2.0 vs 2.1 Soundbar: What’s The Difference?

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You eventually broke down and purchased a completely new television, and you did you went all out. You also improved the smart interface features and spent a lot of money just on display pixels.

However, there is a problem. As the process follows, you’ve installed your new TV and notice that the sound quality is mediocre at best.

The TV standalone cannot give the sound quality you were looking for no matter how much exceptional the manufacturer presents the TV. Now, you are in desperate need of a sound bar.

The standard 2.0 and 2.1 soundbars will suffice, but what is the difference between them? Let’s answer the question together.

A 2.0 soundbar has only 2 channels. It doesn’t include a subwoofer. They usually have integrated bass inside the soundbar. 

On the other hand, the 2.1 system has also 2 channels and, as a plus, a subwoofer is included. The 2.1 system usually makes use of the size that is less than 2.0 in the left and right speakers. These are known as “satellites”

Satellites are used for a higher frequency response that cooperates with either relatively large speakers or amplifiers that are placed somewhere near the TV or desktop (depending on the type). 

2.0 vs 2.1 Soundbar: What’s the Difference?

As it is described above in bold, the main difference is the existence of the subwoofer. 2.0 soundbars do not have a subwoofer built-in or sometimes an additional subwoofer, but 2.1 soundbars have.

When it comes to speakers and soundbars, the first number usually reflects the number of speakers, while the “.1” portrays the existence of a subwoofer.

Despite distinctions, there are also numerous parallels. In terms of pricing, both of these types of soundbars are pretty much in the same ballpark.

In fact, given the price, you can obtain a higher-quality 2.0 soundbar than a 2.1 soundbar.

What Do 2.0 vs 2.1 Soundbar Bring to the Table?

A 2.0 soundbar became very popular over the past years, and obviously, the price ranges dropped so everyone can enjoy the immersive sound quality. 

The 2.0 system’s subwoofer is typically located on both sides of the soundbar and the tweeters take place by sitting next to the subwoofers. Some models even have a separate tweeter and woofer.

Now moving into the 2.1 system. The same technology is applied but the subwoofer which is written as “.1 or.2” indicates the number of the subwoofers.

This depends on the manufacturer. Sometimes they sell the system as a whole like with 1 or 2 subwoofers, and sometimes they sell it separately.

A 2.1 system’s table is full of bass production. The subwoofer’s main job is to employ lower frequencies which are known as a ” sub-bass response”.

Note that the subwoofers can come in wired and wireless forms by using Bluetooth connectivity.

Do You Need a 2.0 Soundbar for your TV?

It isn’t necessary to get a soundbar, but my friends, you have to know that there is no way you will get a good sound effect coming only from TV.

A soundbar is a dedicated technology piece to provide the best quality. Have you ever noticed that a good sound can change everything, that’s why we go to the cinema in the first place. 

Since you gave a couple of thousand dollars for a TV, you can add extra more for a single soundbar. Let’s take an example in horror movies which is more obvious. If the thriller soundtracks weren’t there, there would have been no point in watching a horror movie. Am I right? The same rules apply to any kind of genre. 

Active & Passive Soundbars

Did you know that there is an active and passive soundbar? Let’s explain what are they and which one is better.

Passive soundbars don’t incorporate amplifiers. Amplifiers simply put are small electronic devices for expanding the amplitude of electrical signals. So, for the passive soundbars to work properly, they need help from outside sources. Active soundbars have included the amplifiers and surround sounds effect.  

So, which one is the better option? Active soundbars seem to be a better option and provide better value.

Is 2.1 Channel’s Subwoofer Necessary?

Overall, a subwoofer is an important component of your sound system. Start with just one subwoofer if you’re on a shoestring or just getting started with your home theater thing you know.

Consider adding a second low-toned subwoofer to your setup as your system gets larger. You’re boosting the bass and giving it out equally audio around the living room.

You’ll be exposed to poor bass production and overstressed highs if you don’t have a subwoofer. The sounds will be unbalanced and lacking in volume. Bass and sub-bass frequencies, on the other hand, give the sound its fullness, making it comprehensive, rich, forceful, and even three-dimensional.

Which one is Better: A Soundbar (+Subwoofer) or Speakers?

Well that depends, it is totally up to you. If you want just a sound improvement and to benefit from your TV’s latest features, go for a soundbar option. They usually offer more affordable cost ranges. 

Avoid a soundbar if you have a huge living room because you will need the whole system, only a soundbar won’t be able to fill the room.

The Speakers put forward a much wider sound effect and usually are more expensive. If your living room is big, and you want to create a home theater experience, the best pick would be to get speakers.

Final Words

As I final thought about these two 2.0 and 2.1 soundbar systems is both working pretty much with the same functions.

The 2.0 has 2 channels and comes with only a soundbar. A 2.1 system also has 2 channels but as an extra, it comes with a subwoofer. The subwoofer isn’t necessary to have, but it will definitely produce punchier bass. Alternatives to 2.1 can be the 2.1 system which basically tells the number of subwoofers.

If you were to pick, the 2.0 system is ideal for small room settings, and won’t take up much space. In a 2.1 soundbar, you need a space for a subwoofer, plus the lower frequencies are very well emphasized. The soundbar standalone cannot afford that.

Both options will provide better sound quality than just a TV.

I will leave you to decide, happy hunting.     

Further Reading 

If you wonder about whether to place a soundbar above or below The TV, take a quick look at the article. Check out how to connect the LG soundbar without a remote control.

As a buying guide, I would like to recommend soundbars without a subwoofer.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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