First off, my apologies for the wall of text.
I'm looking at replacing my current sound bar. Currently, I have an Sony HTCT-100, which has served me well over the last few years except for a single issue -- dialog can be very hard to hear, especially from Bluray disks (from my research, this is a common complaint). When watching Bluray disks, especially late at night, I have to keep my hand on the volume button to keep dialogue audible but prevent waking my wife. I've tried to tweak the settings, but nothing seems to help. I was looking into building a 3.0 system with a receiver, but the limited space around the tv made it hard to find speakers and the amount of wires would have not met the wife-acceptance factor. Therefore, I have decided to fall back on getting a better quality soundbar, something in the $600- $900 dollar range.
Height - the soundbar cannot be any taller than 6 inches, as there are 7 inches of clearance below my tv.
Dialogue - As a previously mentioned, being able to clearly make out dialogue is a must
Low Bass - As I live in a town home, I have to be considerate of my neighbors. A subwoofer is fine, as long as it can be turned on or off as needed, or adjusted. A sound bar that sounds decent even if the subwoofer is off or the bass is turned down. As I mentioned above, I was seriously considering a 3.0 system and not having a subwoofer at all.
Good for casual tv viewing- Many soundbars/speaker systems that I have encountered seem to be designed for watching movies and play games -- basically, to impress during the action sequences. But often these aren't optimal for just watching tv. Maybe "overpowering" is the right word?
Good for nighttime listening- I do most of my television viewing at night, so my preference would be a solution that has superior audio DRC. Again, being able to hear dialogue is a must.
Casual TV Viewing
I've been told my living room layout is problematic for any type of surround sound. Basically, my television is on the left side of the "Living Room" area in the picture, mounted exactly where the words "OPT. FIREPLACE" is in the plan. The couch is against the opposite wall.
Soundbars am looking at:
Sonos Playbar- Ease of use and setup. Downsides are that it doesn't support DTS, and even if the feature is added, my TV does not do DTS passthrough (it does do dolby from my understanding). I tested the display model at Bestbuy and was extremely impressed. My main concern is the lack of DTS support, as many Bluray disks only have DTS tracks. If anyone that has a Playbar can comment on the Linear PCM 2.0 playback quality, that would help greatly.
Yamaha YSP-2200 Sound Projector- Honestly, I've been wanting a Yamaha Sound Projector for a long time. Lots of features, uses HDMI, and supports most of the modern DTS and Dolby formats. My main concerns are:
The Sound Projection technology will not work correctly in by Living Room due to layout.
Much more complicated setup - more to configure and tweak is good, but my fear is that this unit will require significant tweaking.
No local demo units - I can't find anywhere that has one that I can test.
Again, apologies for the wall of text. Thank you for the help.