Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 902 Old 11-27-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkflash View Post

Thanks. Maybe the switch in the link might work (1 in- 3 out)? Presumably that should enable to allocate different source devices to designated hdmi inputs on the tv (eg through a multi remote)?
http://www.amazon.com/portable-Powered-Splitter-1080P-Support/dp/B003JAXBWW/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354057422&sr=1-4&keywords=hdmi+splitter+1+in+3+out

Hmmm, might work for what you want. I'd suggest buying from someplace with a no-hassle return policy in case it doesn't work out.
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post #272 of 902 Old 11-27-2012, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

Hmmm, might work for what you want. I'd suggest buying from someplace with a no-hassle return policy in case it doesn't work out.

Would he not need something like this instead?

http://www.amazon.com/control-Equalizer-Blue-Jeans-Cable/dp/B0038SQQ0Y/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=WH2PD62ANQAB&coliid=I23EXNFOQFPIMW

The above link connects multiple devices IN and has 1 OUT. That seems like it would do the trick because he could connect all of his devices to the switch, connect the HDMI OUTPUT to the soundbar, and then connect the soundbar to the TV via HDMI. It looks to me like the link that he posted has 1 INPUT and 3 OUTPUTS, something that you would want to use if you had 1 HD source that you wanted to play on multiple displays.

At least that's the way I understood his original post.

We are here to help you. Please help us to help you. If you provide incomplete information, at best, we can give you an incomplete response.
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post #273 of 902 Old 11-27-2012, 06:01 PM
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^^^
You're right about the normal use of the multiple outputs. For what he wants to do, a regular switch with a single output won't fit the bill.

He wants to connect his source devices via HDMI to a soundbar so the soundbar video output would be to a single HDMI. BUT, he wants to have separate video settings on the TV for each of his source devices. With a single HDMI input to the TV, that's not possible. So he's thinking that multiple OUTPUT switch might accomplish what he wants. Me? I wouldn't do it. cool.gif
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post #274 of 902 Old 11-27-2012, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possumgirl View Post

^^^
You're right about the normal use of the multiple outputs. For what he wants to do, a regular switch with a single output won't fit the bill.
He wants to connect his source devices via HDMI to a soundbar so the soundbar video output would be to a single HDMI. BUT, he wants to have separate video settings on the TV for each of his source devices. With a single HDMI input to the TV, that's not possible. So he's thinking that multiple OUTPUT switch might accomplish what he wants. Me? I wouldn't do it. cool.gif

So what would you do? smile.gif Im just curious being a newbie in this area.
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post #275 of 902 Old 11-28-2012, 07:40 AM
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I'm looking to get a soundbar for my parents living room as a Christmas present and am looking for some suggestions, so I'd figure I'd give it a go in this thread.

Their living room is an open layout with vaulted ceilings. The TV is on a half wall that separates the living room and kitchen/dinning room. Is there a soundbar in the $200 range that would be a good option for that room? I was looking at the Yamaha YAS-101 and the Sony HT CT-150, any suggestions?

Thanks!

"There is little pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it."
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post #276 of 902 Old 11-28-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkflash View Post

So what would you do? smile.gif Im just curious being a newbie in this area.
I probably shouldn't have said that because each of us have different priorities for video & audio. Having just one video setting for everything, plus a cinema mode for movies, works for me. But that's me, not you. smile.gif If your switch idea works and you don't mind keeping the inputs straight, go for it.
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post #277 of 902 Old 11-28-2012, 09:34 AM
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Update to my review of the MartinLogan Motion Vision soundbar posted in September, with followup in October.
Bad news - I was watching cable TV and suddenly the soundbar went silent, and displayed a "DSP NG" error message. I contacted MartinLogan, the person I worked with said it was the first he had heard of this. I went through a few troubleshooting steps with the service technician, didn't make any progress. I googled the error message, and learned that with other components, it means a failure of the digital sound processor.
Better news - I'm only an hour away from MartinLogan's facility in Lawrence, KS. They are preparing a return authorization and will have a replacement ready next week, I plan on driving over there for a swap-out.
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post #278 of 902 Old 11-28-2012, 08:31 PM
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Trying to decide between VIZIO VHT215, Panasonic SC-HTB550, and Sony HTCT550W (I'm capped around $300-350, so if there are any other in this range I missed let me know).

