Soundbar ---- What's the point? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-06-2013, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Please help me understand the intent of these sound bars. I currently have a receiver with a center channel, fronts, rears and a sub woofer. Is the bar supposed to replace the front three speakers, or is it considered only a center channel? Are these intended for people with limited space? Just trying to understand why one would go with this concept over a normal stereo set up.

- Any links with info would be grateful.
- Top sound bars to consider?
- Wireless options?


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post #2 of 7 Old 08-06-2013, 06:22 PM
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The majority of soundbars discussed here are active (powered) soundbars. They are not meant to be used with an AVR. The primary reason for a soundbar is to improve the woefully bad sound quality produced by today's thin flat panel TVs. Many people either do not want a full 5.1/7.1 system, or have no space for one, or already have a full surround system and just want something for a second or third TV in another room. They like the convenience of setup and clean, minimalist look. There are a few soundbars that come with wireless rear speakers (making them a 5.1 setup), but in general, soundbars are not going to replace a discrete surround setup.

There are also passive soundbars. Most of them are LCR and connect to an AVR just as discrete speakers would. Might be handy for those with limited space for their front sound stage.

If you want to learn more, you can browse through threads here or Google to find some detailed explanations of soundbars and what to look for.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-06-2013, 06:23 PM
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Space, aesthetics, need, budget, WAF, etc. You name it and it could be applicable. We live in an apartment complex and my wife was firm with no system so this was a sacrifice.

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 #4 of 7 Old 08-16-2013, 06:38 AM
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many people who live in apartments go this route.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-16-2013, 10:12 AM
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I used one to simply improve on the TV speakers. I needed one that was simple to use (auto-on/auto-off, HDMI switching, everything is seamless and runs from one remote). Just wanted better sound that functioned like it was integral to the TV.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-16-2013, 11:33 AM
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The point for me is that I'm in an apartment for the moment and my TV speakers are okay for the cable box, but I have to turn the damn thing up to 11 any time I want to watch a blu ray otherwise I can't hear any dialog.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-16-2013, 01:01 PM
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One further consideration would be the shape and dimensions of the room in question.

I lived in a home for 18 years that was perfect for multi-channel surround sound (once available) and enjoyed it on movies. Found out that it really destroyed recorded music and went back to strictly two-channel for all music.

I now live in a condo for seven years that is almost 60' to the back wall and 25' between walls near the back of my living area. Basically, I have very few walls in my living area, an open design with 16' valuted ceilings. The only possible way to install surround sound would be to have speakers hanging from wires with the various connectors also coming down from the ceiling. That is, if I would have pre-wired as I did our home. I have a loving wife who never denied me any reasonable and many unreasonable purchases when I attempted to be an audiophile. However, wife acceptance of haning speakers in her beautiful condo would have been zero.

I still have a dedicated listening area and also where I work from home in our sun-room. The soundbar was a major improvement over any of the built-in speakers with any of the HDTV's that I have owned. On/Off coordinated with the TV as far as switching. Life is good and the sound is still there, just not surrounding me.

One last comment. My former home had a great room which was also our family and TV viewing room measuring 20' deep by 25' long. It was simple to set up a surround system with 5.1 channels that did produce excellent surround. However, when I moved from my home in 2006, I had progressed from a 25" RCA monitor from 1983 to a 27" Sony monitor from 1991 to a 35" Toshiba Studio Series Monitor in 1996 and finally a 42" Panasonic Plasma in 2005. These were always near the largest screens available at the time, other than projection. One issue that both my wife and I noticed was a sometime disconnect from the giant sound field to the size of the TV. Our system was set up professionally to the THX standards of the time.

I am interested if any of you with less than a dedicated, projection, home theater still notice this?


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