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How to Connect Soundbar to TV Without Optical Output

tv connected to a soundbar without optical output

There are some TVs with such bad sound output, it makes you wonder how modern they are. Even with all the advancements TV has gone through in the past couple of years, many have refused to modernize their speakers. Soundbars are speakers in the shape of a bar that increase your TV’s sound quality.

Most commonly, soundbars connect to TVs through optical output. However, if you don’t have this option, or can’t use it for some reason, what alternatives are there?

wall mounted tv connected to a soundbar without optical output
Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

The options available for connecting soundbars to TVs without optical output are  Bluetooth, HDMI, AUX cables, or RCA cables. There is also an option of an auxiliary device that transforms coaxial cables to another type of connection.

We Think You’ll Like: Best Soundbar Under 100

Whatever reason you may have for ditching optical output, you can find several other options to connect your TV. Read on as we detail each of these options below.

Ways to Connect Soundbar to TV without Optical Output

ways to connect soundbar to tv without optical output
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Using bluetooth

Bluetooth speakers have become quite popular in the market. This is the most convenient and easiest way to connect your TV to the soundbar. Part of their convenience is that there are no cables in play. The main advantage that wireless connection gives is a less cluttered media room. 

However, you can only use Bluetooth if your TV is also Bluetooth-enabled. To find out whether your device is Bluetooth enabled, read the specs on your TV manual or call customer support and inquire about it. If your TV is Bluetooth enabled, then you will have to activate Bluetooth before connecting.

Different TVs come with specific instructions on how to activate Bluetooth. You can find these instructions on the source options or by going through the manual.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a Bluetooth-enabled device; you still have options. You can consider buying a Bluetooth transmitter that converts the audio devices to a Bluetooth device. This way, you would pair the Bluetooth transmitter to the soundbar. Then you would hear sounds from your TV through the soundbar.

Using HDMI

using HDMI cable as alternative if optical cable is not available
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

In order to use HDMI, your TV has to support HDMI-ARC. ARC, Audio Return Channel, is a connector that aids your TV in receiving and sending audio. Most HDMI cables are input only, meaning they only receive data without sending information from the TV.

Therefore, before settling on this option, make sure your TV set supports HDMI-ARC, which enables sound to travel on both sides of the cable. Without the ARC, your TV can receive data but will not be able to send it out, which will make the HDMI cable useless.

For TVs that come with an HDMI-ARC connection, you simply have to plug in the HDMI cable to connect the TV to the soundbar. First, plug the cable into the TV and then plug the other side into the soundbar. Depending on the type of soundbar, you may have a few additional steps to complete the connection.

Many people prefer HDMI over Bluetooth because HDMI has the capacity to transmit larger uncompressed audio data. It can handle sound formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS, and 7.1 Surround sound. 

Using RCA cables

using rca cables
Image by PDPics on Pixabay

You may recognize these as colorful cables that often come in red, yellow, and white (or black). The red and white wires produce the right and left audio channels while the yellow one transmits video.

These cables are commonly used to hook up VCR and CD players to TV sets. You can also use an RCA cable to connect to game consoles, cd players, cable boxes, or satellite receivers. 

Some people have trouble connecting RCA cables due to their color-coding. Make sure you check your TV manual to ensure the correspondence between plugs and ports.  Typically, though, it should be simple. Just place the various cables according to the colors in the audio ports. Input the red and white one in the soundbar and the yellow one in the TV.

Before connecting your RCA cables, ensure both your devices are switched off. After a successful connection, you can proceed to turn your devices back on.

In case there is no sound or video, consider making sure the plugs are all the way inserted because the plug has to lock with the port to work.

One downside to RCA cables is that they only translate left and right audio signals, and therefore, they cannot efficiently produce surround sound. To solve this problem without getting a new TV set, consider using an AV-RCA to HDMI adapter. However, for lower-resolution audio, RCA cables are a cheap solution that will get the job done.

