2.1 Versus 5.1 Soundbars: Which Is Best?

Sound systems for home entertainment centers aren’t quite what they used to be. The range of available options is dizzying for most consumers. However, the emergence of soundbars over the past several years has revolutionized the sound system.
According to PC World, this fairly compact, rectangular-shaped speaker accessory has changed everything for home entertainment and auditory fans. Watching television, sports matches, concerts, or listening to your favorite music will never be the same, and that’s meant in the best possible way.
As fewer people go to movie theaters, opting to save money and stay home where it’s warm and cozy, it’s essential to have such a powerful, lightweight, and versatile sound system.

How to Choose the Right Soundbar for Your Home Entertainment System

Let’s face it, most of the time, the speakers built into the most modern and expensive televisions sound terrible. There’s no way you’ll get the Dolby Surround Sound effect you yearn for with the factory speakers, so searching for an external solution is a given for most audiophiles.
Soundbars have become the ideal solution, as they do everything a complex speaker system can do in minimal space and on a more modest budget. Further, they handle both the high and low ends of volume more effectively. With this strategy, you are less likely to miss out on soft-spoken dialogue and other quiet moments, getting the full aural experience and meaning of the scene or piece of music.
Even better, you don’t have to worry about the sound blasting your eardrums or having it cause you to jump out of your skin during blockbusters that suddenly burst into explosions and other bombastic conditions after those quiet moments. Instead, it all ties together seamlessly, creating a harmonic experience throughout the film or other work.
There are two main soundbars types: 2.1 and 5.1.

Are You Trying to Decide Whether to Buy a 2.1 or 5.1 Soundbar?

If you are trying to decide whether to buy a 2.1 or 5.1 soundbar, you probably need more information to make the best choice. The first thing you need to know is that both are considered “channel” soundbars, which have at least two speakers and sometimes more. The speakers are divided between the left and right sides, creating a more immersive soundscape experience. Finally, all units include a subwoofer.

The 2.1 Soundbar

The 2.1 soundbar contains only two channels, which delivers more than many other speaker systems, but modern soundbar standards limit it. It is a simple left and right sound delivery system that doesn’t do much to enhance the listening experience more than standard television speakers do. You can hear a difference, but you’re left wanting more and better sound solutions.
Soundbar Planet recommends times when a 2.1 soundbar is a great option:
  • Small-to-medium-sized rooms like studio apartments, dorm rooms, and bedrooms allow for plenty of space for a smaller soundbar and amplify the sound more noticeably.
  • More affordable than more expansive versions like the 5.1.
  • Quick and easy installation means that just about anyone can have a 2.1 up and running quickly and easily.
  • Enhanced audio is somewhat important for general programming but not crucial or considered a special experience.
  • The price bar is low, often well under $200.

The 5.1 Soundbar

When you add three additional speakers or channels, you can count on a richer listening experience. The speakers you typically find on this unit include front left and right, surround in the back, surround on the left, and a separate subwoofer.
The reasons you might choose a 5.1 soundbar include:
  • You are installing it into a medium-or-large-sized room to enjoy as a home theater with family and friends.
  • You love watching movies and miss the in-theater experience, full of high-quality soundscape experiences.
  • Video games are a part of your life and you want to immerse yourself.
  • Audio is just as important as video and, in many cases, it is more important than video.
  • You don’t mind the higher price tag that typically falls between $800-$1,000.

Soundbars Have Become Extremely Popular

Soundbars pair perfectly with the best TVs. Today’s slim televisions simply don’t have the space to facilitate internal speaker systems like your parents’ versions decades ago. In order to get the full experience of programming, soundbars have become an instant accessory thrown into the virtual or actual shopping cart.
Both the 2.1 and 5.1 soundbars have their advantages and disadvantages. It comes down to determining which one is right for you, based on your available space and what you want from each viewing or listening experience.
However, regardless of your TV or soundbar, all home theater devices are vulnerable to damage. Luckily, customers can choose Upsie to protect their home theaters from damage and defects. Upsie’s warranties are affordable, comprehensive, and intuitive. One of the biggest advantages of Upsie is that customers can make unlimited claims up to the purchase price of the device, ensuring that customers get the most out of their warranties.
Remember to reach out to Upsie for the best extended TV and home theater warranty.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.