Reason #1 – Better Sound
One of the main arguments against sound bars is the size of the drivers which are used in them these days. However, not only are sound bases fitted with the same or similar size speakers, but they lack one crucial thing. The key to proper stereo sound is the placement of the speakers. You generally want them spaced between each other, thus creating a more natural and defined sound stage. That is something just about any standard sound bar will get you. On the other hand, sound bases are much narrower due to their nature which takes away from that stereo experience.
Reason #2 – Smaller Footprint
Whether or not aesthetics matter to you as the user, chances are that you prefer a device that doesn’t take up a whole lot of space over one that does. Sound bars used to be a bit chunky back in the day, but the modern ones are super slim in comparison. Even if you place the right below the TV, you won’t really feel their presence. With sound bases, that is not the case. There are some compact sound bases out there, but most of them come across as this large, thick surface that you simply can’t overlook.
Reason #3 – Versatility
One of the major benefits of sound bars is their versatility. Sound bases are made to be put on the TV and there is generally no other way to use them. With sound bars, you can mount them on the wall, behind the TV, in front of it or how ever you want. On top of that, there are many wireless models out there which will allow you to create a very stealthy system should you want to. Another issue with sound bases that isn’t often mentioned is their load bearing limitation. Sure, they are designed to withstand the weight of a TV, but not every TV and not without limitations. With sound bars, you don’t have that problem.
Reason #4 – Upgrade Paths
When sound bases first appeared, they were revolutionary. The issue of stock TV sound existed for a long time and sound bases were the first practical solution. However, the whole all-in-one nature of these devices has proven to be their downfall. Sound bars, on the other hand, offer a much more customizable nature. You can use them on their own, with or without the subwoofer. If you decide that’s not enough, most modern sound bars will allow you to pair them with satellite speakers and create a decent 5.1 or 7.1 system. Sound bars simply offer better upgrade paths.
Reason #5 – Subwoofers
One of the main selling points of sound bases was the fact that you don’t need anything else in order to use them. At the time they first appeared, this was exactly what an average consumer wanted. However, as time went by and standards changed, people pushed the bar a bit too high for this type of audio system. Bass become important and there was simply no room for a proper woofer in an average sound base. This is where sound bars have a clear advantage. Most modern sound bars come with a standalone subwoofer that fills out that void in the lower end of the frequency range.
Reason #6 – Price
Sound bases, in all of their glory, are not that affordable in general. Creating an integrated system with so many speakers that actually sounds good, is going to cost money. Even if you just take the sheer amount of material, it becomes obvious why sound bases are often times expensive. Sound bars, on the other hand, don’t have that issue. You can find them at prices which are competitive, to say the least. While the quality of affordable sound bars is something that can be discussed for days on end, the fact is that they offer a cheap way of upgrading your TV’s audio performance. For most casual users out there, that is pretty much all they need. What is even more interesting is that a lot of affordable sound bars come with a standalone subwoofer. Even though that is something we’ve started seeing only recently, it adds to the overwhelming advantages of owning a sound bar over a sound base.
Reason #7 – Larger Selection
Lastly, we have to touch upon the variety of models available today. The market has spoken, choosing sound bars over sound bases. This has resulted in numerous brands focusing on this type of home audio systems. Nowadays, you can find a vast array of sound bars in just about every price range. The best thing is that such fierce competition only leads to a better product at a lower price. You can basically spend days going through different models of sound bars and most of them will offer great value for the money.
As we reach the end of this short article, it should be fairly clear why sound bars are better than sound bases. With that said, sound bases deserve all of the respect for being pioneers of compact home audio systems. They have served their purpose well and introduced new trends which have led us to much better solutions. However, sound bars have come on top as the clear winner. No matter which metric you take, chances are that an average sound bar is going to offer more than your average sound base. Unless you really like the performance of a certain sound base, there aren’t really many reasons to go for one.