Using AUX input

audio jack cables with stereo adapters above white background
Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer via Flickr

AUX stands for auxiliary, and it is used to connect audio input and output from various devices such as smartphones, speakers, and TVs. Most soundbars come with their own AUX port. In addition to the port, you also need the AUX cable. If your soundbar did not come with an AUX cable, consider purchasing one. They are inexpensive.

AUX ports are available on a wide variety of devices. To use the AUX port, connect the AUX cable to the soundbar and the other end to the TV set. Both devices can be on while making this connection.

After a successful connection, you will hear sound coming from the soundbar. If not, consider exchanging the sides from the TV to the soundbar. If this is not successful, consider manually switching on AUX settings on both devices.

That said, the main disadvantage that comes with AUX cables is the quality of sound. Though the 3.5 mm AUX cables can transmit sound without a noticeable drop in quality, AUX cables can only be used for stereo output. That means they only work for the left and right speakers, so you can not access surround sound.

Therefore, if you are looking to set up a media room with excellent audio, you may want to consider a wireless option instead.

Using Wireless Connection Kits

Qualcomm aptX wireless connection kit
Image by Rydo87 via Wikimedia

If you want to go wireless and don’t have Bluetooth capability, consider using a wireless connection or conversion kit that can also work with AUX and RCA cables.

Other examples of wireless connections include Qualcomm aptX, radiofrequency, and Wifi. Qualcomm also uses Bluetooth, but it is a refined connection meant for high-resolution audio signals.

To connect older TVs with your soundbar, you can use RCA cables to connect via wireless conversion kits. Wireless connection kits can also use radio frequencies to establish a connection. They use 2.4Ghz to get better coverage.

Wifi is another option to transmit audio; however, it is the least popular mode of connection. The transmitter typically sends audio signals over the internet. The receiver proceeds to download the uncompressed audio signals and transmit them to the soundbar. It produces high-quality audio signals; however, it is dependent on internet speed.

Conclusion

HDMI and digital optical cables are the most common audio connection devices; however, these are not your only options. In case your television set does not support these connections, consider using a 3.5 mm auxiliary jack (AUX cable), RCA, or wireless connection.

Invest in options that cater to your audio needs. If you need high-resolution sound, consider using HDMI cables. If you don’t want your house cluttered or to deal with cables, consider going wireless. No matter your TV configuration, there is always a way to connect your soundbar to a TV without optical output. With the use of a little creativity, you will be able to harness that sweet simulated sound from your soundbar from any TV set.

How to Connect Soundbar to AV Receiver

soundbar av receiver

A receiver is the central component of your house media setup. If you do not understand how to attach it correctly, there may be issues. We realize how perplexing it might be for first-timers or newcomers. Therefore, we’ve produced a tutorial to assist you with connecting a soundbar to a receiver. Plus, an outline of the benefits of doing so.

Which Soundbars Can You Link With an AV Receiver?

soundbar connected to an av receiver of a smart tv
Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash

There are two types of soundbars, regardless of brand: active and passive. You can connect both to a receiver, but a passive soundbar will be more suitable. Because active soundbars are intended to be all-in-one devices, their design is not ideal for this connection.

So, to highlight, active soundbars include digital decoders, and they have surround sound efficiency. Integrated amplifiers, all in one tiny box, are the highlight. On the other hand, passive ones are a design that you can incorporate into the receiver. Because they lack an inbuilt amplifier mechanism, they require an outside source to create the best sound.

To get the best sound from passive, you must link each channel to an additional amp. If not, then consider a receiver. Passive soundbars might be more expensive than other prime soundbars. However, owing to their notable performance, they are good in terms of pricing.

What about active soundbars? Why would anyone attach this all-in-one gadget to a receiver? Well, to answer this, here are a few of the explanations.

We Think You’ll Like: Best Soundbar Under 100

Why Should You Connect a Soundbar to a Receiver?

soundbar connected to a receiver setup
Image by MAGstd on Pixabay

To make use of a receiver’s extensive setup and control options

Some consumers assume that the receiver has enough command overbalancing. As well as various adjustments that connect the soundbar, it will allow them to take consumption of the receiver’s aptitude.

