Pioneer Speaker Bar - Possible Game Changer? - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 08:12 AM
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Update: Received the UPS shipping label in this morning's email. Already at work so won't ship out until tomorrow. No instructions from Pioneer, however I will be enclosing all of my contact information in the box along with the bar. I do appreciate Pioneer's quick response on this issue. I'm hoping the turnaround time on the repair itelf is fairly quick. -Michael

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post #272 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 09:05 AM
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Damn, already 50 bucks off? Sucks for the people that have been waiting and got it premiere week.
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post #273 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 10:37 AM
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Quick. At best buy again now. It's still not hooked up but on display. Me and a worker here are trying to get it connected to my Bluetooth and the phone won't find it. Following the directions in the manual to a "T" and still won't connect. Bluetooth light on the speaker bar will blink slow for 3 seconds then stops. Tips?

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post #274 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 10:59 AM
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Pressing the Bluetooth button on the front should cause the light to blink and it should show up on your device. There was feedback on here that if the bar was previously paired to something else, that needs to be disconnected first before pairing something else.

Since you don't have that option at the store, maybe try powering the bar down and starting over?
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post #275 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 11:24 AM
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Make sure you press the source button first and set it to bluetooth. That's the step I was forgetting.
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post #276 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGoldbeck View Post

Update: Received the UPS shipping label in this morning's email. Already at work so won't ship out until tomorrow. No instructions from Pioneer, however I will be enclosing all of my contact information in the box along with the bar. I do appreciate Pioneer's quick response on this issue. I'm hoping the turnaround time on the repair itelf is fairly quick. -Michael
I heard back from Pioneer. Sounds like it's a 1-2 week turnaround time to fix the issue via firmware upgrade. I was told to expect my return shipping label in the next 24-48 hours.

Still not sure if all units are defected or only a subset. Since it's a firmware upgrade to resolve, this might mean that the existing inventory at the retail outlets is affected by the issue. Pioneer likely needs to ship out a new inventory of the speaker bar. For those exchanging, I wouldn't be surprised if you'll end up with another defective unit.

At this point, I think I'll just eat the $50 (I bought at BB) and return to Pioneer. I'll just have to use the TV speakers for 1-2 weeks frown.gif
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post #277 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 12:11 PM
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Has anyone tried to verify if there is a problem setting the iPhone to Mono Audio On and playing the music that way? I don't have a good "stereo track" (music track where right and left channels are significantly different) to test (plus I'm not at home), but it seems like there would not be a significant difference in the sound of Mono Audio on the Bluetooth-not-working version of the sound bar and a fixed sound bar playing stereo audio as intended. I'm sure there's a difference, just curious if anyone has tried and can verify it's a significant difference.

This is all based on the assumption that the iPhone is set to Mono Audio then it would send Mono Audio over Bluetooth.
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post #278 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 12:43 PM
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Ok. He didn't have it on the "source" for Bluetooth.

It sounds great! It even sounds great with turning the sub "off" via the remote. You could buy this bar without the sub, it sounds that nice. I then paired it to the latest vizio 2.1 bar for $249 and it destroyed it. I turned of the vizio sub and the bar was really starting to distort bad.

I was then messing with the klipsich but it didn't have Bluetooth so I couldn't do a direct comparo, but I still think that one sounds good, but $599.

I have an iPhone 5 and yes, it would only play mono. Now, couldn't this also have an effect on treble depending on how the song was produced? Missing symbols, etc? Certain songs on the pioneer bar were a tad muddy, where the Vizio bar seemed to have more clarity/treble but it was working in stereo vs mono. I could only test the pioneer with music. Just wondering if tones, bass/treble could be greatly created effected with a mono signal... ?

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post #279 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knight_ryder View Post

Has anyone tried to verify if there is a problem setting the iPhone to Mono Audio On and playing the music that way? I don't have a good "stereo track" (music track where right and left channels are significantly different) to test (plus I'm not at home), but it seems like there would not be a significant difference in the sound of Mono Audio on the Bluetooth-not-working version of the sound bar and a fixed sound bar playing stereo audio as intended. I'm sure there's a difference, just curious if anyone has tried and can verify it's a significant difference.

This is all based on the assumption that the iPhone is set to Mono Audio then it would send Mono Audio over Bluetooth.

I did this. No change.

