2.1 vs 3.1 Soundbar: Differences & Similarities and Impacts

Soundbars are an absolute necessity if you want to fully cherish an immersive and cinematic home theater experience. Purchasing a soundbar can be fun but the technical jargons may come off as confusing to beginners. Most people might not understand the difference between 2.1 and a 3.1 soundbar. Which should you opt for? Read this article to find out.

Soundbar Channel Configuration Explained

When buying a soundbar, you will notice some numbers attached to their names: 2.1, 7.1.2, 9.1 and so on. So what’s with the strange prefixes before the soundbar models?

The specifications for a soundbar often include two to three numbers. These numbers are an indication of the type of sound system that the soundbar will support. It is used to identify the number of speakers integrated in the soundbar.

The first number in the sequence is an indication of how many channels the soundbar has. This means that if the first number in the sequence is two, i.e. 2.1, then the soundbar has two channels or speakers- one in the left and the other in the right. The second number in the sequence suggests whether or not the soundbar comes with a subwoofer. This number is always one, not more than that. For instance, if you have a soundbar with a 3.1 configuration, your system will include three speakers and one subwoofer channel. The third number in the sequence is not very common. This number represents the number of upward firing speakers in the system. So if your soundbar has a 5.1.2 configuration, there are two upward firing speakers integrated in the system.

The table below summarizes all the different types of soundbar channels and their meaning:

Number in soundbarWhat it means
2 channelOne left and one right speaker
3 channelLeft, center and right speaker
5 channelLeft, center, right and two rear speakers
7 channelLeft, center, right and four rear speakers
Dolby AtmosNumber of front firing speakers

Differences between 2.1 and 3.1 soundbar

As discussed earlier, the primary difference between the 2.1 and 3.1 soundbars is the number of channels that they have.

In case off 2.1 soundbar, there are two channels- one left and one right and a subwoofer integrated into the system. On the other hand, the 3.1 soundbar has three channels- one left, one right and one at the center with one subwoofer in the system.

But this is not the only difference. Whether your home theater should include a 2.1 channel soundbar or a 3.1 channel soundbar depends on how effectively it can perform. These two types of soundbars have differences in the way they look, their setup, connectivity and most importantly their audio performance. Let’s discuss the differences in these features in details.

Design

The design of a soundbar is not only its exterior appearance but also includes the build quality, weight, and dimensions- all of which are essential for the successful setup in your home theater.

Both 2.1 and 3.1 soundbars are quite slim and lightweight. However, because of the extra speaker integrated in the 3.1 channel soundbar, it is a little bigger than the 2.1 soundbars. Both speakers, nevertheless, do come with a large external subwoofer which can take up space in the room.

If you have a room that is spacious, a 3.1 channel soundbar should be a good option. However, not all rooms can accommodate a big soundbar along with the subwoofer. Hence, 2.1 channel soundbars are more appropriate for smaller rooms. Nevertheless, soundbars themselves are designed to blend in seamlessly with your home theater setup, so it shouldn’t be that much of a big deal in placement.

Audio quality

With an extra speaker added to the structure of the soundbar, it is of no doubt that the 3.1 channel soundbar will have some advantage in terms of audio performance when compared to the 2.1 channel soundbar. In fact, after further comparing and examining the audio performance of the two type of soundbar, we found out that 3.1 soundbars offer more dynamic sound than 2.1 channel soundbars.

This is perhaps the results of the center speaker integrated into the 3.1 channel soundbar. Because of the speaker positioned in the center, there is an overall clarity in the dialogue and detailed audio response.

Since the center speaker is absent in the 2.1 channel soundbar, the audio comes from the left and right rear speakers. Hence the speech is not as clear and the details in the audio go missing.

Because the 3.1 channel soundbar includes a channel in the center, it means that the other two speakers- the one in the left and the one in the right- do not have extra pressure on them in producing the sound. This allows all three of the speakers to stand out individually and do their work meticulously, thus providing cleaner, more powerful audio.

Nevertheless, the number of channels individually is not a great determinant of the audio quality. There are other factors that should be kept in mind. In fact, a 2.1 channel soundbar incorporated with Dolby Digital or DTS can perform surprisingly as well as a 5.1 soundbar on its own.

Connectivity

Regardless of the difference in the number of channels, both soundbars can offer the same type of connectivity options. Some recommended connections include optical and HDMI inputs because they allow high quality audio.

Both 2.1 and 3.1 soundbars come with built in Bluetooth. This option can be used to wirelessly connect and stream content from other devices. Soundbars also enable Wi-Fi connection.