However, this is not a suggested method. There are complex soundbars with various functions that you may use if you want additional options.

When you sense constraints and wish to utilize the receiver’s presets, the best option is to employ a passive soundbar. Or, you may attach regular loudspeakers to the receiver.

To utilize the soundbar as front three-channel loudspeakers (right, left, and center)

We don’t recommend this since active soundbars cannot function in this way. The front channels will merge and will cause sound quality to suffer.

There’s a good chance for all those who wish to employ active soundbars in this manner. They must install independent surround speakers to function as the back channels. Because they are incompatible, there will be an issue with combining soundbars and various speakers. Throughout the disks, the sound generated will be uneven.

To utilize the soundbar as a center channel speaker

Perhaps one of the most rational justifications for attaching the soundbar to a receiver is this. Nonetheless, it is not the best option.

If you utilize the active soundbar as the center band speaker, employ the additional speakers for the remaining channels. Furthermore, such distinct speakers are usually of various brands, dimensions, or styles, which is a disadvantage. Because of the diverse types and sizes, your music will differ radically on each loudspeaker. Generally, this does not provide a very pleasing sound.

You are connecting an active soundbar to a receiver. Do you want to link your soundbar to a receiver and utilize it as the audio input? Although that is not the rule, there are a few ways to do it. First, based on the techniques you use, ensure that you have the proper connecting interfaces and functional gadgets.

How to Connect Active and Passive Soundbars to Av Receiver Using Two Methods

Method #1 – Make use of an optical cable

optical cable to link a soundbar to a receiver
Image by blickpixel on Pixabay

You can only use this approach to link a soundbar to a receiver with a digital optic output connection.

  1. To begin, it is usually best to have the receiver turned off when connecting to your gadgets. Do this to avoid short-circuiting and other potential problems.
  2. Connect the optical cable’s one end to the receiver’s out port.
  3. Put the other end of the power cord into the soundbar optical in port.
  4. Ensure to double-check that the electronic encode requirements for the receiver and soundbar are the same. It will guarantee that there are no weird noises.
  5. Attach the receiver to your TV or other video display.
  6. Turn on the electricity.
  7. Then, configure the audio settings on the receiver to aim at the soundbar.
  8. Change the settings on the TV to allow audio output to the receiver.

Method #2 – Make use of an HDMI cable

HDMI cable as alternative if  optical cable is not available
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

Alternatively, you can use this approach if your receiver does not have a digital optical out connector.

  1. To begin, make sure that all of your gadgets (receiver, speaker, and tv) enable ARC (Audio Return Channel).
  2. Switch off the television, receiver, and soundbar.
  3. Attach one side of the HDMI wire to the HDMI ARC connection on the receiver.
  4. Next, connect the opposite end of the cable to the soundbar.
  5. Attach the HDMI cable, connecting the receiver to the TV.
  6. Switch on your gadgets.
  7. Modify the receiver’s configuration to allow HDMI control.
  8. Switch on the TV’s HDMI controller.
  9. Ensure to adjust the TV’s settings so that you can send the audio to the receiver.

A different approach using an HDMI cable

The receiver does not perform its regular audio operations with this method. Essentially, the receiver will manage all of the HDMI links. You can see the distinction when you deactivate the receiver’s audio functionality. However, remember that not all radios allow you to disable their audio functionality.

Rather than relying on the receiver to handle the audio information, link the soundbar to the tv straight through aux, optical, or RCA connection. The audio will now play via the soundbar, and the receiver will also function as an HDMI converter.

How to Connect a Passive Soundbar to AV Receiver

AV receiver where a passive soundbar can be connected
Image by MiRUTH_de on Pixabay

Passive soundbars are intended to be used in conjunction with a receiver. As a result, the setup is straightforward. Passive soundbars typically come in two forms, but they are easy to connect.

If the passive soundbar has a single channel, attach it straight to your receiver’s center output. To route all operations through the center channel, you may need to make some changes in your receiver’s menu system.