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post #280 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 02:34 PM
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I received my replacement bar...replaced for electronics issues- non bluetooth. Set up was much quicker...and I am enjoying lovely sound...which I will continuie to do for a while before testing the bluetooth...

Still haven't seen an answer to the question about whether or not this is ALL systems or SOME?

Going to enjoy...and save all my boxes!
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post #281 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 05:30 PM
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Got it packed up and to UPS this evening. I'm guessing about a week from here to CA and a week back. Miss it already.

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post #282 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 06:41 PM
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Ok, so when testing this thing out today, I had to make a phone call, and the music stopped. I forgot about this with bluetooth streaming. Can anyone tell me the main differences between bluetooth and airplay setup? Benefits of either, and or cons.

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post #283 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 07:56 PM
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Is anyones bluetooth streaming actually working? Or is it just an ios problem? Seems like this thing, although sounds good, is having lots of returns already.
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post #284 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svt2nv View Post

Is anyones bluetooth streaming actually working? Or is it just an ios problem? Seems like this thing, although sounds good, is having lots of returns already.

It works, I tried it today with iphone 5. It's just mono instead of stereo.

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post #285 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 08:20 PM
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"just"? i don't have anything iOS but if i wanted to use bluetooth to listen to music off my laptop it won't even be in stereo? that's a pretty big negative. i was so set on getting an st60 and a new stereo but the more i read about new electronics the more i don't even want to buy anything. just went out and bought a new asus 27" monitor and it's broken 24 hours later. so frustrating. all i want is a decent looking 60" tv that doesn't suck for gaming and a good sounding 2.1 system of sorts. apparently that's too much to ask for these days.
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post #286 of 615 Old 10-08-2013, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svt2nv View Post

"just"? i don't have anything iOS but if i wanted to use bluetooth to listen to music off my laptop it won't even be in stereo? that's a pretty big negative. i was so set on getting an st60 and a new stereo but the more i read about new electronics the more i don't even want to buy anything. just went out and bought a new asus 27" monitor and it's broken 24 hours later. so frustrating. all i want is a decent looking 60" tv that doesn't suck for gaming and a good sounding 2.1 system of sorts. apparently that's too much to ask for these days.

Yes, it does suck...I'm on my second bar due to electronics problems that were non bluetooth. My laptop is connected to my TV via HDMI...and I am enjoying some very sweet natural sound. I'm going to enjoy this for a while before I even try bluetooth...but I have to tell ya- it's hard for me to believe I'm getting this kind of quality for $400....I'm financially challenged, and would have thought I would have to pay for separates...at least $2k...to get sound this good. IMHO.
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post #287 of 615 Old 10-09-2013, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterNincompoop View Post

Sorry to hear you guys are having to jump thru a bunch of hoops - but I'm sure Pioneer will make it right.


Its issues like this, albeit a small one (but nonetheless a big pain in the ass) that I see the buying of new products completely the opposite as the above poster. Its always better IMO to wait just a bit to allow for the inevitable bugs to get sorted out. As someone who has yet to buy this speaker bar but plans on owning one in the near future, my question for Pioneer will be this - "starting with what serial number can I assume this or any other known problems have been resolved?". I will report back for those still on the fence or waiting to buy like me!

Actually, I'm glad I waited on the soundbar since this issue has surfaced. But it won't deter me from purchasing one. Just delay it. smile.gif But in this particular case, Pioneer will fix the firmware, but other than that not make any substantial changes (if any) to the otherwise solid construction and fit-n-finish of the soundbar. That's what I like about 1st generation products. Not all, but a select few where the exacting standards are high on 1st gen products and it's obvious. To make my point, just consider how most consumer electronics have made a precipitous slide towards the ultra cheap, plasticy, and light products we see on store shelves today. Even in well-respected stores. Sure the manufacturing process has changed and materials improved(?). When a new product is introduced, it's my feeling that it generally is over-engineered, and much of the materials used are stronger and the extra touches are allowed since the engineers are unaware of how it may be abused in real life. It's only after it's in the market place that they (the engineers) can observe where they can cut back on materials and other extras in the engineering of the product, along with cost constraints coming from the head office that we usually see a lighter weight product, smaller, cheaper, etc. Not all of these cut-backs necessarily result in a better 2nd or 3rd gen version. Personally, I like my electronics to have some heft to them and not slide all over my entertainment unit when I press the on button! I recently purchased a near mint, 1st gen Pioneer Blu-ray player that weights in at a hefy ~20 pounds. Sure it takes a few extra seconds to boot up, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for the extra engineering, and gorgeous fit-n-finish that went into the Elite machine. And it was all had for under 1 bill.

