
- Quick and simple to set up
- Connects to many different devices
- Sound is fantastic
- Has a real cinema feel and sound to it
- No HDMI
- May be a little large for some people
Now this is really interesting. As soon as I took this out of the box I knew that Klipsch meant business. It has a really high end look and if you have a cinema room in your house and you want something that is a little more “theatre like” you are really going to love the design of this. All four speakers and the subwoofer are facing right at you, just ready to blow you away!
Blow you away is exactly what the sound does. I wanted something kick ass to test this out, so I went for Rock Of Ages. I know not what you were expecting, but those four speakers and the front facing subwoofer (which is wireless by the way) really do deliver as close to a surround sound as you are going to get at this price range. The 3D sound is wonderful and I actually spent a lot of time with this, probably more than I should have testing different movies to get a better appreciation of the sound quality
Now there is no HDMI, but that is not a deal breaker for me. For those looking for something super simple it may seem like a stumbling block. Just make sure you have the right cables and you will be fine. Set up was very quick and easy, plus using this as a speaker for music streamed from my phone was pretty darn good. Overall, I have to say that I was very impressed with the sound that this soundbar and its subwoofer offered.
While the price may be close to 400 bucks, I really did have a lot of fun with this and could easily see it taking up a permanent residence in my house!
5. Klipsch RSB-14 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer with Play Fi
- Amazing sound
- Subwoofer is surprisingly powerful
- Setting it up is very easy
- Subwoofer is wireless
- Can be connected to other devices via Bluetooth
- This thing is big!
- May be a little “weird” looking for some
The last one I personally tested was once again from Klipsch and to say I was blown away is an understatement. It has a large design, which I really like, not just the soundbar, but the 10 inch subwoofer as well. They have clearly gone for a design that will make you want to have this out in the open and on display. If a buddy coms round, he will now that this thing is going to produce some serious sound just by looking at it.
For the first sound test I went for the rather disappointing Transformers The Last Knight. Mainly because of how loud this movie is. Sound wise it was great, they have “horn loaded” technology which produces a very crystal clear 3D sound and really does give it that movie theater kind of sound that I love. I placed the subwoofer on the floor and I can tell you that this thing offers some serious bass and I was not actually prepared for how powerful it would be. I mean this in a good way, if you like your movies loud and intense, the sound this offers is just perfect for you.
Getting out of the box and set up took me no time at all and even if this is your first soundbar, it is so easy (as long as you have the right cables) that you will have no trouble. After I connected it to my TV and Blu-Ray player, I messed around a little with the Bluetooth connectivity which was simple and was cool taking music from my phone and having it come out of the soundbar. Sound quality was great and I see this as a nice little bonus.
I know that this is very close to the $500 mark, but we are looking at the best soundbars between $300 to $500 and in terms of sound quality, I would have to say that this one here is the best.
6. Samsung HW-M550 3.1 Channel 340 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar
- Price is not too bad
- Nice 3.1 set up
- Not very large
- Bluetooth connectivity
- HDMI makes it easy to set up
- What is the deal with that HDMI logo?
- Bass might not have as much kick as you would like
Now this one here I have not personally tested, but as I am a big Samsung fan, I wanted to take a look at it. The design at first glance is really nice, I like how they have gone for a slim and sleek look, but what were they thinking with that HDMI logo on the front? Sure most of you will not care, but I think it stands out like a sore thumb.
This is a 3.1 set up and from what I have read, people are very happy with the sound. One thing that Samsung talk about with this is sports and how it gives great ambiance for sports. I found this pretty interesting and if you are into sports as much as you are movies, it does make this a soundbar worth taking a closer look at.
As you can tell from the large lettering on the front, HDMI is the easiest way to connect to this and that makes it very easy to set up. For people who hate a load of cables behind their TV, HDMI really is the way to go, plus you get a nice rich sound from it as well. Like other soundbars, Bluetooth connectivity is offered so you can stream things like Spotify from your phone through this which is always a nice touch.
I really like the sound you get from a 3.1 set up, especially when you are sitting right in front of it, so this is a soundbar that I would love to test out. Samsung are known for making good soundbars, so if you have a Samsung TV and want a matching soundbar, I think this is worth taking a look at.
7. Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1Ch 400W 45″ Sound Bar with 8” Wireless Subwoofer & Rear Satellite Speakers
- Tons of speakers!
- Comes with a powerful wireless subwoofer
- Rear speakers included
- Has a very cool design
- Plenty of connectivity options
- Costs close to 500 bucks
- Rear speakers may not be ideal for smaller rooms
You have no idea how much I wish I was sent this monster too, test out! Now, this is really cool. There are a few versions of this, but the one I am looking at is the $499 version which is at the high end of our price range.
The actual soundbar has six speakers on it, two center, and two each for left and right, add to this a set of rear speakers and a subwoofer and you have the full cinema experience at home with this. If you are looking for a really complete set up and want to stay in that 500 bucks price range, you need to take a closer look at this… I know that I am dying to. The reviews all say that the sound this offers is wonderful which is nice to hear.
Of course with the subwoofer and the extra speakers there is a little bit more set up here than some people may be comfortable. But once you connect it to your devices, I am sure you will have no trouble with those rear speakers. Plus the little bit of work you have to do will be well worth it.
I know that the price is expensive and this thing is very large, but man it is so cool and ideal if you take your movies really seriously. For a home theater, I really do think that this would be great.
What Is The Best Soundbar Between $300 To $500?
Wow talk about a tough choice! Out of the five I tested, the Sony was actually the weakest and even then, it did what it was supposed to do well. I just feel that at this price range it could have been better. For me the winner has to be the Klipsch HD Theater SB 3 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer, with the other Klipsch coming in at a close second. Yes it is the most expensive one, but I am a guy who loves high quality sound. Not only does this deliver that, it looks really, really cool in the process. I promise that if you have a budget priced soundbar or are even still just using the speakers that your TV has, you will be blown away by this.