Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers 2022: Which One is Better?

Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers 2022 Which One is Better
  • Anthony

Many people are turning to bookshelf speakers instead of soundbars. Soundbars are the newest consumer gadget that replaced traditional stereo systems because of several benefits they have.

Still, many people think that since soundbars have limited functionality it will be better to go with decent bookshelf speakers if you want to get the best possible sound. But what is right in this statement? Let’s compare Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers for music to find out which one is better.

Bookshelf Speakers vs. Soundbar - Soundbar


A soundbar, a speaker with a long and thin shape, is placed under or next to your TV. The Soundbar usually has one driver at the bottom and several tweeters at the top.

You will also find a separate subwoofer, which is a soundbar system that amplifies your bass frequencies. It can be compared to a bookcase speaker, which you mount above or beneath your TV sound.

A single soundbar can do the same job without having to install multiple speakers in your room and run the wire to connect them.

Soundbases are also known as sound bars. The sound bars are usually rectangular and sit directly beneath the TV. The driver faces upwards while the tweeters face you. Some soundbar speakers have a wireless subwoofer that can provide surround sound wirelessly.

The best Soundbars can be set up quickly and are affordable. You can also adjust the volume, bass, and sometimes the treble speaker remotely. The sound bars are equipped with a digital-to-analog (DAC) converter to process the audio signal. We will be discussing DAC in more detail later.

You can expect superior sound quality, especially if the Soundbar is made by a reliable brand and has a decent-sized driver.

If you don’t have the budget or time to invest in a complete full surround sound system, Sound bars can be an excellent alternative. Some people dislike them because they are too bulky or oversized, especially if there isn’t much space under their TV.

Why Soundbars Are So Popular

  • Easy to install and connect
  • Fewer cables
  • Modified design
  • These are well-suited for small living areas.
  • Incredible virtual sound and a glimpse into surround sound experience
  • The best sound system on the market
  • Bluetooth connection possible

Soundbar vs. speakers - Bookshelf Speakers

Bookshelf Speakers

Bookshelf speakers can be small, standalone speakers that don’t usually have a subwoofer. The traditional 2-way speaker system is the bookshelf speaker; the tweeter and woofer fire out from the speaker’s front, facing you.

Bookshelf speakers are usually placed on a side table or shelf facing you. You can mount them on the wall behind your TV sound or place them on a stand. A 2-way speaker system set for quality bookshelf speakers is typical.

This usually includes a tweeter as well as a woofer. The tweeter is at the top, while the woofer is at the bottom. To enhance bass response, there may be one or two passive radiators.

While multiple speakers can be more expensive than sound bars, they offer better sound quality. You will get a better sound quality with bookshelf speakers because they have an enormous frequency response, more excellent dynamic range, and typically have more significant drivers or tweeters.

They are easier to position in your room than Sound bars and look much better than bookshelf speakers.

If you want to have an authentic surround sound experience, passive bookshelf speakers can be a good choice. These separate speakers are great if your home theatre system is outdated or you wish to experiment with something new.

Why bookshelf speakers Are So Popular

  • It is visually pleasing
  • Flexible and very flexible
  • Many speakers include amplifiers that enhanced stereo listening experience.
  • Studio-quality, accurate bass
  • Lightweight
  • Mixable and upgradeable
  • There are many features to choose from
  • Bluetooth connection possible

Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers: Which Is Better?

Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers Which Is Better

Bookshelf Speaker Vs Soundbar: Cost

When selecting the speaker for your home theater, the cost is almost always a significant consideration.

Although we may all wish that our budgets were unlimited, it is not the case for many of us- even those with a larger budget.

It would help if you considered the price of each speaker, such as the Soundbar or bookshelf speaker, and the extra costs associated with purchasing additional equipment to achieve the audio quality you want to stream to your home theater.

Bookshelf speakers can be relatively comparable in cost to Soundbars, though differences depend on their quality. However, the price of a bookshelf speaker could be higher if you consider that you will need an amplifier and a subwoofer to get the high-quality sound you desire.