I have a Panasonic VIERA TC-P60GT50 60-Inch with Blue ray, roku, direct tv, Apple tv. It's for the living room with is fairly large and we may be buying a house so it would be bigger still. I mostly watch sports and movies, I hate when dialogue gets lost in the sound.

Can you all help me out?

THANKS!
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post #279 of 902 Old 11-29-2012, 12:47 PM
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Hey guys, first time poster here and hopefully staying much longer. I was pointed in this direction by a few friends that said you guys are the go-to community for recommendations and things of that nature.

I'm moving into an apartment and looking for some recommendations on a decent quality soundbar system within the $0-$400 range.

I have just bought the Samsung UN55ES6003 55-Inch LED TV (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009VRTEP0) along with this TV stand for my living room: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RWFABA

The layout of the living room is below.



I have about 15 inches on each side of the TV stand so I'm sure I can fit a subwoofer in snugly in the corner for some bass bouncing off the walls.

A friend suggested the Samsung HW-E550, however, after looking at some reviews on Amazon, it doesn't look too promising (even though the review on Samsung.com seem much different). Any ideas about what kind of system would fit well in the limited space I have while making the most of the sound? I'm mainly concerned with the audio facing the long couch since that's where I'll be sitting 99% of the time smile.gif

Thanks in advance everyone!
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post #280 of 902 Old 11-29-2012, 12:50 PM
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Had a chance to listen to a several soundbars in the 200-300 range and did some research on how much I can get for my 5.1 speakers and have decided I'm going to up my budget.

What is considered the best soundbar at producing surround effect for movies in the 600 to 800 range. I would like a serviceable sub in the package as my sub died last year.

I also would like to sell my 7 year old Denon receiver, but I'm not against keeping it if a passive option produces the best sound for movies.

The room is an oddly shaped bonus room over the garage with tv located in a corner facing a sectional in the opposite corner.
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post #281 of 902 Old 12-01-2012, 11:57 AM
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Hi guys, my first post here so be gentle. smile.gif

Earlier this year I got myself a Panasonic TX-P42G30 and like many big screen TV's, the sound is okay till you want some volume. So, I've come to the conclusion I need a sound system. Unfortunately, though I'd like one, a 5.1 surround system is impractical for me due to the shape of my room. Essentially, the left hand speakers would have to levitate in a doorway lol.

So, the next logical conclusion is a soundbar.

The equipment I have is:

TV - Panasonic TX P42G30
Blu-ray - Sony BDPS350
Playstation 3
Xbox 360

All are connected via HDMI.

I'm located in the UK so Vizio is out of the question.

My budget is about £300 though if the perfect option came up I'd consider it.

What I want is to be able to use the soundbar with any input I'm using because c'mon, who doesn't want to play Battlefield 3 with loud explosions? The TV has a digital audio out and an ARC HDMI. I ideally want a wireless sub, it would make my life a lot easier as I could hide it down the side or behind the sofa.

I have been looking about and like the look of a few:

Boston Acoustics Tvee 30 - A little harder to get in the UK however there's a reputable seller that does manufacturer refurbished ones for £300

Orbitsound TV12v3 - output power seems a little low and wired subwoofer is close to a dealbreaker for me.

LG NB3520A - Sounds promising and a lot easier to get here. Cheaper too £250ish

Panasonic HTB550 - looks great and has HDMI's but I was trying to avoid an extra box to have with all the others I have.

There's probably something I've missing but what would you go for?
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post #282 of 902 Old 12-02-2012, 08:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Wim Leers View Post

