Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 30 - AVS Forum
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post #871 of 895 Old 04-26-2014, 09:12 PM
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I'm still not certain a sound bar is my best solution, but thought I would throw my hat in here. I posted an extensive description of my room over in the Speakers forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1529086/speaker-search-difficult-loft-space

Long story short, I have about a 74" wide space beneath a 60" Panasonic plasma, recessed about 15" behind bookshelves and cabinets; here's a mockup:



I suppose I would be looking for an LCR bar to pair with small monopole surround speakers in the rear of the room. Budget for a passive sound bar would be $1000-1500, I think.

Given my space and budget, am I better off with an LCR sound bar, or separate wall-mounted L/C/R speakers?

-- Dan
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post #872 of 895 Old 04-28-2014, 03:10 PM
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What are my options for sound bars that have 3 or more HDMI inputs?
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post #873 of 895 Old 05-15-2014, 10:17 AM
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Hey,

Which soundbar from these list do you guys think would be the best option? I'm leaning towards the Energy SB5 but I'm no expert so I need some help.

Samsung HW-F350
Sony CT60BT
Energy Sistem Soundbar SB5 Bluetooth

My budget is 120$ in case you want to suggest something which is not on the list.

I plan to connect them to my PS3 via optical and PC via coaxial, and both of them to my projector via HDMI. Can I connected them this way or will it be a problem?
I made an image in case I wasn't clear enough, this is what I wish to do.

The energy one doesn't seem to have either dolby or dts, would that be a problem?

Thanks!
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post #874 of 895 Old 05-29-2014, 08:20 PM
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Been doing quite a bit of reading/research. Have learned quite a bit.

Let me link you to a post I put in the speaker area as opposed to repeating all that. Then back to here.

(Hmmm....looks like this forum does not allow link to an individual post. But my post is the very first one). Link to post.

Ok. So, at this point, I'm thinking that up front could be NHT Super Zeros, or any other set of speakers. But I'm thinking for the WAF factor a soundbar may be a good bet. I'm interested in whether there would be an advantage to go with one at any rate.

Now, it may be that I do NOT end up with rear speakers. So, I've been reading all kinds of reviews. It's interesting, in a review I may often see something like this: "...I'm amazed at how this can provide immersive sound...but can't do what a full 5.1 system will do".

Of course, it makes absolute sense that a soundbar couldn't duplicate true 5.1.

So assuming that I end up with a sound bar only (and even if so, does it make sense to get a soundbar, and even an expensive one?).

As you'll notice, my room on the left will be a lot of windows. I'm not sure how that would affect the sound I'm trying to achieve.

Other thoughts/considerations/questions I've crossed are on topics of:

  • Passive vs. active. I tend to think I want to continue with an AVR. Currently using an Onkyo 812. I'm thinking that simplifies wiring to the TV; As well, I'm reading that for the most part, TVs will pass 2.1 signals to the soundbar, which wouldn't be ideal, I'd think.
  • I'm thinking having the Blue Tooth capability to stream from the phone would be nice (although I do that from my AVR as well). I"m not sure I can get that in a passive soundbar.
  • I like the idea of a powered soundbar that I could fire up without having to turn on the AVR, etc.
  • I do want to play to wireless sub and rear surrounds, assuming I have the rears. Thinking of in the ceiling...not sure how I"ll get power to them.

As you can see, I have some conflicting interests Not sure where this should/will take me.

Suggestions and comments will be interesting to see...

On specific soundbars, looking at reviews and comments from users, I've bounced interests between:

(First note...maybe this is flawed logic. I'm thinking a $200-$300 soundbar isn't going to fit my interestes for sound. I'm interested in good sound, for both music and movies, and as good of surround as I can get with the limitations of my room)
  • Sonos Play Bar.
  • James Sound Bar . They have quite a variety, and are 'custom made'. You can get one at whatever width you want. I see that as an advantage, as I'm getting a wide TV (at least 75"), and so it would allow for more right/left separation. I have no idea how expensive these are, but I bet high.
  • Martin Logan Motion Vision: The reviews aren't leaving me overly optimistic
  • Bowers and Wilkens Panorama
  • PSB Imagine W3
  • Paradigm Soundscape
  • Yamaha YSP 4300. One review, actually mentioned in the review linked above, says this one is better than the Paradigm for music and virtual surround, but not as good as the Paradigm for music. But it requires sidewalls, which I have but not sure how the windows would affect it.

