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post #1 of 13 Old 04-17-2015, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Need Audioholics Opinions - HT

Hi,

So I've done enough research to be able to understand the basics of Home Theater Sound but beyond that, I'm lost as to how to make an informative decision.

Goal: Have a 3.1 setup (Left, Right, Center, Sub) with each separate speaker OR have a Soundbar (says 3.1 or 5.1) and Sub.

TV: Samsung 55" JU7100. Used primarily for movies, PS4, streaming shows.

I love some good quality sound but don't need to have the full immersed experience a 5.1 or 7.1 would likely deliver. I live in an apartment now so maybe I would like to be able to expand upon the setup I purchase in the future. Also would like the cleanest setup possible (wireless? This is where SoundBar might have advantages).

Budget: Around $300-$350 to start out. If purchasing separate speakers + receiver then I could see $400+.

Questions:

1. Is it better to purchase separate speakers or does a modern SoundBar get very close/same in sound quality

2. If purchasing the separated speaker 3.1 setup, is a receiver necessary? Does it provide much better sound than a modern TV can process?

3. Any issues with wireless 3.1 separated speakers?

4. I am not seeing many 3.1 setups being sold. Is it likely I'll need to buy 2.1 setup and buy center speaker separately?

Thank you for any feedback.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-18-2015, 11:18 PM
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Take a look at the Vizio wireless 5.1 soundbar. Bought one for my daughter at Christmas and she loves it. Highly rated in the online reviews to. Soundbar connects to TV via hdmi, optical, or headphone plug (all cables provided). Subwoofer is wireless, and the small wired satellite speakers connect to the sub. Great bang for your buck at $300. Here's a link.
http://www.vizio.com/audio/home-theater/s4251wb4.html
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-18-2015, 11:23 PM
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Then you'd need to post in their forum http://www.audioholics.com/
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-19-2015, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Then you'd need to post in their forum http://www.audioholics.com/
He probably did...and that's why he's back here.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-19-2015, 06:16 AM
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I'm wary of Vizio after seeing friends' experience with one of their TVs going bad after only 9 mos and Vizio dodging the responsibility of repairing or replacing. Costco ended up taking it back for a full refund.

I've played with Vizio, Samsung, and Yamaha sound bars ant Costco, and the Yamaha model impressed me the most. No, I didn't use their demo music, I streamed my own choices via BT. Yamaha just sounded more musically vibrant. < $200.

Yes, if you want to build up a true 3.1 system with option for 5.1 or more later, you'll have to get a receiver. Accessories4less.com is linked to a lot from these forums, a refurb model like a Yamaha 375/475 or similar will suffice. < $250. Then, buy some basic speakers and a sub from Monoprice, You'll get what you pay for (i.e. you won't get $700 sound out of a $250 bookshelf pair) though some of the sets get very good reviews (and for this you'll need to shop around).

If your budget could swell a bit more to accommodate SVS or HSU bookshelf+ sub sets, you'd get some very good sound for your bucks. $300 $400 for an AVR and better-than-budget-line 3.1 speakers is just not going to get you anything of superior quality unless you find some exceptional deals on Craigslist or local pawn shop. I wouldn't buy used speakers that way because you have no idea if someone's blown out speakers at a party (or series of parties). But an AVR, maybe -- when money's tight, some people dump their consumer electronics first.

So, if your budget is truly that limited, go with a soundbar now and realize that you're at the end of an upgrade cul de sac. A little more is required to start building something that you can improve upon later.

Happy hunting!

Modest "theater": Samsung UN40ES6150, Panasonic BDT210, Yamaha RXV775. Bose 401 mains, 301 Series III surrounds, Yamaha NS-C444 center, Hsu VTF-2 Mk4.

Last edited by ChromeJob; Yesterday at 10:45 AM.
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post #6 of 13 Old Yesterday, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the feedback.

I'm going to continue researching and try to get to a HT store to listen firsthand this week. Sounds like soundbar is the way to go unless I find that building a separate speaker setup is worthy of the extra money that would be needed. Another caveat of the soundbar is that it seems the JU7100 TV has 2 1/4" clearance between table and bezel (not going to wall mount). So, nice business decision by Samsung as their soundbars meet this height restriction whereas most others do not (excluding pedestal soundbars).
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post #7 of 13 Old Yesterday, 11:04 AM
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2.25" isn't a lot to fit a speaker/sound bar into. Consider finding a riser for your TV so that you're not limited in what kind of bar you get. IMHO soundbars are a 50% improvement from TVs' built-in speakers. It's like an accessory for your TV, NOT the beginnings of a hi-fi or home theater.

If you're (edit) near a Costco store or are a member,[1] remember that you have a 90 day return period on soundbars bought there. You can take one home, and audition it at a relaxed pace, then decide if the following is a better option...