I'm considering switching from a 6-year old Logitech Z-5500 to a YSP-2200 (to get rid of the cable mess). Will the YSP-2200 sound better?
For details: see the forum thread I started, which includes a setup schematic: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1439646/bye-bye-logitech-z-5500-hello-insert-soundbar-here.
Thanks!
I'd be very, very grateful if somebody could reply to this smile.gif
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post #283 of 902 Old 12-02-2012, 09:12 AM
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I just got the Yamaha YHT-s401 and I find in stereo mode this things is a beast. There is also an option to upgrade to a 5.1 system. It decodes HD audio, has 3D video passthrough and has 3 HDMI inputs !!!
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post #284 of 902 Old 12-02-2012, 04:06 PM
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I live in a condo so i really dont want to buy a true home theater system since i wouldnt be able to use it to its full capability since id be disturbing neighbors and what not so i was thinking a soundbar might fulfill my needs. Currently i have a 55' Samsung 3D LED UN55ES7100 TV, Xbox 360, Samsung BDE5900 3D Blu-ray player and a HD/DVR from Cox Cable. All the items are connected using Highspeed Hdmi cables from Monoprice. Im really new to the Home Theater stuff so i was confused if i was to buy a soundbar and subwoofer would i be able to bypass my tv speakers and always get sound from the soundbar if im playing games,blu-ray, or watching tv, or would i still have to buy a reciever? Also im sure it has been asked before but was looking for any reccomendations for a soundbar or what type of features should i be looking for?
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post #285 of 902 Old 12-05-2012, 04:23 PM
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Hi all, this is my first time posting, I hope this is the right thread.

I have this tv, the Samsung LN40A530:
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-LN40A530-40-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B0017LGL0E

Right now I am just using my TV speakers, but I wanted to upgrade to a soundbar. This one has been recommended to me, is on a nice sale right now, and has gotten some great reviews, the Vizio VHT215:
http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-VHT215-Theater-Wireless-Subwoofer/dp/B005P99KX4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354747494&sr=8-1&keywords=vht215

I am worried it won't work with my TV since I don't think my TV supports ARC - is that true? I also have a PS3 and Xbox 360 that I would like to have the soundbar work with. I do a lot of Netflix streaming as well through those two things.

Can anyone help me? Is there a better option than this soundbar? Thanks so much in advance.
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post #286 of 902 Old 12-05-2012, 04:35 PM
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I've been researching soundbars for a while now and I still have no idea what to get. I'd like something that has HDMI connectivity and I think I'd prefer a wired sub. Price isn't a huge concern, but I don't see any reason to spend a ton of money on something that isn't really true surround. What are some options that have HDMI pass through and a wired sub? I'd be willing to consider a wireless sub if the specs are really good.
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post #287 of 902 Old 12-05-2012, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batd0g View Post

Hi all, this is my first time posting, I hope this is the right thread.
I have this tv, the Samsung LN40A530:
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-LN40A530-40-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B0017LGL0E
Right now I am just using my TV speakers, but I wanted to upgrade to a soundbar. This one has been recommended to me, is on a nice sale right now, and has gotten some great reviews, the Vizio VHT215:
http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-VHT215-Theater-Wireless-Subwoofer/dp/B005P99KX4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354747494&sr=8-1&keywords=vht215
I am worried it won't work with my TV since I don't think my TV supports ARC - is that true? I also have a PS3 and Xbox 360 that I would like to have the soundbar work with. I do a lot of Netflix streaming as well through those two things.
Can anyone help me? Is there a better option than this soundbar? Thanks so much in advance.

Doesn't matter if your TV has ARC or not. You can connect your PS3 and Xbox via HDMI directly to the soundbar and then connect soundbar to TV via HDMI for video pass-through. If you have other source devices, they can be connected to your TV and you use an optical connection to the soundbar for audio if you don't have ARC.
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post #288 of 902 Old 12-05-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummer43 View Post

I've been researching soundbars for a while now and I still have no idea what to get. I'd like something that has HDMI connectivity and I think I'd prefer a wired sub. Price isn't a huge concern, but I don't see any reason to spend a ton of money on something that isn't really true surround. What are some options that have HDMI pass through and a wired sub? I'd be willing to consider a wireless sub if the specs are really good.

If you prefer a wired sub, the Sony CT150 would be a good choice. Lots of connection options including 3 HDMI in.
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post #289 of 902 Old 12-05-2012, 08:59 PM
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Im sorry to sound so stupid but what are the benefits of having HDMI input/outputs on the soundbar? I was researching a few that i was interested in but when i looked at the specs none had HDMI. The 2 i was looking at was the Polk Audio 6000 and Harman Kardon SB 16
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post #290 of 902 Old 12-06-2012, 12:32 AM
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Good morning, all.

