Amazon Prime Day is nearly here, and if you’ve been waiting on the company’s regular sales event to upgrade your TV’s audio with one of the best soundbars, your chance is coming. This year, Prime Day 2 runs from October 10 - 11, and there will be deals on all audio and video products, including soundbars.
With so many deals hitting at once, sorting through the best ones can be challenging. We won’t know which discounts will go live until Prime Day 2 arrives, but in advance of the day, I’ve compiled a list of 3 affordable soundbars you should keep an eye on. I’ve had the chance to give all three of these models a test drive and can vouch for their performance and value, which will skyrocket if and when a Prime Day discount takes off.
The soundbars listed here range in price from $119 to $499, which is already pretty cheap for a good-quality soundbar. Stepping above that price range, you’ll enter the realm of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, though two of the models featured in my list offer basic Dolby Atmos support as well.
Are you curious about what deals are available now and what you can expect further down the road during the Black Friday deals? Check out our Black Friday soundbar deals 2023 guide, which offers advice on navigating the sales event and lists some of the best soundbar deals happening now.
Amazon Fire TV Soundbar
The Amazon Fire TV Soundbar, Amazon’s first home theater audio offering, is a basic 2-channel soundbar with a launch price of $119. There’s no Dolby Atmos support, but Amazon’s bar does have DTS Virtual:X sound processing to deliver impressively spacious sound from surround-encoded movies and TV shows.
There’s no Alexa voice control here – Amazon’s soundbar lacks built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is instead used for music streaming – but you can connect the Fire TV Soundbar to any smart TV via its HDMI eARC/ARC port and then use the set’s own hardware remote and voice control capabilities to adjust volume. And while no Wi-Fi or other advanced features may seem like a missed opportunity, it also simplifies setup and enhances usability for those looking for a cheap, set-and-forget soundbar.
Amazon typically offers deep discounts on its own-branded products such the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED during Prime Day sales, so the Fire TV Soundbar is likely to see a price cut. If that happens, and I expect it will, Amazon’s new bar will be one of the best soundbar deals going.
Sony’s low-priced (for Sony) HT-S2000 soundbar is a compact all-in-one 3.1-channel model featuring virtual processing for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks. At $499, it’s a fair step up in cost from Amazon’s soundbar. Still, it’s also one packed with features to justify the extra outlay, such as a 250-watt amplifier and Sony’s Vertical Surround Engine, and a 3D sound mixer to deliver a powerful and spacious presentation from all manner of sources.
A big bonus to the HT-S2000 is that it can be combined with Sony’s wireless surround speakers and subwoofer for an upgraded complete 5.1-channel system. Beyond that, it connects your TV via an HDMI eARC port , has an alphanumeric front-panel display, and provides app-based control for setup and adjustment. (A standard remote control is also provided.)
The HT-S2000 received a nice discount during Amazon’s first Prime Day in July, though it’s since crept back up to its initial $499 price. Speaking as someone currently using the HT-S2000 in my own system (a review is forthcoming), I’m mightily impressed with its performance for the price. Anyone who buys this soundbar, especially at a Prime Day discount, will not be disappointed.
Bose Smart Soundbar 600
Bose may get lots of accolades for its wireless earbuds, but the company makes impressive soundbars as well. The Smart Soundbar 600 is the company’s entry-level Dolby Atmos model, and it distinguishes itself from other budget soundbars by providing upfiring speaker drivers on its top surface to deliver real, as opposed to virtualized – Atmos height effects.
The Bose 600 offers the same upgrade options as the Sony soundbar, with a range of wireless surround speakers and subwoofers that can be paired with it to expand your system. Its built-in Wi-Fi allows for wireless streaming of lossless music using the Bose control app, and Chromecast and AirPlay are also supported. In my Bose Smart Soundbar 600 review, I found that it delivered Atmos effects in a dynamic manner and also sounded good with music, offering notable stereo separation for a soundbar. Bass was limited, but that’s something that adding a Bose wireless subwoofer would fix.
Similar to Apple products, Bose products rarely see substantial discounts, though the Soundbar 600 did briefly drop to $399 back in September before shooting back up to its $499 launch price. Will it dip back to $399 on Prime Day? That’s hard to say, but if Amazon does end up offering the same 20% price cut, the Bose Smart Soundbar will be well worth buying.
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Al Griffin has been writing about and reviewing A/V tech since the days LaserDiscs roamed the earth, and was previously the editor of Sound & Vision magazine.
When not reviewing the latest and greatest gear or watching movies at home, he can usually be found out and about on a bike.