Soundbar vs Speakers – What’s the difference?

Soundbar vs speakers is a common debate within the audio industry. In the modern age, television has become a staple feature in the lives of many people. We spend most of our free time watching television or perhaps a new Box Office release. With a great movie, the sound is important and the soundbar or multi-speaker system are the main options to choose from for an enhanced experience.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the key differences between a soundbar and speakers, helping you make the best decision when it comes to enhancing your television experience.

speakers vs soundbar


One of the first differences you will see is the setup. A soundbar is a one-piece unit that has fewer wires and connections that are needed. The set up is much simpler for beginners. Additionally, you don’t need to find space around the room, as the soundbar works great when it is sitting on your TV stand.

On the other hand, we have the speaker system. The speaker system has many small speakers with connections that need to be made. It is complicated to set up and might make a small TV room look cluttered. 

Sound Quality

With the speaker or surround system featuring multiple speakers to be placed around you, the sound quality is much better. The addition of rear speakers can give you a “true sound” experience. It doesn’t mean that you should count out the soundbar just yet. The soundbar is small, but still gives you better quality sound than a stock TV.


Much like PC equipment, sound equipment gradually upgrades each year. You might have the best one year, only to find something better a couple of months down the line. Both the speaker and soundbar are great for this. Since the soundbar is affordable, you can simply buy a new soundbar with all the latest technology upgrades.

Speakers have a little more flexibility than your standard soundbar. Since you have numerous speakers placed around your living area, you can mix and match. You are no longer bound to the speaker types that the manufacturer provides. Additionally, you can upgrade each speaker individually, without having to replace the main control panel.


No matter which sound system you have, you want to be able to use it efficiently. It is much easier to use a system that allows you easy access. In general, both the sound system and speakers will offer you a simple experience and make it possible for you to control things like the volume and the sound features.

The speaker system is a little more sophisticated, allowing one to control the sound of individual speakers for better quality. For beginners, the soundbar is less sophisticated. Due to less sophistication, those that are not sound experts will find the soundbar to be much simpler to use and easier to control things like volume and sound quality.


No matter what your personal preference is, you need to consider your budget. If you can’t afford something it is no use is buying it. The soundbar is much more affordable in comparison to the speaker system. However, you can start small with your speaker system and gradually add or upgrade the standard speakers.

The soundbar is affordable, but once you find better technology or see something with better sound, you need to replace the entire soundbar. For many people, this can feel like a big waste of money and they choose the speaker or surround sound system.

On a budget? Here is the best soundbars that’s under $100!

Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Sound Bar

Before you jump the gun and find the perfect soundbar, you might want to take a little time to see what benefits and drawbacks it could offer. It is important to look consider what TV system you already have before buying a sound system:


  • Affordable and often very cheap
  • The set up is not complex
  • Better sound quality than a standard TV
  • Small and easy to place almost anywhere
  • A couple of soundbars work in conjunction with speakers
  • It is really easy to use


  • The sound quality cannot be upgraded
  • It has a limited set of features
  • If the soundbar is too large, it might block your TV view

Also read: Best LG Soundbar you can buy.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Speaker System

On paper, speakers look like the definite option. However, they are not without flaws that you need to deal with occasionally. Before you choose a speaker system, here is a list of all the most common benefits and drawbacks:


  • Fully adjustable sound quality
  • Components can be upgraded individually
  • Provides a true sound experience
  • Users can mix and match speakers as they please
  • Flexible connections and set up


  • The set up can be time-consuming
  • They are expensive at first
  • Sound systems take up a lot of space
  • The set up is complex with many wires


The big question is which one you should buy. However, it goes much deeper than this. If you are serious about good quality sound, you would choose a surround sound system. You can then mix and match your components for the desired sound. If you are only looking to enhance the current quality of your TV sound, the soundbar is one of the most affordable options to start with.

About Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!