Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers: Which One is Better?

If you are seeking new home audio speakers for your TV, then the soundbar, and the bookshelf speakers are two of the most obvious choices.

Since both of these devices overlap in many segments, thus, a lot of people get confused between the two.

To clear the air, we have compiled this blog post, in which we have put the soundbar against the bookshelf speakers, so you can easily choose the one which works better for your needs.

That being said, let’s jump right into the matter.

Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers [Detailed-Comparison]

Getting the right type of speaker for your needs can enhance your whole experience, as audio is a necessary part of a good entertainment system.

No doubt, both the soundbar, and the bookshelf speakers come with their own set of pros, and cons. Thus, there is nothing like a single factor that can define your purchase decision for the next audio channel for your home.

Hence, we have put together all the relevant points that you should have in your mind before betting on any of these devices.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is the most important factor that people look for in speakers, whether it’s the soundbar or the bookshelf speakers. There is no point in having speakers that offer aesthetics, snug fit in the space, offer superior connectivity options, but offer awful sound.

Before setting on any of the audio devices, you need to ensure you are getting a speaker that offers substantial sound performance for your needs. 

That being said, let’s jump into the details, and check out the sound performance of both of these devices one by one. 


The soundbar is a major upgrade from the native TV speakers which offer just awful sound. It comes as a plug & play device with a super-quick setup. There are tweeters, and subwoofers placed in this enclosure offering you amazing sound effects, which is perfect for a majority of people.

The soundbar has its vocals, treble, and bass system, and does not need any external aid. Although, you can add an external subwoofer, still, it is highly subjective.

Bookshelf Speaker

The Bookshelf speakers are a step ahead of the soundbar in the audio section, as they offer refined sound aimed at the audiophiles. The audio is clearer for the dialogues, and the bass is shakier. 

Although the bookshelf speakers natively offer better sound quality than the soundbar, still, if you want to enjoy the sound at its best, you need to add a center channel speaker.

Final Words

A soundbar is perfect for anybody who is not a sound enthusiast and wants to enjoy better sound than native TV speakers. The mid-tier soundbars offer a substantial amount of sound performance that is perfect for a majority of the public.

 On the other hand, if you are looking for audiophile-level sound quality, then we would advise you to get the bookshelf speakers.


Before purchasing either of the speakers, you need to take the space and aesthetics into your consideration, otherwise, you will be stuck nowhere. In the space/aesthetics, you have to determine how you are going to use the speakers you are planning to get.


A soundbar is a pretty straightforward piece of audio equipment, which can be placed anywhere (preferably under the TV) in your room. Moreover, it also adds to the aesthetical value of your room. There isn’t much issue in the placement of the soundbar, as compared to the rest of the audio devices.

Bookshelf Speaker

The bookshelf speakers are meant to be placed on the shelves if you are planning to enjoy a good chunk of sound. Nevertheless, you can place them anywhere you like, and they also add to the beauty of your room.

However, one thing you will have to keep in your mind is that the bookshelf speakers require more space as compared to a soundbar. Thus, you have to arrange this space before getting yourself these speakers, and if you are short on space, then it can be a troublesome condition for you.

Final Words

Available space is another important factor that many people neglect, and at the end of the day regret it. If you are short on space, then we would recommend you to get the soundbar, as it can easily sit right under the TV due to its low-profile design. 

On the other hand, the bookshelf speakers are remarkably taller and require a dedicated place.

Ease of Installation

Ease of installation also plays a vital role in the efficiency of the speakers, as if you are a non-techy person, or you like moving things around, then getting a complicated device can become a headache. Below, we have provided you with the ease of installation of both of these devices.


A soundbar comes in a single enclosure, and by using a single cable, you can easily connect the soundbar to the TV or any other device. Since there are not many cables or connections, you can easily move the soundbar around without any problem.

 Moreover, there is no issue with the placement of the soundbar, as all the radiators, tweeters are fitted in a single body, so positioning does not play an important role here.

Bookshelf Speaker

In comparison to the soundbar, the Bookshelf speakers are a little more complicated to install, especially, when you want to create a complete 5.1 channel setup with the addition of the center channel speaker.

Although, it’s not as tricky as some of the other speaker setups, as the bookshelf speakers are self-powered, and you do not need additional equipment, still, it’s a little technical.

Final Words

Soundbar setup is real-quick, as it’s a plug & play device in a single enclosure, and you do not have much problem in setting or installing it. 

On the other hand, bookshelf speakers can be a little complicated to install, as often you have to install them with the center channel speaker system if you want to enjoy the sound at its best.


The price is another key factor that can make or break your purchase decision. Thus, you should take the cost of each of these speakers very seriously before making your bet.


A decent quality soundbar can cost you anywhere from 300-1000$ depending upon the brand, size, and quality, which is quality a good price range, and the value-added benefit of the soundbar here is that you do not need any center channel speaker or any other channel speaker combination with this soundbar.

Bookshelf Speaker

Although, the price bracket of the bookshelf speakers is also the same as you can get decent quality bookshelf speakers in the 400USD price bracket, still, you need the extra center channel speakers, which costs you the additional money.

Final Words

The soundbar and the bookshelf speakers both fall in the same price bracket, but the bookshelf speakers need an extra center channel speaker for the dialogue clarity, which costs you the extra money.


Last not least, connectivity is another important thing that you should be looking at in an audio device. So, you can easily connect your devices with the soundbar or the speakers. 


A soundbar comes with a wide range of connectivity options including HDMI, digital optical, AUX, Bluetooth as well as WIFI connectivity, which means there is no shortage of connectivity options on a soundbar.

Bookshelf Speaker

Most of the bookshelf speakers come with traditional connectivity and lack wireless paring options like Bluetooth and WIFI. Hence, you cannot pair the bookshelf speakers with a mobile phone or a laptop.

Final Words

The soundbar has plenty of options on-board as it supports HDMI, Digital optical, AUX, Bluetooth, and WIFI connectivity. On the other hand, the bookshelf speakers have HDMI, digital optical, and AUX connectivity, and lack wireless functionalities like Bluetooth, and WIFI.

Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers infographic

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Bookshelf Speakers Sound Better than a Soundbar?

Yes, the bookshelf speakers offer better sound than a soundbar. Although, a soundbar offers way better sound when compared to native TV speakers, still, a soundbar is nowhere near the quality of the bookshelf speakers.

Can We Connect the Bookshelf Speakers to a Soundbar?

Yes, you can connect the bookshelf speakers to a soundbar, and alternatively, you can also connect the soundbar to the bookshelf speakers.

Can Bookshelf Speakers Go on a Bookshelf?

Well, the Bookshelf speakers are meant to be placed on the shelves for better aesthetics as well as sound performance. However, you can place them anywhere in your room without any problem.


Soundbar and the bookshelf speakers are two of the most obvious choices for upgrading the audio on your TV.

Above, we have compiled a complete guide discussing different aspects of these sound systems. We recommend the soundbar for people who want to upgrade their sound from the TV speakers. 

On the other hand, the bookshelf speakers are more inclined towards sound enthusiasts who want to enjoy the premium-quality sound.

Which audio device are you planning to get for your home theatre? Tell us in the comments section below, as we would love to listen to it from you.

Soundbar Vs Bookshelf Speakers

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