Recently we repainted our living room, and I decided that I was tired of having wires running all over the place. So, I decided that for a cleaner look, I wanted to try a sound bar. Our living room is a large, odd shaped room with the flat screen tucked neatly in a corner. Our sitting/tv viewing area only takes up maybe half of the total area of the room. So, going into my search for a sound bar, I wasn't looking for a system that would fill the entire room with 3-D sound, just something that would produce a good sound in our viewing area. I also knew going into it that a sound bar was not going to give me the sound effects produced by my 5.1 system.
I went to Best Buy, H H Gregg, Walmart, and Sears and listen to every sound bar that I could that fell within my predetermined price range of $600. Honestly, I was unimpressed with most that I sampled. I even brought home a Sony system that sounded decent in the store, but was disappointed with it after listening to it at home. The 2 systems that I kept going back to sample were the Klipsch SB1 and the Harman Kardon SB16. After a couple of side by side comparisons of the 2 systems, I decided that my ears liked the Harman Kardon SB16 the best. Don't get me wrong, the Klipsch system is great, but it just didn't fulfill my needs. Not only do I use the sound bar for movies/television, I also use it for music. Both systems sounded great while listening to a movie, but the Harman Kardon excelled when listening to a music source like Pandora.
To me, the sound is crisper coming from the HK system, while the Klipsch sounded somewhat muddy to me. Both systems have the wireless sub-woofer, and both will produce ample bass. When listening to a sub-woofer, I wanted one that not only produced a good deep bass, but also a good clear distinguishable bass. Neither system's sub is going to produce a floor shaking, widow rattling bass like your older system did. It's more like a good marriage between the bar and sub, both complement each other.
As far as hook up goes; all of my components are hooked directly to my tv by HDMI, and then to the sound bar by an optical cable. It is a simple hookup, it sounds great, and is less complicated for me to have to deal with (no changing sources, etc... on the sound bar).
Sorry for the long post, but I hope this may help. And by the way, the HK system is now on sale at Best Buy, Paul's TV.com and several other internet stores.