Want to ditch the tinny TV speakers and experience booming bass, crystal-clear dialogue, and immersive surround sound? A soundbar might be the perfect solution, but navigating the world of audio equipment can be tricky, especially on a budget. Here’s the good news: you can score a fantastic soundbar that elevates your home entertainment without breaking the bank!

This guide dives deep into the world of sub-$400 soundbars, helping you find the perfect fit for your living room. We’ll break down the key features to consider, from sound quality and must-have connections to sleek design and user-friendly controls. We’ll even unveil some of the top contenders in the under-$400 category, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses so you can make an informed decision.

So, if you’re a movie buff craving a cinematic experience, a casual streamer seeking richer audio, or a gamer needing clear in-game sound effects, this guide is your one-stop shop! Get ready to transform your TV nights, music sessions, and gaming marathons with the perfect budget-friendly soundbar. Let’s unlock a world of immersive audio experiences, all for under $400!

Bose Smart Soundbar 300 


  • Alexa voice control for easy hands-free operation
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio streaming
  • Advanced audio features such as dialogue clarity and bass/treble adjustment
  • Compact and sleek design for easy installation in any room
  • Excellent customer support and warranty
  • Expensive compared to other soundbars in the market
  • Limited compatibility with some TV models
  • No HDMI connectivity


We are testing the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 for a while now, and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. Overall, it’s a great soundbar for anyone looking to improve their TV’s sound without breaking the bank. It’s easy to set up, sounds a lot better than most TV speakers, and has some handy smart features.

The sound quality is definitely the star of the show. The soundbar delivers clear, rich audio that makes watching movies and TV shows more immersive. It also has a surprisingly good amount of bass, which is great for action movies and music.

Setting up the soundbar is a breeze. It comes with all the cables you need, and you can have it connected to your TV in just a few minutes. Plus, the soundbar can be controlled with your TV remote, so you don’t need to learn a new set of buttons.

One of the things I like most about the soundbar is its smart features. It works with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can use your voice to control the volume, play music, and even adjust the sound EQ. This is a great way to keep your hands free while you’re relaxing on the couch.

Of course, no soundbar is perfect. The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 doesn’t have quite the same level of sound quality as some of Bose’s higher-end soundbars. But for the price, it’s a great option.

If you’re looking for a soundbar that’s easy to use, sounds great, and has some smart features, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a great option. It’s a solid choice for anyone who wants to improve their home theater experience without spending a fortune.

Sony HT-S2000 Compact 3.1 Ch Dolby Atmos Sound Bar

Sony HT-S2000 Compact 3.1 Ch Dolby Atmos Sound Bar

  • Impressive Dolby Atmos audio experience with virtual surround sound.
  • Clear and intelligible dialogue reproduction with the dedicated center channel.
  • Powerful and impactful bass performance from the wireless subwoofer.
  • User-friendly remote control and intuitive interface.
  • Compact size and versatile mounting options for easy installation.
  • Value for money in terms of features and performance.
  • Limited support for advanced audio codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
  • Lack of additional connectivity options such as HDMI inputs.
  • Limited EQ customization compared to higher-end soundbar models.


The Sony HT-S2000 might be the Best Soundbar Under 400. This sleek and compact soundbar delivers surprisingly big sound, thanks to Dolby Atmos technology. Even though it doesn’t have rear speakers, it creates a nice sense of immersion for movies and shows.

Setting up the HT-S2000 is a breeze. Plus, it can connect to your TV with just one HDMI cable, keeping things tidy. The remote control is easy to use, and there’s also a handy app for controlling the sound bar from your phone.

The sound quality is impressive, especially for the price. Dialogue is clear and crisp, and the bass is rumbly without being overwhelming. Music sounds great too, thanks to the built-in Bluetooth connection.

One thing to keep in mind is that the HT-S2000 is best suited for smaller rooms. It might struggle to fill a very large living space with sound. Also, while it has Dolby Atmos, it doesn’t have the same level of surround sound experience as a soundbar with separate rear speakers.

Overall, the Sony HT-S2000 is a great option for anyone who wants to upgrade their TV’s sound without spending a fortune. It offers excellent value for the price, with great sound quality, easy setup, and a user-friendly design.

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


Looking to bring true surround sound to your living room without breaking the bank? The Sony HT-S40R soundbar might be the missing piece to your home theater puzzle. This 5.1 channel system packs a punch with rear speakers and a dedicated subwoofer, delivering immersive sound that puts you right in the action.

Setting up the HT-S40R is relatively painless. The included wires help connect everything together, and the system can be up and running in no time. While the rear speakers are wired, the subwoofer connects wirelessly for a cleaner look. Controlling the soundbar is a breeze with the included remote, or you can use the handy app for adjustments from your phone.

