Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 39 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1141 of 1428 Old 01-11-2016, 11:51 AM
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Consider just getting some computer speakers or some other small set of speakers if you want to go cheap but still get better sound than what is built into the TV.
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post #1142 of 1428 Old 01-11-2016, 08:05 PM
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Ahhh, there it is... That good ole' "advice from a forum - elitist - go big or go home" attitude... What's so difficult about getting a reasonable response for a reasonable question? If you're not going to offer real advice, why bother responding at all?

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Originally Posted by 49Merc View Post
Go to Walmart and buy the cheapest soundbar in stock. I guarantee you will achieve your goal of having non-quality sound.
I specifically wrote, and listed sound-bases (sound decks) as the options I am considering. And the insinuation of my goal being "non-quality sound" further exemplifies the lack of maturity with which the "advice" is approached... Specifying that the goal is not "quality" is NOT the same thing as saying that the goal IS "non-quality".

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Originally Posted by ToonMasterTim View Post
Consider just getting some computer speakers or some other small set of speakers if you want to go cheap but still get better sound than what is built into the TV.
Here again, what small set of powered speakers (computer or otherwise) would meet the criteria I have set...?? sound-base, and blue tooth support?

This type of elitist attitude is why I even felt that it was necessary to mention that "quality" was not the goal... I figured that might have been a given since I set the spending limit at $100.

So, I suppose that both of you own mansions located in the Hamptons??? No? Well, you might as well just live in a cardboard box then, right? What's that... can't afford the $40,000, twenty-five person, hot tub with a Bose Sound system, mini-bar and grille?? Well... you might as well just fart in the bathtub!! Because anything less is just not even worth it... There is a purpose, and bang-for-buck value in owning things that aren't always "top of the line"... but are still better than stock, and are available at a good price, and suit their purpose well.

So let's try this again, shall we? Don't worry, I'll explain my questions as I go...

I'm looking for a low cost Sound "Deck"/"Base" option to upgrade the sound on my TV in my bedroom...
1. I am not 12 years old... my "bedroom" is but one room of my HOUSE. The one I use mostly for sleeping, but occasionally watch TV as I am going to bed. Doesn't exactly justify a need for "theater-quality" sound. Especially since I watch most TV on my 55" in the living room, paired with my 5.1 Surround Stereo Amplifier.
2. The TV in the bedroom is a Westinghouse... another low cost option which does it's job quite well for viewing TV in bed, however, for the times I want to stay up a little longer and watch TV, the loudness required to hear it well is paired with a muddy tone, distortion, and vibrations.
3. As I have established already, I own a house... and since that's just a tiny step up from a cardboard box (I know, not up to the "mansion status" you all must have), but we also chose to buy decent matching furniture sets as well... which means we don't want computer speakers, or some other random speakers sitting on our dresser next to the TV and making our room look like that of an adolescent. This means that I am looking for an option with nice aesthetics for the bed room.
4. I also want the functionality of a remote so I can control the volume from bed, along with Blue Tooth capability. This leave Soundbars or Soundbases.
5. I don't want a sound "bar" because it will obstruct the remote receiver for the TV... this leaves sound bases as the optimal option.

Suggesting that there are no low cost options to suit this need, and still provide better audio quality... is suggestive of a mentality of a 12 year old with no actual experience in making decision or engaging in conversation... from somebody who has been spoiled their entire lives, or has a ridiculous level of expectation (the ones who get one DOA item and decide that means they should give a 1-star review and NEVER buy that brand ever again). I have owned and still do own many products of all kinds which are not the best-of-the-best, but offer a great level of bang-for-buck with an acceptable level of quality in regards to the purpose that item serves. Given my experience with many different products in this price/quality range, I am certain there is an option out that which meets my needs, within the budget I have set.

I am asking for advice from another individual who might understand that concept, and may have some direct experience with some of these products who might offer some productive information regarding quality and functionality of such items.

To summarize... I'm looking for an aesthetically attractive option to replace the sound of my cheap TV speakers on my cheap Westinghouse 40" TV which is located in my bedroom. A Sound Bar would block the remote function on the TV, so I have determined a Sound Base would be best, and I have a budget of $100. Must look attractive, support Blue Tooth, RCA, 3.5mm Aux, and Optical inputs...and sound quality must be at least twice as good as the Westinghouse TV speakers. The bar is not set very high for this particular requirement, the speakers sound as though they just grabbed two of those cheap speakers from those old 1980's stereo alarm clocks with the plastic housing that "mimicked" wood trim... twice the sound quality should be VERY easy to attain at the price range I've set.

