Want to take your home theater experience to the next level without breaking the bank? Look no further than 5.1 soundbars! These immersive audio systems deliver surround sound goodness at a fraction of the cost of traditional setups. But with so many options under $500, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming.

This guide is here to be your sonic sherpa, helping you navigate the world of budget-friendly 5.1 soundbars and find the perfect fit for your living room and wallet.

Why Choose a 5.1 Soundbar Under $500?

5.1 soundbars offer a significant upgrade over your TV’s built-in speakers. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Surround Sound Sensation: Be enveloped in sound with dedicated speakers projecting audio from all around you, creating a more realistic and immersive experience for movies, games, and even music.
  • Dedicated Subwoofer: Feel the bass! A separate subwoofer delivers powerful low-end frequencies, adding depth and punch to explosions, action sequences, and rumbling bass lines.
  • Easy Setup and Use: Compared to traditional surround sound systems, 5.1 soundbars are typically compact and simple to set up. Most connect to your TV with a single cable, making them user-friendly even for tech novices.
  • Affordable Upgrade: Under $500, you can experience a significant boost in sound quality without blowing your budget.

What to Consider When Choosing a Budget-Friendly 5.1 Soundbar

Not all sub-$500 5.1 soundbars are created equal. Here are some key factors to consider when making your pick:

  • Sound Quality: This is the most crucial element. Look for reviews that mention clear dialogue, rich mid-tones, and powerful bass, even at lower price points.
  • Wireless Rear Speakers: While some soundbars come with wired rear speakers for surround sound, wireless options offer a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing setup.
  • Connectivity: Ensure the soundbar has the connections you need, such as HDMI ARC for simplified connection and control with your TV. Bluetooth connectivity for music streaming is a plus.
  • Additional Features: Consider features like Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound decoding for enhanced audio processing, or built-in equalizer settings to fine-tune the sound to your liking.

Top Contenders: Unveiling the Best Sub-$500 5.1 Soundbars

Get ready to explore our curated list of the best 5.1 soundbars under $500, categorized by their strengths and specific features. We’ll highlight popular models and unpack their pros and cons to help you find the perfect match for your needs.

So, ditch the lackluster sound from your TV speakers and embrace the cinematic experience a 5.1 soundbar can deliver, all for a budget-friendly price!

MAJORITY Everest 5.1 Dolby Audio

MAJORITY Everest 5.1 Dolby Audio
  • Dolby Audio for immersive sound.
  • 5.1 surround sound.
  • Wireless connectivity.
  • Bluetooth and HDMI ARC.
  • Sleek soundbar design.
  • Easy setup.
  • Limited customization.
  • Bulky subwoofer.
  • Midrange pricing.


The Majority Everest 5.1 Dolby Audio Surround Sound System is a budget-friendly option for bringing immersive sound to your home theater. It packs a 5.1 surround sound system with a wireless subwoofer and detachable speakers into one affordable package.

Setting up the Everest is straightforward. It offers multiple connection options like HDMI ARC, HDMI, and Bluetooth, making it easy to connect to your TV and other devices. The wireless subwoofer adds convenience by eliminating the need to worry about cable placement.

The strength of the Everest lies in its ability to create a wider soundstage compared to traditional TV speakers. The detachable surround speakers, though small, can be placed behind you for a more cinematic feel. The wireless subwoofer provides a decent amount of bass, although audiophiles might crave something deeper.

The soundbar itself is sleek and looks good in most setups. The detachable speakers offer some placement flexibility, but keep in mind they are battery-powered and require charging.

Overall, the Majority Everest 5.1 is a good value for casual movie watchers and music listeners who want to experience surround sound without breaking the bank. 

Sony HT-S40R – 5.1ch Soundbar with Subwoofer

Sony HT-S40R – 5.1ch Soundbar

  • Immersive 5.1-channel surround sound experience.
  • Clear and intelligible dialogue reproduction.
  • Powerful and impactful bass performance.
  • User-friendly interface and convenient remote control.
  • Wireless connectivity for rear speakers eliminates cable clutter.
  • Compact and space-efficient design.
  • Support for popular streaming services.
  • Virtual surround sound may not match the immersion of dedicated physical rear speakers.
  • Limited connectivity options


The Sony HT-S40R 5.1ch home theater soundbar system is a compelling option for those seeking a surround sound experience without a hefty price tag. It delivers a 5.1 channel setup with a wireless subwoofer, offering a wider soundstage compared to traditional TV speakers.

