Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 34 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #991 of 1012 Old 12-26-2014, 01:35 PM
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Hello all.
Firstly iv spent a good few hours sifting through this and various other threads and found a tonne of helpful stuff.
First of all being bose is ludicrously over priced and out classed by others for less money as I have to admit I got dragged into the marketing hype and was considering the lifestyle 135.
I have a budget sound bar I paid 230 for.
I'm looking to make a substantial upgrade in the audio department within next couple months.
The polk surroundbar 9500 is looking quite appealing.
I have a budget of of upto ?2000. Is this polk system about the best you can get sound bar wise? 5.1 and 7.1 really aren't a viable option for me due to size and a young boy I'd rather not have him playing with them.
I want the best possible immersive experience possible. Big stinking bass and a system that will rattle the house. Now I know the best way is to go 5.1 theatre system but I can't. How close can I get to good with sound bar and sub woofer? ?

Many thanks in advance.
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post #992 of 1012 Old 12-27-2014, 03:07 PM
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Looking for a soundbar for my parents TV.

50" Panasonic TC-P50UT50 plasma TV that sits on a stand inside a built-in that was basically made for a large rear project TV. Due to the built-in, the sound from the TV bounces around inside and doesn't project out very well.

Only thing hooked up to this TV is a cable STB via HDMI and a DVD/VCR combo via RCA cables. They also use Netflix streaming via the smart TV features. Doubt they will get a Blu-ray player.

I want to make this as simple as possible because turning on the cable box and the TV is sometimes already confusing to them. Currently it's setup so they use the cable remote to hit CBL + power, then TV + power. Occasionally one or the other won't turn on and they don't know what happened. I should probably look into setting it up so 1 button turns on everything.

Do most soundbars with HDMI pass-through enable the on screen volume display? While not a huge feature, I think this would be best for them since they are used to seeing this. Another thing I'm concerned about is if this will add another step of turning the soundbar or if I can just leave it on all the time.

For Netflix I'm guessing I can go optical out of the TV into the soundbar and that should take care of that correct? HDMI (if the soundbar has it) from the cable STB.

Any recommendations?
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post #993 of 1012 Old 12-28-2014, 03:52 PM
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I am an audiophile and a long time head-fi.org addict on a college student's budget. I am going to be picking up a Vizio M422i as a belated Christmas gift to myself and need a very inexpensive soundbar. I was hoping to get around the $100 mark but still get something with a discrete sub. I am considering the VIZIO S3821w-C0. Anyone have any other thoughts on different soundbars?
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post #994 of 1012 Old 12-31-2014, 10:17 AM
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please help me

I've long wanted a soundbar, but now I need one (because I'd like to get a Popcorn Hour A-410U [I'm in the US], but my TV can't handle Dolby and the A-410U won't downmix Dolby [to PCM]).

So I need a soundbar with at least one HDMI input, or I'm thinking perhaps multiple so it can act as an HDMI switcher. I don't plan to use the soundbar for music, only for the audio of TV and films.

My other primary component is a Comcast DVR (DCH3416) which has optical and coax digital audio outputs, and an HDMI output.

My viewing position is (in bed):
6.5 feet from my 40" TV
7 inches from the (relatively bare) rear wall (the bed is up against)
3 feet from the (relatively bare) left wall (the bed is up against)
6.5 feet from the (relatively cluttered) right wall
5.3 feet below a popcorn ceiling

I plan to mount it on the dresser the TV is atop; the soundbar could be as wide at 56 inches and fit in the space.

I hope to avoid a subwoofer since making room for it wouldn't be easy.

Last year I was lusting after a MartinLogan Motion Vision Soundbar, but I see it has no HDMI inputs or output, so I guess it isn't an option. And I see it no longer tops one The Best Soundbar list anyway; unfortunately the one that does (Paradigm SHIFT Series Soundscape) also has no HDMI inputs or output.

I'm ready to spend this kind of money to get the best SQ; on my very tight budget I'll be using it for many years. If I thought I could afford a new TV any year soon I'd consider a budget soundbar to solve my current TV's Dolby downmix need, but I'm afraid this 2008 TV will be it for many years.

