Official "help me choose a soundbar" thread - Page 43 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1261 of 1338 Old 09-29-2016, 02:12 PM
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Hi guys glad I found this thread. Looking at the Samsung k550 or k650 currently. I wanted to know if anyone had any feedback on these two models?

Thanks in advance!

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post #1262 of 1338 Old 10-03-2016, 01:30 AM
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Hoping to get recommendations on a soundbar for my kitchen. Not looking for top of the line, but the best I can get for $100 to $200. For about $150 I'm considering another Klipsch Pro Media, I have one for my PC and it's pretty good. But a soundbar would fit better in the kitchen, and the Klipsch Pro Media 2 doesn't have a remote control. Remote control is not a deal breaker but I would prefer it.
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post #1263 of 1338 Old 10-03-2016, 02:12 AM
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Just thought I'd chime in. I went for the Q-Acoustics Media 4 and it's fantastic. So much better than the Yamaha YS-105 and easily rivals my proper amp + speakers setup.
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post #1264 of 1338 Old 10-08-2016, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enverex View Post
Just thought I'd chime in. I went for the Q-Acoustics Media 4 and it's fantastic. So much better than the Yamaha YS-105 and easily rivals my proper amp + speakers setup.
Love to hear a bit more about it. Does the Media 4 do surround? If so, how does it compare to the YS-105 in that respect?

2016 LG 55" C6 OLED
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post #1265 of 1338 Old 10-08-2016, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadmonkey View Post
Love to hear a bit more about it. Does the Media 4 do surround? If so, how does it compare to the YS-105 in that respect?
It's very barebones to be honest, basic remote and basic features. It doesn't have surround or anything like that - all the focus is on raw sound quality. Surround on the YS-105 was terrible though, just like all fake surrounds I've heard so I wouldn't advise trying to use that anyway.
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post #1266 of 1338 Old 10-16-2016, 07:44 PM
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Looking for a quality soundbar with rear speakers and subwoofer(hopefully subwoofer is wireless and rear speakers plug into it like the Vizio). I was looking at the Samsung HW-K950 but was drawn away from it because it only supports Atmos and not DTS-MA etc, if I was going to spend THAT much on a soundbar setup, it better support all high end codecs.... I don't have a particular price range, anywhere from $350-1500, but if we're going high end it needs to do it all. I also looked at the VIZIO SB4051 but I see lots of reviews of it being finicky, losing connection etc...

As you can see i'm shopping $350 Vizio's and $1500 Samsung's.

Suggestions?
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post #1267 of 1338 Old 10-16-2016, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromix View Post
Looking for a quality soundbar with rear speakers and subwoofer(hopefully subwoofer is wireless and rear speakers plug into it like the Vizio). I was looking at the Samsung HW-K950 but was drawn away from it because it only supports Atmos and not DTS-MA etc, if I was going to spend THAT much on a soundbar setup, it better support all high end codecs.... I don't have a particular price range, anywhere from $350-1500, but if we're going high end it needs to do it all. I also looked at the VIZIO SB4051 but I see lots of reviews of it being finicky, losing connection etc...

As you can see i'm shopping $350 Vizio's and $1500 Samsung's.

Suggestions?
Consider the new Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar along with the Acoustimass 300 Bass Module plus 300 Surround Speakers.

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/...300_pkg_st_300

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post #1268 of 1338 Old 10-17-2016, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49Merc View Post
Consider the new Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar along with the Acoustimass 300 Bass Module plus 300 Surround Speakers.

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/...300_pkg_st_300
Definitely on the top end of my budget but looks pretty good. Anything else comparable to this without the Bose markup? Considering.....
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post #1269 of 1338 Old 10-17-2016, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromix View Post
Definitely on the top end of my budget but looks pretty good. Anything else comparable to this without the Bose markup? Considering.....
Bose prices will be the same at all stores. Did you consider Sonos?
http://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop

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post #1270 of 1338 Old 10-20-2016, 04:48 PM
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Flexible Soundbar for Open Greatroom Area?

Looking for a great sounding soundbar with wireless sub for my wife's living room to replace the current 3.1 setup consisting of an older Denon AVR, small DefTech Left, Center, and Right channel speakers and wired Velodyne sub.


Price range: $300-$800?


The room is pretty large and open to entry way, dining room, and kitchen.


My wife rearranges the living room furniture at least 2x / year. I need something that is uncomplicated, flexible in sub placement, and physically robust.


