What is the best audio setup for a small studio apartment? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 04-23-2013, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone. I need a little help on how to upgrade my current setup. I live in a small (but nice), 2nd floor studio apartment in Los Angeles. I have a 32" flatscreen TV with a blue ray player and an XBOX 360. I also have my desk a few feet from the TV with a 13" MacBook Pro (The TV and the computer are along the same wall and roughly 4 from each other.)

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What is the best audio set up for enjoying music off my computer and will also enhance my TV sound? The sound off a macbook is way to tinny and my TV's speakers just don't cut it. Until recently, I used a Brookstone Big Blue Studio Wireless Speaker (http://www.brookstone.com/big-blue-wireless-bluetooth-speaker) to stream my iTunes via bluetooth and I also had it connected to my TV with an audio jack. The Big Blue was loud enough, but it's included downfiring subwoofer would rattle and distort the music at higher volumes and it's small size made music feel very mono. I noticed the same when I was using it to enhance the sound from my TV plus no remote made it a subpar experience. I have an enormous iTunes collection plus I use pandora and spotify like crazy.

Clarity and "fullness" are the most important qualities in whatever I buy. Remember, I live on the second floor of an older building and have neighbors on both sides of me, so while I love bass, I cannot have a lot of it.

Is there a good sound system anyone can recommend for lower and middle levels? Should I get a soundbar for my TV with bluetooth connectivity for streaming my music? Although, just how much sound quality do you lose streaming music via bluetooth? Should I get a pair of computer speakers in addition to a TV soundbar or is that overkill for a studio apartment? Should I try to make my apartment surround sound with a 5.1 system? My couch is about 10 feet from the TV, so is that something I should consider? A friend of mine has the Klipsch 2.1 computer speaker setup and it sounds great. Which soundbars do you guys recommend? I am interested in possibly getting a ZVOX sound bar...I like how they sit beneath the TV but how are they for music? http://www.zvoxaudio.com/cgi-bin/category/productcategories

My experience with a soundbar was the bluetooth samsung soundbar with the wireless subwoofer. I loved it. It sounded so great, but I felt I couldn't play it at it's best volumes (because of noise). I had to return it because it was too wide for my TV stand (My TV stand is 32" wide.)

Maybe I am asking for too much: sleek, good-sounding, and simplistic. I hate wires. I know it's lame but aesthetics are important, but I don't want to sacrifice a ton of sound. I listen to music while working from my computer a lot so it'd be nice if the music sounded fuller while on it...and there is no way I can afford the Sonos soundbar with the wireless speakers...or is a setup like that really worth it?

Lastly, I was thinking I would either buy a system I can "grow into" or buy something sufficient for a studio apartment that could eventually double as a bedroom setup when I upgrade my apartment one day or move in with my girlfriend.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!

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post #2 of 2 Old 04-23-2013, 07:09 PM
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I have owned zvox devices, and they are pretty good for music - but, zvox like all soundbar doesn't really spread out sound like discrete speakers do. However, I have a zvox 325 which is very compact but has 3 speakers and a subwoofer in the cabinet (I believe it has been replaced by the 320 now)- if you want a discrete setup that will vastly improve your audio and won't annoy your neighbors, I honestly think it's a pretty good solution. the T.V sits on the speaker, there are few cables, it'll blend right in.
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