Soundbar, which one to get - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 07-10-2010, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok my wife does not want me to run wires, so a rear surround sound speakers are out of the question. The room I am doing is around 300-400 square feet and the soundbar is going to be the best option. I have thought about wireless, but do not want to deal with that either as far as rear speakers. So I hae been looking at soundbars as my best option. I have been looking at the sony HTCT100 (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+B...dbar&cp=1&lp=3 ) but have read a lot about the vizio. So which one would you go with? I have been checking this one out as it has a radio on it as well HTCT350 ( http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+B...904972&st=sony soundbar&cp=1&lp=2 ) It is 100.00 more and seems like a newer model, but not many reviews out on it yet.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 23 Old 07-12-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 05:30 AM
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Asking which soundbar to get without giving any details about your needs is perhaps the reason you have not any replys yet.

As an example:
Do you need HDMI inputs ?
What will you running thru the bar ?
Do you have reflective walls ?
And a whole bunch of other information you should provide so you can be helped.

Its hard to answer your question when we dont know what your needs are.

For me,,,, I have owned the Sony CT-100 and the Vizio,,,, between the two, for me and my needs, the Vizio was the better choice.

One thing I would say,,, Vizio has a new soundbar coming out the end of this month (the VHT210) before you decide on which soundbar to get wait for the new Vizio so you can include that in the bars your looking at.

Cheers
Dacyo
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post #5 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

Asking which soundbar to get without giving any details about your needs is perhaps the reason you have not any replys yet.

As an example:
Do you need HDMI inputs ?
What will you running thru the bar ?
Do you have reflective walls ?
And a whole bunch of other information you should provide so you can be helped.

Its hard to answer your question when we dont know what your needs are.

For me,,,, I have owned the Sony CT-100 and the Vizio,,,, between the two, for me and my needs, the Vizio was the better choice.

One thing I would say,,, Vizio has a new soundbar coming out the end of this month (the VHT210) before you decide on which soundbar to get wait for the new Vizio so you can include that in the bars your looking at.

Cheers
Dacyo

I thought I had put up a good amount of info

Here you go

Do you need HDMI inputs ? Yes that would be helpful if it does a better job of producing surround sound

What will you running thru the bar ? I will be running my TV, Samsung Blu Ray and possibly a Wii.

Do you have reflective walls ? Not sure what you mean by this.
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post #6 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 09:33 AM
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tin foil spread out on your walls can sometimes create a reflective bouncing effect on the sound for a more realistic surround sound experience
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post #7 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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So I guess no on the reflective wall.
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post #8 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 12:18 PM
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I recently ordered a ZVOX 550 HSD ( http://www.zvoxaudio.com/cgi-bin/item/4005502 ). Once I get it hooked up I'll let you know what I think...
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post #9 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullenium View Post

tin foil spread out on your walls can sometimes create a reflective bouncing effect on the sound for a more realistic surround sound experience

Ok,,,, thats going down for me as one of the weirdest, funniest, oddest postings I have ever seen here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurandavid View Post

So I guess no on the reflective wall.

NO, you dont need to cover your walls with tin foil for a soundbar to work,,, step away from the tin foil

In answer to your other post: Reflective walls means, do you have walls to the sides of were you would place the soundbar or walls behind you,,, soundbars work by bouncing sound off of walls to give you a surround effect,,,, think of it like playing a game of pool and doing bank shots (no tin foil required).

Cheers
Davyo
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post #10 of 23 Old 07-14-2010, 03:34 PM
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post #11 of 23 Old 07-15-2010, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok I do have some walls behind me. I also have two square openings behind me as well that open to the kitchen and living room. Most of it is walls though.
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post #12 of 23 Old 07-15-2010, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurandavid View Post

Ok I do have some walls behind me. I also have two square openings behind me as well that open to the kitchen and living room. Most of it is walls though.

So no walls to the sides of were a soundbar would be ?

Cheers
Davyo
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post #13 of 23 Old 07-17-2010, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davyo View Post

So no walls to the sides of were a soundbar would be ?

