Best soundbar for roughly $500? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-27-2014, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I am moving soon and building a dedicated theater room for my projector setup and moving all my surround stuff to that room. So I will be going with a 60-65" LED for general living room viewing and do not want to buy another full surround. I would like to do just a soundbar under the TV. Looking to spend around $500. Do not really know much about them and have not really heard them to much in person. My main concern is good voice quality and decent bass that does not distort at a moderate volume level. What are the best choices for this price range?
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-02-2014, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-02-2014, 10:01 PM
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Head to a Best Buy and check them out in person. If you're gonna spend 500, why not well under at around 300 for the Vizio 5.1 sound bar system. It's great even for daily tv watching and if you don't want to fire up the home theater room and just watch a movie in the living room, it makes it really nice for that too. Why give up surround at that price? I wouldn't, couldn't go back to just tv speakers or a single bar in front. The sub and rear speakers really make a huge difference.

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post #4 of 17 Old 06-03-2014, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave199 View Post

Head to a Best Buy and check them out in person. If you're gonna spend 500, why not well under at around 300 for the Vizio 5.1 sound bar system. It's great even for daily tv watching and if you don't want to fire up the home theater room and just watch a movie in the living room, it makes it really nice for that too. Why give up surround at that price? I wouldn't, couldn't go back to just tv speakers or a single bar in front. The sub and rear speakers really make a huge difference.

I agree a 5.1 would be better. However my goal is to keep the room less cluttered with stuff and as clean looking as possible. The living room is an addition off the back of the house. Its not on a foundation so running wires to rear surrounds would be a pain in the ass. If there was a foundation and a basement I would be able to run them through the basement and over the back side. Plus there are alot of windows and there is really no room for me to mount a 5.1 cleanly the way I would want to. So I figured I would just stick with a bar right under the TV with a wireless sub next the couch under the end table so it really is not visible. This is what the room looks like

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post #5 of 17 Old 06-06-2014, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-07-2014, 01:25 PM
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Get the Vizio S4251. Only soundbar that offers a true 5.1 experience with very little "clutter". Comes with a good 42 inch sound bar, decent wireless sub with aux input in the back, and two rear satellite speakers. It's excellent for the price and works in just about any room....

If you absolutely don't want a 5.1 experience because of the rear speakers then I would probably opt for the 54 inch vizio with the sub.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-13-2014, 05:19 AM
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You can mount the bar under the TV, the sub is wireless, and the satellite speakers connect to the sub. You might be able to put the sub in the corner between the loveseat and sofa. Running the speaker wires from the sub to the satellite can pretty much hide any clutter. Amazon now also has the larger version (54") of the soundbar listed for right at your max price.

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 #8 of 17 Old 06-14-2014, 01:17 PM
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I love the Klipsch SB-1. Crutch field has special for $399
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juiced46 View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by Shockwave199 

Head to a Best Buy and check them out in person. If you're gonna spend 500, why not well under at around 300 for the Vizio 5.1 sound bar system. It's great even for daily tv watching and if you don't want to fire up the home theater room and just watch a movie in the living room, it makes it really nice for that too. Why give up surround at that price? I wouldn't, couldn't go back to just tv speakers or a single bar in front. The sub and rear speakers really make a huge difference.


I agree a 5.1 would be better. However my goal is to keep the room less cluttered with stuff and as clean looking as possible. The living room is an addition off the back of the house. Its not on a foundation so running wires to rear surrounds would be a pain in the ass. If there was a foundation and a basement I would be able to run them through the basement and over the back side. Plus there are alot of windows and there is really no room for me to mount a 5.1 cleanly the way I would want to. So I figured I would just stick with a bar right under the TV with a wireless sub next the couch under the end table so it really is not visible. This is what the room looks like

Very nice install for the TV. Do you mind sharing who did the install for you? Or did you do everything yourself? If so, what mount did you use? And how did you need to re-wire an electric outlet behind the TV?
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-22-2014, 06:38 PM
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For $500 I'd look at the 5.1 VIZIO-S5451w-C2. It is longer than the 42 inch model, and will give a much larger soundstage. Like the 42 inch Vizio, you won't need to run wires to the back of the room, as the surrounds are wired to the wirrless sub.
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-23-2014, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxse View Post
Very nice install for the TV. Do you mind sharing who did the install for you? Or did you do everything yourself? If so, what mount did you use? And how did you need to re-wire an electric outlet behind the TV?
Thank You. I did the install myself. I used a Sanus Fixed mount for the TV. I was not very impressed with the mount however. For the wiring. I used whats called Wiremold. Bestbuy sells it along with places like Monoprice etc. It gets recessed into the wall behind the TV. Its recessed in, so you plug your TVs power cable to it. Then there is another one that runs to the bottom of the wall and you plug an extension cord from there to your outlet or surge protector. These also have a channel to run your other wires through it from behind the TV down to whereever you need them to go. This is what it looks like







Quote:
Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
For $500 I'd look at the 5.1 VIZIO-S5451w-C2. It is longer than the 42 inch model, and will give a much larger soundstage. Like the 42 inch Vizio, you won't need to run wires to the back of the room, as the surrounds are wired to the wirrless sub.

Well after much debate. I ended up going with the Samsung FW550 since I "read" some good review on it but now regretting my choice. Its much smaller then the Vizio. I do not like the sound and there are no adjustments for Bass or Treble on it which I did not know at the time. The sound is very hollow and sounds like the voices are talking into a coffee can. I should have went with the Vizio. I may still switch it out. I actually have my eye on the Vizio 3.1 bar The S5430w.