I still think that if you can spend up to $400, getting an entry level refurb receiver from accessories4less and some bookshelf speakers to start (Monoprice's 10565 set is < $200, 8247 is < $100), so you COULD meet your budget, or just get two 8251 bookshelf speakers, and one of their subwoofers for even less). Yes it's not as facile and "clean" as a single soundbar and wireless sub, but the quality of sound definition and separation, not to mention your ability to control and tweak, is better. The best part: when you get a $ windfall (got your tax refund yet?), instead of reselling the soundbar and starting from where you are now, simply sell the speakers (or use them for surrounds) and get better front speakers and a center.

I'm repeating myself, I know. I feel strongly that making the choice to get an AVR and bookshelf speakers is more practical.



[1] Members can order online at costco.com.

Modest "theater": Samsung UN40ES6150, Panasonic BDT210, Yamaha RXV775. Bose 401 mains, 301 Series III surrounds, Yamaha NS-C444 center, Hsu VTF-2 Mk4.

Last edited by ChromeJob; Yesterday at 03:07 PM. Reason: linking
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post #8 of 13 Old Yesterday, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
2.25" isn't a lot to fit a speaker/sound bar into. Consider finding a riser for your TV so that you're not limited in what kind of bar you get. IMHO soundbars are a 50% improvement from TVs' built-in speakers. It's like an accessory for your TV, NOT the beginnings of a hi-fi or home theater.

If you're a Costco or are a member, remember that you have a 90 day return period on soundbars bought there. You can take one home, and audition it at a relaxed pace, then decide if the following is a better option...

I still think that if you can spend up to $400, getting an entry level refurb receiver from accessories4less and some bookshelf speakers to start (Monoprice's 10565 set is < $200, 8247 is < $100), so you COULD meet your budget, or just get two 8251 bookshelf speakers, and one of their subwoofers for even less). Yes it's not as facile and "clean" as a single soundbar and wireless sub, but the quality of sound definition and separation, not to mention your ability to control and tweak, is better. The best part: when you get a $ windfall (got your tax refund yet?), instead of reselling the soundbar and starting from where you are now, simply sell the speakers (or use them for surrounds) and get better front speakers and a center.

I'm repeating myself, I know. I feel strongly that making the choice to get an AVR and bookshelf speakers is more practical.

Now you've got me thinking...

Hypothetical:

Buy AVR: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_022RXV3...77.html?tp=179

2 bookshelf speakers: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107TL1B...ck.html?tp=186

I would then have a much better setup than a soundbar in your opinion with flexibility for future additions.

Also, I thought I read that I would need to get a center channel otherwise the dialogue would be too low and I could be switching volume when going from action scene to straight dialogue which I'd hate.

If that's the case I would need to add a center like:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107TL1C...L1.html?tp=189

Most of these centers are too tall for the TV so would have to raise on a platform or fit under shelf below.

Thanks again for the feedback.

EDIT: Will need to find AVR that is HDCP 2.2 compliant

Also, would have to get wireless capable AVR in order to have speakers connected wirelessly (instead of have a cord run out to rear speakers if that's what I bought in the future...)

Last edited by ca4224; Yesterday at 01:00 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Unread Yesterday, 03:27 PM
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http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...rx-v375/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

(I only picked Yamahas because I know that brand and the functions. Denon would be okay, I'm just not familiar with the models.)

You're getting my signal loud and clear.

Wireless speaker tech is going to be a) out of your budget and b) subject to contention as to practicality or quality. Just run some cable. KISS. Someone here might know of a good way to do it, but it will add cost to a budget that's already pretty modest.

You can go 2.0 or 2.1, in which case the Center content will be created as an old style "phantom" center. You won't miss anything or have to adjust, the AVR will do it for you. (Those Yamahas with YPAO will setup the speakers for you automagically.) You can add a Center speaker now or later, and it simply gives better directional/localization for dialog.

Not sure why you think you have to find HDCP compliance...? Should be in basically every recent AVR, unless this is something new and peculiar.

Q: can you find in your TV manual if it supports HDMI-ARC (audio return circuit over the HDMI output from the AVR to the TV)?


// Posted from Tapatalk 3.2.1 for iOS - later versions are pfft //

Modest "theater": Samsung UN40ES6150, Panasonic BDT210, Yamaha RXV775. Bose 401 mains, 301 Series III surrounds, Yamaha NS-C444 center, Hsu VTF-2 Mk4.
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post #10 of 13 Unread Yesterday, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...rx-v375/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

(I only picked Yamahas because I know that brand and the functions. Denon would be okay, I'm just not familiar with the models.)

You're getting my signal loud and clear.

Wireless speaker tech is going to be a) out of your budget and b) subject to contention as to practicality or quality. Just run some cable. KISS. Someone here might know of a good way to do it, but it will add cost to a budget that's already pretty modest.

