A sound bar proves to be a good investment if you are tired of the tinny sound produced by TV speakers these days. These audio devices help amplify TVs' average sound, but some of them also help deliver a surround sound experience. And if you want a strong bass performance, add a subwoofer to the mix, and it will be taken care of.
However, if you do not want your whole entertainment room to be riddled with connecting wires and power cables, investing in a sound bar with a wireless subwoofer will be an ideal solution.
All you need is a power source nearby and you will have the flexibility of placing the subwoofer at the place of your preference so that you get an adequate bass response.
So, here we are, with our handpicked list of the best affordable sound bars with a wireless subwoofer that you can get for as little as $500.
If you do not mind spending a few bucks on a sound bar, you should check out the Samsung HW-Q70T, a slightly tweaked version of HW-Q70R. This one is a Dolby Atmos sound bar and does a pretty good job producing a wide soundstage. This is a 3.1.2-channel unit and comes with three forward-firing speakers, a pair of upward-firing speakers, and an 8-inch side-firing driver of the subwoofer.
The culmination of the drivers and speakers results in a clear and voice and dialogue while watching movies or listening to your favorite songs. This sound bar has a peak power of 300W and supports DTS:X and pass-through 4K HDR video.
The Samsung HW-Q70T delivers an impressive audio performance, and the upward-firing speakers do a good job of simulating the height effect. Like most sound bars, this one also comes with four sound modes. While there are dedicated modes for games, the music mode is missing in this one.
When it comes to connectivity, things do not look great. There's only a single HDMI input. At the same time, there's no option for HDMI eARC despite the price. On the upside, there's support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and lossless audio formats like FLAC, AAC, and WAV.
One of the prime features of the Sony HT-G700 is its support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Sony's own Immersive AE. All these audio technologies combine to simulate an immersive surround sound experience. In fact, Sony's Immersive AE allows you to upmix audio to 7.1.2-channel or 5.1-channel audio.
This Dolby Atmos sound bar has a 3.1-channel setup. Interestingly, it doesn't have an upward-firing speaker. Instead, the illusion of height is created by virtual 3D solutions. And, this solution is less than impressive in real life. It leaves a lot to be desired.
For the record, this sound bar has a peak power of 400W and the subwoofer packs a discrete look. It comes with a low-end driver and the best thing is that it switches off automatically when the sound bar is not in use.
When it comes to the connections, the Sony HT-G700 has a decent offering. For one, there are dual HDMI ports, a USB port, and a Toslink optical digital input. And there's more to the story. For one, you can link your Bluetooth-connected device to the sound bar and play songs wirelessly.
Secondly, one of the HDMI connections has support for eARC, meaning you can connect the sound bar to the receiver with just an HDMI cable. The good thing is that eARC you can experience lossless audio formats such as DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.
However, this sound bar is not perfect and has some limitations. For example, there's no Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast support. Plus, the lack of Wi-Fi means you can't stream songs directly. And yeah, there's no support for Google Assistant or Alexa voice commands.
If you do not want to spend big bucks, and yet want a sound bar that delivers well-balanced audio, you should look at the Yamaha YAS-209BL. This one comes in a 2.1 setup, and the subwoofer manages to deliver a good depth of bass to the overall audio output. One of the highlights of this sound bar is that, unlike the one above, you can stream songs directly from Spotify Connect.
When it comes to audio tech, this one bundles Yamaha’s Clear Voice feature. And together with DTS Virtual:X, it attempts to deliver a wide and spacious soundstage.
The best thing is that it's small and fits easily under standard sized TVs. Since it has low pricing, it means you will have to let go of some features. For instance, it bundles an HDMI ARC instead of HDMI eARC.
This exclusion means you won't be able to run lossless audio when hooked to an HDMI cable. On the upside, you get connectivity options for Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Do note that there's no support for AirPlay 2 or Chromecast support.
More importantly, this one has Alexa support. From lowering the volume to changing the song or the source of the song, there's a lot you can ask this sound bar to accomplish.
The Sony HT-S350 strikes the right balance of features and price. It has a price tag below $150, and produces powerful audio. It is further accompanied by a rich and thumping bass, all thanks to the wireless subwoofer. If we talk numbers, this 2.1 sound bar has a peak power of 320 watts.
Even though it is a non-premium sound bar, it looks beautiful, thanks to the faux leather top and the compact build. The subwoofer has a tall build and measures around 15.2 x 15.3 x 7.5-inch.
For the price, the Sony HT-S350 lets go of some features. For instance, there's no DTS:X or Dolby Atmos, Wi-Fi or, the option to stream songs from online streamers such as Spotify or Apple Music, etc. It has Bluetooth support and in case you want to connect your smartphone to listen to your favorite songs, you can do so in all its glory.
The bottom line is if you want nice and powerful audio with a booming bass to listen to songs and the occasional movie without burning a hole in your pocket, the Sony HT-S350 is the one for you.
Polk is a well-known name in the world of sound bars, and the Audio Signa S2 is one of the newest sound bars to join this race. This budget sound bar has a 2.1 setup and delivers decent audio for the price. We say decent because it would be wrong to expect an enveloping surround sound experience at this price point. It's a simple sound bar that delivers a decent audio output. The best part is that the subwoofer does a good job in enhancing the bass response.
For the price, the Polk Audio Signa S2 packs quite a good look. There's a wire mesh covering the front of the speaker and the wireless subwoofer. At the same time, the build feels solid and durable.
The good thing is that the subwoofer has a discrete look, and you shouldn't have an issue placing it anywhere in your house.
Connection wise, you won't find in this one except for the Bluetooth and the HDMI connection. While the lack of connections may reduce the scope, you can rest assured that it gets the basic right, i.e., being connected to a TV, set-top box, or smartphone to deliver good audio.
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Bring the Boom
You won't be surprised if I tell you that there are several sound bars in the market now. The thing with sound bars is that they are priced a little higher than regular Bluetooth speakers, due to which the definition of affordable changes a bit with the products.
Nevertheless, there are quite a few enticing options out there for the price. So, which one of these products will you buy?
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