It’s pretty accurate to say that getting one of the Best Soundbars Under $500 will give you the best balance between price and performance. Here you can see really good speakers, high-quality audio and sound types that are not often associated with sound bars. That is why some of the best available soundbars can be found in this segment of the market. The next big step is in the $1000 category. We have prepared some of the best soundbars under $500. That said, each model has its own set of qualities.
What To Expect From Best Soundbars Under $500
There are many reasons why investing this kind of money in a soundbar system is scary for many people. Some of the most common questions have to do with how far you can really push a soundbar and whether you can get a different type of system. With that said, best soundbars under $500 range are anything but expensive boxes with small speakers. On the contrary, most models in this segment have more than good speakers. If you remove the Klipsch unit from our list and split it, you will find 3.5 “drivers in combination with a 10” subwoofer cone.
Not only that, but it comes with four drivers, two tweeters and that huge subwoofer. You will be hard pressed to find conventional speakers that contain so much heat. Performance ceilings are absolutely no problem here. This segment of the market is also where stand-alone subwoofers are the norm and most of them are wireless. That means two things. First, you know that you get a decent low response, regardless of what is in the soundbar itself. You can also place the soundbar wherever you want, without having to worry about cables.
Best Soundbars Under $500 Comparison Table
Best Soundbars Under $500 Soundbar Name Features Rating Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro Immersive sound
Great performance 9.5 out of 10 Sony HT-CT800 An elegant design
Tons of streaming options 9.3 out of 10 Q Acoustics Media 4 Exceptional Audio quality
The design is simple 9.2 out of 10 Klipsch HD Theater SB 3 Great sound quality
Balanced performance 9.0 out of 10 Yamaha YAS-203 Interesting design
Good performance 8.8 out of 10 LG Electronics SH7B An attractive and versatile design
Powerful performance 8.7 out of 10 Polk Audio Omni SB1 Plus Clean design, fits anywhere
Wireless subwoofer 8.5 out of 10
Design and Build Quality Of Best Soundbars Under $500
Then comes the design of the system. In contrast to, for example, $200 segment of soundbar speakers, the soundbar’s design itself is much more complex. We are talking about a careful positioning of transducers, cones and sound gates. All this is necessary if you want a flexible but saturated sound phase. What really puts the best soundbars under $500 on a completely different level are the functions. In this segment, you will find much more advanced audio control, with complex EQ modes and tone shaping options.
Last but not least: there are satellite speakers. A large part of the soundbars within this price range is at least supplied with two satellites. In other words, you have access to a complete surround sound system that offers you a high level of immersion. That is not something that you will see in cheaper models. These are just a few of the reasons why investing in a $500 soundbar is worth doing.
Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro
Nakamichi’s Shockwafe Pro packs a lot of heat into a system with a very low profile. One of the first things you notice is the ten drivers that are placed so that they have the best effect. In addition, you also have a wireless subwoofer that saturates the lower end of the frequency range with hard, hard basses. Generally a great system. If we had to file a complaint with the Shockwafe Pro package (which, I tell you, turned out to be rather difficult), the satellite speakers would seem a bit too loud compared to the subwoofer and soundbar itself. This can create a strange directional effect, depending on how you place the speakers in a room, but if you know this in advance, you can easily fix it with a smart placement.
- Immersive sound.
- Great performance.
- The abundance of speakers.
- Satellite volume control.
We really like what Sony has achieved with the HT-CT800. Starting from a design that works in almost every conceivable usage situation, they have collected a whole pack of meaningful, useful functions and options that are surmounted by a fantastic audio performance that will change your listening experience. To get the most out of what the HT-CT800 has to offer, it’s worth the time and energy to fully understand the variety of customization options, as these will make a huge difference to your overall listening experience. With the default settings you can at first always disappoint, depending on your listening location, but by tinkering this problem must be solved.
- An elegant, unassuming design.
- Tons of streaming options.
- Audio quality that really delivers.