The TV / stereo stand is often not placed flat against a wall. Sometimes it's in a corner, and sometimes it's sticking out into the room from a side wall. I understand that this is far from ideal for sound, but I have given up trying to win that battle. I just need to find something that sounds decent without relying on reflecting sound off side walls.


Bluetooth would be nice, but isn't absolutely needed.


Nice to have: HDMI, remote controllable sub volume, wireless surround speakers


Thanks in advance for any assistance given.


Kevin
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post #1271 of 1338 Old 10-21-2016, 08:13 PM
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Looking for a quality soundbar like the Sonos Playbar or Bose Soundtouch300.

MUST HAVES:
  • Multiple HDMI Input 2-3 is enough (Soundtouch300 only has 1 HDMI Input!)
  • Passthrough 4K Video to TV
  • Support DTS and DD 5.1
  • Have Wireless Subwoofer/Rear Speaker optional

Does such a beast exist?
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post #1272 of 1338 Old 10-23-2016, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromix View Post
  • Multiple HDMI Input 2-3 is enough (Soundtouch300 only has 1 HDMI Input!)
  • Passthrough 4K Video to TV
  • Support DTS and DD 5.1
  • Have Wireless Subwoofer/Rear Speaker optional
Would you be OK with using something like Monoprice's Blackbird 4k Pro 5x1 HDMI Switch to work around the Soundtouch 300's 1 HDMI port limitation (I take it that your tv doesn't have a satisfactory number of inputs)?

I've recently downsized from a full 5.1 setup with an AV receiver to this Bose soundbar. I really like the sound of it, the fact that it does 4k passthrough and the wireless additional components. Integration with streaming music services was a cool bonus, too!

If not then I think Vizio's new range of SmartCast Soundbar's meets all your requirements (although the rear speakers are wired to the wireless sub), I don't think they sound that great either, they certainly don't sound bad. I felt that the Bose (especially when paired with it's sub and rears) wins on this front though.
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post #1273 of 1338 Old 10-23-2016, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squarewings View Post
(I take it that your tv doesn't have a satisfactory number of inputs)?
Mostly that my TV (Panasonic Plasma) cannot passthrough any multi channel audio through HDMI ARC nor Optical.

So I need stuff to go through the soundbar first and passthrough the TV.

Will a switch like that mono price switch work well and switch efficiently in the real world paired with a Harmony Remote?

I read a lot of negative reviews on the Vizio, like rear speakers are one channel, audio drop outs unless on PCM, etc.... Or I would have pulled the trigger on that one already.

Bose: I like it. very expensive for the bar/sub/rears, and a bit concerned that at this price point it can't decode DD+ and DTS:MA, what's up with that? If I'm going to invest that kind of cash into Bose, I want a bit of future proofing like DD+/DTS:MA and 4K HDR Passthrough.

Feature wise I LOVE the Yamaha YSP-2700, but I can't add Rears In my 3-walled living room , rears are a must.

Thoughts?
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post #1274 of 1338 Old 10-24-2016, 11:10 AM
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what are some of the things/features/specs to look for in a soundbar these days? i looked into it a few years ago, but decided that i didnt really need it back then

re-considering it now, and honestly, i am lost.

what are some things to look for? my usage is pretty much cable & appleTV (netflix, HBOGO, streaming via AirPlay). i currently have a pretty old (by today's standards) TV, but considering something 4k/SUHD in the near future.

i've heard good things about the Sonos bar, as a simple solution, without any switching/passthru, etc... optical in and done.
What about something more complex? which are the codecs i should look for, what about passthru, etc? if someone has recommendations in the $500-1000 range, or a good resource for me to check out for info, much appreciated
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post #1275 of 1338 Old 10-26-2016, 10:01 AM
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Never mind...decision made

Quote:
Originally Posted by M.T.Nest View Post
Looking for a great sounding soundbar with wireless sub for my wife's living room to replace the current 3.1 setup consisting of an older Denon AVR, small DefTech Left, Center, and Right channel speakers and wired Velodyne sub.

Price range: $300-$800?

The room is pretty large and open to entry way, dining room, and kitchen.

My wife rearranges the living room furniture at least 2x / year. I need something that is uncomplicated, flexible in sub placement, and physically robust.

The TV / stereo stand is often not placed flat against a wall. Sometimes it's in a corner, and sometimes it's sticking out into the room from a side wall. I understand that this is far from ideal for sound, but I have given up trying to win that battle. I just need to find something that sounds decent without relying on reflecting sound off side walls.


