You might want to wait for these Soundbars - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-10-2013, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Both Philips and Vizio are coming out with new soundbars which offer true 5.1 surround, with either detachable or discrete wireless rear speakers.

The Philips looks interesting out of the box as it doesn't use frequencies which often suffer from Wifi or other electronic interference. The detachable Philips surrounds recharge when plugged into the main unit. According to the CNET review the Philips has both HDMI and optical, and the projected price is ostensibly around $800.

http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-speaker-systems/philips-fidelio-soundbar-htl9100/4505-7868_7-35566995.html

http://www.gizbot.com/gadgets/ces2013-philips-soundbar-detachable-speakers-009857.html

http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/07/vizios-2013-sound-bars/
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-11-2013, 06:41 AM
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When does the Vizio hit the market?

Would like to return my Vizio vht215, while I still can get my money back.
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post #3 of 37 Old 01-11-2013, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tersec View Post

When does the Vizio hit the market?

Would like to return my Vizio vht215, while I still can get my money back.

The Vizio will not have HDMI inputs/switching so that's a show-stopper for me.
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-11-2013, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's a CNET piece...thet gave the mid-range soundbar a "Best of" rating:

http://reviews.cnet.com/home-entertainment/vizio-s4251w-b4/4505-6449_7-35560754.html

Apparently it has Bluetooth, optical, analog and minijack connections.

I'm more interested in the 54 inch, about which less is known. I agree that HDMI would be nice, and who knows if the bigger variant will have it or not.

The advantage to the Vizios is the low price point. I wonder about the rears, and the recharging scheme.

The Philips looks interesting and more innovative in design, and it does have 2 HDMI ports.

At any rate these new soundbars really advance the genre...giving real surround, affordably.
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-11-2013, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post


The Philips looks interesting and more innovative in design, and it does have 2 HDMI ports.

For the Philips, it seems odd to have to take your surround speakers and plug them into the soundbar to recharge them. I'd rather leave them in place and plug them into a wall-wart.
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-11-2013, 10:09 AM
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According to HomeTheaterReview the Vizio 54" will feature HDMI but they also mention that the rear surrounds are wired which I got from everything else I've seen that they're wireless.
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post #7 of 37 Old 01-11-2013, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by crawdad62 View Post

According to HomeTheaterReview the Vizio 54" will feature HDMI but they also mention that the rear surrounds are wired which I got from everything else I've seen that they're wireless.

I was hoping and sort of anticipating that the 54" would have HDMI. As you say, everything else I've read, including CNET, suggests wireless surrounds. It wouldn't make much sense for them to be wired.

It's great that soundbars are evolving. I always liked the idea behind the Vizio VHT 510, with its rear speakers. Why mess around with surround emulation or beaming (which is dependent on acoustics) when you can have the real thing.

Hooray!
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post #8 of 37 Old 01-12-2013, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

It's great that soundbars are evolving. I always liked the idea behind the Vizio VHT 510, with its rear speakers. Why mess around with surround emulation or beaming (which is dependent on acoustics) when you can have the real thing.

Hooray!

Good point. I have the Yamaha 2200 which depends on bouncing off the side walls, which requires that you have side walls to bounce off of. I only have one of the two, and as I've thought about it, a lot of folks will have that problem. Your room has to have an entrance doorway, and you're probably not going to arrange the room so the entrance is where the TV is. So you have a 2 out of 3 chance that the doorway is on one of the side walls. (Unless your home theater room is a Kiva, and even the Hopis don't use Kivas for home theater.) So most folks will have a problem with soundbars that use side-wall reflection, which most soundbars do.

I miss surround sound so I'm about to switch to a Yamaha 401 and add the surround speakers. Weneversleep and Frostylou say the 2200 is in a different league than the 401, and I expect that to be true, although not the way they mean it.

Ted
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post #9 of 37 Old 01-12-2013, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Good point. I have the Yamaha 2200 which depends on bouncing off the side walls, which requires that you have side walls to bounce off of. I only have one of the two, and as I've thought about it, a lot of folks will have that problem...
...I miss surround sound so I'm about to switch to a Yamaha 401 and add the surround speakers. Weneversleep and Frostylou say the 2200 is in a different league than the 401, and I expect that to be true, although not the way they mean it.

Ted

So the 401 has a surround speaker option? That's great.

Anyway, I'm pretty intrigued by these new soundbars. Much easier in my situation than receiver+speakers.

I like the Minx surround system, which is diminutive and stellar in sound, but you still have wires and the need for a receiver.

The older Vizio VHT 510 got very good reviews for sound quality..even for music, so I imagine these new models will be an advance on that. I have never heard Philips audio products, so we'll see. Personally, I'm not put off by the detachable surrounds, which last ten hours on a charge. I do wonder about the power situation with the Vizios, but trying to figure anything out on the basis of preliminary, sketchy details is a fool's game. I've had enough folly! cool.gif
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-13-2013, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

So the 401 has a surround speaker option? That's great.

