2.1 Vs. 2.0 Soundbar: Which Is Better And Why?

2.1 Vs. 2.0 Soundbar Which Is Better And Why
  • Anthony

Soundbars have come a long way over the years. The sound quality typically lags behind that of traditional speakers, but that is starting to change. Some models sound great and don’t require any installation – plug and play.

The biggest question for buyers may be when to upgrade from one version to the next. The latest versions of soundbars, 2.0 and 2. 1, offer substantial improvements in audio quality and performance over previous models.

This article will walk you through the differences between the 2.0 vs 2.1 soundbar. It will also show how to choose the correct version for your setup.

Difference Between a 2.0 vs 2.1 Soundbar

The main difference is, as mentioned above, in the presence or absence of a subwoofer. While 2.1 soundbars have a subwoofer either built into the soundbar itself or an external subwoofer, 2.0 soundbars don’t.

The rule of thumb is that the first number approaches speakers and soundbars. The 1 indicates the presence of subwoofers.

There are differences between the two, but there are also many similarities. They come in a similar price range.

Depending on how much you pay, it is possible to buy a 2.0 soundbar with better audio quality than a 2.1 soundbar. They are often equipped with a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth wireless setup.

You can learn more about the soundbar channel configurations and inputs in our guide by watching our YouTube video.

Is a Soundbar Subwoofer Necessary?

Yes and no. It all depends on your personal preferences. These speakers produce better sound than standard flat-screen TVs. You will tell the difference with a 2.0 soundbar as you will hear clear left and proper channels.

An amplifier is included with standard 2.0 soundbars. This will allow for better sound. This will reduce the number of rewinds required to hear the dialogue between actors. A 2.0 soundbar may offer incredible dynamic depth and amplification, depending on your budget.

A soundbar with a 2.1 soundbar is equipped with a subwoofer. Subwoofers are speakers designed to enhance low-end and bass sounds. These speakers are great for people who enjoy good bass.

You can think of the whumff whumff whumff sound of helicopter propellers as James Bond leaps over them or the deep rumbling of an explosion in Die Hard. 2.1 soundbars ensure that this detail is captured.

You can also find speakers that are subwoofers. These speakers are only designed to enhance bass. These speakers are special-purpose speakers and can enhance low frequencies even more than soundbars that have built-in subwoofers.

Soundbars sometimes have difficulty capturing all frequencies (high end and low) efficiently. This means that speakers tend to ignore the low end. Subwoofers ensure that this is not true.

Do I Really Need a Soundbar for My New TV?

External speakers and a powerful soundbar will make your home theater the best entertainment system. Flat-screen TV speakers are no longer the best. Flat-screen TVs tend to have speakers that face either the wall or the floor.

The majority of standard TV speakers don’t have great speakers. These speakers are usually cheap and can’t capture a wide frequency range. This is why you might find yourself rewinding the show and even using subtitles to capture all of the dialogue.

However, external speakers and soundbars are unnecessary if you enjoy rewinding or watching subtitles or even if your TV has speakers.

You can check our guide about the way to connect soundbar to TV devices: https://hookeaudio.com/how-to-connect-soundbar-to-tv/

Should I Get a Soundbar or Speakers?

Should I Get a Soundbar or Speakers?

This is entirely up to you. Speakers can provide a more immersive experience by allowing you to spread them out further. This is usually more expensive than a soundbar, as they are often sold in an all-in-one package.

Also, consider the space. A simple 2.0 or 2.1 soundbar and subwoofer can be used in most standard bedrooms and living rooms.

For as little as $150, you can get the right sound system for you. You may need speaker kits or a high-quality soundbar with satellite speakers for larger rooms with more sound.

It would help if you also considered how open the space is. For actual surround sound system experience, empty rooms require more sound to fill them up.

Closed rooms, on the other hand, will need less sound to fill them up. These rooms can be filled with sound by placing soundbars directly underneath the TV.

Price Difference

All of this being said, it always comes down to the price. As with everything in life, it is important to not overpay for something that you could get cheaper or better.

The prices are almost identical. A 2.0 soundbar may cost more than a standard 2.1 soundbar depending on the quality. A typical 2.0 soundbar is sufficient for sound amplification but not for better quality.

The medium-end 2.0 soundbars cost around $150. You can get them as low as $50, such as the Meidong TV Soundbar (on Amazon). Bose also offers the Bose Solo 5 (on Amazon).