Your passive soundbar may contain three sets of speaker cables or channels. For this reason, you must label them clearly. There will be three channels: one in the middle, one on the left, and one on the right. Attach each one to the receiver as needed.

Note that not all receivers are created equal. It is recommended that you first inspect the menu system to see what alternatives are available. If you do not own a subwoofer or any back speakers, you could be allowed to deactivate them. Instead, it will send the audio to your soundbar.

Final Verdict

You can link a soundbar to a receiver. However, it would help if you were prepared for unanticipated challenges. You are thinking beyond the boundaries with your home entertainment solution, which might lead to some unpleasant shocks. Therefore, you should consider whether you could better spend your time and money updating your current receiver and speakers.

Best Soundbar Under 100 in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

best soundbar under 100 below smart tv

Finding the right soundbar for your television or computer can be a bit tricky, especially when you are on a tight budget. Moreover, there is a common misconception that the more expensive an item, the better it is. However, that statement is not always true.

With the best soundbar under 100, you can enjoy excellent sound quality in your home. Additionally,  affordable soundbars prove that you do not have to spend your life’s savings to enjoy quality sound in your home. Nevertheless, there are dozens of cheap soundbars on the market today, and not all of them are created equal.

best soundbar under 100 paired with smart tv
Photo by Marques Kaspbrak on Unsplash

The numerous options make it somewhat challenging to find the best product that will provide high-quality sound and serve you for a long time. Fortunately, we are here to help you make the right choice. We have tested dozens of soundbars under 100 to compile a list of the best soundbar under 100 for you. Therefore, read on to see our expert picks.

How We Chose the Best Soundbars Under 100

We carried out extensive research to create our list of the best soundbar under 100. Furthermore, we tested many products and looked beyond the price of the products. Here are some of the vital things we considered:

Pricing:

The first thing we considered was the price of the products. Thus, we created a list and eliminated all the products over $100. We discovered that most of the products over that price range have very little difference in value.

Maximum Output Power:

soundbar with maximum output power inside a bedroom
Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

Many manufacturers advertise false information when marketing their products. Therefore, we tested the selected products to ensure the maximum output power is true to ensure you do not fall victim to that. Our list comprises only soundbars with impressive maximum output power. Moreover, some soundbars under 100 have better maximum output power than some expensive versions.

Connectivity:

We also checked the connectivity of the soundbars. The basic connection channel is Bluetooth. However, some people like to connect via an auxiliary cable or SPDIF. Hence, we chose products with versatile connectivity options.

Volume and Audio Quality:

We also paid close attention to the volume and sound quality of the soundbars. We ensured they were very audible. However, loudness is not enough, as quality matters too. Our list consists of only soundbars with high-quality sound and volume. Moreover, we looked at specific things such as the low, mid, and high frequencies to ensure balance. In addition to having a great sound, most of them have a dedicated subwoofer.

The Best Soundbar Under 100: Our 6 Top Picks

1. TCL Alto 6+ 2.1 Channel Dolby Audio Sound Bar – Overall Best Soundbar

TCL Alto 6+ 2.1 Channel Dolby Audio Sound Bar

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TCL is increasingly gaining dominance in the electronic market with its affordable range of electronics. Interestingly, this company makes not only cheap products but also high-quality electronics. TCL does not sacrifice quality for price in its electronics, which is the case with this soundbar from TCL.

The TCL Alto 6+ is one of the best soundbars you can get for under $100 on the market today. This soundbar has many great features that separate it even from the expensive models. We were impressed with the performance of this soundbar when we tested it.

The soundbar’s length is 32 inches, which is pretty much the standard length, and it weighs only 14.7 pounds. This unit produces a dynamic sound that immerses you in your favorite shows with a clearer, bigger sound. It comes with all the essential features you would expect from a soundbar.

The TCL Alto 6+ features a 2.1 channel setup, which some expensive soundbars come with. It comes with a wireless subwoofer that allows you to enjoy rich, deep bass to make your music and movies come to life. This soundbar has different sound modes for different events such as movies, music, and more.