Bluetooth would be nice, but isn't absolutely needed.


Nice to have: HDMI, remote controllable sub volume, wireless surround speakers


Thanks in advance for any assistance given.


Kevin
I ended up with a Yamaha ATS-1060, which seems to be the warehouse club version of the YAS-106

The unit has HDMI and optical in and a subwoofer out jack. This was a major selling point for me, as I have several subs at home not being used.

So far it sounds good connected to a Velodyne sub I bought at a garage sale a while back. The sub had cosmetic damage, so they practically gave it away.

I'm hoping for even better results once I have time to play with the crossover and volume settings on the sub. I may decide to swap in a smaller DefTech sub and add a wireless sub kit in order to achieve higher WAF. After hearing it, I think the Velodyne sub needs to move to the home theater to augment the single sub there.

Thanks,
Kevin

Last edited by M.T.Nest; 11-01-2016 at 01:07 PM. Reason: Purchased a soundbar
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post #1276 of 1338 Old 10-26-2016, 12:27 PM
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Looking for a 3.1 or 5.1 Soundbar/Speaker setup with least # of wires.

I got no reciever or such so it should be able to plug into KS8005.

Dont want muddy bass.
Good mids and no hissing highs.

Budget max 500.

Is there such a thing?


Its for movies/tv series primarily.


If no such thing exists, then I may look into Yamaha NS-F51 or Yamaha NS-555 or similar towers and get a receiver, maybe.
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post #1277 of 1338 Old 10-26-2016, 07:46 PM
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Consider Phillips Soundbar with wireless detachable Surround speakers.
It provides real surround sound.
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post #1278 of 1338 Old 11-01-2016, 12:09 PM
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Trying to decide between Vizio SB3851-d0 and Vizio S4251wB4. I think the 42 is a little bit of an older model and obviously the soundbar is slightly larger. Looking for input to decide between the 2. Thanks.
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post #1279 of 1338 Old 11-03-2016, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kromix View Post
Mostly that my TV (Panasonic Plasma) cannot passthrough any multi channel audio through HDMI ARC nor Optical.

So I need stuff to go through the soundbar first and passthrough the TV.

Will a switch like that mono price switch work well and switch efficiently in the real world paired with a Harmony Remote?

I read a lot of negative reviews on the Vizio, like rear speakers are one channel, audio drop outs unless on PCM, etc.... Or I would have pulled the trigger on that one already.

Bose: I like it. very expensive for the bar/sub/rears, and a bit concerned that at this price point it can't decode DD+ and DTS:MA, what's up with that? If I'm going to invest that kind of cash into Bose, I want a bit of future proofing like DD+/DTS:MA and 4K HDR Passthrough.

Feature wise I LOVE the Yamaha YSP-2700, but I can't add Rears In my 3-walled living room , rears are a must.

Thoughts?
You sound like you are on a very similar quest to me. I have a slightly older bare-bones Samsung TV without ARC and which will only pass DD as 5.1 through optical. So like you I need HDMI IN/OUTs so I can place the soundbar in the middle of the chain. I also really want rear satellites because I think the 'all in one surround' is BS and never sounds right. Also looking for DTS support etc.

What I will tell you is to stay far FAR away from the Vizios, they are nothing but hot garbage and frustration. I was initially really excited by their features and price point and I thought it would be the ideal setup for me. What a nightmare. The stupid thing cuts out (both audio and video) sporadically for 5 secs at a time. You might watch a whole 1 hour TV show and it works perfectly, then the next episode you put on it does it 10 times. Basically they might as well have never put HDMI ports on it because they don't work properly. Oh and Vizio support was completely useless, first this joker tried to tell me that PCs send a different HDMI than other devices and that was my problem I even humored him and plugged my PS4 directly into it. Guess what? Same deal.

Anyway, let me know what you find, I'm looking at the Denon, Yamahas and Samsungs right now...the Bose is just a waste of money IMO, you might as well order some gold plated Monster Cables with it if you're going to that route.

TV: 46 in Sony Bravia XBR4
RECEIVER: Denon 4200W
FRONT: Paradigm Studio Reference 80
REAR: Paradigm ADP-150 Dipoles
CENTER: Paradigm CC-300
SUB: Paradigm PDR-12
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post #1280 of 1338 Old 11-03-2016, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu7x7 View Post
You sound like you are on a very similar quest to me. I have a slightly older bare-bones Samsung TV without ARC and which will only pass DD as 5.1 through optical. So like you I need HDMI IN/OUTs so I can place the soundbar in the middle of the chain. I also really want rear satellites because I think the 'all in one surround' is BS and never sounds right. Also looking for DTS support etc.

