Sound bar options and suggestions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I was hoping to get some suugestions on a low cost soundbar for my living room. I have home theatre sound in two other rooms in house but my wife does not want me to have speakers sitting in living room.

I dont want to spend over $300. I realize that is not a whole lot but I am simply looking to improve on the tv speakers when I want to turn volume up. I would like to go with one of the lower cost 5.1 simulated systems or maybe a lcr system. I also realize most soundbars dont do a good job with surround but I can live with that. I dont need a sub nor would I have place to put it.

I have looked at a few different models including soundmatters,sony, zvox and boston acoustics. A couple have subs in the same cabinet. All have internal amplifiers. I have seen a couple without internal amps which would require seperate receiver.

I have a samsung 5.1 home theatre in a box that Im not using right now and was wondering if I would be able to use that as my dvd player because it also has a radio tuner. I just dont have anything to do with the speakers. Would that work on a sound bar that had an internal amplifier?
Or if I use the samsung would I need to buy a soundbar without an internal amplifier.

A couple of the units I am looking at will fit into cabinet under tv which my wife doesnt have a problem with. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 01:21 PM
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You might want to read the therad I have going here (if you haven't): http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1109869

Given that you do not want a sub, then I think the Zvox line would meet your needs the best, otherwise I'd suggest the Sony HT-100. The Zvox seems to fall into the "way better than my TV" but not really virtual surround sound category, which is all I'm looking for and maybe you, too.

I have a Zvox Mini on the way that I found cheap, so I'm looking for it to give me a clue, and then I'll consider the 325 (or even the 315). Guaranteed to be better than the TV speakers. Zvoxaudio has a no questions asked "return if you don't like 'em" policy if you buy direct, so you could get the 325 and try it out. It sounds like what you're looking for, all in one package with decent sound and no external sub required (though it is supported).
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 03:22 PM
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I too recommend the Sony HT-CT100! If you have any questions regarding the system, please post on this thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...026566&page=48
I will answer your questions to the best ability that I can and help you set it up if you go for the plunge !

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post #4 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 03:24 PM
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The support here for the Sony CT-100 is almost reason enough to get one in itself.
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post #5 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I have read good reviews about the sony but I would really prefer a soundbar with sub built into the speaker cabinet. I know they are small but I just dont have an unobtrusive place for the sub in the vincinity of where the soundbar would be and I dont want wires running on the floor or ceiling. A wireless sub may be a possibility like on the boston acoustics tvee.
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 08:34 PM
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What model Samsung HTiB do you have now that you'd want to use?
Can your space accommodate a pair of bookshelf speakers? Maybe powered bookshelf speakers...
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post #7 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodyjoe View Post

I have read good reviews about the sony but I would really prefer a soundbar with sub built into the speaker cabinet. I know they are small but I just dont have an unobtrusive place for the sub in the vincinity of where the soundbar would be and I dont want wires running on the floor or ceiling. A wireless sub may be a possibility like on the boston acoustics tvee.

Solutions for CT100 Sub:
1) Sub doesn't have to be on the right side of TV, all it needs is about a foot or two of breathing room.
2) You can easily place the sub anywhere you want with a 9-pin serial cable.
3) I can report that it can be laid on it's side, just needs to have a foot or two of breathing room.

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post #8 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 09:29 PM
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They make soundbars with subs in the cabinet?

Somehow I have a really hard time believing those would work as subs all that well. Maybe as woofers, but are we talking at least below 30hz?

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #9 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

They make soundbars with subs in the cabinet?

Somehow I have a really hard time believing those would work as subs all that well. Maybe as woofers, but are we talking at least below 30hz?


They do make them but I m sure they dont put out near as much bass as a seperate one.
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-19-2009, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ickysmits View Post

What model Samsung HTiB do you have now that you'd want to use?
Can your space accommodate a pair of bookshelf speakers? Maybe powered bookshelf speakers...


It is the ht- x40. The speakers that came with it are pretty small. However I am looking for something more stealth.

A couple of the soundbars Ive looked at can fit on shelf in cabinet.

My concern is will I be able to use my samsung htib with a sound bar that has a built in amp.
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post #11 of 26 Old 01-20-2009, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

They make soundbars with subs in the cabinet?

Somehow I have a really hard time believing those would work as subs all that well. Maybe as woofers, but are we talking at least below 30hz?

I think he’s referring to that ZVOX thing – it’s basically a powered bookshelf speaker in a form factor that’s easier to place under the TV. They bury a 5.25” speaker inside and call it a subwoofer and it has three 3.25” speaker drivers in front for sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodyjoe View Post

It is the ht- x40. The speakers that came with it are pretty small. However I am looking for something more stealth.

A couple of the soundbars Ive looked at can fit on shelf in cabinet.

My concern is will I be able to use my samsung htib with a sound bar that has a built in amp.

Your Samsung looks like it's amplified, however, it doesn't have any audio outputs. The only way to get an audio signal out of that thing is to use the proprietary speaker plugs and connect the other end of the speaker wire to speaker binding posts/clips. Something like the Polk SurroundBar has 5 pair of binding posts and would probably work with your receiver (but I'm not sure if the receiver has enough power to drive it).

The Samsung can transmit audio through HDMI, but the manual (page 49) says it's automatically downmixed to 2ch for TV speakers. I guess you could use something like the Sony CT-100 with an HDMI input, but I just don't know enough to say if it would be problematic or not.