We love how easy it is to set up. You can also connect it via Bluetooth, optical, or HDMI inputs, making it a highly versatile soundbar. It also features Dolby Digital decoding, which significantly enhances the device’s sound quality. In addition, the soundbar is Roku RV-ready, and it works with the TCL Roku TV remote.

Rating

  • Power Range: 7
  • Speaker Maximum Output Power: 8
  • Material Construction: 8
  • Cost: 8

Product Specs

Sound Formats: Dolby Digital
Connectivity:Bluetooth, 1 x HDMI, 1x Optical Digital
Voice Control: N/A
Remote Control: Yes
Channel Configuration: 2.4
Claimed Audio Power: N/A
Dimension: 31.5 x 2.4 x 4.2 inches (W x H x D)
Pros
  • High-quality sound
  • Roku TV integration
  • HDMI Arc
  • Clean and simple design
  • Different connectivity options
Cons
  • The sound enhancements are not very effective.

Why We Like It: Despite being cheap, this soundbar produces clear and high-quality sound. In addition, it features quality construction and will serve you for years.

2. Sony S100F 2.0 Channel Sound Bar – Best Standalone Soundbar

Sony S100F 2.0 Channel Sound Bar

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The next item on our list is the Sony S100F 2.0 Channel Soundbar. It is one of the most powerful soundbars under 100. Moreover, this soundbar is excellent for those who prefer standalone soundbars. This budget soundbar provides crystal clear sound. It also has a built-in subwoofer that delivers deep bass for a better experience.

The soundbar is not very loud, but it sounds better than a built-in TV speaker. Additionally, it features well-configured full-range speakers with impressive bass responses. It has a slim design, making it ideal for small spaces.

This unit also allows for easy setup with HDMI ARC. The integrated tweeter and voice enhancement feature provides an immersive movie experience. We also love the high power of this unit, as it offers impressive surround sound. The soundbar is 35.5 inches long and weighs only 6 pounds.

Rating

  • Power Range: 6
  • Speaker Maximum Output Power: 6
  • Material Construction: 8
  • Cost: 9

Product Specs

Sound Formats: Dolby Digital
Connectivity:Bluetooth, 1 x HDMI, 1x Optical Digital
Voice Control: N/A
Remote Control: Yes
Channel Configuration: 2.0
Claimed Audio Power: N/A
Dimension: 35.5 x 2.5 x 3.5 inches (W x H x D)
Pros
  • Perfectly designed for entertainment
  • Delivers clear, detailed, and punchy bass
  • Wall mountable
  • Compact and portable design
Cons
  • It lacks a dedicated subwoofer

Why We Like It: The Sony S100F is very cheap, and it comes with many great features at such an affordable rate. We also like the compact design and clear sound it produces.

Related: How to Sync Sony Sound Bar With TV Remote

3. BESTISAN Soundbar with Dual Bass Ports – Best Value for Money

BESTISAN Soundbar with Dual Bass Ports

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If you are looking for the best soundbar under 100 that offers excellent value for money, you should opt for the BESTISAN Soundbar. With less than $100, you can have this fantastic speaker that offers great quality sound.

Audio engineers design this soundbar to enhance your listening experience. Furthermore, it comes with wall brackets and a mounting template, making it easy to mount on the wall. You can also place it on a flat surface if you do not want to mount it on the wall.

It has three different equalizer modes to give you the best sound experience ever (dialogue, music, and movie mode). It also supports both wireless and wired connections. Bluetooth compatibility lets you connect this device to mobile devices, TVs, computers, and more. Hence, you can use this device to stream music on different platforms from your phone.

In addition to having a quality build, this unit delivers a high-quality, round audio experience. It also has dual bass ports to provide you with richer and deeper bass.

