Are Soundbars a Waste of Money?

Nowadays, media systems are pretty expensive. If you want to buy an excellent Television, it can cost you a good amount of money. Other media equipment such as home theater setup and soundbars are also expensive. So after buying a nice TV with a sticker price to match, you may think that purchasing a soundbar is a luxury or even a waste of money.

Adding a soundbar with your TV can make your media experience better at a reasonable price. It is a great way to add quality to your media system. Simply adding left and right channels of a soundbar or an entire surround sound system can enhance your media watching experience.

Nowadays, there are different kinds of home theater electronics available. You have to know the details. You also have to know what are features of a soundbar you really need to get. So let’s get started.

At first, you have to know that how soundbars enhance your media experience. Then you can build up from there and explore what you need and what you don’t so that you can pick the right soundbar for you with full of confidence.

The Value of Soundbars

Are Soundbars a Waste of Money?

When you are looking for components to build a home theater for yourself now, it is clear to you that there’s more in play than just the TV or screen. While building a home theater system, people mostly start from getting a big, nice screen or even a projector. TVs almost always come with built-in speakers. Moreover more expensive and higher-end TVs may come with good quality stereo speakers. But projectors won’t have any built-in audio components.

If you are using a high-quality TV or screen, you also need to keep your audio at a standard level. And adding a soundbar to your system is a very easy and affordable way to do that. Even you want to upgrade your sound system to an entire stereo surround sound system; you can start with a soundbar. Some soundbars are designed to add more speakers when you need them.

The Sonos Arc (on Amazon) and more advanced soundbars like the Nakamichi Showkwafe Ultra 9.2.4 (on Amazon) system even come with a whole stereo system of wireless speakers.

If you are interested in any stereo surround sound system, then remember that buying a soundbar isn’t a step backward or away from having an entire stereo surround system. It is very beneficial. It can give you more options and a better user experience.

So as we have mentioned above, there is a lot of option available in the world of soundbars. And the pricing of these units starts from below 100 dollars. Some stereo systems with this type of pricing will provide you with two-channel stereo sound with lots of limitations. You ever visited an electric store or Amazon, then you may know that prices can get very serious very quickly.

So you may be thinking about which option will be the best for you. At first, you have to make sure what features you really need in a soundbar and which ones you can leave for a later upgrade.

The Soundbar Features you Really Need

Are Soundbars a Waste of Money?

You’re really going to want some very useful features in your soundbar, while there are many unnecessary features also. A great example of that is a voice assistant. Some available soundbars come with a built-in voice assistant. Whether it’s Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant, it will be very useful to make your soundbar a little futuristic and enjoy futuristic services. There are also some other more obvious features you need. But first, let’s talk about the most important feature you’ll have to decide on, and that is the number of channels.

How Many Channels Do I Need on My Soundbar?

If your TV comes with a stereo sound system, then there will be two channels. But unfortunately, the quality of those drivers on the TV is not going to be so good. Because the TV manufacturer is just checking the box when they design the speakers in. The TV has to have them, but they know that most of the cost needs to be dedicated to a high-quality panel.

Why Purchasing a Simple Soundbar is Such a Great Upgrade

Moreover, Manufacturers also know that spending a good amount of money on a high-end TV will not rely on the internal built-in speakers only. They will add a soundbar to their system. So if you want to replace the TV’s stereo with a two-channel system with a simple budget soundbar, it will definitely be an upgrade. So if you do not have a big budget, you can start out with a simple stereo soundbar. Moreover, in the future, you can always upgrade.

Next Big Step For Home Theater Upgrade: 2.1 Channel with Wireless Subwoofer

If you want something better than a simple stereo soundbar, then you should look for a 2.1 channel sound system with a wireless subwoofer. There is no subwoofer built into your television. It is mainly an external speaker, and it adds a whole additional dimension to the soundscape and enhances your hearing experience. So if you want a nice upgrade but at an affordable cost, you can go for a soundbar with two channels and a wireless subwoofer.