What I will tell you is to stay far FAR away from the Vizios, they are nothing but hot garbage and frustration. I was initially really excited by their features and price point and I thought it would be the ideal setup for me. What a nightmare. The stupid thing cuts out (both audio and video) sporadically for 5 secs at a time. You might watch a whole 1 hour TV show and it works perfectly, then the next episode you put on it does it 10 times. Basically they might as well have never put HDMI ports on it because they don't work properly. Oh and Vizio support was completely useless, first this joker tried to tell me that PCs send a different HDMI than other devices and that was my problem I even humored him and plugged my PS4 directly into it. Guess what? Same deal.

Anyway, let me know what you find, I'm looking at the Denon, Yamahas and Samsungs right now...the Bose is just a waste of money IMO, you might as well order some gold plated Monster Cables with it if you're going to that route.
My issue with the Yamaha's = no rear speakers or they would be perfect.

Why are you even looking @ them if you have the same rear satellite requirement?
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post #1281 of 1338 Old 11-05-2016, 02:57 PM
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All, looking for soundbar advise. Currently have a sharp sb602 and I am pretty happy with it, plus it is about as wide as my 65" TV so it looks proportionate. I am only looking for a soundbar and wireless sub, no other rears. I have an OLED65E6P so need something that plays nice with it. Second, my TV and soundbar will be recessed into the wall (front of both sit flush with the wall) so I need a soundbar no more than about 3.5" deep. I looked at the Bose Soundtouch 300 but the speaker is too deep and will not sit flush with the front of the wall. The Sonos will fit flush with the wall and it and it's matching sub is top of the list. What else should I be considering? I only use it for TV and movies.
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post #1282 of 1338 Old 11-09-2016, 08:54 AM
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Needs:
1) Seamless functionality from rf TV remote
2016 LG Magic RF remote, HDMI ARC or tv has a IR blaster. Ideally with an onscreen volume #. I'm thinking ARC connection
2) Fast bootup
My problem with my old 5.1 system was time-to-sound-on. Made whole system too 'heavy' for everyday tv watching.
2) Needs to look good. Black box or generally good aesthetics.
A decent size enclosure is fine. klipsch and ML are too ugly.
3) I have toddlers, so no buttons or hard to reach buttons
4) It won't be mounted, it will be on a 36" long cabinet. Cannot exceed 36"
5) Dialog clarity what I'm looking soundwise

Nice to haves:
1) Night mode so we don't wake the kids
2) Airplay
3) Prefer a sub. I already have a wired sub if there is a sub out.

Don't need:
1) Surround
2) High overall volume or room shaking experience .
3) HDMI switching


Budget:
Under $1100 new MSRP.

Other equipment:
LG OLED TV
Apple TV
Amazon TV
Sony BR player
Harmony Remote (being phased out)

Room:
12x12 viewing area, but the room is larger than that. 8' ceiling.
Sideways U shaped room with opening to the side. TV on west tall, opening on the North , seating on the South and East walls.

I'm thinking a Yamaha 106 or ysp-1600w/ the sub, Sonos playbar, or the LG units.

Last edited by jfranci3; 11-09-2016 at 08:58 AM.
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post #1283 of 1338 Old 11-20-2016, 01:47 AM
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Need help picking a soundbar

Here's my current setup:

SOURCES
1. DirecTV STB
2. Xbox One S
3. HTPC

MONITOR
1. Samsung UN65HU9000 with the SEK-3500 One Connect Box (allows the TV to display 10-bit HDR content)

AUDIO
1. Vizio S4251w-B4 soundbar

All three sources are connected to the OCB through HDMI. The OCB is connected to the soundbar via optical cable.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the TV isn't passing through audio from the sources correctly. In my TV settings, I can choose between PCM and DTS Neo 2.5.

I use my Xbox One S to play 4k Blu-Ray content, and in my Xbox audio settings, I have to choose "Bitstream" and DTS for my sound.

For reasons that deeply upset me (has to do with the design of my living room), I am unable to fit a true home theater receiver and run speakers, so I am forced to use a soundbar. I bought the Vizio model I have a few years back because it at least has actual rear speakers and should be able to produce 5.1 sound.

So my question is, given what is possible with current soundbars, and being totally 100% willing to upgrade my soundbar, what is the best way to get high-quality audio from my sources?

