First Soundbar, Best Choices, Wiring Options - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-11-2013, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Just ordered a Sharp 70" LC-70847LEU on Friday, should be here this week or next. Upgrading from a Samsung 61" DLP (approx 6 years old). Currently, I have an old Kenwood 5.1 system (10+ years old) hooked to the Samsung which sounds alright but I want to upgrade to a new system and like the sound bars for a cleaner look.

I have been reading the threads on here for a while and still am not quite sure which direction to go with a sound bar. Any help would be much appreciated. Here are the details of my system and room:

Room is an open living room. Terrible for digital surround in all honesty. 20' ceilings, hallway to the left of the TV, breakfast area behind sitting area, the only walls in the room are behind the TV and to the right. I know the limitations of my room will effect my overall sound quality. From reading posts on here, it seems a good 2.1 system will sound better in my room than a digital 5.1 bar will. Looking for a 'simple' system that will basically replace the TV speakers. I don't want to have to change the settings on it each time I change what I am doing on the TV. I would love to be able to control everything with my DirecTV remote. Great bass is important; my wife and I love the shutter of full, resounding bass while we are watching a good movie (think U571 depth charge scene). Basically looking for a good blend between simplicity and sound quality. Budget is in the $500 range.

The second part of the question is wiring. I have 4 HDMI devices that need to be connected; PS3, blu-ray player, DirecTV box, and AppleTV2 box. Since the TV has 4 HDMI inputs, would I be better off using an optical cable to connect a sound bar or use the HDMI ARC connection and connect one of the other devices another way?

Thanks for the help.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-11-2013, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Any comments on the Klipsch Icon SB1?

Also, this is kind of an odd question but could you add a second subwoofer to the system? Specifically, in the wireless systems (which most seem to be), would the system detect both? Just a thought....
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-12-2013, 10:01 AM
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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.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-14-2013, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you very much mr51 for the outstanding review. This is exactly what I was looking for. I will definitely check out the HK bar as I plan to use mine pretty much the same way you described how you use yours. Great post, sir. Thank you again.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-14-2013, 07:43 AM
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Have you thought about doing a cheap 2.1? It should cost around the same and would still keep a cleaner look than a 5.1. The speakers would be made of wood instead of the plastic from a soundbar which may be the sound you don't like. Just throwing out an option.

-Ben
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