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Soundbar vs. Speakers – Which one should I buy?

We’ll assist you in choosing the best option for your living space and budget, whether you’re considering a soundbar or an AV surround sound system.

If you want to improve the audio performance on your TV, you have to decide between a dedicated surround-sound system, which is more expensive but offers better sound quality, and a soundbar, which is more convenient and more reasonably priced. Both will give you access to higher-quality audio for your movies and TV shows, including Dolby Atmos. Both can allow you to control the device using a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant as well as providing music streaming over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi from your phone. Where do you begin when both sound bars and speaker systems have advantages and disadvantages?

You must first decide how much money you want to spend and how much space in your home you are ready to give up. Compared to AV surround installations, soundbars cost less and take up less room. Let’s dissect it.

What is a soundbar?

A soundbar is a single bar with numerous speakers inside. Nowadays, the majority of them are wireless or HDMI, allowing you to set them wherever you like around the TV and enjoy a better audio experience without worrying about cables or wires running throughout your space.

The convenience of a soundbar eliminates the total cost of a pricey, fully immersive home theater setup. The fact that soundbars are often small and placed in front of, beneath, or mounted above the TV makes them convenient. Soundbars are self-contained and do not require a receiver, making it simple to move them from one location to another.

Pros and cons of a soundbar

The built-in TV speakers can’t compete with the sound quality provided by the soundbar. Due to the absence of wires or cables, it also frees up space from large speaker cabinets and allows you additional positioning possibilities around the space!

Although a soundbar is practical, it can’t match the audio quality of a good set of speakers, doesn’t have surround sound, which is fantastic for watching movies or playing video games, can’t be upgraded like a speaker set can, and doesn’t look good when placed in front of a television on top of furniture.


Superior audio quality compared to the TV’s built-in speakers.
Takes up less room than large speaker cabinets.
Easy to install.


Lacks surround effects, which are fantastic while playing video games or watching movies.
No capacity for upgrading.
Some soundbars can cost as much as a nice pair of speakers.

What are Speakers?

Speaker sets resemble compact cabinets with two or more individual speakers housed inside each one. In some models, there is also an external subwoofer, however they are all wired to the television (usually digital optical or coaxial). The majority of speaker systems have surround sound, which enhances the cinematic experience with better quality sound. Depending on where your TV is placed and the amount of room available behind it, positioning may not always be ideal because of their bulk.

For those with the necessary room, traditional speakers or component audio are the best options for a home theater setup. Traditional movie speakers may be ideal for you, including the receiver, rear speakers, floor speakers, and subwoofer. For even more details, see our comprehensive guide to surround sound.

For watching movies and TV shows, a conventional speaker system provides a fantastic auditory experience. With back speakers, you may get true surround sound effects, and the configuration is quite adaptable. If you add ceiling Atmos (or DTS:X or other comparable technologies) speakers, you’ll feel like rain is pouring down on you during the movie and you might want to duck as you hear the hum of an approaching jet. You aren’t restricted to any one manufacturer because of the mix-and-match nature of these systems, and you can choose speakers and other components based on your preferences. Additionally, you can add more speakers and receivers or improve them as needed.

Surround sound speakers can also be purchased in bundles or packages with an av receiver. For music listening, they can range from a 2.1 stereo sound system with simply a left and right speaker and a subwoofer to as high as an 11.1 system with speakers on either side in the front and back, a center channel, a subwoofer, and above. The exact positioning will vary depending on the design of the room and other elements. But most frequently, individuals opt for a straightforward stereo or 5.1 arrangement.

The surround sound experience are more expensive and complicated than soundbars. Although a complete speaker system setup can cost well over $1,000, the audio quality will be on par with that of your neighborhood movie theater. Additionally, your sound system receiver doubles as an HDMI hub for all of your other gadgets, including your HTPC, streaming devices, gaming consoles, phone music players, and more. A classic speaker arrangement is ideal if you’re not restricted by space and want a home theater experience.

What you prefer viewing (sitcoms and news versus sports and action movies, for example), how important audio and a fully immersive sound experience are to you, and the room it will be in will all influence the type of quality sound solution you choose.

Pros and cons of a speaker set

Instead of using the TV’s built-in speakers, invest in a speaker system. If positioned underneath your television on top of furniture, it also allows you more flexibility for placement throughout the room and looks attractive.

The drawbacks include potential cost, bulk, and the need for good wire management, especially if you choose surround sound speaker sets.


Superior sound quality compared to the TV’s built-in speakers
Adjustable Surround Sound
Upgradeable components like a subwoofer and an amplifier.
Best for movie and music fans.
You’re free to choose any manufacturer.


Might be bulky
Installation may be difficult

Are soundbars or a speaker set better than the integrated TV speakers?

In comparison to your TV’s built-in speakers, a soundbar is unquestionably superior. But in all honesty, any speaker will sound better than the ones that came with the device. In addition to offering you more placement possibilities around the room without having wires or cables flowing all over, they produce a much richer and fuller sound.

The best speaker system is one that will be placed exactly beneath or behind your television because it will produce excellent surround effects and audio quality. A good pair of 2.1 speakers can work wonderfully, and if you have the room and money, you may always opt for a surround sound system.

Verdict – Which one should I buy?

As you can see, both soundbars and speaker sets have advantages and disadvantages. Both solutions cost more, but they provide higher sound quality than the TV’s built-in speakers! Budget, available space in the room (if you have a small area), design preferences (do you want something that appears bold or discreet? ), and how much use you anticipate from them should all be taken into consideration in order to make an informed choice. How important is sound quality to you?

The speaker set is generally your best option if you’re looking for something more long-lasting and have some extra cash to invest, but if you only need better sound momentarily or are on a tight budget, choose the soundbar. Keep in mind that, despite being vastly superior to integrated speakers, neither choice can match specialized floor-standing speakers.