The cost of 2.1 is about the same. Many soundbars come with separate subwoofers. Vizio has a 2.1 soundbar that is standard-priced with a wireless subwoofer.

Amazon offers 2.1 soundbars at a lower price, some as low as $50. It’s possible to find high-quality soundbars with 2.1 technology for as low as $50, just like the 2.0 soundbars.

1 Sony S100F 2.0ch Soundbar with... Sony S100F 2.0ch Soundbar with... 4,912 Reviews $129.99 $98.00Amazon Prime
2 VIZIO 2.0 Home Theater Sound... VIZIO 2.0 Home Theater Sound... No ratings yet $79.99 $69.00Amazon Prime
3 Saiyin Sound Bars for TV, 40... Saiyin Sound Bars for TV, 40... No ratings yet $39.00 $32.99Amazon Prime
4 Sonos Playbar - The Mountable... Sonos Playbar - The Mountable... No ratings yet $749.49 $600.00
5 SAMSUNG HW-C450 2.1ch Soundbar... SAMSUNG HW-C450 2.1ch Soundbar... 2,200 Reviews $197.99 $137.99
6 LG Sound Bar and Wireless... LG Sound Bar and Wireless... 1,024 Reviews $196.99
7 VIZIO V-Series All-in-One 2.1... VIZIO V-Series All-in-One 2.1... No ratings yet $115.99 $99.00Amazon Prime
8 SAMSUNG HW-S60B 3.1ch Soundbar... SAMSUNG HW-S60B 3.1ch Soundbar... No ratings yet $347.99 $197.99Amazon Prime
9 Sound Bar for TV, PHEANOO 2.1... Sound Bar for TV, PHEANOO 2.1... 13,332 Reviews $108.99Amazon Prime
10 Bose TV Speaker - Soundbar for... Bose TV Speaker - Soundbar for... 9,457 Reviews $279.00 $199.00Amazon Prime

What If I Want More Power?

A 5.1 soundbar and stereo system are great options if you want to create a powerful entertainment system or have ample space that you need to fill with sound.

These soundbars have three number of channels (left-right, right, and center channel) and two surround sound speakers on the back (back, left, and right). Some soundbars with 5.1 surround sound have a third number to indicate speakers that are facing upward.

They and the ones we have compiled in our extensive list fill the room with clear sound and make it easier to distinguish between the left and proper channels. Even the most discerning audiophiles will be satisfied by 5.1 soundbars.

Read more:


FAQs about 2.0 Soundbar vs 2.1

Are 2.1 Soundbars Worth It?

If you are looking for a significant upgrade to your standard TV speakers but do not necessarily need enveloping sound, the 2.1 system is a great choice. Because of their smaller profile, 2.1 soundbars make a better choice for small spaces.

Do 2.0 Speakers Have Bass?

A 2.0 system with two good 6.5-inch woofers may produce better quality and possibly even more bass than one 2.1 system with a cheap four or 6-inch speaker. You can also get better midbass and higher ranges.

Are More Watts Better For A Soundbar?

What wattage soundbar do I need? wattage is irrelevant for soundbars. Higher wattage does not necessarily equal better sound, but it can contribute to it. It’s still a good idea to verify other specifications, such as speaker sensitivity or audio format decoding system.

Is 2.0 The Same As Stereo?

Systems ending in 1 include a subwoofer and an effects channel. 2.0: A standard sound system that has a left channel and a right channel, or a left speaker and a right one. 5.1.

This format is used to create and deliver surround sound. Five speakers and one subwoofer form a 5.1-channel surround sound speaker system.


The main differences between the two soundbars are the sound quality and performance. You will get a much richer sound from the 2.1 soundbars. Also, it is much more efficient in powering its speakers compared to previous models.

On the other hand, the 2.0 soundbar is more compact and light than the earlier versions. The 2.0 soundbars are highly portable, so if you are looking for a soundbar that can be placed on your couch, you should go with this version.

So, which one to go for? If you want a soundbar that can fill a room with sound, you should go with 2.1. However, if you want something highly compact and portable, you should get the 2.0 version. For most people, though, it is just going to come down to personal preference and budget.

Hooke Audio hopes you enjoyed the article and come back for more reviews.

Last update on 2023-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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