- May require some tinkering to suit your room set-up.
Q Acoustics Media 4
As audio fanatics, we can not get enough of the incredible sound that Q Acoustics has managed to develop with the QM4. If you are looking for a product with a lot of extras that look flashy and have a low profile, this may not be the right choice for you. But if you are all about execution, you can not go wrong. This is another sound bar with an unusual shape, so you may need to make a not inconsiderable space for your listening position. This is not a huge problem, but it is something that is worth keeping in mind when you purchase. The lack of HDMI transmission is also a bit unfortunate, but not a deal breaker.
- The audio quality is utterly exceptional.
- The design is simple.
- May not fit your space.
- Not much in the way of extras, and lacks HDMI throughput.
Klipsch HD Theater SB 3
Klipsch HD Theater SB3 is a combination of a soundbar and a subwoofer with very heavy core components. We are talking about big, high-quality drivers in the soundbar itself, along with a huge 10 “cone in the subwoofer, and on top of that, Klipsch has a balanced set of functions that use all this power quite well. Depending on where you set up the SB3, you may or may not find the size as a problem. It is certainly one of the heavier soundbars we encounter, and both the bar itself and the included subwoofer require careful placement to balance the convenience, space and listening experience itself. Keep this in mind and you are well placed to solve the problem.
- Great sound quality.
- Balanced performance.
- Easy to use.
- Somewhat bulky.
Yamaha’s YAS-203 is a well-balanced, somewhat simplistic soundbar system. He has just enough power, but also comes with all the necessary functions that make the viewing pleasure of your TV more pleasant. The wireless character allows for easy installation, and the sound is quite relevant. In general, it is a good choice for the money. We would have liked something in the way of visual feedback from the YAS-203 controls, as this can help with daily use, but this is hardly a big complaint. Overall, the pure performance that Yamaha has put into this model is one of the easiest favorites in this price range. An extremely solid offer from a reputable brand.
- Interesting design.
- Good performance.
- Good value for the money.
- No visual feedback on controls.
LG Electronics SH7B
The SH7B is a great choice for anyone who wants to upgrade their TV and movie miracle experience. It will definitely take it to the next level with a confident, powerful and powerful performance that brings out the best in the soundtrack, effects, and dialogue. Although music does not sound the best, this is in no way a dealbreaker. The listening experience is at its best when you watch visual media or play games, and this means that the SH7B is the weakest when it comes to the high end of the audio spectrum. It is by no means a big problem, and the sound is more than enough, but if this is probably a problem for the type of display you have in mind, you may want to look elsewhere.
- An attractive, simple, and versatile design.
- An assertive, powerful performance.
- Good amounts of customization are available.
- Highs aren’t as nuanced as we would like.
Polk Audio Omni SB1 Plus
Polk Audio Omni SB1 Plus is a fairly compact soundbar with a wireless subwoofer, a wide range of functions and optimized performance for an impressive viewing experience. Their VoiceAdjust technology allows you to really call in those voices, making them crystal clear. At the end of the day, it has a fair number of limitations and benefits. The bass performance of the SB1 Plus is quite impressive for a combination of a soundbar and a subwoofer, which traditionally do not deliver much in this respect in terms of presence. That said, there is a remarkable lack of dynamic range that is most obvious when you listen to music or during musical moments in movies. It is not the end of the world, but something to think about.
- Clean design that fits in anywhere.
- A wireless subwoofer that packs a large cone.
- VoiceAdjust feature makes all the difference.
- Not enough range when it comes to listening to music.
Good quality and best sound bars under $500 have the ability to offer you a much better sound experience than your TV or entry-level soundbar ever could. Not only that, but you enter all the audiophile sound field. The above-mentioned models are some of the Best Soundbars Under $500 in this segment of the market. Each has its own unique design that brings different qualities to the table. However, they are all capable of producing a very sophisticated sound stage right in your home. This means that you will enjoy movies as they are intended.