I've been going back-and-forth on a home audio solution for my family room
. I think I've decided on a soundbar, because I don't want to go down the financial and technical rabbit hole of a receiver + speaker set-up.
This will be my only way of listening to music in my family room, and I have a lot of music. I'm not an audiophile, and I don't want to spend much more than $300-400. But I also want streamed music to sound pretty good, which it should for $300.
The soundbar I'm most seriously considering is the Sony HTCT260 or 660 (it would go with a 2012 LG 47" Smart TV w/ Cinema 3D). My question about these, and soundbars in general, is: How so-so does music really sound? Most reviews and comments seem to focus on the soundbar as an accessory to TV viewing.
Some comments and questions below. Would love your input. Thanks!
1. Is Bluetooth the reason music typically doesn't sound great via soundbars? Or is it the physical characteristics of the soundbar itself?
2. When I listen to music, it won't just be via Bluetooth. In fact, it will more commonly be streamed via ethernet from my home computer (iTunes) or a WD My Book Live, using the TV as the interface to browse my library. I'd run optical out from the TV to the soundbar, unless I get the 660, which has ARC.
3. Not music related, but I'd really like a soundbar that turns on/off with the TV. Is there a specific feature I need to look for? Anyone know if the Sony 260 or 660 allow this? Again, I have an LG TV.
4. Do any soundbars stand out for their music quality, while staying south of $400? (This budget isn't firm, but seems reasonable.)