Rating

  • Power Range: 7
  • Speaker Maximum Output Power: 7
  • Material Construction: 7
  • Cost: 9

Product Specs

Sound Formats: PCM
Connectivity:Bluetooth, 1 x HDMI, 1x Optical Digital, RCA
Voice Control: N/A
Remote Control: Yes
Channel Configuration: 2.0
Claimed Audio Power: N/A
Dimension: 24.4 x 4 x 4.1 inches (W x H x D)
Pros
  • Compatible with multiple devices
  • Dual patented curved bass ports for deeper and richer bass
  • DSP technology
  • Advanced audio processor for clearer sound
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Not as loud as other devices

Why We Like It: We like this soundbar because of its three different equalizer modes. In addition, the soundbar is easy to mount and sounds awesome as well.

4. Wohome S89 Soundbar – Best Soundbar with Built-In Subwoofer

Wohome S89 Soundbar

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If you are looking for a good soundbar with a built-in subwoofer, Wohome is one of the best options to consider. It has a great movie and sound mode to provide you with a wide range of experiences. Moreover, the built-in subwoofer ensures that you will not miss out on the bass effect of your favorite music or movie.

With a 2.1 channel, this 28-inch soundbar provides super-clear sounds. It also features a DSP technology that allows you to choose the sound mode you want. Thanks to its design and connectivity options, installing this device is also a breeze. Additionally, it offers wireless connectivity (Bluetooth) and wired connection (AUX and optical cable).

It fits seamlessly into any home design or décor, making it ideal for big and small TVs. Furthermore, this soundbar has four different equalizer modes to fine-tune it to suit your listening needs. You can also mount it on the wall or keep it on a flat surface thanks to its design.

However, the volume of this device is a bit lower than other devices with a higher price tag. But that does not mean its sound is poor; it produces excellent quality sound. It also comes with many features that the high-end soundbars come with.

Rating

  • Power Range: 7
  • Speaker Maximum Output Power: 7
  • Material Construction: 7
  • Cost: 8

Product Specs

Sound Formats: N/A
Connectivity:Bluetooth, 1 x HDMI, 1x Optical Digital, USB, AUX, RCA
Voice Control: N/A
Remote Control: Yes
Channel Configuration: 2.1
Claimed Audio Power: N/A
Dimension: 28 x 2.9 x 4 inches (W x H x D)
Pros
  • Compact design and easy to install
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Four different equalizer modes
  • Offers great value for money
Cons

Why We Like It: We love this soundbar because of its robust built-in subwoofer. It has four speakers to give you the massive sound experience you desire.

5. Creative Stage 2.1 Channel Soundbar with Subwoofer – Best Portable Soundbar

Creative Stage 2.1 Channel Soundbar with Subwoofer

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If you are looking for the best soundbar under 100 that will not take up a lot of space, you should consider this option. The Creative Stage soundbar measures only 21 inches in length, making it an excellent choice for those with tight spaces.

One of the most amazing things about this soundbar is its dedicated subwoofer. The dedicated subwoofer will give you massive, deep, and super-rich bass. In addition, it is designed to change your movie and music experience. Moreover, the subwoofer and the soundbar are 40W, producing a peak power of 160W.

This unit also has a remote control, so you do not always have to walk up to it to adjust the volume or change the mode. It also has different connectivity options, including Bluetooth connectivity, AUX, optical audio input, ARC, and USB. Thus, you can connect the device to your TV, Mac, PC, and smartphone. You can also plug a flash drive into the USB port to play music directly.

It also has a subtle and sleek design that blends into any interior décor. The remote also offers preset EQ selection such as music, movies, gaming, and concert mode. It comes with a single built-in power plug for a clutter-free connection.

Rating

  • Power Range: 8
  • Speaker Maximum Output Power: 7
  • Material Construction: 9
  • Cost: 7

Product Specs

Sound Formats: PCM
Connectivity:Bluetooth, 1x Optical Audio Input, USB, AUX, HDMI ARC
Voice Control: N/A
Remote Control: Yes
Channel Configuration: 2.1
Claimed Audio Power: N/A
Dimension: 21.6 x 3 x 2.75 inches (W x H x D)
Pros
  • Super lightweight and portable
  • Dedicated subwoofer
  • Play audio from USB drives
Cons
  • It might be too small for some setups

Why We Like It: This soundbar has a dedicated subwoofer that produces a super amazing bass effect. Moreover, it can fit in any tight space and provide you with a fantastic experience when listening to your favorite song or seeing a movie.