So, I am probably confused. at any rate, any input and thoughts will be appreciated.
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post #875 of 895 Old 05-30-2014, 05:44 AM
 
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Aesthetically, sound bars are the best choice but not the beast solution for sound. I did something similar in my new home and tried a LOT of sound bars and ending up going with a 2.1 system instead. NONE of the sound bars could compete with a nice stereo set up for music. I think it is tough to get a good soundstage from a device with the speakers ~3-4 feet apart and with the drivers arranged horizontally. Many of the sound bars try to play acoustic tricks by playing with the timing of the sounds to give a wider sound stage and surround effect but it doesn't sound as natural as something that is set up properly and does so without the tricks.

I would probably just keep your NHT speakers. You could wall mount them as they are not that big if that works better for you. I did try many of the sound bars you are considering and here is my take on them.

Sonos - pretty good for surround effect and decent sound. The subs definitely helps. Would be easy to add play 1,3, or 5's for surround.

Martin Logan Vision - Nice sounding but nothing great.

B&W Panorama - Nice sounding but nothing great. I didn't like it for music.

Yamaha YSP4300 - Ok sounding but has the best surround effect of the bars. I think the Yamaha YSP series gives the best surround effect but their small speakers are just not very full sounding. The 4100 and 5100 are decent but I think they are being discontinued. The trend for small and thin goes against physics for richer fuller sound.

I haven't heard the others. I did hear the Paradigm Soundtrack as the soundscape was not out yet. The Soundtrack has slightly better sound than the Sonos but really no surround effect and a narrower soundstage. Although, it is considerably less expensive when you factor the sub. I would say the Sonos had a better sub.

I also tried various passive sound bars and the results are the same.

If you go with a powered sound bar get a TV that passes a 5.1 signal. I have a Sony and it passed the signal fine but many brands do not. So do your research. I know Samsung does not.

Let us know what you decide.
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post #876 of 895 Old 05-30-2014, 06:10 AM
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Thanks for the detailed reply.

I was pretty much expecting to hear this. I guess I need to give up on soundbars. I did receive a private message suggesting Triad, specifically if WAF is the issue. Said they sound good, but I expect in end same overall result for sound. May be good, but just not what I'm used to.

Unless, I find that the rears are not attainable. Thinking of ceiling mounting for now...although I'm thinking I need to use wireless...but then I don't know how I'll get power to them.

Of course, I suspect soundbars should be out if the sound is important, no matter the result of rear speaker installation.

Interestingly, with the NHT Zeros across the front (110" spread)...oh I just remembered,my center is a 'Center' speaker, not a Super Zero), I have always felt that the dialog wasn't as understandable as it should be.Maybe I need to replace them with different discrete speakers.

I may be selling all the speakers with my house. If that's the case, I'll for sure check into different ones.
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post #877 of 895 Old 05-30-2014, 06:15 AM
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You know what? Maybe I'm obsessing is being wasted. I have wood floors, throughout the new house. Maybe the sound won't be that great no matter what.

You think that makes any difference to this equation?
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post #878 of 895 Old 05-30-2014, 06:20 AM
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I wish it were possible to edit posts in this forum.

If wanting the soundbar for aesthetics...how about any that are just an "LCR in a box"? I expect that separation/width would be the issue. Maybe James would have an answer to that as width can be customized. Not sure if they offer "LCR in a box" (I'm thinking that is just a term for passive soundbars, no?
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post #879 of 895 Old 05-31-2014, 05:00 AM
 
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Separation/width is not the only problem of passive LCR sound bars but it is one of them. The other problem is the speaker drivers are horizontal and not vertical. This affects the dispersion and causes a narrower listening area because of poor off axis response with horizontal designs. Of course this also effect soundstage and imaging too. Horizontal center speakers also suffer from this and the better center speakers use a vertical midrange tweeter flanked by larger midrange/woofers. This reduces the acoustic problems of a midrange-tweeter-midrange design placed horizontally.

Another suggestion might be on wall LCR speakers. This allows the L/R speaker to be vertical which will help for 2 channel music as well as give slightly better separation. Depending on the on wall model some even allow Toe-in of the speakers if needed. You could mount your NHT's but being not as thin might not be aesthetic as some specific on wall designs. In walls can also work well.

Going with a sound bar is not the end of the world, I don't want to sound like an audio snob. Get one with good design and actually makes 3 separate speakers in a box that uses good drivers. If you go with a passive LCR sound bar route find one that has the L/R speaker portions with the tweeter on the outside, this apparently helps over the ones that basically make three center speakers.

