Logitech Z4 2.1 vs Soundbar - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 34 Old 08-20-2017, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Logitech Z4 2.1 vs Soundbar

Hi guys, in the process of upgrading my TV (a Sony 40" Full HD) with a 55" 4K TV, either a Samsung UA55MU7000WXXY or Sony KD55X8500E, which I plan on getting wall mounted.

Looking to replace my Logitec Z4 2.1 set up with a soundbar (+ a subwoofer perhaps)..

Will a soundbar offer an improvement on the Z4s?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by prat33 View Post
Will a soundbar offer an improvement on the Z4s?
Only if it has a decent subwoofer to go with it; which soundbar were you looking at?

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post #3 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Only if it has a decent subwoofer to go with it; which soundbar were you looking at?
Hi, thanks for your response. I really have no idea where to start really. The Mrs doesn't really want too many wires running around, to the extent she would prefer not to even have a subwoofer sitting on the floor as it does now.

So this is what I'm contemplating:
1) Keep my current Logitech Z4 2.1 (will have to get the Sony TV as the Samsung does not have the 3.5mm port)
2) Get a standalone soundbar, with no sub
3) Get a soundbar + wireless sub
4) Upgrade to some other 2.1 set up
5) Get rid of all speakers and just run with the TV speaker

After a clean/sleek/minimalist set up, which offers a sound upgrade to my current Z4s.
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post #4 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh and working on a fairly limited budget of say AUD 300-400.
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post #5 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by prat33 View Post
Oh and working on a fairly limited budget of say AUD 300-400.
I'd just get an optical to analog converter and continue using what you have as any upgrade will be marginal for that budget.

https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Optic.../dp/B003XCHCLC

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post #6 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I'd just get an optical to analog converter and continue using what you have as any upgrade will be marginal for that budget.

https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Optic.../dp/B003XCHCLC
+1
A decent sub alone would put you over budget. Keep what you have for now and upgrade later when budget allows. The converter Geoff recommended would resolve your compatibility issues.

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post #7 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prat33 View Post
Hi guys, in the process of upgrading my TV (a Sony 40" Full HD) with a 55" 4K TV, either a Samsung UA55MU7000WXXY or Sony KD55X8500E, which I plan on getting wall mounted.

Looking to replace my Logitec Z4 2.1 set up with a soundbar (+ a subwoofer perhaps)..

Will a soundbar offer an improvement on the Z4s?

Thanks!
You also could simply buy better powered speakers, but I'm not sure if that's easy to do with your budget.

I'm assuming passive is out, since it'd require an avr or amp? Which would also be difficult to manage with your budget.
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post #8 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 09:49 AM
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just a thought .. how about a less expensive (<$200 ) sound bar and a good budget sub like the emotiva basx sub 8? if it's a medium to small room you should see some improvement .. but i might save up some more & go with powered speakers and that sub...

Last edited by Lp85253; 08-21-2017 at 09:52 AM.
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post #9 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
just a thought .. how about a less expensive (<$200 ) sound bar and a good budget sub like the emotiva basx sub 8? if it's a medium to small room you should see some improvement .. but i might save up some more & go with powered speakers and that sub...
Not sure if basx is available in Australia (assume that is where the OP is based on his AUD comment).

His budget in US dollars is something like $250-$300ish. Even if he could get a Basx8 at $200, he'd have to get the cheapest of cheap soundbars to stay within budget.

Basx8/10 isn't a bad idea, but I don't think the OP can manage it.
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post #10 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Doe Doe View Post
Not sure if basx is available in Australia (assume that is where the OP is based on his AUD comment).

His budget in US dollars is something like $250-$300ish. Even if he could get a Basx8 at $200, he'd have to get the cheapest of cheap soundbars to stay within budget.

Basx8/10 isn't a bad idea, but I don't think the OP can manage it.
Sub selection in Australia is as bad if not worse than Canada. Prices on sub par speaker company subs ( Klipsch, Kef etc..) are just as ridiculous.

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post #11 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 12:13 PM
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Sub selection in Australia is as bad if not worse than Canada. Prices on sub par speaker company subs ( Klipsch, Kef etc..) are just as ridiculous.
Out of curiosity I just checked what a cheapo yamaha sub would cost him, thinking if he can't find a decent sub, maybe a so-so sub reasonably priced would be a better option.

https://www.exeltek.com.au/yamaha-ys...ack-yst-sw216b

And yeah, that is insanely priced. Maybe he's better off looking for a used sub, or just go with whatever he can find reasonably priced, even if it stinks.

Probably the best option is to go passive w/ speakers that can reach mid 40s or so, live without a sub, but that is tricky with his budget.
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post #12 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, thank you so much for your responses. I have to admit I'm not an audiophile and don't even understand things such as amps etc.

The soundbars I was contemplating include:
Sony HT-MT300 Soundbar (No HDMI ARC)
Samsung HW-K450
Sony HTCT390
Yamaha YAS-106
Yamaha YAS-107

Unsure whether they would offer any upgrade over the current Logitech Z4. Again, trying to limit the number of wires involved etc.

And yes I'm based in Sydney. Best site in Australia to compare prices and find electrical goods is staticice.com.au.

Really appreciate the guidance I'm getting from you all.
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post #13 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prat33 View Post
The soundbars I was contemplating include:
Sony HT-MT300 Soundbar (No HDMI ARC)
Samsung HW-K450
Sony HTCT390
Yamaha YAS-106
Yamaha YAS-107

Unsure whether they would offer any upgrade over the current Logitech Z4. Again, trying to limit the number of wires involved etc.
If you can go up to $445 AUD, this is what I'd get:
https://www.soundcorp.com.au/jbl-lsr...kers-pair-7063

There's no substitute for having physically separate L and R channels.

You can add a sub later if you're really trying to have wall-shaking effects during movies, but otherwise these speakers are known to have plenty of mid-bass, excellent clarity and nice big soundstage.
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post #14 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Zorba, that gives me an alternative (without a sub as well).

And if I were to stick with my budget, do you think any of those soundbars will give me an upgrade on the Z4s?
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post #15 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 03:13 PM
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Thanks Zorba, that gives me an alternative (without a sub as well).

And if I were to stick with my budget, do you think any of those soundbars will give me an upgrade on the Z4s?
Some MIGHT give you better voice clarity than the Z4s (I haven't heard them myself but generally speaking Logitech speakers tend to emphasize treble and have weak midrange which also gets drowned out by their boomy/muddy little subs) but the Z4s would probably give you better stereo separation just by virtue of being 2 pieces that can be spread further apart, and the excess treble MAY give you better dynamics as well making action sequences more compelling.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #16 of 34 Old 08-21-2017, 03:29 PM
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AVS Forum's Scott Wilkinson has a positive review of the brand new Yamaha YAS-207 ($299 USD)
Yamaha YAS-207 World's First Soundbar with DTS Virtual:X

FWIW My non-audiophile daughter bought one and likes it


OT to Zorba: "The mustache kept its classic 10-past-10 position”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/w...paternity.html
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post #17 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys, I feel like a soundbar will never get me the true experience such as from separate speakers. So I'm thinking instead of spending up too much on a soundbar I might just go with the Yamaha YAS-107 (with no sub for now). I'm guessing the bar will still provide an ok level of bass. And it should still be better than the stock TV speakers of the Sony or Samsung. Thoughts?
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post #18 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 04:31 AM
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Anything beats the stock TV speakers. It is the reason the whole category of sound bars exist because to make TVs thinner they use smaller speakers and the speakers no longer aim at the listeners in a front bezel. They facedown or at the wall behind the TV, it has made TVs sound terrible. While sound bars are a compromise for audio they do sound a lot better than the TV speakers but they don't come close to a nice stereo/2.1 system never mind a surround system. I work as an installer and see a lot of sound bars and can often get a good discount on equipment for my personal use. I also have a background in acoustics.

I have 4 systems in my home. One theater room with 7.2.4 currently being redone to upgrade speakers and 3 TVs with either stereo or 2.1 systems on it. I could have used a sound bar on any of the 3 TVs. Believe me this should tell you something. All my TVs have analog output and I use active speakers on them. It makes for a nice simple system as you can easily use the TV or cable/sat remote to control everything.

For your situation I would recommend one of three solutions. None would involve using the TV speakers that is absolutely not a good option The first two would be preferred but sometimes there are other factors. Again this is considering your price range, bigger budget would have more options.

1. Get a TV with analog output like the Sony with its 3.5mm connection and use active speakers and maybe add a sub in the future. I think Zorba recommendation of the JBL 305 is spot on but a little over your budget. Mackie also makes a decent model slightly less expensive but any active speaker with a 5" or greater woofer will be better than your Logitech Z4 but they might not compete with the 8" sub of the Z4 for bass.
https://www.soundcorp.com.au/mackie-...r-speaker-7189

2. Keep your Z4 and get a TV with an analog output.

3. If you absolutely love a TV without analog outputs then get that TV and the YAS-107 and eventually add an in expensive sub. You will trade off audio performance for video performance. This is if and only if this other TV blows you away with picture quality. I find here performance is similar around the same price point but you trade off certain features and qualities between models. This might be different in your area of the world.
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post #19 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Anything beats the stock TV speakers. It is the reason the whole category of sound bars exist because to make TVs thinner they use smaller speakers and the speakers no longer aim at the listeners in a front bezel. They facedown or at the wall behind the TV, it has made TVs sound terrible. While sound bars are a compromise for audio they do sound a lot better than the TV speakers but they don't come close to a nice stereo/2.1 system never mind a surround system. I work as an installer and see a lot of sound bars and can often get a good discount on equipment for my personal use. I also have a background in acoustics.

I have 4 systems in my home. One theater room with 7.2.4 currently being redone to upgrade speakers and 3 TVs with either stereo or 2.1 systems on it. I could have used a sound bar on any of the 3 TVs. Believe me this should tell you something. All my TVs have analog output and I use active speakers on them. It makes for a nice simple system as you can easily use the TV or cable/sat remote to control everything.

For your situation I would recommend one of three solutions. None would involve using the TV speakers that is absolutely not a good option The first two would be preferred but sometimes there are other factors. Again this is considering your price range, bigger budget would have more options.

1. Get a TV with analog output like the Sony with its 3.5mm connection and use active speakers and maybe add a sub in the future. I think Zorba recommendation of the JBL 305 is spot on but a little over your budget. Mackie also makes a decent model slightly less expensive but any active speaker with a 5" or greater woofer will be better than your Logitech Z4 but they might not compete with the 8" sub of the Z4 for bass.
https://www.soundcorp.com.au/mackie-...r-speaker-7189

2. Keep your Z4 and get a TV with an analog output.

3. If you absolutely love a TV without analog outputs then get that TV and the YAS-107 and eventually add an in expensive sub. You will trade off audio performance for video performance. This is if and only if this other TV blows you away with picture quality. I find here performance is similar around the same price point but you trade off certain features and qualities between models. This might be different in your area of the world.
Ok so essentially, options would be:

1) Sony TV (Samsung does not seem to have the analog output) + new active speakers (without sub for now)
2) Sony TV + existing Z4
3) Samsung TV + YAS-107 (could I pair the sub of the Logitech Z4 with the YAS-107?)

I guess the other advantage the YAS-107 provides is it can act as a speaker if I want to play music off my phone via Bluetooth. Whereas I don't have that option with the active speakers.
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post #20 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 10:30 AM
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Ok so essentially, options would be:

1) Sony TV (Samsung does not seem to have the analog output) + new active speakers (without sub for now)
2) Sony TV + existing Z4
3) Samsung TV + YAS-107 (could I pair the sub of the Logitech Z4 with the YAS-107?)

I guess the other advantage the YAS-107 provides is it can act as a speaker if I want to play music off my phone via Bluetooth. Whereas I don't have that option with the active speakers.
Personally I'm not a fan of soundbars unless you have no choice in regard to space.

When I tested a set of $20 speakers against a $600 (retail) passive soundbar, the speakers were better. It's due to size of drivers and separation of stereo sound.

I checked your ebay and saw some options to at least consider.

QAcoustic BT3s were in your pricerange, but the color available may not exactly be to your liking...

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Q-ACOUSTI...UAAOSwfRdZMe2l

or new

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Q-Acousti...0AAOSw-89ZRN99

-- https://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/q-bt3/review


Worst comes to worst, you could also consider a set of Klipsch promedias. Normally I wouldn't recommend them for HT use, but at least you get a small sub out of it. And down the road if you get a better setup, you could always reuse them in another room or with your pc or for gaming.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Klipsch-P...EAAOSwa3ZZmp1u

20% off using code


----

As for your TV, pick whichever TV you like best. I wouldn't base the decision on audio outputs. If you require analog out, you can buy a converter for like $20-$25 (at least in the US they are that price).

Last edited by Doe Doe; 08-22-2017 at 11:22 AM.
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post #21 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 11:17 AM
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There is no reason to choose a TV based on whether or not it has analog audio outputs, when you can easily use something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/D03K-Digital-...ywords=fiio+d3
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post #22 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 11:23 AM
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There is no reason to choose a TV based on whether or not it has analog audio outputs, when you can easily use something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/D03K-Digital-...ywords=fiio+d3
I still have that exact one. It's what I used to use ages ago with my ancient sony avr. It works very well.
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post #23 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by prat33 View Post
Ok so essentially, options would be:

1) Sony TV (Samsung does not seem to have the analog output) + new active speakers (without sub for now)
2) Sony TV + existing Z4
3) Samsung TV + YAS-107 (could I pair the sub of the Logitech Z4 with the YAS-107?)

I guess the other advantage the YAS-107 provides is it can act as a speaker if I want to play music off my phone via Bluetooth. Whereas I don't have that option with the active speakers.
If Bluetooth is a priority and you don't have another means to play your music like a Bluetooth speaker then active speakers will not work. There are some active speakers that have Bluetooth connectivity as well but not in your price range. For number 3 any TV would work it doesn't have to be Samsung, so whatever you like.

I agree with Doe Doe that sound bars are not my first choice for sound quality but sometimes it is the only thing that works for a given situation and it is still a lot better than the TV speakers.
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post #24 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 12:33 PM
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A DAC will not work with active speakers, you would need a receiver or preamp for a DAC which of course make it more expensive. You will not be able to control the volume with the TVs remote if you use a DAC. You would need speakers that have a remote to control volume if you want to use a DAC connected on the optical output. In fact even some analog outputs on TV will not work if they are a "fixed" output. Some TVs have fixed or variable in their menu for analog out connections. I have not seen this option with optical connections.
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post #25 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 12:46 PM
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A DAC will not work with active speakers, you would need a receiver or preamp for a DAC which of course make it more expensive. You will not be able to control the volume with the TVs remote if you use a DAC. You would need speakers that have a remote to control volume if you want to use a DAC connected on the optical output. In fact even some analog outputs on TV will not work if they are a "fixed" output. Some TVs have fixed or variable in their menu for analog out connections. I have not seen this option with optical connections.
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I never used the converter with powered speakers before. Although some powered speakers do have remotes at least... just a bit clunky. I think the QAcoustic BT3s I mentioned do come with a remote.

Not sure about that color though. Maybe he could hide them in a console or something...
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post #26 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 01:10 PM
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I do not consider the BT3 an active speaker but it is a powered speaker. An active speaker uses an electronic crossover and a separate amp for each driver which has a lot of acoustic advantages over a passive design. A powered design is a passive speaker with a passive crossover with an amplifier for each speaker and not each driver. For the OP either would be a big upgrade over a sound bar and the BT3 looks to be a great solution with Bluetooth and optical. He might need a universal remote to simplify the system with it.
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post #27 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys, ok so very clear to me I should try and stay away from soundbars. I have to admit I've had it in my mind all along that was the way to go.

A big driver for me is that the wife wants something which aesthetically fits our space. This should give you an idea of the space: https://postimg.org/gallery/108gcbsbu/

With the speakers you guys have suggested, they look big and clunky and she simply won't like the look of them. So I'm sorry to do this to you all, but they won't get her tick of approval.

Given the photo I have posted above of my space, how do you guys think I should set it up and what would be your recommendations?

What my criterias are to be completely transparent:
- clean simple/sleek/modern look with as less wires involved as possible
- at most 2 speakers + sub (even better if no separate sub required; the smaller the speakers in physical size the better)
- something with Bluetooth which allows me to play music from my mobile.
- something which doesn't require a DAC to avoid any possible issues; a system which would work with both the Sony and Samsung without the need for a DAC (sort of full proof so in future if I swap TV and it doesn't have analog I can still use speakers)
- a set up which allows me to control volume using the standard TV remote (not absolutely mandatory, but strongly preferred)
- something which offers me an upgrade on the Logitech Z4
- and finally, budget of A$300-400 (could push this to AUD 500 if really required, but again not my preference)

I really do appreciate your help on this.

Last edited by prat33; 08-22-2017 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Additional comments..
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post #28 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prat33 View Post
Hi guys, ok so very clear to me I should try and stay away from soundbars. I have to admit I've had it in my mind all along that was the way to go.

A big driver for me is that the wife wants something which aesthetically fits our space. This should give you an idea of the space: https://postimg.org/gallery/108gcbsbu/

With the speakers you guys have suggested, they look big and clunky and she simply won't like the look of them. So I'm sorry to do this to you all, but they won't get her tick of approval.


- and finally, budget of A$300-400

I really do appreciate your help on this.
QAcoustic BT3s aren't exactly huge speakers. If you want to go smaller, you may be better off just using the PC speakers you are currently using. If you prefer a normal color, you can get them still... just maybe over your budget.

Passive speakers like focal birds, or NHT superzeroes would probably fit your size requirements, but then you have budget issues, as you'll also require an avr or amp. AVR off the table as an option, I assume, due to extra wires/clutter?

And they'll definitely need a sub too. Small speakers always require a sub.
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post #29 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 07:13 PM
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I think budget is the biggest limitation. The Paradigm MilleniaCT 2 comes to mind and would fit all your criteria but I think it is even more expensive where you are. You are probably best keeping what you have or get the newer version that has Bluetooth.
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post #30 of 34 Old 08-22-2017, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I think budget is the biggest limitation. The Paradigm MilleniaCT 2 comes to mind and would fit all your criteria but I think it is even more expensive where you are. You are probably best keeping what you have or get the newer version that has Bluetooth.
Would the 'Q Acoustics BT3' tick all the above boxes? Cheapest I can find them in black is ~A$550.

Anything on this website which would tick the boxes?
https://www.digitalcinema.com.au/spe...shelf-speakers

Putting the price aside for now, what options would I have which ticks all the above boxes?

Just given the criteria I have I keep coming back to the YAS-107 soundbar.. But happy to be provided other options..
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