Both soundbars have standard connectivity options, however the connectivity can differ from model to model.

Price

There is a difference in the price of the soundbars because they have different number of channels integrated in them. Both the soundbars have a left and right channel but the 3.1 soundbars have an additional center channel in its system. Because of this additional channel which has dialogue enhancing features, the price for the 3.1 channel soundbar is higher than that of the 2.1 channel soundbar.

Other additional features such as voice control and Bluetooth can determine the price of the soundbars.

Advantages of 2.1 soundbar

2.1 channel soundbars have the following advantages:

  • These soundbars are generally cheaper compared to the 3.1 channel soundbars.
  • The 2.1 channel soundbars are smaller in size and can easily be moved for different set up.
  • 1 soundbars allow HDMI connectivity for better listening.
  • These soundbars can offer Bluetooth connectivity.
  • 1 channel soundbars either have built in or external subwoofers paired with them.

Advantages of 3.1 soundbar

The advantages of 3.1 channel soundbar are as follows:

  • The 3.1 soundbar includes a center channel which increases dialogue clarity.
  • The overall audio performance for 3.1 channel soundbar is much better than that of 2.1 channel soundbar.
  • 1 channel soundbars have built in or external subwoofer with them for better bass response.
  • These soundbars can support HDMI for better audio response.
  • 1 channel soundbars can offer Bluetooth connectivitiy.

Top five picks for 2.1 soundbar

If you’re looking for 2.1 soundbars, here are our five best picks:

Soundbar Name
Sony HT-X8500
LG SK8
Vizio 2.1 Soundbar SB362An-F6
JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass
Panasonic soundslayer 2.1
Soundbar Description
The stylish and sleek Sony HT-X8500 is just what you need to elevate your sound system and make it look extremely aesthetic.  These compact and lightweight soundbars offer blockbuster audio in an all integrated easy to set up system. The subwoofer integrated in the soundbar using Vertical S not only saves space but can offer booming bass to make your heart pound to the beat.
If you want to enjoy high resolution audio in the comfort of your home, then you should definitely consider pairing up your home theater with these impeccable soundbars. It offers detailed and precise sound with compatibility for a lot of sources including Chromecast. With its google assistant compatibility, users can easily control the soundbar through voice command. It also offers Bluetooth and W-Fi connectivity for the user’s convenience.
The vizio 2.1 soundbar provides powerful audio with deep and booming bass for a wonderful home theater system. With two built in subwoofer in the soundbar, these stylish and sleek audio devices surely enhances the bass in your music. Although the lack of HDMI port can come off as a disadvantage, these soundbars have a lot of connectivity options ranging from Bluetooth to DTS Virtual X format compatibility. Overall, these soundbars are a win for great audio   response at a reasonable rate.
The JBL Bar 2.1 is a simple looking soundbar that has so much to offer in terms of audio.  This compact and dynamic soundbar has four 2.25 inch midrange drivers and two 1.25 inch tweeters integrated in it. The soundbar is also quite easy to set up-you can either connect it to the TV using an optical cable or an HDMI cable. The wireless subwoofer connects automatically once the soundbar is powered. Overall, the sound quality is loud and clear, especially the dialogue clarity is commendable. Whether you’re watching the news or sports, the audio is uninterrupted, clear and easy to understand.
If you are a gamer who is looking for an immersive and three dimensional audio experiences that will heighten your gaming sessions, then the Panasonic soundslayer 2.1 is just what you should be looking for. If you have this soundbar connected with your gaming system, rest assured that you won’t need separate speakers.  The Panasonic soundslayer 2.1 supporst Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats and has three gaming modes: RPG, FPS and Voice modes. It is also bluetooth compatible.
Soundbar Specifications
   Weight: 3.1 kg ·       Dimensions: 6.4 x 89 x 9.6cm ·       S master, digital amplifier ·       Bluetooth/ wireless connectivity ·       Inputs: HDMI x1, Optical ·       Audio format:  Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
      Weight: 2.99 kg ·       Dimensions: 1061(w) x 57.5(h) x 87(d)mm ·       Connectivity: 1 HDMI in, 1 HDMI out, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, optical audio input ·       Dolby Atmos compatible ·       External subwoofer
Weight: 3.4 kg ·       Dimensions: 36 x 5.24 x 2.05 inches ·       Sensitivity: 97 dB ·       Two built-in 3” subwoofers ·       DTS Virtual:X compatibility ·       Wall mountable and easy set-up ·       Offers wireless and Bluetooth connectivity
    Weight: 2.16 kg ·       Dimensions: 38 inches  x 2.28 inches  x 3.35 inches ·       Frequency response: 40Hz-20kHz ·       Connections: 1 x HDMI Input (ver. 1.4) 1 x HDMI Output (ver. 1.4 / with ARC support) 1 x Digital Optical Input 1 x USB ·       Four 2.25 inch race track drivers and two 1 inch tweeters ·       Dolby Digital, HDMI-CEC, Bluetooth options
Weight: 1.81 kg ·       Dimensions: 16.94 inches x 2.06 inches  x 5.13 inches ·       RPG, FPS and Voice gaming modes ·       Connections: 1 x HDMI - Audio/Video 1 x Optical TOSLINK – Audio ·       Compatibility: DTS Virtual:X, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos ·       Bluetooth options
Pros
Sony HT X8500 is compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X The soundbar is sleek and stylish and can blend in easily with the interior It is really easy to set up  It offers impressive audio performance at a good range
The soundbar offers built-in Chromecast LG SK8 supports Google Assistant for voice commands It offers a wide range of connectivity options The soundbar offers adjustable EQ Clear and detailed sound response
The soudbar offers adjustable EQ The vizio 2.1 soundbar is very easy to set up The soundbar offers Bluetooth connectivity for easy listening
The soundbar delivers detailed, precise and powerful audio performance The soundbar contains a large subwoofer which offers dynamic and deep bass response The JBL Bar 2.1 comes with two HDMI ports for users convenience
It offers sophisticated audio performance with three different modes for gaming The soundbar offers clear and precise bass response You’ll get great soundstage for gaming experience The soundbar is Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X compatible
Cons
The soundbar does not have any upfiring drivers The audio quality could have been better
The external subwoofers bass response needs to be improved There is only one HDMI input with the soundbar Soundstage needs to be more spacious
The soundbar does not come with any HDMI ports The powerful sub bass can cause some distortion in the audio
Although the soundbar is great with movies, it can be better for listening to music The soundbar lacks  Virtual:X processing There is a lack of surround sound experience when listening with these soundbars
The soundbar does not support Wi-Fi It has only one HDMI input The soundbar cannot be upgraded with extra speakers
Image
Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar with Built-in subwoofer, Black
LG SK8Y Sound Bar 2.1 ch High Res Audio, Dolby Atmos, Chromecast, Surround Sound Ready, Google Assistant - Black
VIZIO 36” 2.1 Sound Bar with Built-in Dual Subwoofers
JBL Bar 2.1 - Deep Bass Soundbar with 6.5" Wireless Subwoofer (2019 Model)
Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Soundbar Designed with Final Fantasy XIV Online Team, Dolby Atmos Gaming Speakers for PC and Home Theater, Built-in Subwoofer – SC-HTB01PP (Black)
Soundbar Name
Sony HT-X8500
Soundbar Description