You can go 2.0 or 2.1, in which case the Center content will be created as an old style "phantom" center. You won't miss anything or have to adjust, the AVR will do it for you. (Those Yamahas with YPAO will setup the speakers for you automagically.) You can add a Center speaker now or later, and it simply gives better directional/localization for dialog.

Not sure why you think you have to find HDCP compliance...? Should be in basically every recent AVR, unless this is something new and peculiar.

Q: can you find in your TV manual if it supports HDMI-ARC (audio return circuit over the HDMI output from the AVR to the TV)?


// Posted from Tapatalk 3.2.1 for iOS - later versions are pfft //
The TV is a Samsung JU7100 released this year. It should provide support for HDMI-ARC although forum posts in the TV section are mentioning that a firmware update is needed - not too worried about it if its just a matter of time.

My audio plans are becoming clearer thank to your help.

Current plan:

1. Research and possibly stretch budget to purchase an AVR (likely YAMAHA)
2. Purchase 2 bookshelf speakers for front left and right next to TV.
3. Purchase a sub to place next to TV on floor.

Then, I'll have a 2.1 audio setup and not mess with lower audio quality of a soundbar for virtually same price.

Next purchase would be a center channel which you mentioned is a plus and not a must have at first.

Then later on down the road I could add two rear speakers and mess with wiring then.

In the end I would only have one HDMI wire to TV from AVR and one wire from each speaker/sub to AVR.

Devices (PS4, chromecast, etc.) would be directly connected to TV via HDMI and work fine I'm assuming but possibly not (I'm totally new to additional audio outside TV speakers). Would just probably have to get a universal remote to control both the TV and volume rather than splitting between two.

Last edited by ca4224; Yesterday at 04:38 PM.
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post #11 of 13 Unread Yesterday, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca4224 View Post
The TV is a Samsung JU7100 released this year. It should provide support for HDMI-ARC although forum posts in the TV section are mentioning that a firmware update is needed - not too worried about it if its just a matter of time.

My audio plans are becoming clearer thank to your help.

Current plan:

1. Research and possibly stretch budget to purchase an AVR (likely YAMAHA)
2. Purchase 2 bookshelf speakers for front left and right next to TV.
3. Purchase a sub to place next to TV on floor.

Then, I'll have a 2.1 audio setup and not mess with lower audio quality of a soundbar for virtually same price.

Next purchase would be a center channel which you mentioned is a plus and not a must have at first.

Then later on down the road I could add two rear speakers and mess with wiring then.

In the end I would only have one HDMI wire to TV from AVR and one wire from each speaker/sub to AVR.

Devices (PS4, chromecast, etc.) would be directly connected to TV via HDMI and work fine I'm assuming but possibly not (I'm totally new to additional audio outside TV speakers). Would just probably have to get a universal remote to control both the TV and volume rather than splitting between two.
Why would you connect devices to the tv rather than the avr? Most avr remotes will be able to turn your tv on and off. Or do you still envision using the tv speakers?
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post #12 of 13 Unread Today, 06:24 AM
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HDMI-CEC will let the TV remote control the AVR volume, the need for third party universal remotes is shrinking due to this. I control volume and stop/pause my BD player with any of the remotes, as well as the network app for mobile that higher end AVRs support.

You'll want to plug the PS and Chromecast into the AVR, HDMI-ARC is limited to Dolby Digital and DTS, and won't support the DD+ that services stream to the Chromecast. The point of an AVR is to be an a/v hub for devices and output. The TV is just a display.


// Posted from Tapatalk 3.2.1 for iOS - later versions are pfft //

Modest "theater": Samsung UN40ES6150, Panasonic BDT210, Yamaha RXV775. Bose 401 mains, 301 Series III surrounds, Yamaha NS-C444 center, Hsu VTF-2 Mk4.
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post #13 of 13 Unread Today, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
HDMI-CEC will let the TV remote control the AVR volume, the need for third party universal remotes is shrinking due to this. I control volume and stop/pause my BD player with any of the remotes, as well as the network app for mobile that higher end AVRs support.

You'll want to plug the PS and Chromecast into the AVR, HDMI-ARC is limited to Dolby Digital and DTS, and won't support the DD+ that services stream to the Chromecast. The point of an AVR is to be an a/v hub for devices and output. The TV is just a display.


// Posted from Tapatalk 3.2.1 for iOS - later versions are pfft //
IF your implementation of HDMI CEC actually functions correctly. With my stuff it didn't play nice and the Harmony does. The avr remote just can't do as much with other devices either. ARC is a joke mostly IME. Can't even carry all audio signals and with some tv's can't do more than 2.0 with other than OTA. A very poor non-standardized joke is ARC and HDMI-CEC in general.
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