Speakers vs Soundbar – What’s the Difference?

Speaker vs Soundbar – What’s the Difference?

When you see these two words together, it probably leaves you wondering what we could possibly mean when we ask what the difference between the two is.

After all, they are exactly the same right? The short answer is no, and there are quite a few areas where they differ from each other.

So, before you head out to make your TV sound better than ever, you might want to take a moment to learn more about your options so that you can make an informed decision, and one that will yield the best results for you. 

What are Speakers and Soundbars?

The first thing to note is that when comparing soundbars, the kind of speakers we are referring to is more like the home cinema systems than those that you have sitting on your bookshelf for playing music when guests come over.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, although you will most commonly find they are tall rectangles that sit either side of your TV. Soundbars have a simpler and more compact design, coming in the form of a long rectangle that sits at the base of your television.

As many slim TVs come with a sound quality that leaves a lot to be desired, they are often offered as package deals when you pick up a new television. They are often a little cheaper to buy, but otherwise look very similar to a speaker system. 

What’s the Difference? 

Now that you have a good idea of what each one is, it’s a good time to explore the differences between you. So, while you are still contemplating what will work best for you, take a moment to clear things up with the contrasts below. 

#1 All About the Bass 

The sound quality is one difference to look out for. Both a sound bar and a speaker are able to deliver exceptional results, and ones that will change your move experience exponentially.

However, one of them has better bass than the other. Soundbars tend to be very slim, so you can’t fit a powerful subwoofer inside.

On the other hand, speakers are often thicker and chunkier which means there is more space for a good subwoofer to be installed, offering a deep and resonating bass that really brings your movies to life.

Speakers are able to offer incredible surround sound when you are listening to them, but soundbars can’t quite reach that level of immersion. So, while the quality is great, it isn’t quite on the level of speakers. 

Also Read: How to Install In-Ceiling Speaker

#2 Price 

You will find that soundbars are often a lot cheaper than speakers, and this is what makes them so easy to include in a bundle when you buy a new TV.

The fact that they are so much more affordable is great if you are on a bit of a budget but still want to be able to enjoy your favourite films and TB shows with great sound.

However, if you have the extra cash to splash, then you should seriously consider investing in a set of speakers instead.

They might be more expensive, but they also offer a lot of value for money because they can offer such improved sound experience, and one that allows you to enjoy a much wider range of films and programmes. 

#3 Design and Build

There is one key design flaw with speakers, and this is the fact that they tend to include a number of different wires and components that need to be plugged in and tidied up so that they don’t leave the area looking messy.

On the other hand, the soundbars have less wires and components, making them neater to have around as well as less difficult to sort out. Soundbars are also more compact than speakers.

They come in a very slim and compact rectangle that sits discreetly below your TV screen to ensure that you get good sound while watching your favourite shows.

Speakers offer a lot in terms of sound, but they are also bigger and bulkier, needing more space around your television in order to provide you with good sound. 

#4 Addons and Accessories 

It is possible to buy additional parts for soundbars, like a set of subwoofers that can be attached to each end in order to create a more immersive experience, as well as provide you with a deeper bass.

While you can also buy some addons for speakers, the market is more varied for soundbars as the speakers tend to come with everything you need for the ultimate movie night.

Soundbars also have a wider variety of wireless models when compared to speakers, and this is because they need fewer cables and power to operate fully.

Wireless speakers do exist, but they need to be charged quite regularly and do not always offer the same level of power as their wired counterparts. For wireless soundbars, however, there is little effect on their overall operation because they do not need as much power. 

What is Each Best for? 

Soundbars are best for watching everyday TV, so regular channels and your favourite daytime shows, as well as casual television. This is because of their simpler design and the fact that they were made for easy watching and listening.

Due to the fact that most TV shows are recorded in stereo sound, it makes fancy speakers pretty pointless, so the sound of your latest TV binge won’t be compromised by the use of a soundbar instead of a speaker system.

On the other hand, speakers are better for a true cinematic experience when watching blockbuster films or shows that are packed full of action. They offer surround sound, as well as a new way to enjoy HD movies.

This is because Blu-ray (or HD) films are recorded using something like Dolby Digital, which is compatible with most speaker systems – just make sure you check this is the case before you buy it. 

Also Read: Difference of Outdoor and Indoor Speaker

To Conclude 

Hopefully, this has helped you to figure out which one you need for your home, as well as taught you more about what they are able to do and the ways in which they are different.

There are quite a few things to keep in mind when you go to buy a speaker or a soundbar, but we know that with the help of this guide you are sure to pick the perfect one.

As we love to hear from you, it would be great if you could let us know what you thought, or what you picked, in the comment section below. 

About the author

Tim Rhodes

As well as being Chief editor here at Myaudiosound.co.uk - Dan is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as tech, loves a chilled weekend river fishing with his mates.