Soundbar vs Home Theatre Speakers: Which one to choose?

Most of the people around the globe are spending their time inside their homes since COVID affected our regular commute. During such difficult times, people are finding ways to keep themselves entertained, and having a home entertainment system that you can enjoy from the convenience of your couch seems like a suitable solution. 

To enjoy an ecstatic sound experience, you have two options to select from i.e. Home theatre or a Soundbar. Both Soundbar and Home theatre are great options for replacing your Television’s built-in speaker. In this article, we will discuss in-depth both of such devices and compare the pros and cons of one over another. 

What is a Soundbar? 


Soundbars can be depicted as a large but sleek and compact Home theatre with slimmer and sharper body language. There are multiple built-in small speakers along with an amplifier to control the soundbar. Some of the soundbars offer 2.1ch output along with a wireless subwoofer.

Benefits of Having a Soundbar 

Compact Design: Soundbars are sleek and compact devices that can enhance the overall Audio experience from your Television without occupying much space. You can position them under or in front of the TV for the best output. 

Easy Installation & Connectivity: With very minimal effort a Sound Bar can be installed as it does not require you to connect multiple satellite speakers in order to work. Once the setup is complete, the device offers multiple connectivity options like Bluetooth, HDMI ARC, 3.5mm jack, etc.

Budget-Friendly: Even though soundbars are relatively newer devices than Home theatre still they are still more budget-friendly. For better sound output and performance over your Television, Soundbars are a great alternative. 

Disadvantages of Soundbars 

Surround Sound: As these speakers are compact and do not have any satellite speaker they lack the surround sound effect as compared to Home theatres. However, the size of the room and the type of music playing on the soundbar needs to be optimal in order to witness some surround sound effect. 

Subwoofer: Some of the cheap soundbars may not include a Subwoofer along with it which may cause some of the deep tones from the sound to miss out. Make sure that you invest in the one with a sub-woofer for better performance.

Small Audio Drivers: Another disadvantage to consider while buying a Soundbar is that it consists of small Audio drivers as compared to a home theatre.  Such drivers will not be able to pick low frequencies and are designed for specific frequency ranges.

Check out some of the best-in-class Soundbars available in the market.

What is a Home theatre? 

Home theatre

The main purpose of a Home theatre is to recreate a Theatre experience in your home. It consists of a subwoofer and satellite speakers that are aligned in a way to create a surround sound experience. However, they can only account for the Audio performance and a lot depends on your television to deliver high-quality picture quality for a complete cinema-like experience. 

Home theatres are mainly available in three types i.e. 

2.1 (with a subwoofer and 2 satellite speakers)

5.1 (with a subwoofer and 5 satellite speakers)

7.1 (with a subwoofer and 7 satellite speakers) 

Some of the brands now also offer Home theatres with 3.1 & 9.1 Audio Channels.

Benefits of Home Theatre 

Immersive experience: A home theatre with 5.1 or 7.1 channels can create high-quality surround sound that allows you to feel sound from every direction with the help of satellite speakers. While watching movies the dramatic sound effects can be experienced as intended by the makers. 

Flexibility: A home theatre offers you multiple options ranging from 2.1 to 9.1 channel speakers. So based on your room size and budget to fulfill your requirements. 

Connectivity: Home theatre offers multiple connectivity options just like Soundbars. You can connect your devices via Bluetooth, Optical & HDMI cables, USB, AUX. Along with that, you can control your device using Remote control to make further adjustments. 

Disadvantages of Home Theatre 

Complicated Installation: The more channels your home theatre offers the more complicated the setup will become for you. Only with proper installation and placement, you will be able to witness surround sound experience. 

Heavy and Bulky: As most of the Home theatres are heavy as compared to a soundbar and have a fixed position where they need to be placed, they become immobile. So when considering buying one you should keep this in mind. 

Convenience: A home theatre offers a great level of convenience with wireless connectivity so that you can make necessary changes in the Audio settings based on the type of content you are consuming. 

If Home theatre is one that looking forward to then check out some of the recommended ones here.


Let us play out some simple examples to help you understand the usability of both these devices. 

Should I choose a Soundbar?  

A soundbar is best suited for small-sized rooms where you can even feel some surround sound experience depending on the quality of the soundbar. Although a soundbar does not achieve the quality of a full surround system. 

For people who don’t want to get into the complicated setup, a soundbar is a great option as it does not require much of your attention and stays comfortably under your TV. 

Should I choose a Home theatre?

If you are looking to create a full-fledged Home entertainment system then nothing can beat the performance of a Home theatre.

They are much more customizable and offer great performance and high bass levels because of the subwoofer. 

If you are a movie buff (like me) and want an ultimate Cinema like experience then a Home theatre will be a great option for you while on the other hand for general use like enhancing the Audio quality of your TV for a better experience, you can then depend on the performance of a soundbar. 

Many of the speakers are also equipped with advanced Audio codecs and technologies like Dolby Atmos, Dolby digital plus or hi-res Audio further enhances the overall quality of the Audio output. So while making a purchase make sure that you look out for these features for better overall performance. 

Also Read:
Best Home theatre under 10000 in India (5.1 & 2.1)
Best Home Theatre Systems under 15000 in India (5.1 & 2.1)
Best Home Theatres Speaker system under 5000 (5.1 & 2.1)
Best Soundbar in India under 10000 & 15000
Best 2.1 speakers system in India

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