The stylish and sleek Sony HT-X8500 is just what you need to elevate your sound system and make it look extremely aesthetic.  These compact and lightweight soundbars offer blockbuster audio in an all integrated easy to set up system. The subwoofer integrated in the soundbar using Vertical S not only saves space but can offer booming bass to make your heart pound to the beat.
Soundbar Specifications
   Weight: 3.1 kg ·       Dimensions: 6.4 x 89 x 9.6cm ·       S master, digital amplifier ·       Bluetooth/ wireless connectivity ·       Inputs: HDMI x1, Optical ·       Audio format:  Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
Pros
Sony HT X8500 is compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X The soundbar is sleek and stylish and can blend in easily with the interior It is really easy to set up  It offers impressive audio performance at a good range
Cons
The soundbar does not have any upfiring drivers The audio quality could have been better
Image
Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar with Built-in subwoofer, Black
Soundbar Name
LG SK8
Soundbar Description
If you want to enjoy high resolution audio in the comfort of your home, then you should definitely consider pairing up your home theater with these impeccable soundbars. It offers detailed and precise sound with compatibility for a lot of sources including Chromecast. With its google assistant compatibility, users can easily control the soundbar through voice command. It also offers Bluetooth and W-Fi connectivity for the user’s convenience.
Soundbar Specifications
      Weight: 2.99 kg ·       Dimensions: 1061(w) x 57.5(h) x 87(d)mm ·       Connectivity: 1 HDMI in, 1 HDMI out, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, optical audio input ·       Dolby Atmos compatible ·       External subwoofer
Pros
The soundbar offers built-in Chromecast LG SK8 supports Google Assistant for voice commands It offers a wide range of connectivity options The soundbar offers adjustable EQ Clear and detailed sound response
Cons
The external subwoofers bass response needs to be improved There is only one HDMI input with the soundbar Soundstage needs to be more spacious
Image
LG SK8Y Sound Bar 2.1 ch High Res Audio, Dolby Atmos, Chromecast, Surround Sound Ready, Google Assistant - Black
Soundbar Name
Vizio 2.1 Soundbar SB362An-F6
Soundbar Description
The vizio 2.1 soundbar provides powerful audio with deep and booming bass for a wonderful home theater system. With two built in subwoofer in the soundbar, these stylish and sleek audio devices surely enhances the bass in your music. Although the lack of HDMI port can come off as a disadvantage, these soundbars have a lot of connectivity options ranging from Bluetooth to DTS Virtual X format compatibility. Overall, these soundbars are a win for great audio   response at a reasonable rate.
Soundbar Specifications
Weight: 3.4 kg ·       Dimensions: 36 x 5.24 x 2.05 inches ·       Sensitivity: 97 dB ·       Two built-in 3” subwoofers ·       DTS Virtual:X compatibility ·       Wall mountable and easy set-up ·       Offers wireless and Bluetooth connectivity
Pros
The soudbar offers adjustable EQ The vizio 2.1 soundbar is very easy to set up The soundbar offers Bluetooth connectivity for easy listening
Cons
The soundbar does not come with any HDMI ports The powerful sub bass can cause some distortion in the audio
Image
VIZIO 36” 2.1 Sound Bar with Built-in Dual Subwoofers
Soundbar Name
JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass
Soundbar Description
The JBL Bar 2.1 is a simple looking soundbar that has so much to offer in terms of audio.  This compact and dynamic soundbar has four 2.25 inch midrange drivers and two 1.25 inch tweeters integrated in it. The soundbar is also quite easy to set up-you can either connect it to the TV using an optical cable or an HDMI cable. The wireless subwoofer connects automatically once the soundbar is powered. Overall, the sound quality is loud and clear, especially the dialogue clarity is commendable. Whether you’re watching the news or sports, the audio is uninterrupted, clear and easy to understand.
Soundbar Specifications
    Weight: 2.16 kg ·       Dimensions: 38 inches  x 2.28 inches  x 3.35 inches ·       Frequency response: 40Hz-20kHz ·       Connections: 1 x HDMI Input (ver. 1.4) 1 x HDMI Output (ver. 1.4 / with ARC support) 1 x Digital Optical Input 1 x USB ·       Four 2.25 inch race track drivers and two 1 inch tweeters ·       Dolby Digital, HDMI-CEC, Bluetooth options
Pros
The soundbar delivers detailed, precise and powerful audio performance The soundbar contains a large subwoofer which offers dynamic and deep bass response The JBL Bar 2.1 comes with two HDMI ports for users convenience
Cons
Although the soundbar is great with movies, it can be better for listening to music The soundbar lacks  Virtual:X processing There is a lack of surround sound experience when listening with these soundbars
Image
JBL Bar 2.1 - Deep Bass Soundbar with 6.5" Wireless Subwoofer (2019 Model)
Soundbar Name
Panasonic soundslayer 2.1
Soundbar Description
If you are a gamer who is looking for an immersive and three dimensional audio experiences that will heighten your gaming sessions, then the Panasonic soundslayer 2.1 is just what you should be looking for. If you have this soundbar connected with your gaming system, rest assured that you won’t need separate speakers.  The Panasonic soundslayer 2.1 supporst Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats and has three gaming modes: RPG, FPS and Voice modes. It is also bluetooth compatible.
Soundbar Specifications
Weight: 1.81 kg ·       Dimensions: 16.94 inches x 2.06 inches  x 5.13 inches ·       RPG, FPS and Voice gaming modes ·       Connections: 1 x HDMI - Audio/Video 1 x Optical TOSLINK – Audio ·       Compatibility: DTS Virtual:X, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos ·       Bluetooth options
Pros
It offers sophisticated audio performance with three different modes for gaming The soundbar offers clear and precise bass response You’ll get great soundstage for gaming experience The soundbar is Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X compatible
Cons
The soundbar does not support Wi-Fi It has only one HDMI input The soundbar cannot be upgraded with extra speakers
Image
Panasonic SoundSlayer Gaming Soundbar Designed with Final Fantasy XIV Online Team, Dolby Atmos Gaming Speakers for PC and Home Theater, Built-in Subwoofer – SC-HTB01PP (Black)

