With technology evolving, TV sets are becoming less thicker thus hugely impacting the sound they give out. Compared to the Traditional TV panel, modern TVs have weak and tiny audios that make it hard to listen to music or bring out cinematic moments like explosions when watching movies. Luckily, a soundbar can help in solving sound problems that come with such a modern TV. But, with many options out there, today were are going to keep it under 500. So, this is a review of the best soundbar under 500 dollars.
Summary of the Best Three Soundbars under 500
1. Samsung MS650 – Best Soundbar Under 500
With such a simple soundbar, one would wonder how this soundbar made to the top of this list. Well, it has fantastically powerful sound, supports more sources than most soundbars and no need for an external subwoofer to get that base out. View on Amazon
2. ZVOX SB500 – Runner’s Up
With an aluminum cabinet finish, Innovative circuit design and high-performance drivers, the ZVOX SB500 is one of the best bass soundbars we have reviewed. We highly recommend the ZVOX SB500 to anyone looking for the best soundbar without straining your pocket. View the soundbar on Amazon.
3. VIZIO SB3621– Best Value Soundbar
If you are looking for a cheap soundbar option in the market, the Vizio SmartCast SB3621 is here for you. With a great and sturdy design, this is one of the best sounding soundbar at such a low price. View on amazon.
With that said, here is a list of our best soundbars under 500
|Samsung Electronics Sound+ MS650||In-Built|
|Polk Audio MagniFi Mini||Wireless Subwoofer|
|Q Acoustics M4||In-Built|
|VIZIO SB3621n||Wireless Subwoofer|
|Yamaha YAS-207BL||Wireless Subwoofer|
|Razer Leviathan||Wired Subwoofer|
Best Soundbars Under 500
1. Samsung Electronics Sound+HW-MS650/ZA Review – Best Soundbar Under 500
Apart from being a soundbar that costs slightly under 500 Dollars, the Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar is by far one the best soundbar you can get out there and our best soundbar under 500.
Samsung has been at the forefront of producing consumer electronics. But, with their interest in the audio market, Samsung has invested to produce a wide range of diverse speaker offerings that have seen them surpass the traditional market brands.
With the HW-MS650 soundbar, Samsung might have just come up with one of the best audio product that comes with an affordable price tag to it.
The MS650 comes with box, i.e., it does not come with a separate subwoofer. But the lack of a subwoofer should not fool you into thinking you will be missing the bass in your sound, no.
The front of the soundbar is a grille that houses the nine drivers that come with this soundbar. At the right side is a small display which can be switched off if you do not require it. The display shows basic information such as input method but the characters it displays are limited to only three.
On the right-hand end, you will see buttons that should control the primary functions of the soundbar. They include the power button, input button, and the volume up and down buttons.
For connectivity, the soundbar comes with a Digital optical in, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, an HDMI in and out (ARC – Audio Return Channel) that supports 4K HDR. That’s not all the connectivity this Samsung soundbar has to offer, it also has Wi-Fi to allow connection to your Samsung TV, popular Bluetooth support and comes with support for Samsung Multi-room that lets you play music straight from your phone over to your soundbar.
The soundbar comes with a pair of wall mount brackets that can be used to hand the soundbar.
For a soundbar with no external subwoofer, I would rate the sound of the Samsung MS650 as fantastic. Each of the nine speakers is driven by its amplifier canceling any bass distortion and giving out crisp and precise sounding bass. The bass should be enough for a small to a medium-sized room.
For most music, we tested the HW-MS650 excelled with reproducing sounds with natural tone. I also tested the soundbar with the World War 2 drama ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ but the HW-MS650 could not deliver the full intensity of the battlefield scenes. I swapped the MS650 for the SB500, and I can attest to the might of the SB500 that improved the scale and impact of the film. On the upside, for dialogue, the MS650 remained clear than the SB500.
2. ZVOX SB500 Sound Bar Review
If you are looking for one of the best soundbars under 500 Dollars, then the ZVOX SB500 soundbar is one of the best choices we have tested in the market. Apart from the low price-tag that comes up with the SB500, the soundbar features great quality sound and a simple design.
When un-boxing the ZVOX SB500, you notice the overall finish of the soundbar. The soundbar comes with an aluminum cabinet and a metal speaker grille that improves the overall sturdiness of this soundbar.
The sides of the ZVOX SB500 soundbar feature either the controls or the bass opening of the soundbar. The right side contains houses the controls, which include; power button, volume up and down buttons and input selection button.
There are also different inputs that are integrated with the soundbar. They include a single digital connection (coaxial or optical (Toslink) are available), Bluetooth, and analog stereo input. A remote control comes with the soundbar.
Now for the performance of this soundbar, but First, I would like to say connecting the SB500 to my LED flat screen was easy and fast. Just plugged the soundbar to power, and then connected the optical cable from the soundbar to my TV.