Next Upgrade: Going From 2.1 to 5.1 Surround Sound and Beyond

The 3.1 channel systems-based soundbars come after the 2.1. But going to 3.1 from 2.1 is really not a good upgrade. If you want to upgrade your sound system, then you can upgrade it up to 5.1 from 2.1. It is a surround sound system. The 5.1 channel soundbar system adds two wireless speakers behind you, making the sound more realistic. If you are looking for something to upgrade your sound system but within an affordable budget, then you can go for a 5.1 channel system.

There are many 7.1 channel systems available on the market, and more modern 7.1.2 systems also add vertical dimensions for Dolby Atmos support. There are also 9.2.4 channel systems like the SHOCKWAFE. Sound systems like this one will really give you the experience of something close to the theater quality. But it would be best if you remembered that you have to make sure that the soundbar system has the feature you wanted. So you need to look for and understand.

Other Soundbar Features You Should Look For

A soundbar system comes with plenty of other features that the manufacturer includes. Here we are reviewing some of the features that are important for a soundbar.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is a very important feature that you will really want to consider. If you want to connect your sound system with your phone or any other device wirelessly, you will need to have Bluetooth in your sound system. For some people, it is a very important feature. But if you do not want to use your sound system for any other circumstance instead of using it with your TV, then you can ignore this one. But whatever this feature is very useful. If you decide you don’t want and need to have it, at some point, you will end up kicking yourself.

HDMI ARC

Are Soundbars a Waste of Money?

HDMI ARC is another useful feature. With the HDMI ARC system, your soundbar will be able to communicate back with your TV and, sometimes, act as the full-on receiver taking your other HDMI channels in before connecting to the TV so that you can control the soundbars with your stock TV remote.

Wi-Fi Support and Expandability

It is another important feature to know about. As with Bluetooth, you can also think about whether you need this feature or not. You have to think about it before you start building the system you really want. If your soundbar does not have any Wi-Fi, it will not connect with more speakers. So it will limit your ability to build a larger system. The Sonos Arc (on Amazon) is able to connect with new Sonos speakers whenever you’d like to add them. So you have to plan before you buy one.

Do You Need A Soundbar?

Are Soundbars a Waste of Money?

After all, we want to say that buying a soundbar is really up to you. If you have a nice TV and you are happy with the built-in speakers of your TV, then that’s great, and that’s why you may think that buying a soundbar would be a waste of money. Maybe that’s a good thing because once you start upgrading your sound system regularly, you’ll likely never be able to go back.

But consider how you want to use your television. Are you just want to watch some boring news, or do you really want to enjoy cutting the lights and putting on a great movie? If you want to have a great home theater experience, you have to spend some money. You have to upgrade your sound system.

Just think about how often you are going to use your setup and for what purpose you are going to use it. It will help to figure out which soundbar will be the best for you.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

Best Seller List of Sound Bars:

Bestseller No. 1
Soundbar, TaoTronics Three Equalizer Mode Audio Speaker for TV, 32-Inch Wired & Wireless Bluetooth...
  • Room-filling sound: powerful speakers deliver a round, high-end audio experience
  • Multiple wireless and wired connections: easily connect to the sound bar via Bluetooth 5.0 or standard audio cable Connection, RCA, and optical input
  • 3 different equalizer modes: fine tune your sound bar with 3 distinct equalizer modes (games mode, music mode, movie mode) via the remote control to match your favorite sound
  • Control your sound bar Remotely: handle your sound bar from the comfort of your couch or directly on the device; a repeat click of the power button switches through the functions, the LED screen will show the current function
  • Slim to save space: slick 32-Inch design pleases the eye and slim Dimensions save valuable space
SaleBestseller No. 2
Samsung HW-A450/ZA 2.1ch Soundbar with Dolby Audio (2021) , Black
  • SUBWOOFER INCLUDED - Wireless subwoofer is included so you can enjoy deep bass right out of the box All-in-one
  • BASS BOOST - Give your bass an instant boost with the push of a button on the soundbar
  • ADAPTIVE SOUND LITE - Enhanced audio tracking for your content in real time, with technology that equalizes background music and consistent volume control
  • BLUETOOTH TV CONNECTION - Set up is a breeze. Easily connect your soundbar to your TV by connecting wirelessly
  • GAME MODE - Boost your gaming experience with perfectly synced directional audio that moves with the action on-screen and crosstalk cancellation that minimizes distractions
Bestseller No. 3
TOPVISION 50W Soundbar, 16-Inch Small Sound Bars for TV, 3 Equalizer Modes, Wireless Bluetooth 5.0,...
  • 🔊[50W Power & 2 Full-range drivers]This small soundbar is equipped with 50W output power. Paired with your TV, the sound bar creates a louder, more immersive listening experience than through your TV speakers alone. Dual powerful full-range speakers provide hifi audio, making comfortable bedrooms and compact spaces full of extensive stereo effects.
  • 🔊[Built-in DSP & 3 EQ modes]Soundbar built-in DSP technology ensured sound output is more stable and accurate. 3 Equalizer modes (Music, Movie, News) to match your favorite voice. Movie Mode: You’ll hear every rip and rumble from your favorite action film, with deeper bass and loud, room-filling sound; Music mode Add clarity and pleasant sound; while it’s News mode pulls out every word and expression from movies or commentary, to ensure that conversations sound crisp and clean.
  • 🔊[Wireless Bluetooth 5.0]Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 can realize fast connection between mobile phone and sound bar, efficient and stable transmission, and strong anti-interference. Pair the sound bar to your phone via Bluetooth to soundtrack your next party, or to set the mood for when you want to relax with a good album in rich, audiophile quality.
  • 🔊[EASY TO SET UP]The Soundbar supports 3.5mm (AUX&RCA) and optical wired audio input, support for use with mobile phones, tablets, TVs, computers, projectors, set-top boxes, etc. Please make sure your TV audio setting to PCM for ARC/optical input before use.
  • 🔊[Stylish appearance & service]This 16-Inch mini soundbar is stylish and compact, and their more compact form makes them easier to travel with or set up wherever you'd like.At the same time we provide lifetime technical support. If you have any problems with your tv soundbar, you can contact us via Amazon, We will offer you a replacement or refund.
SaleBestseller No. 4
VIZIO Sound Bar for TV, 29” Surround Sound System for TV, Home Audio Sound Bar, 2.0 Channel Home...
8,222 Reviews
VIZIO Sound Bar for TV, 29” Surround Sound System for TV, Home Audio Sound Bar, 2.0 Channel Home...
  • 2.0 Premium Audio The VIZIO 2.0 Sound Bar is an easy way to enhance your audio experience when watching your favorite content on the TV. The full-range stereo speakers boost your audio, while DTS technologies simulate incredible surround sound
  • Bluetooth Streaming Lose the wires and listen to your music with a tap of a finger from anywhere in the room. (Performance and compatibility among Bluetooth devices may vary.)
  • Easy Setup With everything you need for a quick and easy setup, upgrading to a powerful audio experience has never been easier. Connect the Sound Bar to your TV using one of the included cables, sit back and enjoy
  • Features DTS Studio Sound, DTS TruVolume and DTS TruSurround
  • Ergonomic Remote for convenient access to volume, input and audio controls
SaleBestseller No. 5