Any actual help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

FYI, for those of you who were offended by my post... that means that you fit into one of those categories for which qualified as less than "reasonable". For those of you who understand my point... thank you for being socially functioning adults.
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post #1143 of 1428 Old 01-11-2016, 08:40 PM
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I regret offending you. The honest best advice I can give you regarding a low cost sound base is for you to goggle soundbase. I did and found a variety of soundbases at reasonable prices on "Shop Goggle". Best of luck to you.
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post #1144 of 1428 Old 01-12-2016, 02:35 AM
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I wasn't trying to disregard your questions or be 'elitist' because I am far from it. At $100, I don't know what your choices are. I suggested the computer speakers because I only read part of your post, focusing on a cheap option to get you better than TV speaker quality sound. If you want bluetooth and other features, you're best bet is to look online at Amazon and even retail stores. Read the reviews. Another alternative is to buy used. If you can find a good price on a used sound bar or base station on Craigslist, a pawn shop, or elsewhere, you can get a good used system. I saw a Bose sound base at my local pawn shop this past weekend.
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post #1145 of 1428 Old 01-12-2016, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToonMasterTim View Post
I wasn't trying to disregard your questions or be 'elitist' because I am far from it. At $100, I don't know what your choices are. I suggested the computer speakers because I only read part of your post, focusing on a cheap option to get you better than TV speaker quality sound. If you want bluetooth and other features, you're best bet is to look online at Amazon and even retail stores. Read the reviews. Another alternative is to buy used. If you can find a good price on a used sound bar or base station on Craigslist, a pawn shop, or elsewhere, you can get a good used system. I saw a Bose sound base at my local pawn shop this past weekend.
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Originally Posted by 49Merc View Post
I regret offending you. The honest best advice I can give you regarding a low cost sound base is for you to goggle soundbase. I did and found a variety of soundbases at reasonable prices on "Shop Goggle". Best of luck to you.
Thank You.

Let me apologize for anything that may have seemed like "lashing out"... It's just that no matter what forum I have ever gone to for either advise, or direct experience in regards to low-cost options for that particular topic, the responses are always dismissive.

I've already checked my area for used stuff, nothing in-the-budget so far. I don't usually give much credit to user reviews because they are skewed by people giving bad for reviews for DOA items (which happens in bulk manufacturing), and people who bought the first one they saw and are amazed with the item... In either case, pending no other better options show up between now and next month, I'll be trying the RCA RTS796B first, and I'll report back here with my observations.

Thanks again.
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post #1146 of 1428 Old 01-12-2016, 09:28 AM
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So... back to requests...

I recently purchased a UN50JU7100 for the cave. The built in 20w speakers are the weak point, so I'd like a simple soundbar solution to help. I dont have the TV mounted (dont plan on it for the space TBH) and just need something reasonable but decent quality, preferably with optical input (so I can run everything to the TV and the TV to the bar).

I primarily use the man-cave TV for Xbox One/PS4, and 4K streaming for TV/Movies. I like the wireless 2.1 options of many sound bars (so no wires running to the back, just powered from the sub) unless that will cause massive wifi or other device interference.

Here's one in my general desired price range, but I'm not sure about quality/functionality.

(See next post - cannot post a link until 5 posts apparently)

Any recommendations?

Thanks.
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post #1147 of 1428 Old 01-12-2016, 09:29 AM
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Here is the soundbar I found with the basic features/price I would like, but I'm not sure about quality:

http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-SB3851-C...ords=sound+bar
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post #1148 of 1428 Old 01-12-2016, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJamaX View Post
We have a 2013 model Westinghouse 40" TV in our bedroom and I am looking around for a SoundBase but not willing to pay more than $100.

Our bedroom is about the size of a small living room, comfortably fits a King Bed and a Love Seat. Typical sound problem on the cheap TV, cheap speakers are too quite, and when you turn the sound up loud enough to hear everything, there tends to be a lot of distortion. I suspect that ANY soundbase is going to be better than the speakers in this TV, but I figured I would ask to see if anybody has had any experience with these already.

I am NOT looking for "quality" sound... The purpose is merely to hear the TV volume more clearly and without the distortion, and we want the BlueTooth feature to play music from our phones. Yes, I know that the cheap sound bases will also have distortion at louder volumes, but if the volume of one of these is even twice as loud overall, then the listening volume for us to watch TV in bed "should" have much less distortion... is my thinking correct? (thin weather stripping around the base might even reduce it further, i would think)

In any case, these are the options I am considering, all of which are available under $100. Does anybody have any direct experience with any of these? Or any other suggestions?

