Soundbars or Bookshelf Speakers: Which One Should You Buy and Why?

Soundbars and bookshelf speakers are the hottest audio systems seen in the home setups. The different audiophiles like to have their preferred speakers according to their needs and preferences. Many people are fond of physical beauty and for them only visually appealing speakers are important, while others heavily focus on merely audio quality. The former kind of customers buy audio systems for decorating their spaces, and the later ones need the speakers for the various content types they consume. Besides, price is the critical step consumers consider before buying the product. This guide will tell you the main general difference between the soundbar and bookshelf speaker to help you choose the product of your interest.

Soundbars vs Bookshelf Speakers

Comparison Of Soundbars And Bookshelf Speakers

Both the audio devices have their own specific features, and offer distinct purposes. Lets dig deep into both interests and get into the details of each.


Soundbars are usually compact structures with the different technology features in them. In other words, they take the minimum of your space. Minimalists like this type of speaker over any other type. Additionally, they are stylish and blend well with your interior.  

Bookshelf speakers are the traditional ones that come in giant sizes, resulting in consuming more room, and many seniors have this taste of choosing bookshelf speakers. Though soundbars are made with fine materials, the bookshelf speakers build material that is beyond great.


There is a basic setting arrangement which you can follow to get the best audio experience from the desired devices. The soundbars give the best results when placed under the TV, and the bookshelf speakers produce the immerse sound when they rest against the walls. This is not the hard and fast rule, just the basic and general tip.

Connectivity Options

The bookshelf speakers are the most compatible devices ever found, and can connect to the smart TV’s and phones, and any other device wirelessly via Bluetooth. Conversely, soundbars are mainly designed for TV’s, but have other connectivity options like HDMI and optical port.

Sound Quality

The soundbars no doubt produce fine quality notes, and the voice is amplified with the help of different features like voice enhancement, DTS:X, Dolby, etc. Unlike, the robust bookshelf speakers emit the heavy sounds especially when placed on the nearest shelves. Many audiophiles love this heavy sound system over the delicate looking soundbars. Large drivers are one of the reasons why bookshelf speakers are superior in sound production.In a nutshell, the soundbars lag behind the bookshelf speakers in producing the better and powerful sound quality.


Both the product categories have a wide range of price when it comes to buying different types of audio devices. You will not buy the 2 different products at the same price but if so it is so rare. Particularly, the bookshelf speakers are overall more expensive, however, you can see a leverage of buying in a little less money in case of soundbars. Customers buy the bookshelf speaker for the great audio quality though they are expensive. Whereas, many people like the soundbars as they are cost effective and also easy to install. 

Soundbar Pros

  • The voice is enhanced and immersive.
  • They are compact designs and go well with minimalists.
  • The built-in amplifier eliminates the need for the separate receiver.
  • They are cost effective and have a wide price range.
  • You can connect them wirelessly via wifi and bluetooth to the other devices.
  • The bars are easy to install with the minimal units and cords.

Soundbar Cons

  • The soundbars are compact structures which can interfere in the soundstage performance.
  • You may need the separate subwoofer for the deep bass.
  • At higher volumes, the sound usually distorts and is not clear.
  • They are mostly designed for TV setups only.
  • It is difficult to upgrade or expand soundbars.

Soundbars key features

Bookshelf Speakers Pros

  • The build material is solid and high quality and you are likely to use it throughout your lifetime.
  • The audio quality is top notch and unmatchable, as they produce precise, crystal clear sound with details and depth.
  • Customization options are wide and can be according to your taste. You can use different strategies like amplifiers, receivers, and other options, and create your ideal personalized item.
  • You can place them on a table, shelf, against the wall, or mount it on the wall, and still get the level voices.

Cons Of Bookshelf Speakers

  • They are quite bulky and require a large room.
  • You may need the external amplifier/ receiver which can go heavy on your pockets.
  • The bass produced is not as remarkable as produced with the subwoofers.
  • There is a lot of clutter of different cables which consume more space, and also are not visually appealing.

bookshelf speakers features

Which One To Choose?

We have given the different aspects of both the soundbars and the bookshelf speakers in the above section. When we talk about the design, many people like the minimal approach and like the soundbars while others don’t care about the space. Their favorite is the bookshelf speaker in spite of being bulky and having more clutter. Some customers purchase the soundbars as they are delicate, stylish, and have latest technology smart features. Many consumers want the bars just for the TV’s, and others want speakers for various purposes not just for the TV. It is a personal choice for each individual what he wants in a desired product or what his circumstances allow him to buy. It might be that an individual solely wants a premium sound device that is a bookshelf speaker. Or others will buy anything average which is economically great. Moreover, it is entirely up to you what feature of the audio devices you find worth purchasing and you can have it, no judgments.

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