Last edited by coyote2; 01-01-2015 at 02:23 PM.
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post #995 of 1012 Old 01-05-2015, 12:21 PM
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I'm currently using an old Logitech Z5500 as my living room system. I'm a complete novice and really have no clue what caliber soundbar the Z5500 would compete with. I'd like to downsize from the 5.1 to a soundbar and subwoofer while getting equal or better sound quality for something like < $1000. I could go a little higher if there are special features that are offered like with the Sonos Playbar. Any opinions are welcome.
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post #996 of 1012 Old 01-05-2015, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post
Sold out online, but they still have these in stock at many stores. A great deal if you are looking for

-Clean, natural sound
-Nicely weighted vocals
-Room filling REAL bass-not wall shaking, but impressive for the footprint
-Excellent low to moderate volume performer (sorry Vizio)
-Very good at moderately high volumes
-Programmable power & volume, so no pesky HDMI issues to deal with
-Generous inputs-2 optical-1 coaxial-1 analog
-Bluetooth that sounds great
Thanks for the suggestion! I ended up going with a LG NB3530A that I got for $99!
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post #997 of 1012 Old 01-07-2015, 05:55 AM
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Hello everyone,

After having bought a 32" sony W6 television for my study/relax room, i decided to go for a soundbar/plate in order to beef up its sound when watching movies. (by connecting my laptop to TV with HDMI) Unfortunately, there is no space for a receiver with separate speakers so i realize i have to do some concessions regarding sound quality. My budget is approx. 300 Euros (I live in the Netherlands)

What I'm looking for:
-It should fit on my desk (75cm*150cm surface)
-It should be compatible with my Sony 32W655B in terms of connections and aesthetics
-Below 300 euros
-Decent sound quality with clear mids (for vocals) and (if applicable) a well integrated SEPERATE subwoofer which does not cover the mid regions (a crossover at 100hz would be ideal)
-Preferably with HDMI and Dolby + DTS support.
-Bluetooth and other wireless options are not required.

After having read tons of reviews, I ended up with the LG soundplate LAP440 and the Philips HTL5140. Both include separate subwoofers which I considered as necessary (correct me if i'm wrong) for getting decent bass when watching movies. Besides, they have HDMI and support most formats including DD and DTS.

At first, I focused my search fully towards soundbases/plates/stands(and so on) since they require less space on my desk and look better design-wise. That's also the reason why I selected the LG. Their products just look amazing when it comes to soundstands. The sound quality of the LAP440 is equal to the one of the LAB540 (which in addition has a Bluray player built in) which means it is received pretty good (though not outstanding) by various review websites. Its main problem is the mediocre integration of the subwoofer.

Then i started looking at soundbars as well since it seems they offer a lot more value for their price relative to soundbases. Whathifi and TrustedReviews are very positive about the Philips but apart from them, no other reviews can be found. I like the fact that it has a big 8" subwoofer which theoretically should be able to handle the lower regions quite well.

Which of the 2 is the better option? The philips which seems to offer excellent sound quality but could cause problems with the placement on my desk or the LG which doesn't have the problem of the Philips but is probably worse in terms of sound quality?

I can get the Philips for 240 euros minus 50 euros cash back which makes it 190 euros
The LG can be had for 290 euros.

I am of course open to other alternatives as long as they fit my requirements.
Thanks for helping me out.
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post #998 of 1012 Unread 01-08-2015, 04:47 PM
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Hello all. Hoping to get some input for a choice between the Vizio s5430W and the Pinnacle QP 9W. This is for a small-ish apartment space, but would like to retain some possible flexibility for future upgrades. Current budget is less than $200.

1. The Vizio s5430w seems to be universally lauded, even above its price bracket. Is it possible, at a later date, to obtain the wireless sub and surround set from the s5451w, and pair it with the s5430w?

2. Aside from Amazon, reviews for the Pinnacle QP 9W are severely lacking. Of the reviews on Amazon, all are glowing, except for two, which complain of "muddy sound". Does anyone here have a refined opinion of the QP 9W? Reviews of Pinnacle as a brand seem to be very mixed, but I have no personal experience with their products whatsoever.