Long time-lurker, first-time caller seeking advice on a good soundbar for the following configuration:

TV - Sony BRAVIA KDL-55HX850
Blu-ray player: LG BP620
Roku
Wii
PS3
iPhone 5

I'm a Foreign Service Officer and try to get dual-voltage, multi-system models as I get posted all over the world, but I can always get a step-up converter if needed. Really, I'm trying to find something that will work with the various electronics I already have, that will not turn my entertainment center into spaghetti bowl junction, and that can link to my iPhone, my wife's iPad, and other wireless devices for audio streaming. I haven't been able to find the "perfect" system with sufficient HDMI inputs/outputs and that can accommodate bluetooth, so I'm looking for the "sufficient", even if it means purchasing a few auxiliary items.

Can anyone help a public servant about to deploy to one of the world's hellholes?
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post #291 of 902 Old 12-06-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reice23 View Post

Im sorry to sound so stupid but what are the benefits of having HDMI input/outputs on the soundbar? I was researching a few that i was interested in but when i looked at the specs none had HDMI. The 2 i was looking at was the Polk Audio 6000 and Harman Kardon SB 16

Not stupid at all - that's a very good question. What you're looking at are 2 channel soundbars (or 2.1 if it has a subwoofer). Typically all your inputs (DVR or STB, BD player) are connected to, and switched by, the TV through HDMI, and the 2.1 soundbar receives audio from the TV with a digital audio cable (like Toslink). This is fine but the soundbar will never receive surround-encoded audio, because all HDTVs are set up to only pass surround sound out the digital audio cable if the program is received by the TV's internal tuner (i.e. an OTA broadcast).* If you want the soundbar to receive surround sound (and play it - some soundbars can do that) from your DVR and BD player, you need to run their outputs to the soundbar via HDMI, then send send the video out of the soundbar to the TV via HDMI. In this case the soundbar does the input switching. Obviously, adding the HDMI switching to the soundbar adds cost, but the more expensive soundbars do deliver surround sound, either by bouncing it off of side walls, or by simulation, or in the case of the Yamaha 401, by allowing you to add surround speakers.

Ted

* Thanks to Possumgirl for explaining that HDTVs reduce 5.1 audio to 2 channel when sending audio to the digital audio output.
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post #292 of 902 Old 12-07-2012, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummer43 View Post

I've been researching soundbars for a while now and I still have no idea what to get. I'd like something that has HDMI connectivity and I think I'd prefer a wired sub. Price isn't a huge concern, but I don't see any reason to spend a ton of money on something that isn't really true surround. What are some options that have HDMI pass through and a wired sub? I'd be willing to consider a wireless sub if the specs are really good.

Two popular soundbars you might look into are discussed a lot on the YHT-S401 or YSP-2200? thread here.
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post #293 of 902 Old 12-08-2012, 07:19 PM
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What's a good Soundbar for the Samsung UN60ES8000 TV? (60"). Thanks.
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post #294 of 902 Old 12-08-2012, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sabesh View Post

What's a good Soundbar for the Samsung UN60ES8000 TV? (60"). Thanks.

You really need to include more information such as what components you have to connect, what your budget is, whether you want a sub and, if so, if you prefer wireless, etc.

We are here to help you. Please help us to help you. If you provide incomplete information, at best, we can give you an incomplete response.
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post #295 of 902 Old 12-09-2012, 07:56 PM
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I just recently setup my Yamaha Sound Bar with my new Sony KDL-50EX645 http://www.crutchfield.com/p_15850EX645/Sony-KDL-50EX645.html?tp=35945 and have some questions since I am uncertain if I am getting the best audio. I have my Samsung HD cable box connected via HDMI to my TV. I then connected the optical cable from the TV to sound bar. I have a very large room about 21x13 but I am about 11 feet from TV. Just having a hard time determining if this is the right sound bar or worth the money. To me it maybe worth it to return and use the regular speakers. My questions are:

1. Is this the best setup does the optical out use 5.1?

2. Should I disable the speakers on the television?

3. Should my cable box be on fixed or variable and how can I adjust the equ on the device or is that not possible with sound bars?

