Both options can result in good sound, depending on your usage.
Bass will probably be superior with the in-walls, due to the larger drivers and the size of the wall cavity. There are a couple of caveats with in-wall speakers that you should be aware of before making your decision. First, the back of the speaker produces the same volume levels as the front of the speakers. Depending on the layout of your house, the building materials used, etc ... you could be exposing other rooms to a lot of noise. This will be more true with speakers with larger woofers, as deeper bass tends to propagate through buildings more easily. If you employ back boxes, this issue may become moot, depending on the solution used. Second, if you have a wide area of coverage, or sit very close to the front wall, there may be issues with sound coverage. Most speakers do well up to 30 degrees off axis (line perpendicular to the face of the driver), but once you go outside of the area covered by that angle, you risk losing frequencies, especially in the treble region. You can use angled tweeters to help to mitigate this issue, but even then, you are probably limited to a 45 degree coverage area in the direction of the angle and 15 degrees in the other direction. So, do the math for all your seating positions in the room, being careful to place the speakers where they will serve not only the folks seated centrally, but also those folks to the sides (this calculation often results in the speakers being placed far closer together than initially anticipated). Also, you will want these speakers placed at seated ear height.
Good quality passive soundbars have their place, and I have often recommended them to folks with major placement restrictions. Yes, you get a narrower sound stage and often the smaller drivers require a superior sub, capable of good mid-bass. However, it allows you to alter it's position after the fact, and can actually look nicer (attached to the bottom of the TV) than speaker screens in the wall (IMO). Triad and James can make your bar to order, for length and finish. Other high quality options would be had from Totem and Legacy.
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Last edited by RayGuy; 05-26-2020 at 10:21 PM.