Surround Sound or Sound Bar? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-21-2010, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been upgrading my home theater a bit recently and I put of the sound system until last, because it's usually the most cumbersome. I definitely want surround sound, but every home surround sound system I've ever seen installed in a house is lousy because the sound is projected to the center of the room and everyone is usually sitting around the edges.

I've been looking researching sound bars really like the the VIZIO Universal HD Sound Bar, which claims to have a "virtual" surround sound system called SRS TruSurround HD. Has anyone used this before? Or something similar, I'd prefer an easy set-up that won't alter the "feng shui" my wife assures me our lounge has... Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-22-2010, 12:03 PM
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From what I've heard of sound bars, you only get the virtual surround sound when you sit in the most ideal spot, so the problem you mention is actually far worse with a sound bar. move outside the sweet spot, and the simulated surround goes away. With a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 speaker set up, the sweet spot is actually much larger. And, receivers that support Odyssey or other room/system calibration systems can do a good job of ensuring that things sound best in the widest range of seating locations.

In my rather modest set-up, I get good surround sound in pretty much any seat that also has a good view of the TV. Sound bars can give you good sound, but I wouldn't consider them an option for true surround sound.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-22-2010, 12:15 PM
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Years ago I had a Yamaha sound bar. Cannot remember the model number YSP-something?....anyways I purchased that because of the WAF factor. She did not want the cables. It worked decent but as mentioned it did not throw the sound behind you-just to the sides and front. If you have a window with curtain treatments, wall coverings etc...it will not reflect the sound very well. If you have a bare wall room that is pretty square it will probably work. I ended up selling the sound bar and purchasing a 7.1 system. No comparison, speakers to the side and behind sound better to my ears.

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses". - Abraham Lincoln
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-22-2010, 01:04 PM
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rather than a soundbar, why not consider a 3.1 system. You get "real" speakers up front for the 3 discrete front channels and a real subwoofer. That gives you 90-95% of the "theater experience" and if you re-arrange or change rooms you can add the surrounds later for a 5.1 or 7.1 system.

And with "feng shui" involved (damn, that is WAF raised to the 10th power) I'm sure you will want "smaller" speakers for the L-C-R.....but they will still be better than most soundbars with their tiny speakers.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-22-2010, 01:14 PM
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There are some pretty nice on-wall systems to look at as well (in-wall is an option too).

Budget?

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-22-2010, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

rather than a soundbar, why not consider a 3.1 system. You get "real" speakers up front for the 3 discrete front channels and a real subwoofer. That gives you 90-95% of the "theater experience" and if you re-arrange or change rooms you can add the surrounds later for a 5.1 or 7.1 system.

And with "feng shui" involved (damn, that is WAF raised to the 10th power) I'm sure you will want "smaller" speakers for the L-C-R.....but they will still be better than most soundbars with their tiny speakers.

I once used this to good effect while being unable to run rear speaker wire (rental). It actually sounded pretty good once I got used to not having rears. My reciever (now gone) had a setting for a 3.1 set-up.
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