Vizio S2121w-D0 2.1
RCA RTS796B 2.1
Maxell SSB-3WB 2.1
SHARPER IMAGE / Southern Telecom SBT2015BK 2.1
Follow this link to Best Buy Open Box. These are usually pretty good deals and a lot of the time you can negotiate with the manager on the pricing a little.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpa...ition~Open-Box
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post #1149 of 1428 Old 01-12-2016, 10:59 AM
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You could also look at Amazon Warehouse Deals for open box there as well. eBay is also an option to get the most bang for your buck.
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post #1150 of 1428 Old 01-14-2016, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T3R3X View Post
Here is the soundbar I found with the basic features/price I would like, but I'm not sure about quality:

http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-SB3851-C...ords=sound+bar
I have the 40" version, which has a metal enclosure instead of cloth, and the caps on the sub, bar and rears are metal, not plastic like they are on the 38" version. There is a difference in the speakers, but it's not much, from what I remember. The 40" version does have HDMI-ARC support, although it is flakey. I suggest getting the 38" from a retailer that has a generous return policy, like Walmart, then return it if it doesn't meet your needs.
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post #1151 of 1428 Old 01-15-2016, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToonMasterTim View Post
I have the 40" version, which has a metal enclosure instead of cloth, and the caps on the sub, bar and rears are metal, not plastic like they are on the 38" version. There is a difference in the speakers, but it's not much, from what I remember. The 40" version does have HDMI-ARC support, although it is flakey. I suggest getting the 38" from a retailer that has a generous return policy, like Walmart, then return it if it doesn't meet your needs.
Thanks for your input... I'll also look into the 40" version. I'm still learning a bit about the ARC support, though I'll probably just run optical from my TV to the soundbar if that will work just as well.
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post #1152 of 1428 Old 01-19-2016, 10:38 AM
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Quick backstory. Just moved into a house that will not provide an easy way to have surround speakers behind the couch (weird room shape). Looking into ceiling mount. I previously used 5 TSAT-2000 speakers with the Pioneer VSX-1020 and a SUB that broke in the move.

I have a receiver I like and would like to keep using it for the organisation of the devices, since there are 6, as well as existing Harmony integration. I could use 3 of the speakers and keep the front middle left configuration, but if a sound bar could do that my wife would be much happier with the aesthetics.

So in keeping with having a nice full sound while using the receiver, can a soundbar be integrated?

Are there options that will allow the receiver to manage the DTS and Dolby stuff but output the needed channels from one space?




and if my my most recent comment was seen before I deleted it...again, I'm sorry.
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post #1153 of 1428 Old 01-19-2016, 08:49 PM
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Are you wanting to replace all speakers and AVR with a high quality soundbar and sub?

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post #1154 of 1428 Old 01-20-2016, 06:28 AM
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I would like to keep the AVR. It has been our music player, as it connects to my media server pretty well. I also need 6 HDMI inputs so that is a big factor. Replacing all the speakers would be the best option, since I can't easily place back speakers. They would have to be ceiling mount. My goal is to have the sound bar provide a 5.1 environment.
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post #1155 of 1428 Old 01-22-2016, 08:26 PM
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VIZIO SB3821-C6 or Samsung J450?

I am looking to get a soundbar for the living room mostly to put on the wall to play music, and watch movies with good (by my standards ) sound but not take up much room.

I'm down to these 2 soundbars, VIZIO SB3821-C6 or Samsung J450. One thing I'm conerned about is the amount of sound they can put out, which I'm not sure how to compare b/c vizio lists power in db, while everyone else uses watts. Is there a good way to compare the 2 metrics? It's 100 dB output vs 300 watts. I went to a couple stores, but none had both soundbars & both working, so I'm looking stuck with these 2 numbers I don't know how to compare.

If it helps, I have a pretty open living room, which is attached to the dining room, and has 2 large entrances into our kitchen, so I don't have a small space, but at the same time, my house is 1300 sq feet, so it's def. not big either.
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post #1156 of 1428 Old 01-27-2016, 04:58 PM
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Question Sound bar/sound base for 32 inch bedroom TV

I would like to improve the sound andespecially the voice clarity of my 32 inch Sharp LCD in the bedroom. Dynamic range control is also highlydesirable (I have a Onkyo TX-NR609 receiver with a good 6.1 speaker system inmy living room for more serious listening).


