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post #1 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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hello all,

i have a few questions for the AVS faithful.
i was wondering what you guys would say.

i've been considering getting a Sound Bar, but, to be quite honest, i dont know what the best one is.

anyone that has any recommendations and that could post a link or something would be very helpful.

i have roughly 500-550 to spend.
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 05:22 PM
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The Yamahas are king when it comes to soundbars but you WILL need to get a sub in order to enjoy good sound out of the unit. So if you buy this soundbar (900, 1100 models), you will have to invest in a Sub as well. No HDMI in the two models I mentioned unfortunately.
Yamaha YSP Reviews:
http://reviews.cnet.com/1770-5_7-0.h...a+YSP&tag=srch

There are other soundbars that actually require an additional Reciever for you to purchase/ plugged into it. One in particular that I heard recently is the Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50, and it sounds pretty good. Soundbars with the need of a Reciever can output the Dolby True HD and DTS-MA with no conversion via PCM if the receiver can do Dolby True HD and DTS-MA. This means not only will you have to buy the sounbar but most likely have to buy a receiver as well.
Review of Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-50:
http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-spe...?tag=mncol;lst

The CT100 has a receiver already INCLUDED with the SUBWOOFER that comes along with the CT100 soundbar. So no, you don't need a separate receiver, which means you will be getting alot more for your money but spending a WHOLE lot less than any other soundbar! This fact scares a few people, as "It's too good to be true", but I say just shrug that feeling off, the CT100 sounds great once setup properly and I'm sure your wallet and you will be happy with the purchase.
CT100 review:
http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater...?tag=mncol;lst

These link should help you out as well:
Soundbars not requiring a reciever:
http://reviews.cnet.com/best-virtual...ux;topProducts
Sounbars REQUIRING a reciever:
http://reviews.cnet.com/best-virtual...in;contentBody

PSN- da1writer
My Sony CT-100 Settings (& PS3 Settings) *UPDATED 1/10/09*
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15172017
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you very much da1writer, i appreciate the long, and well written post.

i was considering the sony CT-100, but here's the thing.

my options are either go with the CT-100, or get the Onkyo HT-S6100.
now i know these two systems really aren't meant to be compared but im wondering if the CT-100 could hold up at all against the Onkyo.

I have a PS3, and Blu-Ray is something i'm looking to get heavily involved in. So i want something that can do the most in the format, and support everything i want to hear.

the "pro" for the CT-100 that might make it a reasonable choice for me is that i'd be putting it in a relatively small room. 10x11.

So, it may not sound too much worse than the 6100.

but i dunno.
i have the money for the Onkyo, i just dont know if the CT-100 would be worth considering.

hmm...
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xMx Reaper xMx View Post

thank you very much da1writer, i appreciate the long, and well written post.

i was considering the sony CT-100, but here's the thing.

my options are either go with the CT-100, or get the Onkyo HT-S6100.
now i know these two systems really aren't meant to be compared but im wondering if the CT-100 could hold up at all against the Onkyo.

I have a PS3, and Blu-Ray is something i'm looking to get heavily involved in. So i want something that can do the most in the format, and support everything i want to hear.

the "pro" for the CT-100 that might make it a reasonable choice for me is that i'd be putting it in a relatively small room. 10x11.

So, it may not sound too much worse than the 6100.

but i dunno.
i have the money for the Onkyo, i just dont know if the CT-100 would be worth considering.

hmm...

Crap... it's never good to compare a full blown 7.1 speaker system to a soundbar, I'll try to take a stab at this. I have a PS3 like you and actually really enjoy watching blurays on it coupled with the CT100. Even though the CT100 can't decode Dolby TrueHD or DTS-MA (which the Onkyo 6100 can), the PS3 decodes the audio tracks and outputs them via 5.1/7.1 LPCM Uncompressed sound (in PCM)... which the CT100 does accept. There are times when the surround is really good in the fact I can hear stuff from my left and right and sometimes I can hear rear effects (take into account I have really good ears due to my kid). Of course a soundbar is merely trying to fake the surround/trick your ears and make you feel that you have speakers all around you. The Onkyo 6100 doesn't do this and gives you REAL 5.1/7.1 uncompressed sound, moreso Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA with no PCM conversion (you can literally go bitstream on the damn thing). You will of course getway better sound from an actual REAL 5.1./7.1 sound system than a soundbar tricking your senses.

The question you should be asking yourself is this:
Are you ok with having wires all around your room (no matter how you hide them or note) or do you want the no hassle sound that makes you think you got speakers around you when you really don't?
Soundbar with no wires or speaker system with wires?
What will my budget allow and am I willing to pay extra or be fine with saving a couple bucks?