Top five picks for 3.1 soundbar

Here are five of the top 3.1 soundbars that we have picked out for your sound system:

Soundbar Name
JBL Bar 3.1
Klipsch Cinema 600 3.1 Bluetooth Sound Bar
Klipsch Bar 48 soundbar
TCL Alto 9+ 3.1 Channel Sound Bar
Studio Slim 3.1 Channel Sound Bar
Soundbar Description
The JBL bar 3.1 is a much more improved version of bar 2.1 that comes with some additional features. This soundbar is packed with a total power of 450 W making it produce booming and dynamic audio. The new feature in this soundbar is that it has 3 HDMI inputs compared to the earlier version which had only one. The 10 inch subwoofer that comes with the soundbar offers clear and tight bass for enjoyable audio experience. The soundbar enables users to connect any device with Bluetooth 4.2.  The esoundbar also offers true 4k connectivity for easy use.
The Cinema 600 are dynamic soundbars that deliver a theater-like listening experience with their impressive built-in features. These stylish soundbars are very convenient to set up and operate. Paired up with a 10 inch booming subwoofer, the klipsch cinema 600 soundbar offers powerful audio with detailed clarity. The soundbar’s name speaks for itself- this simple rectangular box can bring your movies to life, giving you the ultimate cinematic adventure.
The Klipsch Bar 48 is a 3.1 channel soundbar which delivers impressive audio performance with well integrated bass. It has a stylish exterior with premium wooden finish and is extremely convenient to set up. Its Dialogue Enhancement feature ensures impressive audio clarity and makes listening experience wonderful. Overall, if you are bored of your average TV sound and want a massive upgrade to make the movies come to life, these soundbars are a great choice of purchase.
The TLC Alto 9+ are impeccable soundbar equipped with TLCs special Ray Danz Technology which provides an immersive and ultra-wide soundstage.  With the wireless subwoofer, you will get to experience deep bass that will make your music come to life. The TLC Alto 9+ soundbar allows a variety of different streaming options, making your TV experience enjoyable and convenient. The Dolby Atmos surround sound ensures multi-dimensional audio and adds extra depth to the sound.
The sleek and stylish modern studio slim 3.1 sounbar is not only aesthetically pleasing but also very high performing.  The soundbar is user friendly and extremely easy to set up with Wi-Fi. Chromecast compatibility allows the user to stream variety of music with the soundbar. Overall, the studio slim 3.1 channel soundbar offers precise and high resolution audio with premium construction.
Soundbar Specifications
Weight: 2.3 kg ·       Dimensions: 40 inch x 2.3inch x 3inch ·       Frequency Response: 35Hz to 20KHz ·       Power: 450 W ·       Bluetooth version 4.2 ·       10 inch subwoofer ·       6 x 2.25" racetrack drivers 3 x 1.25" tweeter ·       Connections: Three HDMI video inputs  and one HDMI video output
Weight:  14 kg ·       Dimensions: 45 inch x 2.9 inch x 3.4 inch ·       Frequency response: 35-20 kHz ·       Power: 600W ·       Sensitivity: 103 dB ·       1 inch soft dome tweeters mated to Tractrix® horn ·       3 inch oval fiber composite cone woofers ·       10 inch wireless subwoofer ·       Built-in Dolby audio
   Weight: 13.97 kg ·       Dimensions: 47 inch x 11 inch x 16 inch ·       Frequency response: 40-20 kHz ·       Power: 440 W ·       Sensitivity: 103 dB ·       1 inch soft dome tweeters mated to Tractrix® horn ·       3 inch oval fiber composite cone woofers ·       Dolby Audio and DTS Decoding ·       Dialogue, Night and surround modes
Weight: 10.38 kg ·       Dimension: 44.5 inches x 16 inches x 11 inches ·       Power: 540 Watt ·       1 inch tweeter ·       2.5" x 1.5" driver ·       Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus / TrueHD / Dolby Atmos compatible ·       Connections: HDMI Arc, Bluetooth, Optical, UDB Playback, 3.5 mm AUX line-in, WiFi
Weight: 16.9 kg ·       Dimensions: 44.49 inches x 43.5 inces x 32.36 inches ·       Power: 70 Watts ·       Bluetooth and wireless connectivity ·       Chromecast and Google assistant compatibility ·       Four 1" (2.54 cm) h x 3" (7.62 cm) w (Oval) - Midrange ·       •(3) 1" (2.54 cm) d (Round) Aluminum Dome - Tweeter
Pros
The soundbar offers powerful audio response with clear and dynamic bass The bass levels in the subwoofer can be adjusted The subwoofer is wireless The JBL 3.1 soundbar has three HDMI inputs compared to its earlier version which had only one
Klipsch uses premium wood to make a well built soundbar that leaves a lasting impression The soundbar is extremely easy to set up and it also comes with mounting options Klipsch cinema 600 offers dynamic and powerful sound for a cinema home experience The dialogue mode is a clear winner- with the crisp and detailed dialogue for uninterrupted listening
