Soundbar Vs Speakers (Which is the best for home theater?)

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Things will get complicated while explaining this topic. But don’t worry I will make it easier for you to understand. That’s why read the whole article to make your decision flawlessly. Soundbar vs speakers. which is the right thing for home theater?

At A Glance: When taking the sound quality in terms of the budget then LCR speakers will always win from that price range soundbar. Mean a $300 price range LCR speaker set will sound better than a $300 soundbar. But the soundbar will always win in the convenience feature.

Keep reading as we will discuss this topic based on real stats and figures. I will also answer the most common questions about this topic. Your decision will be spot on after reading this article.

Remember, this article is comparing Soundbars and LCR speakers from the same price range.

Why am I comparing the soundbar with LCR Speakers and not with the surround sound speakers system?

I am comparing the soundbar with LCR because it has no competition with a complete surround sound speakers setup that has a 5.1 or 7.1 layout.

The surround sound speakers’ setup is far superior to the soundbar, that’s why I am comparing it with just the LCR speakers.

Here are two similarities between the LCR speakers & Soundbar due to which they can be compared and not the surround speakers with the soundbar.

  • Nice LCR speakers set and a nice soundbar almost cost the same.
  • LCR speakers & soundbars are both kept at the front near the TV.

The LCR Stands for Front Left, Center, and Front right speakers.

Soundbar Vs LCR Speakers (More in-depth Comparison)

FeatureSoundbar RatingLCR Speakers Rating
Quality Of Sound3/55/5
Sound Loudness2.5/55/5
Wider Sound Stage2/55/5
Bass1/55/5
Sound Control3/55/5
Easy Setup5/51/5
Cost Friendliness4.5/53/5
Convenience5/52.5/5
Adaptability WIth The System5/53.5/5
Disclaimer: The rating is for the same price range of LCR speakers and Soundbar. The ratings are based on my personal experience.

How Do They Differ In Quality Of Sound?

The LCR speakers have comparatively bigger drivers than the same-price slim soundbar. These drivers have a bigger area to move back and forth comfortably as compared to smaller drivers in the soundbar. These bigger drivers in the LCR speakers will better hit various frequencies in the sound. These drivers will produce many more frequencies than soundbar drivers could ever do.

know how to optimize the audio of home theater from my this guide. You will learn about the 5 steps that will perfect the audio.

Which One Is Louder?

The soundbar will give a slightly better loudness than TV built-in speakers but the LCR speakers will open a new universe of loudness.

The soundbars are slim and they have to fit in an amplifier too in there and the LCR speakers are driven by an external amplifier or AV receiver. That’s why LCR gets more power from the amplifier to take on the highness of the loudness.

The soundbar can’t get that much power from its built-in amplifier which can match the power of an external amplifier.

How Wide Is The Sound Stage Of Each One?

The speakers of the soundbar are fitted inside a thin and very limited area bar. That’s why their sound stage is limited too.

On the other hand, you can place the LCR speakers with a gap of your liking between them. This will give you a comparatively wider soundstage than a soundbar.

You will feel like the vehicle on the screen is driving from the left and right of your theater room. While in the soundbar case, you will not feel the same for that same vehicle on the screen.

Which One Provides Better Bass?

Again the drivers of the soundbar are small and small drivers can’t hit the lower-end frequencies as bigger drivers.

Read about the best subwoofer under $500 for the best bass on a budget.

Which One Provides Better Control Over Sound?

The soundbar only provides volume control with a remote. While the LCR speaker which will be connected to the AV receiver provides better sound control. You will be provided with a complete home theater equalizer by the AV Receiver or amplifier to which these LCRs are connected.

Which One Can Be Setupped Easily & Quickly?

When it comes to setting up the soundbar will always win from the LCR. You just have to plug the soundbar into the power supply and then connect it to the TV or projector with just one wire and everything is good to go.

On the other hand, you will have to connect each speaker in the LCR with its wire and then the other three wires will be used to power them up. Another thing will be to now calibrate its sound.

Read my guide about the best soundbar under $300. Few soundbars’ features will shock you.

Which One Is Budget-Friendly?

Soundbars are very cost-friendly. You can get a soundbar for less than $100 too. You don’t have a receiver for a soundbar or amplifier. On the other hand, you need an amplifier or receiver with LCR speakers.

Which One Is More Convenient To Use?

Just keep the soundbar below the display and you are good to go. On the other hand, you will have to place the LCR speakers at specific degrees and angles. Then you have to calibrate it as well.

Which One Provides Better Adaptability With The System?

The soundbars are slim and can fit very well below the TV and adapt to the environment easily. For LCR speakers you have to choose the places and save space for them. Also adapting the speakers to the environment is very difficult unless you love to stare at the speakers.

Solve these most common home theater problems. These 17 problems may occur in almost every theater room.

The Popularity Of The Soundbar Vs Speakers Over The Time

YearSoundbars Net Sales In USAHome Theater Speakers Net Sales In USA
2014$765 Million$305 Million
2015$890 Million$290 Million
2016$910 Million$290 Million
Source: Statista

Over the years the sales of soundbars are increasing over time. It shows people choosing the soundbar over the speakers for its convenience.

The sales of the soundbars are exploding and it is over the roof because any newbie can go with it. Just buy a soundbar and within a few minutes of unboxing it. You can enjoy its magic. On other hand, you need at least an intermediate level of experience in setting up the speakers and a pro-level of experience in calibrating them.

Also, you need a receiver or amplifier for the speakers while the soundbar has its built-in amplifier. Many soundbars come with a dedicated app for controlling so there is no need for an AV receiver.

Did you get something out of this soundbar Vs speaker guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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FAQs

Is a soundbar just a speaker?

A soundbar is not a speaker it is a set of speakers. The majority of the soundbars will have at least three built-in speakers. A typical soundbar will have left, center, and right speakers in its body.

A soundbar is not a single speaker. It was created to enhance the audio quality of the smart TVs that’s why it was equipped with a set of speakers. So, it can sound better than a single speaker-equipped TV.

Is a center channel speaker the same as a soundbar?

The center is not the same as a soundbar. The center speaker has only one center channel while a typical soundbar has center, left, and right channels.

Are LCR speakers good?

They are good for stereo music. They are the best but not as good as complete surround sound. But they are better than a soundbar.

Does a soundbar need to be centered?

The soundbar needs to be centered because it has a center channel and the center channel speaker should be kept at a 0° angle with the audience. That’s why the soundbar should also be kept at 0°.

Does the soundbar replace surround sound?

A soundbar can never replace a full-fledged surround sound. Some newer soundbars can just give a taste of surround sound but those also can’t replace the surround sound.

Which is better: the soundbar or the speaker?

The speaker has more power delivered by the external amplifier and more driver area to hit better frequencies and more loudness than the soundbar. That’s why in the sound category speakers are always better.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. This was my opinion, read more about it on Yamaha Blog. (Resource for the fourth answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more about it on Klipsch Blog. (Resource for the fifth answer)

Watch To Learn More (Another opinion about the same topic)

This article was first posted on Homelytainment.com.
Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

Ayaan khan is a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After his degree, he started an internship with his father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month he realized that this is the best job in the world for him and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when his internship ended, he joined his father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. He tests new equipment and approves it before it can be installed in the customer's house. He loves to test equipment and sometimes loves to install it by himself in the customer's theater room. Ayyan has the right experience and knowledge to learn from his articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy.

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