Soundbar vs home theatres vs smart speakers: Which is a better choice for your home theatre setup – Times of India
The choice of speaker for a home theatre setup has always been a debatable topic. Some argue that a decent soundbar system should be the ideal choice as it is compact and easy to set up. Some argue that a multi-channel speaker setup, despite being slightly more complicated, offers much better audio quality and surround sound experience.
Then there is the third category — smart speakers — which have become quite popular these days and also offers decent sound output along with the option to pair multiple smart speakers and use them as the external speaker system for the TV. Practically, they also have a lot more to offer than the regular speakers.
But the ultimate fact is everyone has different tastes when it comes to audio quality. To simply say, some want to have cinema-like audio submersion from their home theatre setup, while others are looking to just boost the audio quality of the TV.
We’ve put together a few points to help you put an end to this debate and choose the right speaker based on your needs. Read on:
Soundbars vs speakers vs smart speakers: Ease of set up
Soundbars, as already mentioned, are simple to set up and also consume less space. All you need to have is a slight space below the TV to place it and have two plug points — one for the soundbar and one for the subwoofer. In fact, most soundbars, including some affordable ones, offer wireless connectivity to the subwoofer and rear speakers.
The multi-channel speakers, on the other hand, are mostly wired and require users to connect them with the subwoofer or an external hub. This means, you are dealing with a lot more wires compared to the soundbars. Apart from that, their placements are also important and that also requires you to make space for every speaker that’s included with the soundbar. For example, if you are planning to buy a 5.1-channel speaker, then you will need to place three speakers — front left, centre and front right around the TV, the subwoofer on the side and two rear speakers at the back, which is quite a complicated process, plus you will also need really good wire management to hide all the cables from plain eyesight.
Coming to the smart speakers, they are probably the simplest to set up. All you need to do is plug in the speaker and then pair it with the TV via Bluetooth. That’s it. Some smart speakers also support stereo pairing and adding an additional woofer, which can also be done via the dedicated app in a few clicks.
Soundbars vs speakers vs smart speakers: Connectivity
Another important thing that differentiates them from each other is the way they connect with your TV. Starting with the soundbar, you are probably looking at the most extensive set of connectivity options. Even regular soundbars come with HDMI (eARC) port and HDMI input ports, allowing you to connect multiple devices at once with the TV. In addition to that, they also offer optical connection and Bluetooth connectivity.
Speakers, too, are good with the connectivity option. However, a basic 5.1-channel speaker setup offers Bluetooth and regular RCA (the Red, Yellow and White cable that used to come with old DVD players) connectivity options. However, modern multi-channel smart speakers also come with a dedicated hub, which includes all the extensive options like multiple HDMI ports, an optical connection, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more. In fact, if the home theatre speaker …….