The soundbar offers impressive and spacious soundstage The audio response is clear and detailed There are three different modes you can switch from for your convenient listening The soundbar offers wireless Bluetooth technology  The device is really easy to set up and can blend well with any home theater You can easily use optional surround speakers with the system
The Dolby Atmos Sound ensures the audio being produced is three-dimensional and life-like. The TLC Alto 9+ allows Roku TV connectivity for easy listening. The soundbar comes at a really reasonable price for so many features.
The ultra slim soundbar does not take up much space and looks visually appealing. The soundbar offers chromecast and google assistant compatibility for convenient use. The build quality of the studio slim is top notch and gives off a premium vibe,
Cons
It does not support WiFi The soundbar is not Dolby Atmos compatible
The soundbar does not decode Dolby Atmos  Extra speakers might be required with the system for better surround sound
The soundbar has a unique design which is an acquired taste There is a limited set of features. The features are only focused on the audio The soundbar is a little expensive if you are on budget There is no HDMI inputs incorporated in the soundbar The soundbar has no eARC options
The soundbar cannot get very loud which is a disadvantage for a setting in a large room.
The bass performance of the subwoofer could have been better. The soundbar does not support Dolby Atmos.
Image
JBL Bar 3.1 Home Theater System w/ Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer - JBLBAR31BLK (Renewed)
Klipsch Cinema 600 Sound Bar 3.1 Home Theater System with HDMI-ARC for Easy Set-Up, Black
Klipsch Bar 48 Sound Bar + Wireless Subwoofer, Black (1066557)
TCL Alto 9+ 3.1 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar with RAY·DANZ Technology, Wireless Subwoofer, WiFi, Bluetooth, Works with Hey Google plus Chromecast built-in – Black, 540W, TS9030-NA
Definitive Technology Studio Slim 3.1 Channel Sound Bar with 7 Speakers and an 8" Wireless Subwoofer - 3.1 Channel 2019 Model | Built-in Chromecast, Bluetooth | HDMI ARC | Dolby Surround and DTS
Soundbar Name
JBL Bar 3.1
Soundbar Description
The JBL bar 3.1 is a much more improved version of bar 2.1 that comes with some additional features. This soundbar is packed with a total power of 450 W making it produce booming and dynamic audio. The new feature in this soundbar is that it has 3 HDMI inputs compared to the earlier version which had only one. The 10 inch subwoofer that comes with the soundbar offers clear and tight bass for enjoyable audio experience. The soundbar enables users to connect any device with Bluetooth 4.2.  The esoundbar also offers true 4k connectivity for easy use.
Soundbar Specifications
Weight: 2.3 kg ·       Dimensions: 40 inch x 2.3inch x 3inch ·       Frequency Response: 35Hz to 20KHz ·       Power: 450 W ·       Bluetooth version 4.2 ·       10 inch subwoofer ·       6 x 2.25" racetrack drivers 3 x 1.25" tweeter ·       Connections: Three HDMI video inputs  and one HDMI video output
Pros
The soundbar offers powerful audio response with clear and dynamic bass The bass levels in the subwoofer can be adjusted The subwoofer is wireless The JBL 3.1 soundbar has three HDMI inputs compared to its earlier version which had only one
Cons
It does not support WiFi The soundbar is not Dolby Atmos compatible
Image
JBL Bar 3.1 Home Theater System w/ Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer - JBLBAR31BLK (Renewed)
Soundbar Name
Klipsch Cinema 600 3.1 Bluetooth Sound Bar
Soundbar Description
The Cinema 600 are dynamic soundbars that deliver a theater-like listening experience with their impressive built-in features. These stylish soundbars are very convenient to set up and operate. Paired up with a 10 inch booming subwoofer, the klipsch cinema 600 soundbar offers powerful audio with detailed clarity. The soundbar’s name speaks for itself- this simple rectangular box can bring your movies to life, giving you the ultimate cinematic adventure.
Soundbar Specifications
Weight:  14 kg ·       Dimensions: 45 inch x 2.9 inch x 3.4 inch ·       Frequency response: 35-20 kHz ·       Power: 600W ·       Sensitivity: 103 dB ·       1 inch soft dome tweeters mated to Tractrix® horn ·       3 inch oval fiber composite cone woofers ·       10 inch wireless subwoofer ·       Built-in Dolby audio
Pros
Klipsch uses premium wood to make a well built soundbar that leaves a lasting impression The soundbar is extremely easy to set up and it also comes with mounting options Klipsch cinema 600 offers dynamic and powerful sound for a cinema home experience The dialogue mode is a clear winner- with the crisp and detailed dialogue for uninterrupted listening
