I'm hoping you guys can help me. I've been researching soundbars for my apartment and despite there being several strong contenders for my needs, each also seems to have its drawbacks.
I'm looking for a soundbar that will do a good job for AV (with at least passable surround), but also be the principle music playing device in the lounge.
For AV usage, it will be working with a 2014 Samsung F8500 Plasma, but the most frequent media source will be Smart TV itself (Amazon Video / Netflix) or the Spectrum cable box rather than Blu-Rays. I don't have any 4K equipment and no desire for it at this time, and no desire for SONOS.
For Audio, decent music quality and multiroom (ideally Airplay is key). I listen to R&B and classical.
Budget is $800-1200 US
Because brands tend to talk best to like brands, I started with the Samsung k950
. It gets rave reviews for immersive sound and power, and, since patched, the impact of the rear speakers even on non-Atmos soundtracks. It would also connect best with the TV and Blu-ray player (also samsung). However, Samsung's multiroom audio isn't great and its not compatible with Airplay, which is annoying. Its also pricey.
The most connectable option is the Yamaha YSP-2700
which supports every standard and has plenty of connections. Its a little bit cheaper than the Samsung and people love the audio quality, but there is no way to connect it to rear speakers, which feels limiting ultimately.
A more cost-conscious option is the Sony NT-5
, which has far fewer speakers (its 2.1) than the competition, but is half the price out of the box AND can be upgraded to include rear speakers in the future (bringing the price up closer to parity) if I want 5.1. The downside to the NT5 is it won't work as seamlessly with the Samsung kit (apparently needing its own remote a lot) and it only works with Airplay through Sony's own app.
I'm driving myself around in circles with this decision. Sometimes I'm all in for the K950, but the lack of airplay is annoying and reviews say it either sounds incredible or poor, depending on the source. The Yamaha seems like a nice compromise, but much more limited in terms of ability to go to full surround. The Sony could be a nice compromise but frustrating as I don't have a Sony TV.