As long as you don’t mind buying a refurb, VIZIO’s SB3851 38" 5.1 surround sound system is on sale for $230 on Amazon right now. I own this exact system, and absolutely love it, as do many of our readers.
The system’s three front audio channels are housed in an attractive 38" sound bar, while the two satellite speakers connect to a Bluetooth subwoofer, meaning you don’t have to run any cables from your TV to the back of the room to enjoy true surround sound (though to be clear, you do have to plug the satellite speakers into the subwoofer). The best part? You don’t even need a receiver to operate this thing; it’ll plug straight into your TV.
There are surely systems out there that sound better or offer more options, but for the majority of non-audiophiles, this system is basically a miracle for the price. We saw it for lower prices last year, but it’s been stuck at $250 for months, so if it’s been on your wish list for awhile, $20 off is as good as it’s gotten in a long time.