The 5.1 you suggested looks nice. However I do not want to mount rear satellites. Even though they do wire to the sub. Due to the layout of the room. The speakers would be basically touching your head when sitting on the couch. Having a "surround" sound for this room doesn't concern me to much. The main thing is decent sound and voices for everyday TV use. I am building a theater room that will be for the true surround. I just want something better then the crappy TV speakers. The Samsung soundbar is OK @ best, but I guess I was just expecting a little more than what this thing sounds like
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-23-2014, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juiced46 View Post
Thank You. I did the install myself. I used a Sanus Fixed mount for the TV. I was not very impressed with the mount however. For the wiring. I used whats called Wiremold. Bestbuy sells it along with places like Monoprice etc. It gets recessed into the wall behind the TV. Its recessed in, so you plug your TVs power cable to it. Then there is another one that runs to the bottom of the wall and you plug an extension cord from there to your outlet or surge protector. These also have a channel to run your other wires through it from behind the TV down to whereever you need them to go. This is what it looks like










Well after much debate. I ended up going with the Samsung FW550 since I "read" some good review on it but now regretting my choice. Its much smaller then the Vizio. I do not like the sound and there are no adjustments for Bass or Treble on it which I did not know at the time. The sound is very hollow and sounds like the voices are talking into a coffee can. I should have went with the Vizio. I may still switch it out. I actually have my eye on the Vizio 3.1 bar The S5430w.

The 5.1 you suggested looks nice. However I do not want to mount rear satellites. Even though they do wire to the sub. Due to the layout of the room. The speakers would be basically touching your head when sitting on the couch. Having a "surround" sound for this room doesn't concern me to much. The main thing is decent sound and voices for everyday TV use. I am building a theater room that will be for the true surround. I just want something better then the crappy TV speakers. The Samsung soundbar is OK @ best, but I guess I was just expecting a little more than what this thing sounds like
I was gonna suggest the 3.1 bar but I didn't see you post for a while so I figured you got something going. That would be a good choice I think. The 5.1 bar would not because as you pointed out, the rears would not do well for positioning in that seating and viewing configuration. Good luck getting the right bar!
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post #13 of 17 Old 06-24-2014, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juiced46 View Post
I am moving soon and building a dedicated theater room for my projector setup and moving all my surround stuff to that room. So I will be going with a 60-65" LED for general living room viewing and do not want to buy another full surround. I would like to do just a soundbar under the TV. Looking to spend around $500. Do not really know much about them and have not really heard them to much in person. My main concern is good voice quality and decent bass that does not distort at a moderate volume level. What are the best choices for this price range?
Try the JBL SB400. Just picked one up last week for 449. I went from a 5.1 to this and could not be happier. 3 in 1 out HDMI, wireless sub is smooth, dialog is crisp and clear. Highly recommend you take a listen.

Nick
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-29-2014, 08:20 AM
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I've been shopping on and off for sound bars for some time. Like the OP, my living room is just a place to watch TV. I already have a dedicated room to watch movies. So I'm just looking for something that sounds good when watching day to day TV programming. So far in the $500 range, this is the best sounding sound bar I demoed.

http://m.bestbuy.com/m/e/product/det...d=abcat0203000
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-29-2014, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juiced46 View Post
Thank You. I did the install myself. I used a Sanus Fixed mount for the TV. I was not very impressed with the mount however. For the wiring. I used whats called Wiremold. Bestbuy sells it along with places like Monoprice etc. It gets recessed into the wall behind the TV. Its recessed in, so you plug your TVs power cable to it. Then there is another one that runs to the bottom of the wall and you plug an extension cord from there to your outlet or surge protector. These also have a channel to run your other wires through it from behind the TV down to whereever you need them to go. This is what it looks like










Well after much debate. I ended up going with the Samsung FW550 since I "read" some good review on it but now regretting my choice. Its much smaller then the Vizio. I do not like the sound and there are no adjustments for Bass or Treble on it which I did not know at the time. The sound is very hollow and sounds like the voices are talking into a coffee can. I should have went with the Vizio. I may still switch it out. I actually have my eye on the Vizio 3.1 bar The S5430w.
I use the Vizio 3.1 s5430w with my ZT65 /60 and am very happy with it,I also hooked up my piega
sub to it,comes with all the cables you need and everything works right out of the box.
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-06-2014, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozebuttons View Post
I use the Vizio 3.1 s5430w with my ZT65 /60 and am very happy with it,I also hooked up my piega
sub to it,comes with all the cables you need and everything works right out of the box.
I went from the Bose Acoustimas 5.1 to the Klipsch Icon sb-1. I really like the Klipsch in comparison to the Bose (granted the Bose are 10 years old)....much clearer vocals and the sub is great.

FWIW my local Best Buy have the Klispch on clearance for $359 NIB but don't know if this national or not. Still showing $599 on the website.
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-15-2014, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suffolk112000 View Post
I've been shopping on and off for sound bars for some time. Like the OP, my living room is just a place to watch TV. I already have a dedicated room to watch movies. So I'm just looking for something that sounds good when watching day to day TV programming. So far in the $500 range, this is the best sounding sound bar I demoed.

http://m.bestbuy.com/m/e/product/det...d=abcat0203000

I'm on my 4th day with it and agree. Sounded tinny to me out of the box but sounding real good now.
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