First of all, thank you all for your replies. Thanks in particular for the product recommendations. I will look through it and see if I can find them here in Germany.
I think it's helpful if I am more precise what my parents want and not want:
- They basically want to have a solution that plays back music (CD/DVD/BluRay, Radio, iPod) and TV sound. They don't really care about Home Theater and movies, but maybe they like it once I show them (I should hurry with my own system so I have something to show). They barely watch DVDs and don't have a BluRay; the main reason though seems to be that the DVD player is used as a CD player on their Marantz rack and they neither like to move it to the TV nor having a cable in the living room.
- They want to have something wireless that is unobstrusive. That's also the main reason why they don't want to have a 5.1 or even 7.2 system: When they think of 5.1 systems they think of being surrounded by speakers and cables. I guess I could sell them on a 5.1 system if the speakers are small and wireless and you don't need a PhD to calculate the right angles to adjust them. A 2.1 or 3.1 system be preferred though I think.
- They would probably prefer an AV receiver that has "all-in-one" rather than having a separate device for everything. The best probably would be an AV receiver with BluRay and Apple dock integrated. They already have the satellite receiver next to the plasma, and they don't want many more devices there.
- They seem to like those soundbars, because for them they look simple, nice, and unobstrusive, but a 2.1 or 3.1 would work as well I think.
- Indeed they are not on a shoestring, but I personally find EUR 2,700 way too much for a system that is supposed to play music every once in a while. I wouldn't mind if I could get them something for less than that and spend the rest for something else like a nice HTPC or even a new TV.
- It should be a stable system. They admit they are willing to pay more just for the service that someone is coming to their place and setting up and fixing things when needed. However, since we are talking about a sound system here and not a self-built HTPC I believe you just plugin cables and it's good to go.
- They have a Samsung plasma that is probably 4-5 years old, an old cheapish DVD player, Sony CD player, and a Technics cassette player on the old Marantz receiver
If you could point me to:
a) a general solution/setup/technology (ie. 2.1 vs 3.1 vs 5.1, soundbar vs no soundbar, what kind of devices, etc.)
b) specific products
would be appreciated!
Originally Posted by Jay1
So for around $500 you can turn any AV receiver and 2.1 speaker/sub combo into a completely wireless setup, meaning all the AV equipment could be stashed in some random cabinet somewhere in the living room, with a pair of speakers, a sub, and the tv having no wires other then where you stash their individual wireless connections. I'm guessing you're in Europe, so you're going to have to find comparable products locally, and if you want receiver/speaker/sub recommendations letting us know what's available locally would help.
How stable is such setup ie. those wireless transmitters/receivers? Worst case would be if the sound is bad because the signal is too weak or if they have to fumble around with network things. And, yes, I am in Europe, Germany to be precise. So if you can recommend products available here would be great!
Originally Posted by GaryWA
Are they opposed to a 2.1 system + receiver?
No, I think a 2.1 or 3.1 system would be fine as long as the speakers are small and unobstrusive. I think what they don't want is a big 5.1/7.2 setup making them feel like sitting in a bunch of speakers.
Originally Posted by GaryWA
Holy crap, did you say TWENTY SEVEN HUNDRED EUROS? THAT'S $3600 for a BOSE.
Funny enough, on the Bose US website their price is only $2,100. That's a bit more than EUR 1,500 which sounds a bit more friendly. In fact, EUR 2,700 is the "official price" on the Bose website and the salesman in the local electronics store was willing to throw in any BluRay player they like for free and give EUR 100 discount for any old device in return. So it seems they are selling it for the original rather than the retail price and the margin is obvious.
Originally Posted by ScaryFatKidGT
You should look at (and I would take anyday) the Pioneer SP-FS52's (or lowend polks or wharfedale or klipsch) over Bose
Thanks. Any recommendations for Polks/Wharfedale/Klipsch?
Originally Posted by MrEastSide
Tell them you'll set it up and they can give you the leftover money as a fee for the fifteen minutes of labor you provided!
Haha, funny enough mom today mentioned that lol. No, really, I honestly think they should enjoy spending their money now after the kids are out of the house and they have their hard-earned money for themselves. They postponed their own desires their whole life to provide their kids a good life and education, so I actually feel a little bad being the party-pooper. On the other hand, I want them to get value for their money, and to enjoy what they buy. They are not the generation who knows they how to use the internet to ask people on forums what to buy. They are used to going to the local electronics store and let a salesman tell them stuff. I'm okay with that as long as they are not cheated, and in this case it feels like that a little; the price is just so high for a simple Bose system.