Hard Sub Vs Soft Sub Explained With 3 Examples

Hard Sub vs Soft Sub: Which One is Better for Watching Anime? Are you confused between hard sub and soft sub while watching anime? Well, you're not alone. Many anime watchers have trouble deciding which one to go for. Hard sub comes with the video, while soft sub can be turned on or off. In terms of quality and accuracy, soft sub takes the lead. However, hard sub is more convenient and suitable for newbies. Read on to find out more about these two subtitle options and which one is better for you.

Hard Sub vs Soft Sub: What’s the Difference?

You may have heard of hard subs and soft subs before – two terms that relate to subtitles. These terms refer to the way subtitles are encoded into a video. Hard subs are burned into the video, while soft subs are separate subtitle files that can be turned on and off. In this article, we will discuss the differences between hard subs and soft subs.

Hard Subs

Hard subs are also called “hardcoded” subtitles. This means that the subtitles are embedded into the video and cannot be removed or turned off. These are commonly found in pirated movies or videos that have been altered. Hard subs exist because they are easy to create and can be added to a video quickly. They also ensure that viewers can’t watch a video without subtitles.

One major drawback of hard subs is that they cannot be changed. Therefore, once they are encoded into a video, they cannot be edited or modified. Also, the quality of hard subs is not always great as they are encoded into the video itself. This means, if the video resolution is poor, the subtitles may be difficult to read.

Soft Subs

Soft subs, or “softcoded” subtitles, are separate files from the video content. They can be turned on or off and edited as well. Soft subs can be in different file formats such as SRT, ASS or VTT. They can be downloaded and added to a video as needed. Soft subs can also be created in different languages to allow for more accessibility for a wider audience.

Soft subs provide more flexibility as they can be modified easily. This means that errors in spelling, grammar or timing can be corrected. As soft subs are separate files, the quality of the subtitles is usually better than that of hard subs. Additionally, soft subs are more commonly used in the film industry for foreign films as they are easier to distribute and allow for greater flexibility.

When to Use Hard Subs vs Soft Subs

The choice between hard subs and soft subs depends on the context in which they are being used. If you are creating subtitles for a video that will be used in a specific context, such as a presentation, then hard subs might be the right choice. This ensures that all viewers will have access to the subtitles, and there is no need to worry about compatibility issues.

On the other hand, if you want to create subtitles for a wider audience, then soft subs would be the preferred choice. This is because soft subs are easily edited and can be distributed in a variety of formats. This means that a viewer can choose to download the subtitles in the language they prefer and watch the video with subtitles or without subtitles.


Both hard subs and soft subs have their own unique features, advantages and drawbacks. Hard subs are embedded into the video, cannot be edited and are easy to create, whereas soft subs are separate files that can be edited and downloaded in different formats. The existence of these two types of subtitles caters to the requirements of a variety of users. Therefore, the choice between hard subs and soft subs depends on the context in which they are used.


Q: Can I add soft subs to a video that already has hard subs?

A: Yes, you can. You need to disable the existing hard subs and add the new soft subs to the video.

Q: Are soft subs better than hard subs?

A: It depends on the context and purpose of the subtitles. If you want more flexibility in distributing your subtitles, soft subs are preferred. If you need to ensure the subtitles are available to all viewers and easy to use, hard subs may be the way to go.

Q: How do I create subtitles for a video?

A: You can use a variety of software tools to create subtitles. Some popular options include Aegisub, Subtitle Edit, and Jubler.

Q: Why do some videos have no subtitles?

A: Sometimes, videos are released without subtitles, or the subtitles are not officially available. In such cases, viewers may rely on user-created subtitles, which can be found on websites such as OpenSubtitles.org.

Q: Can subtitles improve the learning experience?

A: Yes, subtitles can make the learning experience more accessible and enjoyable for viewers. They can also help viewers to retain information more easily and reduce cognitive load.