The top of the TV stand is 32” by17” so I want something 32” wide or less. The base of the TV is 20” by 17” so that would be the minimum size for asound base. I want at least one opticalinput for the TV. HDMI inputs and/or multipledigital audio in would be a plus. I amlooking for a decent 2.0 or 2.1 sound system.


It appears from the specs andreviews that the Sony HT-XT1 would be a good choice but I would prefer not tospend that much ($250 to $300) for bedroom audio.
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post #1157 of 1428 Old 01-30-2016, 06:16 PM
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Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread

So I have $1500 to spend on a soundbar/sub. Room doesn't allow for a 5.1 (completely finished, don't want wires running all over). I want to be able to play audio via Bluetooth (iPhone), and I for $1500 I know I should get a pretty good quality set up. I've pondered the sonos and sonos sub ($1400+ tax via Best Buy). Looked at Bose 3-2-1.

What's better than those for the price? Don't want a receiver (Bose head unit would be the most I'd be ok with)

Note: will be used for tv/movie watching, and music occasionally. Have another dedicated theatre set up already in the house

Last edited by toofast_28; 01-30-2016 at 06:27 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #1158 of 1428 Old 01-30-2016, 11:18 PM
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I have a klipsch reference series ii 7.1 setup in the living room, which is our main watching area. Our bedroom has a Sony ht 150 sound bar, and my parents have my OLD Onkyo HTIB setup as just a 2.1. That onkyo receiver just went out, so I'm looking to replace my bedroom Sony bar with something better, and give the sony to my parents. Looking for hdmi inputs, under 200 dollars if I can, and minimalistic really.. Just hoping for it to be an upgrade from the Sony. Still not sure if soundbar is the best choice or maybe an HTIB. Thanks for the help!
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post #1159 of 1428 Old 02-01-2016, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49Merc View Post
Are you wanting to replace all speakers and AVR with a high quality soundbar and sub?
I am kinda looking at using a sound bar with the AVR and getting rid of the speakers.
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post #1160 of 1428 Old 02-01-2016, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast_28 View Post
So I have $1500 to spend on a soundbar/sub. Room doesn't allow for a 5.1 (completely finished, don't want wires running all over).

What's better than those for the price? Don't want a receiver (Bose head unit would be the most I'd be ok with)

Note: will be used for tv/movie watching, and music occasionally. Have another dedicated theatre set up already in the house
What's better than Bose for the $1500...ALOT. You should demo these higher-end soundbars yourself because everyone's ears are a bit different as well as subjective. But for build quality, more expensive & better speakers used in production, special features, etc. I'd advise looking at Home & Theater mag's top soundbars. Ditto for Sound & Vision, Hi-Fi and anyone else that has put these soundbars through some rigorous testing.

I just noticed that Sony has shown a nice line of soundbars at 2016 CES. Looks interesting but no independent testing has been done.
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post #1161 of 1428 Old 02-01-2016, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Ed View Post
I ended up purchasing a Polk Magnifi. It is thin enough not to block the screen and fits between the front portion of the stand and the television. I move it slightly to the left so the remote still works.

The Magnifi turns on and off with the JS8500 and the tv remote controls the volume. Sound is nice.
I completely forgot about this thread ... Anyway, I finally purchased a sound bar yesterday and guess what I got? You guessed it - Polk Magnifi for $350 from BB. What a crazy coincidence.

So you've had your bar for 2 months now - how do you like it?
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post #1162 of 1428 Old 02-03-2016, 07:14 PM
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Hi all! I have a new-to-me Samsung LN-T5281FX/XAA in our living room. It is a decent TV with OK sound... except when watching movies over the DirecTV box or off the Blu-ray player. These are the only things connected to the TV, btw. When watching movies, the voice/dialogue is muted and the music/sound effects are way too loud. This obviously causes a problem. Either the volume has to be way up to hear the dialogue and then you get blasted out when an action scene or loud music/noise comes on, or the volume is at a normal level and you can't hear a dang thing anyone is saying! I was told a simple soundbar or soundbar w/wireless sub can fix this. If not, please let me know!
I do have a limited amount of space also.

I have been looking at
Yamaha YAS-105
Samsung HW-J550
Polk Audio Magni-Fi
Klipsch Reference R-4B

Obviously there is a bit of a price difference here, but my main concern is clear dialogue, low profile, ease of use with my TV and overall sound quality. I definitely do not want to spend more than the Klipsch though.