PSN- da1writer
My Sony CT-100 Settings (& PS3 Settings) *UPDATED 1/10/09*
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15172017
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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hmm.

i guess this will just have to be something for me to think about.
as of right now, i'm leaning more towards the 6100 because i get the full experience with that, and its something i can have for years to come.

but, the CT-100 still deserves some consideration, and it will get some.

whatever my decision, thanks so much da1writer, i appreciate the posts, and you have explained things in enough detail to where i just need to decide for myself now.

thanks a lot.

Reaper.
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 06:53 PM
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I'd say that Polk Audio makes a great surround bar. http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/surroundbar/

Amazon had a deal on the titanium finish Surround Bar 50 for $399. Regular price is usually about 1k.
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cvetan1 View Post

I'd say that Polk Audio makes a great surround bar. http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/surroundbar/

Amazon had a deal on the titanium finish Surround Bar 50 for $399. Regular price is usually about 1k.

That is a pretty good deal,only problem is that he will also have to buy a reciever. Moreso, a reciever that does Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA is what he most likely want to look for. So $399 plus the cost of the Reciever may be pushing his budget...
I'm also not going to mention too much that a sub might be in order as well..
http://reviews.cnet.com/speakers-spe...?tag=mncol;lst

I prefer Definitive Technology over Polk Audio anyway, heard these two in a Sound Testing Studio and can easily hear the difference of the two. Definitive Technology wins hands down, that's why the price hurts my wallet...

PSN- da1writer
My Sony CT-100 Settings (& PS3 Settings) *UPDATED 1/10/09*
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15172017
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 08:20 PM
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I too have been deciding if I will be going with the Sony CT-100, or spend the extra cash and purchase the Definitive Tech SSA-50 along with a seperate receiver and subwoofer.

My main reason for looking into the soundbars is because of the wife factor, since with the new house I have been told that having speakers all around the family room again will be a no go.

My only problem right now is that no one sems to have the Defenitive Tech soundbar in stock for a demo. I would really like to demo this piece before I make a choice on which system to go with.

If anyone has had the experience of a true demo with the SSA-50, your inputs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks alot,
lindgren
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-04-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindgren View Post

I too have been deciding if I will be going with the Sony CT-100, or spend the extra cash and purchase the Definitive Tech SSA-50 along with a seperate receiver and subwoofer.

My main reason for looking into the soundbars is because of the wife factor, since with the new house I have been told that having speakers all around the family room again will be a no go.

My only problem right now is that no one sems to have the Defenitive Tech soundbar in stock for a demo. I would really like to demo this piece before I make a choice on which system to go with.

If anyone has had the experience of a true demo with the SSA-50, your inputs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks alot,
lindgren

WEll as before in my posts above, I recommend the CT100 actually. If you can find a place that sells the CT100 with no restocking fees, you can merely try the CT100 out and return it if you don't like it.

@xMx Reaper xMx: If you go with the CT100, take into account that I can help you set it up to sound pretty good (especially with your PS3). Check the link below in my sig whenever/if you buy the CT100.

PSN- da1writer
My Sony CT-100 Settings (& PS3 Settings) *UPDATED 1/10/09*
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15172017
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-05-2009, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da1writer View Post

WEll as before in my posts above, I recommend the CT100 actually. If you can find a place that sells the CT100 with no restocking fees, you can merely try the CT100 out and return it if you don't like it.

@xMx Reaper xMx: If you go with the CT100, take into account that I can help you set it up to sound pretty good (especially with your PS3). Check the link below in my sig whenever/if you buy the CT100.

I guess I will be making a trip to Walmart and pick up the CT-100 and try it out. Also I will be connecting the following components to the CT-100 with HDMI connections:
Direct TV HD DVR
Panasonic BD-55 BlueRay player

da1writer, I am kind of shocked that you would reccommend the Sony CT-100 over the SSA-50 and a seperate subwoofer. I guess this little system, is really being overlooked by people like myself who are thinking that there is no way this $300 system can be this good. (When I listened to it at Walmart I was not that impressed, granted I know it was more than likely not set-up properly).

I wonder if Sony is planning on a upgrade to this system (waiting for CES 2009), for any insight or information.

Thanks da1writer for your input and suggestion
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-05-2009, 12:33 PM
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Well da1writer, you sold me.. Just bought one online. BTW... Did you wall mount yours? If so, what did it take to wall mount?
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-05-2009, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thearod View Post

Well da1writer, you sold me.. Just bought one online. BTW... Did you wall mount yours? If so, what did it take to wall mount?