6. Roku Streambar Streaming Media Player – Best Multifunctional Soundbar

Roku Streambar Streaming Media Player

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The last on our list is the Roku Streambar Streaming Media Player. The Roku Streambar is one of the most feature-rich soundbars on the market. It comes with many great features to satisfy your listening pleasure. Roku designed this soundbar to upgrade the sound quality of your TV set. You can also enjoy 4K audio streaming with this unit.

It has a very simple and compact design, making it ideal for any space. Despite being compact, this soundbar provides excellent sound quality. You can also enjoy premium music with this budget soundbar, thanks to the 100+ free audio channels it offers.

Connecting this device to other devices is also easy, and you can do that via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Another stunning feature of this soundbar is its voice remote control. The voice control makes the device easy and exciting to use.

This soundbar would make you feel like you are in the center of a home theater. It is loud and provides a clear, sharp sound. In addition to being portable, the soundbar features a lightweight design. It features Dolby audio and four internal speakers to fill your room with pure, clean sound. This device will make you love the new sound of your TV.

Rating

  • Power Range: 8
  • Speaker Maximum Output Power: 9
  • Material Construction: 8
  • Cost: 7

Product Specs

Sound Formats: Dolby Digital
Connectivity:Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB, Optical input
Voice Control: Yes
Remote Control: Yes
Channel Configuration: 2.1
Claimed Audio Power: N/A
Dimension: 14 x 4.2 x 2.4 inches (W x H x D)
Pros
  • Provides rich and clear sound
  • Easy to setup
  • Voice control
  • 4K streaming
Cons
  • Limited wired connectivity

Why We Like It: We like the Roku soundbar for its extensive functionality. It comes with the features of a high-end soundbar, including voice control and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Things You Should Consider When Looking for the Best Soundbar under 100

soundbar with a remote control
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Getting a soundbar is no longer a daunting task, as many options are on the market. However, what is more difficult is getting a good soundbar, especially when your budget is below $100.

You need to look out for some vital things when buying a soundbar, regardless of how cheap it is. To help you make the right choice, here are the key things you should consider when buying a soundbar under 100.

●    Channels

The channel of a soundbar is the point through which the sound is projected. The higher the channels of a soundbar, the more surround sound experience it would provide. The best you can get at this price range is a 2.0 or 2.1 soundbar.

A soundbar with 2.0 channels means it has two channels, whereas a soundbar with 2.1 means two channels and one subwoofer. Our list comprises soundbars with 2.0 and 2.1 channels. The expensive models come with 5.1 channels, 7.1 channels, and more.

Fortunately, a 2.0 or 2.1 channel soundbar is enough to upgrade your built-in TV speakers. We have selected the best options to provide you with high-quality and clear sound.

●    Connectivity

The connectivity of a soundbar is another vital thing you need to consider. You do not want to spend your hard-earned money to buy a soundbar that is not compatible with your TV. Hence, you should check the device’s connectivity to ensure you can connect it to your TV and other devices you want to connect it with.

Opt for a soundbar with both wireless and wired connectivity options. Having a wide range of connection possibilities will make your device more flexible. The first wireless connection option to consider is Bluetooth.

The other wired options include HDMI, optical cord, RCA, USB, and AUX. You want to make sure the device you choose has all or most of those wired connection options. HDMI is necessary to enjoy a super clear sound and easy connection.

Some soundbars also come with two HDMI ports, which allows you to connect two devices simultaneously. However, you will hardly find such a feature on budget soundbars. Hence, before making your final buy decision, ensure the soundbar has a connectivity option compatible with your TV or device.

●    Voice or Remote Control

Gone are when people have to walk to the TV set to adjust the volume or change the channel. Since you no longer have such experience with your TV, you do not want to experience it with your soundbar.

