sound bar vs surround sound

Sound Bars or Surround Sound, which is better?

Sometimes you just can’t install a surround sound system, we get it. Soundbars offer some of the benefits of a traditional audio video system will a smaller form factor and fewer installation costs. While only surround sound systems can offer true “surround sound”, soundbars offer a great alternative. Over the past decade, Sound Bars have become increasingly popular for people who refuse to rely on the poor sound quality of their TVs dedicated speaker system. Due to pricing pressure, TV manufacturers have continued cost-cutting of internal TV speakers. Most are familiar with traditional surround Sound systems that feature an AV receiver and speakers placed around the room as they have been around for quite some time. But how do you decide which type of sound system is right for your entertainment space?

The best features of Sound Bars:

Sound Bars are great for many reasons: they’re compact, relatively quick and easy to install in comparison to traditional surround systems as they don’t require mounting of many speakers and are available in a wide range of prices for all kinds of budgets.

Small with few components and easy to set up

When you have a Sound Bar, you’ll likely only have the Sound Bar visible aside from the TV That’s it! The AV receiver and home automation controller from Control4 or can be hidden in a cabinet or even in another room such as a basement. There is no need to deal with 5-12 different speaker placements or buy stands for your speakers. A Soundbar is a perfect solution for people with smaller living rooms, renters, and anyone who wants to make a substantial improvement to the sound quality of their home media system with great aesthetics and relative ease of installation, as well as compact form factor.

A range of prices available

Sound Bars prices range from introductory models offering much-improved sound or auxiliary inputs. Mid-range models will offer much higher sound quality such as deeper bass and higher volumes. High-end models feature many separate drivers, better imaging and dynamics as well as being available in a variety of custom finishes to match fireplace mantels, custom cabinetry, or custom TV surrounds. Higher-end models will also create a more realistic illusion of surround sound.

The best features of Surround Sound systems:

Unlike standalone Sound Bars, full Surround Sound systems offer true surround sound and because you are utilizing multiple speakers, the sound quality is far superior at play at higher volumes with way more bass, fidelity, and dynamics. Surround Sound systems create truly immersive sound. Last, and sometimes most important, if you watch a lot of TV and movies a dedicated center channel will mean voices are clearer and easier to understand.

Personalized Sound Experience

With a Surround Sound system, you can have as few as three or as many as 20 or more. The number general comes from standard formats such as Dolby 5.1, 7.1, or the Dolby Atmos Specification. The great benefit of surround sound systems is they are very flexible and can vary speaker placement based on your specific needs, budget, and most importantly- the room you would like to install surround sound in. Dedicate Home Theaters also feature Surround Sound systems but so can media rooms, dens, basements, bedrooms, and more! We’ve even put surround sound in a kitchen!

Better Sound Quality

In general, Surround Sound systems provide better quality than a Sound Bar because they provide more division of the sound to make the sound more natural in the room; versus having all the sound coming from one direction in the room. It will make movies, games and more sound much more realistic as if that sound actually is coming from the left side of your room.

Long Lasting and One Less HDMI Port Hog

Your AV receiver will also free up an HDMI port on your TV by acting as an HDMI hub for a number of devices, including your Home Automation system. This isn’t to say that some Sound Bars don’t have this capability as well, but they usually don’t have as many inputs and outputs available.

Now which system is better for you?

It all depends on your budget, your entertainment space, and your needs. If you’re looking to improve the sound from your TV or are installing in multipurpose space, a Sound Bar may be the perfect solution that is cost-effective, easier to install, and fits in tough to reach places like above a fireplace, a Sound Bar would be a great choice. If you are a huge movie buff and love to experience movies as you do in theaters, then go for a Surround Sound system. Either way, you’re going to have a great audio setup that is much better than the built-in speakers on your OLED TV.