I presume that getting a soundbar like Sony or Yamaha's high end that has 4k passthrough and switching is probably the right way, but unfortunately none of them have rear speakers and rely on "virtual" surround sound, which is also probably a no-go in my open concept living room with no side walls to bounce audio off of.

Even with the updated OCB, I am not sure that the TV can send audio out on SPDIF in anything other than either a compressed format or 2.0 PCM. And I'm not aware of a soundbar that will make either of those sound as good as a direct connection.

What's the best option for me?
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post #1284 of 1338 Old 11-20-2016, 05:05 PM
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SOURCES
1. Xfinity STB
2. Nvidia Shield
3. Xbox One / PS4

MONITOR
1. Samsung UN65KS8000 with One Connect Box

AUDIO
1. Stock

I'm looking to spend 300-400 ish for a soundbar that pairs nicely with the tv. I am open to almost any suggestions, but ideally want wifi support, and hdmi.

Thanks!
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post #1285 of 1338 Old 11-21-2016, 07:15 PM
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hey guys, about to pick up a 65" b6p and thinking about a new sound bar to go with it. I currently have a htct500 which I really like, but it would be nice to have a wireless sub and 4k support. I think I've narrowed it down to three: the sony htct790, lg sh7b or the polk magnifi. I'm leaning towards the sony based on my previous experience, but am hesitant because I'd be dropping from 3.1 and 400w to 2.1 and 330w. I'm more concerned with the drop to 2.1, is that a rational fear as we watch a lot of dialogue heavy TV? the lg steps it up to 4.1 and 360, but doesn't have 4k passthrough. it would be nice to have google cast built in, which the polk doesn't, but I could easily add a chromecast audio.

thoughts? is it even worth upgrading? thanks!
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post #1286 of 1338 Old 11-21-2016, 07:50 PM
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Just decided to keep my 42" Panasonic Plasma for another year or two. One of the challenges I have with this TV is the fact that my wife always wants to keep the audio so low. It's not the TVs fault, but we have a newborn and any loud/action scenes usually overwhelm the vocals. So I'll turn up the audio so that I can hear the vocals in a quiet scene and a few moments later I'm regretting it.

Anyway, this is likely more the fault of the content...but either way I find myself looking for an inexpensive solution. An amp and speaker components are just not in the cards, but I keep thinking a decent soundbar might help get me some separation. I was thinking 5.1 would fix things, but realistically I'm guessing most of the TV programs we stream on Hulu or even live TV streamed through our TWC App.

My budget is something $350 or under. Am I wasting my time or is there a soundbar in this budget that would improve my situation?

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post #1287 of 1338 Old 11-23-2016, 12:27 PM
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Soundbar with wireless headphone support

I've only begun searching, but my preliminary searches have yielded nothing substantial yet.

Is there a soundbar that will allow connection of wireless headphones as well? Something in bluetooth would be awesome, especially if it could parallel the output to multiple bluetooth headphones at the same time.

I'd like something for the TV in the living room that the kids use most often to watch their shows and play video games. If I'm tired of hearing them play their games, I'd like to have them just put on headphones. I'd like to keep the cost way down, maybe $300 or so, but will look at more expensive.

The other option I was looking at it getting the PC/Gaming headphone systems, but buying those in multiple pairs can get pretty pricey pretty quick-like.
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post #1288 of 1338 Old 11-25-2016, 07:37 AM
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Just saw that Bluesound just released a Soundbar and Subwoofer.

Looks interesting. I am a fan of Bluesound in general so i am kinda excited for this addition. Especially if I could use the sub with any other Bluesound player or speaker.

Any thoughts?
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post #1289 of 1338 Old 11-26-2016, 11:37 AM
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What is the cheapest solo soundbar with a wired, traditional subwoofer output and HDMI ARC that will work with the television remote instead of needing another controller
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post #1290 of 1338 Old 11-26-2016, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadams2484 View Post
What is the cheapest solo soundbar with a wired, traditional subwoofer output and HDMI ARC that will work with the television remote instead of needing another controller
I don't know if it's the cheapest, but the Warehouse Club version of the Yamaha YAS-106, which is called ATS-1060, is $40 off at Costco at the moment. I bought one three weeks ago at regular price, and am very satisfied with it. You can use it with or without an additional sub. The TV I am using this with doesn't support ARC, unfortunately, but the soundbar does have that feature.

Good luck
Kevin
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