Soundbar 5.1 vs Receiver with compact speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-18-2017, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Soundbar 5.1 vs Receiver with compact speakers

Hi,
I'm building a home theater in the living room and already have TV 55" and projector with 135" electric screen installed. However I have a problem with audio.
Because of projection screen size I cannot use standard, big speakers (no place next to the screen) so I have to go for a soundbar 5.1 or compact speakers 5.1 or 7.0.

I found 2 soundbars which sounds interesting:
- Denon Heos Bar 5.1
- Samsung HW-K950 5.1.4 (Atmos)

but any chance that they sound close to the typical config like Denon AVR-X2400h / Sony STR-DN1080 receiver + even compact speakers like Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800?

What config do you suggest with this from speaker size limitation?
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-18-2017, 08:33 AM
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i have just been hughes electrical for a demo of the samsunghw-k950 it sounds fantastic its as good as what the reviews say im going bite the bullet and get it
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-18-2017, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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i have just been hughes electrical for a demo of the samsunghw-k950 it sounds fantastic its as good as what the reviews say im going bite the bullet and get it
Ha, you didn't help - I was expecting a confirmation that soundbars sux generally voices and logic suggests that average receiver with even a medium size speakers should be much better than even the best soundbar on the market (small speakers, short distance for stereo, small satellites) but maybe Atmos in this model improves sound significantly. I would prefer a soundbar just because of aesthetic aspects but still have a technical issue because of two devices (TV,projector) to connect as OUT - soundbars only have 1 HDMI OUT. So I have to use splitter and control it manually or always send to both and disable auto device on HDMI signal.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-18-2017, 10:45 AM
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Ha, you didn't help - I was expecting a confirmation that soundbars sux generally voices and logic suggests that average receiver with even a medium size speakers should be much better than even the best soundbar on the market.
Soundbars are an option for those with aesthetic and/or space limitations.
Apparently you've already made you decision that a soundbar is not on your list. Why even ask?



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-18-2017, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Apparently you've already made you decision that a soundbar is not on your list. Why even ask?
Yes, standard sound bar 1.0 / 1.1 was never an option (must have rear speakers) but after many good reviews of Samsung soundbar with Atmos (5.1.4) I'm not so sure In the other way I have to buy receiver with many ports and features I do not need - what I need is "only" a good sound and 4 ports: 1x HDMI IN, 2x HDMI OUT (or 1x and splitter) and AUX (for digital piano). I do not have any experience with compact sound systems (I only remember Logitech Z-5500 for PC/games with it's powerful and nice sound) but I guess you can advise something more accurate for home theater.

btw ratio is: 70% for movies, 20% for digital piano and radio (FM/Spotify) and 10% for TV/PS3
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-18-2017, 02:52 PM
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this samsung bar sounds great, to get a sound like it you have to spend a lot of money on a full av system, when i went for a demo it was set up in store ok the rear speakers were behind but it was open on the shop floor but the sound was great cant wait to have it at home let me know how you get on, the best thing you could do is go and have a demo
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-18-2017, 02:55 PM
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by the way its not only good for movies but also music,
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-19-2017, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woody8755 View Post
the best thing you could do is go and have a demo
Yep, agree. Going for one this week but I'm afraid it will be hard to compare on open space as you mentioned. Anyway I still have some time so please let me know after your home test
In a meantime I will check a few audio stores.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-19-2017, 02:19 AM
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what i thought was if it sounds this good with say 18foot ceiling and an open store, even though they had it set up right spks behindyou and bar in front it sounded fantastic
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-19-2017, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woody8755 View Post
what i thought was if it sounds this good with say 18foot ceiling and an open store, even though they had it set up right spks behindyou and bar in front it sounded fantastic
OK. I've just came back from the K950 demo. First impression - WOW! This tiny thing sounds so strong.

