What’s the Best Surround Sound Solution for Home Audio?
Comparing Soundbars To Surround Sound Speaker Systems
A great movie experience is as much about the sound as it is the picture. When you go to the theater, ask yourself if that giant screen would deliver the same experience if the sound felt like it was coming out of only one speaker in the front.
At home, the same rules apply. Even if you have a 120-inch projector screen, without sound to match the picture your experience won’t feel quite right. The good news is that today options abound for putting movie surround sound in any room in your home. Those options may range from the surprisingly inexpensive to the incredibly expensive, and sound quality from those systems can also vary from mediocre to excellent.
How do you evaluate the options from the plethora of products out there? In this post, we want to give you a little help.
Soundbars have been incredibly popular for home audio installations in the Minneapolis area in the past several years. They certainly have their advantages, and we will cover that in more detail. Despite their popularity, it doesn’t mean separate speakers and receivers and amplifiers are going out of style anytime soon. They have their advantages as well.
Are you ready to take a closer look at whether a soundbar or a full surround system is right for you? Just keep reading.
SEE ALSO: How to Enjoy Great Sound from Above
The Simplicity of the Soundbar
There's a reason why soundbars are popular. It's a solution that requires a minimum of wires and intrusion onto home décor. The designs tend to blend well with modern flat screens. If you like to mount your flat screen TV on the wall, they can fit neatly above or below the display.
Most of them come with a wireless subwoofer, which helps provide the needed bass punch for movie sound effects and the low end in music. Wireless connectivity options let you stream music easily through them as well, and some can even connect wirelessly to certain TVs.
What’s the downside? A soundbar can never match the full surround capability of a separate receiver or amplifier and speakers.
The soundbar packs all its speakers (except the subwoofer) into one enclosure, and no matter how good the design and construction, it’s difficult to achieve fully immersive surround on par with separate components.
That said, soundbars might be an excellent choice for a bedroom or a small to medium living space. Not only that, some soundbars can be combined with separate surround speakers, as we did with a custom Leon soundbar and B&W speakers in an award-winning project in Plymouth. You can get excellent sound quality and a great virtual surround experience, but you won’t get quite the soundstage that you will from a properly installed surround audio setup.
The Advantages of a Full Surround System
A full surround system usually encompasses a receiver or a separate surround processor and amplifiers, as well as separate wired speakers for the front, center, left, and multiple surround speakers that can include height channels for immersive formats like Dolby Atmos. The advantages of such a system are numerous:
- Many speaker choices at all the positions – freestanding, on-wall, in-wall, in-ceiling, etc.
- The ability to place and calibrate the speakers precisely to optimize the sound and adjust for the room’s acoustics
- Larger speakers that will play louder and cleaner with less distortion especially at high levels
- Better bass from higher quality subwoofers, and the ability to use multiple subs in larger rooms
- Almost all separate systems will sound better for music reproduction, with better dynamic range and separation of sounds
- A full surround system is the recommended solution for a media room or home theater
Of course, the full surround system is more involved. You need some space to house the receiver or amplifier, and wiring to run to all the speakers, which will likely entail running them through walls or under carpeting at the very least.
But you will also have a better sounding system and one that is flexible. Speakers can be upgraded without upgrading the receiver in many cases. More importantly, electronics like receivers get updated more frequently than speakers, which can last decades if you purchase high-quality brands like the ones we carry.
Regardless of which way you want to go for your surround setup in Minneapolis, Lelch Audio Video is proud to be Minnesota’s expert source for custom home audio installations. With either the minimalist approach of the soundbar or a full audio system, we provide a well-integrated, great sounding system that fits seamlessly into your space.
Reach out to our team today by clicking the button below.