With the introduction of soundbars, you no longer have to spend hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars on audio for your TV. They are a great way to get a wallet-friendly audio solution with a great feature set that still makes a massive difference to your movie-watching experience.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what they are, and consider a few options for the best budget sound bar for you that fits your budget.
What Are Sound Bars?
At their core, soundbars are nothing more than a set of speakers packed inside a single, compact enclosure that takes up very little space.
The evolution of TVs has resulted in all of us using incredibly thin TVs which don’t really have room for a full range speaker set. And while the factory audio inside TVs can be decent, especially if you pick the right TV, external speakers will almost always give you a better sound quality. Initially, they were made for users who wanted an upgrade to their TV’s audio system but didn’t have the ability to go for a full AVR and separate speaker system. And since many users wanted to upgrade their audio on a budget, the need for the best budget sound bar appeared.
This begs the question, who should opt for a soundbar? Well, the answer is everyone who wants a better sound quality out of their TV but doesn’t want to buy speakers.
Buying TVs and Sound Systems
One of the best things about today’s technological evolution is the fact that a lot of advanced technologies like Google, the Android TV OS, or DTS Surround Sound, are now available on TVs and so are soundbars that come at a reasonable price.
Moving over to audio, you have a lot of audio solutions to choose from. It’s not just the battle between speakers and soundbars – headphones are an option, or for the extremely budget-conscious, you can still use your TV’s built-in audio. But make no mistake, the best affordable surround sound system is a high-quality soundbar with a virtual surround solution and the option to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth.
With both TVs and sound systems, buying on a budget is absolutely an option today. Of course, unless you’re really in a rush, you can get the best budget sound bar if you’re patient and wait for a sale.
To make things even better for the budget-conscious shopper, expensive isn’t always best. Sound depends on a lot of things, and the actual soundbar is just a piece of the puzzle. You should consider the source’s audio quality, your room’s acoustics, the positioning of the entire system, and a slew of other things. And if some of those things aren’t right, you might not hear the difference between the cheapest soundbar and the most expensive one money can buy.
Best Budget Sound Bar in Australia
When you’re shopping for a soundbar, there are a couple of things to be mindful of.
The first thing to consider is the brand you’re buying from. You should make sure that the brand has a strong presence in Australia because that goes a long way towards ensuring the best post-purchase experience. And if you’re spending a few hundred dollars on anything, that post-purchase experience should be great.
Next, you should consider your budget. This will instantly remove some of your options, but will also give you a good idea of what kind of feature set you can expect for the cost. An important thing is to set your budget and stick to it, because, as with all things tech, you always get a bit extra if you pay just a tad bit more.
While we’re talking about budget, you should keep in mind that sometimes you might find the right soundbar and it’ll be cheaper than you expect. For example, the best soundbar under $500 in Australia is the TCL TS7010, and it costs a lot less than $500. And you still get a wireless subwoofer, a peak power of 320 watts, extremely easy setup, and Bluetooth connectivity you can use with your TV, or other devices.
Moving on, you should note what kind of feature set you’re looking at. We would definitely suggest not to buy anything that doesn’t come with a subwoofer, and preferably a wireless one. This adds a lot of immersion and goes a long way towards improving your movie-watching experience. Other features you could consider are things like Bluetooth connectivity, which increases convenience and makes everything wireless. And of course, if something like that fits within your budget, by all means, get a subwoofer with a DTS surround or similar implementation.
Last but not least, ease of setup and ease of use are also important. Bluetooth soundbars have the advantage in this category because all you have to do is turn it on, go to your TV’s settings, and you’re connected wirelessly before you know it. But even if you’d like to stick to a wired approach, make sure you’re looking at a subwoofer with HDMI ARC, so you can control everything with a single remote and use one cable to deal with everything.
Our Top Soundbar Choices
If you’ve considered all of the things we mentioned above, read on as we take a look at three options which all offer an excellent experience for their price points. They’re all a part of TCL’s soundbar lineup and come with a feature set that puts competitors to shame.
Our first option is the TS3010 2.1 channel soundbar, which is the best cheap soundbar in Australia. At an incredibly reasonable price, the soundbar comes with 160W of peak power and a wireless subwoofer for an immersive experience that is unheard of at this price range. The subwoofer comes with a 5.25” unit for rich, deep bass regardless of whether you’re watching a show or listening to music. The design is also great, with an all-black colorway that looks right at home next to a TCL TV. There is also Bluetooth that you can use to wirelessly play content, which is another great feature.
Moving on up, for a slightly higher price we have the best soundbar under $500 in Australia, the TCL TS7010 2.1 channel soundbar. Like its smaller brother, the TS7010 also comes with a wireless subwoofer, but this time you’re looking at twice the peak power of 320W, as well as a larger, 6.5” driver in the subwoofer. Furthermore, you’re looking at three listening modes tailored for music, movies, and news respectively. Tuning allows the soundbar to give you excellent sound quality in each scenario. Of course, you have Bluetooth convenience, and the soundbar is incredibly easy to set up.
Our last suggestion is perfect for users looking to spend a bit more and get an endgame soundbar. We are, of course, talking about TCL’s flagship TS9030 Ray Danz soundbar. The design is beautiful, with an industrial vibe that feels right at home next to a premium TV like the X915 or X10. This is a 3.1 setup, with two stereo speakers, a center speaker, and a wireless subwoofer for a wide, immersive sound stage. Dolby Atmos makes an appearance to make things even better, and you have support for both Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay. It’s perfect for both Android and Apple iOS users because streaming content on it is a breeze. The sound quality is impeccable, and if you want it to get loud, it won’t object thanks to a peak power of 540W.
At the end of the day, the decision is all yours as to how much you spend. But with TCL covering the entire range from the best budget sound bar to an excellent premium solution, there’s definitely one that fits your needs.