I hope version 2 of the soundbar will continue to weight in at it's current weight, the bugs are fixed, etc. But it wouldn't surprise me if some featured are changed, or dropped from the unit entirely. We'll just have to wait and see. This is not an indictment on AJ either. I have several of his speakers products and he is able to do what other manufactures can't or are unwilling to do, and that's to bring solid engineering and a great product to the marketplace for a song. He indeed has padded his resume of late. biggrin.gif

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post #288 of 615 Old 10-09-2013, 09:10 PM
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I finally had a chance to do a little bit of Bluetooth streaming from my iPhone 5 and I can confirm that turning Mono Audio on (found in Settings>General>Accessibility) is an improvement to the sound. To test this, I played the song Crosstown Traffic by Jimi Hendrix. I streamed this song from my phone over Bluetooth in both stereo and mono and Airplay to Apple TV in stereo. There is a noticeable loss playing in stereo over Bluetooth. Vocals and instruments in this recording move between right and left sides throughout. However, this loss does not exist streaming mono audio over Bluetooth. And I can't say that there is a particular difference in sound quality between mono over Bluetooth and stereo over Airplay. Directly in front of the sound bar while Airplaying in stereo, I can detect the movement of the vocals slightly from left to right during the chorus, but it is not that perceptible.

YMMV and the differences between stereo and mono might be greater or lesser in other songs, but I am very happy with the sound from this bar and don't plan on sending it back for this fix. It's primary use for us will be as TV speaker replacement. Plus I always keep my phone set on Mono audio anyways and forget to switch it when I'm streaming so I doubt I ever notice a problem.
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post #289 of 615 Old 10-10-2013, 06:42 AM
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I performed similar tests as knight_ryder on my 3rd SP-SB23W. I get the same results. I am still glad I returned it the second time since I saved $50 with the BB price match. I am going to keep this one for awhile before I contact Pioneer for a firmware upgrade. I like the bluetooth feature but I can stream the same content I have using my AppleTV and Synology NAS.
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post #290 of 615 Old 10-10-2013, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for reminding me about the BB price match! It's been less then 15 days since I made my purchase, so I need to get my $50 refunded back to me from BB since they appear to have lowered their price as well.

I have a quick question for you audiophiles. This is the first device I have ever used with an optical audio cable. I had purchased one at BB but then returned it when I found that Pioneer included one. How is the quality of the included optical cable when compared to others? If I was to purchase an AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Cable, would my enjoyment of this device increase at all? They're only $5.49 so that's a small price to pay for some increased enjoyment.

Thanks
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post #291 of 615 Old 10-10-2013, 11:04 AM
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IMO, the optical cable provided by Pioneer is pretty standard. I doubt there'd be much of a difference in sound quality if you were to swap it out for another. Optical cables don't use gold plating, etc. like HDMI cables do.
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post #292 of 615 Old 10-10-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knight_ryder View Post

How is the quality of the included optical cable when compared to others?

As with all digital signals it's either received or not, there is no difference.
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post #293 of 615 Old 10-10-2013, 02:29 PM
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Listened to this in the store today and was impressed. The clerk opened a new unit up, set it up in the middle of the store and cranked it. The sub literally pounded the entire store and made my 2 fillings inside my mouth loose.

Didnt buy cause I was well aware of the BT issues and didnt want to be stuck making endless trips back to the store. I knew 99% chance i would have to exchange so I didnt buy.

Is this BT issue with every single unit?

Also, is it possible that this is fixable with a f/w update?

Also is it true that this bar has no virtual surround sound in it? The guy said not to buy cause of it and that its strictly stereo even in movies. He showed me the JBL SB400 and wow that unit sounded awesome but $600, so $200 more. But the sub is 8" vs 6" on the Pioneer and 200W RMS and much bigger. The biggest concern I have on the Pioneer is the dinky 50W amp sub. 50 watts! Are you kididng me pioneer?

Im thinking about paying the extra $200 just for the sake of getting a 4x more powerful sub, much nicer unit and working bluetooth out of the box. Thoughts?
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post #294 of 615 Old 10-10-2013, 11:39 PM
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Can someone explain what exactly this bluetooth issue is? Is it sounding not as good in stereo as mono when streaming over bluetooth? Is this only on iOS devices or not?

