Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 32 - AVS Forum
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post #931 of 939 Old 10-12-2014, 11:12 AM
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To soundbar or not to soundbar?

I recently moved out of my large 2br apartment out in the suburbs to my girlfriends tiny 550sq 1br apartment downtown. While I was able to bring my TV stand and 60" Vizio TV, I don't have any room for my old 5.0 setup. (Ascend Acoustics 340 towers for LCR and 170 bookshelves for surrounds).

Space is so tight that I don't see any option to even keep my old bookshelves for front LR speakers since they won't fit on my TV stand and there is really no room for speaker stands to the side. Thus I think a soundbar is the way to go!

So I have a few questions:
1) I read there are now some 'passive' soundbars that would require me to continue using my external amp (a Denon 789 AVR). What is the point of these? Is the performance significantly better than soundbars with integrated amplifiers?
2) Is there any reason to stick to a soundbar that is the same brand as my TV (Vizio) or do they all play together nicely?
3) My budget is pretty flexible, what should I look for in say the $500 range?

I also see that many soundbars come with a subwoofer and even surround speakers. I would be 50/50 on using the sub but it would be doubtful I would use any of the satellite speakers. Oh how I miss the days of having a house in the country...
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post #932 of 939 Old 10-12-2014, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post
I recently moved out of my large 2br apartment out in the suburbs to my girlfriends tiny 550sq 1br apartment downtown. While I was able to bring my TV stand and 60" Vizio TV, I don't have any room for my old 5.0 setup. (Ascend Acoustics 340 towers for LCR and 170 bookshelves for surrounds).

Space is so tight that I don't see any option to even keep my old bookshelves for front LR speakers since they won't fit on my TV stand and there is really no room for speaker stands to the side. Thus I think a soundbar is the way to go!

So I have a few questions:
1) I read there are now some 'passive' soundbars that would require me to continue using my external amp (a Denon 789 AVR). What is the point of these? Is the performance significantly better than soundbars with integrated amplifiers?
2) Is there any reason to stick to a soundbar that is the same brand as my TV (Vizio) or do they all play together nicely?
3) My budget is pretty flexible, what should I look for in say the $500 range?

I also see that many soundbars come with a subwoofer and even surround speakers. I would be 50/50 on using the sub but it would be doubtful I would use any of the satellite speakers. Oh how I miss the days of having a house in the country...
I would suggest the Harman Kardon SB 26, a really great sound bar! I live in a condo and it is perfect.
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post #933 of 939 Old 10-14-2014, 05:16 AM
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Think I've narrowed it down to these two soundbases.

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-dvd-...12978-pdt.html
or

http://uk.maxell.eu/en/products/maxe...b-250-570.aspx

Both products are price competitive, however I can get the Logik model at half it's listed price on that site.

This will straight out from a television either over RCA or 3.5mm jack.
Clarity and volume is more important than bass to me, though I cannot determine between the two which will be more likely to achieve that.

Thoughts?
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post #934 of 939 Old 10-14-2014, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxette Rose View Post
Think I've narrowed it down to these two soundbases.

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-dvd-...12978-pdt.html
or

http://uk.maxell.eu/en/products/maxe...b-250-570.aspx

Both products are price competitive, however I can get the Logik model at half it's listed price on that site.

This will straight out from a television either over RCA or 3.5mm jack.
Clarity and volume is more important than bass to me, though I cannot determine between the two which will be more likely to achieve that.

Thoughts?
Those links are for a UK site, and from what I can tell the Maxell's are not widely known in the USA. Neither is Logik. Not sure what TV you're hooking-up to, but in this age of a/v streaming quickly growing the lack of the bluetooth feature is a deal breaker for me. Also, all the connections on the Maxell are analog, with no digital options. Not good either in my books. Maybe you don't require these things/features now, but when purchasing any A/V gear, I always try to do at least a little bit of future-proofing to avoid total obsolescence.
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post #935 of 939 Old 10-15-2014, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cajieboy View Post
Those links are for a UK site, and from what I can tell the Maxell's are not widely known in the USA. Neither is Logik. Not sure what TV you're hooking-up to, but in this age of a/v streaming quickly growing the lack of the bluetooth feature is a deal breaker for me. Also, all the connections on the Maxell are analog, with no digital options. Not good either in my books. Maybe you don't require these things/features now, but when purchasing any A/V gear, I always try to do at least a little bit of future-proofing to avoid total obsolescence.
Agreed. I will go with the Logik. My plan is to have the media streaming box running S/PDIF out to the RCAs on the sound bar, and then the television will use it's 3.5mm headphone out to the soundbar.
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post #936 of 939 Old 10-15-2014, 03:01 PM
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Smile Soundbar

Hello, I have a corner setup (please see attached image), with the TV angled towards the centre of the room. The TV stand sits parallel to the wall next to a fireplace.


Could someone please advise if a soundbar would be a good idea with this room setup, bearing in mind the soundbar won't be pointing in the same direction as the TV, i.e. it will sit straight on a stand and therefore be angled at approximately 20-35 degrees to the left pointing directly at the opposite wall.


Also, where would the best position be for the subwoofer placement?


Thank you in advance.
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post #937 of 939 Old 10-23-2014, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxette Rose View Post
Agreed. I will go with the Logik. My plan is to have the media streaming box running S/PDIF out to the RCAs on the sound bar, and then the television will use it's 3.5mm headphone out to the soundbar.
I went with the Logik. It is basic, has L/R RCA, optical, headphone and DAB. I'm using it in conjunction with a small media player box which has an AV and S/PDIF out. The S/PDIF is actually a 3.5mm jack that you plug in a mix cable, which has RCAs on the other end. I have it set to running 2.1, with some upmixing via my device. It does fairly well, noticeably better than the television speakers. There's several EQ presets which sound like they should.

I don't believe it offers any DTS, DT or AC3 type decoding.

For what is roughly $40, I think it was worth it.
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post #938 of 939 Old 10-24-2014, 06:05 PM
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I haven't been able to find an answer in this thread after pouring through it for one of the original questions. Is there a soundbar made that is passive? I have an extra AVR in the cabinet below my flat panel and I would like to use it with a sound bar. I also have an extra subwoofer so this setup is ideal. Are there any passive sound bars offered today? Also, if passive is not available, what very small speakers are out there that are as small as the Gallo's but not in the same price class? I only need this for clarity of the spoken word as I am old and my flat panel speakers are not good and it's hard to hear the diction.

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post #939 of 939 Old 10-27-2014, 07:13 PM
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I am not very experienced with these things so let me know if I need to post elsewhere. I have a 12' x 12' bedroom and don't want an expensive soundbar to go with my Samsung 39 inch.

The only thing I want is good bass, the speakers in my TV have none at all, and I don't need a sub-woofer. I'd like to stay under 90.

I looked at a bunch online, but for some reason no reviews said it. Just that the sound was either good or bad, nothing about bass.
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