2.1 VS 3.1 Soundbar – [Detailed-Comparison]

Soundbars are a must if you really want to enjoy a cinematic home theater experience. While shopping for a soundbar, you can come across figures like 2.0, 2.1, or 3.1. The number before the period informs you about the number of channels a soundbar has.

Even though 2.1 Soundbars and 3.1 Soundbars offer different dimensions of sound, it can be tricky to ask to choose 1 of them.

To reduce your troubles, we came up with this detailed comparison so you can easily choose one which suits you the best.

2.1 VS 3.1 Soundbar – Comparison

Lets compare both 2.1 and 3.1 sound bars in detailed heading.


The 2.1 soundbar comes with more of a basic setup, with channels on left and right that are inbuilt in the soundbar and a subwoofer. A 2.1 setup soundbar is more than likely to be ahead of your TV’s inbuilt audio.

The 3.1 soundbar setup is different since it has an additional channel to deliver a more dynamic sound. Rear speakers won’t be needed but the extra channel adds to the room-filling sound and it gives you a feel that’s more close to the surround sound.


The 2.1 soundbar is quite slim and easy to carry and if you have a room that is small, the 2.1 soundbars can be a good option for you since it does not require that much of a space and you can carry it around easily.

The 3.1 soundbar is often bigger due to its extra channel and can be heavy to lift. If you have a room that has a good amount of space then the 3.1 soundbar is a better option for you, as it may have troubles if you want to set it in a small room.


The 2.1 soundbar delivers the audio from the left ear and right ear speakers, it misses the center speaker, which means that the audio isn’t perfect clearly and some of the details in the audio can go missing.

Since the 3.1 soundbar comes with a center speaker, it has an edge when it comes to the performance of the audio. The center speaker reduces the pressure on the left and right speakers which results in a more dynamic sound.


Both of the soundbars have the same levels of connectivity although the number of speakers differs. Since they both support high-quality audio formats, you are suggested to get yourself the HDMI cable. 


The subwoofer is represented by the ‘’1’’ in 2.1 and 3.1. Both soundbars have a subwoofer, built-in in some of the soundbars, while some soundbars come with an external one. External subwoofers have more ability to provide multi-layered sound than built-in ones.


Wifi is usually associated with costly soundbars, however, Bluetooth is built-in in both of the soundbars. Bluetooth can be connected with the subwoofers that come with both of the soundbars.

Voice Control

This much-wanted feature is present in almost all of the soundbars irrespective of the number of channels associated with the soundbars. The voice control doesn’t add much to the sound factor or the design either but plays an important role in the convenience factor.


Many of the models come with decent price tags for both of the soundbars. However, because of the extra speaker in the 3.1 soundbars, the price of the 3.1 soundbars is 1 or 1.5 times more than the 2.1 soundbars.

2.1 VS 3.1 Soundbar comparison infographic

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Add Speakers to the 2.1 Soundbars?

Yes, you can add more speakers to the soundbar, but doing this can’t make sure that the audio will be spot-on since the audio quality can have issues in mixing with the new speakers. Moreover, you would have more wires jumbled up.

Is it Okay to Leave the 3.1 Soundbar On all the Time?

Leaving your soundbar on always can make it overheated resulting in damages, you don’t want to be doing that. The idea may seem useful to you but leaving it on means that it can unnecessarily use up more power. 

Which Size Soundbar is Exemplary?

Many sizes and varieties are associated with sounders, so you are offered a lot of choices in that aspect. Big in size soundbars have more channels which means a bigger sound and some of the soundbars come in big boxes but only the box is big in some cases, soundbars are small.


The 3.1 soundbar comes with an extra channel resulting in a more dynamic sound, and you can’t resist the temptation to buy it.

If you are ready to spend a good amount of money on a gadget, then you surely can buy the 3.1 soundbars.

But if you want a good time with the audio without having to tinker too much with your budget, there are quite some 2.1 soundbars that come with advanced technology which has the ability to perform like a 3.1 soundbar, all of this makes the 2.1 soundbars a better option.

Read also: Best Settings For Bose Soundbar 700

Leave a Comment