Soundbars Vs. Home Theater Speakers: Which is the Right Audio System for Your TV

All of us want better sound.

But, previous to getting into the details about finding the best sound system for your TV, we should mention terms that will help you when looking to upgrade your acoustics.

The word “speaker” is mentioned over and over again. Do we know what it means?

A speaker receives electromagnetic audio signals and turns them into sound waves, which is what we hear.

These are not devices different from soundbars and surround systems. They are components of soundbars and home-theater systems.

You now know speakers are inside soundbars as well as home-theater systems. It’s time to decide which one is just right for your TV.

Decide Between A Soundbar And A Home-theater Surround System For Your Tv

Soundbars and surround systems are different from each other.

But, there are specs you should always have in mind when upgrading your TV audio. Although they will vary from system to system, you should consider them in soundbars and home-theater systems alike.

Sound design

It’s more than coming up with how to fit elements inside a bar and make it look nice. Every part of the assembly method will have an impact on the sound that your speaker reproduces.

Echo, interference, and reverberation are some of the wave behavior aspects that designers think of when placing each piece of the loudspeaker in the right place.

Speaking of pieces, the components that make up a speaker will be the ones transmitting the sound. They will take electrical signals and translate them into enhanced sound.

You probably don’t have time to get an engineering degree and analyze how each sound system has been assembled. But, you can definitely make sure that high-end engineering design was behind the creation process.

In home-theater systems and soundbars alike, the sound design is sometimes developed by Academy-Award sound engineers who know what they’re doing.

You won’t be disappointed.

What is it made of?

The materials that make up your sound system are the materials that build the sound you perceive. And they will play the same part when it’s time to enhance your TV audio.

Sound design

The drivers (the small cone-like element in every speaker) are responsible for pushing air to create acoustics. And the materials they are made of will have quite an impact on the sound that comes out. The range of movement of the drivers depends on their material. The sound that comes out does too.

The materials are fundamental aspects in either soundbars or home-theater systems.

Performance

This is how good the final design sounds.

Once designers have chosen materials and found the best way to arrange them, good sound engineers run tests to keep altering the positioning of the elements.

This process is about sound-imaging, and it will determine how we feel the sounds coming out of our speakers. Sound quality will always be the first feature to consider; we are trying to enhance our audio experience after all.

Now you know a little more about how sound is produced. Let’s walk you through deciding whether you need a soundbar or a home-theater system.

Set your expectations

Researching for a surround system can turn into a witch hunt if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Of course, you know, you want a sound system. But, what do you expect your audio system to do for you?

Now that you’ve read about the basics of what makes a good quality sound, you should ask yourself what kind of sound you want your speakers to reproduce.

Ground-shaking basses, organic sound, immersive experience, voice enhancement for dialogue clarity. Some systems prioritize some of these features above others.

If you know which sound characteristics you’re after, your research will not be aimless.

Choose Between A Soundbar And A Speaker For Your Tv

Be aware of your surroundings

By now, you’ve figured out the kind of sound experience you’re after. But before you buy a system that meets the requirements, there’s one more thing you should do.

Look around. Literally.

Where are you going to put it?

All your sound requirements and expectations can be met without investing in a system that will over-deliver.

Improving sound quality when watching movies in bed? Or, turning your living room into a cinema? Whichever the answer will determine the amount of sound needed to fill up that space.

Knowing what kind of sound you want and where you want to spread it around will take you one step closer to finding the perfect sound system for your TV.

Soundbars

Soundbars

These are a kind of loudspeaker that projects sound wide-wise.

They have dual built-in speakers on their sides to direct the sound outwards and horizontally. Usually, they also possess a central channel that projects the sound directly at you for human-voice enhancement.

With or without external subwoofers, soundbars can be significantly cheaper than surround systems. In fact, they can actually mimic the immersive virtual sound experience.

And although soundbars can pretend to be 3D sound systems, they will not perform as well as home-theaters in larger spaces.

Home-Theater Systems

These sound systems recreate a cinematic atmosphere.

They have more external components. They have dedicated speakers for different frequencies, which means the sound will be more detailed and precise.

On the other hand, the direction from which frequency comes replicates a fuller acoustic experience. By doing this, the sound is not only enhanced, but it gains dimension and results in an immersive experience.

Home-theater systems can turn your living room into a cinema, but they can be a little extra if the space you’re trying to fill is as small as a bedroom.

You might not have to invest in a complete system like this one to improve your sound.

FAQs

1. What is the difference between a home-theater speaker and a soundbar?

Regarding the sound, home-theater systems deliver fuller and more immersive experiences. Soundbars produce enhanced sounds, and although they can mimic a virtual sound output with good quality, the acoustic dimension recreated will always differ.

2. Is Soundbar better than speakers?

The answer to this question will depend on the experience you’re after.

Technically speaking, no. A soundbar will never have the power and directional sound design that surround systems sound. However, a soundbar can be a better and more affordable choice when enhancing your PC speakers or your bedroom’s TV sound.

Have You Decided Yet?

Even if you just have an overview, knowing how an audio system works will help you determine which will deliver the intended experience.

Always do a quality check by learning about the features that make up your audio system. Think about the sound you aim for and don’t forget about the dimensions of the space where you’ll be placing it.

Last but certainly not least, have a budget in mind. You’ll have fewer products to comb through.

Remember this rule when looking for the right TV system for your home.

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