Need help chosing a soundbar for around $220 to $300 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 10-02-2012, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I've done a bit of research but I figured I would ask the people here. It seems like my best bets are
Vizio VHT215 - $260
Haier SBEV40-Slim - 240
Sony HTCT550W - $280
Samsung HW-E450 - $235

Does anyone know what provides the best bang for the buck? I'm pairing it with a 70'' sharp lcd tv that has optical digital output.

Thanks!

Edit: To give more details.
The room is a large spacious room with huge ceilings. The TV is in a corner projecting out. I don't want clutter and the tv is on a stand so that is why I'm going sound bar. I want to improve on the TV speakers but surround sound would be cool.
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post #2 of 2 Old 10-04-2012, 06:35 AM
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TBH, you pay for what you get in sound/audio. For what you're describing "large spacious room with high ceilings" NONE of those systems will work. I've listened to all the low level sound bar/woofers out there (including all the ones you named) and they all suck - and I was only standing like 4-6ft away as opposed to 12-15 ft away where you might be sitting. The problem with sound bars is they will NEVER mimic a true 5.1 or 7.1 system since everything is tightly packed in a bar. The lack of separation of distance will eliminate any surround you might be thinking of in real term physicality. Sure, they claim surround this and that but ultimately that is determined by how they test their systems which is almost always in a perfect sound chamber with perfect geometric shaped room. In real life, that doesnt exist with furniture and everything else distorting sound and causing sound waves to bounce 1000 directions. Quality of sound and surround is also determined by the construction of your room as to materials of the walls and floors. Unless you live in a large recording studio, sound waves will absorb in the floors and walls cancelling out the "bounce" and surround effect. If you have poor quality sound absorbent materials then reflected surround will be less and may even sound hollow and flat like old wooden rooms. Majority of sound bars sound muffled often with too heavy base and too low treble, worse dialogue audio. Also, low level sound bars dont really convert the tv audio coming out; rather they are just amplifiers of the already hollow sound coming from the tv hdmi arc out or digi optical out. What you want is a system that takes the tv audio signal and convert it to the intended pseudo 5.1 or 7.1 like effect. Unfortunately you dont get those models unless you're willing to pay for it. The only low level model that converts to something passable is the samsung hw-e550 sound bar w/wireless subwoofer in my observations. You would be better off going to a 2.1, 3.1 system or you might not like to hear it - a 5.1 system. *shock* LOL. There are many models these days that lessen the crap (wiring) with everything going to the sub or plain slim receiver. You should check those out. My fav sound bar right now is the BoseĀ® CineMateĀ® 1 SR Digital Home Theater Speaker System. Downside, it costs $1.5k. Is it worth it? Prolly not... but then we always say that about anything we buy when dollars come from our own pocket.

BOSE cinemate SR 1 sound bar/sub woofer
http://www.amazon.com/CineMate%C2%AE-Digital-Theater-Speaker-System/dp/B005OB1TU0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349357626&sr=8-1&keywords=bose+cinemate+sr+1
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