All I used was 2 screws to wall mount it. A 4 mm or 1/6 inch (9 mm max, nothing more) screw is fine,but make sure it is an inch long (or 25mm long). Have the screws about a 1/4 inch (or 6 to 7 mm) protruding out of the wall so you can hook the CT100 from the back easily.

PSN- da1writer
My Sony CT-100 Settings (& PS3 Settings) *UPDATED 1/10/09*
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15172017
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-05-2009, 09:22 PM
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I was considering the Yamaha YAS-71 but after reading the support for the Sony, I might have changed my mind.

Any feedback on the Yamaha or are they not worth it unless you bump up to the YSP series?
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-06-2009, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey3081 View Post

I was considering the Yamaha YAS-71 but after reading the support for the Sony, I might have changed my mind.

Any feedback on the Yamaha or are they not worth it unless you bump up to the YSP series?

I have the CT-100 but did try out the YAS-70 (almost the same as the 71), anyhow, compared to the Sony the YAS-70 was worthless.

The YSP's are GREAT, the YAS's,,,, not.

Cheers
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 06:09 AM
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Couple of weeks ago we made some changes to the house and living arrangement. I was unable to figure out a workable solution for the 7.1 system I run (Denon receiver, Infinity Speakers) which I love. I'll need to have someone come and rewire the house. Since this will probably not be for a few months, I went ahead and got the YSP 900 as a "stop gap" solution until I can go back to my full setup.

After using this for a few weeks, testing, retesting, etc...I have come to the following conclusions.

Negatives-1. You can't expect to fully replace a 5.1 system...certainly not a 7.1. Having the sound actually anchored to specific spots in the room is just plain better.
2. On some broadcasts, you can get a hollow sound that is distracting. You can minimize this with some of the various settings (specifically some of the manual Beam settings).

Positives
1. It does do a surprisingly good job of creating a surround sound atmosphere. The setup microphone was a good start, but after some careful listening and tweaking in the manual setup, I was able to define some pretty clear surround fields. I would argue against anyone saying it creates a "simulated" surround effect. The sound is not simulated. The sound fields are decoded by the YSP and, using the setup of your room (walls, furniture, etc...), it is reflecting the specific surround field to the correct area. If you have done the setup correctly (auto or manual) and run the test tone, the test noise will travel from FL, C, FR, SR, SL, SW and you can hear it.

Again...I am in NO WAY stating that this matches my 7.1 system and I will be moving this into another room as soon as we can rewire the house. I am saying that it does legitimately do what is advertised. The room is fairly large and not exactly ideal (ie...4 square walls), but with some effort, I have a surround setup that is sufficient until I can get the system back up. I imagine in a smaller, ideal room it would perform even better.

As a test, I ran the Matrix HDDVD bank lobby scene. This is an extremely complex scene soundwise. Music, guns, shells, breaking tile, constant panning...and I have watched this many times on my 7.1 system. Given my familiarity with how it should sound, the YSP does an admirable job. The tile that breaks at the end of the scene is clearly on the far left. The shells coming out of the guns are clearly behind me to my left and right as they should be. The background gunfire is going on all around me.

Honestly, I purchased it with the full expecation that it would dissapoint me, that I would bring it back, and that it would convince me to have someone come out and rewire immediately (which I'd rather not do until the wife is CERTAIN that things will stay as they are...this is a constant battle in my house). I have been pleasantly surprised and am content (at least for a couple of months) to use it.

....just make sure you have a sub with it.

Hope this helps.
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post #16 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 04:41 PM
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Do you guys think these soundbars are better than a good center channel and a left and right speaker wired? Like a good expensive 2.1 setup?
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindgren View Post

I guess I will be making a trip to Walmart and pick up the CT-100 and try it out. Also I will be connecting the following components to the CT-100 with HDMI connections:
Direct TV HD DVR
Panasonic BD-55 BlueRay player

da1writer, I am kind of shocked that you would reccommend the Sony CT-100 over the SSA-50 and a seperate subwoofer. I guess this little system, is really being overlooked by people like myself who are thinking that there is no way this $300 system can be this good. (When I listened to it at Walmart I was not that impressed, granted I know it was more than likely not set-up properly).

I wonder if Sony is planning on a upgrade to this system (waiting for CES 2009), for any insight or information.

