By, better what do you mean? I can't imagine a soundbar being better than a speaker for each discrete channel.
Don't know if that question is for me or daemon9, anyway the answer is no. But it's the closes thing you can do without having to install speakers on all four corners of the wall. Compare the price on a real 5.1 system is high, but as point out earlier without having to discuss much... alternative to having wire for surround system.