Hence, you should avoid soundbars without any remote or voice control. The remote control makes the soundbar easy and convenient to use. It allows you to control your device from the comfort of your couch without having to stand up. You do not need to get close to the device to adjust the volume or mode.

Some devices also come with voice control, which reduces the stress of pressing buttons. Hence, you should opt for a soundbar with remote control and onboard buttons.

The onboard buttons also come in handy when you misplace the remote control. However, if you want convenience and ease of use, the soundbar must have a remote control.

●    Subwoofer

Buying a cheap soundbar does not mean you have to settle for less. A subwoofer plays a vital role in sound systems. It adds quality to the sound and enhances your listening pleasure. Many cheap soundbars do not come with subwoofers, while a few do.

Interestingly, some of the options on our list come with dedicated subwoofers. If you cannot find a cheap soundbar with a separate subwoofer, you should opt for one with a built-in subwoofer. We also listed products with wireless subwoofers, which gives you the freedom to place them wherever you want.

If you are opting for a soundbar with a dedicated subwoofer, you should consider the size of the subwoofer. Make sure the device can fit into the space you have. Your TV’s size would also play a role in the size of the subwoofer you choose. Some subwoofers are best suited for 55-inch TVs and above.

●    Size

The size of the soundbar is another thing you need to pay close attention to. When buying a soundbar, you need to consider the sound bar placement and space you want to keep it. The available space you have would determine the size of the soundbar to buy.

Soundbars have different placement positions. You can place some on a flat surface or hang them on the wall. Whatever option it is, you want to make sure you have enough room for it. Soundbars come in different sizes and lengths.

If you want to position the soundbar directly under the TV, you should opt for one that is not longer than the TV. You should consider the height and width of the soundbar, ensuring it does not obstruct your view.

●    Equalizer or Sound Modes

The more equalizer modes the soundbar has, the better. Equalizer modes allow you to customize your sound to enhance your experience. It would enable you to use different EQ settings, such as movies mode, music mode, and more.

These different modes have different sound effects. They are optimized to give you a better sound experience when seeing a movie, listening to music, and more. Some devices also come with modes for dialogue and news, providing soft voices for your hearing pleasure.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Is the $100 Soundbar worth it?

A $100 soundbar is worth it when you invest in the right product. There are many soundbars under 100 in the market, but not all are of the same quality. However, many of them provide excellent value for money.

2.   What is the best soundbar money can buy?

There are many soundbars, and the best one money can buy depends on your personal preferences and budget.

3.   What to look for in home theater soundbars under $100?

There are many things to look for when buying a home theater soundbar under $100. Nevertheless, the most important things you need to consider are the channels, subwoofer, connectivity options, control, equalization modes, and soundbar size. You need to make sure all these factors meet your personal needs and preferences.

4.   What are soundbar channels?

A soundbar’s channel is the position through which the sound is projected from the device. Examples of soundbar channels include 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1, and more. The first digit determines the number of channels, while the second digit after the decimal determines the number of subwoofers.

5.   Will a soundbar enhance my TV sound?

The best soundbar would definitely enhance your TV sound. It would enhance your movie experience significantly. It sounds clearer and provides a better base than your TV’s built-in speakers.

Related: Are Soundbars Good for Karaoke?

Conclusion

There you go! Those are some of the best soundbars under $100 on the market. We conducted extensive research and tested our top recommendations to create this list. You can rely on any of the products reviewed above for an enhanced sound experience. We have tested a series of products so that you do not have to do so.

Soundbars improve the sound quality of a TV, providing a virtual surround sound experience. They offer a cinematic experience more cheaply and conveniently.

Expert Tip

When using a soundbar, avoid taking the volume to the maximum. If you want to enjoy clear and sharp sounds and vocals, you should not exceed 90% volume.

Do You Know?

Do you know that a soundbar can block your TV remote sensor if you do not place it properly? Placing it directly under your TV might prevent the remote from working. Hence, you should create a room for the TV remote sensor when mounting your soundbar.

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