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If you’re shopping for top-rated speakers, you may wonder whether a premium soundbar is better than a surround sound system. Your audio experience can transform how you enjoy a favorite movie or live sports. Investing in a premium soundbar can provide immersive audio, but does it offer a cinematic experience like surround speakers? Stick around to learn whether a soundbar vs a surround sound system is a better pick for audio quality and listening experience.
If you need quality sound for home theater experiences, learn how to choose a soundbar. Picking the suitable model can provide immersive audio in a limited space. That said, you should compare soundbars vs speakers if you’re considering a surround system.
A game console like the Xbox Series S|X applies spatial audio to headphones and certain Dolby Atmos-equipped AV receivers.
A soundbar typically sits below a television, or you can mount it to the wall. This type of speaker offers a compact design and powerful sound.
A surround sound setup typically uses a center speaker, rear speakers, a separate subwoofer, and additional speakers to the right and left of the audience. You need ample space to accommodate the separate speakers, but it can provide immersive sound and overhead effects.
Depending on the type of setup you want for movie nights or playing games, picking an audio device can be confusing. That said, there are some apparent differences between soundbars and surround sound speaker systems.
A proper surround sound setup should outperform your average soundbar in most cases. That said, an expensive soundbar is better than a series of low-quality floor speakers. As long as you plan to invest in a high level of quality, either audio option should deliver great sound.
Mute your television’s built-in speakers to avoid diminishing your surround sound experience and audio quality.
The soundbar market offers audio processing and virtual surround technology, but a surround sound setup with powerful speakers provides a more immersive experience. Since they utilize multiple physical speakers, surround setups are capable of a wider range of frequencies compared to soundbars.
Surround sound setups take up more living space than a soundbar. While a soundbar rests below the TV, you need extra space to store the individual speakers in a surround sound system.
STAT: A 2019 Pew Research Center survey showed that 29% of suburban American households use a smart speaker. (source)
Even an affordable surround sound speaker setup will cost more than a typical soundbar. Additionally, you can get advanced features in a soundbar for the price of a low-end surround sound solution.