Also, can it be made to turn on and off and volume up/dpwn with a harmony one remote? I assume subwoofer leven and other functions can't be learned but curious about on/of and volume mostly.
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post #295 of 615 Old 10-11-2013, 09:15 AM
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After reading all 10 pages, knowing the issue with the Bluetooth left channel stereo problem I decided to purchase the Pioneer last night. Loved the easy setup with the wireless subwoofer, loved the size of the subwoofer for my installation and found the sound wonderfully clean, but, I finally decided to return this unit due to the fact I could not teach the sound bar to use my Sony HDTV remotes for the basic on/off, volume up/down functions. I programmed my Yamaha 7.1 receiver's remote without hesitation, but the Sony refused to mate. That was the deal killer for me.

BTW: to set the record strait, When teaching the sound bar to learn,; after you select analog or digital sound source on the sound bar, just press the Bluetooth button on the front sound bar (do not hold it as the manual says) and the blue light turns on solid, then press the sound bar button you want to teach and it blinks slowly (blue), position your TV remote and press the corresponding button once and the Bluetooth light flashes quickly, the mode light flashes green, then press the same remote button again and if it lights green you're good to go, just follow the rest of what the Pioneer manual says. Do not hold the BlueTooth button until it lights up solid as it will never do that, just blinks three times. This of courses assume that your remote is compatible with the Unit, which in my case my Sony HDTV Bravia remotes are not.

Good luck and happy lessoning...
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post #296 of 615 Old 10-11-2013, 09:37 AM
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Crap. This better work with the harmony remote? Anyone successful?

The factory remote is kind of weird. When you hold it the correct way, it still feels like its upside down. smile.gif

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post #297 of 615 Old 10-11-2013, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonn B View Post

Crap. This better work with the harmony remote? Anyone successful?

The factory remote is kind of weird. When you hold it the correct way, it still feels like its upside down. smile.gif

I have a Harmony One. I first had the speaker bar learn the remote for the TV. Then I tried the Harmony remote and the speaker bar turned on with the TV and the volume is controlled by the Harmony.

I had to reorder the power on seq. for Blu-Ray player and Roku activities so the TV powered on first. I do not know why but it worked. The issue I am having now is that the speaker bar will not power off with the Harmony. I use the factory remote or push the on/off button on the speaker bar.

I am going to play with the Harmony remote this weekend to see if I can get it to also power off the speaker bar when I power off from the Harmony. Other than that I am enjoying great sound from this product.
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post #298 of 615 Old 10-11-2013, 11:28 AM
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An update to the Sony remote issue so to keep a level playing ground. I spend 15 minutes on hold with tech support and the only answer I got with regards to the remote compatibility questions is some work and some don't and no compatibility list. Sounds like Washington to me...

I found an old Yamaha 5.1 (RAV232) remote in my remote grave yard and decided to try and program it with its default codes; hit the AMP button and taught the stubborn Pioneer to do the following:

On/OF
Volume Up/Down
Subwoofer Up/Down
Mode switching
Source switching

So for you Sony folks out there, you do have options to use other remotes as this unit does sound wonderful in a small setting and the subwoofer hides nicely which keeps our life mates happy. On to bigger problems...
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post #299 of 615 Old 10-11-2013, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
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Got it packed up and to UPS this evening. I'm guessing about a week from here to CA and a week back. Miss it already.
Same here. I dropped mine off at UPS yesterday afternoon. Had to listen to the TV speakers last night since I already set up my old 5.1 system in the basement. Hopefully it's returned w/in a couple weeks. Any longer will be a major bummer.
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post #300 of 615 Old 10-11-2013, 01:57 PM
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I have programmed a Harmony 650 to work with the Pioneer and it works excellently. All I do with it is On/Off and Volume Up/Down and Mute. I am confident a more seasoned Harmony programmer could assign Source and Mode and Subwoofer controls to the Harmony as well. I never got the soundbar to learn my old Panasonic TV remote (so I have doubts that those instructions are valid at all). The way I got the Harmony to learn it was through the myHarmony.com page and I had to aim the Pioneer remote at the back of the Harmony while it was plugged in. Hope that all makes sense because I am very much a noob with the Harmony.
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