Do Soundbars replace TV speakers? Pretty Much

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If you’ve bought a high-performance TV you have more than likely noticed that the audio quality coming from the razor-thin speakers is subpar. So what do you do about this?

More likely than not you’ll have to buy a separate audio device, with the most popular option being a soundbar.

But what happens once you buy a soundbar? Does it completely replace your TV speakers?

Once you buy a soundbar you do not have to ever use your TV speakers again if you don’t want to, they can completely be replaced.

However, you can switch between listening to both audio devices as you see fit.

Although, once you experience the dramatic difference in quality it’s unlikely you will revert back to TV speakers.

In this blog post, I will explain further why soundbars replace TV speakers as well as what soundbars you can look to purchase to improve your Home Theater experience.

Does a Soundbar Replace TV Speakers? In-Depth Explanation

When tackling the question, “Does a soundbar replace TV speakers?,” the answer largely leans towards ‘yes.’

Soundbars are designed to serve as a substantial upgrade to your TV’s native audio capabilities, enhancing the overall sound quality and offering a more immersive experience.

Whereas traditional TV speakers often provide adequate sound, a soundbar can transform your home entertainment system with crisper, more dynamic audio.

With the advent of sleek and powerful sound bars, there’s no denying that they are poised to take over as the primary sound system for many televisions.

Exploring How Soundbars Can Replace TV Speakers for Enhanced Audio

Soundbars are designed to provide an audio enhancement that built-in TV speakers simply cannot match.

You have more control over audio with a soundbar.

Superior technology within soundbars enables them to produce a wide range of sounds – from high trebles to deep bass – ensuring that every scene is enhanced with crisp, clear audio.

Dialogue clarity is also a popular setting that can be adjusted with a soundbar.

You can also play high-fidelity audio formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X if you have a compatible soundbar. This can never be done with TV speakers, you won’t experience Dolby Atmos with them.

Soundbars really democratize high-quality audio for people on a budget and with limited space in their homes.

They are a great option for people, even if audiophile snobs don’t like them.

Can You Use a Soundbar and TV Speakers Simultaneously?


You should never have both your soundbar and TV speakers activated at the same time, this will cause significant echo and distortion, it will sound terrible.

However, if you want to toggle back and forth between the two that’s perfectly fine.

After all, you don’t want to wear out your soundbar too fast right?

Although they are incredibly durable it makes sense to not want to use a soundbar for watching YouTube videos or something like that.

Although if you just want to listen to the soundbar 100% of the time that is perfectly fine too.

Once you hear the difference in quality it’s hard to go back.

You can still toggle back and forth between which audio you are using by using your remote control.

Why Soundbars Offer Superior Sound Compared to TV Speakers: Why TV speakers suck

Now I think its time to get more in detail about how awful TV speakers are.

First off modern TV speakers are incredibly small and more often than not are not angled at the listener, this will cause audio distortion and sound to bounce off walls or other objects before they reach you.

This can also occur with soundbars if you do not place them in the proper area.

I wrote a separate article on this explaining why wall mounting your soundbar will get rid of audio distortion.

Delving deeper into soundbar vs TV speakers, we find that the quality of sound from a soundbar is typically more refined, with better clarity, depth, and volume range.

My awful experience


Even with very expensive TV’s the built-in speakers that come with them are terrible.

I have a Sony A80J (affiliate link) and the first year I had it I listened to movies with my headphones (affiliate link) connected wirelessly to the TV, I couldn’t stand the low audio quality of TV speakers.

The dialogue was so low you couldn’t make out some of the dialogue and when you turned it up any sound effects would be overbearing and it resulted in me constantly adjusting the volume on the TV every 2 minutes.

In fact, I know someone who attempted to watch the movie Dunkirk on their television and had to adjust the volume a ridiculous amount of times.

I really can’t imagine listening to any movie by Christopher Nolan in that manner, he is known for his bombastic and overbearing sound design and often has inaudible dialogue in his movies.

This can cause the listener to turn the volume up but just trust me you’ll regret it when a big action scene comes.

TV manufacturers just don’t care

Another big reason soundbars are so popular now is because TV speakers have decreased in audio quality by such a large margin.

It’s almost as if TV manufacturers simply don’t care about audio when they are designing TVs these days.

They make the speakers so small that it’s amazing any sound comes out of those things.

This wasn’t always the case with TV’s.

The speakers used to be front-facing towards the listener, now they are often behind the TV and facing down toward the ground.

No bass response, a lack of clear dialogue

TVs today also have no bass response whatsoever, the reason for this is television displays are so thin and fragile that any low-frequency sound might cause the TV panel to shake.

Another problem with TVs is they have no dedicated center channel which causes the lack of clear dialogue coming from the speaker.

One of the biggest things people will notice is how clear and loud the dialogue is coming from a soundbar.

You need at least a 3-channel soundbar to get a center channel, if you don’t know what soundbar channels are and what number corresponds with what I suggest reading the article I just linked to.

Best Soundbars to buy if you are unhappy with your TV speakers


A comprehensive selection process involves assessing compatibility with your existing TV and ensuring that the sound system aligns well with the dimensions and acoustics of your space.

Sound bars are engineered to offer a rich, enveloping audio experience, transforming your living room into a home theater system echo chamber.

In delving into the compatibility, it’s important to consider connectivity options such as HDMI, optical inputs, or wireless capabilities that align with your TV’s outputs.

There are so many soundbars out there to buy but here are the ones I generally recommend.

I recommend looking at my buyer guide for the best soundbars.

If you want a budget soundbar with good surround sound capability then I highly recommend the Vizio 5.1 V Series soundbar (affiliate link).

If you want a compact mid ranged soundbar with Dolby Atmos capability then an excellent choice is the Sonos Beam Gen 2.

If you want a more high-end soundbar that can fill up a large room then I’d recommend the Sonos Arc or Vizio Elevate.

If you want a more in-depth analysis on these soundbars I’d recommend reading my posts specifically on Vizio and their soundbar quality.

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