Here is how thing went on. First, to test the sound I used Sia’s new album ‘This Acting’ and the soundbar did exceptionally well. The sound it delivered was amazing, detailed and very clear. Coupled with a custom built-in 140-watt amp and a circuit named MegaBass for controlling the bass response, the SB500 bass response is on point.
I also watched a season of Game of Thrones with the soundbar plugged in. On the opening music, the SB500 renders the string tone perfectly, and the massed chorus voices are also clear. Clarity of sounds is better, and you can hear all the music lines without them sounding like they are smeared together. The words on the dialogue are also crisp and clear which is what pulls you into the story.
3. Polk Audio MagniFi Review – Best Small Soundbar
Next on our list is the Polk Audio MagniFi Soundbar. The Polk is relatively a small soundbar that delivers what it is meant to do, i.e., give better music to your TV set.
Out of the box, The Polk Audio MagniFi mini soundbar does not look anything like a traditional soundbar, to me; it looked more like a typical Bluetooth speaker. Its small size means it is less likely to block your TV’s infrared remote sensor.
For the design, I would say the MagniFi packs a lot into a small space. It comes with two tweeters and four drivers. The mini soundbar also comes with a 7.4-inch wireless subwoofer that aids in putting out the bass sound.
It’s design the MagniFi mini uses plastic and cloth as it materials of construction. It lacks an onscreen display instead of a set of lights on the front show the input selection and the volume details. It also comes with a remote that feature the essential functions such as power and volume buttons to the likes of buttons meant to switch between different sound modes and inputs.
For connectivity, the MagniFi mini soundbar offers several ways for connection, both wired and wireless. It comes with a digital optical audio input, a 3.5 mm analog input, an HDMI input that requires an HDMI ARC and an Ethernet port to help in connecting to your network.
For wireless connection, you can choose between the Bluetooth audio or try the Google Cast over a WI-Fi connection. With Google Cast, you will be able to use your Android, iOS or Chrome app to stream video and audio to the soundbar.
The Polk Audio MagniFi mini impressed with both music and movies. I tested the soundbar using the TV show ‘Gilmore Girls,’ the dialogue was clear and resonant. Testing with ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, the subwoofer delivered satisfying rumbles during the laser shots and explosions.
For music, I tested the soundbar using ‘Starboy’ by the Weeknd and ‘Million Reasons’ by Lady Gaga. The vocals by the Weeknd were full and clear above a rumbling bass while Lady Gaga’s voice soared the piano chords. However, on other songs that I used to test the soundbar, the sound tremble could come out harsh especially where musical instruments were used heavily.
4. Q Acoustics M4 Review
Popularly known as M4, the Q Acoustics M4 soundbar is no ordinary looking soundbar. In fact, it is one the soundbar in this list apart from the Razer Leviathan that comes in a unique shape.
Out of the box, the trapezoidal shape is something you notice first. The Q Acoustics M4 is quite big than most soundbars and may block your TV’s sensor if placed near your Tv set.
The Q Acoustics M4 comes in a solid built MDF construction. Unlike most soundbars that are plastic made, you can expect a long lasting soundbar with the M4. A tough metal speaker mesh and a textured matt top panel complete the M4’s design.
It also comes with a small remote. The remote comprises five buttons, volume up and down, mute, input and power.
For connectivity, the Q Acoustics M4 comes with an optical digital port, two analog ports ( RCA and 3.5mm inputs), However, the M4 lacks the HDMI ports leaving everything to the optical digital input port.
The soundbar does not come with Wi-fi connectivity but includes Bluetooth with AptX capabilities. To transmit audio, Bluetooth uses SBC which stands for Low Complexity SubBand coding. This is compressed audio much like mp3 and was not designed with perfect audio in mind. But, with AptX, you will get your full audio band at a ‘ CD-like’ quality.
For the performance bit of the soundbar, I first started with the Bluetooth, playing Eminem’s without me. The bass kept the music bouncing along, and there was a decent level of detail in the track. At low volumes, there was no shortage of detail or dynamics, and when turned up the soundbar handled on pretty good.
Compared to other soundbars that came with in-built subwoofers, particularly the Zvox SB500, the Q Acoustics M4 lacked a strong bass punch but did excel with dynamics.
If you are looking for a simple soundbar, plug and play and well built, then the Q Acoustics Media 4 soundbar is a decent sounding soundbar to buy.
5. VIZIO SB3621n Review
If you are looking for a budget-friendly soundbar, then the Vizio SB3621 is one of the best sounding affordable soundbars in the market.
First, to the design, the SB3621 comes in a compact design making it easy to integrate the soundbar into your current space.
Out of the box, the soundbar comes with a subwoofer, a remote and wall mounting brackets.
The top of the soundbar features some basic controls, and they include, power, input change, Bluetooth and volume adjustment buttons.This controls also feature on the remote control.
