A very common question people ask when looking to upgrade their PC’s audio equipment is whether they should get a soundbar or a set of speakers.
Both are quite practical choices and it greatly depends on many factors such as how much space you have, design, sound quality, and budget. You also need to ensure that whatever you choose is compatible with a PC, otherwise, you may need to get some added accessories.
Is a soundbar good for a PC?
The soundbar is a long and narrow speaker you usually place under or above your TV in a cabinet based on your setup. These soundbars typically have multiple speakers and produce multi-channel sound.
Some of the models also come with separate subwoofers as well as rear speakers. Soundbars have an inbuilt amplifier which reduces the number of equipment on your shelves. This makes it quite practical if you are after a minimalistic setup.
Soundbar presents a huge advantage because you can conveniently connect it with your television or home theatre. But the good thing is you can also link it with your personal computer. And you can do that with a standard 3.5mm jack. However, some modern laptops now only use a USB-C connection, so you may need a USB-C to 3.5MM cable.
The ease of connectivity these soundbars have to offer makes them a worthy adversary of regular speakers you use with your speakers.
Let’s have a look at some of the benefits these soundbars have to offer.
Benefits of a soundbar
One of the major advantages these soundbars have over speakers is; soundbars use space extremely well. You can conveniently place a soundbar underneath your PC and get a top-quality performance.
Since these soundbars are long and sleek speakers, space is going to be a huge bonus for you. You can go for a separate subwoofer if you want. Most of these soundbars are well built especially if you go for the high-end units.
As it is going to be placed inside a cabinet, the sound comes out of it gets an echo, and enhances the overall output very well. There is not much equipment you will have to handle. They have everything in-built.
Soundbars are highly effective in enhancing the overall sound that comes out of your personal computer. And this is especially the case if your soundbar setup has an inbuilt amplifier and a separate subwoofer.
Soundbars can handle vocals fairly well. They can take care of the low to mid-range sounds effectively and present you with enhanced output.
Price is another huge factor that heavily weighs in favor of soundbars. You can conveniently get a good soundbar setup for around $100. And if you are looking for more premium setups, LG offers some great soundbars.
For an initial setup, this is an ideal budget. And if you are not an audiophile who likes to immerse in the bass, these soundbars will work fine for you.
Easy to set up and user-friendliness are some of the top features of soundbars. It’s just a long speaker and you just need to plug into your PC with a 3.5mm jack and you are good to go. Some of them even come with Bluetooth features, making connectivity even simpler, and maybe an added bonus if you own a laptop.
Everything is built-in here and you won’t have to deal with multiple wires. It’s a much cleaner set up that won’t take much of your time to be in place,
Best for smaller rooms
Soundbars work well for watching movies in small rooms. They handle vocals quite efficiently. If you are not looking for any special features like surround sound, they get the job done nicely.
You can even play your regular games that will handle most sounds to a great satisfaction. But don’t go for the ones that require proper sounds for detecting footsteps such as CSGO or Warzone as a nice set of headphones or will be more efficient for this.
In conclusion, a soundbar is a great step up from your typical Monitor/tv speakers and it may be an excellent idea to get one. If you are interested in a minimalistic setup, you can read this article on putting a soundbar behind a tv. A lot of it will still be relevant if you wanted to place it behind your monitor or laptop.
Speakers for PCs don’t need an introduction because they are quite commonly used by everyone. You can connect them with your computer using a 3.5mm jack just like a soundbar. They are more diverse in terms of sound performance and looks.
Speakers are far more versatile than soundbars because they can handle different types of sound whether at high or low frequencies. Of course, it depends on how much you pay and what your budget is. But primarily speaking, a good set of speakers such as the Bose Companion 2 for under $100 will certainly do the job.
Benefits of speakers
When it comes to design speakers are at a slight disadvantage because they are not very space friendly. You will have a lot more pieces of equipment on your shelf when you have speakers depending upon the number of pieces in your setup.
Speakers come in a range of different designs and shapes and even sizes. You have certainly far more options here to explore in this case. Based on the space available you can pick the right number and size of your speaker set up.
There is no match for the sound quality that a high-end speaker can produce. Even if you go for a midrange speaker set up, the sound it produces is of the highest order and will be far better than a soundbar at a similar price point (usually).
You can go for a separate amplifier or some setups come with an inbuilt one. You can also add as many subwoofers as you can. And of course, you can increase the number of speakers based on your requirements. But again, it all comes down to space and what your personal requirements are.
The surround sound these speakers can produce will provide you with a truly immersive experience while watching movies or playing games, especially in the range of $80+.
One of the huge advantages these speakers have to offer is their versatility. When you have a decent pair of speakers with your PC, you can use them for a variety of purposes.
You can watch movies, play games, listen to your favorite music, and for a range of other purposes. You can add more speakers and place them behind your seating area for 3D surround sound.
Some speakers also come with an array of other connectivity options and you can even connect your musical instruments and other devices with them. So, connectivity becomes a huge plus for you.
If you are looking for something that can vibrate your neighbors’ windows, you need to choose speakers over anything else. There are different speakers available that can produce over 120W sound power. But… that may be overkill for a pc setup 🙂
The best feature that tops everything else and makes speakers a better option over soundbars is surround sound. The full range 3D effect that a speaker set up can produce is second to none and you can alter it by placing the speakers at different places inside your room.
It means a speaker set up is a better option to consider when you have a large room. Your gameplay or movie experience will amplify significantly with this 3D surround sound experience. You can experience the true sound and heavy bass handling is also at its very best. This is great if you have a projector hooked up to your PC or Laptop.
Soundbars and speakers for PCs both have their positives and negatives. Soundbars are much more compact and consume less space, but don’t quite offer the sound quality a speaker can offer.
Speakers on the other hand provide you with a true sound and can amplify all the details at different sound ranges. But setting them up is a bit of technical work, and are better suited for larger spaces.
In my personal opinion, I believe a good set of speakers are superior to a soundbar. BUT, a soundbar is a great option if all you need is decent sound quality and are not interested in all the tiny details with each soundwave. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want and your individual needs.