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Should I purchase a Home Theater System or a Soundbar?

When looking around to upgrade your home theater experience, there are quite a few options out there. One of which is whether you should invest your money into a Home Theater System, or purchase an excellent soundbar to upgrade the audio on your television. Which one you choose could be determined by many factors, including your budget, the amount of space in the room, neighbors if you live in an apartment or several other variables.

The obvious differences between a Home Theater system and a soundbar would be the cost and the size.
Soundbars are typically smaller, so they take less room. A full-blown home theater system generally consists of at least five speakers so that it will take much more room. Then with it, you’ll want to decide whether or not you go wired or wireless.

The Pros and Cons of a Soundbar


  • Soundbars are generally reasonably cheap
  • They can usually be mounted on a wall or set under the tv, depending on which you need for your setup
  • The usually always put out a better sound than the speakers on TV do


  • They will not sound as good as a decent home theater system
  • Cheaper soundbars aren’t always as good of a sound as the speakers on a good tv

You’ll want to get a soundbar that matches your television. If you have a cheaper television, most soundbars will be an upgrade. If you have a nice tv, you will only be disappointed with a more inexpensive soundbar.
If you want to upgrade the quality of a soundbar, you can pair it with a subwoofer and two additional rear speakers which will drastically improve your experience.

What Size Soundbar Do I Need for My TV?

As a general rule of thumb, your soundbar should be approximately the same size in length as your television is in width. Around a 38-inch or smaller about any size will do. Once you get to a 42-inch to around a 50-inch, you’ll want to have a 38 to 45-inch soundbar. A 55-inch to 65-inch tv – around a 50-inch soundbar. Any larger television than that, get a 60-inch soundbar – or better yet a full theater system!

The Pros and Cons of a Home Theater System


  • Much better sound quality and user experience
  • If set up correctly can provide a movie theater experience
  • Can be a phenomenal experience for home theater as well as music


  • Generally will be a bigger hit on your wallet
  • If you set it up incorrectly, you may not be as impressed as you should be
  • Takes up more area in your room between all the speakers, etc

Remember when you’re setting up your home theater system to not just concentrate on more bass or too much of any particular range. Mid-range is just as important and will make a massive difference in the quality you get when watching a movie, playing a game, or listening to music.

The Takeaway:

If you can afford it and have space, I would strongly recommend a sound home theater system for everyone over a soundbar. The quality of the equipment you choose and how you set it up will make a huge difference. Get the best you can afford without going over budget, and I promise you that you will not be disappointed!