Wave field synthesis (WFS) is a prevalent approach to multiple-loudspeaker sound reproduction for an extended listening area. Although powerful as a theoretical concept, its deployment is hampered by practical limitations due to diffraction, aliasing, and the effects of the listening room. Reconstructing the desired sound field in the listening area, accounting for the medium propagation characteristic, is another approach termed as sound field reconstruction (SFR). It is based on the essential band-limitedness of the sound field, which enables a continuous matching of the reconstructed and the desired sound field by their matching on a discrete set of points spaced below the Nyquist distance. We compare the two approaches in a common single-source free-field setup, and show that SFR provides improved sound field reproduction compared to WFS in a wide listening area around a defined reference line.