While there are some important differences between a home theatre and a soundbar, the latter is more powerful and will handle both extremes of volume. While soundbars lack proper upward-firing drivers and a dedicated hub, they also tend to take up more space and power. Here’s an in-depth comparison of the two types of audiophile speakers. Find out which one is better for your home.
Soundbars Are Better at Handling Both Ends of The Volume Spectrum
Soundbars can handle both ends of the volume spectrum more effectively than traditional speakers. Soundbars have a single cable that looks neater and is easier to move around. Most soundbars are Bluetooth compatible, so they can play music from many different sources. They provide clear, balanced sound regardless of frequency or voice quality. Here are five advantages of soundbars:
The SAKOBS soundbar is extremely versatile. It can either be wall-mounted or placed on a tabletop. Its gentle upward slope makes it ideal for most living rooms. The SAKOBS model is also compact, and it looks nice under most TVs. Soundbars handle both ends of the volume spectrum better, and the price reflects that. No other speakers are as effective at handling both ends of the volume spectrum.
They Lack True Upward-Firing Drivers
Some of today’s home theatre soundbars do not have true upward-firing drivers, but some soundbars mimic surround sounds using digital signal processing techniques. However, this method is not as immersive as having true upward-firing surround speakers. Listed below are some examples of soundbars with upward-firing drivers. The most common one is the Samsung Q Series. Despite its name, this model lacks a true upward-firing driver.
The design of soundbars is critical to the audio experience. Proper upward-firing drivers allow the sound to reach as far as possible without needing a separate subwoofer. However, some soundbars lack true upward-firing drivers, which reduces the overall sound quality. However, some soundbars do feature surround sound capabilities, which can simulate the sound of multiple music venues, such as an open-air arena. Home theatre soundbars with advanced DSP can do this by carefully engineering the hardware and software components to reproduce surround sound.
They Take up More Space
If you have limited space, you might want to consider a soundbar. These devices are much smaller and easier to install in a small room. Some soundbars are wireless, which saves you space by not requiring messy cables. They still produce powerful sound, however. The main difference between a soundbar and a home theatre is their size. Here are some of the main advantages of soundbars over home theatres.
A premium soundbar will require more space than a home theater, but they also have more channels to reproduce sound. In addition, you have to install more physical speakers to get full surround sound. The more channels, the more expensive your soundbar will be. Soundbars supporting Dolby Atmos will require more space and cost more to install. Soundbars compatible with Dolby Atmos are ideal for those who don’t have much area to spare.
They Lack a Dedicated Hub
The biggest downside to home theatre soundbars is their lack of a dedicated hub, but many have more than one. These devices usually come in a single box, which is typically bulkier than other home theater soundbars. Within the box, you’ll find the audio system, five satellite speakers, two surround speakers, a subwoofer, and a connectivity hub called the CineHub Edition.
- Fully immersive 5.1.4 channel 3D high-quality sound experience with deep 30Hz bass without the need for an additional subwoofer, thanks to Sennheiser’s bespoke AMBEO audio technology.
- Delivers 3D surround sound adjusted to the characteristics of your living room via advanced room calibration and the latest virtualization sound bar technology developed with Fraunhofer.
- Customize your home listening experience with a built-in equalizer and three bespoke AMBEO 3D technology modes for your home audio sound bars.
- Turn your home stereo or 5.1 audio into a 3D surround sound experience with the integrated Upmix Technology, also fully compatible with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and MPEG-H.
- Easy wireless streaming for your home compatible devices with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth or from the cloud via built-in Chromecast, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect.
- Five dedicated tweeters deliver studio-grade sound, and midrange voices are reproduced with stunning precision giving you an even better home theater experience.
- Included components: AMBEO Soundbar, calibration microphone, remote control, owner’s manual.
- Power source type: Corded Electric
The Sennheiser 5.1.4 is among the most expensive home theatre soundbars. Still, it’s worth the money if you’re looking to improve the audio performance in your living room without occupying additional space. The soundbar has an excellent calibration system, but if you don’t want to spend the money, you can go for the cheaper LG 7.1.4 SN11RG, which has 5.1.2 internal channels and adds 2.0.2 to its rears. Another option is the JBL Bar 9.1, which is actually 5.1.
They are more expensive
The primary difference between soundbars and home theatre systems is their price. Soundbars are typically more expensive than home theatre systems because they require a lot more installation. However, they are of great value when you compare them to the overall cost of a home theatre system. Soundbars can be of great value when combined with a home theatre system. Some soundbars also have built-in subwoofers to create a true home theatre experience.
Some soundbars are marketed as a convenient solution for achieving surround sound without any wires. These systems also tend to be more expensive than home theater systems but offer convenience and extra features. Many come with wireless connectivity, so you can easily connect a soundbar to a smartphone or tablet. Many are also compatible with Bluetooth devices. Soundbars are often more expensive than home theater systems, but they are a great investment for movie buffs and surround sound enthusiasts.
Tom is the Editor-in-Chief of 1home Theatre Projector, a website that provides news and reviews on the best home cinema experiences. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Tom knows what makes a great home theatre projector and wants to make it easy for everyone to build the perfect setup for their needs. When he’s not busy writing or testing projectors, Tom enjoys watching classic films and spending time with his family.