3. I have a Yamaha RX-V367BL that would be paired with Pinnacle, along with an old Sony sub, which I believe is 10". Could the Vizio be used as a center channel with an AVR if needed later, even though it is not designed to be passive?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts and time.
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post #999 of 1012 Unread 01-10-2015, 10:51 AM
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Looking for soundbar suggestions to use with a Panasonic Plasma TV.
  • TC-P65VT60
  • roughly a 20' x 20' area
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post #1000 of 1012 Unread 01-13-2015, 11:52 PM
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Does anyone have any suggestion for a sound bar regarding my post? Thanks.
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post #1001 of 1012 Unread 01-18-2015, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote2 View Post
I've long wanted a soundbar, but now I need one (because I'd like to get a Popcorn Hour A-410U [I'm in the US], but my TV can't handle Dolby and the A-410U won't downmix Dolby [to PCM]).

So I need a soundbar with at least one HDMI input, or I'm thinking perhaps multiple so it can act as an HDMI switcher. I don't plan to use the soundbar for music, only for the audio of TV and films.

My other primary component is a Comcast DVR (DCH3416) which has optical and coax digital audio outputs, and an HDMI output.

My viewing position is (in bed):
6.5 feet from my 40" TV
7 inches from the (relatively bare) rear wall (the bed is up against)
3 feet from the (relatively bare) left wall (the bed is up against)
6.5 feet from the (relatively cluttered) right wall
5.3 feet below a popcorn ceiling

I plan to mount it on the dresser the TV is atop; the soundbar could be as wide at 56 inches and fit in the space.

I hope to avoid a subwoofer since making room for it wouldn't be easy.

Last year I was lusting after a MartinLogan Motion Vision Soundbar, but I see it has no HDMI inputs or output, so I guess it isn't an option. And I see it no longer tops one The Best Soundbar list anyway; unfortunately the one that does (Paradigm SHIFT Series Soundscape) also has no HDMI inputs or output.

I'm ready to spend this kind of money to get the best SQ; on my very tight budget I'll be using it for many years. If I thought I could afford a new TV any year soon I'd consider a budget soundbar to solve my current TV's Dolby downmix need, but I'm afraid this 2008 TV will be it for many years.
Any suggestion please? (Bump.) I see once upon a time this thread was wonderfully helpful, alas perhaps it's time has come and it's now where "help me choose a soundbar" requests go to die.
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post #1002 of 1012 Unread 01-18-2015, 01:30 PM
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So many are looking for the "perfect" soundbar. Ther are usually compromises to every situation, so hard to recommend. Best bet is to demo in the store for yourself if possible.

I bought the Vizio 54" 3.0 model & for me it sucks, even with all the great reviews I had read. On Vizios site they advertise deep bass for this unit. It is a joke compared to either of the less expensive Yamahas I have when it comes to deep bass & quality sound.

Caveat Emptor
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post #1003 of 1012 Unread 01-19-2015, 10:54 AM
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I currently have an Artison Studio 55 that is giving me fits.

Originally purchased from Crutchfield, who is going to send me a replacement, but they are currently backordered.

The reason I loved the Artison is because it comes with a custom speaker grill to match whatever TV you use (I have a Samsung UN65HU8550)

While I wait for a replacement, is there any other sound bar in the same price range ($2,000+) that I should also look at that offers the same or better sound quality? I prefer passive LCR.

Thanks!
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post #1004 of 1012 Unread 01-21-2015, 11:33 AM
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Best sound bar/woofer for under 200ish?


Would prefer a subwoofer to be either internal or wireless if at all possible.


Thanks in advance

Mike Clough #24
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post #1005 of 1012 Unread 01-22-2015, 10:42 AM
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Hello all,
In-laws are looking to buy a soundbar and asked for my help. They are making the basement into a family room for the grandkids. It's an odd set-up as the left wall will probably be about 5 feet away, but the right wall will be 20 ft away, except about 15 ft back, then the room is norrow (15 ft wide)

The budget is around $500, they plan to have a cable box, blu-ray player and Roku hooked up

Are there any active soundbars with multiple HDMI connections (or optical/digital) at this price point? It is my understanding that if hooking up HDMI to the TV, then sending an opticle cable to soundbar, it will only be in stereo (or has that changed in the last few years?)

Any help would be appreciated!
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post #1006 of 1012 Unread 02-08-2015, 12:32 PM
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Soundbar Recommendations

Long time reader. First time poster. Please be kind.

