Looking for an affordable way to elevate your television or music experience? Consider one of these affordable plug-and-play soundbars.
Apart from the lighting and perfectly edited visuals, it’s safe to say that it is the sound at live concerts, nightclubs or movies that makes the biggest difference. That feeling of how it surrounds you, almost engulfing you and making your heart beat faster as the plot thickens in the movie; it’s an experience unlike any other.
Unfortunately, most of the above have been put on an infinite pause thanks to COVID-19 restrictions.
So, if you’ve always wanted to replicate this experience at home, but are short on space or don’t want to shell out more than $1,000 for a specialised sound system, then a soundbar would be a great solution.
At just under $700, these six affordable plug-and-play soundbars are compact, sleek and fit perfectly on a television console or mounted against your wall, elevating your television or music experience at home.
|JBL||Cinema SB110 Soundbar||$399||HDMI and Bluetooth||Bundled with a remote control|
|LG||SL7Y 420W 3.1 Channel Soundbar System||$498.98||Bluetooth and Wi-Fi||Built-in Chromecast, Google Assistant compatible, bundled with a dedicated subwoofer|
|Sony||HT-X8500 Soundbar||$649||HDMI and Bluetooth||Bundled with a dedicated subwoofer|
|Sonos||Beam||$699||Optical, HDMI and Wi-Fi||Smarthome-ready, Amazon Alexa built-in, Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant compatible, and bundled with a remote control|
|Xiaomi Redmi||Soundbar 30W Home Theatre||$53.80||SPDIF and Bluetooth||–|
|Yamaha||Sound Bar YAS-108||$299||Optical, HDMI and Bluetooth||Amazon Alexa compatible and bundled with a remote control|
Dimensions: 950 x 90 x 55mm
Speaker output: 110W
Connectivity: HDMI, Bluetooth
Known for their colourful and waterproof portable speakers, JBL also produces a range of sleek soundbars for homes and offices. The Cinema SB110 Soundbar is a great entry-level soundbar that is not only easy to set-up and compact (comes with two built-in 2.5” subwoofers), but also provides great sound quality for its price.
Dimensions: 1060 x 57 x 85mm (soundbar), 171 x 393 x 248.5 (dedicated subwoofer)
Weight: 3.45kg (soundbar), 5.3kg (dedicated subwoofer)
Speaker output: 420W
Connectivity: HDMI, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
LG is more than just the go-to brand for television sets or fridges. Over the years, the South Korean company created pretty good audio systems and the SL7Y 420W is one of them. It is built with three front-facing speakers that are capable of a 420W output, comes with a dedicated subwoofer and features DTS technology that makes sound ‘wrap’ around you. Control the SL7Y 420W easily via remote control, or pair it to your smarthome’s hub or phone to enjoy hours of audio pleasure without ever getting up from your seat (couch potato for life!).
Want more sound? There’s the option to upgrade this soundbar set with the SPK8-S rear speakers for a truly surround sound experience.
Dimensions: 890 x 64 x 96mm
Speaker output: NA
Connectivity: HDMI, Bluetooth
Sony managed to pack features such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound technology in the Sony HT-X8500 2.1ch soundbar without a dedicated subwoofer. But the real achievement is how this soundbar is priced affordably at under $550. It also boasts a 7.1.2ch audio, which means that you can expect cinematic sound to fall on you from all directions, even from above. It features seven preset sound modes that include automatic, cinema, music, news, sports, standard and even gaming, which is specially created by Playstation developers to enhance game play (nifty!).
Sonos Beam, $699
Dimensions: 651 x 100 x 68mm
Speaker output: NA
Connectivity: HDMI, Wi-Fi
The Sonos Beam is slightly on the expensive side, but for good reason. Tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers, the Sonos Beam comes fully charged with an eight-driver speaker system (four full-range woofers for low-frequency sounds, one tweeter for high-frequency sounds, and three passive radiators for bass), adjustable bass and treble controls, and five far-field microphone arrays. It supports Apple’s Airplay 2, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assist — making it smart home ready.
Dimensions: 780 x 64 x 63mm
Speaker output: 30W
Connectivity: SPDIF, Bluetooth
When the Xiaomi Redmi Soundbar 30W Home Theatre is so affordably priced, it’s hard to say no. For just a little over $50 (approximately the cost of 8 or 9 lattes), you’ll get a soundbar that elevates your audio experience at home, but don’t expect it to provide the same depth or clarity of sound as the others on this list. All things considered, this is a pretty good soundbar for its price if what you’re after is an oversized mid-range portable speaker that you take along with you to the beach or bathroom.
Yamaha Sound Bar YAS-108, $299
Dimensions: 890 x 53 x 131mm
Speaker output: 120W
Connectivity: Optical, HDMI, Bluetooth
Yamaha makes more than just musical instruments and motorcycles, it has also been producing consumer audio devices for a while now. To achieve a movie theater-like sound experience, the YAS-108 comes equipped with DTS Virtual:X surround sound technology. The soundbar adds more audio punch with a cone woofer, two subwoofers and two dome tweeters. Controlling the soundbar can be done with the dedicated remote control or Home Theatre Controller mobile app that connects to the soundbar via Bluetooth. To top it all off, this Yamaha soundbar is Amazon Alexa compatible.
Since you would be spending quite a bit on your soundbar, don’t forget to charge it on the right card to earn reward points, cashback or even air miles. Don’t have one? Apply for one through our simple-to-use comparison tool below and you could get rewarded with attractive prizes or cash!
*Rewards may change at any time. Terms and conditions apply.
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By Geralyne Ong
A lover of gin and all things Nigella Lawson, Geralyne’s a big believer of #Adulting. She spends her leisure time serving fur-babies and doing as many mountain climbers and kettlebell swings as she possibly can.