Setting up the HT-S40R is user-friendly. It boasts multiple connection options including HDMI ARC, optical, and Bluetooth, making it easy to connect to your TV and other devices. The wireless subwoofer eliminates the need to worry about cable placement, adding convenience.

The system’s strength lies in its ability to create a more immersive feel compared to TV speakers. The surround speakers, although compact, can be positioned behind you for a more cinematic experience. The wireless subwoofer provides decent bass, though audiophiles might desire something with deeper lows.

The soundbar itself has a sleek design that complements most home theater setups. The surround speakers offer some flexibility in placement, but keep in mind they are battery-powered and require occasional charging.

Overall, the Sony HT-S40R offers good value for casual movie watchers and music listeners who want to experience surround sound on a budget. 

Sony HT-A5000 5.1.2ch Dolby Atmos Sound Bar

Sony HT-A5000 5.1.2ch Dolby Atmos Sound Bar

  • Premium Dolby Atmos experience.
  • 5.1.2 channel surround sound.
  • High-quality Sony brand.
  • Wireless connectivity.
  • Sleek design.
  • Bulky subwoofer.
  • Limited HDMI ports.


Sony’s HT-A5000 5.1.2 channel Dolby Atmos soundbar is a high-end option for those seeking a phenomenal home theater sound experience. It boasts immersive audio that surpasses traditional surround sound, placing you right in the center of the action in movies, TV shows, and even music.

Setting up the HT-A5000 is simple, and it offers a variety of connection options like HDMI, optical, and aux. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, creating a realistic and enveloping 3D soundscape that puts sound all around you.

A major strength of the HT-A5000 is its exceptional sound quality. It delivers crisp dialogue, rich and detailed sound effects, and powerful bass thanks to the built-in subwoofer. Whether you’re watching a movie explosion or listening to a complex symphony, the sound is clear, dynamic, and keeps you engaged.

The design is sleek and modern, seamlessly integrating into any home theater setup. The wireless subwoofer adds convenience by eliminating the need for extra cables.

Overall, the Sony HT-A5000 is a premium soundbar for those who prioritize excellent sound quality and an immersive listening experience.

Samsung HW-S60B 5.0ch All-in-One Soundbar

Samsung HW-S60B 5.0ch All-in-One Soundbar

  • All-in-one design for easy setup.
  • Sleek and modern design.
  • 5.0 channel sound for immersive audio experience.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming.
  • Adaptive Sound Lite for optimized sound based on content.
  • Surround Sound Expansion for wider soundstage.
  • Lacks dedicated subwoofer for deep bass.
  • Limited connectivity options compared to higher-end models.


Looking to upgrade your TV’s sound? The Samsung HW-S60B soundbar bundle might be a good fit. This all-in-one system packs in 5.0 channels of immersive sound, including wireless Dolby Atmos for those heart-pounding movie moments. Built-in woofers and tweeters deliver rich audio, while a dedicated center speaker ensures crystal-clear dialogue. Plus, you can control it all with your voice thanks to built-in voice assistants and Airplay 2 compatibility.

Setting things up is a breeze with Bluetooth connectivity and Samsung’s Q-Symphony technology that syncs the soundbar with compatible Samsung TVs. The bundle also includes a remote, HDMI cable, wall mount, and a 2-year extended warranty for peace of mind.

Overall, the Samsung HW-S60B is a solid option for those seeking an easy-to-use soundbar with great sound quality and Dolby Atmos immersion, all backed by a generous warranty. However, if you crave the most earth-shaking bass or ultimate surround sound experience, you might want to consider soundbars with separate subwoofers or rear speakers.

HISENSE 5.1 Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer

HISENSE 5.1 Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer

  • Dolby Atmos support for immersive audio.
  • High total power output at 340W.
  • Convenient RemoteNOW app control.
  • Affordable price for feature-rich soundbar.
  • Versatile mounting options.
  • Robust build quality for durability.
  • Occasional compatibility issues.
  • Complex sound customization settings.


The Hisense AX5100G soundbar is a strong contender for those looking to enhance their home entertainment system with a powerful and affordable surround sound solution. This 5.1 channel system packs a punch with a wireless subwoofer that delivers deep, room-filling bass, ideal for action movies, explosions, and bumping along to your favorite music. The separate soundbar itself boasts a dedicated center channel and multiple speakers, ensuring clear dialogue, crisp highs, and a well-rounded audio experience.