Looking for a quality audio soundbar for the bedroom. 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 7.1 with and AVR is not an option due to space and existing wiring constraints so just looking for the best soundbar to meet my wants. Any recommendations would greatly help.

Wants - Not too deep. Quality sound. Ideally no sub, but if a sub ideally 5" in one dimension so it can go behind a door or under some furniture. 3.0 or 3.1 with discreet LCR sound. Not interested in 5.1 or 7.1 created by bouncing around. HDMI Input and output as the tv doesn't pass more than 2 channel information by coax or optical.

A few brands I have considered and the issues:

B&W Panorama2 - Too deep at 7.25"
Paradigm Soundscape - No HDMI.

Those two mixed together would be bang on for me. Add HDMI to the paradigm or make the b&w less deep.

Monitor ASB2 - Too deep.

Definitive Technologies W Studio - Great Size. Has HDMI. Sub too big.

Focal Dimension - only one HDMI IN. Could fix that with a switcher. Anyone know if the flat sub option is wired only?

Arcam Solo - Sub too big.

Yamaha 4300 - too deep. Don't love the gimmick of surround sound.


Any other brands out there anyone can recommend? Any of the brands above have a different flatter sub option? The Arcam or DT would be great with a sub I could hide.
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post #1007 of 1012 Unread 02-08-2015, 01:16 PM
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Has anyone heard about new 2015 soundbar models coming out?
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post #1008 of 1012 Unread 02-12-2015, 01:43 AM
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Question JBL SB400 or Harman Kardon SB26

Hello everyone,

first of all, I'm from Germany, so pls. excuse my bad English

I want to buy a soundbar and have already read a lot of tests and reviews. On my spotlist is now the JBL SB400 and Hardman Kardon SB26. Have heard the SB400 in an electronic market already. Sounds quite good for my ears. Unfortunately none of the shops near by me has the HK SB26 in stock, so I was not able to hear it live.

I know from the SB400 thread, that many of you have swapped the SB400 against the SB26 because of the "poops". What do you think, how is the sound of the SB26 compared to the SB400? Better? What about the deep bass? Normally I would say the SB26 should be better, because it has a 10'' woofer and the SB400 only an 8''?

What is your suggestion: Buying the JBL or the Harman Kardon?

Thanks and kind regards
Jens
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post #1009 of 1012 Unread 02-18-2015, 03:51 AM
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I have been toying with the idea of getting a slight upgrade from my Samsung's UN32F5000 built-in speakers. The soundbar would be bought online because they are insanely expensive where I live (less than a year ago, an LG NB4530A went for a bit over $500). As such, space is an issue as shipping would quickly become a hurdle, and so the idea of a soundbar with an integrated subfoower became intriguing. After some searching, I found the following models:

VIZIO S2920w-C0

Yamaha YAS-93

Panasonic SCHTB70

I was wondering if you knew any of these and could tell me which one would sound best (or least bad) and be a worthwhile improvement over my TV's speakers. If a soundbar with an integrated subwoofer is just not not a sensible option, then I'd like to ask for recommendations on the smallest option with a good price/performance ratio (be it a soundbar or speakers).
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post #1010 of 1012 Unread 02-24-2015, 11:21 AM
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Any of the three are a good buy

Any of the three are a good buy at present. Check out the following reviews for each of them

VIZIO S2920w-C0 Review

Yamaha YAS-93 Review

Panasonic SCHTB70 Review


Prices online are ranging from $115 to $145 so its a good time to buy any of them
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post #1011 of 1012 Unread Yesterday, 05:29 PM
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which soundbar to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by turnaround View Post
"which soundbar should i buy?"

"help me choose a soundbar!"

with the moderators' approval, this thread is for posts on these types of questions.

Please post your requests for soundbar recommendations in this thread instead of starting a new thread.
zvox 670!
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post #1012 of 1012 Unread Today, 08:58 PM
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Sound Bar Volume

My bedroom TV the sound is sounding a little weird with reverb once in a while. I'm thinking of getting a sound bar hoping this will bypass the hdmi to the tv and the sound there. I'm trying to keep it simple so I don't want a bunch of remotes. I have Directv dvr and I use that for volume and channel changing. I would like to still use one remote for TV power on, Directv channel, and Volume. Is this possible?
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