You will also need to add a center channel speaker, so the dialogue doesn’t get lost due to the absence of a central channel with your two bookshelf speakers. You might not have to pay all the extra costs for a soundbar.

You can add additional channels, but a Soundbar may be more suitable for you as it can house multiple speakers and a subwoofer that emits low-frequency range audio signals.

Make sure you consider how each device will be connected and what cables, transmitters, receivers, or other equipment will be needed to complete your sound system setup. Although they may not be the most expensive, these can add up to your overall budget.

Bookshelf Vs Soundbar: Sound Quality

The great sound quality of each piece of equipment is probably the most critical aspect of comparing powered stereo bookshelf speakers with Soundbars.

You should also consider the whole sound system you want. If you add stereo speakers to your system, the audio quality experience will be much more than you have.

Even though Audiophiles sometimes criticize soundbars for their high-quality sound equipment, most users will be impressed with the audio quality experience they can offer.

A Soundbar is a significant upgrade to the TV’s powered speakers. Soundbars can also be attractive options for home theaters.

You will likely see a much higher-quality speaker set if you compare them side-by-side. A group of bookshelf speakers will be better than a Soundbar.

They outperform Soundbars with comparable prices because the physical components of the bookshelf speakers aid in the natural emission audio signals.

Many audiophiles choose bookshelf speakers to replace Soundbars. They can be integrated into your sound system and make a significant difference in your home theater’s audio quality experience.

However, it is essential to choose the right option for you and your budget. This is where enjoyment comes into play.

Soundbar Versus Speakers Sensitivity Rating

Sound Bar Vs Bookshelf Speakers: Sensitivity Rating

Although many people don’t realize it, speaker sensitivity (also called speaker efficiency) is one of the most critical factors in determining how loud and clear your speakers will sound.

To be considered good, a speaker must have an efficiency rating of at least 90dBs. This efficiency rating will give you the best sound quality and the lowest power consumption.

An audio system should have a sensitivity rating (efficiency rating) of between 86 to 88dB. This is the standard, but higher-end systems should have at minimum 90dBs. Any soundbar or bookshelf speaker with a sensitivity of 84dBs or lower should be avoided.

Bookshelf speakers are specifically designed for audiophiles and will have an efficiency rating of 88 to 92dB, depending on which make or model. Soundbars are a more affordable option and have an efficiency rating of between 86 and 88dBs.

Be aware that you can still get high-efficiency soundbars of good quality, but they will cost you a lot more.

Bookshelf Speakers Vs Soundbar for Music: Input Impedance

High-quality audio is possible only if your equipment and wire can withstand impedance. A lot of people get confused about impedance. While impedance can affect speakers, it will also impact the resistance.

We won’t be discussing impedance levels with wires in this article, but we will discuss speaker impedances.

You don’t want an audio system that has either a high or low impedance. When looking at your speakers, you should aim for an impedance between 4-8 ohms.

This bracket is ideal for bookshelf speakers, although some soundbars can have a low impedance and a high level of distortion.

While impedance doesn’t affect the sound quality, it can affect how hard your equipment must work to produce that sound. To avoid potential problems with wire length or power consumption, you should always match your impedance levels.

Soundbars Vs Bookshelf Speakers: Power Output

The power rating of any sound system is a vital feature to look at when you purchase it. This helps you understand the power required to achieve the best sound quality.

If you look at the speakers’ specifications, you will see the minimum and maximum power ratings. This is the ideal range for your power supply.

If you are looking for loud, wall-shaking sounds like rock, metal, or pop, 200W will be sufficient. 50W will suffice if you like classical, jazz, blues, or hip-hop.

The power of a bookshelf speaker can be divided into Peak / Max power and RMS power. RMS is a continuous power supply in a normal condition. This is used for matching amplifier ratings.

Peak power refers to the maximum force a speaker can produce in a short time. It is not compatible with the amplifier. RMS is often lower than Peak Power. When choosing between two speakers, it is essential to compare RMS and Peak Power.