Cheers
Davyo

Yes there are walls to the sides, but not close by. Maybe about 10 feet away on both sides. Give or take a foot or two.
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post #14 of 23 Old 07-18-2010, 12:17 PM
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First of all, I would scratch the CT-100 as that is last year's model, unless you get an absolutely terrific deal. Early reviews on the CT-150 all seem good and it appears that Sony has corrected some of the problems from the CT-100. Based on last years models, I would go with the Vizio as it has better dynamic range and handles voices better. However, the ultra compact size of the Sony may be a plus in some situations. I owned both in 2009 and sold the Sony after bringing home the Vizio from Wal-Mart for an audition. Neither unit last year had a radio.

If you have a number of HDMI components and not enough HDMI inputs for your TV, the Sony could be a better choice as it offers HDMI switching. If not, this should not be a factor.

Both units sound good, not great, with music. Again, the Vizio slightly better on music because of better dynamics.

Both of these units outperformed my much more expensive Yamaha Sound Projector, although Yamaha does make a better woofer. Trust me, none of the three had a sub-woofer. Based on test tones, the Sony and Vizio start rolling off at about 60hz and have almost no output below 45hz. The Yamaha did go down to about 45hz cleanly with a low end cutoff around 35hz. Not quite sub-woofer territory, but a decent woofer.

I am currently using the Vizio soundbar (last year's model) with Yamaha Woofer (2006 model). Very pleasing sound for watching and listening to TV, Blu-Ray and DVD.

David Freeman
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post #15 of 23 Old 07-19-2010, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Well as far as hdmi goes, I have three things that use hdmi and I have three hdmi connections on my tv, so enough hdmi connections on tv.

So with this in mind what would be my best option? Do you get better sound when using just a soundbar without subwoofer or what?

Is this a good one

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Vizio-High...d-Bar/11046520

I like the fact it has a subwoofer output and you can select your own sub. If it is the same price in store as online that would be great as well.
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post #16 of 23 Old 07-19-2010, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-19-2010, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurandavid View Post

Well as far as hdmi goes, I have three things that use hdmi and I have three hdmi connections on my tv, so enough hdmi connections on tv.

So with this in mind what would be my best option? Do you get better sound when using just a soundbar without subwoofer or what?

Is this a good one

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Vizio-High...d-Bar/11046520

I like the fact it has a subwoofer output and you can select your own sub. If it is the same price in store as online that would be great as well.

Yes. That is a good one. Plus, if you are not happy with it, Wal-Mart has super easy returns.

Vizio makes a unit with a wireless sub. Heard it in a store setting where nothing sounds very good, but since I had a good Yamaha sub from my previous sound projector, I kept the sub and gave the YSP to my son.

I actually listened to the soundbar for about 10 days without sub and must say that I was nicely impressed with the overall balance and for 90% of my TV viewing, the sub was not missed. With a good Blu-Ray or DVD, you will like the extra depth a decent sub adds.

My suggestion is to try the Vizio soundbar for one to two weeks and if you are satisfied that the sound is better than your TV you have made an excellent choice. If not satisfied, then simply return it to Wal-Mart.

David Freeman
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post #18 of 23 Old 07-19-2010, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess this is it?

http://www.target.com/VIZIO-Surround...archPage=1&rh=

VHT210

If I was going to go this way, would I just hook everything up to the TV via hdmi and then use an optical cable and hook from the TV to the soundbar? When I do it this way, will this allow me to still use the TV to watch TV or use the soundbar? The reason I ask, is when my wife watches TV she really does not care about using anything but the TV for sound. So I want to make sure she could still do that.

Here is another one I have been looking at. My TV is also samsung as well as well as blu ray player.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+...483&st=samsung soundbar&cp=1&lp=1



