I'm moving into my first apartment, getting a 55" TV with poop speakers, I'm in nursing school and have nearly no money, but I want better sound than what the TV has to offer. I will be living in an apartment however and don't want huge boomy base which will piss off the neighbors.
What's my best bang for the buck for my situation, wanting to spend very little, but increase my listening pleasure during movies, and friends marathons.
Given that you don't want a lot of bass a soundbar without a separate subwoofer would make sense.
One quality of a soundbar that is often overlooked and is very important is does the soundbar sound clear at low levels. If it doesn't it won't be better than the built in speakers for your situation.
If you can visit a store I would suggest listening to some soundbars and pick the one that delivers clear dialogue at the lowest volume. If you would like to use it for music too then bluetooth or an aux input is a good thing to have. Make sure that it has the right kind of input for your TVs audio output. Most TVs have optical audio out only today. Check the TV manual before buying. Saves a lot of hassle.