The remote has decent size, and you will not have to worry about it being lost between your chair’s cushions. You can use the remote to change the input source, adjust the bass, treble, and volume of the soundbar and switch between movie and music settings.
Connecting the SB3621 soundbar was quite easy, and that is part of the love I got for this affordable soundbar. First, you get the optical input for sound, which is what I used. You also get a 3.5 mm connectivity auxiliary input. The soundbar also supports Bluetooth connectivity. But, in case you are wondering where the HDMI inputs and outputs are, well, there are none! This means you will have to use your TV set as the connection hub for your entertainment peripherals and send the audio to the soundbar for output.
Funny though, the soundbar comes with a USB port that can only play WAV files.
For sound performance tests, the Vizio SB3621 came up top in the clarity of its dialogue. However, even with DTS capabilities, the Vizio SB3621 did not come up top in surround simulation.
Lastly, I would like to say the Vizio SB3621 soundbar is a great sounding soundbar at its price range.
6. Yamaha Yas-207 Soundbar review
Yamaha has been one of the best manufacturers of musical instruments and home theater gadgets in the world.
The Yamaha Yas-203, the predecessor of the Yas-207, has been one of my long favorite soundbars in the market. Yamaha was announcing a new replacement; I was quite curious if the Yas-207 would live up to the glory of the Yas-203.
So, let get into the review.
With a low price range, the Yamaha Yas-207 might be of the best soundbar under 300 dollars. In our tests, the Yamaha Yas-207 had the same sound output quality as the Vizio SB3621, a cheaper soundbar, but more immersive.
Out of the box, you will get a rounded soundbar that is wrapped in an acoustic mesh and topped with silk vinyl material. In the box, you will also get the accompanying wireless sub-woofer. Other accessories out of the box include a pair of power cables, an optical output digital cable and a small remote with its batteries included. For those who would like to connect to the soundbar using an HDMI cable, you will have to buy one as the package does not include one.
To connect the soundbar to my TV, I used the HDMI sockets, which enable and support 4K and HDR output. The soundbar provides an expansive sound-stage, impressive detail, and bombastic bass. Compared to other soundbars in this price range, it is a solid choice.
The audio in movies we tested came out better. But, if you feel the audio is lacking clarity, there is a ‘clear voice’ button on the remote that can further enhance it.
Yamaha was the first soundbar manufacturer to add the support for DTS virtual: X and surround for their soundbar the Yamaha Yas-207. However, you will need to update the firmware to get the current DTS Virtual.
Unfortunately, for the Yamaha Yas-207, the only supported streaming connectivity is Bluetooth. Other cheaper soundbars such as the LG SH7B support WiFi connectivity which allows music streaming over your home WiFi network.
7. Razer Leviathan Review – Best Gaming Soundbar
Razer has best in the forefront of producing gaming devices such as gaming mice, keyboards, and headsets. Well, Razer has now ventured into the sound industry by releasing a bass packed gaming soundbar.
Unboxing the Leviathan soundbar, you get an all black soundbar that measured around 4.5 pounds. On the front are a metal speaker grill that guards two tweeters and two full range. The trademark logo of Razer is mid situated on the front and the power button above.
Other standard control buttons come on top of the soundbar. They include volume up and down, input selector, dedicated buttons for turning off and on DVS, and buttons for switching between game, movie and music equalizer presets.
The soundbar also lacks a remote control. Of course, this would not be an issue if you use the soundbar on your desk as compared to sitting in front of your coach where you would need to get up and press the buttons on the soundbar itself.
The subwoofer is similarly small with round corners and tapering towards the top side where another Razer logo sits. Sadly the subwoofer is not wireless and requires a cable to connect to the soundbar.
For connectivity, the soundbar comes with a 3.5 mm jack, an optical connection and Bluetooth for wireless connection.
Backed up by DVS technology, Razer claims that the soundbar could emulate a 5.1 experience. So, I set out to test it.
Despite the small size the Razer Leviathan possessed, it produced a big sound. I tested the soundbar by playing call of duty 4: Modern Welfare on my PC. The sound produced was more immersive than my normal speakers, and the virtual surround made me feel as if I was in action. The bass also improved the gaming experience too much bass in some scenes over-matched the dialogue.
For music, I liked the wide field of sound this razer soundbar produced. But, the lack of crisp details in songs made some parts just fall flat.
Overall, the Razer Leviathan is a great soundbar. For gamers, this would be a solid option but, for music and movie lovers, I think there are much better soundbars in this list to choose from.
Conclusion – Wrapping Up
Well, there you have it, the list of the best soundbars under 500 you can purchase. With only 500 dollars, you get a soundbar that meets your expectations and without you breaking the bank. We have reviewed seven soundbars which give you a list of several soundbars to check against. Our choice remains the Samsung MS650 as the best soundbar under 500 dollars.