Thanks.
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post #19 of 23 Old 07-20-2010, 09:22 PM
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My wife got my the Vizio vsb210ws. I think it rocks. I highly recommend it. Deep solid base (wireless), clear sound at all ranges from the center bar.
Now let me give full disclosure. I am by no means a audiophile. All I have to compare it to is the TV that was making the sound. We have a Sony XBR LCD (prob 1st gen, as its 3-4 years old), and the sound coming out of those speakers absolutely SUCKED. I really don't know the first thing about sound, but I knew how bad the sound was in an otherwise spectacular TV.
I set my bar about 12 inches below the bottom of the tv on the stand, as the tv hangs on the wall, and the voices sound like they are coming right out of the mouth of whoever is on tv. Very realistic. Video games and blu-ray sound great. Cable broadcast is so-so. However, it does not give the kind of true rear surround you'd get from rear speakers. I don't really believe any sound bar can do that. If you want simple and easy, you have to compromise.
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post #20 of 23 Old 07-21-2010, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I picked up the VSB200 soundbar and really liked the sound. I tested it out with the Transformer blu ray. The scenes that have a lot of explosion sound pretty good. I wish there was adjustment for other things, becuase on just normal scenes with talking and stuff it seemed a little low. Also when I tried to hook up the optical to the TV and do TV mode, I would just get a very loud buzz and had to use analog. Optical is defintely better when it comes to sound. I think a subwoofer would really bring it out, but not something I think I may need. So is there a reason I would get a loud buzzing sound when hooking up optical, but analog worked fine. This was only affected on TV mode when watching TV. When hooked up optical through the TV and watching a blu ray which is hooked up hdmi, I did not get the loud buzzing sound. Do you think on any of the vizio soundbars I would have this same problem? I guess since I am realy only interested in having this for my blu ray player is is not such a big issue. Also will I get a better overall sound if I have the wireless subwoofer and put it towards the back of the room vs the front of the room? Also how does optical sound vs HDMI input such as on the sony ones? Also if I decide to keep the VSB, I would pick up the SAW2500 Sony sub, as it has a frequency cut off on it that I could adjust manually. That is a nice feature.
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post #21 of 23 Old 07-25-2010, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurandavid View Post

I picked up the VSB200 soundbar and really liked the sound. I tested it out with the Transformer blu ray. The scenes that have a lot of explosion sound pretty good. I wish there was adjustment for other things, becuase on just normal scenes with talking and stuff it seemed a little low. Also when I tried to hook up the optical to the TV and do TV mode, I would just get a very loud buzz and had to use analog. Optical is defintely better when it comes to sound. I think a subwoofer would really bring it out, but not something I think I may need. So is there a reason I would get a loud buzzing sound when hooking up optical, but analog worked fine. This was only affected on TV mode when watching TV. When hooked up optical through the TV and watching a blu ray which is hooked up hdmi, I did not get the loud buzzing sound. Do you think on any of the vizio soundbars I would have this same problem? I guess since I am realy only interested in having this for my blu ray player is is not such a big issue. Also will I get a better overall sound if I have the wireless subwoofer and put it towards the back of the room vs the front of the room? Also how does optical sound vs HDMI input such as on the sony ones? Also if I decide to keep the VSB, I would pick up the SAW2500 Sony sub, as it has a frequency cut off on it that I could adjust manually. That is a nice feature.

Again, I'm not the expert here, but I believe you need to keep the subwoofer up front; either in a corner or next to the tv stand. I don't believe you will be getting any rear channel sound out of a sub. And as I've read here, movie theaters have their subs up front for that deep rumble coming at you, not from behind- that effect is what the rear channels are for. The buzzing issue is weird. Do you maybe have the audio cable pluged into the audi out port, instead of audio in ? or visa versa. there has to be some kind of misconnection that it works with one unit but not another. Double check all your connections, or pull wires and start over.
I only use the rca hookups, I don't even have the optical/digital sound, and I think it sounds good. Perhaps that would be even better. Unfortunatly, HDMI isn't an option, but I don't miss what I don't know.
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post #22 of 23 Old 07-25-2010, 08:02 PM
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Check out Davyo's thread... Official Vizio VHT210 Soundbar Owners Thread - He just took a look at the latest Vizio. He has some good comments about both the Vizio and the SonyCT150...
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post #23 of 23 Old 07-25-2010, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxpert2 View Post

Again, I'm not the expert here, but I believe you need to keep the subwoofer up front; either in a corner or next to the tv stand. I don't believe you will be getting any rear channel sound out of a sub. And as I've read here, movie theaters have their subs up front for that deep rumble coming at you, not from behind- that effect is what the rear channels are for. The buzzing issue is weird. Do you maybe have the audio cable pluged into the audi out port, instead of audio in ? or visa versa. there has to be some kind of misconnection that it works with one unit but not another. Double check all your connections, or pull wires and start over.
I only use the rca hookups, I don't even have the optical/digital sound, and I think it sounds good. Perhaps that would be even better. Unfortunatly, HDMI isn't an option, but I don't miss what I don't know.

ONly have one optical on my TV. Anyways returned it and got a ct100 on clerance open box buy brand new for 179.99 and very happy with it.
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