So what's better: home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) systems or sound bars? The latter are markedly better than they were just a few years ago, but the inherent design compromises of single-speaker systems have, so far, proved insurmountable. Sound bars can't fill a room as well as five speakers can.
It wasn't that long ago I was reviewing a bunch of HTiBs every year, but sound bars (and sound bases) now dominate the home-theater marketplace. I'm constantly amazed by how far 'bars and 'bases have come, wireless subwoofers are now de rigueur, and some of those little guys can really generate bass. The Yamaha YAS-203 is the best affordable 'bar I've heard this year.
Read more: http://www.cnet.com/news/what-to-buy-sound-bar-or-home-theater-in-a-box-system/