It's closer to being a "true" receiver than the 2200 - discrete surround speaker outputs and an FM tuner. It's not a perfect solution though - it doesn't have a microphone and auto speaker volume setup, presumably because they don't expect lots of owners to add the surround speakers. But I have a SPL meter and plenty of HT audio setup disks - for me that's fun.

I find the 2200 merely "decent" for my room which lacks the left side wall the 2200 really needs. But also I find the sonic hole between the soundbar and sub, roughly from 130 Hz to 600 Hz, to be very evident when listening to music (although not much of an issue with movies). The frequency response curve below is from the Sound and Vision Magazine review of the 2200.

Since the 401 has larger speakers in the soundbar, I expect the 401 to not have that hole but to have less high frequency response. We'll see.

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01
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post #11 of 37 Old 01-13-2013, 08:36 AM
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Tkurkowski - you seem like you know your audio. Do you think there is a sub that can replace the stock sub and adequately close the sonic hole for the 2200?
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post #12 of 37 Old 01-13-2013, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Yow! That's a huge dropoff from what looks like 120hz to 700hz.
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post #13 of 37 Old 01-13-2013, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dapercy View Post

Tkurkowski - you seem like you know your audio.

I understand the physics but I'm not an expert on the available equipment.
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Originally Posted by dapercy View Post

Do you think there is a sub that can replace the stock sub and adequately close the sonic hole for the 2200?

You need a large diameter speaker to produce low bass, but those can't physically vibrate fast enough to produce the low mid-range. The sub for the 2200 is a 4" (10 cm.) and that should be able to go up to 600 Hz. The 2200's sub box has 2 of them, so theoretically you could have one for the low mid-range and the other do the bass. I think they didn't do that because the goal of the 2200 is movies not music.

I suppose you could try replacing the 2200's sub box with an external midrange and a sub. But you'd need a midrange speaker with a low-frequency limiter (high-pass filter) - dunno how common that is Subs come with a high-frequency limiter (low-pass filter), so that part could work. It seems to me though, that if it was easy Yamaha would have done it.
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post #14 of 37 Old 01-13-2013, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

Yow! That's a huge dropoff from what looks like 120hz to 700hz.

Sound and Vision Magazine said: Soundbar 600 Hz to 10 kHz ±2.7 dB; Subwoofer 41 to 128 Hz ±3 dB. That's where I got the numbers. And yes, that's a big hole for music, and very apparent (to me at least) when you play a CD.

Edit: We could get around all these issues with a normal HT receiver and 5+1 speakers. Multiple speakers doesn't work for me in my situation - no room for 3 separates up front - plus I must admit I'm finding this a challenge. But I am a techno-geek - I suppose I should find an AA group for geeks....
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post #15 of 37 Old 01-14-2013, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

Yow! That's a huge dropoff from what looks like 120hz to 700hz.

What's interesting is that the new 3300 and 4300 both have a couple of larger speakers like the 401, presumably to close that hole. Unfortunately they don't have outputs for surround speakers - you have to depend on the walls in the room.
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post #16 of 37 Old 01-14-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Separate surrounds just free you from the mysterious serendipity of room acoustics. Of course, the drivers themselves have to be good no matter what approach is used.

And its cool that the Vizio and the Philips will be affordable!
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post #17 of 37 Old 01-15-2013, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

Separate surrounds just free you from the mysterious serendipity of room acoustics.

Well the acoustics are fine for bouncing surround, if you have flat, bare drywall side walls. But add furniture or a window with draperies, or a doorway and things can deteriorate.
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post #18 of 37 Old 01-15-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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It's almost the same discussion as regarding omnidirectional and dipole speakers. In the right acoustical environment they can sound spectacular. But they, like beaming and reflecting soundbars, are room dependent. You are more in control of circumstances when you can free yourself from the oftentimes unpredictable nature of room acoustics.

If you are a sound designer, and a good interior decorator, I suppose you can make anything work. But I still think that soundbars with rear speakers are a real advance.
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post #19 of 37 Old 01-16-2013, 04:05 AM
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...If you are a sound designer, and a good interior decorator, I suppose you can make anything work. But I still think that soundbars with rear speakers are a real advance.

I think you and I are in vigorous agreement. My only hesitation is that the wireless surround speakers need to get power in a convenient way - I don't think most folks will want to carry them somewhere to recharge them.
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post #20 of 37 Old 01-16-2013, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I think you and I are in vigorous agreement. My only hesitation is that the wireless surround speakers need to get power in a convenient way - I don't think most folks will want to carry them somewhere to recharge them.

Well, we'll have to see what Vizio comes up with.

But the Philips approach is not off-putting to me. Basically, you use the emulated, faux surround when you're watching TV, but detach the speakers when you want to do serious movie watching. Not much more effort than a bathroom break, or getting up to get a beverage in the middle of a Pandora fight scene. wink.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #21 of 37 Old 01-19-2013, 03:42 AM
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Is there a battery indicator, what if half way through LOTR marathon and the surrounds goes out
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post #22 of 37 Old 01-19-2013, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there a battery indicator, what if half way through LOTR marathon and the surrounds goes out

Well, I guess the folks at Philips and their friends are unlikely to have the time or inclimation to watch over ten hours of films at one sitting! biggrin.gif

Every design has its shortcoming, and you've pointed out this design's.

