'Portable' sound bar recommendation?

All right, this may sound crazy, but we travel to a lot of places where the TV sound is just plain crappy. Most of them have full HD TVs, fairly modern, so have an HDMI ARC port identified.

What I’d like a recommendation for is a relatively small (carry on size), simple soundbar that has decent sound. Not outstanding, although that would be nice, but better (and more controllable) than the TV speakers.

Any suggestions? TIA.

If it’s going to be that small, I think you’re in the realm of a portable Bluetooth speaker. I don’t know if any of them work with a wired input or not, but I bet some exist. Actually I just walked to the other room and grabbed mine. It was overly pricey, but has pretty nice sound. It has a line in in the form of a mini jack (like a headphone or mic jack on a PC or [older] cellphone.) It’s a Sony SRS-XB3 from about 2016 ( https://www.pcmag.com/review/344464/sony-srs-xb3 ) I’m sure they probably still make something like it.

You probably cannot actually use Bluetooth for this though, because the delay would probably be noticeable. (And that assumes the TVs you’d encounter would support that, and I somehow doubt they would.) Also, most of them are probably mono. I know my Sony had an option to Bluetooth pair another copy of itself for stereo output.

I have a fairly cheap RCA soundbar that I got on Black Friday about 3 years ago for $49.

A few years ago, I got a Sony tv and a Samsung tv to compare - the Samsung sounded better, but the Sony had the better pic. I kept the Sony and returned the Samsung after I finished comparing the two.

But, the Sony tv sounded horrible, because it is much thinner than my older 40" Sony. I got this cheap soundbar, and it is more than good enough.

There are quite a few sub $100 soundbars at Best Buy and WalMart - any one of them will be much better than the built in speakers

It’s a requirement to have HDMI/ARC input, as the TVs in my regular places don’t have a regular audio out headphone jack. And, yes, bluetooth isn’t going to help.

Portable is in the range of 28" or smaller, and yes, cost is an issue.