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Soundbar v/s Speakers: Which TV Audio System Sounds Best? (2020)

You just bought a TV which works perfectly and the quality of the picture is also great, but you found that its sound quality of its in-built speakers is worst.

When you watch your favorite movie on your TV, but you cannot even hear dialogues properly because its sound is too low, it completely turns off your mood. It might have terrible bass.

You must want to improve the sound quality of your TV but you also do not have a budget to spend a ton.

Two pretty easy options are there for you, such as Soundbar and Speakers. Either you have to purchase a soundbar or loudspeaker pair with an AV receiver.

sounbar vs speakers

You do not have to spend much as both options are available at reasonable prices. Now the question arises which option you need to opt for as both have its pros and cons. 

You also need to look for things like free space you have around the TV; whether the TV is wall-mounted or you have kept it on a media console; does it gets installed easily; a ton of wires is not troubling you; is it easy to set up the sound quality; are you planning to expand the system in the coming years?

Before moving further, let's get familiar with two options: Soundbar and Speakers.


A soundbar has become the most common solution as a supplementary sound. It is the easiest device to connect to the TV because it only needs a few cables. Different soundbars are available in the market, i.e., without or with subwoofers to enhance bass, and some also include satellite speakers for natural sound.

Besides that, its installation easy and appearance is amazing, whether it is mounted to the wall or placed on an entertainment stand.

Undoubtedly, a soundbar is preferably the easier option out of the two and more affordable too because it is just a single speaker, which operates on the plug-and-play operation. Reputed TV and audio brands, such as Sony, Samsung, etc. are offering numerous soundbars.

However, before purchasing a soundbar, you must know certain things about this.

  • An active soundbar: Active soundbar is not a big deal anymore because now passive soundbar's popularity is not what it was earlier. Passive soundbar needs external amplification, which also adds an additional hassle to an option that you have picked up because you thought it was very simple. Comparatively, an active soundbar is easier to install. There is also no need for a separate amplifier or receiver to work. You can simply plug it into the TV.
  • Need at least a three-channel (3.0) soundbar: A soundbar has three separate drivers for providing impressive sound significantly in right, left, and center. You can buy three-channel soundbars with a wireless subwoofer and makes it a 3.1-channel system.
  • Soundbar compatible with HDMI ARC: Plug soundbar directly into the TV with the port of HDMI ARC, it enables you to change the soundbar's volume with one TV remote. It makes things simple for you.
  • Soundbar's Brand: You also need to consider the brand that you are going to buy. It is essential because the primary drawback in choosing a soundbar over a speaker pair or an AV receiver is the building of the system is difficult later on. Usually, soundbars of a specific brand get compatible with the speaker of the same brand otherwise, it does not play well with other brand speakers.


Looking for an option to increase audio slightly and better stereo separation then you can go for active (powered) speakers.

Sometimes, active speakers considered as multimedia speakers or computer speakers. These speakers fall under the category of self-amplified and likely to need more wiring for making connections as compared to soundbars and sound bases, and the payoffs could be worthy.

  • AV Receiver: A passive bookshelf speaker pair is perfect as TV speakers, but there is a requirement of an AV receiver to connect it with TV. You can purchase a loudspeaker pair at a reasonable price. Along with that, you need to buy an entry-level AV receiver, and its cost is somewhat equal to the speaker. Top brands offer speakers at affordable prices.
  • Expensive: Buying a speaker is a more expensive option when compared to the soundbar. Because you need to buy both speakers and an AV receiver, but it also has various advantages like flexibility. In the future, you can connect different brand speakers with each other. Each speaker gets connected to another via the AV receiver.

Video: Which is Better - Speakers or Soundbar?

How to Decide What to Choose

A couple of factors that help in deciding between the two are the following:

Room Size

It is the most important factor that needs to be considered while deciding. Let's take examples to explain in detail:

  • For large space rooms (15×20), a surround-sound system that consists of a home theatre receiver and a 5.1 channel speaker system is suitable for better sound.
  • For a smaller space room (13×12), like a bedroom, where you do not want a bunch of wires for the proper sound system, then a soundbar is a perfect option.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of both tools is different and it also depends on the brand of the sound system.

If we talk about soundbar, it is not capable of delivering a good sound experience, whereas various other tools and techniques have been employed in a sound system that makes you feel that you are hearing sound from all the sides, i.e., left, right, and front.

The sound quality of soundbars is good for a small room whereas, for large areas, speakers are a perfect option.


Before buying anything, you must have decided some price limits as per your budget. Soundbars and speakers are available at different prices. The price of both sound equipment depends on various factors such as size, quality, features, brand, etc.

In case, you still can't decide whether you want a soundbar or speaker pair for the better sound system, then you should visit the local electronics store and hear their demo. Since you and your family are going to use it, so you should be satisfied with the sound quality.


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About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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