For other options like the ZVOX, I think you might be able to rig up the front left and right speaker wires and turn them into red & white RCA plugs for analog. Then change the settings in the receiver to output 2.0 audio only and use the ZVOX with an RCA to minijack adapter.

If you have the space, I’d think a decent pair of powered bookshelf speakers LIKE THESE would sound great and would be the best option (there are several other brands to pick).

Another option would be to get an L/R/C speaker bar LIKE THIS and just connect the left, right, and center speaker wire as usual. Then, according to your manual, you have the option on the back of your receiver to use the Samsung SWA-3000 Wireless Module. It looks like you can pick one up for around $100, maybe less if you look around. Use the surrounds you have just to add that extra ambiance or Dayton surrounds or anything easy to hide, throw your existing sub in a cabinet somewhere, and you're still under $300....just a thought.
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post #12 of 26 Old 01-20-2009, 06:32 PM
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[quote=ickysmits;15601370]
Another option would be to get an L/R/C speaker bar LIKE THIS and just connect the left, right, and center speaker wire as usual.

I'm looking for a passive soundbar to connect to a receiver, and I thought about the only ones to consider seriously were in the Polk line. Does anyone have any experience with the Dayton Audio BS36? I'd like to learn more. The price is certainly right, as is the size. I realize I'll need to get a subwoofer, and that's OK. This will be used for listening to music a lot more than serious home theater.

Many thanks.
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-23-2009, 07:45 PM
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I just picked up a Polk Soundbar....I am hooking it up to a Yamaha V-663 and picked up a Boston Acoustics Horizon HPS 12HO Powered Subwoofer. I think this set up should be a killer set up for my bedroom....we shall see....I will keep you guys posted. I got it all for $850 shipped to my door by looking for the est deals. I think for that price and what I got it should be a killer set up....again I will post after it is up and running.
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-24-2009, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supraeater View Post

I just picked up a Polk Soundbar....I am hooking it up to a Yamaha V-663 and picked up a Boston Acoustics Horizon HPS 12HO Powered Subwoofer. I think this set up should be a killer set up for my bedroom....we shall see....I will keep you guys posted. I got it all for $850 shipped to my door by looking for the est deals. I think for that price and what I got it should be a killer set up....again I will post after it is up and running.

Congratulations! Sounds like a great setup. We'll look forward to hearing how you like it. Good price, too!
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-25-2009, 06:30 AM
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If you can wait, I think vizio is coming out with sound bar with wireless subwoofer in couple of months. Price is also going to be less than 350.

JHT
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-27-2009, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I have decided to put samsung htib back in the closet and bought a receiver. Im just going to use seperate dvd player. The receiver I purchased has pre outs so I can use either active or passive soundbar.
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post #17 of 26 Old 01-27-2009, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodyjoe View Post

I have decided to put samsung htib back in the closet and bought a receiver. Im just going to use seperate dvd player. The receiver I purchased has pre outs so I can use either active or passive soundbar.

Since you bought your own reciever, may I recommend these two soundbars if you are still into them. They are the best you can get, even better than current soundbars due to you being able to use your own receiver.
http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-spe...?tag=mncol;lst
http://reviews.cnet.com/speakers-spe...?tag=mncol;lst
Those are the 2 best ones in my opinion but you need to buy a sub to get the full sound!

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post #18 of 26 Old 01-28-2009, 05:19 AM
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Thanks very much, da1writer. This helps a lot.

From what I can see the Definitive Technology unit needs to be wall mounted. The Polk has more placement options, so I'll probably go with it and get a sub. Crutchfield has a special going with the Surroundbar 50 and the Polk psw10 subwoofer for $1,000.

Thanks again.
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-28-2009, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuberry View Post

Thanks very much, da1writer. This helps a lot.

From what I can see the Definitive Technology unit needs to be wall mounted. The Polk has more placement options, so I'll probably go with it and get a sub. Crutchfield has a special going with the Surroundbar 50 and the Polk psw10 subwoofer for $1,000.

Thanks again.

Good god man don't buy through crutchfield they overprice stuff!
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-28-2009, 07:52 AM
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I have no allegiance to Crutchfield. If there's any place else -- reliable -- I can get those two items for $1,000, I'm open.
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-28-2009, 08:18 AM
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Search around, use sites like pricegrabber.
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-28-2009, 08:36 AM
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one thing about zvox 350..although I heard it is great, it would be really hard to place that, unless you had a cabinet right below the TV. Although, I would guess same would be true for any speaker system with center speaker..where do people place those center speakers on flat panel tvs?
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-28-2009, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuberry View Post

I have no allegiance to Crutchfield. If there's any place else -- reliable -- I can get those two items for $1,000, I'm open.


While their prices are often higher, they also offer very good service and stand behind what they sell. That is worth something.
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-29-2009, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron View Post

While their prices are often higher, they also offer very good service and stand behind what they sell. That is worth something.

Plus you have an option to return in a month, if you are not happy with a product.

JHT
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post #25 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 06:33 PM
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The Sony HT-CT100 sound bar is GREAT! However, I cannot hook it up to my Yamaha 663 receiver and it is driving me crazy. If anyone knows how I would be extremely grateful
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post #26 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcpprfield View Post

The Sony HT-CT100 sound bar is GREAT! However, I cannot hook it up to my Yamaha 663 receiver and it is driving me crazy. If anyone knows how I would be extremely grateful

You don't, it works by itself. Why did you buy this if you already have a more than capable receiver?
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