The HT-S40R shines in the sound quality department. The rear speakers create a genuine sense of surround sound, making it feel like sounds are coming from all around you. The wireless subwoofer adds deep, rumbling bass that enhances explosions in movies and brings life to music. Dialogue is clear and crisp, thanks to the dedicated center channel speaker.

It’s important to remember that the HT-S40R isn’t the most powerful system on the market. If you have a very large living room, it might struggle to fill the space with sound. Additionally, some users might find the included wires a bit cumbersome, although the wireless subwoofer helps with that.

Overall, the Sony HT-S40R is a great option for anyone who wants a true surround sound experience at a reasonable price. It delivers excellent sound quality with immersive rear speakers and strong bass, all in a user-friendly package. While it might not be ideal for the biggest rooms, it offers great value for the price for those seeking a cinematic audio upgrade.

POLK AUDIO MagniFi Mini AX Ultra-Compact Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Polk Audio MagniFi Mini Home Theater Surround Sound Bar

  • Compact size and sleek design.
  • Powerful audio performance with Dolby Atmos technology.
  • Customizable EQ settings for personalized sound.
  • Excellent dialogue clarity.
  • Wide compatibility with devices and streaming services.
  • Competitive price for the features offered.
  • Easy installation and setup process.
  • Limited connectivity options compared to larger soundbars.
  • Lack of dedicated physical buttons on the soundbar itself.


Polk Audio’s MagniFi Mini AX soundbar packs a surprising amount of punch into a tiny package. This ultra-compact soundbar is perfect for anyone who wants to upgrade their TV’s sound without sacrificing valuable space.

Despite its size, the MagniFi Mini AX delivers surprisingly immersive sound. Dolby Atmos technology creates a virtual surround sound experience, making you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. It’s not quite a true surround sound system, but it’s a significant step up from your TV’s built-in speakers.

Setting up the MagniFi Mini AX is a breeze. It comes with multiple connection options, including HDMI, optical, and aux, making it compatible with most TVs. Plus, the included remote control is easy to use, and there’s also an app for controlling the soundbar from your phone.

The sound quality is impressive, especially for the size of the soundbar. Dialogue is clear and crisp, and the included wireless subwoofer delivers deep, room-filling bass. Music also sounds great, thanks to the built-in Bluetooth connection.

One thing to keep in mind is that the MagniFi Mini AX is best suited for smaller rooms. It might struggle to fill a very large space with sound. Additionally, while it creates a sense of surround sound, it can’t compete with a system that has dedicated rear speakers.

Overall, the Polk Audio MagniFi Mini AX is a great option for anyone who wants a compact soundbar with big sound. It’s easy to set up, delivers impressive audio quality, and is available at a reasonable price. If you have a limited space or prefer a minimalist look, the MagniFi Mini AX is definitely worth considering.

Hisense AX5125H 5.1.2Ch Sound Bar

Hisense AX5125H 5.1.2Ch Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
  • 5.1.2 channel audio for immersive sound
  • Wireless subwoofer for deep bass
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Multiple audio modes
  • Sleek design
  • Easy setup
  • Limited compatibility with some TVs
  • Limited EQ customization options


The Hisense AX5125H 5.1.2Ch Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer packs a powerful punch for the price. This 500-watt system boasts a 9-speaker array, including up-firing drivers that bounce sound off the ceiling to create a sense of immersive Dolby Atmos surround sound. Whether you’re watching a movie, listening to music, or cheering on your favorite team, the AX5125H delivers clear, room-filling audio.

The wireless subwoofer adds some serious thump to explosions, movie scores, and bass-heavy music. It pairs seamlessly with the soundbar for a hassle-free setup. Plus, with seven different sound modes, you can optimize the audio for movies, music, sports, games, and even dialogue-heavy content.

Connecting the AX5125H to your TV is a breeze. It includes an HDMI eARC cable, allowing you to control both the soundbar and your TV with a single remote. Plus, Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream music wirelessly from your phone, tablet, or laptop.

While the AX5125H doesn’t offer the most premium sound quality compared to high-end soundbars, it delivers a significant upgrade over most built-in TV speakers. Gamers will appreciate the low latency for smooth, lag-free sound.

Overall, the Hisense AX5125H 5.1.2Ch Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer is a great option for those looking to add some serious audio muscle to their home theater setup without breaking the bank. It offers a great combination of features, performance, and value.