Cons
The soundbar does not decode Dolby Atmos  Extra speakers might be required with the system for better surround sound
Image
Klipsch Cinema 600 Sound Bar 3.1 Home Theater System with HDMI-ARC for Easy Set-Up, Black
Soundbar Name
Klipsch Bar 48 soundbar
Soundbar Description
The Klipsch Bar 48 is a 3.1 channel soundbar which delivers impressive audio performance with well integrated bass. It has a stylish exterior with premium wooden finish and is extremely convenient to set up. Its Dialogue Enhancement feature ensures impressive audio clarity and makes listening experience wonderful. Overall, if you are bored of your average TV sound and want a massive upgrade to make the movies come to life, these soundbars are a great choice of purchase.
Soundbar Specifications
   Weight: 13.97 kg ·       Dimensions: 47 inch x 11 inch x 16 inch ·       Frequency response: 40-20 kHz ·       Power: 440 W ·       Sensitivity: 103 dB ·       1 inch soft dome tweeters mated to Tractrix® horn ·       3 inch oval fiber composite cone woofers ·       Dolby Audio and DTS Decoding ·       Dialogue, Night and surround modes
Pros
The soundbar offers impressive and spacious soundstage The audio response is clear and detailed There are three different modes you can switch from for your convenient listening The soundbar offers wireless Bluetooth technology  The device is really easy to set up and can blend well with any home theater You can easily use optional surround speakers with the system
Cons
The soundbar has a unique design which is an acquired taste There is a limited set of features. The features are only focused on the audio The soundbar is a little expensive if you are on budget There is no HDMI inputs incorporated in the soundbar The soundbar has no eARC options
Image
Klipsch Bar 48 Sound Bar + Wireless Subwoofer, Black (1066557)
Soundbar Name
TCL Alto 9+ 3.1 Channel Sound Bar
Soundbar Description
The TLC Alto 9+ are impeccable soundbar equipped with TLCs special Ray Danz Technology which provides an immersive and ultra-wide soundstage.  With the wireless subwoofer, you will get to experience deep bass that will make your music come to life. The TLC Alto 9+ soundbar allows a variety of different streaming options, making your TV experience enjoyable and convenient. The Dolby Atmos surround sound ensures multi-dimensional audio and adds extra depth to the sound.
Soundbar Specifications
Weight: 10.38 kg ·       Dimension: 44.5 inches x 16 inches x 11 inches ·       Power: 540 Watt ·       1 inch tweeter ·       2.5" x 1.5" driver ·       Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus / TrueHD / Dolby Atmos compatible ·       Connections: HDMI Arc, Bluetooth, Optical, UDB Playback, 3.5 mm AUX line-in, WiFi
Pros
The Dolby Atmos Sound ensures the audio being produced is three-dimensional and life-like. The TLC Alto 9+ allows Roku TV connectivity for easy listening. The soundbar comes at a really reasonable price for so many features.
Cons
The soundbar cannot get very loud which is a disadvantage for a setting in a large room.
Image
TCL Alto 9+ 3.1 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar with RAY·DANZ Technology, Wireless Subwoofer, WiFi, Bluetooth, Works with Hey Google plus Chromecast built-in – Black, 540W, TS9030-NA
Soundbar Name
Studio Slim 3.1 Channel Sound Bar
Soundbar Description
The sleek and stylish modern studio slim 3.1 sounbar is not only aesthetically pleasing but also very high performing.  The soundbar is user friendly and extremely easy to set up with Wi-Fi. Chromecast compatibility allows the user to stream variety of music with the soundbar. Overall, the studio slim 3.1 channel soundbar offers precise and high resolution audio with premium construction.
Soundbar Specifications
Weight: 16.9 kg ·       Dimensions: 44.49 inches x 43.5 inces x 32.36 inches ·       Power: 70 Watts ·       Bluetooth and wireless connectivity ·       Chromecast and Google assistant compatibility ·       Four 1" (2.54 cm) h x 3" (7.62 cm) w (Oval) - Midrange ·       •(3) 1" (2.54 cm) d (Round) Aluminum Dome - Tweeter
Pros
The ultra slim soundbar does not take up much space and looks visually appealing. The soundbar offers chromecast and google assistant compatibility for convenient use. The build quality of the studio slim is top notch and gives off a premium vibe,
Cons
The bass performance of the subwoofer could have been better. The soundbar does not support Dolby Atmos.
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Definitive Technology Studio Slim 3.1 Channel Sound Bar with 7 Speakers and an 8" Wireless Subwoofer - 3.1 Channel 2019 Model | Built-in Chromecast, Bluetooth | HDMI ARC | Dolby Surround and DTS