The power output of soundbars is the total applied wattage. The power consumption is simply the wattage. The range of power consumption is generally between 20-30% and 80-90%.

Soundbar or Bookshelf Speakers: Frequency Response

Frequency response is an essential characteristic of speakers that you need to be aware of. The better the frequency response, No matter what speaker you have, your speakers should have a low to high-frequency response.

A speaker’s response is a measure of how deep and bassy it can produce. Soundbars are not good if they don’t have an extra subwoofer.

Bookshelf speakers have excellent quality and inadequate response. They are usually around the 50Hz mark. They will, therefore, not require a subwoofer.

Soundbars will usually play frequencies in the middle-range and higher. The mid-range frequencies begin at around 200Hz. This means that soundbars of low quality and the mid-level price won’t reproduce the high-quality bass frequencies and will not produce a great bass sound.

Soundbar or Speakers for Music: Drivers

There are three types of speakers: tweeters, midrange, and woofers. Sometimes, a subwoofer can be added to enhance the bass sound.

The size of sound systems is essential. Large sound systems can play louder music and produce more bass, making the sound clearer and bolder.

Bookshelf sound systems typically have 5″-6.25″ and.75-1.4″ tweeters, which create a large soundstage for listening to music. The soundbars come with different sizes of tweeters, and you will most likely find a soundbar with a subwoofer.

Soundbar or Bookshelf Speakers: Inputs

The primary inputs to the sound system are sockets and ports. Although the sound effects are minimal, better connectors necessarily improve sound quality and reduce electronic interference.

RCA AUX cable has more flexibility than RCA, and RCA AUX combined cables are generally better. Optic audio connections are another option that allows audio quality to be transferred between devices.

To ensure great quality sound, bookshelf speakers come with a variety of connectors and cables. There are 3.5mm RCA, 3.5mm jack AUX, and dual RCA Aux cables. Customers can choose from many options to make their choice.

Looking at soundbars, you will find 3.5mm jack AUX connectors, HDML connectors, and optical wires. It is best to connect Soundbar and TV via HDMI arc.

Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers: Speaker Placement

How do you want your sound system to be placed? You can’t have your sound systems right next to you. This will cause the excellent quality to be inferior to that of the surround system. Your sound system’s placement can have a significant impact on the quality of the sound you get.

It is much easier to find the perfect combination of soundbars and bookshelf speakers for great tv speakers than position them.

To get the best sound, position the speakers as close to the wall as possible. Move the speakers if they are not at the same distance from the walls. The distance between the front and sidewalls should not be identical.

Your speakers should be aimed down the longest wall to allow sound waves to reach their full potential. To get the best sound, keep the speakers at ear level. You should create an ideal triangle between your speakers; the distance between your speakers and you should be equal.

Soundbars are small and lightweight and can be placed below TVs or computer monitors to deliver fantastic audio. Just make sure the Soundbar is straight under your wall-mounted LED TV.

powered bookshelf speakers vs soundbar Connectivity

Soundbar Vs. Bookshelf Speakers: Connectivity

Connectivity is the last technical aspect we’ll discuss. You will need to connect bookshelf speakers to your TV and audio system. Some soundbars have wireless connectivity, such as Bluetooth.

It is essential to realize that Bluetooth has a limited bandwidth, and audio will be transmitted with lossy data compression. Bluetooth will affect the sound quality to some degree.

Many soundbars come with additional audio output options, such as HDMI or optical out. Some even have the old RCA connectors.

You will experience poor sound quality if Bluetooth is used. However, some people argue that the sound quality is not significant and that you won’t hear it.

The Best Soundbar That You Can’t-Miss

Bose Soundbar 700

Bose Soundbar 700


  • Large front soundstage
  • Excellent remote app
  • ADAPTiQ audio calibration
  • Alexa/Google Assistant built-in


  • Bass is light
  • No Dolby Atmos/DTSX
  • No HDMI inputs

Soundbars should be invisible to me. If you want your TV room to shine, you will invest in the most prominent speakers you can find.