Despite offering a mostly wireless setup for easy installation, some users might find the remote control a little basic. However, for the price, the Hisense AX5100G soundbar strikes a compelling balance between features, performance, and value. It’s a great option for those who want to significantly upgrade their TV’s sound without breaking the bank and appreciate the added impact of a wireless subwoofer.

However, it’s worth considering a few things before you buy. If you prioritize a sleek, minimalist design aesthetic to complement your home theater, the AX5100G’s design might be a bit bulkier than some high-end soundbars. Additionally, while it delivers great sound quality, audiophiles seeking the absolute most cutting-edge audio technology with the most nuanced soundscapes might want to explore soundbars with even more advanced speaker configurations.

How to Choose Best 5.1 Soundbar Under 500

Craving a cinematic audio experience without breaking the bank? A 5.1 soundbar under $500 is a fantastic option! Here’s your guide to finding the perfect setup to transform your TV’s sound:

Surround Sound Symphony:

  • 5.1 Immersiveness: 5.1 soundbars deliver true surround sound. They come with a central soundbar for clear dialogue and front-facing speakers, along with separate rear surround speakers and a subwoofer. This creates a multi-directional soundscape, immersing you in the action with sounds coming from all around.

  • Powering the Bass: The subwoofer adds deep bass, ideal for explosions, car chases, and music with heavy bass lines. A separate subwoofer provides that extra oomph for a truly cinematic experience.

Must-Have Features:

  • Connectivity Cravings: Consider your connection needs. Bluetooth is a must-have for wireless music streaming from your phone or tablet. An HDMI (ARC) connection allows you to control the soundbar’s volume with your TV remote for ultimate convenience. Look for additional features like optical cable input if your TV doesn’t have ARC.

  • Decoding Drama: Ensure the soundbar supports Dolby Digital or DTS surround sound decoding. These are the most common surround sound formats used in movies and TV shows, allowing you to experience multi-channel audio as intended.

  • Size it Up: Measure your TV’s width. The soundbar should be the same width or slightly wider for a balanced look. Ensure there’s enough space behind your TV for the rear surround speakers.

Beyond the Basics:

  • Brand Matters (But Not Too Much): Focus on features and user reviews within this price range. While established brands offer some peace of mind, you might find good value from lesser-known brands that excel in specific areas like sound quality, connectivity, or ease of setup.

  • Review Rendezvous: Reading reviews from trusted tech websites and user feedback can be invaluable. Look for insights on sound quality, surround sound experience, ease of setup, connectivity options mentioned above (Bluetooth, ARC, optical), and any user-reported drawbacks of specific models.

  • Wireless Bliss (or Wired Worries): Consider your preference – some soundbars offer completely wireless rear speakers, while others connect via wires. Wireless offers a cleaner look but might affect sound quality slightly. Wired connections ensure a stable connection but require running wires around the room.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best 5.1 soundbar under $500 to elevate your home theater experience and enjoy immersive surround sound on a budget!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What exactly does a 5.1 soundbar system include?

A 5.1 soundbar system includes several components:
Center soundbar: Delivers clear dialogue and front-facing sound effects.
Front-facing speakers (left & right): Enhance the overall soundstage.
Rear surround speakers (left & right): Create a multi-directional soundscape, placing you in the middle of the action.
Subwoofer: Adds deep bass for explosions, action sequences, and music with heavy bass lines.

Is a subwoofer absolutely necessary in a 5.1 soundbar under $500?

Not necessarily, but it significantly enhances the experience. If deep bass is essential for you, prioritize a model with a subwoofer. However, some soundbars under $500 might skimp on subwoofer quality to fit the budget. Read reviews to gauge subwoofer performance in specific models.

What connections do I need on a 5.1 soundbar under $500?

Bluetooth: Must-have for wireless music streaming from your phone or tablet.
HDMI (ARC): Allows volume control with your TV remote for convenience. (Look for optical cable input if your TV doesn’t have ARC).

Should I stick to big brands for a sub-$500 5.1 soundbar?

Brand reputation holds some weight, but features and reviews become more crucial in this price range. Explore lesser-known brands that might offer excellent value in specific areas like sound quality, connectivity ease, or a strong subwoofer within your budget.

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