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Soundbar vs. Surround Sound

Soundbar vs. Surround Sound

Soundbar vs. Surround Sound

Soundbar vs. Surround Sound: What to Buy

When it comes to your home theater setup, many choices are to be made, each with potential benefits and drawbacks. The final result needs to be a satisfying listening experience, no matter how you get there.

When setting up a sound system, ask yourself your primary goals. Do you want an ultimate music experience or a captivating stage for movies? Perhaps both? Are you looking for an easy and simple setup to use or one that allows you to control every aspect of the system.

The following overview of soundbars and surround sound technology can give you an idea of what may be the best choice for your home system.

What is a Soundbar?

A soundbar is one of the easiest “all-in-one” ways to upgrade your T.V.’s sound. It is a broad yet short loudspeaker enclosure with left, right, and center channel speakers, sometimes more, and usually mounts directly underneath a display. The soundbar is an upgrade to any television set speaker as it has the traditional stereo channels plus a dedicated center channel for dialogue.


Advantages of a Soundbar

The most significant advantage of a soundbar is its simplicity. The quality of sound achieved with even relatively small drivers will significantly surpass the quality of most standard television speakers. They are small, easy to install and configure for most listening setups, and can often be integrated with subwoofers.

Many T.V. manufacturers have soundbar technology in mind for home theater applications. The cost of soundbars for home theater is becoming more budget-friendly every year. However, because of the compact size of a soundbar, they will not be able to perform as well as or provide the impact of a traditional stereo or surround sound setup.

What is Surround Sound?

Surround Sound technology is used in theaters, home theater systems, and even television and sports broadcasts. It utilizes multiple speakers positioned at strategic points around the listener to give the most immersive experience possible.

An essential advancement in surround sound technology was using speakers beside and behind the audience to give the illusion that on-screen events occur all around the listener.

More recent advances in surround sound technology include additional speakers placed above the audience in critical points around the room to allow for sounds that feel like they are passing overhead and give a three-dimensional quality to the surround sound experience. Using multiple subwoofers further reinforces a surround sound setup's overall impact and realism.

Advantages of Surround Sound

A surround sound setup is the best way to replicate the experience of being at the movies in the comfort of your own home. A surround setup also has the most significant number of options to fit the needs of any specific space.

Surround sound lives up to its name and surrounds the listener with detailed sound coming from all directions. It will give you the most accurate sound replication of how your favorite movies were designed to be experienced.

There are a variety of possible speaker arrangements that can be set up with various surround sound receivers or pre-processors. The advantage of this configurability is that you can choose what setup will best fit your needs and your listening space.

Furthermore, the modular aspect of surround sound technology with speakers and separate processors and amplifiers allows for easy upgrades in quality at any time without needing to replace the entire system.

Home Theatre

How to Choose Between Soundbar & Surround Sound

One thing to keep in mind~ A soundbar can provide a simulated surround effect for a limited seating area. However, you get a much better surround effect over a much larger seating area when you add discrete left and surround speakers in locations to the side and behind you.

Keeping that in mind, the big question you need to ask yourself is, what is your end goal? Are you wanting an actual Home Theater listening room or to have somewhat better sound quality in your living room?

Find Your Sound With Emotiva

Although we do not have any soundbars in our line-up currently, when it comes to home theater surround sound, Emotiva has you covered! We're geared toward high-end surround sound for every part of your home theater system and various options to fit different room sizes, lifestyles, and listening needs. 

If you still need guidance on what gear you need for your setup, give your Emotiva Audio Sales Representative a call at 1-615-790-6754 or check out the great surround sound gear we have to offer:

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