Are you replacing your home entertainment options or getting a new television put in? Perhaps you’re redecorating or have moved homes and want to know what home cinema system sound options are best for you. Maybe you just want to make a change. Either way, you might have been looking at a couple of different sound options for your TV. Assuming you don’t want to just stick with the stereo sound that comes with the unit itself—you probably want something better. There are a couple of different external options which are probably the best options. These are surround sound and soundbars.
There are a number of different advantages and drawbacks for each of these systems. The reality is, they’re both good options that are much better than the standard sound that came with your TV. But which is right for you? If you want to know, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading as we’re going to look at some of the pros and cons of both surround sound and soundbars, and which might be right for your home.
What is a soundbar?
A soundbar is a standalone unit that sits under or near the television in the center of a room. It’s generally quite small, but longer than it is wide. This bar sits well under a TV. It works by having a number of different tiny speakers in it that bounce sound around the room, off the walls. It’s a good option to get a surround sound effect without actually putting speakers around the room. As we’ll find out, this has a number of benefits and advantages, but soundbars could be a viable option for your home.
What is surround sound?
You’re probably already aware of what surround sound is at this point, but if not—here’s a quick recap: Surround sound uses a number of smaller speakers that are placed around the room so that you get sound from all directions (like in the cinema). They normally have a base unit that stays near the TV. While the speakers for surround sound are still small-ish, they’re much bigger than soundbar speakers.
What are the benefits of a soundbar?
Soundbars have a number of benefits, and that’s why more people are starting to choose them rather than wiring up a surround sound system in their home.
Firstly, they’re affordable. In other words they’re much cheaper than surround sound systems. Some surround sound options can cost over $1,000 while you can get a soundbar for much less than that. There’s also an additional cost with surround sound as you might have to hire someone to install the system if you don’t know what you’re doing. You won’t have to do this with a soundbar, either.
And that’s another key benefit of a soundbar. They’re super-simple to set up and get started. If you don’t want to hire someone to set up your surround sound, it could be a good few hours of hard work. And a lot of faffing around. With a soundbar, you can generally just plug it in and out it in place. It could be ready to go in a couple of minutes.
Soundbars aren’t just easy to install and set up, as well as being cheap—but they’re also quite a practical option. Perhaps you like to change where your position is situated semi regularly? Or maybe you’re only renting a place for a month and are then moving. With a soundbar, it’s easy to move around or take with you without having to re-wire the whole home. They’re much more practical.
Soundbars also save a lot of space. The wiring, additional speakers and especially base unit and amp of a proper surround sound system can take up a lot of space. If you’ve only got a small room, soundbars might be for you.
That makes soundbars a great option for small apartments and places where you can’t fit in all the equipment needed for a big surround system.
Benefits of a surround sound system
While soundbars have a number of practical and cost-based advantages, there’s a reason why real home-cinema fans still choose surround sound systems. Let’s have a look at them.
Firstly, while soundbars are improving on the sound they can produce the best sound is still delivered by a surround system. If you want the loudest, clearest and most cinema-like experience you’ll need proper surround sound.
There’s a reason why surround sound systems are bigger and have more equipment. They produce a bigger sound. If you want deep and rich bass, you’ll need surround sound.
You can’t really compare the sound between soundbars and surround systems. Soundbars can never really compete on this. They might be cheaper and more practical, but a proper surround system has all the equipment needed to deliver a range of high-quality audio.
Surround systems are better for bigger homes with bigger rooms as well. That’s because soundbars aren’t really built to project the sound around a massive area. If you want to fill a big room with sound, you should consider installing a surround sound system.
Once you’ve installed your high-quality surround system, you won’t really have to go to the cinema again.
So if you want an easy to move option that’s cheap and doesn’t take up much space, then go for a soundbar. There’s nothing wrong with them. They should still provide better sound for your home than the speakers on your television set, and they’re practical and easy to get started with. They’re also cheap, and great for people who might be renting.
If high-quality audio is more important for you, then you should consider installing a proper surround sound system complete with amp and subwoofer. This is how you really get the high-end sound and can fill a big room with great audio. These units should be more expensive, but you’ll have to consider whether that cost is worth it to you.