Tower Speakers vs. Soundbar for Home Theater

The beginning stages of building your home theater’s surround sound system can seem a bit daunting. So many decisions to be made with a plethora of information to sort through. If you are considering tower speakers vs. a Soundbar for your home theater, there is a lot to consider.

While tower speakers are larger, typically cost more, have a better overall sound quality, are best for streaming music, and can be used with other pieces of sound equipment, Soundbars bring a more sleek design at a smaller size, lower cost, and sufficient sound quality for standard movie viewing.

Tower Speakers vs. Soundbar for Home Theater

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Of course, deciding between these two types of speakers can often come down to personal preference, overall budget, and your willingness to invest in the piece of sound equipment that is suitable for your long-term audio needs within your home theater.

Still, comparing the two types of speakers side-by-side can be difficult in real life. To save you from some of the effort, we have compiled a comparison that you can review more conveniently. Let’s take a closer look.

Also read: Can You Lay Tower Speakers on Their Sides?

Tower Speakers vs. Soundbar for a Home Theater Comparison

Once you dive into the world of sound equipment for your home theater, you might feel initially overwhelmed. However, there is no turning back once you realize the difference that high-quality audio experiences can bring to your media viewing experience.

Whether you are consistently streaming your favorite music or plan on a family movie night of the latest release, you are going to want to incorporate high-quality sound for a consequently high-quality experience.

Tower speakers compare well to a Soundbar for a home theater in a variety of categories including size, aesthetic appeal, cost, sound quality, purpose, use with other pieces of sound equipment (ex. subwoofer), number of channels, and personal preference. Consider what is most important to you to invest in.

Since there are so many different categories that you might find incredibly important or some that might not sway you in one direction or the other, it is important to consider the points that will make the biggest difference to you in the short-term and long-term.

After all, this is an investment that you (and your family) are making, so you want to choose what will work best for your specific needs.

Let’s take a closer look at the most important categories for you to consider when comparing tower speakers and a Soundbar for your home theater.


Likely the most noticeable feature when it comes to tower speakers and Soundbars is the size of the two different types of sound equipment.

While tower speakers quite literally tower over other features in your home theater room, Soundbars easily slide into your decor as their smaller size allows them to hide a bit more readily.

However, size does not have to be the end-all-be-all when it comes to choosing a type of speaker for your home theater.

After all, the size is not going to directly indicate the ability of the speaker to provide you with a high-quality sound experience.

Consider bookshelf speakers, for example- a happy medium between the two options that can provide you high-quality audio with a smaller size than tower speakers.

Still, size is usually one of the most important reasons that someone would shy away from using tower speakers in their home theater.

Unless you have a large home theater space to fill, using a Soundbar can help to keep the room looking both modern and clean.

Not only will the speaker itself take up much less room, but you likely will have fewer cables running loose as you set up your Soundbar. But, if size and space are not issues you are concerned about, then using tower speakers will not be of concern for you in this area.

Aesthetic Appeal

Put Floorstanding Speakers on Stands

Not only is the size of the two types of sound equipment going to vary greatly between tower speakers and a Soundbar for your home theater, but the overall aesthetic appeal will change quite drastically as a result.

Now, this might not be an issue for you, but if you care about the overall look and feel of your home theater, then you are going to want to consider how to pull off the look you are going for regardless of the type of speaker you choose.

Tower speakers, in their larger, towering appearance provide you with the look of dedication. Truly, you would not bring tower speakers into your home theater unless you knew what you were doing with them and knew how to use them to achieve high-quality audio within your home. (At least, this is the hope.)

On the other hand, using a Soundbar in your home theater will provide you with a minimalistic, modern appearance that will not immediately draw your attention or overwhelm you visually when you first walk into your home theater. Instead, you will appreciate its sleek design practically hiding away its visibility.

Since both of these aesthetics will appeal differently to many people, it is important to recognize the look that you are going for.

Size has its importance, but it is the influence of size on the overall design that is likely going to transform your opinion on the matter.


Cost is yet another incredibly important category that will typically persuade people in one direction or the other when it comes to choosing tower speakers or a Soundbar for their home theater.

While we all wish that we had endless, disposable income, this is not the case for most of us. Instead, we must work within our means to find the best piece of sound equipment worthy of our investment.

Typically speaking, a high-quality set of tower speakers is going to cost you quite a bit more than a Soundbar. This is why many people end up going with a Soundbar in the first place- it is a succinct version of a “real” home theater surround sound system in that it includes many channels for the price of one device.

However, you typically get what you pay for when it comes to sound equipment for your home theater. Tower speakers are often more expensive than a Soundbar for a reason- they are capable of producing higher-quality audio that you likely will not be able to achieve with a Soundbar.

Finally, when considering cost, it is also important to consider any additional pieces of equipment that you will need to add to your surround sound system to achieve your desired results.

If you piece the sound system together on a shoestring budget, you might find yourself spending more in the long run on replacements and upgrades than if you initially just purchased what you wanted. It is all a personal choice that will range depending on what your current budget will allow.

Sound Quality

Now, sound quality is the important factor that you would ideally consider first considering that these two pieces of equipment being compared are aimed at this directive. However, it cannot always be at the top of everyone’s list in terms of making the final decision.

Still, it is important to be aware of the type of audio experience that you will achieve when purchasing either a set of tower speakers or a Soundbar for your home theater.

More likely than not, you are going to have higher-quality sound when you choose to use tower speakers in your home theater along with other pieces of sound equipment. However, this relies on the precedent that the tower speakers are not the only speakers in your sound system.

On the other hand, you can invest in some pretty high-quality Soundbars that are capable of achieving an extraordinarily impressive sound quality due to the number of speaker channels they have as well as their ability to pair well with other pieces of sound equipment in your surround sound system as well.

Often, comparing the sound quality of tower speakers and a Soundbar comes down to the specific device for each type of sound equipment.

While cheap tower speakers will not compare to a higher-budget Soundbar, spending the same on each type of speaker option will likely point you to the conclusion that tower speakers are often capable of producing a richer sound.


Knowing the purpose that you are purchasing tower speakers or a Soundbar for your home theater is where the decision can get truly transformative.

For example, if you are someone who tends to stream lots of music throughout your home- be it classical music, hard rock, or contemporary music, you will want something that can achieve a higher sound quality.

This is most often going to be tower speakers in coordination with other speakers in your home theater surround sound system.

However, if you are just looking for a type of speaker that can upgrade you from your TV’s internal speakers as you stream your favorite nightly shows, then a Soundbar will likely be able to do the trick.

Again, you want to consider your specific needs and what you hope for either of these types of speaker options to accomplish within your home theater.

Use with Other Pieces of Sound Equipment

Again, as mentioned above, you also need to consider if you plan to use other speakers in your sound system before deciding on tower speakers or a Soundbar for your home theater.

Since Tower speakers most often have fewer numbers of audio channels, you will need to pair them with other types of speakers in your sound system to achieve your most likely desired audio results.

On the other hand, using a Soundbar with a subwoofer can give you all that you need in terms of the number of audio channels that you hope to stream sound through.

This can be a more sleek and less expensive option for setting up an entire surround sound system within your home theater. But, again, you need to consider what your overall goal is in the end.

Personal Preference

Finally, be sure that you consider the type of speaker that will meet your specific preferences. Since both types of speakers (tower speakers or a Soundbar) can be incorporated into your home theater to achieve high-quality audio, it comes down to what is most important to you and what you are willing to invest in.

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