Next I tested on HQ movies, music, sport, games with and without rear speakers and this is what I observed/heard:
- Atmos Bluray demo is totally amazing and sound almost killed me but bear in mind that usually source of the sound is not so good
- sounds bad without rear speakers (no space, no power) - when using BL player it's OK, but for TV, PC with LQ sound source it means rear speakers will be off and it sux only on the front bar... not sure if possible to convert/simulate surround from Stereo? My Onkyo receiver can do that...
- 5.1/Atmos music sounds amazing
- stereo music is only OK
- by default bass is to deep and to strong - kills high tones in vocal/dialogue but I think EQ may help here
- has a problem with YT (TV/player)- sound level issues

What is great I can test for 30 days at my home and then keep or return this product so I'm going to use that opportunity and test longer to check if I can convert sound and force rear speakers to play every time - in the other way it sounds just a little better than ~500$ soundbar. Also it's a first Samsung Atmos model - for sure they will improve next one

Any alternatives for 5.1/Atmos under the 2000$ with good receiver and compact speakers?
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-21-2017, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Another day, another test... K950 definitely rejected - sounds powerful but technically bad (bass, vocal). Yamaha YSP-5600 sounds much better but doesn't have rear speakers.
So I found another alternatives:
-Onkyo HT-S9800THX 7.1 - complete but budget system
-B&W DT-50 5.1 + ampli
-DT ProCinema800 + ampli
-Klipsch monitors + ampli
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-21-2017, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3d0 View Post
Hi,
I'm building a home theater in the living room and already have TV 55" and projector with 135" electric screen installed. However I have a problem with audio.
Because of projection screen size I cannot use standard, big speakers (no place next to the screen) so I have to go for a soundbar 5.1 or compact speakers 5.1 or 7.0.

I found 2 soundbars which sounds interesting:
- Denon Heos Bar 5.1
- Samsung HW-K950 5.1.4 (Atmos)

but any chance that they sound close to the typical config like Denon AVR-X2400h / Sony STR-DN1080 receiver + even compact speakers like Definitive Technology Pro Cinema 800?

What config do you suggest with this from speaker size limitation?
Are you in the States?

Are these too big?

https://www.qacoustics.com/home-thea...re-system.html

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-system-review

If yes, then this combination:

https://www.qacoustics.com/home-thea...r-package.html

https://emotiva.com/product/basx-s10/

Geoff A. J., California
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-22-2017, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you in the States?

Are these too big?

https://www.qacoustics.com/home-thea...re-system.html
No, I'm in EU.
These are not too big - even quite small but BasX S10 is not available in my country so cannot test. Need to find a different subwoofer if I go for QA3000. Also wondering if I can upgrade to Atmos - they do not have dedicated speakers.
Anyway, they seems to be the best choice from small 5.1 sets under 1k$. ProCinema800 has 90db sensitivity comparing to 86db for QA but they are 1.2k$. Next visible step is to use medium speakers like Klipsch RP-160M with 100W power nad 95dB sensitivity!
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-22-2017, 08:07 AM
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No, I'm in EU.
These are not too big - even quite small but BasX S10 is not available in my country so cannot test. Need to find a different subwoofer if I go for QA3000. Also wondering if I can upgrade to Atmos - they do not have dedicated speakers.
Anyway, they seems to be the best choice from small 5.1 sets under 1k$. ProCinema800 has 90db sensitivity comparing to 86db for QA but they are 1.2k$. Next visible step is to use medium speakers like Klipsch RP-160M with 100W power nad 95dB sensitivity!
It is actually an excellent subwoofer in terms of flat response, (the QA), it just doesn't really play that low.

But compared to many other European subs that only play down to the mid to low 30s it is good for what it does.

And it is head and shoulders better than any soundbar sub.

Can you order a sub from one of these guys and get a QA front three of 3020x2 + 3090c and a pair of 3010s for rears?

http://www.bkelec.com/

You could always add a pair of these in front aimed to bounce off the ceiling for Atmos 5.1.2.

https://www.qacoustics.co.uk/q-acous...kers-pair.html

Geoff A. J., California

Last edited by gajCA; 09-22-2017 at 08:19 AM.
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