Majority Bowfell Small Sound Bar for TV with Bluetooth, RCA, USB, Opt, AUX Connection, Mini...
  • Compact, slim design, enhanced HD sound quality: With new and improved sound drivers, the Bowfell sound bar has a slim design and thin profile with a built-in subwoofer and a 50 watt output providing high quality, cinematic sound. The Bowfell is a small but mighty addition to the Majority range.
  • Connect to your TV or phone: The Bowfell can be connected to most types of TVs and monitors including Smart TVs using the Optical connection (Optical cable included), RCA connection (RCA cable included), or Bluetooth connection. The Bowfell also features Bluetooth so you can also connect wireless Bluetooth devices to the sound bar. The Bowfell can also be connected to your laptop, desktop, or computer monitor.
  • USB and AUX connection & large remote control: Use an AUX cable (3.5mm jack cable included) to connect to older style devices with an AUX port. The Bowfell also includes a USB input, allowing you to insert a USB stick to play audio from. With the easy to use remote, you can select a music mode that heightens music, movies or dialogue to be played at their best.
  • Slim profile ** AUX ** USB ** Optical ** Bluetooth ** RCA & Optical cables included ** Remote control ** adjustable treble & bass settings ** Measurements 15.28 x 2.13 x 2.83 inches ** Built-in subwoofer ** 50 watt output ** weighs 53oz ** New & improved sound drivers **
  • In the Box: Majority Bowfell Soundbar, Remote control, Power adaptor, 3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio cable, 3.5mm to RCA Audio cable, Optical cable, Instructions manual
Bestseller No. 6
TCL Alto 6+ 2.1 Channel Dolby Audio Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth – TS6110, 240W,...
  • DOLBY DIGITAL: Dolby Digital decoding maximizes sound clarity and creates incredible room-filling virtual surround sound.
  • DEEP BASS WITH WIRELESS SUBWOOFER: Experience deep, rich bass to make movies and music truly come to life.
  • STREAM MUSIC WIRELESSLY: You can use your Bluetooth-enabled device to wirelessly stream music on your sound bar.
  • SPECIALIZED SOUND MODES: Specialized sound modes bring Movies, Music, and News to life.
  • QUICK AND HASSLE-FREE SETUP: With HDMI, optical, or Bluetooth connections, you can go from unboxing to listening in minutes.
SaleBestseller No. 7
JBL Bar 2.1 - Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
  • Designed with a slimmer profile, the full–featured, easy–to–use JBL bar 2. 1 features Dolby digital, JBL Surround sound, 300W system power and a wireless 6. 5” subwoofer to provide balanced sound and deep bass for your movies, music and even video games
  • Full featured in every sense of the word, it has an HDMI input as well as aux and USB wired connections that enable you to round out your home entertainment options even more
  • You can Moreover control the soundbar with your existing TV remote control, The JBL bar 2. 1 clearly raises the bar for Soundbars
  • The 300W of power output ensures great audio performance for your movies and music
  • Enjoy rich, Deep bass from the 6. 5" (165mm) wireless subwoofer, as well as the convenience of flexible placement without the hassle of wires
Bestseller No. 8
Vizio V51-H6 36" 5.1 Channel Home Theater Soundbar System (Renewed)
  • Low-Profile Design and Brilliant Clarity with 6 Full-range Speakers
  • Powerful 5" Wireless Subwoofer and Bluetooth Music Streaming
  • Complete Immersion with Discreet Volume Adjustable Surround Speakers
  • Optimized for 4K TVs with Dolby Audio 5.1 and HDMI (Cable Included)
  • Control with TV Remote using HDMI, Audio Cables Included for Easy Setup
Bestseller No. 9
Bose TV Speaker- Small Soundbar with Bluetooth and HDMI-ARC Connectivity, Black, Includes Remote...
  • Hear your TV better: Designed with simplicity in mind, the Bose TV Speaker is a small soundbar that clarifies speech and is a simple fix for better TV sound.
  • Wide, natural sound: 2 angled full-range drivers deliver a more realistic, spatial audio experience for overall better TV sound from a small soundbar.
  • Enhanced dialogue: This TV speaker is designed to specifically focus on clarifying and elevating vocals and pronunciation.
  • Bluetooth TV speaker: Pair your device to this Bluetooth soundbar to wirelessly stream your favorite music and podcasts.
  • Simple setup: A single connection from this compact soundbar to the TV via an optical audio cable (included) or an HDMI cable (sold separately) has you up and running in minutes.
Bestseller No. 10

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Last update on 2021-06-11

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