Any advice or opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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post #1163 of 1428 Old 02-03-2016, 07:44 PM
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The Polk has a volume for voices only, if that's what you want to focus on. I'm going with the YAS-105 and a Dayton1000 10" sub. Best bang for the buck, can get the 105 on Amazon warehouse deals for $155.
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post #1164 of 1428 Old 02-03-2016, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast_28 View Post
The Polk has a volume for voices only, if that's what you want to focus on. I'm going with the YAS-105 and a Dayton1000 10" sub. Best bang for the buck, can get the 105 on Amazon warehouse deals for $155.
Are you going to utilize the "built-in subwoofers" on the Yamaha? Will it help with the dialogue/voices as good as the Polk?
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post #1165 of 1428 Old 02-04-2016, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovreagr View Post
Are you going to utilize the "built-in subwoofers" on the Yamaha? Will it help with the dialogue/voices as good as the Polk?

I'm adding a sub with the Yamaha, I'm depending on the Yamaha to provide voices clearly (reviews are good that it does, haven't received mine yet). And I'll adjust the added sub to my listening preference. I highly doubt any sub they can squeeze Ito a tiny soundbar will suffice, I like some rumble in movies and such.

If I were highly concerned about voices, I would have bought the Polk because of the voice adjustment. I've listened to the Polk in person, that feature works very well. The Yamaha (from reviews) appears to be a great all encompassing solution if you add a sub. No complaints about voices anyways. I have not had the opportunity to hear the Yamaha though. Has great reviews but closest place that stocks it is 3 hours away. Best Buy has the Polk on display in my area. I suggest going and listening to both if you can.

Another reason I'm going Yamaha is that I haven't found/heard a bar/sub combo that I feel the sub meets my desires (in my price range). The 105 and adding a sub allows for the best possibility of achieving great sound and good bass at a reasonable price ($300ish).

If you want louder/clearer voices I don't see how you can go wrong with the Polk with the voice specific adjustment. The Polk sub I found somewhat lacking though (it's small, 7 or 8" and low powered). The Polk also has a sub volume adjustment on the bar just like the voice volume.
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Also I'm doing the Dayton Sub-1000L which will fit under an end table or possibly couch (it's 6" tall). It's a 10" sub, I know because of the box design I'll give up anything below about 38hz, but the space savings is a great trade off. Click image for larger version

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post #1167 of 1428 Old 02-04-2016, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovreagr View Post
Are you going to utilize the "built-in subwoofers" on the Yamaha? Will it help with the dialogue/voices as good as the Polk?

Checked the Yamaha website, it has a "clear voice" function on the remote. So for the price, why not try the 105 and add a sub later if you want more bass.
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post #1168 of 1428 Old 02-04-2016, 05:41 PM
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Thanks toofast_28. I am going to give the Yamaha YAS-105 a try. Hopefully it does the trick!
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post #1169 of 1428 Old 02-05-2016, 08:38 AM
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sound bar 300 or less for bedroom

Hey guys, my last post kinda got skipped and lost so Ima try again. I need soundbar (Or HTIB?) with as many HDMI inputs as possible. I want it for a bedroom , where we only watch occasionally. Living room already has a nice Klipsch reference II 5.1 setup so I am not inclined to spend a lot on the bedroom. Currently bedroom has Sony HT150 soundbar, costed about 200 bucks and its been good for about 3 years. Still good, just need to give it to my parents.
So to recap:
  1. Better than Sony Ht 150
  2. Preferrably no more than 300 bucks
  3. At least 3 hdmi inputs
Thank you very much for your help
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post #1170 of 1428 Old 02-05-2016, 08:55 AM
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Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkleafar View Post
Hey guys, my last post kinda got skipped and lost so Ima try again. I need soundbar (Or HTIB?) with as many HDMI inputs as possible. I want it for a bedroom , where we only watch occasionally. Living room already has a nice Klipsch reference II 5.1 setup so I am not inclined to spend a lot on the bedroom. Currently bedroom has Sony HT150 soundbar, costed about 200 bucks and its been good for about 3 years. Still good, just need to give it to my parents.

So to recap:
  1. Better than Sony Ht 150
  2. Preferrably no more than 300 bucks
  3. At least 3 hdmi inputs

Thank you very much for your help

Why 3 hdmi ports? It's easier to run all the hdmi into the TV then optical out to the soundbar. Plus, from my research soundbars aren't going to process the hdmi video and have an out back to the TV. That's what a receiver is for (which you don't need for a vast majority of soundbars)

Also do you want a bar and sub? Or just a bar?

Last edited by toofast_28; 02-05-2016 at 08:56 AM. Reason: omission
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