Why should you get a soundbar?

A sounbar can transform your home theater completely and give you the most cinematic experience of your life. Here are some of the reasons why you should get a soundbar right away:

Amazing sound quality

If you’ve got an Ultra 4k television, you would need to match the audio quality to the image quality to fully enjoy your time watching the television. Purchasing a soundbar would be the perfect step to improve the audio quality of your home theater system. A soundbar would ensure dialogue clarity and enhance stereo imaging for an immersive audio projection.

Aesthetics

I think we can all admit that a soundbar can be very sleek and stylish. If you want to impress the guests coming over to your house with your modern and stylish home theater system, getting a soundbar is a must. There are a lot of modern designs to choose from that will complete your entire TV setting.

Saving space

Getting a soundbar for your home theater is not only stylish for your system, but it also saves a lot of space. Instead of getting a lot of different audio devices to set up your TV system, a sleek and minimal soundbar with all the features integrated in it will ensure that you have enough space in your room to relax and watch the movie you’ve been wanting to. The soundbar fits quite nicely under the television and it can also be wall mounted for convenience.

Cost effective

Getting a complete sound system can be quite costly- there are so many different components and devices to pair up together. Instead, a soundbar will have everything integrated in it for an immersive audio experience. There is no need to spend extra amount of money on different audio systems. In fact a lot of good soundbars can be bought under 100 dollars. So this is a very easy and effective option for audiophiles wanting a sound system in budget.

Built-in or external subwoofer

Most soundbars will come with a subwoofer integrated in the system. Some of the soundbars also are paired up with a complementary external subwoofer. Subwoofers can enhance the entire audio performance of the system since they focus on the bass. With lower and rumbling bass, your audio experience will feel more natural and realistic.

What to look for in a soundbar?

So you want to get a soundbar to connect with your TV to enjoy a cinema experience at home, but do not know where to start? Here are some factors that you should consider for getting the perfect soundbar for your TV.

Placement

Before getting a soundbar you have to keep in mind the positioning of it in your room. A soundbar is not a device which you can put anywhere you want, it needs to be placed right above or below the TV for the best possible results. It is a pro tip to always take measurements of the TV and the soundbar before getting one so that the soundbar does not block the TV. If you want to mount your soundbar on the wall, make sure that it comes with the necessary components such i.e. brackets.

Number of channels

The number of channels that a soundbar has will determine its audio performance. A 2 channel soundbar will offer two speakers and in a 3 channel one you will have a speaker added to the center. There are up to 7 channels available. It is usually advised to go for a 3 channel soundbar if you are on budget. Nevertheless, a 5 or 7 channel soundbar would ensure a cinematic home theater experience.

Is a subwoofer necessary?

Most of the time a soundbar might not produce enoughlow frequencies for your audio to have the perfect bass. If you want to feel the thumping bass in your favorite movies or music, it is suggested that you go for a soundbar that comes with a subwoofer or one that allows you to add an optional subwoofer with it.

Active or passive soundbar

There are two kinds of soundbar: an active soundbar and a passive one. Whilst the active soundbar includes internal power amplifiers, you would require adding a separate receiver to your passive soundbar. Passive soundbars are a little expensive but the audio quality makes up for it. To avoid the hassle of getting a separate receiver, you should opt for active soundbars with internal amplifiers.

What kind of connections should you consider?

It is also better to choose a model that supports a variety of connectivity options. When looking for a soundbar, look for the ones that support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HDMI ARC for flexibility. The more connectivity options the soundbar has, the better it is. The optical interface supports stereo, Dolby Digital and DTS audio formats. An HDMI interface is better since in addition to these, it supports DTS: X, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos and Dolby True audio formats.

Conclusion

Soundbars can be excellent audio equipment to enhance your overall sound system. There are so many different types of soundbar to choose from, with the different number of channels and subwoofers that come with them. Whilst a 3.1 soundbar can seem a more attractive option, there are a lot of 2.1 channel soundbars with advanced technology such as Dolby Digital and DTS that can perform similar to 3.1 soundbars. The trick is to always look at the specifications and the features before getting the right soundbar for your amazing home theater experience.