Sound-Bars vs Home Theatre Systems: Which One to Go for? Here are Some Ideas to Help You Make the Right Choice for an Awesome Listening Experience.

Sound-Bars vs Home Theatre Systems: Which One to Go for? Here are Some Ideas to Help You Make the Right Choice for an Awesome Listening Experience.

To make the experience pleasant for the ears we look to an external sound system to aid in improving audio quality. Which brings us to our crossroad and question from the title – which is better: soundbars or home theatre speakers? Each type has its pros and cons, but each will enable you to experience better-quality sound in your movies and TV shows. Here are the things you need to know.

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Difference between Soundbar and Home Theater


A sound-bar is a portable audio device that can be connected to your TV, mobile, or music player and looks great with your flat-screen TV when it sits underneath it without consuming much space. For the little extra effect of power and bass, an external subwoofer can be connected with a sound-bar to get a complete surround sound effect.

On the other hand, home theater systems are available in sets, viz. 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1, to provide a real and proper surround setup in a room so you feel the minutest sounds coming from different directions. They take more space than a sound-bar, a little complicated to set up, and are not portable.

Points to Consider Before Purchasing: Sound-bar Vs Home Theater

The main points to be considered before you make an informed decision about buying a sound-bar or home theater are –

  • Sound Quality – Though Sound-bars are compact and have minimal set-up required, the sound quality is not real 3D surround sound like in the case of a Home Theatre. Also, the additional sub-woofers may add a little bit of bass, but most of the time the sound of the sound-bar is superseded by the sub-woofer, thus it may suppress the smaller notes of sounds from music or movies. However, a Home Theatre is designed to work in a set, thus all the speakers work together to produce impactful, clear and crisp, 3D surround sound.

  • Power – Sound-bars have small speakers embedded in a single bar, thus limited power supply can be given to the tiny speakers. But in the case of a full-fledged home theater, each speaker draws its power separately which results in excellent 3D surround sound and clear mid-range tones. Also, Home Theaters have bigger speakers that produce clear tones of different ranges clearly and precisely enhancing your audio experience.

  • Set-Up – People often prefer sound-bars over home theaters to avoid various cables running across the room which looks messy and uneven. However, if you can plan the entire home theater set-up and install it carefully, the wires won’t be visible and you can enjoy true cinematic sound while watching your favorite movies or shows. But, if you are looking for a portable and no-frills attached music system, then a sound-bar is a better option.

  • Features – Apart from the true 3D surround sound and higher power output, the receiver in a home theater allows more options to connect, is easy to control as they can be connected via Bluetooth or an app.

  • Portability – Sound-bars are undoubtedly more portable as compared to a home theatre because home theaters have many speakers connected through cables that have to be fixed in a room; whereas sound-bars can be easily moved to a different room and place with ease and can be connected through different devices easily.

  • Price – Home theaters provide true 3D surround sound, but they are generally costlier compared to a sound-bar. Hence, your budget is also important while you are considering one of them.



As the name suggests, sound-bars are rectangular bar-shaped speakers that can be placed horizontally underneath your TV set. Various sound-bars can have two to seven speakers inside the bar, plus an additional subwoofer is also provided with few sound-bars. But a minimum of three speakers is recommended for a simulated surround sound effect.

Let’s check a few popular sound-bars which can be considered for enhancing the audio experience while watching TV or you can simply connect your smartphone and listen to your favorite numbers.

JBL Cinema 2.1 Channel Sound-bar with Wired Subwoofer


The JBL Cinema 2.1 Channel Sound-bar comes with a wired subwoofer for an immersive audio experience with deep and thumping bass. The sound-bar can be easily connected with one cable through HDMI ARC and you get a Dolby Digital quality sound with this sound-bar. This compact and stylish sound-bar can be ordered from Amazon for Rs. 9,999.

Sony 2.1 Channel Wireless Subwoofer Bluetooth Sound-bar

Sony HT-S350 is a Bluetooth-enabled speaker that comes with a Wireless Subwoofer for high-quality surround sound in rich bass. S-Force PRO Front Surround Sound technology gives a virtual surround sound effect to provide cinematic style clear audio. You can check out more details of this sound-bar by Sony from Flipkart, that is an iconic design, yet to be released.

Home Theatres

Home theater systems come in sets and contain multiple speakers which can be fitted across the room to have a true surround sound experience as the sound enters into your ears from all sides. An ideal Home Theater system would have a receiver, five speakers – one in the center, two-each on the front and rear, and a subwoofer; which completes a 7.1 surround sound system. However, you can start with a lesser number of speakers and then gradually increase the number, as per your requirement.

F&D F3800X 5.1 Channel Multimedia Bluetooth Speakers


A highly appreciated and rated product by F&D, the 5.1 channel multimedia Bluetooth speakers have 1 subwoofer with a 5.25-inch bass driver and four speakers. Other features include inbuilt FM and USB/SD card reader, etc. This amazing product is listed on Amazon for Rs. 6,793.

Philips 5.1 channel Multimedia Speaker

This beautiful 5.1 channel multimedia speaker has in-built LED lights in all the speakers and woofer. The sound output of the speakers is 45 W and is Bluetooth-enabled. You can also insert a USB or SD in the respective slots to play the albums of your choice. You can order Philips 5.1 channel Multimedia Speaker from Reliance Digital for Rs. 4,990.

Importance of Sound-Bars and Home Theatre Systems


Sound-bars are easily movable, thus can be used as a speaker for your living as well as a bedroom by connecting it with your mobile, laptop, etc, via Bluetooth. They take less space and are comparatively cheaper than a full-fledged surround sound system. Whereas, a Home Theatre system is meant for a complete cinematic experience in a room with a TV or projector and provides a truly surround and immersive sound experience; while sound-bars produce a virtual surround sound experience. However, adding either one of them to your TV gives better audio quality and clarity than the speakers of your TV.

Rahul Banerji
Rahul began his stint as a freelance writer after working in the corporate world for ten years. He enjoys writing on various topics and is an avid blogger. His interest in science, technology, politics, current affairs and the latest trends helps him to back his writing with well researched facts. Rahul finds solace in gadgets, nature and spirituality.
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From our editorial team

Surround or Virtual Sound: Which One to Select?

This is obviously a boggling question. To the metalhead and music buff, a home theatre system will work fine to get the deep bass and all music notes. For causal chilling and watching a movie or series, a sound-bar will be a good option. This is because it is portable, can easily connect to your computer or smartphone and some of them also come with a sub-woofer to enhance the experience with effects. All the same, depending on your budget, there is a good option for either and for you to make the best selection, there are a few considerations as listed in the beginning of this document, to help you make the right choice.