How to Choose Best Soundbar Under 400

Looking to ditch the tinny TV speakers and transform your movie nights, music sessions, and gaming experiences? A fantastic soundbar under $400 can be the game-changer you need! Here’s your guide to navigating the options and finding the perfect soundbar that fits your budget and elevates your entertainment:

Beyond Built-in Speakers:

Let’s face it, most TVs have built-in speakers that leave a lot to be desired. A soundbar offers a significant upgrade, delivering:

  • Clearer Dialogue: No more struggling to hear whispers or muffled voices in movies and shows.

  • Deeper Bass: Feel the rumble of explosions and experience richer sound effects.

  • Wider Soundstage: Enjoy a more immersive audio experience with clear separation between left and right channels.

Understanding Soundbar Features:

Choosing the right soundbar requires considering some key features:

  • Channels: Most soundbars under $400 will be 2.0 or 2.1 channel systems:

    • 2.0 Channels: Offer basic left and right stereo sound.
    • 2.1 Channels: Add a dedicated subwoofer for deeper bass, ideal for action-packed content.
  • Connectivity: Ensure the soundbar offers the connections you need:

    • HDMI: Ideal for connecting to your TV for the best sound quality.
    • Optical Audio: An older connection option, but still commonly found.
    • Bluetooth: Enables wireless music streaming from your phone or tablet (on some models).
  • Power Output (Wattage): Generally, higher wattage indicates louder sound. However, don’t solely rely on wattage. Reviews and demos are crucial for understanding a soundbar’s true sound quality.

Matching Your Soundbar to Your Needs:

With different features available, consider what matters most for you:

  • Movie Magic: If movies and shows are your jam, prioritize a 2.1 channel soundbar with a subwoofer. This setup enhances explosions, sound effects, and music scores, creating a more immersive experience.

  • Music Maestro: For music lovers, a soundbar with good stereo separation (clear distinction between left and right channels) is ideal. Bluetooth connectivity for easy music streaming from your phone can be a big plus.

  • Simple Setup: If you prefer a hassle-free setup, focus on soundbars with easy-to-use controls and minimal connection requirements.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Soundbar:

  • Read Reviews: User reviews and tech website insights can be invaluable. Look for information on sound quality (clarity, bass response), ease of use, features offered under $400 (channels, connectivity), and overall value for the price.

  • Listen in Person (if possible): Visit a store and listen to different soundbars playing similar content (movie trailers, music) to compare their sound quality and see which one sounds best to you.

Bonus Tip: While some might be on the pricier end of your budget, consider soundbars with surround sound capabilities (Dolby Atmos or DTS:X). These create a more spacious and immersive audio experience, especially when paired with compatible TVs.

By understanding the key features, prioritizing based on your entertainment needs, and leveraging reviews and in-store demos, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect soundbar under $400 to transform your home entertainment experience!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

2.0 vs. 2.1 Channels: Which Soundbar is Best Under $400?

The number of channels determines the audio configuration of your soundbar:
2.0 Channels (Stereo): These offer basic left and right stereo sound. They’re ideal for casual TV watching or listening to music, but might lack the deep bass for action movies or a truly immersive experience.
2.1 Channels (with Subwoofer): A dedicated subwoofer adds deeper bass to the sound, making explosions, sound effects, and music feel richer and more impactful. Under $400, prioritizing a 2.1 channel soundbar with a subwoofer is ideal for movies and shows.

What Connections Should I Look for in a Sub-$400 Soundbar?

Connectivity options allow you to connect your soundbar to your TV and other devices:
HDMI (Essential): Look for a soundbar with at least one HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) port. This provides the best sound quality and allows you to control the soundbar’s volume with your TV remote.
Optical Audio (Optional): An older connection option, but still commonly found on TVs. If your TV lacks HDMI ARC, this might be a solution.
Bluetooth (Bonus): Offers wireless music streaming from your phone or tablet to the soundbar, ideal for casual listening. Not all soundbars under $400 will have Bluetooth.

Does Wattage Matter When Choosing a Sub-$400 Soundbar?

In theory, higher wattage indicates a louder sound output. However, soundbar sound quality goes beyond just wattage:
Focus on Reviews and Demos: Wattage alone isn’t a guarantee of good sound. Read reviews and user experiences to understand the overall sound quality of specific soundbars under $400.
Listen in Person (if possible): Visiting a store and comparing how different soundbars sound with similar content (movie trailers, music) can be the best way to judge their audio performance at your budget level.

What Soundbar Features are Best for Movies Under $400?

For an immersive movie experience, prioritize these features:
2.1 Channels with Subwoofer: The subwoofer adds the deep bass for explosions and impactful sound effects.
Surround Sound Compatibility (Bonus): Some soundbars under $400 might offer Dolby Atmos or DTS:X compatibility. While these require compatible TVs for full surround sound, they create a more spacious audio experience.

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