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Soundbar vs Home Theatre - What's the Difference?

Soundbar vs Home Theatre - What's the Difference?

For today's massive immersive entertainment, soundbars are a sleek and convenient solution to elevate the audio experience, especially when you are using the TV. With a compact design and quick setup, soundbars are better than traditional TV speakers regarding audio experience, setup, cost, and all other crucial factors. Though there are many soundbars, the best is wireless subwoofers, suitable for TVs, tablets, and smartphones. These are versatile, highly functional, and affordable, too.  

Home theatre systems offer a more comprehensive audio solution rich in surround sound for an immersive and cinematic experience. The best home theatre system delivers top-notch audio quality with surround speakers that feel lifelike and transport you to the next level. Here's a difference between these two to help you figure out which you need to invest in.  

Soundbar Overview

A soundbar is a compact audio device that enhances the audio experience with basic components like speakers, amplifiers, and signal processing circuits. The speakers are arranged within a slim space with various setups for different frequencies. Through amplifiers, you can listen to louder and clearer audio. The signal processing circuit board adjusts audio settings and optimises sound quality. 

Regarding connectivity, soundbars offer various options for linking with external devices. These may include HDMI, optical, or auxiliary inputs for connecting to TVs, gaming consoles, or music players. Some advanced models also support wireless connections such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, enabling seamless streaming from smartphones and other compatible devices. 

Home Theatre Overview

A home theatre system is a comprehensive setup designed to give you the cinematic audio experience at home or wherever you want. It has a large-screen display (TV or projector), a surround sound system, and media playback devices. The primary and exciting component of the home theatre is the sound system, which has speakers strategically placed around the viewing area. These speakers can be categorised into front, centre, surround, and subwoofer speakers.  

The subwoofer delivers powerful bass frequencies, adding depth and realism to explosions, music, and other low-frequency sounds. You can customise the home theatre easily, so many prefer to buy home theatres for personal use.  

Soundbar vs Home Theatres: A Feature Breakdown

Number of Speakers:  

Soundbar: This type of system has fewer speakers than a home theatre system. It usually has a single enclosure with multiple drivers, including left, right, and centre channels, and built-in subwoofers.

Home Theatre offers a more expansive speaker setup, with multiple speakers for the front, centre, surround, and subwoofer channels. Configurations range from 2.1 setups to more elaborate 5.1, 7.1, or Dolby Atmos configurations with additional surround and overhead speakers.

Sound Quality:  

Soundbar: Provides improved audio compared to TV speakers, offering clearer dialogue, enhanced bass, and more expansive sound dispersion. However, the sound quality may differ from that of a home theatre regarding surround sound immersion and bass response.

Home Theatre: Has superior sound quality regarding surround sound immersion and audio fidelity. With separate speakers and subwoofers for different, home theatre systems can deliver more dynamic and immersive audio experiences in large rooms. 

Ease of Setup:

Soundbar: Known for its simple and easy setup, it requires minimal wiring and can be installed quickly. It requires only a few connections to the TV and power outlet, which is suitable for hassle-free connections at home.

Home Theatre: This involves more complex setup procedures since it involves more components and speakers. Setting up a home theatre system consists of routing cables, positioning multiple speakers, and configuring audio settings. However, modern home theatre systems have a user-friendly setup that simplifies the process. 

Value for Money:

Soundbar: Soundbars are affordable and offer a cost-effective solution for improving TV audio without the expense of saving you the trouble of a full-fledged surround sound setup. 

Home Theatre: This is a considerable investment, especially for high-end systems with multiple speakers and advanced features like Dolby Atmos. While more expensive home theatre systems are the best for long-term usage, some affordable models provide decent audio quality. 

Choosing the Right Sound System for You

  • Determine your budget range for a sound system and consider the amount you are willing to invest for audio quality and features.
  • Look for options within your budget that offer the best performance, features, and build quality. 

Room Size:  

  • Evaluate the room's size and layout where you will use the soundbar or home theatre. Larger rooms may require more powerful speakers.
  • Consider any factors affecting sound quality, such as reflective surfaces or furniture where you will be setting up the audio system. 

Sound Immersion Level:

  • Decide the level of immersion you want from your sound system. Will a basic stereo sound suffice, or do you need an immersive surround sound experience? Only you can understand what you need, in terms of budget also.
  • You can choose a speaker configuration according to your immersion preference—a simple stereo setup, a 5.1 surround sound system, or a more advanced Dolby Atmos configuration.

Buying Tips for Sound Systems:  

  • Research thoroughly before making a purchase. Review reviews and compare specifications before deciding on a soundbar or home theatre.
  • Check the return policy and warranty coverage before making a purchase.
  • Remember compatibility with your existing devices. Ensure the sound system has the necessary inputs and connectivity options to work seamlessly with your TV, gaming console, music player, etc. 

Choose wisely and buy an affordable unit, it should be a soundbar. It's worth trying Artis soundbars for your home for the best immersive experience! 


Is a soundbar better than a home theatre?

A soundbar is simple and saves lots of space, while a home theatre system delivers superior audio immersion and quality.

Can a soundbar provide surround sound?

Many modern soundbars are equipped with virtual surround sound technology that simulates a surround sound experience.

Can a soundbar replace a home theater system?

A soundbar can provide enhanced audio for TV viewing but can't replace a home theatre system for immersive surround sound and audio quality.

Are soundbars good for small rooms?

Yes, soundbars are ideal for small rooms due to their compact size and simplified setup. They offer improved audio quality over built-in TV speakers in a limited space..

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