Thanks da1writer for your input and suggestion




I suspect you won't commonly see a review where the sony ct-100 performs better than the definitive technology SSA-50 because of the price difference. People usually enter into a market based on $$, these two products are apples to oranges. With a good receiver and sub the SSA-50 is likely one of the best all in one speakers on the market.
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post #18 of 23 Old 01-17-2009, 09:44 AM
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I, too, have been trying to tackle this issue for quite awhile. I'd love to do a full 7.1 surround system, but I worry that the install will be quite expensive. As a result, I've considered soundbars or systems like the Bose 3-2-1, which are obviously much easier to install. The stumbling block for me when it comes to these types of systems, however, is the fact that I've been told numerous times that the sound needs to bounce off the walls to give the proper effect. Also, I'd like to get something that allows for HDMI, which I don't believe the Bose systems (and several of the soundbars I looked at) had. Is this really a big deal or am I expecting too much?

The pictures below should give some of you better-versed in this stuff than me an idea of what I'm talking about. Who knows? Maybe I'm underestimating what one of these units could do with my setup.




showing the space behind the TV and a/v equipment


This is the part that scares me - if these units need something to bounce off of, how will they handle the open arch into the kitchen?




again, it's very open on this side, plus you also begin to see what's behind the couch - a very high ceiling.





As you can see, there's a walkway behind the couch that has an extremely high ceiling behind it. Will this cause a problem for one of those soundbar/3-2-1 systems?

If I need to get a separate subwoofer with whichever system I choose, can I place it either behind the cable box/PS3 shelves to keep it out of the way or is there a wireless (bluetooth?) subwoofer I could use that could be placed on one of the shelves on that bookcase?
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post #19 of 23 Old 01-17-2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

I have the CT-100 but did try out the YAS-70 (almost the same as the 71), anyhow, compared to the Sony the YAS-70 was worthless.

The YSP's are GREAT, the YAS's,,,, not.

Cheers
Davyo

Not questioning your observation, but I find this curious. From the research of user reviews and on-line reviews, etc. I came to the exact opposite conclusion, that the YAS-70 was better. Hmmmm. Can you give more detail? Why did you not like the YAS-70 -- so far it looks like the better choice to me.

Thanks!
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post #20 of 23 Old 01-17-2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

I have the CT-100 but did try out the YAS-70 (almost the same as the 71), anyhow, compared to the Sony the YAS-70 was worthless.

The YSP's are GREAT, the YAS's,,,, not.

Cheers
Davyo

Not questioning your observation, but I find this curious. From the research of user reviews and on-line reviews, etc. I came to the exact opposite conclusion, that the YAS-70 was better. Hmmmm. Can you give more detail? Why did you not like the YAS-70 -- so far it looks like the better choice to me.

Thanks!
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post #21 of 23 Old 01-17-2009, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post

Not questioning your observation, but I find this curious. From the research of user reviews and on-line reviews, etc. I came to the exact opposite conclusion, that the YAS-70 was better. Hmmmm. Can you give more detail? Why did you not like the YAS-70 -- so far it looks like the better choice to me.

Thanks!

Having owned a number of YSP's and now owning the Sony CT-100 I felt that the YAS-70 just did not sound as good,, as I recall,, I dont even think it sounded good.

My soundbar advice,, buy the Sony CT-100 and the YAS,, compare the two at the same time and return the one that does not do it for you.

And do post your opinions here afterwards.

Soundbars are very finicky and can sound good or bad depending on what room configuration your using one in.

CHeers
Davyo
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post #22 of 23 Old 01-17-2009, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post

Not questioning your observation, but I find this curious. From the research of user reviews and on-line reviews, etc. I came to the exact opposite conclusion, that the YAS-70 was better. Hmmmm. Can you give more detail? Why did you not like the YAS-70 -- so far it looks like the better choice to me.

Thanks!

Well, after some more searching I did find some reviews rating the Sony as better than the Yamaha. There seems to be a strong opinion here in favor of the Sony. Wonder if you could comment on the volume of the Sony, that was often mentioned as a short coming (not loud enough)?

As I learn more, I realize I may have another problem. My room is not suitable for "bouncing" the sound off walls. My HDTV is in a corner and the room is long and open on one end, not "squarish?" and one wall has a lot of windows with vertical blinds. Also, no ceiling in aprt of the room (open to second floor). I think I may need a solution which does not depend on bouncing sound off walls, if such exists. Or I may just be stuck with my current 2.1 stereo setup.
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post #23 of 23 Old 01-18-2009, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

Having owned a number of YSP's and now owning the Sony CT-100 I felt that the YAS-70 just did not sound as good,, as I recall,, I dont even think it sounded good.

My soundbar advice,, buy the Sony CT-100 and the YAS,, compare the two at the same time and return the one that does not do it for you.

And do post your opinions here afterwards.

Soundbars are very finicky and can sound good or bad depending on what room configuration your using one in.

CHeers
Davyo


Thanks! I'll definitely come back and let you know what I end up with. I'm dropping the YAS-70 from consideration now, but looking at other units still as well as the Sony.
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