4. Are there any other specific configuration settings on the sound bar or tweaks I should make to it out of box?

Thank you in advance
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post #296 of 902 Old 12-10-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctego View Post

You really need to include more information such as what components you have to connect, what your budget is, whether you want a sub and, if so, if you prefer wireless, etc.
My bad: I'm new to this. I want to connect the TV and Bluray Player. Budget: $300. Sub preferred, but not essential (wired or wireless). Thanks.
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post #297 of 902 Old 12-10-2012, 11:25 AM
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Double post.
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post #298 of 902 Old 12-10-2012, 11:27 AM
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Hey guys, long time no see. First time on the audio half of this board.

I have some relatively basic questions regarding a potential sound bar set up.


The PS3 is able to, at least per this, encode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. I stream most of my content through my PS3, and it often has DTS or TrueHD available. Up to this point, I haven't paid much attention to this, as my audio system consists of my TV speakers.

The change: I'm looking to buy a soundbar, probably in the $500-$1000 range. Looking at this Polk and this Klipsch at the moment...although the model isn't particularly critical at this point. What is critical is that I seem to be priced out of sound bars that can encode DTS/TrueHD...they seem to be in the $1000+ range. The Polk SurroundBar 9000 looks really interesting, but it's not available yet, and the delay worries me a bit.

The question: Is there a configuration, with these sound bars or any others that do not encode DTS/TrueHD, with which I could somehow pass the encoded DTS/TrueHD content through from my PS3 to a sound bar?

Some sound bars come with HDMI, but the two I am looking at don't. The obvious solution, at least to me and my limited knowledge, is to connect the PS3 and cable box to the TV via HDMI, and then pass the audio through to the sound bar via...optical? Again my audio knowledge is essentially zero, but I assume that optical is just as good as HDMI in passing through audio...otherwise high-end sound bars would have HDMI.

edit: In reading some more information above, seems like I would be required to do PS3 --> HDMI --> Sound Bar --> HDMI --> TV. So I suppose I need a bar with HDMI in/out?

Before this comes up, I'm aware that a sound bar is not a replacement for a 5.1/7.1 system, etc. This would be for a more minimalistic bedroom TV setup.
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post #299 of 902 Old 12-10-2012, 02:18 PM
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Well, I won a $250 gift card in a local raffle in my town so I guess I will buy my soundbar from them

Went out there today to see what they had but I really didn't have a good experience trying to listen to sound quality, it was too loud in the store.

But anywhere, here are the ones I was looking at. I have searched the forums looking at posts on all of these but hoped somebody might chime in here as well. Thanks in advance!

LG NB3520A $250

Samsung HW-E450ZA $250

Sony HTCT260 $269.99

Toshiba SBX4250 $299.99

Samsung HW-E551ZA (I didn't like the cylinder look of the soundbar all that much, though) $329.99, also had an open box for $269

Sony HTCT550W $329.99

and they also had the Sony CT-150 on clearance for $179

At first I thought I would get something with all HDMI inputs but now I am not against optical/digital coax so I really have a lot of choices
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post #300 of 902 Old 12-10-2012, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw226 View Post

Well, I won a $250 gift card in a local raffle in my town so I guess I will buy my soundbar from them
Went out there today to see what they had but I really didn't have a good experience trying to listen to sound quality, it was too loud in the store.
But anywhere, here are the ones I was looking at. I have searched the forums looking at posts on all of these but hoped somebody might chime in here as well. Thanks in advance!
LG NB3520A $250
Samsung HW-E450ZA $250
Sony HTCT260 $269.99
Toshiba SBX4250 $299.99
Samsung HW-E551ZA (I didn't like the cylinder look of the soundbar all that much, though) $329.99, also had an open box for $269
Sony HTCT550W $329.99
and they also had the Sony CT-150 on clearance for $179
At first I thought I would get something with all HDMI inputs but now I am not against optical/digital coax so I really have a lot of choices

It would really help matters if you listed your TV model #, whether you have an HDMI ARC port on the TV, and what you would like to connect to your soundbar.

We are here to help you. Please help us to help you. If you provide incomplete information, at best, we can give you an incomplete response.
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