For passive speakers I think Triad is a good choice I heard one at a friend's house and it was decent but definitely had a narrow sweet spot. The custom width gives a nice look. Leon speakers also makes custom widths and has model with 5" and 6" midranges which will give a fuller sound but it is of course a taller bar than most. James speakers make some with larger drivers but I am not sure if they do custom sizing. There are of course many choices that aren't custom sized.
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post #880 of 895 Old 05-31-2014, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttlnb View Post

... James speakers make some with larger drivers but I am not sure if they do custom sizing. There are of course many choices that aren't custom sized.

Thanks for the input. Appreciated.

FYI...James does make custom widths. That was the first one that I discovered that did, but have since learned of others, including the Triad.
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post #881 of 895 Old 06-10-2014, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post

I'm still not certain a sound bar is my best solution, but thought I would throw my hat in here. I posted an extensive description of my room over in the Speakers forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1529086/speaker-search-difficult-loft-space

Long story short, I have about a 74" wide space beneath a 60" Panasonic plasma, recessed about 15" behind bookshelves and cabinets; here's a mockup:



I suppose I would be looking for an LCR bar to pair with small monopole surround speakers in the rear of the room. Budget for a passive sound bar would be $1000-1500, I think.

Given my space and budget, am I better off with an LCR sound bar, or separate wall-mounted L/C/R speakers?

Best solution (it can sit on the long shelf that extends above your TV):

http://www.goldenear.com/products/supercinema3d

2nd best solution (given that there is no room for conventional bookshelf or floor-standing speakers):

Minx or Gallo speakers and a subwoofer with good mid-bass
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post #882 of 895 Old 06-24-2014, 03:40 PM
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So I'm looking into buying a soundbar and wireless sub combo for my TV. The two that I'm currently considering are the Vizio S4221W-C4 and S4251W-B4

They are both priced at ~$250 on Amazon. If I buy the 5.1 system, I'll likely not use the rear speakers, as the layout of the room just doesn't support it; stands are out of the question due to young children and pets. Is there any reason not to go for the 5.1 scaled down to 3.1, versus the 2.1, for the same price?

Are there any other systems in the $250 range that you'd recommend over the Vizio?
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post #883 of 895 Old 06-25-2014, 08:46 AM
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Multi Room Sound Bar or Equivalent

My main theater room is fine. Upstairs I have a 55" LCD in the living room. My wife uses this tv for watching soaps, news, etc. Sometimes she is in the kitchen working. We can see the TV from the kitchen with no problem. She would like a inexpensive audio set up (nothing more than the cost of the tv $450) where she can have front channel audio in both the kitchen and living room. Many of the soundbar systems like the Phillips HTL7180/F7 only do surround audio out of the satellite speakers. Can anyone point me to a comparable system that will accomplish my goals?

TIA

Ken
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post #884 of 895 Old 06-25-2014, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by kmaren View Post
My main theater room is fine. Upstairs I have a 55" LCD in the living room. My wife uses this tv for watching soaps, news, etc. Sometimes she is in the kitchen working. We can see the TV from the kitchen with no problem. She would like a inexpensive audio set up (nothing more than the cost of the tv $450) where she can have front channel audio in both the kitchen and living room. Many of the soundbar systems like the Phillips HTL7180/F7 only do surround audio out of the satellite speakers. Can anyone point me to a comparable system that will accomplish my goals?

TIA

Ken
Many receivers have the capability to produce stereo from both the front and the rear channels. In an older receiver (buy used, save $), it was called 4-channel stereo (or something to that effect). In newer receivers, you could use the Zone 2 capability. That would solve your problem, using two pairs of speakers, one set near the tv and one set near the kitchen.
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post #885 of 895 Old 06-25-2014, 01:24 PM
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Many receivers have the capability to produce stereo from both the front and the rear channels. In an older receiver, it was called 4-channel stereo (or something to that effect). In newer receivers, you could use the Zone 2 capability. That would solve your problem, using two pairs of speakers, one set near the tv and one set near the kitchen.
I was hoping to do this without a receiver and as close to wireless as possible. Looks like I will be spending more than I want or the wife is just going to have to live with it.
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post #886 of 895 Old 07-02-2014, 10:59 AM
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2.0 Channel Sound Bars

Hey all - just put up a 50' no name TV in my living room. The sound is tinny as to be expected.

