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Best cheap soundbar deals 2021: LG, Samsung, Sony, more

Would you like to experience cinematic sound from the comfort of your home? Why, of course you do! Whether it's the latest Hollywood blockbuster or a binge-worthy Netflix series, a decent soundbar will improve your viewing immeasurably. But (just as importantly) it'll do the job simply and cheaply, especially if you pick up a deal on a top-class model.


If 50 per cent of the movie-going experience is sound, when you watch films at home you're probably missing half the action. Why? Well, brace yourselves as there's no easy way to say this: your TV's speakers aren't much to write home about. As flat-panel technology improves and TVs get thinner, real estate for drivers is ever diminishing and your TV's in-built speakers have an almost impossible task to deliver sound that matches up with the dizzying visuals onscreen. Don't feel bad though, there is a cost-effective way to hear dialogue more clearly and up the ante with film soundtracks. Just grab yourself a great-value soundbar.

Soundbars are an easy and space-efficient way of boosting your TV's sound performance without cluttering your lounge with multiple speakers and a chunky AV amplifier. Just put a soundbar in front of your TV (or below it if you're wall-mounting) and you're good to go!

Here's our pick of the best deals from online retailers on a selection of sound-boosting TV soundbar solutions. Oh, and don't forget, we've also got a dedicated Best soundbars buying guide, and a special feature which will show you how to choose and set up a soundbar, so there'll be no issues when it arrives.

The best budget soundbar deals live right now

LG SP8YA

LG SP8YA Dolby Atmos soundbar $800 $450 (save $350) at Best Buy
This Dolby Atmos soundbar with a wireless sub has many the connectivity and features of LG's higher-end models. There's eARC, plus another HDMI 2.1 input with 4K Dolby Vision and HDR10 pass-through as well as an optical input and a USB port. Streaming is well catered for too, alongside Bluetooth and wi-fi, there’s Chromecast and Apple Airplay 2. Sonically this 3.1.2 package punches above its weight with a broad, vibrant soundstage that can easily match the cinematic scale of larger screens. It can also be upgraded to 5.1.2 by the addition of the SPK8 2.0 surround kit Four stars.

$349

Yamaha YAS-209 $349 $299 at Crutchfield (save $50) This is a soundbar capable of delivering big, weighty movie soundtracks with expertly placed and exciting surround effects, while also ensuring crucial elements such as dialogue are clear and well projected. There’s a single 4K and HDR-compatible HDMI input and ARC-enabled HDMI output. There’s also an optical input and an ethernet socket. There's also Wifi and Bluetooth on board for easy streaming. Four stars

Samsung HW-Q800A

Samsung Q800A Dolby Atmos soundbar $900 $497 (save $403) at Walmart
Very few soundbar subs perform as well as Samsung's 3.1.2 Q800A with a muscular, room-filling sound and a gut-busting bass, all contained within a relatively small package. Not only does the Q800A offer Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, but it also has a broad feature set. Alongside two HDMI ports (one equipped with eARC) and an optical input, there’s Bluetooth and, once connected to wi-fi, you can stream via Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2, all of which can be controlled by the built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Four stars.

Sony HT-SF150

Sony SF100 soundbar $128 $99 at Target (save $29)
If you're looking for a simple, constructive step up in sound from your TV's in-built speakers, Sony's SF150 offers a significant sonic enhancement for little outlay. Alongside HDMI ARC, it has an optical input supporting Dolby Digital, Dolby Dual mono and LPCM 2ch. There's also a USB port and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity for music playback from an external source too. To boost your cinema experience there's also Sony's S-Force Front Surround technology on-board, which applies processing to give the acoustic impression of a more encompassing sound stage. Four stars.

JBL Bar 2.1

JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass $350 $300 at Walmart (save $50)JBL's entry-level 'bars are popular because they provide a big improvement to your TV's sound on a budget. The Bar 2.1 Deep Bass adds a wireless subwoofer to boot. The sub's 6-1/2" down-firing woofer promises a low-end rumble worthy of its name and the bar is no slouch either, housing six drivers – four long-excursion racetrack-shaped drivers and two 1" dome tweeters. It's a lot for this price.

 

Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre.