Which is Better: Surround Sound or Sound Bars?
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Which is Better: Surround Sound or Sound Bars?

Which is Better: Surround Sound or Sound Bars?

There are a few different choices when choosing the sound output for your new home theater or entertainment system. Two of those options include a soundbar or surround sound, and you may be wondering which one is right for you.

Both are great options, but Audio Video Protocol has more specific details about both so you can make the best, informed decision.

Considerations for Sound Output

There are several factors to consider when choosing a sound output option. Some of these include your personal preference, room size, and technology needs. Another major factor to consider is whether or not your current entertainment or home theater system has the right components for either a surround sound system or a soundbar.

And last but not least, what is your budget? Soundbars are an affordable option, while surround sound can provide a much more immersive experience, but it comes with a cost.

Surround Sound vs. Soundbar

So how do soundbars stack up against surround sound systems? Let’s take a look:


Soundbars are fairly simple sound devices. Typically they sit below your television and project great sound into the room. Soundbars have built-in speakers that can help reduce the number of devices in your living room and have a sleek look.

They are very popular, which means the manufacturers are putting effort into making quality speakers with great sound and design. Soundbars are easy to use and quick to install, as most modern televisions have the components for a soundbar. You can control them using a remote, your phone, or even your voice through a smart home device.

And there’s the price. Generally, you can find a soundbar that costs anywhere from $100 to $1000, depending on your budget. The average is $200 to $600.

One downfall of soundbars is the lack of immersion; they won’t provide as much of an impressive experience as you might be looking for. They also aren’t quite as flexible as a surround sound system.

Soundbars work better in smaller rooms, so if you choose your sound device for a large room, soundbars might not be the way to go. Overall, soundbars are a great choice for their price and compatibility.

Surround Sound Systems

Surround sound systems are much more flexible than soundbars. You can mix and match components to build out your home theater room, which makes them very customizable. You won’t be limited to a packaged deal with the same brand. Change it up if you want!

Surround sound devices are high quality with amazing sound, which can be much better than a soundbar. Plus, the immersive sound experience of a surround sound system is unmatched, especially in a larger room. If your intention is to entertain friends and family in your home theater room, surround sound might be the way to go.

Because of the complexity of the pieces involved in a surround sound system, they can be much more difficult to install on your own. There’s also the issue of wires stringing everywhere, so if you’re building a new home theater room, you might want to consider having the speakers built into the walls and ceiling.

There is also the price tag. The average cost of a complex surround sound system can be between $4,000 and $6,000. However, in a smaller room, you might only spend between $2,000 and $3,000.

Which is Better? Surround Sound or Soundbar

Depending on the factors above, surround sound or a soundbar are your best choices for an improved sound experience. If you’re new to improved sound quality or want to start small, start with a soundbar and eventually work your way up to a new surround sound system.

The built-in speakers on televisions lack quality, so a soundbar can be a vast step up from there. However, go for the surround sound system if you’re building a new room or want that full, immersive sound.

Audio Video Protocol Can Build Your Home Theater Experience

Live in Long Island, NY? If you need help customizing and installing your surround sound experience, let Audio Video Protocol be your quality sound partner. With over a decade of experience in the audio-visual field, we are fully capable to build out your dream home theater, whether it's in your current home or a new room addition.

We can also help integrate your sound system with your smart home devices. Give us a call today at 800-729-5509 or send us a message on our website.