This is a room where my kids play - so no subwoofer will be going in here - so I just need a 2 channel stand alone sound bar.

I would like to spend around $100. A little more isn't a problem if the gain is tremendous.

Can anyone recommend one with good (good enough) sound that doesn't have known issues? I was looking at the Boston Accoustics TVee 10 system and it appears that the unit randomly switches inputs..... not something I want to deal with - I want to set it and forget it.

ALSO - Since this is only 2.0 stereo sound, I will be using the Stereo mini-jack sound output from the TV - so the soundbar I get will need the mini-jack input.

Last edited by lordx2; 07-02-2014 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Missing Info
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post #887 of 895 Old 07-06-2014, 07:19 PM
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Has anyone tried the Bose Cinemate 1SR sound-bar system? Its on the spendy side at 1400 bucks and crazy it doesn't offer bluetooth!
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post #888 of 895 Old 07-07-2014, 11:35 AM
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Ysp-4300

Hi all!

I tried searching for my question but haven't had any luck. I recently purchased the YSP-4300 and I am curious as to whether a different subwoofer can be used instead of the one that comes with the bar. I haven't received the 4300 yet, so I have not heard it. I may like the sub that comes with it, but I seem to have read somewhere that you can use a different subwoofer if you have the Yamaha wireless adapter kit. Is this correct? Has anyone tried that?

Thanks!
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post #889 of 895 Old 07-08-2014, 01:22 PM
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saw there is a YSP-2500 coming soon, I really hope this comes to the Unites States and not just Europe.
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post #890 of 895 Old 07-14-2014, 12:16 PM
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Hey all,

I recently renovated my family room and made it so in a minimalistic style. The Klipsch speakers and HSU VTF-2 MK3 sub have since found a new home. This was a sad day to see them drive away with the new owner.

Anywho... I have now a new sound problem that I need help with. Given the photo what soundbar would you think work best for this room? I admit I'm pretty new to soundbars and really don't know where to start. I'm only using a DVD/Blueray and cablebox in this setup. That said I have 2 HDMI panels hidden, 1 behind the TV and one behind the black shelfs. I'm looking to spend <$1K, so any advice or expertise you have would be greatly appreciated.

TV is a Samsung 46" Thin-line



-Jay

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Last edited by JayNorris; 07-14-2014 at 12:29 PM.
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post #891 of 895 Old 07-14-2014, 12:39 PM
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Hey all,

I recently renovated my family room and made it so in a minimalistic style. The Klipsch speakers and HSU VTF-2 MK3 sub have since found a new home. This was a sad day to see them drive away with the new owner.

Anywho... I have now a new sound problem that I need help with. Given the photo what soundbar would you think work best for this room? I admit I'm pretty new to soundbars and really don't know where to start. I'm only using a DVD/Blueray and cablebox in this setup. That said I have 2 HDMI panels hidden, 1 behind the TV and one behind the black shelfs. I'm looking to spend <$1K, so any advice or expertise you have would be greatly appreciated.

TV is a Samsung 46" Thin-line



-Jay
The new Sony HT-CT770 would work perfect here.
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post #892 of 895 Old 07-14-2014, 01:53 PM
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The new Sony HT-CT770 would work perfect here.

Nice, gonna swing by Best Buy tonight to hear it! Do you own this system? Do you know if the sub packs a punch, or just enough to give some dynamics in sound?

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post #893 of 895 Old 07-14-2014, 01:55 PM
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Nice, gonna swing by Best Buy tonight to hear it! Do you own this system? Do you know if the sub packs a punch, or just enough to give some dynamics in sound?
I do, and the sub does indeed pack a bunch, so much that I had to turn it down a little bit!
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post #894 of 895 Old 07-14-2014, 02:05 PM
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I do, and the sub does indeed pack a bunch, so much that I had to turn it down a little bit!
Thanks much for the quick feedback. This really helps a lot!

-Jay

Jay Norris
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post #895 of 895 Old 07-16-2014, 02:34 PM
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Looking at some cheaper sound bars around $100 as I recently got a $65 prepaid amex card as a gift. I'm looking between the

Vizio 38" S3820w-C0 which is $89.99 at costco Here

Philips 2.1 with wireless sub $99.99 at target HTL2160/F7 here

Any other options for around that price? I have 10% cash back at tiger direct too but they mainly have refurbished ones it seems like
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