But it's not as if the Philips leaves you without alternatives, as plugging the satellites back in for recharging turns on surround emulation, which may not be bad in this unit.

And you can alwats watch the weather channel for a bit as a break from LOTR. eek.gifwink.gif
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post #23 of 37 Old 02-23-2013, 08:06 AM
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Any updates on when the Vizio S4251w-B4 will be available? I am in the market for a sound bar system and was leaning toward the Samsung HW-e450 but then I stumbled across the new Vizio products..... eek.gif
The wireless rear satellite have really got me thinking, should I wait?
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post #24 of 37 Old 02-23-2013, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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No word on the Vizios or the Philips. These two designs promise to revolutionize soundbars. Affordable, very good quality surround sound with no fuss.

I'm waiting.
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post #25 of 37 Old 02-23-2013, 09:10 PM
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Maybe I'm wrong here but isn't the whole point in a soundbar to take away the complexity of a multi-speaker setup? For people that don't feel like having speakers all over the place? I can somewhat understand having the sub to give the the low frequency effects that the smaller speakers in the soundbar couldn't possibly produce...but once you start adding in rear speakers, aren't we right back at square one with a much more complex surround sound system?

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post #26 of 37 Old 02-23-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhpizza View Post

Maybe I'm wrong here but isn't the whole point in a soundbar to take away the complexity of a multi-speaker setup? For people that don't feel like having speakers all over the place? I can somewhat understand having the sub to give the the low frequency effects that the smaller speakers in the soundbar couldn't possibly produce...but once you start adding in rear speakers, aren't we right back at square one with a much more complex surround sound system?

I'm not holding out for one of these units but it's probably about wanting more. I looked at soundbars because I wanted something that wouldn't rock the house and didn't take up a lot of room. That said, I know it's limitations. Adding some speakers can provide a surround effect. I get what you're saying but a soundbar system as discussed here is still significantly "cleaner" than a 5.1 system, for example. These units can be more of a happy medium between a standard soundbar system and a 5.1 or 7.1 system. There is a lot of middle ground there.

We are here to help you. Please help us to help you. If you provide incomplete information, at best, we can give you an incomplete response.
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post #27 of 37 Old 02-23-2013, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhpizza View Post

Maybe I'm wrong here but isn't the whole point in a soundbar to take away the complexity of a multi-speaker setup? For people that don't feel like having speakers all over the place? I can somewhat understand having the sub to give the the low frequency effects that the smaller speakers in the soundbar couldn't possibly produce...but once you start adding in rear speakers, aren't we right back at square one with a much more complex surround sound system?

To some extent that's true. Some people just want a simple system but for others they want more without running speaker wire all over the place and wireless rear speakers would great (provided they work well).
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post #28 of 37 Old 02-24-2013, 01:56 PM
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To some extent that's true. Some people just want a simple system but for others they want more without running speaker wire all over the place and wireless rear speakers would great (provided they work well).

+1, we don't mind the speakers, just the wiring part. I have soundbar now but missed the sound effect of my Yamaha V661 with 7.1 speakers setup.
BTW, Sony already has Bluray player with 5.1 wireless speakers on sale in Costco. Dang it, I just bought the soundbar in Dec.12 sale.
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post #29 of 37 Old 02-25-2013, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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The addition of wireless rare surrounds really adds very little complexity, and the result is much simpler than having to buy a separate receiver and do all the wiring. Remember these are self powered and relatively inexpensive compared to most separates (yes...there are cheap HTIBs as well.) And the result will likely be much better than a soundbar with even the most advanced emulated or beamed surround. Real, physical channels are, after all,...
real.
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post #30 of 37 Old 02-25-2013, 03:18 PM
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I emailed Vizio a couple of days ago about trying to find out a release date and this was their reply........

Dear _____,

Thank you for your recent inquiry with VIZIO. I would be more than happy to help you with your concern. Here at VIZIO we do offer best in class technical support.

Currently we do not have any additional information regarding the production or inventory of this product. Thank you for your interest in this item. Please check our website at a later date for further information.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you need any additional assistance feel free to contact VIZIO at 1-877-878-4946 or chat with us at chat.vizio.com.

Thanks and have a great day!

Jaylee Garner
VIZIO -The Home of Entertainment Freedom for All
800 Stevens Port Drive Suite DD750
Dakota Dunes SD 57049
Phone 877-878-4946
visit us: www.vizio.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vizio
Twitter : www.twitter.com/viziotv

confused.giffrown.gif
Man, I really wish I knew it was coming out..... I want a sound bar system that has all of these qualities. Any other recommendations like the Vizio S4251W-B4? I had my mind set on getting the Samsung HW-E450 but know I don't know if I should hold out and wait a few months for the Vizio.
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