Let’s face it; you won’t be able to hide a soundbar behind a wall. This would not only make it difficult to hear but also obscure its simplicity. If you are going to be looking at a soundbar occasionally, it should be the Bose Soundbar 700.

The Soundbar 700 has a unique combination of elegant lines, a perfectly smooth glass top, and incredibly short stature. It is one of those rare pieces that can complement your decor rather than detract from it.

You can choose to blend seamlessly into the background or make a statement. It’s quite the speaker, aesthetically speaking.

t measures 38.5 inches wide by 2.25 inches high and is only 22.5 inches tall. An optional bracket of $40 is available for wall mounting.

The Soundbar 700 doesn’t have a single button. One touch-sensitive button on the top of the Soundbar 700 is located in the front left corner. It can be used to mute the mic.

However, I recommend that you only use it sparingly. The glass is beautiful, but it also attracts fingerprints. Bose comes with a microfiber cleaning towel.

One flaw in a stunning design is the universal remote that came with the Soundbar 700. It’s a sizeable rubberized brick and bulky. We’ll get to that in a moment.

Samsung T400 Soundbar

Samsung T400 Soundbar


  • Good audio performance
  • HDMI input and output
  • Decent build quality
  • Attractive design


  • No 4K and HDR passthrough
  • Lacking in power

The Samsung HW T400 soundbar has a simple design, which is almost identical to other Samsung soundbars. It’s a rectangular block that is simple with a black finish. The build quality is excellent and, as you’d expect from Samsung, it’s worth the price.

The soundbar’s front is a metal grille, and the top has a nice, brushed metal finish. The sides are made from plastic. The controls are located on the right-side panel. You can adjust the volume, select the input and turn on/off the soundbar.

The Samsung HW T400 has a minimalist build. A tiny LED display is hidden behind the grille between the speakers. This display is used to collect user feedback.

The Best Bookshelf Speakers That You Should Buy

Edifier R1700bt

Edifier R1700bt


  • Lovely midrange
  • Warm, smooth, enthusiastic sound
  • Engaging and easy to listen to
  • Smart finish and build
  • Affordable price


  • Boomy bass sticks out a lot
  • Slightly thin treble
  • Controls need a better finish

The Edifiers are a great design. The speakers only come in one finish, but that’s not a problem as the walnut vinyl, and black bodies look great.

We also like a few clever design details. Edifier claims that the speakers have a 10-degree upwards tilt to ensure that the listener directs the sound.

We like how the rotary controls for volume, treble, and bass are neatly located in a small cut-away on the right speaker.

This means that the controls are not at the back of the speaker or in the face of the fascia. Left-handers might be unhappy with this positioning. It is seen as one of the best sound systems on the market.

Polk Audio T15

Polk Audio T15


  • Easy to mount
  • Wide dispersion, broad area coverage
  • Easy load for inexpensive amplifiers
  • Wide soundstage
  • Ideal for budget surround speakers since they sound best at a higher elevation


  • Flawed response and audible gap on direct axis height level
  • A somewhat cupped sound character on some recordings

The T15 speakers arrived in a well-packed box. They were placed between two giant foam pieces inside the box and covered with soft plastic bags. They look great with grilles. The Polk emblem and slight curvature of grilles add style.

These black woodgrain side panels look a lot more classy than the standard for this price range, usually textured vinyl. The speaker can be removed from the grilles.

Are Bookshelf Speakers Better Than a Soundbar: Conclusion

A soundbar is a compact speaker that plugs into a TV and provides surround sound audio. The downside to a soundbar is that it’s a closed system, meaning there is no room for adjustment or upgrade, and it requires the purchase of a separate speaker for stereo sound.

A bookshelf speaker is a stereo speaker that can be placed next to the Hookeaudio hopes that our Soundbar Vs Powered Bookshelf Speakers comparison can help you know which should you choose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *