We're moving to Chicago, and have a smallish downtown apartment. The system we've been using in the house (Pioneer Elite SC-05, Boston VR2/VR12/HPS12HO) will just not work in the small a space, so I'm trying to figure out what to do about decent sound in a small form factor. The living area is roughly 13' x 19', carpeted.
I started out looking at soundbar systems, and auditioned a couple at a nearby Magnolia Best Buy. The MartinLogan Vision actually sounded pretty damn awesome (the amount and quality of bass was actually pretty astonishing), and the B&W Panorama was nice, if less impressive. While I *could* do those price-wise ($1500/$2200) I really hate the idea of spending that much money, and especially on a sound bar.
I happened across some of Paradigm's new small systems and am intrigued. Specifically - their Shift A2 powered speakers. I like that they're small and stylish, and I like that they're self-powered. I also like that every review I've read has been glowing. Problem is - independent volume control. I'd need something between those and the other equipment to allow me to control volume together and via remote. And here's where my knowledge takes a swan-dive off a cliff. I don't know anything about pres/pros, or where to even begin looking. Or if there's something less expensive that could take audio output from my television and push it to the speakers and allow remote volume fiddling I'm certainly open to hearing it.
Ideally - I want the price of this equipment-in-the-middle to not exceed $300. It also needs to be small. I do have HDMI components, but don't care so much about plugging them directly into this new equipment. I also have a subwoofer, but even without something extra I think I'd be able to ghetto up a connection out of the speakers themselves. Not ideal, I know
Anywho..suggestions? If I can't figure something out, I'm probably going to end up with Paradigm MilleniaOne CT system. That's still a little more than I wanted to spend, but I'm willing to if it means I meet all of my criteria (small stylish system, remote controllability, excellent-if-not-reference sound quality). Or if anybody has other recommendations for a solid 2.1 system I'm all ears.